Man kills charging bear with .454 Casull

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Greg Brush, an Alaskan fishing guide, was ambushed with no warning by a charging bear. All he had time to do was pull out his .454 Casull and fire as fast as possible, while falling backwards after tripping on a branch. The Anchorage Daily News reports:

He drew a Ruger .454 Casull revolver. There was no time to aim, barely time to squeeze the trigger. He’s not sure whether he got off two shots or three, but one proved fatal.

“Total luck shot,” he said.

“It doesn’t get any closer. He slid by me on his chin when I shot him,” Brush said. “I was backpedaling as fast as I could. I wasn’t even aiming. I tripped over my own feet as I pulled the trigger.”

He estimated that the animal weighed 900-plus pounds, and was 15 to 20 years old. It had grass packed in its molars and little fat on its bones.

“It was starving to death and saw an opportunity,” Brush said.

I sometimes get asked what should be carried in bear country. I always say the same thing: “I know nothing about bears but if I was in bear country I would want a .44 Magnum by my side”. I despair when people say they would rather carry their 9mm or .40 S&W Glock because they can get off more shots! This story perfectly illustrates that you may only get off one or two shots at a charging 900 pound beast! A 9mm round is not going to do much good.

Greg was most likely carrying a Ruger Super Redhawk. The Low-Glare Stainless model has a 7.5″ barrel and is available chambered in .454 Casull or .45 Colt. It has a MSRP of $992.

ruger super redhawk bear

Big thank you to Don for emailing me the link.

UPDATE: Commenters point out that he was using the Super Redhawk Alaskan. This snub nosed .454 Casull has a 2.5″ barrel . It also has a MSRP of $922. Thanks guys for the correction.

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Tom Gresham has an interview with Greg on his Gun Talk show. Thanks to Jake for the link.

Related

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • SpudGun

    Holy Bejeebus! That is some seriously scary stuff. I wouldn’t want to be attacked by a 900 lb woman never mind a 900 lb starving grizzly. I hope readers of this blog realise just how lucky this guy was to survive.

    But, no doubt, I’m sure most of the comments will be ‘Kewl! .454 Casull FTW!!! I used it on Xbox and it is super awesome, etc.’

    Still based on this story, I’m sure a lot of dweebs will run out and by a Ruger Alaskan even though they live in a big city and the nearest bear is at the local zoo.

    On a final note, you should have called the story ‘A Brush with Death’ (His name is Greg Brush…geddit?…No?…Ah forget it.)

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      SpudGun, heh heh, I should have used that title!

  • medic760

    It could have been a Super Redhawk Alaskan. ( http://www.ruger-firearms.com/Firearms/FAProdView?model=5301&return=Y ). I use a 9.5 inch Super Redhawk and believe me it can get heavy. The Alaskans were designed with this type of use in mind. Recoil can be a bear but its worth it if you need it.

  • http://Www.predatorwild.com Heath

    I received the e-mail that had pictures. If you’ve not seen the pictures then Google the title of this Blog entry.

    Many years ago I had a man who guided hunts in bear country tell me a shotgun in a scabbard was his bear defense weapon of choice. He said to make the first shot bird shot to take out it’s eyes. He claimed the blind bear would then stand on it’s rear legs in pain and anger, giving you a good heart shot.

  • Wes S.

    If this is the same incident they were talking about over on the Ruger Forum (www.rugerforum.com) last week, Greg’s gun was the snub-nosed “Alaskan” version of the SRH. Comment threads on this shooting can be found in both the “Ruger Revolvers” and “The Lounge” sub-forums at Ruger Forum.

  • Jake

    Tom Gresham interviewed Greg Brush on 8/23 for his weekly radio show Gun Talk. As far as the gun used, Greg says he used a Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan that he was carrying in a belt holster.

    Among many things that the news report above doesn’t tell you, is the fact that his gun jammed after the 5th shot … the massive recoil of the first 4 shots had caused the the 5th bullet to push out of the crimp on the casing, and it creeped forward enough to jam the gun as the bear was moaning less than 10 feet away!

    Anyhow, it’s a great interview … you can find it here: http://guntalk.libsyn.com/

  • Eric

    I heard an interview with him. He was carrying the Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan (2 1/2 inch barel).

  • B Woodman

    I’m going to assume (dangerous) that the 454 Casull is at the top end of the firepower spectrum.

    But, between the 45LC and the 44 Magnum, which is the harder hitter?

    Thanks.

  • Chris D.

    He was interviewed by Tom Gresham for the 23AUG09 show(podcast available) and said that it was the Ruger Alaskan in 454.

  • http://www.red-alerts.com Rob Taylor

    “Among many things that the news report above doesn’t tell you, is the fact that his gun jammed after the 5th shot … the massive recoil of the first 4 shots had caused the the 5th bullet to push out of the crimp on the casing, and it creeped forward enough to jam the gun as the bear was moaning less than 10 feet away!”

    That’s my problem with the “super guns” in these calibers. Plus I’ve been to the range when people were firing them and watched them not able to control the damn things (they rent a .500 at an indoor range by me) I think people need to get enough gun for bear, but that also means gun they can control. If the guy hadn’t hit the bear with the first couple and needed that 5th we’d be having a different conversation.

    I avoid bear country, but for a delicate fellow like myself prefer a rifle as primary defense backed up with a 44 (though to be honest I’d probably carry my .45 because I’m stubborn) but I’ll take a 30-06 over a wrist breaker for a griz any day.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      from a 2.5″ barrel does the .454 offer much, if any, advantage over the .44 Mag?

  • SpudGun

    I’m too lazy to look up all the grains and FPS tables, but I would imagine it’s also to do with powder. If you’re pushing a heavier, larger bullet at similar velocities to a .44 Magnum, then it’s going to do more damage obviously, even in a shorter barrelled pistol.

    Like Rob Taylor above, I avoid bear country and hate standing next to someone at the range using a ‘super gun’. Though I would imagine that in an angry bear attack situation, you probably won’t even notice the recoil.

    If I did have to go into bear country, well that would be a different matter. It’s here you’d get into a size / weight / ease of use issue and the Ruger Alaskan sounds like a good compromise.

    If size / weight / ease of use wasn’t an issue, then I’d probably take a FAL or M14. And yes, in a panic bear attack situation, I’d unload all 20 rounds into that mutha as my trousers turned brown. (NB when I mention ease of use, I’m talking about going through heavy woods with not a lot of clearance for the barrel).

    As always, keep up the astounding work Steve, love da blog.

  • michael

    i heard the interview on Gun Talk and what a amazing story it is. Emagine that Bear running towards you and in the blink of a eye having draw and fire at it. Thank god the gun did not jam on the second shot.
    Highly reccomend downloading last weeks Gun Talk podcast and having a listen.

  • Don

    B Woodman,

    I shoot and reload a lot of both .45 LC and .44 mag. In a modern wheelgun I feel they have close to identical potential. The bullet diameters are only .023 different on average (.452″ vs .429″, slight variation depending on bullet type) and the case volumes are comparable as well. My experience is that with the same weight bullet you get about the same recoil and velocity, but you better make darn certain that your .45 LC revolver is actually rated for the pressures you intend to generate. Traditionally they were not, which is why the advent of the .44 mag was a big deal. The cartridge isn’t a whole lot different but the guns were built to handle heavy loads from the start, and there’s not much chance of accidentally cambering a thumper in a 19th centruy piece since they didn’t exist yet. There are arguments out there claiming that the .45 LC has the potential for more power in a modern revolver, but I’m skeptical that whatever slight numerical gain you can squeeze out of it isn’t an advantage over the ubiquity of .44 mag ammo, you can buy it anywhere. I feel ok in the woods with my .44 mag with stout 310gr Oregon Trails. Our bear are smaller than those in Alaska and assuming I didn’t poop myself and could hit the thing I think the .44 mag would do fine.

