Everytime there is one of these .44 vs .454 threads, I have a look to see what is written and I end up coming to the same conclusion: I am happy with my 4" Ruger Redhawk.
I have 240gr FNFMJs loaded to 1300 FPS or 1200 FPS, depending on the load. One member did some calculations on penetration a while back using formulae by Macpherson and Schwartz and, give or take, those 240gr bullets would achieve soft tissue penetration of about 1 metre....
On top of that they have mean meplat of about 45% of the frontal area.
And on top of that they flatten out nicely against harder material without loosing mass.
That will do some damage to a bear.
I take the greater possibility of getting of an extra shot as being more useful to me than yet more penetration. To each their own.
As for the "click of the gun" debate on bear responses, I personally believe that it is the combination of unfamiliar visual stimulus (upright human), unfamiliar olfactory stimulus (human smell) and unfamiliar aural stimulae (human screeching like a banshee and/or a clicking noise) is enough to make a most animals stop and think " 'ang-on-a-minute... wossis-all-about?" and go away, unless they have a big enough stimulus pushing them forward such as protecting young...
When the right to effective self-defence is denied, that right to self-defence which remains is essentially symbolic.
Freedom: Please enjoy responsibly.
Karma. Another word for revolver: because what goes around, comes around!