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Ted Nugent's Wilson Combat 10mm

I just got back from checking-out my daughter’s third grade project on Glacier National Park. As a reward for her hard work (and to avoid a portion of Austin’s Easy Bake Oven summer) I’m taking Lola and her sisters to Montana to visit the park. The Big Sky Country recognizes Utah’s non-resident concealed carry permit; I’m good to stow. As I’ll be hiking in bear country, I’m tooling-up with a 10mm Glock 20. Overkill? Does such a thing even exist? Do you have an “outdoor” hangun? Or do you carry a rifle through the backwoods? FYI: that’s Ted Nugent’s $4555 10mm Wilson Combat CQB Elite, the twin of which he’s donated to an auction for the Knife Rights 2013 Ultimate Steel Knives, Guns & More Spectacular!™ [like anyone’s gonna steal that name] fundraiser.

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  1. Love Wilson Combat. Going to put an order in for a CQB or a Classic as soon as I have enough for the down payment.

  2. When I am fishing in meth country, I leave the 1911 (IWB carry) at home in favor of a Glock 17 (carried openly). Since we only have Black Bears and no Grizzlies in TN, it is for protection from two-legged animals.

  3. No, with large predators about and children to look after there’s no such thing as over kill. I would prefer a good rifle or shotgun in bear country but sometimes you have to be discrete.

  4. In addition to my regular G-19, when visiting the back woods, I carry a Bond Derringer loaded with 300 gr., hard-cast, 45 colt butt thumpers. No fun to be had on either side of the gun when you shoot these.

    • That bear is gonna have to get a little too close for comfort for a 2 shot derringer to be a good choice. Especially since you need to put both of those in the head for it to do you any good.

  5. You sure you’re gonna be alright out there, RF? Don’t take this the wrong way, but my impression is that you pretty much are the walking definition of “city boy.”

  6. I would concider 10mm underkill for Grizzlies. I live in costal brown bear country, and if I don’t have a rifle in the woods I carry Bear Spray, sometimes both. It has a proven trackrecord and won’t kill your friend if the bear is on top of them. Sometimes I open carry my bearspray and CC my 9mm.

    • Definitely. With bears penetration is a serious issue. Anything
      that can’t go far enough to reach vital organs is going to
      seriously piss it off. Even a fatally wounded bear can still rip
      you to shreds. Consider a .357 magnum or .357 SIG at a
      minimum. A .44 mag or larger would be more appropriate.
      When I lived in brown bear country in Idaho I always had
      either a 12 gauge or Marlin in 45-70 nearby.

      A note about bear spray. If the bear is pissed off, the spray
      may only make him worse. It can also cause serious health
      issues. Depending on the brand, bear spray can have a high
      enough concentration of capsicum to cause anaphylactic
      shock, even in people w/o allergies.

      • 10mm has (or at least can have) more oomph than a .357.

        Just get the right ammo – hard cast from Buffalo Bore or the like.

        • Either way it’s still woefully underpowered to
          take on a bear. Especially a brown. If I could
          only take a pistol a S&W 460 would be my

        • >> 10mm has (or at least can have) more oomph than a .357

          It seems that when you look at the same barrel sizes, the difference, if any, is marginal. And it’s easier to get a 6″ .357 revolver…

    • Seconded, if bears are a serious issue there. I used to live in outside of Fairbanks, AK (bears in my backyard on occasion) and I had a .480 Ruger. 10mm is definitely underkill for bears.

      One of the CCW instructors there used to tell students if you were going to carry something like .38 spl/ 9mm / etc for bear protection, to make sure to file off the front sight – so it would hurt less when the bear sticks it you-know-where.

      • Haha! The barrel on my Boberg XR9s only extends half an inch past the trigger guard, I think I could handle just the tip. One more benifit of it’s excellent design.
        (btw the 9 isn’t for the bears)

  7. If you’re worried about bears consider a Glock 21 or an SKS or Mosin? Not really concealable but, that was never my main concern when hiking. MOST of the time the wildlife will leave you alone when they hear you coming. Its the two legged animal; also known as drug mules/cartel goons, which I was worried about.

    • I disagree with a Glock 21. It is the same size as a Glock 20. Use Buffalo Boar 10mm hardcast flat nose rounds.

      You can get the same in a Glock 21 45ACP regarding HCFN rounds.

      If you already have a Glock 20 – use that.

      • Dont have 10mm 🙁 I love my 45 too. I’ve always wanted a 10mm, but never really got into it. Do you like the Glock 20? I’m looking on getting the Glock 30s when budget will allow.

