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Old January 19, 2020, 03:38 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by GarandTd View Post
Those who commented negatively of this man's actions, equipment, experience, intent, mindset, etc...., tell us about the bears you've killed in self(or others)defense with whatever firearm you've used. Perhaps we all could learn a thing or two.
OK.....

I grew up in Anderson Village Alaska. I left when I was 11 and have only returned once (when I was 19).

Unfortunately, I was too young to be included on the many Moose and Black Bear hunts my Dad (rip) went on. So, first hand experience? No, once removed but personally familiar with everyone involved.

A friend (Ben) got attacked by a Brown Bear (we called them Grizzlies and we lived inland). The first "swat" it took actually ripped Ben's nose OFF. Ben Drew his 357Mag, as the bear took him to the ground. He shoved the gun out as the bear was trying to bite him. He ended up with his hand IN the bear's mouth as it was biting on his wrist/forearm. Because he carried a single action (and was having his arm chewed on), he only managed to fire off THREE rounds. This is while the bbl was practically in the bear's throat. After the THIRD shot, the bear let go and ran off. Did it die? Don't know, getting Benny to the hospital was priority. They do know, however, it didn't die THERE.

So.... Three rounds of 357mag in the bear's mouth and the bear left. Yea, add me to the folks who say 9mm ain't a great idea in bear country.

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Old January 19, 2020, 03:57 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by MuzzleBlast
David killed Goliath using a slingshot.
I've never understood it when folks use this as an example. If Goliath could be killed by any Joe Schmoe with a slingshot, then he would have never survived all of the battles he'd been in up until then. It was neither David nor his slingshot which felled Goliath that day, that victory belongs to God.

Now, if you're trying to say that God was looking out for Phil Shoemaker when he was faced by that bear, then never mind, but otherwise, using a Biblical reference of a man beating overwhelming odds by divine grace as if to say that such indicates that Goliath (or in this case, the bear) wasn't so tough after all, makes for a poor example.

Are Bears as tough as some folks online seem to think? Of course not! Judging by a lot of comments I've read in numerous bear threads, some folks honestly seem to believe that bears are some sort of mythical creature which is all but invulnerable to mortal weaponry, but Goliath actually was such a thing.
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Old January 19, 2020, 04:06 PM   #28
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M1 Carbine?
That it is

Of which (according to the innernets) there are literally thousands scattered about Europe, Asia, Etc, in fragments having been smashed to bits against a tree...
After its user "emptied an entire magazine" into an advancing jap, krout, etc, who wouldn't stop.
At least not until the user dropped the wimpy carbine and finally halted the attacker with single round of .45 ball.

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Old January 19, 2020, 04:13 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Black Wolf View Post
OK.....

I grew up in Anderson Village Alaska. I left when I was 11 and have only returned once (when I was 19).

Unfortunately, I was too young to be included on the many Moose and Black Bear hunts my Dad (rip) went on. So, first hand experience? No, once removed but personally familiar with everyone involved.

A friend (Ben) got attacked by a Brown Bear (we called them Grizzlies and we lived inland). The first "swat" it took actually ripped Ben's nose OFF. Ben Drew his 357Mag, as the bear took him to the ground. He shoved the gun out as the bear was trying to bite him. He ended up with his hand IN the bear's mouth as it was biting on his wrist/forearm. Because he carried a single action (and was having his arm chewed on), he only managed to fire off THREE rounds. This is while the bbl was practically in the bear's throat. After the THIRD shot, the bear let go and ran off. Did it die? Don't know, getting Benny to the hospital was priority. They do know, however, it didn't die THERE.

So.... Three rounds of 357mag in the bear's mouth and the bear left. Yea, add me to the folks who say 9mm ain't a great idea in bear country.
I'm going to have...... on second thought...... never mind
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Old January 19, 2020, 06:58 PM   #30
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Black Wolf, you weren't one of the Nay-sayers, but I respect your 2nd hand experience. The story could be taken any number of ways. Maybe, to me, it tells me not to count on a single action revolver in bear attack. Perhaps for the man in the story the life saving decision that day was not caliber, but action. We'll never know. Maybe any survived bear attack can be explained by dumb luck. People with bigger calibers have died and folks with smaller calibers have survived. I don't know that there is any definitive proof one way or the other what the best answer is. For those that survived, whatever they had in their hand was the right tool for the job.
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Old January 19, 2020, 09:12 PM   #31
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Maybe, to me, it tells me not to count on a single action revolver in bear attack.
Not so sure. Think about it, gun, hand and arm inside the bear's mouth and he still got off 3 shots and the bear let go and left.