    -Don

  • Jim

    Lived in Alaska for 32 years and always carried a .44 magnum and 870 shotgun.
    Without witnessing it, it is almost impossible to believe how fast these animals can move.
    There have been instances where 10 hits from high powered rifles did not stop a charge of 100 yards until the bear was within a few feet.

  • komrad

    A .454 is a longer version of the .45 lc and has more power than a .44 mag. A .460 is a longer .454 and has almost as much energy as a .500 mag.

  • http://www.red-alerts.com Rob Taylor

    Are there any carbines in .454? I’ve heard of a lever gun in .500 but a short barreled .454 would be pretty handy

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      Rob, I am sure there are, although I cannot think of any.

      A .45-70 carbine would probably be what you want. A wide variety of loads is available with weaker loads for the old guns and powerful loads for modern guns.

  • http://www.red-alerts.com Rob Taylor

    I’ve always been leery of the 45-70, people say it’s a real bruiser and I learned my rifle shooting on the .223. How manageable are carbines in 45-70? I guess I’m off to the gun store circuit to find out?

  • jody

    jeff quinn at gunblast.com has reviewed this revolver in both 454 casull and 480 ruger, and decided the 480 ruger made more sense for it’s intended purpose.

    http://www.gunblast.com/Ruger-480Alaskan.htm

    that is to say, since you’ll be shooting at animals that are 20 meters away at most, the high pressure, high velocity, high recoil of the 454 casull were far less useful than the lower pressure, lower velocity, and bigger heavier bullets of the 480 ruger. especially with the 2.5 inch barrel.

    jeff has a lot of experience with big revolvers, and has mentioned several times in his reviews that the most powerful rounds, the stuff over 44 magnum, can often jump crimp and tie up the cylinder.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      jody, thanks for the link. interesting.

  • nw

    Shoulder fired weapons are better- hands down. Bear spray will save you in a panic situation better that any handgun. That said, I own an Alaskan. It punishes the web of your hand and has tons of unused powder. Out of a 7-8″ barrel it is 150% of the 44 mag. Out of the Alaskan it is still about 140% of the energy of the 44 mag at 50 ft. Rounds are 3-4 bucks apiece. It will shoot 45 Long Colt as well as the 454. If you have to have a handgun on your belt in backcountry its still one of the top choices.

  • bob

    I own several pistols including a Raging Bull 454 Casull. Comparing a 44 magnum with a 454 is like comparing a 380 with a 45 ACP. A 454 hits about like a good 30-30 rifle and with the best Hornady Ammo is close to double the power of my 44 Magnum. I love the 44 magnum, but you can’t comare it to a 454 Casull for raw power. Guns you can compare are the 500 and 460 S&W which hit harder than the 454.

  • Jim TrueBlood

    I live deep in the wooded mountains where bear, mountain lion, and moose roam. The most dangerous four-legged creature BY FAR is a cow moose with a calf that feels threatened. True, she’s not a carnivore and won’t eat you, but you’ll be just as dead. The speed and athleticism of an angry moose is chilling.

    Short barrel super-powerhouses never made any sense to me at all, all that unburned powder and lack of performance, not to mention not being any fun to practice with.

    I venture into remote mountainous regions and after 30 years experience I carry three firearms for problem solving. Primary is a Remington 870 loaded with 3 inch magnum 00 Buck, secondary is a Ruger Blackhawk 44 Magnum with 7.5″ Barrel, and last, but not least, is my Glock 10mm.

    If I could only have one firearm in a survival situation, it’d be the 870 BY FAR.

  • JamesPMullin

    A STARVING 900lb bear??????? 900lbs? STARVING???? Did the bear really attack? Witnesses? Who weighed the bear? The Ruger Alaskan is actually pushed as the fantasy gun for killing a bear as you are peacefully hiking a forest trail.He might have killed a bear but it was no accident.He probably got close to the bear to induce a charge so he could kill it.That’s why he bought the gun in the first place,to kill a big bear!!!!!!! I have a 500,454 and 44 but mine will never get to kill a big bear.Why not? I’m not out there looking for bears to attack me. Jim

  • http://www.predatorwild.com Heath

    Jim, have you ever been to Alaska?

  • Mike

    When Capt. Kirk and myself are on holiday we prefer to use phasers set on “vaporize”. With no remains we can avoid those nasty encounters with the annoying DNR folks. We are being forced to use new ones next year that can be set to “roast”. Oh well at least dinner will be no problem. See you in a couple of light years!

  • Wayne

    JamesPMullin

    If you have seen the discovery channel lately they have interviewed the Wildlife agent for Anchorage. This is the largest city in Alaska, and bears come into the city to feed on the salmon in the river that is in the most populated area in the entire state. He manages the Anchorage area for both people and animals. Sadly there are bear attacks every year, most people survive ,but, I am not going to be one that is willing to take the chance without something stronger than pepper spray. Please don’t pre-judge a persons motive without knowing the situation. In Alaska you do not need a concealed carry permit as most residents have a gun on their person or in their vehicle at all times. The best gun for protection is the one you have with you.

  • James

    Great advertising for Ruger. Think I’ll buy me one of them Ruger Alaskan revolvers and carry it on my exercise walks. I live in Detroit but what the hell? We have dangerous critters here. We got pit bulls, rottweilers and carjackers, methheads, crackheads and urban coyotes. Yep. Hot damn. I gonna get me one of them there Rugers guns.

    • ditchdigger

      This is not about social genoside, it,s about folks living with the largest land predators on earth.

  • http://www.predatorwild.com Heath

    James, it sounds like you need a Judge!

    [IMG]http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a357/smallblockfuelie/Firearms/Pistol/judge.jpg[/IMG]

  • http://www.predatorwild.com Heath

    Oops …. I thought image tags would work. The picture is missing.

  • Heather

    James/Jim,
    You sound so silly, typical city boy from the lower 48 who knows nothing of Alaska bears. I have lived there. My family lives there. In the “bush” not the city. Had my run-in with bears. And no I did not buy my Ruger .44 “in the hopes of aggravating one to attack”. That is an insanely foolish notion. I carried a 30.06 for that amazing endeavor. The facts are, bears are extremely common-place in Anchorage, and very smart- they are not afraid of people anymore in the anchorage and kenai areas. So before you embarass yourself any further with that nonsense diatribe about “enticement” go read a book about AK- better yet, go visit, and don’t forget to pack your Alaskan

  • Charles Lindsay Griffin

    I listened to the interview. Long ago I bought a Super Redhawk in .454 for travel out west, but I always found the weapon to be a bit large for easy carry. Stuffing it in a backpack defeats the purpose as well. I had been debating getting a new Alaskan that kept shining at me whenever I went in the local gun shop–reading the information here helped me to decide.

