Thread here just last year I believe, older fellow with .454 Ruger Alaskan got off a couple shots, bullets jumped crimp, and revolver jammed. Bear ended up dead at his feet. Statistics, listed here repeatedly, show that handguns are essentially as effective, actually more effective by the numbers, as long guns with pepper spray being most "effective." - all very close in effectiveness. They all work, you need to make it count. Easier said than done. That one fellow wrote a book about his unfortunate situation does not change the "statistics." Article by Smith and Herrero "Efficacy of firearms for bear deterrence in Alaska" from Journal of Wildlife Management. This is one dead horse.
We compiled, summarized, and reviewed 269 incidents of bear–human conflict involving firearms that occurred in Alaska during 1883–2009. Encounters involving brown bears (Ursus arctos; 218 incidents, 81%), black bears (Ursus americanus; 30 incidents, 11%), polar bears (Ursus maritimus; 6 incidents, 2%), and 15 (6%) unidentified species provided insight into firearms success and failure. A total of 444 people and at least 367 bears were involved in these incidents. We found no significant difference in success rates (i.e., success being when the bear was stopped in its aggressive behavior) associated with long guns (76%) and handguns (84%). Moreover, firearm bearers suffered the same injury rates in close encounters with bears whether they used their firearms or not. Bears were killed in 61% (n = 162) of bear–firearms incidents. Additionally, we identified multiple reasons for firearms failing to stop an aggressive bear. Using logistic regression, the best model for predicting a successful outcome for firearm users included species and cohort of bear, human activity at time of encounter, whether or not the bear charged, and if fish or game meat was present. Firearm variables (e.g., type of gun, number of shots) were not useful in predicting outcomes in bear–firearms incidents. Although firearms have failed to protect some users, they are the only deterrent that can lethally stop an aggressive bear. Where firearms have failed to protect people, we identified contributing causes. Our findings suggest that only those proficient in firearms use should rely on them for protection in bear country. © 2012 The Wildlife Society.
Last edited by jmortimer; December 9, 2012 at 05:22 PM.