Yeah, what field-dressed said!
I don't think people appreciate the scale of these things till they run into one out in the boonies. A male brownie standing on his hind legs (as they often do to get a look at you) stands about 12 feet tall - look at your ceiling and then add 4 feet to that. Even a middling bear will weigh 1000 pounds, a big one may go 1500... A pistol of any kind feels awful puny against an animal like that.
I'd put it in the same category as carrying a .22 as a personal defense weapon against two legged predators - under perfect circumstances it just might work...
I carry a .45/70
The Bears and Bear Maulings Page: members.xoom.com/keithrogan