    I took it to the range the day after Thanksgiving and shot it. My SRH with the 7.5″ barrel was relatively easy to shoot, but video on the web showed many different reactions to firing the Alaskan. After running some .45 LC silvertips through the pistol, I started firing the Magtech heavy .454 loads. Recoil was more brisk, but easy to to control with a two-hand grip. After settling down–it was kind of a thrill shooting it, my neighbors on the range complained they couldn’t concentrate when the pistol went off–my last group at 25 yards was 2.5″, centered and below the bullseye, which is good for me, especially since I figured that it should be fired double-action as it would be used in a dangerous situation.

    I hope never to be faced with a bad bear, but I’m more confident that the Ruger can handle the task, with luck.

    The crimp-pushing is a concern, but since Mr. Brush explained that his loads were made locally, it’s possible that his rounds could have been made more secure. I just read another site today where a fellow ran several national brands of ammo through the Alaskan to see how many shots it took, on average, to cause a round left in the last chamber to creep out too far. Hornady factory loads were most resistant and a Corbin loading was the worst, although he said a later batch of Corbins with a heavier bullet performed on par with the rest.

    The answer seems to be always shoot up what is in the cylinder at the range. Mr. Brush said, I think that he stopped shooting after four rounds at the range. Perhaps he left the last two rounds in the pistol and loaded fresh rounds, which would have meant that–possibly–one of those rounds had been through 9 firings. And seven to nine rounds is where the Corbins were starting to fail, if I recall correctly.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      Charles, thanks for the comment.

    • ditchdigger

      600 grain 12 ga. slugs, 1500 fps, if you have the choice. Just returned, have family there. Carry at least heavy loaded .44s. Keep a foreign tourist between you and the bears, conserve ammo. Just returned, great trip.

  • Mike

    Good advice here and some bad advice also.

    Grizzly Bears are extremely tough animals and when wounded are an absolute nightmare.

    Shotguns with slugs do not have enough penetration and are not all that effective.

    About the fastest and one of the most reliable rounds out there is a 45/70 loaded with Garrett Cartridge Inc’s 420 grain or 520 grain Hammerheads. These will definitely put an end to a charge, especially the 520 grainer.

    For ease of packing, I carry a Ruger Redhawk in a .44 magnum. But only with Garrett cartridge Inc’s 330 grain hard-cast HammerHead ammo. That load rivals a .454 in power.

    Of course if you cast your own bullets and know how to make them extremely hard and then load ‘em hot. You can come close to the Garrett ammo. I can almost get there reloading and I am comfortable with my loads.

    If you do reload, use hard-cast lead projectiles with a wide meplate nose for deep penetration.

    I would suggest that if anyone is spending time in Grizzly country to pack both.

    A Marlin Guide Gun in 45/70 stoked with HammerHead’s for primary protection. And a Ruger Redhawk stoked with 330 grain Garrett HammerHead’s for the sleeping bag.

    When I am packing these two firearms with the Garrett loads, I give myself the best chance if by the slim chance they are needed to protect myself.

  • http://454bearblog chris worthy

    it does not matter what you carry be it a 357 mag 0r 44 mag 454 or bigger
    you have to have the nerve to think about what your doing and pay attentionat all times mosdt people freeze and die or get mauled its you life emprovise,adapt,overcome and win ,nice job /if your going to be out with the bears you think like they do just like hunting becouse they are hunting you this time sux heh

  • Spike

    I’ve guided in alaska 4 yrs and had probably 200 black bear encounters and 3 brown bears. The only time we have used lethal force is when a black bear gets into the cooler ’cause some moron left their candy out and then they become a problem. Weapon of choice: 12 ga shotgun. Period. End of story. Why? A slug will stop any bear. Does it always exit, Noooo, it doesn’t need to. It goes in and drops bears. Do people carry other guns? sure, i’ve seen 7.62 semi auto assault rifles with 20 rd clips, 338, 375 h & h, 45/70. Some people carry pistols but they are about as effective as bear spray, which is to say it’s better than nothing but you have to be able to shoot it and hit a rapidly moving target. A bear that is standing still is not a problem, you can move out of the situation 99 % of the time w/o using a gun. it’s the bear that charges that you have to worry about. 12 ga also has effective non lethal rounds to “train” bears that wander through camp. As long as you practice clean camping, bear aware techniques, they simply are not a problem. Polar bears? Whole another story and not something I have experience with.

  • Arleigh Crisman

    I have been reading a lot of material from the Alaska out door forums for quite a while now and the subject of bears and appropreate guns, is hammered regularly like a broken record, these people are at the cutting edge of the whole subject. The bottom line in my book.
    What is your life worth , the littleist gun you can carry, or the biggest ? The Big brown bear that sees you as food or a threat isn’t going to give you another chance to go home and get the bigger gun, He is going to eat you now. They can run at about 35 miles an hour , and you can run what ? 12- 15 at best maybe.
    He is a professional killer that is all he does all day every day and your going into his back yard with limited skills and practice thinking you are smarter than the pro bear?
    Practice is essential to servival, training your self to deal with real situations in the bush is paramount.
    The shot gun nor the .454 nor any other weapon that is normally capable , is not worth a nickle if you can’t hit at a split second a moving target comming strait at you . Time is not always on your side , bears stalk too.

  • Mike

    Spike,

    You are correct about the 12 gauge slug being a bear stopper. So I want to clarify my comment above.

    I would not be comfortable carrying a 12 gauge loaded with standard slugs. The reason is, a 12 gauge slug will not reliably break down a shoulder of a large brownie. Too much muscle and bone for a standard “soft” lead 12 gauge projectile at that angle.

    Now if you are loading your shotgun with the Brenneke Black Magic Magnum or Dixie 12 Gauge slugs, now you are talking. These babies will stop anything in their tracks.

    In fact, they are preferred by Alaska Department of Fish and Game personnel who have realized that the hard-cast slugs will actually smash through heavy bone and muscle an travel very deep.
    http://redoubtreporter.wordpress.com/2009/06/03/dispatched-%E2%80%94-lewis-gets-the-call-to-solve-problem-of-wounded-bears/

    Personally, were I to carry a shotgun in bear country it would only be loaded with hard-cast slugs such as Brenneke or Dixie Slugs. Then I would be assured of deep penetration and maximum stopping power from whatever angle I shot from.

    Thanks for the good information!

    Mike

    http://www.brennekeusa.com/web/text/2_0_text.html

    http://www.dixieslugs.com/products.html

    http://www.brennekeusa.com/web/text/2_0_text.html

  • scared as hell

    Well after reading all of this it sounds to me that perhaps a 44 mag smith and wesson compensated shooting hot loads would be the side arm to pack for self defense for grizz. But A guide sounds better. I don’t think most average guys would be proficient with a 454. Also if I were going out I would make sure that gun was chained to my body. Otherwise you would probably be looking for it while the Grizz was having you for dinner. That is my take

  • Charles Lindsay Griffin

    Threads like this attract some interesting comments. I’ve been a shooter nearly my whole life, but only infrequently a hunter. I go places that are potentially dangerous, however, and I’ve been peacefully in close range to a lot of dangerous animals. The idea of provoking several hundred pounds of bear or a couple of tons of bison is utterly silly, in my opinion. But I have seen what can be done with a firearm in an emergency. Witnessing my grandfather shoot a charging bull in the nose with a pocket pistol (.25 cal.) that caused the bull to come to a stop and rethink its attitude made a big impression on me. My grandfather was a practiced shot, could shoot accurately under great pressure and knew where the animal was most sensitive to pain. Consequently, I have always practiced for worst case scenarios, believing that practice and confidence is better than hope and panic.