It may not be complete 100% success, but I'd call it a success. Bear left, guy survived. That is success.

Would he have been able to get off more shots if the bear hadn't let him go? I can't say. Would a semi auto have given more than a single shot without jamming in the bear's mouth? I can't say, but it seems doubtful. Would he have been able to get off 6 instead of 3 if he had a DA revolver? I can't say. Don't know if he could say. Am not going to volunteer to test it, would you?

Quote:
Among other things, we know for certain that eight rounds of 9mm will kill a large bear.
Not really. All we know is the bear was killed and 8 rounds were used.
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Old January 19, 2020, 09:59 PM   #32
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If only Ben had been carrying a .460 or .500 S&W Magnum, the mere hot gases escaping through the cylinder gap would have probably been sufficient to kill the bear.

Seriously though, sounds like he would have lost his nose, had his arm chomped on, and stopped the attack regardless, so why split hairs?
Heck, if anything it could have potentially been worse if he had been carrying something more powerful that otherwise would have killed the bear, because then he'd have the bear's heavy carcass lying directly on top of him, perhaps even with it's jaw clenched and locked shut on his arm.
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Old January 20, 2020, 12:29 AM   #33
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Whether it's bear defence, one-shot CC calibre... I think people just have to accept there is no guarantee of success. Sure, we try to mitigate the variables with a calibre choice but even that carries compromises whose effects we cannot foresee.

It seems to me that the only times people could feel confident of a one-shot kill/incapacitation on anything seems to be from an aimed shot from a stable position. And the only time that happens regularly is hunting from a fixed position, IMO.

So, choose your gun, and take your chances.

I must say that the story covered in the OP does sound like some good shooting and some favourable conditions too. The two can't be separated.

For me, I feel comfortable with a .44Mag, but rely more on my two dogs to keep me aware and thus mu daughters safe. Luckily, bears are not common, afraid of humans and my eldest daughter is a chatterbox, so the .44 will probably stay out of sight.

Otherwise, most confidence inspiring?
.458 Socom in a full-auto receiver? Sadly a tad on the prohibited side, over here.
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Old January 20, 2020, 01:07 AM   #34
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Bears aren't bulletproof. The one in this story was killed by a veteran professional using a 9mm he had tested carefully with the loading he carried. It's tempting to assume that it was pure luck or that the obvious skill and experience of the shooter was critical to the successful outcome.

However, there are at least 3 other documented incidents where a 9mm pistol was effectively used to defend against a grizzly/brown and one other where one was effectively used against a charging black bear. I'm not going to go so far as to recommend 9mm for bear defense, but I think that we have sufficient hard evidence to dismiss the pretense that a 9mm for bear defense is a sure death sentence.

https://www.ammoland.com/2019/08/han...#axzz6BY1u1zxb
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Old January 20, 2020, 05:22 AM   #35
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Very interesting, not to mention an excellent procrastination medium!
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Old January 20, 2020, 07:50 AM   #36
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Most of the time, I never listen to advice from the internet. I have found out that my own experience works best for me. I hunt in Black Bear Country (Swamps) and have run across many Black Bears. (they bolt like cockroaches when the light are turned on). I carry a 9mm revolver with me. But NOT for the Bears. But out of habit and for any two legged predators that I might run across.
Now If I was in Grizzly Country, Brown Bear or Polar Bear country, I would rely on my gut instincts, which right now tell me that in no way would I rely on a 9mm.
If the internet say's you can carry a 9mm, then fine, carry one. But I think I will take the next train.
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Old January 20, 2020, 09:37 AM   #37
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How do you think .22lr would do against wolves?
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Old January 20, 2020, 10:32 AM   #38
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100% Agree - fate, God, luck, wtvr plays a huge part.

