Summit Treestands
Pistol carrying recommendations
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
Pyrannah 27-Jan-18
N-idaho 27-Jan-18
Mule Power 27-Jan-18
wyobullshooter 27-Jan-18
wyobullshooter 27-Jan-18
LBshooter 27-Jan-18
EF Hutton 27-Jan-18
WapitiBob 27-Jan-18
IdyllwildArcher 27-Jan-18
Ucsdryder 27-Jan-18
jims 27-Jan-18
Glunt@work 27-Jan-18
Aluminum Rain 27-Jan-18
Shaft 27-Jan-18
oldgoat 27-Jan-18
RTJ1980 27-Jan-18
Jaquomo 27-Jan-18
The last savage 27-Jan-18
BTM 27-Jan-18
drycreek 27-Jan-18
Teeton 27-Jan-18
thedude 28-Jan-18
Beendare 28-Jan-18
LFN 28-Jan-18
DanaC 28-Jan-18
Don K 28-Jan-18
Owl 28-Jan-18
wyobullshooter 28-Jan-18
LBshooter 28-Jan-18
ground hunter 28-Jan-18
newfi1946moose 28-Jan-18
Single bevel 28-Jan-18
Ucsdryder 28-Jan-18
joehunter 28-Jan-18
TurboT 28-Jan-18
welka 28-Jan-18
>>>---WW----> 28-Jan-18
Ambush 28-Jan-18
bigdog21 28-Jan-18
ColoBull 28-Jan-18
Glunt@work 28-Jan-18
SBH 28-Jan-18
PO Cedar 28-Jan-18
ColoBull 28-Jan-18
Glunt@work 28-Jan-18
jjs 28-Jan-18
IdyllwildArcher 28-Jan-18
LBshooter 28-Jan-18
Nesser 28-Jan-18
cnelk 28-Jan-18
Nesser 28-Jan-18
Owl 28-Jan-18
Ambush 28-Jan-18
Ambush 28-Jan-18
jdee 28-Jan-18
fisherick 28-Jan-18
Michael 28-Jan-18
LBshooter 28-Jan-18
Ambush 28-Jan-18
PO Cedar 28-Jan-18
drycreek 28-Jan-18
Ned 28-Jan-18
INDBowhunter2 28-Jan-18
LKH 28-Jan-18
Irishman 28-Jan-18
mtoomey 29-Jan-18
CurveBow 29-Jan-18
Linecutter 29-Jan-18
LBshooter 29-Jan-18
Ambush 29-Jan-18
INDBowhunter2 29-Jan-18
LBshooter 29-Jan-18
Nesser 29-Jan-18
Nesser 29-Jan-18
Nesser 29-Jan-18
drycreek 29-Jan-18
The last savage 29-Jan-18
midwest 29-Jan-18
PA-R 29-Jan-18
TreeWalker 29-Jan-18
LBshooter 29-Jan-18
drycreek 29-Jan-18
IdyllwildArcher 29-Jan-18
WV Mountaineer 29-Jan-18
IdyllwildArcher 29-Jan-18
IdyllwildArcher 30-Jan-18
IdyllwildArcher 30-Jan-18
M.Pauls 30-Jan-18
White Falcon 30-Jan-18
Beendare 30-Jan-18
Lark Bunting 30-Jan-18
Norseman 30-Jan-18
76aggie 30-Jan-18
John Mikulecky 30-Jan-18
IdyllwildArcher 30-Jan-18
drycreek 30-Jan-18
WV Mountaineer 30-Jan-18
IdyllwildArcher 31-Jan-18
houndy65 31-Jan-18
BTM 31-Jan-18
wildwilderness 31-Jan-18
wildwilderness 31-Jan-18
Beendare 31-Jan-18
John Mikulecky 31-Jan-18
Elk4Doc 31-Jan-18
IdyllwildArcher 31-Jan-18
tundrajumper 31-Jan-18
Elk4Doc 31-Jan-18
Grunt-N-Gobble 31-Jan-18
WV Mountaineer 31-Jan-18
Teeton 01-Feb-18
LBshooter 01-Feb-18
Beendare 01-Feb-18
TD 01-Feb-18
a'Lish 01-Feb-18
From: Pyrannah
27-Jan-18
Headed to Wyoming this fall, we’ll should be anyway... I plan to avoid grizz areas

Legal to carry a firearm?

Would you recommend carrying one?

Thanks

From: N-idaho
27-Jan-18
i carry one but I also shoot it on a regular basis if you don't like shooting and don't practice with it I would recommend bear spray

From: Mule Power
27-Jan-18
What he said. If you don’t practice with a handgun you probably have as good a chance of defending yourself with your bow!

27-Jan-18
Yes, they’re legal to carry during archery season. I’ m nowhere near griz, but I always have m

27-Jan-18
Ha! Musta hit the wrong button and now it won’t let me edit on my iPhone. Anywho, I always have my 40 S&W on my hip.

From: LBshooter
27-Jan-18
I'd carry spray and a gun. The spray for bears and the gun for the two legged scumbags that roam around.

From: EF Hutton
27-Jan-18
10mm or 44

From: WapitiBob
27-Jan-18
Both partners had pistols last year and we ran into 2 black bears. Pretty amusing actually. Both bears came out of the brush at less than 15 yards and it was over and the bears were gone before "bear" made it from their eyes to their brain.

27-Jan-18
I agree with LBshooter. But I'd rather have my 10mm than spray if one had me on the ground. I seem to go between spray, the 10mm, and both depending on the when and where, but I always have the 10mm in Grizz country. The gun makes you FEEL safer than the spray.

From: Ucsdryder
27-Jan-18
No grizzlies here, but I still carry my glock 29 in 10mm with 200 gr hard cast flat nose lead. I bought it with an extended barrel which adds fps and allows for better bullet flight with the heavy stuff.

