Bear Spray or Pistol? Both?

Sytes

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More like the size of a baseball. Good luck with that, Quickdraw!
I don't believe that's the case. Hard cast rounds, if it's on me... it's blowing the throat, skull, organs in it's chest, etc. Not shooting for muscle mass... though to each his t her own.
If not on me and s/he doesn't seem to care much for the orange haze, I'll aim for placing rounds @ 10 yards and less.

as MTLab shared, I train a lot as well and it's to each person to consider their comfort with the gun.
So let’s say you’ve got an elk down in sketch grizz country with 2+ people.
Is there any benefit to appointing 1 guy as lookout and just having him sit on the rifle while you do the gutting and gilling?
No. Get to work... get it done. The griz won't be silent if/when s/he approaches. You'll hear his guttural sound box and such. Fire always helps. Of course always check surroundings. Doesn't mean be obvious.

(Edit: phone changed the word, "obvious": oblivious was the intended word)
 
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PaulRevere

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For sure start a fire, realize how lucky you are to have harvested a public land Montana elk and don't be a puss. Bear spray and good luck usually work for us. If you want to hunt elk in grizzly country, you'll just have to get used to seeing them.
 

DouglasR

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For sure start a fire, realize how lucky you are to have harvested a public land Montana elk and don't be a puss. Bear spray and good luck usually work for us. If you want to hunt elk in grizzly country, you'll just have to get used to seeing them.
Core AF 😉
 

Straight Arrow

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... blowing the throat, skull, organs in it's chest, ... placing rounds @ 10 yards and less.
Even with the accurate shooting of the most competent pistolero, you would experience the 400 to 500 pound momentum of the claws, paws, and jaws mauling by a wounded, but not quite dead ferocious top tier predator. It's not simply conjecture that it often requires multiple rounds to put down large omnivores, carnivores, and ungulates. Relying on one round at closer than ten yards smacks of overconfidence, as well as high improbability.

I suggest getting your spray out there at 20 yards before you rely on that firearm ... but as you say, "to each his own!"
 

Sytes

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I suggest getting your spray out there at 20 yards before you rely on that firearm ... but as you say, "to each his own!"
As mentioned in past threads. practice makes - near perfect. If people frequently practice pulling spray and handgun, manage it with off hand spray as a rest for main hand handgun, both are ready to roll.
Frequent practice shooting @ 20, 15, 10, 5 yards with this method is a good recommendation - muscle memory and placement of the devices for quick draw use should be considered and practiced as well.

Really needs repetition. Those who buy a handgun and don't practice... well, as said, to each his/her own.

edit: Hell, just to add personal thoughts as we each hold our own opinions: surrounding... find that downed log to kneel for the best rest for shot placement and barrier. Keep the pack on, saves a few swipes, and burrow into the log if chit hits the fan. however - see bold writing. ;)

For harvesting in griz country... 2 people, close to 1/2 the time. The more time spent, the more time for griz to move in. If three people, sure, one to keep the fire stoked and bag the various meat while monitoring. 2 people... I would think it common sense, both should always be aware and monitoring. Granted, if you're seeing tracks, scat fresh to know a griz is locally based - everything should be evaluated for the safest manner to complete the task. I'd rather get it done - hoisted or stacked for the next trip... I think the next trip is the peak timeframe to be very cautious and monitoring the area heavily.
 
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Kitecop

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But the part of a bear that you need to put a bullet in to immediately stop it from chewing on you is much, much smaller than a human.
Emptying a mag of 9mm into a bear will change behavior more than you think. 1 bullet in the magic spot is always preferred but a lot of bullets elsewhere cause damage that adds up quickly. The more places any living animal is bleeding from the faster the blood pressure drops .
 

MTLabrador

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Emptying a mag of 9mm into a bear will change behavior more than you think. 1 bullet in the magic spot is always preferred but a lot of bullets elsewhere cause damage that adds up quickly. The more places any living animal is bleeding from the faster the blood pressure drops .
I don’t trust any handgun round to the body to stop a charging bear before it mauls or potentially kills me. I’ve seen a lot of different animals get shot with a lot of different things and I’m a firm believer that a CNS shot is the only reliable way to stop a grizzly that is intent on killing you with a handgun.
 

Sytes

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If it's intent... and that is an unknown variable - is to kill you - OC will do jack squat. Handgun has opportunity. You know the drill - Fight for your life and all that.
 

Cav1

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We carry both pepper spray and a pistol, but my wife has had a decade of good law enforcement pistol training, and I've had both military and police pistol training, and we both practice regularly. I have no desire to kill a grizzly if I don't have to, so we mainly rely on all the Bear Aware procedures in and around camp. Be that as it may, my first instinct is the pistol. In fact, I usually find it in my hand and myself in the stance before I consciously think about it. If the situation permitted, i.e. developed slowly, I would try the pepper spray if possible.

Just some food for thought. Maybe 25 years or so ago, I had to take a 4-hour block of training to be qualified to carry pepper spray in the Forest Service. The instructor took us outside for the practical demonstration with the can of capsicum-based USFS-approved bear spray she personally carried. It did not spray at all; some liquid sludge came out of the nozzle and dribbled down her fingers. She washed up thoroughly, then repeated the demonstration with a new spray can still in the wrapper. That one sprayed for less than a full second and then quit entirely. But the THIRD can, also new in the wrap, worked as advertised. So, if I depended solely on pepper spray, I would buy a new can every year regardless of expiration date. Or carry a bandito bandoleer with a half a dozen cans.

