I know where you're coming from, I know you were mauled, and I know that you live on kodiak. However, kodiak isn't the only place that has bears, and I think just being an outdoorsman in AK cerifies me to give advice on the subject. Don't tell me "I really don't think people living in Anchorage and hunting around the crowded road system see enough bears or are even around enough bears to judge this." I also think it's great how you say, "yeah, what field dressed said" and then proceed to blast me, when him and I said the excact same thing "12 ga." I said if he already has a .44, that carrying it is recommended, it's better than nothing, I garuntee you that. But if he's thinking about buying "protection" he should get a pump 12.
When hunting bear, or moose, caribou, sheep, or most other "big-game" we carry our .375 H&H and .338 win mag, and wear our pistols. This is for a couple reasons.
1. Two guns are better than one.
2. 10 bullets are better than 4.
3. Some brush is sooo thick it is virtually impossible to raise a rifle.
4. If a bear has already knocked you to the ground, chances are you aren't still holding your rifle, if you are, you may not have room to raise it, if the bear is right on you. Whereas, a pistol is strapped to your hip, at your finger tips, and is VERY useful in a situation like this.
I'd also like you to consider, that no fire-arm is adiquate against *cirtain* bears in *certain* circumstances. If you've got a big boar, wound up and -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED- and coming at full tilt, short of completely destruying his central nervous system, you will not stop this bear. There was a case where two indians where hunting (moose maybe) with 30-30's. All that was found was two bodies so badly mauled, that they were nearly unidentifiable. They also found the bear, dead a little ways away. The post mortem showed that the bears inside were mush, his heart and lungs were all shot to hell, but still the bear had enough hate and adrenaline to tear the natives apart before dieing. I read this from the "Bear attacks" book. Considering this, I'd feel a little inadequacy pointing even my .375 H&H at a 1500lb charging brownie. He's got 1500lbs of rage and furry, equipped with bone crushing jaws, huge teeth, and razor like claws, spiked with about a gallon of adrinalin streaming through his man hating veins. Me in the other corner, weighing in at 175lbs. I have a 300gr. piece of lead (about the size of a marble) and a stream of -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED- running down my leg.
When you put it all in perspective, there's not alot you can do. Try to hit the skull, or break the spin. Hope the noise/pain deteres him. And pray that you gods have better magic than his