        • It’s been quite a while (back when you could shoot pistol in the UK) but the Glock 20 was *the* choice for 10mm among the IPSC crowd; and love or hate the plastic pistol, it handled many, many rounds of 10mm without breaking, while we did see the occasional 1911 failure (to be fair, all the broken 1911s were chambered for hot-loaded .38 Super or even odder stuff like a .357/.45 wildcat).

          There are probably other good options now, but if you’re used to Glocks and want to start on 10mm then it would be hard to go much wrong with a G2o.

          (And now I miss handloading a hundred rounds of .45ACP and spending a happy evening at the range turning them into noise, empty cases and nice groups with like-minded friends… again)

    • +1. Use the right tool for the job. I’ve heard stories of bears surviving multiple shots from centerfire rifles. A 10mm, unless placed perfectly, will probably scare the bear and piss it off.

      And bears don’t recognize the duty to retreat.

  8. Glock 29 with alternating 200g hard cast and jhp rounds. Pearce pinky extension mandatory. Plenty of firepower for any 2 or 4 legged predator you may run across in the Eastern US. I’ve had a few buddies thst have hunted on Alaska that a 10mm wouldn’t be enough firepower for a Grizzly. Supposedly, a 12Guage magnum slug at close range isn’t enough to stop a grizzly. I don’t know if I believe it though.

    • A 12 gauge slug is big enough to stop anything that North America can throw at you. It has enough penetration and it puts a hole the size of a 20mm AAA round in the target. With a hit to the head or chest a grizzly or anything else is going to die on impact. I have that on the word of seveal Alaska natives.

      • I think the Alaska natives were telling tall tales to your tour-bus group. A chest shot may drop a docile brownie, but anything less than a brain (not just skull) hit will not kill it instantly, espicially if it has any adrenaline pumping. Their brain btw is pretty small compared to their huge head. The goal is not to kill the bear, the goal is to stop the bear from attacking people.

        • Reading what you just wrote: Would you not come to the same conclusion as tdiinva? I mean isn’t a semi-auto shotgun the king of QCB? Yeah, you could shoot it half a dozen times with an AR but at least with the shotgun and the slugs you are tearing rents in the creature that are quite likely to down it on a bad day.

          I seriously doubt anything on NA is standing up to these on it’s best day, whatever it is:

        • Actually, my son was out hiking in Colorado during bear dnager season with his lab group and the two Alaska natives both had shotguns with rifled barrels. They swore by them.

        • My point was that bears rarely die instantly, and have killed many people after recieveing multiple mortal hits. Unless you’re confident you can brain the bruin, bear spray has a better record of instantly stopping their aggression, with bonus points for teaching it a lesson without killing it.
          As for the assumedly college aged Alaskan kids bragging about their shotguns on a blue-state school field tip, I’d take their boasts with a grain of salt. After all, I was one once.

        • Keep your bear spray. As an Alaskan I second the 12 gauge or a good semi auto large bore rifle. Handguns can work. Spray might work. Much better rate of survival with shotgun/rifle and less chance of spraying yourself or getting back draft of spray. Spray sales are mostly to tourists that can’t or won’t take steps to really protect themselves.

        • These weren’t undergraduates on field trip. They are 23-30 year old graduate students.

        • These aren’t undergraduates they are graduate students in their late 20’s and experienced hunters. Did you miss the point where I said they were carrying shotguns on the hike?

  9. All my guns are outdoor guns. It just depends on where I am going outdoors.

    No bears my 1911 is standard issue. I saw last summer that a gentlement disuaded a Kodiak bear in near Mt McKinley with one.

    When I am truly concerned about big predadors there is nothing like a slug out of rifled 12 gauge barrel so my Remingotn 11-87 is my go to long gun of choice.

    For hunting anything from a 22 to a 300 win mag with my 1911 as backup.

    And H. Clay, I hate to break it to you but if you think black bears aren’t a threat you might be in for a surprise. A black bear just out of hibernation craves protein –that means you. A hungry [male] black bear is more likely to come at you than a grizzly. Your 9mm is just going to make him mad. Bring both the Glock and the 1911.

    • And a note on black bear predatory behavior:
      If you see a black bear walking on all fours, looking directly at you, while he spirals in towards you: you are on his menu. That is specific, hunting/predatory behavior for black bears – actually more serious than a “bluff charge”. High strength bear spray will help, but I carry at least a .357.

      If you are attacked by a grizzly, and your bear spray hasn’t worked, you might try playing dead (cover back of neck, curl up, don’t move). That SOMETIMES persuades a PO’ed grizz that you are no longer a threat.

      Playing dead won’t work with a black bear (or mountain lion) that has decided to eat you – it will just make his snack easier. Fight back – you know, go all Hugh Glass on ’em.