From: jims
27-Jan-18
If you end up shooting a grizz in self defense in Wyo you better be ready for a long process! I would make certain that the bear is 100% threatening your life or you may get yourself in big do-do!

From: Glunt@work
27-Jan-18
"...or you may get yourself in big do-do!"

Better than becoming doo doo!" :^)

27-Jan-18
How is anybody going to know if you shot it.

From: Shaft
27-Jan-18
I hunted elk for two weeks in Wyoming last year. I carried every day even though I wasn't in grizz country. I carried more for black bears, but also for those two legged scumbags I may run into. It was just nice knowing it was there in case I needed it.

From: oldgoat
27-Jan-18

oldgoat's embedded Photo
oldgoat's embedded Photo

From: RTJ1980
27-Jan-18
I carried a pistol and bear spray in MT grizz country last year. Thankfully I never needed either, but did see some sign. We usually hunt CO OTC, but thought a unit in MT grizz-country would be a nice change of pace. Let's just say the senses were heightened when we stumbled across two mule deer kills.

From: Jaquomo
27-Jan-18
"How is anyone going to know if you shot it?"

Because they're going to find your gun by whatever is left of your body and when they find the bear and put it down they'll find some of your remains in its belly...

27-Jan-18
I've read the same b.s. Statement on now on bowsite probably 25 times....you should fear repercussions for defending your life .....YOUR LIFE...the most precious gift you have....people that struggle with those types of decisions probably should stay on concrete....imo.

From: BTM
27-Jan-18
+1 Jaquomo. This subject comes up fairly often (do a search), and the opinions are all over the map. The never-ending debate.

From: drycreek
27-Jan-18
^^^^^^ I was thinking the same thing, the annual Bowsite "What handgun to carry in grizz country?"

The answer, to me, is obvious, but I neither live nor hunt in bear country. The biggest, most powerful handgun that you can shoot well and will be easiest to access.

Bill Jordan said "There is no second place winner in a gunfight". I strongly suspect the same to be true in a bear fight.

From: Teeton
27-Jan-18
In all my years, I've seen 3 grizzlies, but never a scumbag in the back country. :) I live in black bear country in Northeast Pa and see 15 to 25 black bear a year. Never had one problem with any. When in grizzly country I do carry bear spray.

From: thedude
28-Jan-18
Get a glock in 10 mm and shoot a lot. You can lay hate real quick. The lack of a safety makes it easier to get rounds off when only your brain stem is functioning. Use a holster that you can operate with one hand

From: Beendare
28-Jan-18
Self defense is all about training- whatever you use.

I think the hardcast pistol ammo is a game changer when it comes to bears.

From: LFN
28-Jan-18
only you can say if its worth it for you to carry, the fact that your asking makes me think you should have one along. you probably won't need it to defend yourself but having it along may save your hunt when every bush starts to look like a bear in the dim light and you start to think its safer back at camp.

I hunt northern Colorado so no griz here. for many years I did not carry a handgun while hunting, but one morning our little group disturbed a large flock of sheep while hiking in the dark, we instantly heard a pack of dogs charging up the ridge to us, it was 5 or 6 of those big white dogs that live with and guard sheep, we kept moving but they barked growled and tried to surround me, if I faced them they held their ground but every time I turned my back to them they moved in on me. I was last in line. scared the crap out of us.

I later met them in daylight and made friends with the large male, it was a family group with immature pups. but from then on every one in our group carries a handgun with us. after you've been in a situation where you felt vulnerable, carrying a gun doesn't seem so crazy to you. I now carry a S&W mountain gun in .44 mag.

From: DanaC
28-Jan-18
As someone once said, better to be tried by twelve...

From: Don K
28-Jan-18
I always wonder with all the people that do carry a gun, how many have ever had to use it?

I carry spray, been thinking about a gun mostly for camp.

From: Owl
28-Jan-18
If you opt for the big wheel guns (calibers over 10mm or 45.ACP), make sure you will take the abuse and practice. Be honest with yourself. And by "abuse," I mean by physical and monetary mistreatment.:)

I'd opt for both spray and a sidearm if gear weight and configuration allows. Reasearch shows bear spray is over 90% (upwards of 95-98%) effective in stopping or mitigating an attack. It also has the benefit of acting as a conditioning agent against future bear attacks in non-lethal close encounters. I admit this is a nuanced musing but if I got bluff charged by a grizzly, I would like to know he spent a miserable night in the bush for the sake of any future hunters.

28-Jan-18
Don K, thankfully I’ve never had to use mine, but I look at it the same as I do insurance. You don’t need it till you need it.

From: LBshooter
28-Jan-18
Better to have and not need it than to need it and not have it. Whether Im out in the woods or the conctrete jungle of Chicago it's always there, the caliber changes but one is always there .

28-Jan-18
I have carried weapons all of my life from the military to my career,,,, shot just about everything, and am an active shooter................... You have to ask yourself, what are you carrying the hand gun for? Protection from bears, or humans?

If it is for bears, than carry enough gun,,,,,, I would not carry a 40 for bears, hell I did not carry one for my career in LE, I carried a 45, and that is only for stopping a human, in its tracks,,,,, I learned along time ago, in real life experiences, when the bullets were flying, carry enough gun

Enough gun for bear country means weight, so as said before, big caliber handguns, means training, and knowing that gun, which means spend enough time with it.....

A guide in Alaska told me, he would never carry an auto loader, for big bears, rarely are you going to get anymore than 2 shots, and hand gun time, is already trouble time,,,, He carried a 12 gauge slug gun, not to practical, when your bowhunting solo

The amount of shooters I see at the range, who are unfamiliar with their weapon is amazing, you can see it, in their handling of the weapon, and their problems with handling malfunctions................................

