Smith & Wesson Models 460XVR and 29 (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

Submitted for your consideration: two revolvers manufactured by the firm of Smith & Wesson. The Performance Center 460XVR loads three different calibers of ammunition (.45 Colt, .454 Casull and .460 S&W). Smith’s Model 629 loads .44 Magnum and .44 S&W Special cartridges. The $1609 XVR weighs-in at a hefty 59.5 ounces. The $1079 Model 629 tips the scales at a relatively light 39.6 ounces. Balance that against . . .

the fact that the XVR’s weight and three-finger rubber grip ameliorates even the .460 S&W’s stout recoil, whereas the 629’s two-finger wooden grips make it the more punishing firearm to bring to bear (no larger aftermarket grips available). Speaking of bears, if you were hiking in ursine country, which gun would you grab? (I grabbed both, but can only carry one. Barely.)

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116 Responses to Which Gun Would You Grab: Hiking in Bear Country Edition

    • Ha! agreed. when are they (or will they ever??!!) do away with the damn things?.. there are a couple of the j frames they make without it now. Wish they would just get rid of it.

    • I think the problem might be they were acquired for a song by the company that designed the stupid locks in the first place.

  1. I would go with the 460XVR, no one ever complains that they had too much gun against a bear. I do carry my 500S&W when I go into bear country.

    • But they do complain that they are carrying too much weight and never see a bear anyways.

      Id take the 460 as well.

      • Agreed, i’d go 460, but if I “knew ” I would have to use it, I would go 500–agreed again on the weight issue but honestly they will all suck to carry for any length of time….

        • “…they suck to carry for any length of time.”

          Aw, come on. They ain’t that hard to carry!

          I have a son who uses a BFR in .45-70 Strong as his daily carry gun. (He couldn’t afford two pistols and he spends time in the woods as well as on the street.) He carries it *everywhere* and *every time* it is legal to do so. The gun is 16 inches overall length and its holster is long enough that the “tie down,” about a third of the way up the holster, is only a bit above his knee. If you put both of these tiny guns together, they might come close to the size of the BFR. Heck, just loading up increases the BFR’s weight by more than 6 ounces!

          Side Bar: The truly surprising thing is: black pants + black holster + black grips + black vest –> only about 1 in a 100 people even “notice” the firearm. (Or, maybe, the other 99 simply don’t believe their eyes when they do see it.)

  2. Neither. G20 with +2 mag extension, filled with 17 rounds of Buffalo Bore 220gr hardcast, exiting the barrel at 1200fps. Gives you a total of 12,000 ft/lbs. Done.

    • Peeve alert! The goes another Glock fan boy glossing over the proposed options/question entirely. ; )

      Humor us and just pretend….Which revolver??

      • lol
        Actually not even slightly a Glock fanboy. Just making a more adequate choice. The math don’t lie. But if I had to pick, I’d pick the 460.

    • I carry a G20SF for this exact purpose (bears in woods) also. Underwood 220 grain hardcast. The capacity, ease of carry, ease of shooting quickly and very accurately etc… out of the 6.6″ aftermarket barrel it has even better velocity, but either way a hardcast 10mm is likely going nose to rump through a bear. Sure, .460 is great but even with a 4-lb revolver I’m a lot less likely to actually hit the bear than with a G20 that I can fire at 4x the rate or better and stay on target to boot.

      • .357 magnum in a trr8 smith for the east coasts puny black bears. Works great on 2 legged predators as well so it’s my pick. For up in Alaska not carrying anything smaller than .44. Probably would get a heavily ported 500 magnum. I’ll probably only get time for a few shots so I’m gonna make them absoultely enormous shots.

  3. Bear attacks are so rare, carry the one you shoot best that will protect you from two legged predators. In this case, I would go with the 460 probably.

    • You make a good point. Even in bear country you’re probably more apt to need a firearm to defend yourself from humans than bears.

  4. Your an idiot….. There is NO HandGun made that can be considered “Bear Protection” unless one happens to be a “World Class HandGunner” for targets inside 50 Yds. It is a fanciful Pipe Dream, to think so. As one who actually LIVES in Bear Country, (Alaskan Bush) one is much better off with a 12Ga Pump Shotgun with 00Buck and Slugs, alternating thru the Magazine, or something like a 45-70 GuideGun.

    • Agreed…when I was in Grizzly country we had sidearms but thought nothing of them…the 45/70’s were always at the ready.