      • “And a note on black bear predatory behavior:
        If you see a black bear walking on all fours, looking directly at you, while he spirals in towards you: you are on his menu. That is specific, hunting/predatory behavior for black bears – actually more serious than a ‘bluff charge.'”

        I learned something today.

    • I understand your point, and I do not have illusions of invulnerability. However, I have been a fishing guide for almost 20 years, and encounter black bears on a fairly regular basis. Usually it is just their ass end as they tear off into the woods (the best possible scenario). I am also 6’5 220# and the few I have had to more actively dissuade seem to decide to be elsewhere when I stand on a boulder, shout, and throw things (not at the bear, but next to it).

  10. Rob, that’s not overkill. I hiked in Glacier National Park with a Glock 20 with hard cast buffalo bore ammo. I also brought bear spray as well because sometimes spray is better than a firearm, depending on the circumstance.

    • Same. While I’d prefer the power of a .44 magnum for large animals, I’ll settle for a .357 magnum so that I can fire faster and more accurately.

      • For hiking/packing, I really like my Ruger SP101 (4 inch barrel model with the adjustable sights). Weird piece but fills this niche perfectly. Barrel is long enough to get full advantage of the .357 cartridge, but it’s about 12 oz lighter than a full size revolver like a GP100. Had to get a leather holster custom fit to it, but the weight difference is significant on a long hike. Now, 180 grain hunting loads are not exactly a joy to shoot out of it, but you can’t have it all (and I’ve never had to actually fire it while out on the trail).

        • Great gun for hiking. I got the 3″ myself (kind of the minimum for 357 mag). In non bear country, a kel-tec 380 for two legged beasts (because its so light on a long hike).

  11. I’d love to be able to afford a field-specific firearm, but in the bush I run my Dan Wesson 1911 with Double Tap Ammo’s 45ACP+P 255gr. SWC Hardcast ammo ( Not perfect, but definitely better than running FMJ. The largest animal problem in GNP is the goats though. They’ve been attacking people for food in the past couple of years and are more of a pain than the bears.

    In going to GNP, be careful in that the northern end of the park actually dumps you out in Canada as part of the Glacier-Waterton International Park. There is an amazing hotel in Waterton, the Prince of Wales, that’s pretty spectacular. Unfortunately, going into Canukistan means you’ll have to find a home in the US for your firearm and ammo.

  12. I am actually going to be getting one of those 10MM RIA 1911’s as my “outdoor” gun. If it gets beat up..its a $600.00 gun, if I have to shoot a bear and its taken as evidence…its a $600 gun. Carrying a multi thousand dollar gun as an EDC type of firearm is like driving a BMW offroad, sooner or later its going to end in disaster.

  13. Wear bells and carry bear spray. You also need to know if the bears in the area are black or grizzly bears. You can tell by the bear poop. Black bear poop is full of berries and stuff like squirrel fur. Grizzly bear poop is full of bells and smells like pepper.

  14. Either a Smith 340 PD .357 for ultralight backpacking, Glock 23, Glock 27, Glock 35, Smith 4006 (doubles as a boat anchor) or a Smith .460 XVR. The Glock 35 with Underwood +P is essentially a 10mm.

    I wouldn’t carry a custom $4500 .45 or 10mm schlepping through the woods. That’s a beautiful safe queen, not a woods gun. Happy hiking, y’all.

  15. I used to carry a Charter Arms .44 special when I’d wander in the woods. Since I spend a majority of my time in a wheelchair these days, I don’t spend much time in the woods, and as such, don’t really see a need for a woods gun. I stick to my everyday carry.

  16. If I’m not hunting and I’m just out and about in the woods I carry my LCP just like always.

    Why you ask?

    For the same reason I carry it when I go to town. It’s small, light and I “will” carry it. The .380 is a man killer when loaded with modern ammo and if I need a gun for protection around here is going to be against people or feral dogs.
    While we have black bears around here but they are hunted so generally run if they encounter humans. If I do have to shoot a bear (heaven forbid!) I’m sure a magazine of Hornady .380 is not going to do him any good.

    The heaviest caliber handgun I own is a Ruger Blackhawk in .357 mag and if I was going out west where the big bears roam I would carry it with a hot load in it.

    • I hear you on the .380 for stopping men. It gets the job done. However, to stop a pissed off black bear (or any bear for that matter), you need something that will penetrate a lot of muscle and fur for a heart shot and the same plus skull for a head shot. The .380 will just piss him off more and you will be dead. Sure, a hit from a .380 might dissuade a bear that was getting too close and curious, but it will not stop an enraged mother bear that is charging because she thinks her cubs are in danger. You need something that will kill. .357 Magnum is the smallest I would consider. I’m not sure even .45 ACP is appropriate given that it is a slower round in comparison and may struggle with the penetration part, particularly when using HP’s. On the hand, I’ve never shot a bear with a handgun, so who knows.