Speaking of auto loaders, and I love em, know how to handle malfunctions, again that is training, but a malfunction on a bear attack, game is pretty much over

28-Jan-18
Over the years i have taken 10 black bear with rifle in Quebec all on guided hunts. On one of those hunts the outfitter had placed me on the rim of a small gravel about 80 yards from the bait site. Sow with a cub came behind me. I clearly recall a 'bullfrog' sound and the cub going up a tree...she charged me! Bailed out down the side of the pit and she came around rim and down after me. Side-stepped her and blew her nearly in half with the 450 Marlin. Not fun! I believe that blacks are just as dangerous as any. Unsure of latest research as to which type of bears as to attacks but i went to the local concealed carry instructor just yesterday and made an appointment for a private class for the concealed/open carry lic. Wife and i. 10mm seems just about right. Live in a rural remote area and 2-legged probably more dangerous than the 4-legged ones.

From: Single bevel
28-Jan-18
I know a guy that had to kill a grizzly in self defense. When the wildlife cops came to investigate, they completely destroyed the bear carcass in order to make all parts totally unusable. They shot-up the hide and skull and also went as far as cutting the claws into tiny pieces with pruners. Ridiculous.

Q: How do you tell the difference between Grizzly scat and Black Bear scat? A: Grizzly scat has bear-bells in it!

From: Ucsdryder
28-Jan-18
And smells like pepper single bevel.

From: joehunter
28-Jan-18
Had a guy walk into our camp in 1998 in Colorado wilderness 6 miles in. He had a handgun on him. My hunting partner slowly got up and walked over to the muzzle loader leaning against the tree and set back down with it on his lap. Guy was on something more than weed and was so out of it we could not follow his bizarre rant. Eventually he went on down the trial.

From: TurboT
28-Jan-18
Kenai chest holster is what your the answer to your question. Very durable and adjustable! Mine holds a 10mm with my binoculars and pack it is comfortable and still easy to draw if needed. 2 years ago I was charged by a sow with 3 cubs while a boar observed. 1 can of bear spray that I was holding didn't seem like enough. Bear spray is still my number 1 choice, but I like having back up after that day.

From: welka
28-Jan-18
I think MP said this in the past, but one thing to remember about spray only..... Remember that bad ole junk yard dog with white fangs and viscous bark when you walked by. He was chained to a pole. A pack of wolves (or if in the south a pack of wild dogs/pitbulls) is a bunch of JYDs and spray might keep one away. Same for a group of unfriendly 2 legged wanderers. Pack a big enough gun!

28-Jan-18
Be sure to file the front sight off of your hand gun. That way it won't hurt so bad when ole griz shoves it up your tail end!

If you are concerned about hunting in griz country, the best defense would be to go hunt somewhere else!

From: Ambush
28-Jan-18
Everybody is scared to death of wounded grizzlies! Reading anything about shooting grizzlies and you'll have scads of hyper excited referrals to "use a giant gun" because you want nothing to do with a wounded bear. They will kill you 14 times out of 10!!

So, unless you are at least 98% sure that you can kill that bear with one shot or maybe two, why risk wounding it and creating a far worse situation? For nearly all hunters and in most situations, spray is probably a better first choice. There are no doubt a few cases where a gun is the answer, but probably just as many where if a bear had been sprayed instead of wounded during the charge it would have left before getting shot and really pi$$ed.

Working on a carcass is quite a different scenario though. Now you have a bear that has come to food and has almost for sure scented you there as well and is still willing risk an encounter with you. That's the bear that has already done his own "risk and reward" planning and is willing to back up his plan. I had to kill one huge black bear that had claimed a deer. He held and advanced his position even after three warning shots. One into a tree inches from his head and two in the dirt between his legs.

Given the choice (and I'm not ) I would likely pack a sidearm and spray. When dealing with a carcass I have a full stock, short barrel defender loaded with five hard cast slugs. I've shot a few bears with slugs and they do great at shorter ranges.

But guns definitely make us feel like we've leveled the playing field.

I think the old saying could be modified to: " God created man and bears. Smith and Wesson made them equal!".

From: bigdog21
28-Jan-18
largest you can handle in revolver 44 mag would be the starting point and nothing over 4" your talking self defense not target shooting leave the fun auto at home. you may not have two hands if needed to clear a round.

From: ColoBull
28-Jan-18
1st line of defense - in the field: https://www.counterassault.com/bear-spray/ Yellowstone & Glacier National Park Ranger tested, 99.9% effective. ----- Backup ( (Tent, camp, retrievals): https://www.taurususa.com/product-details.cfm?id=227&category=Revolver&toggle=tr&breadcrumbseries=TR4 ...( 34 oz in 44 Mag). Your mileage may vary...

From: Glunt@work
28-Jan-18
If you decide to carry, one of the lightweight heavy caliber wheel guns would be my hand gun choice. I hunted Kodiak with a 21" barrel pump 12g and it actually wasn't bad once I figured out how to sling it so I could hike and shoot my bow with no issues. Also killed a ton of ducks with it that week.

But, a S&W 329PD or Taurus 444 Ultralight would be my choice for ease of carry and punch. They are super light, no fun to shoot but the lightest way to have a big caliber available. I carry my single action Ruger Bisley 5.5" 45LC loaded to 454 Casull levels. Single actions aren't the best choice for defense but I am confident with it from practice and if the need arises to kill something farther off its pretty amazing how accurate you can be off a set of sticks.

From: SBH
28-Jan-18
.44 mag is my carry but its kinda heavy. I only carry it when I feel I'm in thick country. More for mental side of things. 10mm would be the other I would look into. Always bring spray. Gun just makes me feel good at night in the tent.

From: PO Cedar
28-Jan-18
10 round magazine limit in Colorado...

From: ColoBull
28-Jan-18

ColoBull's embedded Photo
The 5 rd .44 tracker is ~2 lbs with the 2.5" barrel
ColoBull's embedded Photo
The 5 rd .44 tracker is ~2 lbs with the 2.5" barrel
About 2 lbs of serious backup...

