Bears versus Handguns: Defending Yourself in Bear Country

    In this episode of TFBTV, James discusses whether or not carrying a large caliber handgun is a good idea for defending the person against large predators (in particular, brown bears), alternatives to a handgun, the logistics of using one (including a quick-draw-and-shoot test!), the types of calibers and ammo to consider, and other related matters. James also enlists the help of fellow YouTuber, Hammerheart Outdoors, to give some insight on bear defense from the seasoned perspective of an experienced Alaskan hiker.

    Special thanks to Corey at Hammerheart Outdoors/Tactical for the help, check his channel out here.

    Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan Review

    S&W Model 69 Review


    • Study by the US F&W service since 1992 which found that persons that defended themselves with firearms were injured in 50% of encounters, while bear spray users were injured half as often, and less severely:
    • Field & Stream published an article discussing a 2008 Brigham Young study that analyzed 600 Alaskan bear attacks and found that bear spray was effective over 90% of the time: of the 175 people involved in the bear-spray encounters, only three were injured and none required hospitalization:
    • According to a very wide ranging study cited in Outside Magazine that drew information from “readily accessible state and federal records, newspaper accounts, books, and anecdotal information that spanned the years 1883 to 2009.” Found that bear-inflicted injuries occurred in over half of the close encounters. Bears were repelled (or killed) 84 percent of the time with handguns, and 76 percent of the time with long guns:
    • “I’ll say this very clearly. No handgun has the energy to drop a bear in its tracks (barring a perfect, or extremely lucky shot). Even the .500 S&W has little more energy than a .30-30.”
    • Detailed story about a bear attack where .44MAG was successfully deployed:

    Thanks to our sponsors:

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    Transcript ….

    [coming soon]

    James Reeves

    • Owner, Neutral Ground Gun Co.
    • NRA/Louisiana State Police certified concealed weapons instructor, 2012-present
    Maxim Magazine’s MAXIMum Warrior, 2011
    • TFBTV Executive Producer
    • Champion, Key West Cinco De Mayo Taco Eating Competition
    • Lawyer
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    ► Twitter: @jjreeves