I did not know this girl but - an Eskimo girl was attacked by a polar bear. Same thing, hand ended up in the bear's mouth except..... She yanks her hand back, and her big mitten gets stuck in the Bear's throat, he died.

The point is not that a 9mm would have served Ben any less or that a 44Mag would have served him any better. The point is - when dealing with an animal known to handle abuse of that level, carry the hottest caliber you can be proficient with. If I was heading back to AK, Glock 20.
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Old January 20, 2020, 12:09 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Black Wolf View Post
100% Agree - fate, God, luck, wtvr plays a huge part.

I did not know this girl but - an Eskimo girl was attacked by a polar bear. Same thing, hand ended up in the bear's mouth except..... She yanks her hand back, and her big mitten gets stuck in the Bear's throat, he died.

The point is not that a 9mm would have served Ben any less or that a 44Mag would have served him any better. The point is - when dealing with an animal known to handle abuse of that level, carry the hottest caliber you can be proficient with. If I was heading back to AK, Glock 20.
I see a couple of your examples and it is amazing that those 2 survived. Luck was definitely on their side as well. I love my SA, but I think it is not the greatest choice for exactly the reason he could not empty his revolver in the bear's mouth quickly... but being in the bears mouth might account for the revolver not flying off in a different direction... whether it be SA or DA.

I'm one of the people that is not pleased at all with the guide's decision to go with a 9mm, but I would not say I am a nay sayer, the term you used in a previous post. That situation just happened to work out for him that day. No disputing that. I am just disgusted that this person would risk the lives of others involved, cause of what the real truth probably is, is that he didn't feel like carrying a heavier firearm or some other excuse that caused him to be complacent that day. I spend time in AK and I don't know anyone that carries a 9mm by a river or anywhere outdoors for that matter.

Then some people want to tout this guy's resume like he is the God of Guides as if he knew the outcome that morning as he was putting his boots on. Then some people think some opinion of others shows who has or hasn't put metal to meat as if that has anything to do with anything.

This is all about decision making to me. If he wants to carry a 9mm when he's by himself and thinks he's going to get off 8 rounds per bear encounter, then fine... he can be all he can be, but he shouldn't put other people's lives at risk cause he feels like being the minimalist that day in coastal brown bear country.

If we're talking about a cop who left his 40 at home that day for whatever reason and took his 22/45 and ended having to shoot someone that resolved the situation, are we going to be talking about what a hero this cop is? He did a great job, so is that the end of the conversation?

I say regardless of a positive outcome, there's no excuse to risk other people's lives like that. He figured he would have less problems with the males than the sows with cubs... there is just so much wrong with his logic.
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Old January 20, 2020, 12:31 PM   #40
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Gonna read about the handgun cartridge's later. I have a theory about using handgun' to protect against dangerous animals. Rifle's work better! Problem with me would be shooting the heavier handgun's like 44 mag because of the recoil. Friend in Montana years ago had a mod 29 I'd shot a few times and I absolutely hated the thing for all the recoil. had a 4 mag back then and it wasn't a lot better and don't even like the 357 mag! I wonder how many people that carry handguns for protection are really good enough with them t stop a charge? If I were up there or around dangerous game I'd carry my 32 long with cast bullet's for rabbits and a rifle for protection. Story about a guy shoving the gun in the bears mouth, to kill anything the way you have to either hit the brain or the spine. Seem's the guy hit neither! Stopping a dangerous animal seem's no different to me than killing a deer, shot placement means a lot! I lived in Alaska about two years and used to go up Portage River fishing a bit. Lot of bears up there but we never saw one. For protection I always carried my 308 with 200gr handloads. Had a lot of faith init but also glad I never had to prove it!
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Old January 20, 2020, 01:18 PM   #41
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I used the term "Nay-sayers", not Black Wolf. I can't say that I would choose a 9mm auto for brown bear country. I think I would opt for the largest caliber that I could shoot well. After all, what good is a big gun if you can't do with it what you need to.

What I can say is that I have no experience in brown bear country. I am not a veteran Alaskan guide. I have no background or experience to criticize what that man did that day. And, luck or not, everyone involved survived without injury as far as I know.

