This is a discussion on What Caliber Vs. a Grizzly? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; The OP should have used black bears as a comparison. They are softer targets like us humans. Whatever caliber you want to use for a ...
The OP should have used black bears as a comparison. They are softer targets like us humans. Whatever caliber you want to use for a black bear works on people. The ideal defense round in Wisconsin is the .357 mag revolver. Simple, effective, and enough stopping power to keep you alive. Sure, a .44 mag works just as well, but you really don't need the extra power and diameter of the round.
Comparing an armored violent tank of an animal to most other animals alive that are nowhere near as prepared for head on combat just cannot be done.
Buy some bear spray with a 30 foot range. To many guys here sound like they have never hunted and darn sure never been close to a wild bear. If you had a 500s&w and missed the first round you probably would get the second one off because of recoil before a big bear had you if it wanted you. But if you spray one first and its still there it would be very suprising but that might give you time to walk away from the danger. If your going around grizzlys carry a big bore rifle or slug gun . If a grizzly charges atleast have something to do the job if needed, not a handgun in the hands of a newbe hunter or unskilled shooter. Now for black bear, use the spray first. But in a pinch even a 9mm +p with 147gr fmj-fp mixed with bonded 147gr hp would do in a high cap pistol. 357mags or 10mm with 180gr or 300gr hard caste will more than likely shoot thru the average blackie. Darn well more likely to have a problem with a person on the streets than a bear in the woods.
When I go camping in Montana I'm fairly close to Yellowstone and Grizzly bears are about. I have my new super blackhawk 44mag loaded with 300gr hardcast bullets. I'm going to get a 12ga this year in case I decide to go to Canada. The 44 is mainly in my small camper trailer to keep big animals from trying to get in. I don;t hike I try to stay in the open.
OP, I get your post.
I would pick a 10mm, specifically a Glock 29.
The Glock 29 10mm loaded with a full power 180 gr. or 155 XTP (1,278 fps / 562# KE) is a concealable portable package that could serve for SD / HD / CCW.
Pearce +0 magazine bases that provide a place for the pinky make for a full hand grip, but hinder concealment verry little.
A 155 gr. full power for SD / HD or a 180 gr. when out for a hypothetical hike.
The minimum is not what I want to defend my life with.
A long time ago... I lived in Alaska... Our back yard was the tree line. One day a really big bear walked up to the house and stood up. It wasnt threatening... just seemed to be curious. It was brown and big... really big. And it stunk. I was about 7 years old then. I'm told this was a kodiac bear.
If I was to go about and share the woods with this creature I'd want a really big gun. Taking from my current inventory I'd probably 660 in 350 Rem-mag. And my S&W 29 handgun.
If you are really thinking that you're going to be dealing with a full-sized grizzly, then any handgun you can choose is nothing more than a tool to make your way back to the long gun that you shouldn't have put down.
With a grizzly, I'd choose a 45-70 lever gun with ghost ring sights and the biggest, ugliest, heaviest gas-checked bullets I could buy. Another viable choice would be a magnum cartridge in a controlled-feed bolt action. If you can't bring a rifle, then a 12 gauge loaded with Brenneke slugs would be the way to go. Do yourself a favour and buy a pump action and then put a couple hundred rounds through it so that your muscles will learn how to make sure that you're getting a complete stroke on the pump while your body is dealing with the recoil of the round. New shotgun shooters often end up short-stroking pumps, which means that you're not likely to get a chance to get off a follow-up shot.
If you are going to be choosing a handgun to deal with grizzlies, I'd pick the biggest revolver that you can handle effectively. .500 or .454 Casull or a .44 Magnum of that's what you can hit the target with. If you need more rounds than that, a 10mm semi-auto...but 10mm isn't what I would call a great choice for a griz. Probably more than fine for a black bear - or a goblin.
I've said it before, for bear my choices would be "assuming I had the money.
1. bear spray
2. 12 Gauge with slugs.
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A 1911 is Not an obsession, it's simply a recognition that it's THE Gun. :-) All others are runner ups. And hey, if all else fails, aim for the nose and fling it to knock out your foe. Let's see y'all do that with a kel-Tec. ;-)
460 S&W magnum with 400 grain hard cast lead bullets at 1700 fps out a 4" barrel. Win.
I was stationed in Alaska and used to inventory the armory. The para-rescue guys had big ol' 10" .44 magnums for bear defense in there.
US Air Force, 1986 - 2007
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