    Military service and coming from a family that regularly shot might account for some of my confidence, but I’m no superman, just an average person in height and weight and I have relatively small hands. Yet, I’m able to shoot weapons that are constantly mentioned as too big for the average hand or kick too hard for the average shooter. What I think is that the people who make these complaints are not spending enough time at the range or they don’t practice with adequate hearing protection. Shooting the .454 is helped tremendously by beginning with commercially loaded .45 LC rounds, as I mentioned in my earlier post. I also use good hearing protection and I fit it carefully to my head. This relieves a good bit of the stress when moving to a heavier and louder round.

    The first few times you fire the .454 in a short barrel, you do perceive the increase and it is enough to start a flinch reaction. What you have to do is work through it. Concentrate, do the slow breath half out while squeezing the trigger. Soon enough you’ll begin to make controlled shots and you can move on to more rapid drills.

    I used to use multiple targets until the local range changed its rules. When I’m restricted to a single target, as we are now, I use a rifle target that has small bulls or zeroing blocks in each corner. Once I’m comfortable with a handgun and can hit consistently, my drill is to begin a round of shooting where I bring the pistol up, sight and fire at one of the corner bulls, then shift and fire once at each of the other corner bulls as fast as I can recover and shift my sight.

    At pistol range distance with a large caliber bullet you can instantly see where your bullet is striking–if my hole is too far away, more than an inch, I’ll take a second shot at the one I missed after I’ve shot the next one in the rotation. I feel this helps to prepare for shifting aim on multiple targets and even a little for moving targets, since shifting and reacquiring the sight picture are elements in both situations.

    People who practice martial arts know that running routines until you don’t have to think about the action is a key to success. It doesn’t mean you really empty your mind like some will tell you–if your hands are operating on automatic that frees you to make intelligent decisions about what your next move will be, or that of your opponent. The same is true of many other sports and skills.

    Become familiar with a weapon to the point you do not have to think about how to operate it, shoot it to the point that you constantly send the bullet to where you want it to go and prepare yourself mentally for changing circumstances when you shoot. Do these things and I believe that you will give yourself a better chance of surviving in an emergency that calls for shooting.

    I think that is a little better than hoping to be lucky when the excrement hits the fan.

    • Joeself

      Excellent and very useful post. Thanks.

  • John R. Harbison

    Had a little mexican black bear w/ cub take a run at me. Fortunaly I was on a small cliff above her where she could not get to me. She weighed app. 180lbs looked like 2000. If you ever had a mad dog with its hair standing up showing teeth you should see a 180lb bear. Had nightmares about it, I can’t even think about a grizz. If I ever make it to alaska which I hope to do I’ll be with several well armed buddy’s lol

  • j gROVES

    You don’t have to be able to out run a bear, you only have to be able
    to out run the person that is with you. So always take along a fat slow
    person with you when in bear country!

  • Scott

    I bought a 460 after I had a 365 lb black bear charge me. I shot it twice with a 270 and it got too close for the scope so my buddy unloaded his 45 colt into it to stop it! They run faster than you can imagine

  • Rick

    I wouldn’t bring anything less than a .454 Casull. I recently read where two hunters were killed after being attacked by a bear who entered their camp (perhaps at night). The bear’s dead body was discovered not far from their camp with more than a few .44 magnum slugs in it (not sure where the slug placement was). A large, pissed-off bear is difficult to drop especially with his adrenaline going. They run very fast and will be on you in seconds. This bear was able to kill after it had been mortally wounded. The .454 Casull and .460 -.500 handgun rounds were specifically designed for this purpose: To get access to a weapon quickly should you get surprised and to drop a bear cold before it can kill you. However, I would also be carrying a Marlin guide gun in .450 or 45-70 loaded hot or 475 Turnbull lever action (18″ bbl). The latter is definitively a one shot drop but any of them would make me feel very confidant.

    • ditchdigger

      A rifle or scatter gun is always better, but where is it, leaning against a tree, 20 ft. away, in a scabbard, on a horse that got out of Dodge, in a tight. You got 3 seconds, max. It is about that 3 seconds.

  • Brandon

    I think I would go with a 460… that way I could shoot 454s and 45s when I want less recoil.

  • Truck

    Half the people on here act like the Alaskan is what the guy took to hunt bear. Of course a 300 Wetherby Mag or a 12 ga with Hornaday SST slugs or even a Marlin lever in 450-70 would be great. But on a fishing trip or a hike. Please. That Alaskan will fit in your hip pocket and stop a grizzly. What could be better.

  • Dan from Wasilla, AK

    Used 44 mag for the last 20++ years to hunt deer in Maine, Awesome caliber. Put meat on the table. Gave away my .357′s to family members who use them as personal protection. I didn’t have the heart to get rid of them. When walking the Alaska trails it is a bit different than in Maine.

    I was never really afraid to walk the woods because I believed in my skills, the capacity of my guns and my stalking abilities to be on top of the game.

    In Alaska the rules change. I am not the one on top of stalking skills.
    Not the feared hunter in the wilderness. I am prey. When you are on the “Other Side” and you finally confront one of these top of the food chain types you have chemistry than changes your outlook on your skills and habits.

    Could have bought the S&W 480 or 500 but they only have 5 rounds and are very heavy to carry. Having the capacity for 6 rounds and a shorter barrel so when on my Ranger 4X4 it doesn’t break my ribs. Have upgraded my hunting crew to all have these Ruger Alaskan 454 Casull’s.

    Would also probably work really well when in Detroit with a gang coming after you. Wait till 3 or 4 of em line up in a row before touching off.

  • R.B. Wolfe

    Rob Taylor(above) mentioned that,although he avoids bear country, says his 30-06 rifle and a .45. will do.
    I have done fauna study in Northern California and I carry a .44 mag Super Model Black Hawk with a 7.5 inch barrel and Hunter grips.
    A few years ago. I was hiking an overgrown closed USFS dirt road on the Trinity NF. I had a small daypack on my back, my old style 8mm video camera around my neck, and the holstered Ruger tucked into my waist band at the small of my back. I heard a rustling in the brush covered hillside above me. A good sized black bear broke cover, came down the hill, crossed the road about 30 feet in front of me and then dropped into the bramble below the road and disappeared. The whole event took maybe 3-4 seconds. I didn’t have time to bring up the camera what alone unholster the Ruger.

    The point I am making is, a rifle would have been useless in the situation if the bear had had me own its’ mind for lunch like the starving griz in the lead story.

    A change I have made in revolver practice shooting is I no longer go to a range and shoot at paper 20′ – 30′ away. I “cowboy” shoot as fast as I can fire at randomly placed targets from 5′ to 15′ away. A threat will not wait for all the “proper” aiming procedure to be done before it attacks.