  17. It depends on what I am doing. When I go day hiking in the Shenandoah mountains, where I encounter people on the trail every 15 minutes or so, but I could still run into a black bear, I go with a Ruger LCR loaded with .357 Magnum 140 gr Barnes VOR-TX XPB’s. While I can legally carry, I prefer to remain discreet, which the LCR does nicely under my shirt. For overnight backwoods hiking and camping, I would go with a Ruger GP100 4″ barrel loaded with the same ammo as before. I will also have my Ruger 10/22 Takedown in my pack. Whenever I go car camping, the Remington 870 is always in either the tent or the truck, loaded with 3″ magnum slugs in case a Bear comes into the campground and becomes a threat. If I am out fishing along the James River, Glock 19.

  18. One more thing about bears you want to use ball ammo and not JHP. JHP will just expend its energy on the hide and muscles and not penetrate deeply enough.

  19. If I’m just going for a hike or kicking around the woods I carry my Glock 19 with 115 or 124 gr HP’s (for the occasional meth head as said above, or coy dogs, as the hybrids have gotten pretty aggressive where my patch of sticks is). During bird season where I’ll be kicking around some pretty thick brush in black bear country I carry a Blackhawk in .44 mag, just to be safe. I’ve encountered quite a few bears–never any aggressive ones, but I’d rather err on the side of well prepared. Oh, and a tomahawk and Ka-bar when I’ll be spending the night.

  20. Keep in mind you canNOT carry a long gun in a National Park, but you can carry a concealed pistol if you have the correct CCW. While I would much rather have my .45/70 carbine at hand if a bear came at me, leaving it unloaded and locked in the truck isn’t going to help anybody.

    I carry a bobbed Super Redhawk (to make it an Alaskan clone) in .480 Ruger, with two hard cast 400 gr slugs at just under sonic speed, plus four Federal Barnes 275 gr DPX solid copper HP loads. It conceals well in a Tommy’s Gun Pack (size Large), as well as in a compact motorcycle tank bag.

    The .480 SRH is reasonably easy to shoot plus the round has about 50% more energy than a .44 Mag, plus a much bigger diameter. The only downside is the almost 100% lack of off-the-shelf ammo.


    • The carry rules for National Parks are governed by state law. If the state is an open carry state like Colorado you can open carry in the Park. I don’t see any regulations about carrying long guns. You can’t hunt in the park but I don’t see why you can’t bring a long gun.

      • I have carried openly numerous times in Shenandoah National Park, several times right in front of Rangers, and never had an issue.

  21. I think 15+1 of 10mm qualifies as a big stick.
    A Glock 20 has been on my wish list for a decade and Plus most places still have 10mm ammo.
    I pack my P14 .45 it’s big, heavy, ugly and I might not cry if I lost it. I weigh more than the local bears (coastal Wa) plus my corduroy pants double as bear bells, so I don’t have need of anything bigger.

  22. I carry my Ruger Blackhawk loaded with .45 Colt +P with 325 grain pills. I don’t think anything in NA on 2 or 4 legs will want anything to do with me after the 1st shot.

  23. SAR K2/45 loaded with 230gr ball, is a 14+1 with two spare mags loaded with 230gr lead flat nose alternated with 230gr ball.
    Mosin with 203gr SJSP and spare ammo or the Marlin XL7 .270 with 150gr SJSP and extra ammo.
    Mostly black bear here but have lots of feral hogs and hungry coyotes. Plus meth heads galore. Rural Arkansas getting like big city in some areas.

  24. I don’t know what I would carry, but my neighbor (a Vietnam vet who owns 200+ guns including 2 automatics) went to Yellowstone to guide a grizzly hunt and he carried a S&W 500. He put one round at the feet of a bear and it sprayed enough dirt and rocks into its legs to scare it away. 300-500 grains should get the job done.

  25. I don’t have any knowledge about grizzlys but when I’m working with Holstein bulls I carry a S&W 22A-1 anything larger has a hard time piercing the skull and won’t fit through “the X” area.

  26. .357 mag would be okay for black bears. I’m sure 10mm would be fine, too. Bear spray might work okay. Just make noise they will leave you alone though. Grew up in southeast alaska, lived there for most of my life. Had tons and tons of encounters w/black bears. Even as a kid. Never any problems. Only ones you really need to worry about are sow w/cubs, stay away from the cubs eh. Though even a lot of sows w/cubs are chill and don’t care as long as you don’t walk right up to them.

