Sidearm preference

Muley bound

Active Member
Mar 12, 2013
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Wisconsin
When carrying a sidearm, especially in grizz country, would you prefer a revolver or a handgun? Question being, I have a .44mag revolver and a .45 Kimber handgun. Obviously the .44mag has a lot more power, but being a revolver, not as fast of shooting capability. Not that being charged by a grizzly gives you a ton of time for shot opportunities anyway! I’ve hunted in grizz country multiple times, but never had one charge. But did have a very “curious” young fella hover around 40 yards from me....which is getting too close to for comfort in my eyes!
 
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JimP

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Mar 28, 2016
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Of what I have in my safe I would take my double action Ruger Redhawk in 44 mag.

There are a lot that say that if you are going to purchase a firearm to pack in griz country to get a 10mm semi automatic and learn how to shoot it.

When I was up in British Colombia on my grizzly hunt the guide had a double action 44 mag that he kept in a holster across his chest. I asked him what he planned to do with it if the situation came up where he needed to use it. He calmly said that he planned on sticking the barrel into the grizzley's mouth and pulling the trigger 6 times.
 

buckbull

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Jun 20, 2011
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Of what I have in my safe I would take my double action Ruger Redhawk in 44 mag.

There are a lot that say that if you are going to purchase a firearm to pack in griz country to get a 10mm semi automatic and learn how to shoot it.

When I was up in British Colombia on my grizzly hunt the guide had a double action 44 mag that he kept in a holster across his chest. I asked him what he planned to do with it if the situation came up where he needed to use it. He calmly said that he planned on sticking the barrel into the grizzley's mouth and pulling the trigger 6 times.
The 10mm semi auto is what the guys use who have to deal with polar bears. The guys working on oil pipelines and mines in siberia come to mind.
 

JimP

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The trick with a sidearm is that you better kill that bear in just a couple of shots or he may just have a pissed off bear on your hands no matter what the action or caliber is.
 
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buckbull

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Was just reading about the 10mm auto. The FBI made it the standard duty for a short time. They got a lot of complaints about the recoil so they asked smith and wesson to developed something with similar ballistics but without the recoil and thats how the .40 auto was born.
 
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buckbull

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Jun 20, 2011
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When I lived in Alaska the natives all just laughed at the idea of shooting at a grizzly with a pistol ... unless you wanted to piss him off so he'd kill you faster. A black bear ... ok.
Im a decent shot with a handgun on targets and deer but iv never been in a do or die scenario so not sure how i would do with a bear charging me. Id probably be better off with spray and pray.
 
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Winchester

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Mar 27, 2014
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Im a decent shot with a handgun on targets and deer but iv never been in a do or die scenario so not sure how i would do with a bear charging me. Id probably be better off with spray and pray.
Maybe, I don't know. I'd probably carry a handgun but I'm not sure if it would work. Spray ... same, same. Who knows.
 
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Bonecollector

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Mar 9, 2014
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Glock 29 slim frame 10m
Low recoil and moderate weight

No sense in carrying both a pistol and spray as you'll only get to use one and you better be good with it.
Pick one and practice.
 

memtb

Active Member
The revolver....hands down! Too many folks think that they are going to get many shots on the bear....making the semi-auto the better choice. In reality, more than one or two shots in a genuine attack is pretty rare. Bear attacks are often very quick, the attacked party not knowing it was coming but for a second or two. Rather than relying on a substantially less powerful cartridge offering substantially less penetration! If I have but one or two shots into the attacking animal....I want the deepest penetrating bullet I can get.

A 300 grain or so, hard cast, wide metplat .429” bullet from a 44 mag. offers substantially more than does the 45 ACP!

Even better than either, yet still a revolver.....consider a 45 LC or a 454 Casull. A fairly heavy loaded 45 LC or Casull with a 360 or so grain hard cast, wide metplat bullet, trumps both the 44 mag or the 45 ACP.

Given that I hunt, hike, and occasionally pick up an antler or two in grizzly country......I’ll take my revolver! memtb
 
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mallardsx2

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Jul 8, 2015
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I dont hunt grizzly country but if I was hunting grizzly country I would bring my .44 tarus tracker with my hand-load cast bullets I guess. And a can of bear spray.

My personal carry gun is a 1911-22. Honestly, I'm more concerned about the 2 legged predators while I'm out and about. I never carry a "bear gun" while I am archery hunting. I try to stay as light as possible.
 

kidoggy

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Apr 23, 2016
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I am not a particularly good shot with sidearms. in such a situation it is entirely possible I might shoot my pecker off. (perhaps a sharpshooter after all! ;) :LOL: )

so given the choice I think I would prefer the bear ate me.


I believe the best option would be to bring a fat, slow friend along.
 
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Slugz

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Oct 12, 2014
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Planning for our most recent Alaska debacle allowed me to spend a great deal of time getting input from a rather large number of sportsman "living this every day"

They clearly were in two groups when it came to handguns.
1) Wheel guns throwing flames
2) Autos

Two items both groups agreed on were
1) Shotgun is the best followed by a short barrel guide gun
2) Hard cast bullets

Type of activity drove what they grabbed as slinging a shotgun/lever gun was tough when very active.

What stood out to me was energy at the business end when comparing the handgun big bores to autos.
 
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ScottR

Eastmans' Staff / Moderator
Staff member
Feb 3, 2014
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Was just reading about the 10mm auto. The FBI made it the standard duty for a short time. They got a lot of complaints about the recoil so they asked smith and wesson to developed something with similar ballistics but without the recoil and thats how the .40 auto was born.
I really like the .40 S&W, its easy to shoot but packs more of a punch than 9mm.
 

ScottR

Eastmans' Staff / Moderator
Staff member
Feb 3, 2014
7,177
2,104
www.eastmans.com
Planning for our most recent Alaska debacle allowed me to spend a great deal of time getting input from a rather large number of sportsman "living this every day"

They clearly were in two groups when it came to handguns.
1) Wheel guns throwing flames
2) Autos

Two items both groups agreed on were
1) Shotgun is the best followed by a short barrel guide gun
2) Hard cast bullets

Type of activity drove what they grabbed as slinging a shotgun/lever gun was tough when very active.

What stood out to me was energy at the business end when comparing the handgun big bores to autos.
There are a LOT of shotguns in scabbards on horses here in NW Wyoming during the summer and into hunting season.