From: Glunt@work
28-Jan-18
"10 round magazine limit in Colorado..."

We have a 15 round limit in CO unless the magazines were in possession prior to the new law (July 2013).

Its a terrible law, many LE aren't enforcing it (around 40 charges in 5 years) and it cost us Magpul (600 jobs and a big tax payer) and any new firearms industry moving here. Our county Sheriff won't enforce it and sued the State over it. You can buy a 30 round mag "repair kit" at many local shops. Its even rumored that some shops, maybe even one that has a big LE customer base, just ignore the law. Wyoming is 40 minutes away from me and I hear magazine sales are brisk up there.

From: jjs
28-Jan-18
When working in Alaska hunting camp 1980 the saying was it you had to pull your pistol on a brown bear your arse was grass by then. I knew several pilots that all they carried was a .22 Buck Mark mostly for survival for shooting ptarmigan, ect., which I carry when in the north woods. For in civilization, I carry a 9m when doing business in unfriendly area of the city anymore, would never thought about this until 12 yrs ago with the car jacking attempts. Bears do not bother me except for humans, the world is getting crazy.

28-Jan-18
A huge drawback to bear spray is a stiff wind. Hunting Kodiak this past August, there was a stiff wind 10/11 days. I stopped carrying the spray. And everyone saying that a handgun is ineffective vs a bear has to look past the dozens of documented cases where charging bears were stopped with a handgun.

From: LBshooter
28-Jan-18
X2 with Idyllwildarcher on the wind factor. Unless you want to sling a rifle a handgun properly loaded and the shooter has done thier part with practice it's your best bet. I have a 629 4 in as my woods gun but thinking about getting a glock29. Either way, a shot or two in a bear is going to sway it hopefully to stop, if not unload and pray.

From: Nesser
28-Jan-18
I can't remember the guys name but it was 2-3 years ago...he was hammered twice by a grizzly sow in Montana after supposedly "spraying the shit out her". I've not hunted in grizzly country but if I did I'd bring a big handgun and be proficient with it. Really proficient

From: cnelk
28-Jan-18
I was once told to never use bear spray in a tent or in the wind.

Using a sidearm in those circumstances doesn’t have those issues

From: Nesser
28-Jan-18

Nesser's Link

From: Owl
28-Jan-18
The wind is indeed a factor for bear spray. Bring both. If the extra ounces bothers you, spend a little more time at the gym before the season. One thing we can all agree on is 40 ounces of body fat is somewhat less of an attack deterrent than bear spray or a pistol.

From: Ambush
28-Jan-18
" I've been hunting in grizzly country for forty years. I always carry a ( handgun, shotgun, spray ) and I'm still here and unharmed, so that should say something!".

"You ever see a bear in them forty years?".

"Nope, but what the hell does that have to do with it?!?".

From: Ambush
28-Jan-18

From: jdee
28-Jan-18
After what I saw in WY in 2013 I’m carrying ..... .44 ......don’t care what anyone thinks about spray vs gun.

From: fisherick
28-Jan-18
Carry both bear spray and gun. Last year in Colorado late Sept. we had problems with free ranging bulls getting into our camp. We had run them off several times and they keep returning making a mess. Well one day after repairing the camp for the upteen time we got up to a bull at 12-14' and unload the bear spray on him. A 10mph crosswind would carry the spray away about 1' from his face, two 3-second bursts did nothing but empty the can. (effective range on can listed as 20') If this was a Griz bear we would be in deep do-do.

From: Michael
28-Jan-18
Last year I carried spray in Wyoming. One of my hunting partners had a 10 mm until it left in a different hunting partners car halfway through the hunt.

From: LBshooter
28-Jan-18
I think that bull would have been on the spit for some good steak lol

From: Ambush
28-Jan-18
It is amazing how many people, not armed with gun or spray, have had very close encounters with grizzlies where there was no contact made. Close but not quite.

In some of those cases, might the situation have been made worse if the person was armed and did get off a non-fatal shot or two. The whole wounded and enraged grizzly scenario. I know we would all like to think we are the ones that will coolly but quickly pull our side arm and lay down a couple of well placed shots and have the now dead bear slide up to our feet close enough to give him one non-nonchalant kick in the nose.

Don't get me wrong, in some situations that were mentioned with wind or in a tent, a fire arm is definitely a better tool. I guess the thing with spray is, if you miss or only "wound" him the results won't be any worse than having nothing. A non-lethal bullet may convince the grizzly to thoroughly and savagely neutralize the threat. I believe a black bear has a far different personality and even a peripheral shot would likely cause him to bugger off. Grizzlies are just different and the older they get the more inset their tendency to pick fight over flight when assaulted (shot). When you are the top dog, you don't back down.

It will always be a debate, but thankfully very,very few of us will ever have to argue from a point of bloody experience.

All that said, I would pack a sidearm if it was legal for me to do so. I only carry spray now and have a shot gun in camp for carcass work. And I have a definite opinion on whether it would be auto or revolver. But we can save that for later when there's time between fixed and mechanical arguments : - )

From: PO Cedar
28-Jan-18
I wondered how I would be treated if I brought my Glock 40 caliber I used while a police officer...departmental issue given to me after 30 years service..we had high capacity mags...

From: drycreek
28-Jan-18
In my humble opinion, high cap mags aren't of very much use if and when a bear jumps you. I've never even seen many bears, much less been charged, but I have been charged by an angry boar hog. From twenty feet away, the pistol already in my hand, I had time for one shot from my 10mm Glock. If I hadn't hit him between his ears, I wouldn't have had time for a second, much less the 14 more in the mag. My choice would probably be my Taurus Titanium Tracker in .41 Magnum. Very light, and almost as stout as a .44 Mag. If I can't get it done with that, I probably can't get it done.

