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Ever since I got hypothermia at SHOT Show, I can’t take the cold. When the Texas temperature drops below 50 degrees, I’m feeling the chill. (This from a guy who vacationed in Antarctica.) As for skiing in Spitsbergen, it’s cold comfort that Norwegian law requires expeditions to tool-up before heading for the hills. Wait. Is that right? Not that they stopped a spree killer, but Norway’s gun control laws would please a “gun sense” action-demanding Mom. Anyway . . .

I’m not surprised that the firearm in the video above is a revolver. Not because of the possibility of weather-related semi-auto malfs (Alaskan cops’ GLOCK 22’s work just fine in the cold). Because you need a big glove to keep your fingers from freezing off and revolvers have more accommodating trigger guards. As for using a handgun against a polar bear, ha! A large caliber rifle, please. For the entire party.

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    • Better pack a Glock 20 for a pistol …

      “In military use, the government of Denmark has issued the Glock 20 to the Slædepatruljen Sirius (Sirius Sledge Patrol) headquartered in Daneborg, Northeast Greenland.The pistols were issued as a defense against polar bears which the unit encounters during patrols.”

      • I was thinking more along the lines of a Glock 41 in .460 Rowland…

        The Sirius Patrols also carry around M1917 Enfields as well.

  1. .40 cal for a bear?

    As a Texas boy, I don’t know nothing about shootin’ no bears.

    Lawdy, we needs a big caliber, Mrs Sone.

  2. Ever see Fortitude? It is a series that takes place on an island off Norway. Anyway, in the series you see things like children carrying rifles to stores and the police insisting that some guys they have never met before take one of their .375s as they only had a pistol.

  3. As far as handguns go, I’ve heard .454 Casull (as well as any other ridiculously large revolver cartridge) does somewhat well in bear defense.

    That said, I don’t know of the differences between what one may face in Norway versus stateside. Most bears locally are black bears and don’t get particularly big.

    • A revolver with a long-ish barrel (6 inches or more) chambered in .454 Casull and shooting hardcast lead bullets is going to be seriously debilitating even with LARGE bears. (Polar bears can approach, what, 2000 pounds?)

      For example DoubleTap ammunition markets a .454 Casull, 360 grain hardcast lead bullet with a muzzle velocity of 1,500 fps out of a revolver with a 7 inch barrel. That is darn close to shotgun slug ballistics. While a rifle is always better than a handgun, I would not feel particularly vulnerable if I only had this load to defend myself from HUGE bears.

  4. Totally normally for those of us who live in the real world. That’s why it’s so flumouxing to us when gun debates and city life mix.

    Shot my first bear in elementary school. The issue with bears and city wisdom is that grizzlys ain’t no miami vice foe. 99% of the time they are harmless to a nearby human. But like bad cops, humans have a way of doing all the wrong things and escalating the situation beyond the point of no return.

    So I avoid city people at all costs when in the backcountry. They’re nothing but bear magnets.

  5. Some thirty years ago, a friend and I hiked the banks of the Russian River in Alaska. My friend brought his revolver. He explained there were four bullets for an attacking bear, one bullet for me, one bullet for him, if by chance we ran into an angry bear. No bears sighted that day.

    • I was always told you just needed one bullet to kneecap your hiking companion, and then run away while the bear eats him.

  6. no need for a gun in bear country……

    just be able to run faster than your buddy.

    or bring a sacrificial liberal sheeple to throw off the side of the snowmobile if a bear gets on your six….kinda like a flare or chaff.

  7. Me and a buddy are planning some hikes in WV this spring, and although I doubt I’ll see any, I’m more than confident my G20 will do the job against any black bears that do pop up on the trails.

  8. In my opinion it is a strong message of WHO is going to save you if you get into a bad spot out there. They certainly aren’t going to be a phone call away.

  9. I’ve been told Tasers actually work quite well against Bears as well. But most firearms will stand up to abuse far better.

    • Ugh, no. It’s much smarter to bring bear spray and a revolver. A taser is a good way to get mauled in bear country.

  10. NatGeo had a good program about this very thing in Norway above the arctic circle. Tourist fly in and are given the chance to check out rifles to carry with them. 2 women opted out and 1 of the women got ate and the other had to throw herself off a cliff, she lived, to get away from the bear.

    In this case the bear killed one and nearly got the other. Apparently, outrunning your partner isn’t always a workable plan.

  11. I remember the National Geographic Expedition (2 guys) to the north pole. The had Smith and Wesson Model 29s (44 mag).