I lived in Montana for a couple years when I was young (4-6). My dad and my brother used to hunt mule deer there. I don't recall any stories of bear encounters from them. My dad passed away 17 years ago and my brother has been estranged from the family for nearly 15 years. I can't ask them. I now reside in black bear country and, for that, I am comfortable with my 9mm for that purpose.
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Old January 20, 2020, 01:34 PM   #42
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I have mixed feeling about Phil's stunt. On the positive it showed that properly placed .355" diameter bullets will kill a bear if they penetrate deep enough. The negative is the myriad of people who will believe they are adequately armed by buying a box of Buffalo Bore or Underwood 147gr hardcast +p for their Shield.. The minimalist mindset sure seems dangerous when considering the animal they are trying to stop.
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Old January 20, 2020, 02:29 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metric
How do you think .22lr would do against wolves?
Depends on the gun as well as the size of the wolf. Folks have successfully hunted coyotes with .22LR Rifles for as long as the cartridge has been around, so obviously a wolf of similar size would go down just as easily.
However, hunting and self-defense are essentially the exact polar opposite to one another, (when hunting, you're the predator, in self-defense, you're the prey) and obviously a .22LR Rifle isn't the best choice for self-defense against wild animals.

Folks most often choose handguns for self-defense because they're much faster to deploy and can be operated one-handed, so if a predatory animal ambushes you, you can draw and fire as quickly as possible.

Obviously, .22LR is going to have substantially lower velocity and energy out of a 3"-6" Barrel of a Handgun than out of a 16"+ Barrel of a rifle.
So generally speaking, you'd be better off carrying a pistol chambered in a centerfire cartridge. In other words, just carry whatever you already carry for 2-Legged Predators. Anything that can stop a man should stop a wolf.

Personally, I'm am of the mindset that one should carry the biggest, most powerful firearm that they can handle proficiently, as well as a smaller backup gun. Better to have it and not need it then need it and not have it.
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Old January 20, 2020, 03:02 PM   #44
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Reading this thread, you might almost think he broke the law killing that bear with a 9mm!

I can’t say I would rely on a 9mm in bear country; I was always more comfortable with a 4” 629 loaded with 280 grain cast flat nose bullets. But, I never had to use it, so I cannot speak from experience like Phil can. I suspect few have any real experience, but read a lot of gun mags.
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Old January 20, 2020, 03:52 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by GarandTd View Post
I used the term "Nay-sayers", not Black Wolf. I can't say that I would choose a 9mm auto for brown bear country. I think I would opt for the largest caliber that I could shoot well. After all, what good is a big gun if you can't do with it what you need to.

What I can say is that I have no experience in brown bear country. I am not a veteran Alaskan guide. I have no background or experience to criticize what that man did that day. And, luck or not, everyone involved survived without injury as far as I know.

I lived in Montana for a couple years when I was young (4-6). My dad and my brother used to hunt mule deer there. I don't recall any stories of bear encounters from them. My dad passed away 17 years ago and my brother has been estranged from the family for nearly 15 years. I can't ask them. I now reside in black bear country and, for that, I am comfortable with my 9mm for that purpose.
Sorry about the mix up. You're right... if that is all someone can handle for a number of reasons, age, disability... then that is what they are better off using. I'd also suggest a career change, one that lives aren't dependent on him.

I am personally a fan of the UW and BB offerings, especially the 9mm 147+ Outdoorsman that he used. The bulk of my time, when I'm not traveling around, is spent in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah NP and Monongahela and that BB load is the minimum I will carry... out west I upgrade considerably.

Confidence and overconfidence can cause complacency. Surviving this situation can cause complacency. I don't mean to dwell on the negative, I just read this story and it irritates the heck out of me. I'll have to ease up I guess. lol
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Old January 20, 2020, 04:17 PM   #46
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The Right Way to do it ...

Anyone using a 9mm pistol (regardless of load) to stop or turn a charge by a big Alaskan bruin is either a complete idiot ... or a reckless 'show-off' trying to impress clients or, in Shoemaker's case, also editors of gun-rags so he can send them yet another 'bear' article detailing his 'harrowing adventures' and 'death-defying feats' in the 'dangerous wilds of Alaska.'

Either way, trying to sell folks on a 9mm 'bear-stopper' load, like BB's 147gn hardcast load, is only going to get people killed.