    • Yet, a noted firearms instructor I know recently worked with the Forest Service to compile a study on bear attacks. IIRC, there were NO fatal bear attacks that occurred when the human victim (bears have feelings too! 🙂 ) responded with a firearm of any sort – not to say that some people didn’t get injured. Didn’t matter if it was a .38 Special or a .454 Casull.

      • There was a similar study done in Russia. Obviously somewhat different selection of calibers (there was like one incident involving .45 ACP, for example, but a lot with 9×18 Mak). Still, all that worked more often than not.

    • Exactly my thoughts. Most of the bear country I hike is only black bear anyway. If FL they are more afraid of me than the other way. Every bear I have seen including mothers with cubs went crashing through the underbrush in the other direction. Up north where they are bigger and bolder my side arm is enough. In brown bear country I would carry a pump action 12 loaded for…bear.

    • These have short barrels. Both my 8 3/8″ barrel .460 and 24″ barrel .45-70 can generate 2800 FPE. The Smith XVR shoots faster and is slightly easier to carry. The .45-70 has the edge in power. The plus side is that the revolver will cause hearing loss in the bear, even if it still manages to eat you.

      That and a can of bear spray might also be just the thing.

      • “That and a can of bear spray might also be just the thing.”

        Bingo. Bear-Be-Gone from 20 feet away and the hand cannon closer in.

        I may not have ‘Golden Ears’, but I am very interested in not damaging the ears I have.

    • The rangers I spoke to at Haines state forest all said the same thing as you (not that I’m surprised). Their recommendation was bear spray as the primary deterrent.

    • Ditto, and I live in only black bear country.

      A 12 ga with a Brennke slug would be my choice.

      • In honor of his 75th birthday, and to prove the point…….when Chuck Norris takes a hike in Montana, the Grizzlies carry bear spray.

        • Most people, even dedicated Chuck Norris fans, don’t know this, but Chuck has a grizzly bear rug in front of his fireplace.

          A number of PETA People organized a rally to protest this environmental sacrilege; but called it off when they learned that the bear isn’t actually dead, it’s just afraid to move.

    • “your an idiot”- nice!!

      your an idiot if your choice is buckshot

      “buckshot” is inadequate and inhumane for “bucks” (the way it is commonly perceived and used by “idiots”) let alone 1200 pound bears…slugs in a 12ga surely a good option, but I’m guessing the point of the post was how to fly fish or hike without carrying a long gun.

      • Slugs– and saboted slugs at that. Regular slugs don’t have the sectional density for serious penetration.

        Or just get a .45-70 and be done with it.

    • Agree. I note that the Danish Navy’s Sirius Sled Patrol unit (patrolling coastal northern-northeast Greenland, is still issued M1917 Enfield rifles in .30-06 Springfield, and Glock G20 pistols. Who am I to argue?

      Many people seem very fond of very large caliber pistols with quite short barrels. That doesn’t make ballistic sense. What’s that about? The shape?

  5. Missing Option: S&W’s new Model 69, an L-frame in .44 Magnum. 37.2 ounces, five cartridge in the cylinder, four inch barrel for better velocity than the snubbie 629.

  6. I don’t cotton to either, particularly.

    I guess it depends on what “hiking” means. When I’m in the woods in an area where I think I might really encounter bear problems I prefer to carry my 1892 lever gun in .454. It’s small, light, and very capable as a survival weapon–and it gives me confidence against bears. I’d be happy with a light-weight 12 gauge pump gun, too. But I’ve grown up carrying a long gun almost all the time outdoors.

    Were I relying on a large-caliber revolver, I’d prefer one I could control and shoot well (which, to me, means comfortable practice).

    So, if I have to choose one of these, it’s the .44, I think. But I’d rather a larger and slightly heavier revolver.

  7. First off, never go into bear country alone. Secondly, I would pick neither of those guns. I’m taking a .22LR pistol. Why? Because after I shoot my companion in the leg, I only have to outrun him, not the bear.

  8. Depends on which bear country. Alaska Brown or Kodiak and Northwest Grizzly I wouldn’t bother carrying either because neither would stop one and you would only get one or maybe two shots before bear had dinner. The black bears that are the size of German Shepherds on the Pacific coast and the Midwest, I would carry the rubber gripped S&W. I carry a shotgun with slugs when I go into bear country, about half an hour north of my home in Idaho. That will barely stop a pissed off Griz if you empty it into it’s head.

