Killing a bear that is browsing or unaware is not the same as killing one that is charging. 44 mag might work on a small black bear but it is not enough cartridge for an emergency shot on a larger bear unless you are cool enough and good enough to hit the nose on a charging bear. You might kill the bear but it will probably kill you back. Not too long ago a guy in Alaska killed a charging bear with a 454 Casull revolver. The bear was sick and starving. It was hungry not enraged. A healthy bear would probably have killed him. A 12 gauge shotgun slug has 2X the power of a 44 mag and it needs multiple hits unless you are lucky and/or very good. Before the 458 Win Mag came out some of the Alaskan guides were carrying African doubles. Some still do as they may have to protect their clients from a very mad wounded bear. Get a 45-70 or 450 in a Marlin. A BLR or an 1895 would also be a possibility in lever guns.
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"I would not be an old man if I had not been an armed young man." JTJ
I was taught to respect my elders but they are getting harder to find.
Last edited by JTJ; 12-23-2011 at 02:51 PM.