Which caliber

muzz

Long Time Member
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3,229
What caliber pistol to carry for fishing in Wyoming for bears? I was thinking the 10mm
 

dgwoody

Active Member
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297
I've been doing a little research on this myself. Some searches I've done say the 10mm is a good choice. I've got a .45 I'd like to carry for grizz next year, but starting to think it may not be adequate.
 

JPickett

Very Active Member
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1,099
This U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service publication Fact Sheet #8 – Bear Spray vs. Bullets – Which offers better protection? (pdf file) states that since 1992, 50% of all people that attempt to protect themselves from grizzly bear attacks with a firearm were injured. Those that used pepper spray “escaped injury most of the time”, and if they were attacked, their injuries were less serious and the attacks did not last as long. So if you plan to hike or hunt in grizzly bear country, get yourself a magnum sized pepper spray canister and keep it handy in a holster. It will be as useless as an unloaded gun if it’s in your backpack. I take that back. An unloaded gun can be used as a hammer.
 

dgwoody

Active Member
Messages
297
This U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service publication Fact Sheet #8 – Bear Spray vs. Bullets – Which offers better protection? (pdf file) states that since 1992, 50% of all people that attempt to protect themselves from grizzly bear attacks with a firearm were injured. Those that used pepper spray “escaped injury most of the time”, and if they were attacked, their injuries were less serious and the attacks did not last as long. So if you plan to hike or hunt in grizzly bear country, get yourself a magnum sized pepper spray canister and keep it handy in a holster. It will be as useless as an unloaded gun if it’s in your backpack. I take that back. An unloaded gun can be used as a hammer.
I plan to carry both. Strange that professional tree huggers don't want you shooting bears though.
 

JPickett

Very Active Member
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1,099
my uncle guided on Kodiak for ever. he'd always tell me the only thing a hand guns good for with a brown bear is to shoot yourself in the head with before he gets to you. i know its bad ass to be like dirty harry out there but the reality is if you can scorch there nose your way better off then skipping 45 caliber bullets off there skull
 

nfh

Long Time Member
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6,506
Depends who you ask. My problem with bear spray is wind. Wyoming wind can be rough. Plus i have some cans break. Carrying both isnt a bad idea. Lot of guys went to 10mm due to more rounds. Most others carry a .41 mag, 44 mag or a .45 long colt. In the end do what you shoot best with and most accurate with. Personally i am not a fan of the 10mm. I have seen to many outfitters use them and it wasnt enough power. Some have a great luck. Hell this last year 5 shots to a griz with a .44mag wasnt enough for the guy.
 

WHT_MTNMAN

Active Member
Messages
191
I shot a 350lb black bear in the chest at about 10 yards with my .45 with self defense rounds. Dead in 10 seconds. (long story) I'll take a handgun any day for about any bear. Sure some will work better than others, but if I have a Glock 19x with 20 rounds and a bear is on top of me, I like my chances of putting a couple in the lungs or at least hurt it enough to get off of me. In Kodiak 2 years ago I had a 8-9ft brown bear sow with a cub at under 30 yards coming down the hill at me. I was armed with only my bow, I was wishing I had any firearm, to be fair I've never used bear spray but I have confidence in using a handgun.

Far from peer reviewed research but something to think about


 

bonepicker

Very Active Member
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1,293
10 seconds is a long time with a really angry bear in your face, you might both be dead at the end of that 10 seconds!

Hard to trust spray more than a gun though!
 

muzz

Long Time Member
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3,229
Spray only works if the wind is right. Bad wind and you can’t see schit and you just seasoned the bears meal with the spray. I’ll take the pistol.
 

wweaver79

Active Member
Messages
105
Use what your good with, I have carried a Glock of some sort for 20 years for work and can really shoot one well. Hard to beat a Glock 29 10mm with DoubleTap 200 grain hard cast or the Federal load with a 200 grain swift a frame. Small powerful and reliable. Shoot some into some logs and you will see. I would not use a 45 acp- weak and no penetration, I would go 40sw with hard cast first if I had to. I have a SW 629 4 inch 44mag also but no way would i carry it because I do not shoot it enough and get 5 more rounds with almost the same power with the Glock. Even three or four bonded 9mm carry rounds to the face in 3 seconds is better than a couple really loud booms from a sweet looking gun kicking up dirt. With pistols ammo selection is VERY important.
 

wweaver79

Active Member
Messages
105
Oh I agree on that, not trying to sound like a keyboard hero, I bet it would quickly turn into spray and pray. I hope I never have to find out and carry both. Will be in NW Wy this fall elk hunting in Sept. Will be trying to avoid it for sure.
 

30Hart

Very Active Member
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1,447
The pistol would really come in handy when your on the ground and the bear is chewing on you or right after he takes a break...assuming you have good fingers/hand left to work the gun lol. I'll take my chances with a pistol over bear spray. I can use a pistol more than once.
 

Joe2Kool

Very Active Member
Messages
1,841
Here is a similar post from a couple years ago. I think I posted a link to a similar discussion as well. Full disclosure, I don't have any experience with handguns or spray with bear defense, so I can't offer any specifics, other than what was discussed in these forums.

 

Zeke

Long Time Member
Messages
9,632
4-2-9 caliber!
I'm sure bear spray works but I'll take the gun for sure.
I've been really close to grizz a few times and a can of pepper does not inspire confidence like a gun does.
Zeke
 

2lumpy

Long Time Member
Messages
4,279
375 any flavor, Marlin 45-70 loaded with buffalo bore, or benelli m4 loaded with black magic.
Never had to use any of these but I’ve carried some of each, at various times. Fishing in grizzly country is my most worrisome. The rivers in and next to Yellowstone primarily. Only when fishing because if hunting, like Homer said, any rifle is better than any other alternative. However, when fishing I think a pistol gripe 18” 12 guage would be my first choice, but I’d still want a holster fill of pepper spray, as a back up. I’d have an empty shotgun before I drew the pepper spray.

If all I had was pepper spray, I’d hope I have the nerve to wait to unload it until Mr. G was about to make meat. If you can wait long enough the spray will hit the target before it blows back in your face, at which time you won’t know if you are getting ate or not, because from what I’ve heard taking a load of pepper spray to the face is worse than being a chew toy.

Fishing of those small willow choked rivers/streams around Hebgin Lake give me goose bumps in the middle of May.

Course, I don’t sleep with’em or use them for transpiration like some folks so I’m sure my concerns are unfounded........ but I still get the willies.
 

mtmuley

Long Time Member
Messages
5,575
Bought a G20 Gen 4 in 10mm last Spring. Seems grizzly bears are slowly moving in to our area. Shot it a lot all Summer. Probably more of a mental comfort than anything. mtmuley
 

Blank

Long Time Member
Messages
4,417
When I bow hunt up there around Henry's Lake or Hebgen and the Madison in the Fall, I have both bear spray and my 40 S&W. When we go there for our annual camping trip in June/July we have 6-10 campsites and they are full of grandkids and dogs. We usually see bears every year. The slug gun goes along on those trips, and any bear within 50 yards of a kid is toast!!!
 

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