    Brown bear is diff story. I wouldn’t trust bear spray, that’s for sure. The difference is if a black bear takes a swipe at you, you might be okay. If a brown bear takes a swipe at you–imagine a sharp cat claw, only imagine that it’s much much longer and much much stronger. One good swipe and your guts will be inside out–their claws don’t resemble each other at all… You could, in theory, hunt a brown bear with something like a 10mm or a .357…but it wouldn’t be smart. Stopping one that is attacking you is a diff story entirely. Go for at least a .44 imho….a .454 or one of the new smith magnums would be a good choice (obviously rifle would be preferable but yadda yadda).

  27. In bear country, I always carry my .357 mag Ruger. I also always carry bear spray on my chest in an easy-t0-grab holster. Seen Griz, never been charged or threatened. If I ever am, the plan is to hose him down with spray and pull the gun as a last resort. Unless I’m with someone I don’t like. Then I’ll just shoot him in the knee and run.

    Bumped into many, many black bears and for the most part you can scare them off by yelling at them. Sow with cubs is a different kettle of fish. Try to avoid them.

    The critter that’s most likely to stomp your ass is a moose, not a bear. Think about that for a bit. Try not to get too close to one. They move deceptively fast through fallen timber and crap that you can’t hardly climb through. Watch yourself if you go tromping through the gunch streamside. More than once, I’ve been beating through willows along a creek and bumped into black bears AND moose all in the same place I wanted to fish. Best to just quietly back out and go find another place.

  28. my backwoods/mountain gun is my Taurus 608. 8 shots of 180gr. Buffalo Bore hardcasts will hurt anything that roams this continent.

    • My s&w627pro is also loaded with 8 of those pills. I really would not want to mess with those Brown bear, though. The size and power is hard to comprehend. 44mag would be minimum for those beasts and a powerful rifle would be preferred. Those 460 (can shoot 3 different types of cartridges) and 500 handguns are good if you have to go the revolver route.

  29. Indeed I do. MA.TE.BA 6 Unica in .454. Which, I hope, will be enough to stop a starving bear…

    • I’ve always wanted to shoot that auto-revolver. I first learned of it from the character Togusa in the Ghost in the Shell series/movies and from Serenity. high weight, low bore axis, and a semi-auto revolver. Straight up sexy.

  30. A little ballistics refresher is helpful in these discussions. A standard .357 magnum load comes out of the barrel at around 500 ft. lbs. of energy, close to 800 with hot loads like Buffalo Bore. .44 magnum is closer to 900. The hottest 10 mm loads, like the Underwood, top out around 700 ft. lbs.

    By comparison, a puny .243 Winchester or 30-30 has around 1800 ft. pounds of muzzle energy, or double that of a .44 magnum. Would you go hunting Grizzlies with a .243? Sure, you could carry a .500 S&W with its 325 grain bullet and 2339 ft. lbs. of muzzle energy, but which would you be more afraid of, the gun or the bear?

    I researched all this stuff last year before a horse trip into bear country. I decided to just take my chances. I figured I probably wouldn’t survive the fall off the horse anyway.

  31. I have always heard that .44 mag(what i carry)is a minimum for a bear gun and you better make sure you can get the bullet through the sinus cavity directly into the cns. I think that you can carry a weapon in a national park in mt but can’t discharge it ( Yellowstone anyways).

  32. Jeez!
    Get rid of those black plastic sissy pistols and pack a Ruger Blackhawk loaded with full-house 300 grain .45 Colts.

  33. Anyone taken a pistol into California for a hiking trip? Wife & I are going in mid-May to Redwoods National Park. I’ve read the rules (convoluted as they are) and I think it is ok for me to OC inside the park. Anyone got experience with that?

    • true. Obama signed a law that allows carry the same as under state law, and California allows OC in unincorporated areas. You can always call the park or check them out on line.

    • All carry is ILLEGAL in California without a permit. You cannot obtain a permit as a non-resident. Open carry now requires a license and is restricted to rural (250,000 or less population) areas. Even if open carry is legal inside the park, you still must have a license.

  34. You know Jefe, Montana will spoil you. Texas may not seem like the place to locate to after some time in Big Sky Country 😉

    Bear spray should always be the first choice, but a G20 will be more than enough. Also, Montana has open carry so you don’t need to hide it if you don’t want to.

  35. If you are packing the Glock 20, make sure you do the following:
    – Use heavy bullets. 180 gr min. And test your gun with them to make sure they cycle.
    – Invest in some Stonkin’ hotloads from Underwood AND get a longer barrel. You would be surprised (or maybe you wouldn’t) how much extra speed you get from a 1in longer barrel. This guy has great videos about Glock 10mm’s and the various barrel lengths / loads etc and he has chrono data to verify it.

