Purchasing a firearm for self-defense takes on a completely different meaning in wooded areas. Black bears may be lurking in the woods, and their presence creates enormous risks. These bears may even encroach onto a homeowner's property and attempt to enter a house to find food. A bear might show up while you sit in your car. No matter the scenario, a confrontation between a bear and a human could prove deadly. Carrying the proper firearm for bear defense may potentially save a life.
Large Bore Firearms and the Practicality of Bear Defense
Due to the size of a black bear, a larger bore/caliber pistol may be necessary. While a fishing guide did famously kill a much larger species -- a grizzly bear -- with a 9mm pistol, such a caliber may prove too weak for a 250lb black bear. The guide was using incredibly high-pressure ammunition not readily available in stores as well. Generally, a large-bore revolver remains the preferable option. Magnum-caliber revolvers pack enormous force and power, a combination necessary when dealing with large animals. That said, anyone in the market for an "anti-bear" revolver must choose a powerful firearm wisely.
The Right Gun for the Right Purpose
Walking into a gun shop and choosing a firearm based on just price, looks, or name brand might prove regrettable. Take these items into consideration when purchasing a revolver for bear defense:
- Size of the Firearm: You won't be hunting for bear. You're trying to prepare for a sneak bear attack. So, Magnum with an 8-inch barrel won't be a logical choice. Carrying and drawing such a long revolver could create problems. Perhaps concealment requirements necessitate purchasing a snub nose, which leads to issues about caliber.
- Drawing the Gun: Choosing the most powerful Magnum pistol means picking a heavy and bulky gun. The weight may impact quick-drawing the weapon when necessary.
- Recoil of the Revolver: Repeat shooting may be necessary to bring down a bear. The highest Magnum calibers and even high-pressure .44 Magnum ammunition may lead to significant recoil. Recoil potentially affects targeting on multiple shots.
Considering the seriousness and complexity of black bear defenses, customers must look beyond purchasing a gun for sale. Try out several firearms and types of ammunition under the guidance of a qualified instructor. Work with the instructor beyond shooting paper targets. Request bear defense training. Educate yourself and weigh the advice of a skilled expert. Doing so has many safety-enhancing upsides.