    • Daniel,

      I honestly question the conventional wisdom of a 20 or 12 gauge shotgun shooting slugs for stopping an angry grizzly bear. For example a 12 gauge slug might be 437 grain (1 ounce) and have a large diameter but they have a very low sectional density. (They are basically shaped liked a badminton shuttlecock.) Furthermore, the lead is quite soft and squishy. As a result, I have actually recovered such slugs from deer that I shot and the lead deforms into a pancake.

      That experience tells a lot: a slug that turns into a pancake and can’t even go through a deer isn’t going to penetrate very far into a grizzly which is much tougher and larger.

      I have to believe that a .45 caliber, 400+ grain hardcast lead bullet with a muzzle velocity of 1,500+ fps (in other words .45-70 Government long gun) would be far more effective at stopping an angry grizzly bear. Any thoughts?

      • Brenneke-style slugs, particularly the hardened versions, have some decent penetration. And they make huge holes. Brenneke makes a slug that can penetrate a 1/4″ steel plate. The alloy is hardened and it can blow through well over 36″ of gel, even with barriers in front. Put that in a stout pump or semi auto and you can put down big bears.

        http://www.brennekeusa.com/cms/penetration-testing.html

        .45-70 +P is also a winner, or .460 / .500 Buffalo Bore if you don’t mind hearing loss.

      • I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Brennke slugs. Don’t piss around with whatever Remington, Winchester, Federal or others are peddling. Go get the slug technology from the people who lead the pack. Brennke.

        • Brenneke Black Magic Magnum is one of the very few shotgun rounds I make a point to stock no matter what, for fear they’ll drop the line for any reason.

  9. Whichever is easier to shoot my fishing/hunting buddy in the foot with. I don’t have to outrun the bear…..

    Shite. Looks like Ragnar beat me to it.

  10. I have that same 629, which I bought specifically for carrying in a chest holster while walking through the woods.

  11. I would go with the Performance Center 460XVR if you can afford it.

    If you expect to only encounter black bears, I would consider loading it with .45 Long Colt +P hardcast lead bullets (from DoubleTap or Buffalo Bore) which should produce almost the same velocity/energy as .44 Magnum.

    If you are going to be in grizzly country, then I would at least load .454 Casull and possibly even .460 S&W Magnum rounds.

    I sure wish that revolver had a 6 inch barrel rather than a 3.5 inch barrel. An extra 2.5 inches produces a significant increase in muzzle velocity/energy — and you need all you can get when you are trying to repel a grizzly bear.

  12. A .44 Magnum is sufficient for bear protection – if a .44 won’t fend him off a .460 isn’t going to do much, if any better. It takes a clean shot from either to make a clean kill, and if you’re bouncing bullets off his skull, neither is going to kill him instantly, but either might make him change his mind.

    With that said, my personal field carry revolver is a S&W Model 329. It’s a four-inch, .44 Mag on a Scandium frame with Titanium cylinder. Same dimensions as the 629 above, but only weighs 25.1 ounces. I’m a fairly lightweight guy, and the 4-inch Model 29 I carried all through Alaska when I worked up there was heavy (and rusted easily). In contrast, the 329 rides really easily on my belt while I’m picking huckleberries or mushrooms, hiking, camping, backpacking or riding mountain bikes in the Washington Cascades. I’m inclined to ALWAYS take it when out in the woods.
    Yeah, it’s light and it recoils. But I’ve fired a couple cylinders at a time of hard cast Buffalo Bore bear loads out of it, and while I wouldn’t want to do that all day, it doesn’t recoil appreciably harder than my 8 3/8 M29.
    Oh – and the 329 also has a Leupold DeltaPoint red dot and rides in a custom Dave Workman field holster. The dot sight is fast to acquire, even at dusk or night time and I can see it with dark glasses on, in the rain, or through the brush. To me, this lightweight combo is perfect for my field gun.

  13. If I were to pick a S&W revolver for bear duty, I’d choose the S&W PC 170262 VXR 460 with a 10.5 inch barrel, muzzle break, and Pic rail for a red dot sight. That should at least be manageable and deliver the level of power that the large calibers offer if shot from a longer barrel.

  14. 629 S&W in a shoulder holster along with a can of OC. I’ve only seen black bears where we hunt and closest we have ever come is some cubs got nosy. Got away from Mom & wanted to play with our chow/german shep mix. Tossed them a sandwhich & got outta dodge. Generally unless babies are around they will leave you alone. I worry more about bobcats and rabid foxes.