From: Ned
28-Jan-18
Take all precautions to cover every scenario you may encounter in the back country. You're no longer on top of the food chain without a firearm.

28-Jan-18
I carried 500 SW 4" barrel on Kodiak. In an "out of nowhere" charge, I would have been SOL. Had it slung on a shoulder holster. Never needed it, but never took it off, especially when quartering my 2nd buck with a big boar brownie about 500 yards upwind. Two other guys on the hunt got bluff charged after hitting buck with arrow and waiting a bit before blood trailing. Sow stood up, cub ran between them and her and she came, stopped at 15 yards, stood up again and began walking towards them. She stopped and followed the bucks blood trail when she got to it, inside 10 yards of them. They stated if she would have continued with her initial speed of the charge, it would have been almost pure luck to put a fatal shot in her with a handgun. We had a long discussion about it all that night after, and figured the best remedy is a 12 gauge with 00 buck, then a slug, then 00 buck, then slug. Hopefully a fatal hit in the head with 00 buckshot inside 5 yards would work.

I'm currently debating what will go with me when I go back in 2019.

From: LKH
28-Jan-18
If you read about bear attacks, the vast majority of those who were packing never even got a shot off. If you are packing (spray or gun) and in heavy country you need it in your hand.

I've been false charged by a grizzly. They are scary fast. When they say they can outrun a quarter horse for a short distance, it's true.

From: Irishman
28-Jan-18
I have a friend who shot a grizzly that charged him. He shot it using his hunting rifle, in the chest. The grizzly continued on, knocking him down, chewing on him some, and was dragging him off. He was lucky, in that he had a friend there who shot the bear again. However, the bear kept dragging him, until his friend came up and shot it at point blank range in the head. My son, got charged by a grizzly and sprayed it at point blank range, and the bear took off, leaving him unharmed. So, I would definitely carry the spray, and you could bring the handgun as a backup plan.

From: mtoomey
29-Jan-18
Food for thought... I shot a 300 lb black bear out of a stand with a 7-30 Waters, 14" barrel. My stand was rather low, so the total distance from gun to the bear was about 8 feet. The bullet hit the spine, entered the chest cavity, centered the heart, and exited the sternum. The bear crumpled, and then pulled itself up on its front paws and traveled 10 yards before I put two more rounds into it. The bear in it's last seconds bit a 2 inch poplar sapling in half.

All this... was a bear smaller than most grizzlies, with a pistol more powerful than most, and at a range that put a pair of underwear in exrtreme danger. Mike

From: CurveBow
29-Jan-18
Folks might want to listen to the Meateater podcast with Steve Rinella. He hunted Afgonak Island in Alaska this past fall and killed a bull elk. They hung the meat in a tree and returned the next day. A grizzly "atttacked" the group (perhaps 6? guys). Its very likely that the bear attacked and was surprised by so many moving creatures and basically ran through the group. All were armed with either/or both handguns and pepper spray. Nothing was brought into play because it happened so fast.

Its an interesting podcast, but a little drawn out. Its in 2 parts (I recently learned that they had a void in the podcast schedule so they milked it into 2 parts; much to the chagrin and dismay of their listeners, including me!). Part 1 lays out the hunt, participants, rules particular to the hunt by ADFG, etc. Part 2 gets to the attack itself.

The bear seemed to stay close by making noises in heavy cover after the run through and they were all set to kill the bear if it returned. They also got their meat and boogied outa' there quickly after the event with the crew divided into watchers, with guns ready and guys getting the meat & loading it up.

From: Linecutter
29-Jan-18
Something to consider is one of the new short shotguns/pistols. Remington makes them and Mossberg makes them. I believe the barrel is 14 inches with a short pistol grip, pump gun. It could easily be carried in a back carry scabbard, similar to a back quiver. They can be shot from the hip or held up higher for pointing. I believe the Mossberg's is six plus 1. Using 00 buck would work well and you could use slugs in the mix. Wouldn't be any worse than pulling the trigger on a 500. It was intended for home defense in close quarters, which should work well in brush. DANNY

From: LBshooter
29-Jan-18

LBshooter's embedded Photo
LBshooter's embedded Photo
Like these, when you run out of rounds you can club them to death.

From: Ambush
29-Jan-18
Not a shoulder gun, not a handgun. The worst of both worlds!!

29-Jan-18
Wonder if you get that with a folding stock with pistol grip?

From: LBshooter
29-Jan-18
No, because if you put a stock on it then it becomes a long gun with a short bbl. these guns are not handguns or shotguns, they are classified as "others"

From: Nesser
29-Jan-18
Those shotguns would be the deal it's just having it for quick deployment would be the only issue. You've gotta think a load of buckshot at close range would slow it down. Plus pumps don't jam as often. Another crazy video is our P&Y president Jim Willems having his guide dump a mortally wounded brown bear charging at about 5 steps. A ten foot bear no less.

From: Nesser
29-Jan-18

Nesser's Link

From: Nesser
29-Jan-18
Not sure there's any better footage out there of a big bear charging at close range.

From: drycreek
29-Jan-18
1400 frickin lbs. of death and destruction ! Don't think I want any.

29-Jan-18

The last savage's embedded Photo
The last savage's embedded Photo
This is ,,the room sweeper.....2 oo bucks,,2 hollow slugs,, bout 5.5 lbs..I shot a 55 gallon steel drum at 8 ft,oo buck..unbelievable knockdown power,,,yeah I know it s not a 1400 lb bear, pistol or the sweeper??? I'll take my chances...ps..my wife keeps it under her side of the bed,,,,hot to trot....go ahead ,break in.......lol

From: midwest
29-Jan-18
I always liked this one...

From: PA-R
29-Jan-18
I,m hunting in CO, cow calling, sitting in a brush pile,a black sow and two cubs, come walking up to me, she looks at me , says something to he offspring, up a tree they go, maybe, 15 feet out in front of me, I stood up, said to her, O-gal I will see u later, back off, walk away. Next morning had my 40 caliber with me. Not the first time I have had bears close.