    The did have to kill a bear. Reading their account was fascinating. They saw the bear and starting retrieving their 44s. The bear saw them and immediately decided they were lunch.

    As I recall they started firing at 10 or 20 meters and it piled-up in front of them at the end.

    I bet that kept them warm for a few hours.

    May not have been the best gun but it was THE gun.

  12. My family once lived in a place where humans [without guns] are not at the top of the food chain. This was not in the Alaska wilderness or some 3rd world country in Africa. It was right here in the 48 states. I was always amazed at the city adventurer in their designer sportswear taking long hikes in the deep woods with nothing more deadly than a Swiss army knife and a big bag of store bought trail mix.

  13. In the 90’s when I lived in Alaska and was going through flight training there, a firearm and ammunition were on the list of state-mandated survival equipment that pilots had to carry in their airplanes when flying in Alaskan airspace.

    This requirement was removed in September 2001, only a few days after the 9/11 attacks. Not sure what the rationale was for repealing it after that event. Seemed like a good rule.

  14. Ive heard the 45 acp will blow a kodiak bear right off his feet, second hand eye witness from a guy that new a guy that had an uncle who worked for a guy said so. The same guy said it works for Cape buffalo too

    • There are at least two documented cases in the past few years of 45ACP taking out Kodiak bears.

      • Well then the guy wasnt lieing. I think on the cape buffalo, he sad he shot it in both eyes and it ran over a cliff

      • Not sure about kodiaks, but Alaskan natives are said to shoot anything up to and including big coastal Grizzlies, with .22s. It’s cheap, does the trick, grandpa did it all the time (and his grandpa killed them with nothing more than a knife….), and they are, at least according to grumpy non natives, exempt from every rule governing anything, and get to do (and shoot) whatever the heck they feel like.

        • What I meant to say is, thats awesome about your grandpa killing bears with a knife. My grandpa once defeated the entire Japanese army with nothing more than a k-bar, in his underwear no less. I never could live up to the mans legend.

  15. When I was stationed in Greenland we had an NSF office on the base. He had a supply of .30 caliber (don’t remember if they were .308 or .30-06) rifles and ammo the scientific expeditions were required to take with them when headed onto the ica cap. One person on each expedition had to be on bear watch at all times on top of the crawler they used to get to the remote stations. Just an interesting contrast I suppose.

  16. When I go into the woods in Western Wisconsin I usually carry a Mini-14 and a 1911 chambered in 10mm. We have coyote, bears, wolves and Mountain Lions. I live within 30 minutes of Arcadia which has more documented lion sightings than any else in the state.

    • Ooohhh! A 1911 chambered in 10mm … I have never heard of that. How does one go about acquiring one of those?

      • Sig Sauer, Kimber and Rock Island Armory all currently have 10mm 1911s. I believe that the Rock is the cheapest, in the $800-$1000 dollar range.

      • Kimber, Colt and Rock Island sell them. There may be.e others. I have an RIA TAC II in a Commander sized frame. It is easy to shoot with the FBI light load which everyone call wussie despite having nearly 50% more energy than 40 or 45. I have shot Buffalo Bore at 700+ ftlbs of energy. It is rather harsh but I am still accurate with it.

  17. I’m not totally familiar with Norway, but from what I’ve read they have a better firearm tradition than most of Eyrope and are still (relatively) pretty accepting of firearms. I’m not sure id consider them an action-demanding Mom paradise.

    • Norway, Sweden and Finland still have strong hunting traditions. Scandinavian moose in particular. Almost all the tags go to locals, but there are hunters from Germany and other parts of Europe taking part as well. Those countries are much less pervasively urbanized than the rest of the Continent and Britain. So, there are not yet any overwhelming majorities who are so removed from reality they think organic meat grows in Whole Foods coolers.

  18. What do you have against polar bears? They are magnificent creatures with a capacity for love. Are you so blood thirsty that a revolver isn’t enough for you? Do feel you need a high powered rifle to be a man? Humans have evolved, we no longer need to kill animals, the machines will do it for us. This reminds me of those cuddly polar bears in the coke commercials. How could wish harm on something like that, it’s a sentient being too you know? Im off to McDonald’s now for a burger and a coke and a smile and a shut the fuck up, but before I go, how the hell do you get hypothermia in Texas?

  19. I know a rancher who shot a black bear 3 times with a 7.62×39 FMJ, and it kept coming. His sister dropped it with one .357 JHP.
    Your mileage may vary.


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