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bojangles

10mm for grizzly bear defense

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I like how everyone that goes to Alaska thinks they are going to be in a firefight with bears every day. Lol. I’m going to Kodiak island in November 2020 and have not lost a second of sleep over what sidearm to pack. 

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I don’t know who’s losing sleep, just kinda a fun topic. It is a little bit like how people that come to southern az from somewhere without rattlers think there’s probably one under every rock or in every patch of grass haha

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I’ve seen cattle drop with a .22 and coyotes run off after taking a hit from a .300 win mag. I’m sure I’d want some sorta pistol in grizzly country but I’d be going for bear spray first.

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I packed a 3" Smith & Wesson 44 mag when in AK.  Friend who sold it to me commented that I did not actually have to hit the bear during a close encounter as the muzzle flash would set the bear on fire.  Substantial recoil w/300 grain hardcast ammo.  If I had to do it over again I would opt for the 10mm Glock or equivalent.

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Never met a grizzly. I’ve seen “The Revenant” though.

In Arizona I carry a Sig 220 or a Glock 21 as backup on hunts. I do have a S&W 44 629 classic that I’m pretty good with. If I were to hunt Alaska I think I’d take a .500 S&W in a dockers clutch. Someone said earlier, nothing like a 12 gauge slug to deter an animal that size, but dang they’re heavy.

 

 

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I've done 10 DIY trips to Alaska, my 11th to Kodiak in September. Been around big bears everytime and I'd never take a 10mm handgun for personal protection. I carry a 2" 454. I think that's way under gunned for the big Brown Bears. Ed F29_zps05de687e.jpg.a5ee1ea9dd7b78c736a81964cac02b44.jpg

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I worked as a bush pilot all over the state of Alaska and me and most of my friends carried Glock 20s in a chest rig. I’d also keep a short barreled Marlin 45-70 in the back of the airplane for around camp or doing bear watch. I’ve had two buddies kill charging brown bears with the 10mm and had positive results. It isn’t as much power as a 44 but you have twice the ammunition, accuracy, and half the weight which makes it worth it to me. Many make a mistake of rolling up with a 2in barrel cannon that kicks so dang bad you might get luck with hitting a bear. Reality is you’ve got a slim chance with ANY handgun because a 30-30 out of a lever rifle with standard loads has more energy than the hottest 44 mag round in a 4 or 6 inch barrel revolver.

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This is my third summer in AK.  Before coming here, I thought there was a grizzly in every alder patch.  I carried my friend's  454 Casull in a chest holster and my Glock .40 on my belt when cutting through the woods to Walmart.  Lots of locals carry a .44 mag.  A few carry a  .454.  Their philosophy is the .44 mag will cover 90% of the bears you might meet, while that .454 gives you the insurance just in case you meet one of the other 10%.  I carry that .454 whenever I hike, fish, or hunt in AK.  It is heavy, but that is the insurance price I am willing to pay.  Last summer a guy was killed by a brownie in Eagle River where I stay and the next day two searchers were attacked while the bear protected the kill.  My wife carries bear spray, but she loves the fact that I pack bullets.

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On 6/15/2019 at 1:56 AM, AZBIG10 said:

No one where’s bells anymore? Smh 

You know how to tell the difference between black bear scat and grizzly scat?  

Grizzly bear scat smells like pepper and has silver bells in it.

Old Montana Joke.

Back in my late teens and early 20's, I would spend plenty of time in the high ranges where Montana's grizzlies dwell.  They'd come visit our camp at night.  Footprints left around the tent told the story the next morning.  I'd hear them wake me up in the middle of the night as I could hear their noses working double time right outside the tent.  I'd usually end up falling back to sleep before they were gone.  I'd wake up not knowing if I was dreaming about what I heard, but the tracks around the tent re-affirms my foggy memory.

Back then, I'd never carry anything for defense.  I'd just rely on the fact that there are hundreds of backpackers that will be spending nights up in these mountain tops all summer long and there is almost never conflicts in the summer.  I;d pass others going the other way during the hike up and I'd pass others when I head out.   In the fall bears attitudes change.  Grizzes get so much more hostile and desperate in the fall.  

Now a  days,  I have one of my 444 Marlins set as a camp rifle shooting 400gr big meplat cast bullet at 1900 fps.  Plus I have a Smith &Wesson model 69 44 mag 5 shot with 4 1/4" barrel shooting Buffalo Bore 330gr ammo rated around 1325fps, but I haven't run it over the chrony from my revolver.  The round will rattle your teeth, but I can shoot it with either hand and only need one hand to shoot it.  I'll eventually work up a load for my 44 mag using one of my own cast bullets.

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On 6/8/2019 at 3:12 PM, PRDATR said:

Having spent time in some pretty remote parts of the 50th state I can personally tell you that bears can be expected when you least expect them.

 

I don’t think there are any bears in Hawaii.

Alaska is the 49th ;)

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So I shot the xdm, 10 mm.

 

Its really snappy, even with the mild target ammo.  I got a couple boxes of hsm bear load, but want to try the penetrators also.  I haven’t tried the bear load yet. 

The trigger is terrible, and will need work.  I’ll need a lot of practice, as I think it will be difficult to be stalwart with an angry bear charging.  

The 15 round mag is certainly comforting.  

I honestly think a slug gun would be more comforting, but it is a cumbersome thing to lug around.

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