From: TreeWalker
29-Jan-18
I carry my 9mm semi-auto. I shoot it. A lot. Perhaps a bigger caliber would be optimal. I hear guys bragging they can drop an elk with 22-250, etc, so maybe do not have to have the largest if do well with bullet placement and that comes back to practice, practice, practice. I also do not feel like I am packing around an anvil since, while my 9mm fully loaded is noticeable on a steep hike, is compact and not as heavy as most "cannons" fully loaded. Whatever you carry, gun or spray, practice a few simulated attacks by having a buddy announce the attack and then he times you as you respond to squeeze off the spray or 1st round at the target 5 feet away.

From: LBshooter
29-Jan-18
A 9 mm for two legged scum fine, for big bears let alone small bears? Hope the life insurance is paid up. What 9 mm rounds do you carry? How many rounds In your mag? I think a glock 29 would be a good investment for you and weight wise your not carrying a boat anchor.

From: drycreek
29-Jan-18

drycreek's embedded Photo
drycreek's embedded Photo
Here you go, optimum balance between weight and marksmanship ! Best of both worlds !

29-Jan-18
An interesting statistic is how many grizz have been killed with a 9mm. With hard cast ammo, a 9mm has enough penetration to penetrate a bear's brain from the front and many in AK have done it. I used to carry a Glock .45 but switched to 10mm for the penetration. I don't notice a big difference in my accuracy or ease of shooting, but when I shoot my brother's 9mm, I feel like I can get more rounds off better and quicker. This is why I don't shoot a .44mag. I've fired one enough to know that I can get 3 or 4 rounds off with my 10mm in the time I can get 2 rounds off with a .44mag with the same or better accuracy, for sure with every round after #1. I also feel like and guess that my 10mm is easier to fire with a bear on top of me biting my face. Also, my camp shotgun would be worthless at that point.

29-Jan-18
Here's my thoughts.

A 12 gauge slug delivers over 3100 foot pounds of muzzle energy. A 44 mag, about 850 to 1200 foot pounds depending on the load. A 10MM is around 750 foot pounds. A 124 grain 9mm luger is about 275 foot pounds. There is only one on that list that truly qualifies for self defense against a charging Grizz. If you are going to carry, carry a gun that not only makes you feel good but, one that makes them feel bad.

Those new shotguns qualify real well with a three point tactical sling. It hangs from your chest at just the right level and tautness to stay tight during travel but, remain loose and limber enough to engage an approaching target quickly. And, it posses the incentive to get the job done. Not just make you feel better.

Go over to you tube and watch Hickok 45 shoot the things. They are impressive and, he plainly states the recoil is not unmanageable. Even with full power slug loads. God Bless men

29-Jan-18
Buffalo Bore in 9mm +P has 395 foot pounds of muzzle energy. It's not close to 10mm which is why I carry the 10mm, but there's been several bears taken down with a 9mm. Google "Grizzly killed with 9mm" and Grizzly killed with 10mm." They're enough to do the job.

Last year, there was an 11 year old kid who took down a charging grizz in AK with a smaller caliber rifle. I've personally seen a polar bear that was killed with a single shot from a .243 and someone in Point Hope where I work killed one with a .44 mag pistol with a Texas heart shot this past Saturday.

And I recently spoke with an Eskimo who told me he hunts caribou with a single shot .22 hornet (5.6x35mm) and described it as "a good caribou gun." The one he used was one of the old WWII pilot survival guns with the short stalk that was banned due to the Geneva Convention. I borrow it from him to hunt ducks with the .410 barrel and shoot ducks with #6 at 10-15 yards in the backwoods sloughs around where I work AK. Haven't had a duck or grouse limp away from me with #6 out of a .410 yet (close shots).

Point is, lower 48 American hunters and gun enthusiasts tend to overestimate what kind of fire power is needed for a certain job. Sure, more is better, but we've gotten to the point that there are people who say you shouldn't shoot an elk with anything less than a win mag. Up where I work in rural Alaska, a .243 is a common moose gun and an AR is the usual caribou gun.

30-Jan-18

IdyllwildArcher's embedded Photo
IdyllwildArcher's embedded Photo
Grouse and teal killed 50 yards apart with #6 out of a .410. Often times, guys pull higher pound bows than they need to for the same reason they shoot bigger guns than they need to: machismo and bravado.

30-Jan-18

IdyllwildArcher's embedded Photo
IdyllwildArcher's embedded Photo
Random Bowsite pic bug. This is the photo I meant to embed.

EDIT: First Bowsite gun kill pic. 8D

From: M.Pauls
30-Jan-18
Energy numbers are easy to sit and stare at. For me, anything less than say 2000 lbs is going to have to hit the central nervous system in a bad situation. That number is likely actually anything under 4000. I realize there are people that can kill them with a 22-250 and I bet I could too. But a charging grizz is a completely different topic. To flat out stop a charging grizzly without getting brain or spine I don’t think is going to happen with anything less than a .338 win mag at the bottom end of the scale with a little luck. If you’re comparing pistols, they’re all theoretically inadequate unless you put it into the brain or spine, so choose a pistol, shoot it a ton, and shoot hard cast or deep penetrating bullets like Underwoods. They are truly a last resort gun IMO and would be one of the only things you ‘might’ be able to draw once the bear is already on top of you. For people that don’t shoot a lot, or know that the situation would put them in a bad place mentally I think a shot gun with alternating buck and slug is a good option. Of course you have to draw that before he is on top of you and you can also only start pulling once he’s very close. My two cents coming from a guy who’s never been in an attack, but I am an avid gun guy. Oh and I also couldn’t legally carry a pistol here if I wanted lol

From: White Falcon
30-Jan-18
.44 mag.