    – Get some bear spray. Because with bears (unlike people) its never personal. Best if both parties go their separate ways unharmed.

  36. Per a sign at a park with bears:
    Black and Grizzly bears present. Strongly recommend that you attach small bells to your clothes and make noise when in the bush. Carry bear spray for your defense. Black bear spoor contains berries and fur from small animals. Grizzly bear spoor contains small bells and smells like bear spray…

    • Here’s a link to the bear scat explanation:

      Waterton as the Canadian part of the park is fun also. You can take a guided ferry boat ride around their part of the lake which is very scenic. Suggest you carry small US bills if you don’t want to exchange for Canadian currency. Any change from a cash purchase will be in Canadian currency which is frowned upon in Montana.

      I live about 10 miles from Washington State University where they house and study grizzlies who are available for public viewing. After seeing them eat, I would pack the biggest gun with the biggest load and, if threatened, shoot early and often.

    • I wouldn’t be worried what the bears poop looks like when one is charging you. I would be more worried about my own. 10 mm is fine if you are sure that you can hit something moving very fast towards you. Bear shootings are very rare. People being eaten are more common.

  37. “mountocean says:

    April 4, 2013 at 14:52

    My point was that bears rarely die instantly, and have killed many people after recieveing multiple mortal hits. Unless you’re confident you can brain the bruin, bear spray has a better record of instantly stopping their aggression, with bonus points for teaching it a lesson without killing it.
    As for the assumedly college aged Alaskan kids bragging about their shotguns on a blue-state school field tip, I’d take their boasts with a grain of salt. After all, I was one once.”

    These shells will kill any animal in NA with one hit… the shot placement is not really important once you watch the videos of the one shot kills and the damage to the creature. Shots to the shoulder down it instantly… shots to the legs down it instantly. Flat head slugs that explode into six pieces or the link above will easily stop any bear dead in its tracks. Still a no for you? Watch the videos of Russian Brown bear hunts.

    Shotgun. The best thing to have in the woods.

    • That’s impressive, I think I’ll pick some up to try against my assorted fosters and brennekes. But they won’t replace bearspray for me. Lots of good reasons I chose a while ago.
      I don’t always carry a long gun.
      I’d rather not kill it if I’m not hunting.
      Many bear attacks end in scrambles on the ground.
      Bearspray has a 92% success rate.
      Bears don’t die instantly. I don’t care if it’s front leg is blow clean off or it’s heart has been smashed to jelly; I’ve read too many accounts of bears getting hit with slugs or big rifles and continue messing people up to think any new product is an instant deathray. I’ll continue to use spray and/or guns, but won’t think either is a guarantee.

  38. Just bring a few gun grabbin Democrats with you, make sure you can out run them. Problem solved.

  39. If you are questioning whether or not it is a Grizzly or a Black bear, the method I heard about to determine species is to sneak up and kick the bear in question dead in the ass. If the bear runs away, it would be a black bear, if you run away, it is most likely a grizzly….. Use this test at your own risk…..YMMV

  40. Is this a car trip? Are you going to hike in past where there are lots of other tourists or just stop and walk around scenic pull-offs? Or, are you hiking into the back country? Are you camping overnight in a tent? If so, are you cooking?

    As with everything else, you should spend at least as much effort thinking about prevention as thinking about offense. Do you know what to do with your food? Do you know where to cook with respect to proximity to your camp? I’m not saying you don’t want offense but also don’t be stupid and attract a bear.

    I love the caliber versus bear threads. I’ve wasted a few nights of my life reading forums about this topic for entertainment purposes. It’s kind of funny that there are so many opinions when almost nobody has any experience what-so-ever shooting a bear with a hand gun. It’s hard enough getting a good answer about the effectiveness of a particular caliber against humans where there is a treasure trove of data. You think you’re going to get a good answer on this subject?

  41. I live in Kalispell and hike and bowhunt all around Glacier Park. I have lived in Southeast and Southcentral Alaska, so I have had some experience with bears.

    In our area, you are primarily concerned with black bears. The bears arson the small side. The Glock 10mm is very popular here and is the weapon of choice for many of my friends when not carrying a proper rifle. The preferred load is the Buffalo Bore 220 grain hardcast at 1,200 FPS. Personally, I tend to carry my Smith and Wesson 329 PD loaded with Buffalo Bore “lower recoil” 255 Keith hardcast with gas check at 1,350 FPS.