  • Shiner

    Of all the post on here… I come closer to agreeing with the last person (R.B. Wolf). Be realistic in what you choose for self defense in any situation. In most cases of bear encounters are close encounters. It is a surprise for you and/or the bear. Unless the bear is in a state of starvation or aggression or protecting cubs, he will see you coming long before you see him and leave the area. So in the case of surprise, the long gun is pretty much ruled out. How easy do you really think it would be to take aim on a charging bear in brush or trees with a rifle. Even with open sites most people can’t realistically do this. A bear can cover 50 yards as fast as most people can shoulder a rifle from a sling. Also consider the following thought with a large caliber hand gun choice. If you can’t hit the broad side of a barn because the recoil just put you on your butt, what good is it going to be? I’m a big guy with big arms and strong wrists. I shoot on a regular basis a well broke in and slightly modified stainless 1911 .45 automatic. This is a very dependable gun in all weather and situations by my experience. I repetitively shoot rapid 3 shot by point and shoot with both eyes open to be accurate in a defensive situation. I can confidently say I would put myself and my 1911 up against any of the super hand guns when it comes to defense against a charging angry bear. Simply because I am capable of hitting what I’m shooting at with it in that type of situation. But, it took me some time and practice to get to this point with this size of gun. This is the key in choosing the gun you carry for defense in any situation. Yes people a larger caliber pistol does carry more killing knock down power. But, a 9mm or a .40 cal is more effective if you can hit the bear several times in the head and chest, than a larger caliber that you cannot hit with at all. The large caliber hand guns give you a better chance of survival only if you can control it well enough to get at least one “good” hit. My point is to pick a hand gun that you can comfortably shoot and be effective with. Trying to be like “Dirty Harry” won’t save your life. And Dirty Harry never had to shoot a charging bear either.

  • Danbo

    Hopefully you place all your shots at the same place to get some penetration.
    Fish and Game dispatched a problem bear and cleaned a grizzly in Anchorage that had a multitude of 9mm under his pelt. I agree you have to know how to use a tool and the tool needs to be big enough to do a satisfactory job. A closeline rope coupld probably hold my weight and I may have played when I was young and felt comfortable with its strength but I would not take it mountain climbing.
    I’ll have you do the lead walking to the rebaiting on our bear stand tomorrow. Have 3 different Grizzlies on game camera in the area.
    Can’t shoot a griz on a bait stand. So when you see one you have 3 seconds to make a decision. Do you follow the law because your after black bear or do you take care of what’s at hand? You wont hear the noise nor feel any recoil when you have that surge of energy that goes through your veins. On the count of 3 you had better have at least 4 rounds out or thinking pretty hard about getting more rounds out. If your not proficient your lunch.

  • Shiner

    Danbo, I do agree that a 9mm is definitely under powered against most mid to large game. It’s barely effective against a grown man. But it is more effective than a can of pepper spray. And in some places that is the suggested tool. Go figure on that one. If I was as proficient with my .44 mag. I would carry that. Just can’t fire it as fast. I’ll stick with my .45 because if I can put at least 3-4 rounds of 230 gr. +P hollow point in his head and chest, that will help increase my odds. Honestly have not had to test my theory yet. But I know that I may have to one day as I continue to hunt. By the way did I here an invitation to go hunting?

  • Rick

    Reread ‘Danbo’s’ comment:

    “Fish and Game dispatched a problem bear and cleaned a grizzly in Anchorage that had a multitude of 9mm under his pelt.”

    I’ve read where Fish and Game have captured and killed a bear after it had mauled or killed a hunter or hiker. They do find multiple small caliber rounds (.38 – 9mm – .40cal ) in the animal that did nothing to STOP it.

    They key word when dealing with dangerous game is to STOP the animal. A charging bear when angry, is almost impossible to stop. Think about it. You’re not at the range here. You’re adrenaline is high, the bear is moving up-down, side to side and coming at you very quickly. The odds of scoring a head shot in a MAN is very low during combat, let along trying to hit a bear. You may hit him in the peripherals or even in center mass, but each trigger pull that does not put him down, he gains yards on you! You cannot stop him if he’s on you! There he will rip your head off.

    You need firepower that will penetrate and disperse energy into the animal, over and over when necessary if you miss its head initially. Primates when shot many times can still kill before they drop dead. The bear in this story was old and underweight but still determined and hungry. The bear took the hits yet fell past the shooter, which means he made it to the shooter! Perhaps a younger and healthier bear would have been more formidable for the Casull and the outcome grim. Remember, the shooter had no time to bring the weapon to his eye and had to shoot shot from the hip!!

    The .454 Casull was developed for this reason. It has a rifle primer propelling a large caliber bullet in a small package.

    I would still feel more comfortable with a pistol grip, semi-auto shotgun on a front sling carrying at least 8 rounds. The Saiga can carry up to 20 in a mag. Load with Breneke or Dixie slugs alternating with buckshot every third or fourth. The slug will allow you to reach out to the bear with accuracy, the alternating buskshot will help if you miss with the slug. The slug will penetrate and go through the animal. He will STOP.

    Because it’s my life, I would never carry a .45 or 9mm, the penetration is too little. My full power 10mm would also stay home because I want to get back home!

    Sure I’d love to carry a .475 Turnbull in a lever action Winchester. It would drop the bear almost immediately. But when my adrenalin is going, I may miss. The shotgun is more apt to put it where it needs to be and as fast as I can pull the trigger.

  • Danbo

    Are you in America? What State? Could hook you up with a local Guide.
    Obviously I’m one crazy nut that lives in Wasilla, Alaska. Have no time to do much vacationing, have several shops that I entertain to try to keep them open in these economic times….
    But!!! I Only have to jump on my polaris in my garage and travel 4.9 miles to my bear stand.
    I love my 45′s, and my 44 but have upgraded to the 454 because I get really really scared when I see a Grizz that is as big as my Polaris Ranger, when he is coming down hill and I’m going up….
    Close range the 45-70 in my short custom stainless Marlin with 400 grain maximum loads is preferred.

    My distance gun is 378 Weatherby and also the .338 Win Mag’s.

    My FFL dude just brought in a .50 Beouwolf. All white! With a gold inscription honoring her as Govemor of Alaska.
    My beloved neighbor Sarah Palin. She knocked the crap out of Chuck’s (her Dad) gun sights on one of her TV shows.
    Had the chance to look it over before it was presented to her while I was in my FFL dude’s shop.

    Last week one of my hunting buddies shot a Black Bear about 12 miles out of Whittier on an island from a tree stand.
    He was using a 460 and shot the bear in the neck as it was looking at him about 25 feet away. The bear went down and left a lot of blood.
    It was getting pretty dark and he decided to look for it in the morning. He went back to his boat, stayed the night and could not fing the bear in the AM!!!
    He knows his gun very well and he said this was the best he could do at that range. He figured it was a done deal. Lots of blood but the bear either pushed himself down to the water’s edge and the tide took it out or the many other bears had him for lunch. My friend is a good shot by the way and I believe him when he says it was a great shot. A very well seasoned and disciplined Guide and Contractor.

    Even with a great shot and powerful handgun may not save the day. I know very few folks that can make a good group with anything over a 45 or 357.

    Have way too many friends that have had way too many close encounters with big bruins. What they really need is a couple of towelheads walking in front of them very slowly with bear scent on their heads.

    I won’t let you try your theory in my neighborhood. I’ll go with you on the range to get you used to a preferred tool and let you use it in your hunt.
    When I can show you how much a large Grizz can leave for scat you will have respect him for he can easilly fill a 5 gallon pail!

    Also have a friend that put a 416 Remongton Masg in a standing Grizz’s chest and the Grizz looked to the left and to the right right deciding where he should charge and another 416 round hit him in the lower neck area putting him down but not out. The Grizz had stolen a riding horse one of a dozen in a corrall that take tourists on a trail ride and hauled the horse uphill abour a 1/2 mile and burried it under some tree stumps the bear had excavated for that purpose.
    They found the horse after the bear was killed and it was still alive!!! In shock but it lived!!! Still want to bounce some 230 gr +P’s off this bear’s skull???
    Danbo

  • Charles Griffin

    There are some very good sabot slug rounds for shotguns that certainly will do the trick. The last few comments have gone far afield from Mr. Brush walking his dogs near his house, however.