  15. I carried a 454 Alaskan in bear country for years, but I grew tired of the weight. Now I carry a .22 and only hike with people who are slower than I am. I figure if by chance, they get out ahead of me a .22 to the knee will slow them down.

  16. A different twist on an earlier post. I go hiking with a liberal. The liberal can hold hands with the bear singing kumbaya while I go find a government employee to help. 🙂

    • “A different twist on an earlier post. I go hiking with a liberal.”

      Are you out of your mind?

      Being forced to listen for hours of their Progressive crapola would drive me suicide!

  17. I’ll put it another way…I just followed what the experienced/native/local AK hunters did…they all trusted their lives against bear with the 45/70. I shot a few rounds to get familiar with it before we went out. I can’ imagine that thing not being effective with proper shot placement. The side arm was pretty much seen a last resort, when the bear is basically on you.

  18. NEITHER! I have carried a Taurus Raging Bull .454 Casull with an 8 3/8″ barrel (smaller sizes are of course available). MSRP is a little over 1000 for the one I chose, about 2-3 hundred less at your LGS. The grip, weight, porting, and barrel length did a marvelous job at mitigating recoil. The raging bull can be fired with 45 long colt for target shooting or hunting smaller animals, but .44 magnum is the lowest you’re going to want to go for bear hunting/protection.

    My .454 Taurus was easier and less painful to fire than a wood outfitted Ruger in .44 Magnum. The chest holsters available make it much easier and faster to draw than a waist holster (as well as staying above water if you cross a creek or are fishing), but it is possible to cross body draw with a waist rig.

    I wouldn’t buy a S&W like these if a Taurus was available in similar configuration.

  19. I passed two brown bears on my way into work this morning. Why are people so worried about a local chain of car washes? 😀

    For hiking in the wilderness, I’d go with something powerful, like the 460. And I’d also carry a CZ-75 on my hip for any primate base threats (and I’m not talking about sasquatch).

  20. Hi Robert. I enjoy your website and read it often. You have a major error in this post. There are plenty of grip options for the 629. The 629 ( N Frame ) and 460 ( X Frame ) use the same grip frame. So you can do like I did and order a X Frame grip from S&W and install it on your N Frame. I put one on a lightweight 329 44 magnum. It makes it tolerable to shoot. Basically it is a hogue grip with more padding on the backstrap. The ballistics for the 460 were designed for long barrels. So you loose a lot of power and gain ungodly muzzle blast. It is amazing how now that there are larger handgun calibers that the old ones are now obsolete. The 44 magnum will provide you with all the protection you need. The 629 has one more round of ammo and 44 magnum is easy to find compared to 460. Also you are more likely to have the lighter weight 629 with you than the 4 pound 460 that you left in the truck.

  21. The same Hogue grips I put on my 627 will fit on that 629, so that’s a none-issue. In fact, If that XVR is a round-butt, you could but that exact grip on that 629.

  22. I would argue that the bigger wheelguns you mention are better for hunting, but the backpacking gun is by definition a last resort where you are going unload on the bear, mostly hoping to scare it away or at least make it stop and reconsider. I am a geek about ultralight backpacking so I go lighter for this purpose. You didn’t specify black or brown bears. Here are my two sub-cannon recommendations for both:

    Brown bear country, Smith 329PD (.44 MAG) with hard cast slugs as hot as you want. 25 oz
    Black bear counry, Smith 340PD (.357 MAG) with 158 grain solids, hot is fine. 11.2 oz

  23. The article seems to be focused on grizzly and Kodiak country. In most of the country bear country means black bear. I have seen 500 pounders but they are quite rare. Most adult males are 300lbs or so. Bigger may be better but even a 357 or 45 ACP will take out an average Virginia black bear.

    It’s March and the snow is melting rapidly. The bears will be coming out of hibernation soon and male black bears are looking for protein this time year. They are probably more likely to see you as food than a grizzly.

    • Having lived for a decade in between Fairfax City and Reston, we used to drive to Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway in Spring: the bears were usually quite skinny. The record in PA was set in 2010, with a live-weight bear of 875 lbs. The record for black bear is 880 lbs., set in North Carolina.

  24. I’d go with the .460 and use Doubletap 400gr .454s. The .460 is a waste without a long barrel (as if the .454 isn’t already a waste).

  25. I’ll grab my trusty dusty old 1964 vintage S&W Model 58 with 230gr SWC’s and about as much 2400 as it can stand!
    😉

  26. Hmmmmmmm

    12 gauge shotgun loaded with 000 buckshot and/or slugs, A 45-70 lever action guide gun,MAYBE a bolt action 30-06, Glock 20 with some good heavy duty rounds or a 44 magnum revolver.

