I have a scoped S&W 629 hunter and I'm going to add a scope to my Bushmaster Carbon 15 pistol and this got me to thinking of how effective each gun would be for self defense against a black bear (the only kind we have here in East TN). Looking at the Federal Premium Ballistics charts for .223 Rem and discounting a bit for the shorter barrel in the Carbon 15 I thin we would have maybe 800 ft lbs. of KE at 25 yds. using the 60 gr. Nosler Partition load. I think we can assume this load will leave the muzzle somewhere around 2500 fps. Looking at the Federal Premium 280 Gr Swift A-Frame load in .44 Magnum for the 629 we can see maybe we can get 775 ft lbs. of KE at 25 yards. The muzzle Velocity of this load is 1170 fps. The .44 magnum round will have twice the momentum of the .223 load. However, the .223 will have 20 rds. vs the 629's 6 rds. (of course, I don't think I could fire all that many rds by the time the bear starts chomping on my tender body). Ok so two questions. First, Which round will be more effective at stopping a bear at around 25 yds. I think this would be the .44 mag but would like opinions. and the second question is whether the .223 would be able to stop a bear attack at this range. The reason I'm wondering is I'm preparing a bug out bag. Both guns are similar in weight but the .223 has better ammo availability.