    Bullet weight and adequate power for penetration, regardless of delivery platform, is what kills best. Adequate power! A high-powered bullet can zip through an animal an leave it still ready for combat or flight. The effect of a slow heavy bullet has been observed time after time to penetrate and put all its energy into various hard to kill beasts like cape buffalo and big bears.

    Were I to go hunting ( I don’t these days, so I’m speaking hypothetically) in brown bear country, I’d feel well armed with either of my .375 rifles for shooting at game in reasonable distance. At shorter ranges and in heavy brush, I might rather have my .45-70 Marlin GBL.

    But for that unsought moment, say when you are taking a walk-about the campsite or asleep in a tent that starts starts to fall in from a marauding bear. It may some comfort to have a pistol in your belt or under your pillow that will push enough lead, fast enough to possibly save your life rather than become bear fodder without a fight.

    I think we can all agree that the .454 Casull round and Ruger Alaskan has proven that possibility at least this once.

    The rest is debate–interesting debate, especially from you Alaska residents.

  • Rick

    Danbo,

    I live down here in GA. Have seen the bears here & they’re not as big as AK bears. I agree that it’s inconceivable that someone would shoot a grizz with ‘weak’ (less than .454) handgun!

    Big game and dangerous African game hunters tell you to use nothing less than 475 to 500 gr. and you’ll put down the biggest threat. They do it all the time. Marlins and 45-70′s loaded hot and the Turnbull .475 should be enough. But you have to hit the bear. A hardcast slug in a semi auto shotgun should put him down with follow up shots as fast as you can pull the trigger. The energy in that round is phenomenal and will just tear the beast up. That’s why i’m thinking that way.

    It’s funny you mentioned the hunt up there and getting a guide because i’ve looked into it! Probably a mistake to tell the wife about it because she’s against it now. It’s boring to wait all day just to shoot a small deer and not get a lot of meat out of it. I use all of the animal with some of it going to my 4 big dogs who eat only raw, including bones and organs too. But my wife is dead set against me going to AK.

    I love Sarah Palin, been following her since she ran for VP! We were in DC for memorial day last week and she showed up at “Rolling Thunder!” Never seen so many Harleys and Patriots in one place! What a day! She’s cool.

    Reading about your experiences makes me even more cautious about the grizz. It’s scary that your friend’s 416 RemMag didn’t put down that bear. Was the bullet at least 400 gr? That concerns me because the .475 Turnbull is a wider, bigger bullet but only @4000 ft.lb. at 500 gr. The 416 can get up to 5000 ft.lb. at 400 gr. and it’s about 500 ft/sec faster. I’d have bet on the 416 Rem Mag which by the way, you know dwarfs the 30-06!! Good thing the grizz was a ways off.

    Can I reach you on FB?

    Rick

  • Danbo

    Sarah and Todd live very close to us and were proud to have them as neighbors. She is due to pick up her .50 Beouwolf from our shared FFL supplier. I guess that’s going to be her Bear Gun. Nice gun by the way
    but a bit too flashy for this dude. Came in brilliant white with gold inlay inscription honoring her as the Govenor of Alaska. Proud piece.
    Looked up the spec’s and it is pretty much the same as a 454 Casull cept’ that is has a rimless base for the semi-auto to work.

    Do not play on Facebook. Believe that most social media is evil…one of my quirks and from all the stolen ID’s I may not be too far off.

    Grizz in my horse story was hit directly in the upper chest right in the middle facing the shooter. In a rare Grizz standin’ up shot. Too much ballistic tables reading will lead you to the wrong belief system that power will always do the trick. Spend time with whatever gun you have that is deemed adequate for the game weight you wish to harvest. The bear came down with another shot to the mid neck area and the bear still had some moving left in him.

    This weekend my son was down in Happy Valley and loading up a 4-wheeler on a trailer. He was on the side of the trailer tightening down some straps when his wife hollered to him/ started screaming at him to get out of the way!!! My son has all the firepower anyone would ever want to hunt large North American and African Game. Guess what he did not have a gun on him at the time as this was an area that seemed harmless. A cow moose was running towards him in a dead heat with the hair on her back in full bloom. The cow was moving at a tremendous clip with only about 8′ away, when my son finally figured out what was happening and their Great Dane came in between them barking up a storm causing a loud frenzy scaring the moose to make a turn and disappear in the woods. Come to find out there were 2 small baby moose in the ridges.

    I don’t think that any sidearm could have turned a moose faster than that Great Dane, whom they wanted us to babysit for the weekend. My son and his wife are both convinced that the dog saved his life this weekend.

    We are all very happy that God is watching over him. His wife/our daughter in law is expecting a child in December 2011.

    Maybe I need to buy more guns!!!
    Danbo

  • Mike

    I never noticed before but unless the reporter was right on the spot they could tell us how many shots were fired. At least by now Greg could have counted the primers in the cylinder?

  • Rex M

    Just bought a Freedom Arms .454 for carrying while fishing. I was on the Gulkana fishing for Kings last Friday, and saw a Grizzly off a ways at the local burn pit rummaging around for easy pickings. They will be on the rivers pretty soon as the tourists normally don’t clean their fish properly and leave morsels. I’ve got to agree with Danbo though, the Moose are twice as dangerous as the bears up here, they won’t eat ya, but they will stomp the —- out of ya. A friend has been baiting up by Fairbanks and have been drawing in grizzlies also.

  • New Bob

    Very interesting comments above from the lead story. I have moved to the Alaskan Bush about 9 months ago taking a new career oppertunity that has brought me here. Since my arrival there has been ten bear sightings in town, five killed and three of the five were Grizzlies, and two Blackies. Also of note from those who live in outlying villages, such as Manokotak, Clarks Point, Aliganik. It’s not only Bears that are the predators? This is a whole different set of rules here unlike Oregon, Washington or the streets of Detriot. I’m not talking about the Preditors in your hometown either that wonder the streets. I have always carried a rifle (30-06 or 300 Win Mag) or a pistol (HK 40 cal) when in the woods hunting or fishing in Oregon. I also like to do alot of walking because I dispise a stairmaster, and enjoy the outdoors. What ever the activity it is not always feesable to carry a shot gun or rifle such a fishing. With this in question? I inquired from the locals and fellow work associates about what works best? It was explained nothing smaller than a 41 Mag, sugested 44 Mag, and most prefered 454 Casull best overall. So I purchase a 454 Taurus Raging Bull with 5 inch barrel so it can be deployed rapidly from a shoulder holster while on one of my walks or fishing adventures. As being a weapons expert in the Marine Corps with a M16 or Colt 45, later a Baretta it is best to train or fire the weapon often as explained by C L Griffin above. The more practice and drills will make you more confident and able to deal with a life or be eaten situation as the story above has demonstrated that started this forum. I reconized the dangers of just stepping out my front door and won’t leave home without my 454 Casull. Welcome to Bush Alaska :-)

  • md

    Why would someone care if a city slicker owns a 454? Some people think they are special if they live somewhere not in the “lower 48″. Not so special to me.