  27. I’d go with the 629 due to the weight. I would, however, only carry it as a backup to the .45-70 guide gun.

  28. I think a Glock 29 in 10mm using hard cast lead loads from Doubletap would do the trick…and with double the capacity.

  29. I would not choose either unless these were my only choices. The short barrels do not allow one to take advantage of the rounds listed. The big Browns will eat you for lunch. The odds are against you but certainly LUCK “might” intervene on your behalf. I would not risk it for the sake of feeling good. Feeling good armed with a handgun and engaging an enraged Large Brown is not in ones best interest. Your only chance would be a one shot stop. Anything less would be very bad. The Large Brown might wonder off and die after satisfying his rage by chewing you up, but as Bill Jordan once said “There is No Second Place Winner”.

    Both are nice weapons However! :-))

    Gary

  30. Seriously? I’d avoid bear country. I’ve heard enough horror stories — the FOAF experienced hiker who unwittingly encountered a momma bear and her cubs, did the lay-down-and-be-still thing… and got eaten… Can I tote along an improvised fuel-air weapon? Something to make a hell of a big fireball and send it in the bear’s direction?

    Great excuse to daydream about a Henry, anyway…

  31. If given a choice of the two I’d go with the 44. If I had my own choice, I’d carry my Glock 29 with alternating 200g hard cast and and 180g jhp. I can’t imagine a mammal on earth hungry enough to face down 27 fairly well aimed fireballs coming out of that 3.5″ barrel in rapid succession. If there is one then I guess it will eat me.

    BTW, I have seen all sorts of black bears in the woods at different times of the year. I’ve never even felt remotely threatened even when I came face to face (15 yards) with one while bow hunting turkey a few springs ago. That is when I traded my 26 for the 29 though just in case.

    If I was truly going into active grizzly country in the spring I’d have a minimum of a 308 bolt rifle slung on my back too.

  32. I’d grab my Ruger Blackhawk .44 magnum anniversary model because; a) already own it, b) it has a 6 1/2″ barrel and weighs 46 ounces, and c) I only paid $450 for it (new old stock).

  33. Neither.

    Bear spray, lighter to carry and much more effective. Never mind a fraction of the cost. Plus both those choices are missing actual barrels, so, pass.

    That being said, I’d still have a 586 on my hip just in case 2 legged threats are around.

  34. My daughter and I will be spending most of the summer of 2016 canoeing from BC, through the Yukon and on to the Bering Sea. We’ll be taking two 870’s and two stock 6″ 629’s. I did the same trip in ’95, saw many dozens of brown and black bears, many more moose than bears, and several wolves (some of the fore-mentioned critters were uncomfortably close) in the 50 days that I was on the river. My 870 was my constant companion, and I never had to shoot anything.

    I was very impressed with the 460 that Ralph T&E’ed here a little while ago. It’s a beautiful and well made gun. The hot 300 grain rounds, I forget the manufacturer, were most impressive and will definitely hurt and leave a mark in your target of choice. That said, snubby hand cannons and massively powerful rounds can make quick follow up shots problematic. And practicing with such a powerful weapon isn’t exactly fun. I think that I’d be more comfortable and would likely perform better under pressure with a smooth running, well balanced and not overly heavy 44 mag like the 6″ 629, loaded with a good JHP that’ll deliver ~ 1200FPE. I’m pretty sure that that combination would serve one well should the need arise and your 12 gauge isn’t handy.

    • You ‘da man, GinA. I’m feeling envy. Just, for god’s sake, don’t forget the Ben’s. Mosquitos. Ha! Bears are nothing compared to mosquitos. Have a great paddle, family style.

      • I’ll be hiring a bush pilot to carry us and our gear to a lake near the headwaters of the Teslin River in BC. From there we’re on our own. I’ll have cached supplies in the villages of Teslin YT and Eagle AK on the drive up and mail some supplies (via general delivery) to the last supply point somewhere west of the Dalton Highway (I’m not sure exactly where at the moment). We’ll then either fly back from Emmonak if I can find a carrier with a large enough cargo hold to accommodate the canoe or motor back up the Yukon from Emmonak to Tanana to get the truck. I’m still working out some of the logistical details for the return. My daughter will fly back home from Fairbanks to get ready for the school year and I’ll drive back home with the canoe and gear.

