Grizzly Bear Attack In Montana Stopped With 9mm Pistols

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 1 day ago

Recall that there were multiple bear attacks briefly discussed in this earlier report.  Bear spray was deployed, but there was another attack not fully discussed, where pistols were used.

In addition to their archery equipment, both men had 9 mm pistols. Chris Gregersen had a Glock 43. Donivan Campbell had a Sig Sauer P320. Both guns were loaded with full metal jacketed (FMJ) cartridges.

I like Dean’s detail – I always want to know what weapon was used and what caliber it was.

He took a snap sight picture and fired at the bear’s rear. It was probably 16 seconds into the attack.  The point of aim was the bear’s hind quarters. There was no other choice.  The bear and Donivan were up slope with brush on either side. There was no time to flank the bear, on a steep hill side, with considerable brush, when fractions of a second could make the difference between life and death.   Chris had a clear shot. He has considerable experience shooting under stress while hunting. He says he has “shot a lot.”  He had a brief worry about hitting his friend, so he had to do it right.

[ … ]

Chris emphasized bear spray would not have been sufficient. The spray would have been directed at the bear’s backside. If the spray had reached the bear’s head, it would have disabled Donivan as well. When the bear charged again, the bear spray would have been unlikely to reach the bear through the heavy cover.

There were multiple charges, each time repelled by yelling and gunfire.  The injuries were bad, and Dean has some good pictures of the area as well.

This further confirms that bear spray is simply not an effective deterrent against a determined, large predator.  But a gun is – I guess I would have chosen a larger bore handgun.  There is also this observation.

A warden suggested more power, and a large magazine capacity gave a better chance of hitting the central nervous system. He recommended the Glock 20 in 10mm

I have a better solution: A 1911 shooting 450 SMC, with higher muzzle velocity and a heavier bullet.  I’m accurate with it, I just can’t shoot 50 rounds without ceasing to have fun.  It’s not a plinker.


Comments

  1. On October 8, 2019 at 9:35 am, Heywood said:

    The S&W 460 you linked to earlier would have been nice…..

  2. On October 8, 2019 at 10:13 am, Ned said:

    Agree with the 450 SMC medicine.

  3. On October 8, 2019 at 11:00 am, I R A Darth Aggie said:

    I guess I would have chosen a larger bore handgun.

    You go to war with the firearms you have, no the ones you wish you had.

  4. On October 8, 2019 at 11:26 am, MTHead said:

    Like Ross Seyfreid use to say, It will certainly beat your fingernails!

  5. On October 8, 2019 at 9:07 pm, Bad_Brad said:

    I’ll go with a 6 inch model 29 thank you very much. There’s a Montana Outdoor Channel web site I recently started following. Bear, human confrontations are almost daily. Off the hook. I once considered South Western Montana as a great place to move to. No more.

  6. On October 9, 2019 at 10:00 am, Ned2 said:

    They’re VERY lucky.
    10mm would be a minimum caliber to carry while hunting. Most here carry 44 mag, 454 casull etc., but the 10’s caught on in recent years.
    Bear spray is worthless, even under perfect weather conditions (no wind). Good luck with that in the Rockies!

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You are currently reading "Grizzly Bear Attack In Montana Stopped With 9mm Pistols", entry #22035 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Animals,Firearms,Guns and was published October 7th, 2019 by Herschel Smith.

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