Our findings suggest that only those proficient in firearms use should rely on them for protection in bear country.
I find this refreshing because you wouldn't believe how many people I encounter in the woods (on public land) who haven't got a clue how to use a gun but carry one anyway.
In fact one of my neighbors was having a problem with coons getting under his house so I offered to send my dog after the coons. I asked if he had any guns and he said no so I loaned him my Single Six in with the .22WMR cylinder in it and loaded with CCI Maxi Mags. I asked if he knew how to use it and he said yes since he'd hunted most his life and had only given up his guns because his lifestyle changed and he decided he no longer needed them. I told him to stand by one of the holes the coons were using and that when they stick their head out pop them in the head (about a 7 yard shot).
My dog did the job he was supposed to do and pushed the coon out from under the crawl space. My neighbor failed to fire - instead I came around to find him staring down the barrel of the loaded revolver with his finger on the trigger. Luckily for him the gun wasn't cocked and being a Single Six, its a SA so it wouldn't fire. I asked him why he didn't shoot and he said he tried but the gun wouldn't fire - since he never cocked it. Apparently he knows how to use a shotgun but had no clue about what to do with a revolver.