From: Beendare
30-Jan-18
I'm in the camp that thinks these hardcast rounds are going to be the game changer on Big bears. We don't have a lot of data- yet...but they have been shooting big dangerous game for decades with those solid bullets and they are effective as a stopper.

I've had a fair amount of experience with charging hogs and my guess on all this is; The ammo is at least as important as the caliber.

From: Lark Bunting
30-Jan-18

Lark Bunting's Link
Carry what you want but I had spray and my pistol with me on my backpack trip. I hated carrying both once I had an elk on my back.

This is a great story from Remi Warren about a bear attack. It captures exactly what happens in the woods, we get complacent. Amazing story! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBTrYJ9UIGA

From: Norseman
30-Jan-18
One with sites filed down...

From: 76aggie
30-Jan-18
There are several points well taken in this post. I can only speak from my own experiences which, fortunately, do not include a dangerous run in with a grizzly. When fishing in AK, I have felt very secure with an 870 in 12 guage over my shoulder. A 12 guage slug is absolutely devastating at close range. I could drop the rod and reel and get the 870 fairly quickly. When hunting in AK, I carry a Taurus Tracker in .44 Mag. It is a relatively small 5 shot revolver. If push came to charge, I really doubt I would be able to get off more than one round, two at most. It does make me feel a little more secure in the tent at night though. In 2016, my hunting buddy and I ran into a man and his wife that lived totally off the grid. I mean way out in the boonies over 100 miles N. of the Arctic Circle. They had lived there in the summers for over 20 years and had wintered there only twice because of the intense cold. They walked all over the place and each of them took a can of bear spray every time they walked out of their cabin. They each had a belt with a can of spray on a peg next to the door. The man did own a rifle by the only time he took it out was to hunt for meat. It was their firm opinion that spray was better. I have seen grizzlys in the wild both when hunting and fishing in AK. Never had even the most remotely dangerous situation with them fortunately. I think bear encounters are terribly over hyped and dramatized. I have often found tracks just outside my tent in the morning and never heard a sound during the night. Of course, I keep cooking area and food at least 100 yards away from the tent. This being said, I will continue to carry a large caliber handgun when hunting in grizzly country but will for sure have a can of bear spray with me on my next hunt. Perhaps neither of them would be a real benefit to me but it makes me feel better to think they would.

30-Jan-18
Not to Hijack the thread, and sorry if this is. Those using say, a 10mm. what modifications do you do to shoot hardcast bullets? I have a Glock 20, and have been told you need to change the barrel, and also the spring.

30-Jan-18
You do not have to change the barrel. Nor the spring. This has been documented. Plus, at the cost of the hardcast round, it's not like you're going to be shooting a ton of them in practice. I practice with cheapo non-lead rounds and only shoot a few of my hardcast Buffalo Bore rounds to make sure I'm hitting the same spot at 10 and 20 yards.

Glock says you can't shoot all lead rounds, but people have been doing it without any problems. Just based off of the power and pressures created by the 10mm round, it's not a gun you're going to shoot 100k rounds out of anyways. For as cheap as the gun is, if I ever shot 20,000 rounds out of it, I'd just bury the gun in one of my survival bins and buy a new one. Practice with a .22 for the bulk of your shots and cheapo loads out of the 10mm, but pack the hardcast rounds when it matters most.

20 hardcast rounds out of a Glock is not going to hurt the gun. After you shoot your hardcast rounds, put a few non-lead rounds through it and then clean it well. Tons of guys have documented that this works just fine and I've yet to find a bad result.

From: drycreek
30-Jan-18
I've read that you shouldn't shoot cast bullets in a Glock because of the polygonal rifling, hence the barrel change. I've read nothing about the spring change. Visit the Glock forum and I'm sure you'll get clarification.

I get by with shooting cast by shooting copper clad, flat nosed bullets, but I'm popping hogs and not grizzlies :-) The HSM ammo that I feed my G20 and G40 (both 10mm) will break both shoulders with a broadside shot on a 150/175 lb. hog. That ain't no grizzly, but they do have a very thick cartilage like "shield" when they get that big, so they're pretty tough.

30-Jan-18
Glock suggested not to shoot hard cast due to their rifling. Lead tends to "lead" the barrel if it is not a perfect fit. Meaning a .001 or .002 bigger than bore dimension. However, the problem you get into by simply ordering them .001 or so bigger, is some guns don't have the sufficient sizing in the throat to allow for reliable chambering of these slightly bigger rounds by the time you flare the straight walled case to accept the bigger bullets.

This "scare" was started by handloaders. And, make no mistake that if you lead the barrel to much without cleaning it, it will create to much pressure. I've read where Glock rifling has ripped loose from shooting hard cast lead. But, after reloading and shooting both hard and soft lead bullets, I truly believe that was caused by the shooter not cleaning his firearm enough or serious neglect in one way or the other. Plus, hard cast tends to not lead much at all even f things aren't perfect. So, I'd shoot it like Ike said. When you are done, fire a couple jacketed rounds through it and then break it down and clean it.

I too believe that bullet selection for these pistols are paramount. And, hard cast does change things favorably. It smacks the snot of of things and keeps on going when regular jacketed bullets mushroom, fragment, and never reach the vitals. It certainly increases the power of these guns. God Bless men

31-Jan-18
It's true, it's been said that "you shouldn't do it." But many guys have tested Glocks. Just search the internet. All the independent tests say that they're just fine. Firing one round of a jacketed cheapo round through it afterwards cleans off the vast majority of the lead deposit and you definitely want to clean the gun properly after shooting them.

Again, it's not like you're firing hundreds of these things in succession. These rounds cost $2 a piece. It's just a few rounds. The gun is not going to blow up in your face while you're shooting a bear or checking your groups.

Don't believe me, do a search on the internet. There's tons of info out there from guys that have tested these rounds/guns.