  • Macon Pane

    I’ve been in Alaskan bush several times. Fun trips. Carry a short-barrel 16 gauge double-barrel with bird-shot and slug. Probably more as a confidence booster than seriously contemplated protection. Camp alone in areas where man isn’t at the top of the food chain, but bear and moose don’t seem to care whether an area is populated by people or not… to them, it’s their territory, and if they’re in attack-mode, they’ll come after ya there just as quickly as anywhere. I do plan to do a bit more “contemplating” before next trip… that’s why I’m checking out this blog.

    I don’t have big hands, and don’t spend a lot of time shooting anymore, so still torn between .44 mag and .454… 5-6″ barrel. Much agree with the sentiment that if ya can’t get a second shot off with sufficient accuracy, packing major heat in a crisis situation is a lot of wasted energy.

    A couple comments to consider: a bear’s skull is thick and shaped such that a frontal head shot with a fast, light-weight bullet could easily glance and do little damage to a mindless, raging grizzly. And, yes, they are astonishingly fast and can be amazingly big… but even a comparatively small or medium one is just as fearless and can be just as savage. Second, anyone driving to Alaska from the lower-48 needs to be aware of Canadian rules… especially, for handguns. (such as, 4.2″ minimum barrel length… and if it’s an auto, maximum 10-round magazine… in Canada, your super-cannon has to be unloaded, trigger-locked, encased, and locked away out of sight… and when ya show up at the Canadian border post to declare your weapons, for a handgun, ya have to already have an approved Permission To Transport for that particular weapon… and don’t even think about trying to sneak it in because if you’re chosen for inspection, those very polite Mounties know how to tear a vehicle and its contents clean apart to check out every nook and cranny, and you’ll end up in jail… oh, one more tip… if you have a carry permit, take it out of your billfold and leave it at home, even if you aren’t carrying that little .38 stub-nose… and for heaven’s sake, don’t declare the purpose of your weapon is “protection”… you do that, and you’ll find yourself boxing it up and shipping it back home) Probably lots more can be added by others, but this has taken the post way off-topic.

    One more little things for those who haven’t been there, that angry bear might be rushing you in a situation where you don’t have 50-100 yards of clear-sight to prepare. Not sure many get that “lucky”. Alaskans don’t refer to it as “the bush” for nothing… frequently, you’ll find yourself in brush where the sight range might (might) be 10 yards… unless they out picking berries on a mountainside, or in a stream fishing, more than likely they’re in a brushy area. Just make LOTS of noise as you agonize your way through those willow tangles and clumps of “Devil’s Club”.

    Oh, a story before I go… last trip, late June, I’m driving back down to Fairbanks from Dead Horse, and stopped at a store at the Yukon River bridge. Old grizzled fellow standing outside talking with someone. (think Fuzzy Hayes) Not a big guy, but he appeared just as you might image an old sour-dough prospector who belonged living 100 miles from nowhere, and he had the biggest hog-leg I’ve ever seen in a well-worn leather shoulder holster, with a bandolier of cartridges that looked as big as AA batteries. As I walked by, I said, “You look well prepared there, young man.” He winked as he replied with a smile, “Bear spray.” Those folks who live it don’t rely on half-measures.

    Gainesville, GA

  • Macon Pane

    Please allow me another comment… after re-reading the posts, I think some here have presented VERY sage advice and experiences regarding reaction and performance in sudden, surprised circumstances that are matters of life or death.

    It’s always easy for us to sit back in our easy chair and daydream how we’d react in a crisis situation… and in those situations we always have the advantage and always calmly react with light-speed, flawless precision, with luck ever on our side… and live to tell the tale over and over to amazed admirers, whom we imagine go away in awe and for days discuss among themselves our proven prowess. More realistically, imagine you’re in a soggy tangle of deadfall, surrounded by dense five-foot brush and twisted willows, with a pack on your back, and tired from hours of slogging. You’ve foolishly put yourself into this situation for no good reason, because ten yards in front of you, a momma bear suddenly raises up out of the brush and snorts, her hair bristling… you’ve just separated her from her two wandering children… and you just happen to have been looking off to the side at that instant. Whacha gonna do..??? Now, for adrenaline junkies, here’s your moment… because it’s absolutely all you’ll have. In two seconds, momma is on you, and unless that super-cannon was already in your hand, and your hip-shot explodes in the brain (hopefully, her’s) or severs her spinal column, your adrenaline is gonna be all over the ground with half your head and the contents of your bowels… and for days and days former admirers will talk about how stupid he was for someone who seems so nice.

    OK, that had nothing to do with caliber or slug weight or feet per second… and I’m not attempting to discourage anyone from experiencing outdoor Alaska… quite the contrary. I just want folks to be realistic before putting yourself in a circumstance where those things really matter. Get that super-cannon, go to Alaska, relish the experience… but for heaven’s sake, while you’re there in the bush always think ahead worse-case, and don’t do stupid things that can put ya in a situation from which there’d be no recovery… so ya can have fun, take home great memories, share tales of your wanderings, have friends envy your experiences, and do it all a second time.

    .44 mag or 454..? .44 mag or 454..?? HHHhhhhmmmmm…..???

    • Rick

      Reread the posts. The .44 mag was incapable of stopping a bear who was shot point blank by hunters in their tents. They got off the shots and hit the beast, but he was still able to kill both of them before expiring. The .454 Casull has a rifle primer designed for velocity and penetration in a small package (handgun) useful for accessibility on the trail or for under the pillow in the tent. The lead story describes the harrowing situation of a toothless bear who was shot with the Casull (not all shots hit the bear) and managed to STILL reach the shooter before falling DOA. Reread that story. The shotgun with a hardcast slug is, by native Alaskan opinon, an experienced choice. My carry gun would be the Benelli M4, semi-auto loaded hot with Breneke or Dixie slug HC (7 rounds) on a sling. The slug may not over penetrate but will go deep into the animal causing phenomenal tissue destruction and energy dispursement, both of which will STOP the griz. That weapon can be shot form the hip in a close encounter or one that becomes closer than one would like. They are on you very quickly.

      • ditchdigger

        I have caried a .44 fishing in Ak, just a month ago. We had bears every day. They are fishing, just like me, most don’t like you, I don’t care for them. The fish belong to them. We limited every day. Most don’t close within 75 yrds. On the Russian river, there was a big old boar, that allowed moron tourist witin 30 ft. He was an old guy. Amazing tollerance for human stupididy from a apex predator. If they come, with a handgun, you must put one up their nose, or teeth, hope frgments scramble the brains, save one for yourself.

  • SansJeux

    I’m thinking as a rifle a SOCOM .458, 500 grain w/15 round magazine and a Taurus Raging Judge .410/.45LC/.454 6-shot as your sidearm, there isn’t a bear or elephant alive that can withstand that.

    • ditchdigger

      Delt with wild animals, mean livestock all my life, also usually armed with firearms and reliable dogs, not pets. Bad things happen in 5 seconds, sometimes 2. Years between events. Like the 29 smith 4″, the broncs don’t much care for it. Worked with native Americans, seen good work on wild cattle, wild hogs, bear with .357s. When you work , you can’t carry a barret, self defence in a sideline, the work has to be done.