If you have to deal with a 'surprise visit' by an agressive AK bear with a pistol, here's a relatively recent news piece (below) signaling the correct way to do it, ... which is also the same way soldiers of the Danish Sledge Patrol Sirius handle unexpected polar bear attacks in the arctic circle regions of Greenland to which they're assigned. They're also not trying to pull stunts so they can write articles about it later for readers of Rifle magazine.

https://www.ammoland.com/2019/10/ala...#axzz6BbgdF2ZW


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Old January 20, 2020, 06:54 PM   #47
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What is the most important element? In this situation....luck.
I have never seen a brown/grizzly bear in the wild. Thank goodness. I have fished the Russian River and the Little Susitna and the Kenai River during the salmon runs. Walked from the Sterling Hwy through a few hundred yards of woods to fish. Spooky. I wondered at the time what I would do if a bear showed up. It would have been a surprise because the woods were thick. I was with my son. We had no firearms, just a couple of fly rods.
We saw no bears. We did see the bones of the salmon that they had eaten...the flesh still red. We fished a bit, walked back through the woods and went on our way down to Homer.
Luck? No more lucky than the many other folk who fish the rivers. The luck part would have been if I'd had a gun and I'd had to use it.
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Old January 21, 2020, 06:13 AM   #48
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Anyone using a 9mm pistol (regardless of load) to stop or turn a charge by a big Alaskan bruin is either an complete idiot ... or a reckless 'show-off' trying to impress clients or, in Shoemaker's case, also editors of gun-rags so he can send them yet another 'bear' article detailing his 'harrowing adventures' and 'death-defying feats' in the 'dangerous wilds of Alaska.'

Either way, trying to sell folks on a 9mm 'bear-stopper' load, like BB's 147gn hardcast load, is only going to get people killed.

If you have to deal with a 'surprise visit' by an agressive AK bear with a pistol, here's a relatively recent news piece (below) signaling the correct way to do it, ... which is also the same way soldiers of the Danish Sledge Patrol Sirius handle unexpected polar bear attacks in the arctic circle regions of Greenland to which they're assigned. They're also not trying to pull stunts so they can write articles about it later for readers of Rifle magazine.

https://www.ammoland.com/2019/10/ala...#axzz6BbgdF2ZW

Great post as always agtman! This is a great thread, not because of the Shoemaker story but because, IMO, it proves a couple of important points and I'm talking about the veteran in the Ammoland article.

1.It's the Indian, not the arrow! Being proficient with the weapon.
2.Shot placement is more important than anything.
3.Shot placement must be accompanied by a cartridge capable enough to do the job.
4.The weapon, in this case a Glock, must be utterly reliable in all conditions.

This is true for any self defense situations.

But, as you say, and I always believe, follow the $$$!... I am always skeptical that someone is always trying to sell me something
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Old January 21, 2020, 09:03 AM   #49
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Agtman: Outstanding post....

I've no experience in Alaska, hunting, but have done some fishing up there. The locals and one guide I knew back then (20+) years ago, carried big revolvers or shotguns for bear defense. Breneke slugs were the round of choice as I recall.

All that said, I'd say that guide, even given his "vast" experience was very lucky using a 9mm...and I truly wonder at his decision making process in selecting it for carry in that area. Lucky is the operative word...and yeah I know that supposedly .22's have killed bear...and their users were lucky too. I just wonder if the guide in question would make the same choice again...using a 9mm, that is?

YMMv, Rod
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Old January 21, 2020, 09:14 AM   #50
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10 MM Glock

We don't have a bear problem, yet, in lower Alabama or NW Florida. However, I wanted a pistol capable of holding lots of bullets and hitting HARD, in case I ever needed one for protection against large animals, including bears. I purchased a 10 MM Glock that holds 15 rounds of 155 grain hand loaded FMJs. I have chron-ied them at 1325 FPS (avg). This is VERY close to 158 grain 357 factory loads/velocities (4-6" barrels) but I have 15 shots, not 6. When scared, I probably would miss a lot. I also carry 2 extra magazines in a shoulder holster rig. There is no doubt in my mind that shooting any bear with many hardball or FMJ bullets would mortally wound a bear. A head/brain shot (if you could hold still and not pee all over yourself) would kill instantly.
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