  35. Suggest reconsidering what your objectives are: to kill the bear, or immediately stop the attack? If the latter, I would not consider any lead bullet, no matter how hard the alloy. It will deform on massive bone and deflect. My personal aimpoints are the central nervous system or the main load-carrying bones – both are well-protected and hard to destroy.

    In black bear and cougar country I’m content with a S&W 329 (with the safety removed and the hole plugged) loaded with Belt Mountain Punch machined bronze bullets and all the 2400 I can stand. It carries well, is accurate and reliable. In big bear country I carry a .500 Linebaugh (actually .510 bullet diameter) built on a Ruger Bisley and using the Belt Mountain 485 grain bronze bullet over even more 2400. It isn’t fun to plink with, but it’s still manageable, tolerable to carry and damned accurate. Do a bit of searching for Belt Mountain Punch bullets and you’ll see why I chose them.

    In the areas I hike, it’s hard to envision getting off more than two or three rounds of either at the distances I’ve encountered bears, so for me it’s either one of the above revolvers, or a .45-70 short-barreled lever gun (yep, same bronze bullet design again), and they’re just too damn big and heavy most of the time.

    Pat

  36. I carry a stainless steel 6″ Desert Eagle in .50 AE. I can drop any grizzly plus six of his friends before needing to reload.

  37. I’m opting for a 500cc dirt bike with bear spray strapped on the back to give me time to reach second gear. Sucker will never catch me! More my kind of hiking anyway.

    • In addition to choosing a proper firearm, people traveling in bear country should wear noisy little bells on their clothing. This gives bears warning of their approach and avoids taking them by surprise. Hikers and mountain bikers should also carry pepper spray as their first line of defense.

      The most important precaution is alertness! Keep your eyes open for signs of bear activity! In particular, watch for fresh bear scat. Black bear scat is smaller and contains lots of berries and squirrel fur. The much larger grizzly bear scat is often festooned with small bells, and may have a strong odor of pepper…

  38. Is this black bear country, or grizzly?

    Either way, my first choice would always be bear spray. I’ve heard enough from people who are experienced with the matter (rangers, hunters from AK etc – as opposed to the Rambo crowd on Internet forums) to conclude that it is a sensible choice.

    I’d still want a handgun, both as a backup, and against other threats, but it’s a secondary concern at that point. If grizzlies are not a thing in a given area, then I’ll just do what I usually do on hikes, and carry my .357 2″ Chiappa Rhino loaded with 180gr hardcast Buffalo Bore. Otherwise, it would probably be something in .44 Magnum or .45 LC. I don’t think I’d want to go any higher than that – I have a 7″ Ruger in .454 Casull, and my experience with it has convinced me that I really don’t want to try shooting that in a lightweight snubbie, at least if I intend to actually hit anything.

  39. Well ok. I am heading to Kodak AK for work. I am a very avid hunter. I have a 45/70 guide gun and a Ruger super Blackhawk 44 mag with a 7.5″ barrel and of course several 12 ga pumps small enough to carry without a problem. I’m just thinking about general checking out the area and doing some blacktail deer hunting etc. But I really don’t want to shoot a deer with my 45/70 etc. As I’m sure most of you are aware I can by a larger caliber handgun here in the lower 48 than I can up in AK. So I was just looking for advice as to maybe make a change in the handgun in which I can shoot my 44 very well , basically for as long as I want without any discomfort and I have no problem with accuracy. So from what I’m hearing is either stay with my 44 with a good penetration bullet or move up to a 454 or 460?

  40. I own a .45-70 and have shot a range of ammo with it, and am wuite comfortable with it. It is a good choice, but not the best
    …. same with the 12 gauge. Both are obviously better then nothing, but they could give you a false sense of security. For big bears I would ideally want a CRF bolt action with express sights zeroed for 50 yards. Something like a 416 ruger made in a Ruger guide gun are great options alternating solids with expanding. Another ideal rifle would be a 458 lott from CZ 550 again alternating solids with controlled expanding bullets in 500 grain. For back up I would want my 500 smith in my thigh holster.

    12 gauge slugs have low sectional density and may not reliably penetrate the bear, yes Brenneke slugs are definitely power houses . My question is simple, why take the chance? The 458 lott is proven to take down Cape Buffalo, Elephant, Rhino, and many other dangerous game… if you live and spend time in large bear country this would be your fool proof choice. A CZ 550 American Safari Magnum is 458 Lott can be bought for about $1000.

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