    Nothing wrong with the Glock 10 mm in this area though. I would suggest adding a Wolf 22 pound recoil spring (stock is 17 pounds) for reliable functioning with the heavy Buffalo Bore or Double Tap loads.

    Now, if you were going to be in the Yellowstone area, I would recommend going to a heavy 44 mag or 45 Colt load as the bears are bigger and browner there, but a lot of locals still go with the Glock 20.

    Have a blast.


  42. I carry a Glock 20 with 6” barrel and a grip modification loaded with 220 grain casts from buffalo bore. I prefer to shoot a 1911 but, A) I don’t have one in 10mm and B) they are nicer than I prefer camp with. Living in Colorado I’m not too worried about costal browns so I think my 10mm would work on anything. With that in mind on camping/climbing trips to Montana I also take my 870 with 12Ga slugs.

  43. $4555… I could buy 10 Rock Island 1911’s for that price. Hell I could buy 5 and send them to a gunsmith to get tricked out and have have money left over to buy ammo for them. I know the prices most machine shops charge for their work and I could select the most expensive one and get it for far less than that. I don’t comprehend where the hell $4555 of work comes in aside from taking all the time to engrave every single piece with their name. I wonder if they engrave their set pins too.

  44. I strongly encourage everyone to carry at least a larger caliber sidearm in bear territory. The venerable .357 Magnum and 10mm would be the absolute minimal calibers to carry and .44 Magnum is even better when facing grizzlies as is the case in Glacier National Park.

    Caliber notwithstanding, bullet selection is even more critical for “woods defense”. Over penetration is not a concern out in the wilds. So there is no compelling reason to use hollowpoint bullets. In fact on the contrary you want serious penetration for strong animals such as large wild hogs and bears. For those critters, hardcast lead bullets with large, flat frontal areas (meplates for the technically inclined) are the ONLY way to go. Hardcast lead bullets do not expand. And yet they create a large permanent wound channel that is usually at least two and sometime almost three times the diameter of the bullet. Thus a .44 Magnum bullet will create a permanent wound channel that is about one inch in diameter and will penetrate likely over three feet including bone. A one inch diameter hole that is three feet long will drop any critter rather quickly.

    Another thought: concealed carry quite often is not a priority out in the woods. So a largish .44 Magnum visibly strapped on your hip or thigh would be fine in most areas.

  45. I live in Yellowstone country and worked in northern Idaho. I carry a S&W .500 when in the back country. No need to take chances. We had our nuisance bears (mostly black bears) but over the years we had a few people mauled and killed by grizzlies. You just don’t take the threat of grizzlies lightly.

  46. I live in Yellowstone country and worked in northern Idaho. I carry a S&W .500 when in the back country. No need to take chances. We had our nuisance bears (mostly black bears) but over the years we had a few people mauled and killed by grizzlies. You just don’t take the threat of grizzlies lightly.

  47. Hike daily here, always a chance of a Coastal Brown at any season. Seen many over the years, have only been charged once, that teeth chomping action is a real rush. I usually just run screaming in a high pitch terror voice. Ha!
    Pack a Marlin 1895gs 45-70 with a vero vellini high climbing sling, also with either the 41 Ruger new model blackhawk or the kimber eclipse 10mm in the shoulder holster.
    But our bears aren’t really that agressive; all bets are off with sow and cubs. Do not get in the middle.
    Be very aware, make your presence known, and carefully retreat if at all possible.

  48. Chiappa Rhino 2″ in .357. No brown bears around here, just blacks, and I figure this will be enough to handle one should it assault me, given the distances involved. Obviously, it can handle human threats, too, should it come to it. And it’s very easy to conceal.

  49. My Galco rep some years back was a Canadian Forces veteran. Before a trip to Alaska, I asked him what they carried to deal with brown bears. His answer without hesitation was 12 gauge sabot.

  50. Kimber Eclipse in 10mm and take along my daughter and her moronic boyfriend with the gimpy skateboarder knee and baggy pants. The two of us are faster than he is.

    • As the joke goes: Guy stops to lace up his sneakers when running from a bear. Buddy says, “What are you doing? Do you think those are going to make you faster than the bear?” Guy responds, “I don’t have to be faster than the bear, I just have to be faster than you.”

      One of the best “clean jokes” I’ve ever heard.

  51. Down south, here in Alabama, snakes are more common than bears.
    For slitherys, I carry a bond arms derringer loaded with number 6 shot,
    and enough knowledge to tell venomous from non venomous most of the time.
    When in doubt, give them the right of way.

    For walks in the woods I’ll carry my .357 concealed or my vaquero, in .45 colt
    openly. Either would be marginal for bear, even with 300 grain loads for the .45,
    but for anything smaller, on two or four legs, they do quite nicely.