  • Harry

    I hunt with a rifle and never use a sling. In western Washington you only have seconds to bring the rifle up and make a shot on a deer you jump in the brush. Rifles have more knockdown! A marlin 444 lever action brushgun is quite debillitating for deer even with less than perfect snap shots. I am quite comfortable and will bet I can have my gun to the shoulder before you clear leather as it is carried at the ready, finger off the trigger and on half cock. (I know to continually check that half cock has not been compromised by brush hitting it!) Making accurate shots on running animals with an iron sight rifle, like a shotgun is more like pointing than aiming as the sight automatically lines up with practice. A young Eskimo girl once killed a grizz with 17 shots from a 22 rifle when she met it in the trail. She didnt think about every inch of barrel adding about 25 feet per second to the bullet. Sure she was very lucky and a 22 doesn’t give any comfort in bear country, but I think you get the point. Shot in the chest with a 444 marlin I would surely die while, handgun slugs are removed from people’s chests every day.

  • Shiner

    Its interesting to me to see all of the debating back and forth on this subject. But, when it comes to survival against a 1000 plus pound grizzly or any threat for that matter… What works in one situation very well might not work in another under different circumstances. A shot at a bear charging from only 10 -20 yards away? Ya better already have a bead on him! Anybody that can pull any gun and get one deadly shot off in that short of time is a lucky “son of a gun”. In fact in most cases luck is probably the only determining factor. I’m confident that when the good Lord above pulls my number then nothing can change that. It’s just my time to go. I’m also still very confident that my ability with my .45 in any given situation is a better choice me. Because it is what I have years of experience with.

    • ditchdigger

      There have been more heavy game killed with .303 brit, 215s, 1906, 220s, Craig 220s in the last century, in the north American Continent than all else combined.

  • rich

    If im in bear territory, i’ll be happy to have anything that goes boom

  • Daniel

    I own this monster one hit quitter…no doubt it is your last defense on a animal ofense…300 GRAINS HOLLOW hollow point…it does the job and then some..i personnely shot a truck…it was stopped…then metal god scrap yard bound…it saved my life…

  • TomHorn

    My 2 cents is this. If I lived in AK,my outdoors gun would be minimum,a .454 and probably my .500. My loads for my .454 are 360 and 370 gr hard cast bullets from Cast Performance,which I shoot regularly. I know you can reload or buy 240gr,260gr,300gr,but I always prefer heavy loads. My other gun I would rely on,would be my .500. Again,I use 440grainers and looking to get heavier,possibly from Ranger Rick. Until then,I load heavy,which is 38gr of 4227.

    Down here in the states,I use my Old Model .44 Super Blackhawk,with a the Keith mould 429421,which comes out to between 250 and 256gr,depending on my lead source. My loads are either Hercules 2400(a bit dirty) or 296. The 2400 I load up to 22gr and the 296 25gr,I have no problem with them and both are very accurate. I also like to use my Smith 29 4inch. For bear loads,don’t even think about hollow points,as you want penetration. Lastly,I have always heard,shoot what you’re comfortable with,but I don’t shoot boys guns(9mm,45acp,.357 etc.),boys guns are fine for shooting at paper targets,but nothing I’d want for casual carry in AK. For your walk,bring someone along,that knows how to shoot the big bores.I also agree,that when shtf,like this bear,your reaction and how cool you are,will be the difference. In a perfect scenario,you would have your 12 gauge 9-shot repeater with double-00 buck or a .505 Gibbs double !!

    • Uber Nineteen11

      You are funny, thanks for the laugh!

  • Uber Nineteen11

    What can you learn from reading these comments! Most of the commentors talk like men with paper A$$HOLES! Some of the comments are worth reading but when you have posters making sure that you understand they don’t shoot “boys” guns like 9mm, .357 or 45 acp what are you to do? The best way to choose YOUR best option for a sidearm in possible dangerous game encounters should be through the study of each cartridge, shell, load etc. that you may consider and each delivery system! To think that Joe $hit the Rag Man knows anything of value because he shoots “real” guns, not boys guns, and he reloads 24 grams of supertrick under a 500 grain krypton infused titanium based high antimony pile driving super penetrator bullet, is foolish! Do the research and find the real answers for yourself! Finding the right weapon and load is dependent on the individual and their situation! Examine your situation and weigh meaningful data, cost of ownership, cost to shoot, recoil, design, your strength, weight, your devotion to practice…… are just a few of the variables you should apply to your purchase of a dangerous game weapon(or any weapon for that matter), the whole list is much longer! If a person owns the best dangerous game protection weapon for their needs and they have spent the time to become skilled in its use and trained under high stress conditions and most importantly are situationally aware when in the grinder, it is that person that has the best chance of surviving an encounter! Joe $hit the blow hard’s bear headline will read “Man found mauled and half eaten in woods! Joe was found near a trail, his shorts fully loaded with excrement, super Krypton Magnum pistol fully loaded & still holstered, his upper body and beer belly eaten to the bone! Wildlife officials have analyzed the scene and concluded that Joe was attacked by a 3 legged, 120 sow black bear! It is theorized that Joe was overcome with fear and died as a result of fear and crapping himself to death! Authorities say he died just prior to the attack so all wounds are post mortem!” I do not wish anyone to be attacked by any dangerous animal! Those who are educated, trained, prepared and skilled will have the best odds of surviving! Oh ya the Ruger Alaskan in 454 Casull is a formidable weapon, it however is not alone!

  • ramon

    haha I don’t think people really say 9mm or .40 handgun…. somtimes…. SOMETIMES i hear of 45ACP talk or 10mm auto …. but i wouldn’t even trust a 44 mag… to me it would have to be the Casull or the .45 or .50 LAR Grizzly Win mags, or a quickly manuverable sawed off 12 gauage

  • AHURAMAZDA

    This is for anyone and everyone that purchase’s weapons of any kind, to kill, wound or hurt another animal for the term called “hunting”. karma and life are both sisters, and they’re both bitches. You take a life, for any reason, justify it or not, you will pay!! Natives only have the right to hunt, because they need the meat, the bones, the hooves, the claws, etc. If you do this for a game, fun, or any other reason other than survival… well you will pay! good day gentlemen, and have fun with your weapons until your day comes!

    • gabestrizzi

      Plants live and have been shown to have feelings as well. So what do you eat that’s never been alive?

    • Phil Elliott

      In case you hadn’t noticed these people weren’t talking about eating these animals, they were talking about weapons to keep from being eaten! Is that so hard for your to understand, You dumb PETA bastard!

  • Lt. Greyman, NVA

    A 2 1/2 inch 454 Casull is going to have awful ballistics as compared to a 6 inch 10mm (abet a 0.054 smaller bullet). The vicious kick from such a weapon practically guarantees only a single hit. In fact, some people are actually injured by large kicking handguns. I feel much better with my 6 inch Witness Hunter on my hip that I have every day (except in the summer when I trade the upper for a 4.5 inch one).

    For example: Ballistics by the Inch dot com rates a 240 grain Hydroshock bullet in a 44 Magnum (the closest comparable on their chart) out of a 6 inch inch revolver at 1380, quite a punch! But cut the barrel down to 2 inches and the bullet speed drops to 944, less than a good 45 Colt.

    The longer barrel 10mm on the other hand I carry every day and I have for years. If I need to draw it in in my hand even before I can think about it and the weapon is instantly ready. But even if I get only one shot off, that shot carries a 200 grain JHP at 1450fps and better sectional density to go deep with a fully expanded wound channel. Normally I carry the Underwood 165 GS JHP as my carry load here in Seattle, but for Alaska, the 200 grain Hornady bullet gets the nod.