Outdoor Skills – Hunting Q&A

I'm concerned about protection from bears and mountain lions in the backcountry while fishing. How would a .45 "Long" Colt measure up to a .44 magnum against a brown or grizzly bear? --J.H.

The .45 Colt (often mistakenly called the Long Colt) is just as much or more gun than the .44 magnum, but only if handloaded in a modern revolver like a Ruger Blackhawk. The factory loads are pretty wimpy, because many ancient .45s are still kicking around. I carry a Ruger in .45 Colt with handloads in mountain lion and black bear country, but I wouldn’t count on one to stop a grizzly or brown bear with anything except a brain shot. You’re much better off carrying a big can of pepper-based spray repellent than trying to shoot a charging grizzly between the eyes.