    I have carried lever action carbines in .45 colt, shotguns, rifles, and whatnot
    in the past, and they can be quite useful, but these days, I find a hiking staff to be generally more useful than a longarm when not hunting.

    Depending on terrain, and weather I thought that meth labs or weed plots
    might be in the area, I might trade in the stick for a shotgun or rifle.
    Weather I chose to or not would depend on the conditions and my mood.

    For a national park the 10mm should be enough gun.
    Just remember that against bear, the time honored firing technique of
    be considered appropriate. one 10mm pill might not do the trick,
    but the entire mag should get the point across.

  52. If it has to be a handgun, a .44 Magnum revolver, hot load, hard slugs (not hollow points.)

  53. Llama MaxII 1911 when I’m out in the woods or working on the property…. It’s dependable(1500+ rounds by me downrange), accurate enough and I can use it to drive in a tent stake if I need without giving a damn about the finish. I’ve got “better” pistols that I daily carry but I love having a beater I don’t have to care about. As for filing off the front site…. I broke that off over a year ago on the tractor…lol.

    I call it my work gun. I think everyone should have one.

  54. Leave the gun in your car, Mr Grizzly’s got a good 15 seconds to tear your ass to shreds AFTER you’ve plugged him in a sensitive enough area (like direct in the heart, good luck with that shot!) to dispatch him to Griz heaven…..I’ve hiked Glacier every summer for the last 30 years and only an idiot expects any popgun you can pack to save your life when you round that blind corner and encounter momma with cubs; it would be like trying to shoot a Mack truck just before it ran you over. I pack bear spray and you’ll see most folks with that, though fortunately it’s more likely you won’t see any bears closer than from the Many Glacier campground, looking up on the berry bush infested mountainside a mile away.

  55. When I hike I (usually) trade the LCR for my SP101. The latter I can shoot one handed better, could thumb the hammer if I so desire, kinda important as my week hand more often than not has the dogs leash.

    But I still carry 38’s. few bears around here, maybe some two legged varmints, but I worry more about stray dogs. YMMV. If I was in bear country I might still not carry for bear.

  56. This may sound odd, but have you considered an M1 Garand? .30-06 will stop anything in North America.

  57. I’ve never encountered a bear, but I’ve seen medium to small sized hogs run at least 100 yards after hit in the kill zone with good quality bullets out of a SRH in 44 Mag. I’ve also rarely had time for a follow up shot (and I practice a LOT). Obvious to me that I’d be more concerned about bullet placement than bullet size/type/etc. The only hog that I’ve ever had fall over was shot in the spine. That being said, bear spray makes a lot of sense to me – then shotgun with slugs, then rifle, then pistol….

  58. Unless someone is a dare devil, the shotgun with slugs, rifle, then pistol sequence makes total sense. Even more so, the bear spray ahead of that sequence for the Rockies where there are grizzly bears. Bear spray appears to be most successful by all accounts south of Canada. Gambling your ability to shoot accurately at the exact right area of a bear on the run is pretty bold if not reckless. They aren’t coming at you sideways for your convenience.

    For me, I fly fish near Yellowstone two weeks of the year early Fall. I go with another old guy friend. We hike in a bit. I was carrying a 6 inch Dan Wesson .357. Beautiful weapon, but got it used from a relative and it has been in the shop twice. Springs and parts replaced my confidence is gone in that weapon. Just replaced it with a Glock 20, ordered a KKM 6 inch barrel and 22# recoil spring, 200 gr and 230 gr Double Tap gas checked HCL. My buddy carries a SS Ruger 6 inch .357 SP100 (?). Rugged fine weapon. I just bought some 200 gr Double tap HCL for him. For my sake.

    We aren’t fast. And if we are very unlucky, one of us may be set upon by a bear if the bear spray is a waste. That leaves the other guy to send holes through the bear in hopes we could save the other.

    I know a .44 magnum would be better or an even larger caliber. When I stumble and fall in the river I don’t want drowning to be an added risk. I am far more likely to fall in the river wading than come across a charging bear. Like everyone else south of Canada. I would even prefer my 12 gauge Mossberg 500 defender with sabots, my camp weapon, but I am clumsy enough wading with a fly rod and wading staff and have a shotgun strapped to me ? The risks don’t weigh out.

    Thus the lightweight, Glock 20, 6 inch KKM barrel, 22# recoil spring, heavy gas checked Double Tap HCL ammo in an chest holster and bear spray with a armed friend that cares close by.

    By the way, KKM uses Double Tap ammo when they test their barrels. that gave me a little more confidence in that ammo company. Now for some practice time before fishing season.

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