From: houndy65
31-Jan-18

houndy65's Link
I now carry a 10mm because of it is lighter than my 44 mag.. I live here grizz country and the bear population has grown by out of control. The men in the link I know personally, really good hunters. If they would not of had a pistol one of the men would been hurt even worse. I think bear spray in the right situation will work just but I will stick with a pistol that carries a punch.

From: BTM
31-Jan-18
Thanks for the pic, drycreek. That was a real coffee-spewer!

31-Jan-18
I went the Glock 20 route. I shoot autos so much better and having 15rds is comforting (warning shots are a lot safer than waiting for a charge) Never heard of a "warning spray"!

A huge cost saving for the Glock 10mms is you can shoot 40 sw ammo for cheap practice. I have put 100s of rounds of 40 through my G20 just fine. Before a hunt I shoot a couple 10mm bear loads to warm up and good to go.

Disclaimer-test at your own risk, but there is tons of evidence it's fine in glocks

31-Jan-18
I’ve used bear Spray on black bears in camp in AK. It worked but I wasn’t impressed as it sometimes required 2 sprays. Just the noise of a close range gunshot seemed more effective.

31-Jan-18
Another point for the G 10mm- Shooting 40 s&w out of the G20 is like shooting 38 specials out of a 357 mag, or a 22 short out of a 22 lr, or a 2 3/4" shotshell out of a shotgun that takes a 3 1/2" shell.

It really makes it easier to practice, and can even share ammo with buddies who have a G23. It really comes down to familiarization and comfort with the handgun.

From: Beendare
31-Jan-18
I never like disagreeing with Ike as he knows his stuff....but I've seen comments both ways about the G20's with Hardcast.

I can tell you for a fact, Glock says no hardcast in their barrels or it voids the warranty.

My 2 buddies swapped barrels to Lone wolf not so much due to fouling they said, but they had some hardcast bullets tumbling into the target- you don't want that on a bear, it kills penetration.

He also changed springs. ...but I can't remember which.

Now you can shoot a .45 super cartridge in an un modded HK USP or HK Compact- functions perfect......which is every bit the round a 10mm is.

31-Jan-18
Thanks so much for the recommendations. I was also wondering about shooting 40cal. Rounds through the G20.

From: Elk4Doc
31-Jan-18
Hickock 45 has a video where he shows that the hard cast bullets for 10mm will tumble out of standard Glock barrel. He shows the targets and the sideways tears from standard Glock barrel with the heavy loads, indicating tumbling. He recommends after market barrel like Lone Wolf, which did not show tumbling with same loads. I put a Lone Wolf barrel in my G 20 and it seems to shoot the heavy hard cast loads just fine with no evidence of tumbling on targets.

I bought a Razco kydex holster this year from FHF that attaches to the bottom of their bino holster. It looks like a great chest holster that will make the gun easier to reach and still be out of the way.

31-Jan-18
I'm curious what brand round they were using. The tests I've read have all been Buffalo Bore and multiple guys have tested them.

Shooting .40sw is a great idea and I always forget that when I go to order ammo and just got 1000 rounds of 10mm... oh well, they don't go bad :)

From: tundrajumper
31-Jan-18
when i'm hunting, fishing or hiking up here, I have my 44 mag with 320 gr. solid brass bullets with me. I hear that bears like pepper with their meal.

From: Elk4Doc
31-Jan-18
Hickock was shooting Double Tap - I think 230 grain

31-Jan-18
Maybe its been said already, but factory glock barrels and cast bullets dont work together due to the shape of the rifling in their barrels. Thats why barrels like Lonewolf are recommended. I just cant remember what they call the shape of the cut.

31-Jan-18
. Oh, I believe you Ike. I know it will work. :^)

The tumbling is likely being caused by the bullets being too small for the bore.

God Bless men

From: Teeton
01-Feb-18
I've never carried a gun in bear country, only spray..

I do have a colt 1911 in 38 super. I have guns but not a big gun guy. Whats u gun guys thoughts on the 38 super for bear over bear spray?????? Ed

From: LBshooter
01-Feb-18
Polygonal bores aren't made for lead, but 20 hear or there should be fine. The new gen 5 are cut rifling, just have to wait for the 10 mm to be made.

38 super in factory load for big bear is a good way to get eaten, would buy a 10 or 44. Some rounds get close to the 500 ft pound of energy but the bullets aren't heavy enough to really work well. If you hand load then maybe.

From: Beendare
01-Feb-18
It takes all of one minute to call Glock tech support and they will tell you "No" to hardcast in their polygonal barrels- thats good enough for me.

Personally, I like the idea of a heavier more powerful cartridge along with Hardcast bullets. But then I shoot my Semi autos much more than my revolvers...so when picking up my revolver before a Kodiak hunt a couple yrs back, It just didn't feel instinctive to me. I couldn't get up high on the revolver like I can on a semi auto pistol so the revolver grip felt funny.

Of course practice changes that.....but I can see why guys are migrating to the semi autos...and with hardcast bullets they might prove to be as effective as a larger caliber, time will tell. I'm probably going to switch from my SW 629 .44 to my HK USP with .45 super hardcast loads. I've talked to a guy with a couple thousand rounds through his HK's and they are 100% reliable. I would worry with the G20 as those hardcast loads might cause a malfunction without some tweaking.

Thats the thing about a revolver- no malfunctions.

From: TD
01-Feb-18
460 Rowland you have to change the barrel out anyway...... =D

From: a'Lish
01-Feb-18
Ha...pretty funny! 1) Get enough gun. 2) Learn to shoot it...accurately and quickly. 3) Incorporate the gun into your release or a holster on your bow...cause you're not going to have time to draw it or dig it our of your pack. 4) Learn to swing your bow like a baseball bat. 5) Hunt with a partner that cannot run as fast as you!!!

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