00 Buck. 357 or 44 Good for Bear Defense

The US forest service has done extensive study on bear behavior, OC for bears, and guns against bears. I have been involved in all aspects of that from the beginning.Almost everything you hear or read is personal opinion based on either no or very limited data points.  And does not always work. In fact rarely works.

Looking at all the data for 100 years presents a very different story.

For bear defense it cannot be shown that the type or caliber matters, people that shoot back with anything win, people that don’t shoot back many times lose. All calibers and action types have been used. Handguns are almost always used at mauling distance. Long arms at 25 yards to dead at your feet.

There is no evidence to support 44 over 357, revolvers are more reliable at contact distance but people have won with semi-autos (but the data pool is very small, as it grows we would at some point start to see malfunctions).

A good revolver in 357 or 44 with powerful solids flat nosed ammo made to go deep and not deflect is the best answer for carry in bear country. The pump shotgun still has more kills of grizzly than anything in defense, believe it or not with OO buck, though common wisdom nowadays is use brenneke slugs.   Pre WWII 90%+ of the kills were OO.

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2 Comments on "00 Buck. 357 or 44 Good for Bear Defense"

  1. The Redman on Thu, 30th Jul 2009 11:01 AM 

    I really like your site. I think that there should be a review of Smith & Wesson’s older guns, like the model 10 or model 13. I believe these guns are making a come back. I for one carry a model 13 everyday. If ya’ll like, I can setup 6 asprin on a table and shoot them from 15 yards in 4 seconds, with my left hand (i’m a righty). Thanks guys, good job on the site.

  2. Ed Harris on Fri, 23rd Oct 2009 10:48 AM 

    A high school buddy was born in Alaska when his dad was stationed there with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Tom graduated from the University of Arizona and became an Army Engineer also. Upon retiring from USACE he moved back to Alaska and embarked on a second career as a civil engineer with the Indian Health Service. He works in almost every day in bear country. His advice is identical to yours. EDC is an S&W Model 29 with Keith-style handloads, but in a pinch any gun which you can score multiple hits with quickly and penetrate deeply is better than no gun. Guns beat pepper spray every time.

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