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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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