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Randito
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PostMon May 04, 2020 5:15 pm 
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Eric Hansen wrote:
Is a handgun actually viable against a charging grizzly? I always assumed that the kick from something like a 9mm might limit you to only one good shot before the grizzly was on you. And that one shot wouldn't be enough to kill the grizzly, only annoy him.

As I mentioned earlier in the threat -- for USGS field researchers in Alaska the standard firearm used for bear defense is a 12 gauge shotgun loaded with a single lead ball and a magnum powder load.

That delivers a lot more energy to the target than a handgun. 

But it takes practice to be reasonably effective.
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gb
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PostTue May 05, 2020 7:37 am 
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And is a lot less effective if your goal is not to get mauled than bear spray.
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SwitchbackFisher
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PostWed May 06, 2020 9:37 pm 
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I have several friends from Alaska, and one had an experience when he was getting charged, and the sound of a 9mm being shot into the ground was enough to stop the bear and make it run off. Not saying that would always happen, I carry, but would not recommend a firearm unless you know what you are doing.

Carrying was a necessary part of my job for 8 years and I was paid to shoot a full 8 hour day every month and been through many special trainings, and under stress it becomes difficult to get a good grouping. If that's the option you are wanting to go with best practice a ton the ammunition investment alone to truly be proficient is going to be costly.

In all fairness if a grizzly really wants to take you down no weapon you can casually carry (firearm or spray) is likely to save you. Not trying to scare you just trying to be real about it.

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I may not be the smartest, I may not be the strongest, but I don't want to be. I only want to be the best I can be.
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Chief Joseph
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PostThu May 07, 2020 12:46 am 
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SwitchbackFisher wrote:
I have several friends from Alaska, and one had an experience when he was getting charged, and the sound of a 9mm being shot into the ground was enough to stop the bear and make it run off. Not saying that would always happen, I carry, but would not recommend a firearm unless you know what you are doing.

I agree with that. I carry a 9 because it's light, and if the first shot doesn't scare the griz, the second (or 3rd) might put me out of my misery.

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Backpacker Joe
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PostThu May 07, 2020 6:22 am 
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forest gnome wrote:
I think backpacker Joe has some experience with a cute little cub that liked his tent...but the moma bear hated the tent.

Great story.if someone can link it..

Ya, thanks alot there "G"nomey.  Hollywood has never made a movie that made me as terrified as I was that night.  LOL.

I think JC (jackchinook) along with Mr. Curtis and others have offered some really good advice.  I carry a gun while hiking for a lot of reasons, but I wont suggest it now. That decision is up to each individual.  While I wont presume to speak for Tom, I will say he's the master of statistics and they would seem to me to be in your favor.  In other words, you probably dont have a ton to worry about.

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80skeys
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PostFri May 22, 2020 9:04 am 
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My intention logging in today was to come directly to this thread and add my comment. But I got sidetracked with a couple other threads because, as usual, there's so much interesting dialogue on this forum by people who share a genuine passion for the outdoors.

Anyway, I took the advice of a couple people here and bought a copy of Bear Attacks by Stephen Herrero. Have read the first few chapters. Definitely seems to be the authority on it. Scientific approach, not biased, decades of research, both paper and fieldwork. Already has dispelled a couple commonly accepted advice (included ones give here in this thread). And I've already learned a lot from it, made me understand better my black bear encounter last year. Herrero should probably be the go-to person for any advice on understanding/dealing with bears.

Someone asked whether a handgun would be effective against grizzly. I can relay what my friend says. He says No. Unless you've got a .44 with a specially prepared bullet that is designed to pass through (break) bones, the idea being to incapacitate the bear so that it falls down and can't move before it reaches you. He says any other bullet is not going to have any effect whatsoever and there's no way you're going to be able to kill a grizzly with a handgun. He's been living in the lower 48 for the past 30 years and that's the pistol/bullet combination he takes out with him. Prior to that he grew up in northern Alaska (in Athabaskan territory, the son of a trapper) where he says everybody carries rifles for dealing with brown bears.

so, just something to think about there.

Also, somebody else mentioned that the youtube videos and other stories of aggressive grizzlies are probably mostly those who have been put in traps/antagonized by people. Makes sense. Herrero says unless you invade a grizzly's space, most of them are wary of humans and will avoid an encounter.
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