For sidearms, we used to carry S&W Model 29s in .44 Mag with 300-grain hardcast until we both came to the realization that, even with considerable practice, we could be either accurate (single-action) or fast (double-action) with a wheel gun, but not both at the same time, and recoil and muzzle flip, especially with my 4-inch barrel, really slowed down follow-up shots. Appologies to Clint and Elmer, but we're both better-trained, faster, and more accurate with semi-auto pistols. So now she packs a Springfield XD-m in .460 Rowland (255-grain hardcast flat-nose @ 1,300 fps) and I have an R1 1911 converted to .45 Super (275-grain hardcast FN @ 1,050 fps) while I wait on my Kimber 1911 .460 Rowland which I stupidly ordered just after last year's election. All wear muzzle compensators that get you back on target fast. I can deliver eight .45 Supers with considerably more speed and accuracy than six .44 Mags from the DA revolver.
 

Kitecop

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I don’t trust any handgun round to the body to stop a charging bear before it mauls or potentially kills me. I’ve seen a lot of different animals get shot with a lot of different things and I’m a firm believer that a CNS shot is the only reliable way to stop a grizzly that is intent on killing you with a handgun.
A single round yes, 18 is a different story
 

PaulRevere

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We carry both pepper spray and a pistol, but my wife has had a decade of good law enforcement pistol training, and I've had both military and police pistol training, and we both practice regularly. I have no desire to kill a grizzly if I don't have to, so we mainly rely on all the Bear Aware procedures in and around camp. Be that as it may, my first instinct is the pistol. In fact, I usually find it in my hand and myself in the stance before I consciously think about it. If the situation permitted, i.e. developed slowly, I would try the pepper spray if possible.

Just some food for thought. Maybe 25 years or so ago, I had to take a 4-hour block of training to be qualified to carry pepper spray in the Forest Service. The instructor took us outside for the practical demonstration with the can of capsicum-based USFS-approved bear spray she personally carried. It did not spray at all; some liquid sludge came out of the nozzle and dribbled down her fingers. She washed up thoroughly, then repeated the demonstration with a new spray can still in the wrapper. That one sprayed for less than a full second and then quit entirely. But the THIRD can, also new in the wrap, worked as advertised. So, if I depended solely on pepper spray, I would buy a new can every year regardless of expiration date. Or carry a bandito bandoleer with a half a dozen cans.

For sidearms, we used to carry S&W Model 29s in .44 Mag with 300-grain hardcast until we both came to the realization that, even with considerable practice, we could be either accurate (single-action) or fast (double-action) with a wheel gun, but not both at the same time, and recoil and muzzle flip, especially with my 4-inch barrel, really slowed down follow-up shots. Appologies to Clint and Elmer, but we're both better-trained, faster, and more accurate with semi-auto pistols. So now she packs a Springfield XD-m in .460 Rowland (255-grain hardcast flat-nose @ 1,300 fps) and I have an R1 1911 converted to .45 Super (275-grain hardcast FN @ 1,050 fps) while I wait on my Kimber 1911 .460 Rowland which I stupidly ordered just after last year's election. All wear muzzle compensators that get you back on target fast. I can deliver eight .45 Supers with considerably more speed and accuracy than six .44 Mags from the DA revolver.
You are obviously not from MT
 

mtmuley

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I don't hunt archery. So, I have a rifle in my hands. Then my sidearm. I'm not dropping either of those for spray. mtmuley
 

JT13

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I'm around lots of folks that shoot guns for a living. I am highly skeptical of anyone, especially the average joe hunter, that thinks they're going to deliver accurate handgun fire to the CNS of a charging bear under stress.
 

Straight Arrow

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You are obviously not from MT
And for the preponderance of both the pistoleros and the bear deterrent sprayers, "Obviously you have never experienced a close encounter with a grizzly!"

And for whatever it's worth, during most bear maul incidents it is not the person being attacked who must mitigate the assault with pistol, rifle, or bear spray.
So the scenario where you have the opportunity to quick-draw your big bore pistol and fire an assault stopping round or volley of rounds is not completely rare, but is not the typical situation.
 

Sytes

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but is not the typical situation.
What's typical?

Many times a shot fired has sent a bear running w/ out any impact. Spray... 20 yards to find out if it deterred otherwise...

I'm on the side of both. I believe both hold their value, independently and combined (my preference)

If a griz is 30 - 60 yards and trying to wind... backing out is good though I've fired a shot, present with others who fired a shot, and heard from others, a shot fired has sent a bear bolting off a different direction. Not counting for the "fight for your life" scenario, hard cast 200grain+ 9+ 10mm rounds at point blank range value.

Bear spray alone... at 20 yards. That's all you have. From there... pray s/he's not just as peeved to seriously injure/kill you.

Chance a charge as a bluff? Chance OC orange haze, chance a handgun, Chance a rifle... as many options as possible fitting the weight interests of the adventure.

We keep having these debates. Reality... it really is each person's choice. Suppose you're not debating others here who post nor am I. It's for those reading to evaluate.
 

Straight Arrow

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What's typical?
I'm not disagreeing with you. I'm merely pointing out that "typical" bear assault scenarios are an encounter in dense foliage or rounding a corner, in both cases a surprise to the hunter/hiker/bicyclist and the bear. Certainly the 20, 40, 60 yard encounters do happen where it's possible to draw a weapon or ready the spray, but from the many, many accounts recorded as assaults with injuries, most are surprise encounters with little or no time for pistol or bear spray. Even the situations where one suddenly is positioned between cubs and sow, the bear charge is very sudden with little warning.
 
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