Have you practiced hitting a 3 inch ball (the size of a bears brain) coming at you, undulating up and down at 20 miles an hour? I took some shots yesterday with the Smith & Wesson Model 69 Combat 44 magnum at just a stationary target and I could only get one bullet, the first shot, in the kill zone out of 5 shots. See Video below.
But that was just initial practice. Serious practice with a moving target over time would be best. And you or I might reach the conclusion that we are not up for that task.
I saw a video where someone used a 1911 pistol in 45 ACP place more than one bullet in the brain kill zone however the 45 ACP is not Brown Bear medicine and would not likely penetrate the skull before the bear reached your body.
Brown bear experts suggest that a 12 gauge shotgun with slugs and 00 buckshot are best in brown bear country.
But on black bear here in New England the S&W Model 69 for general use on deer in regular gun season or bear is just fine say for an archery bear hunt where the bear is climbing the tree you are in and you want more protection than spray repellent.
So where does that leave us in our testing with the SW Model 69 Combat Magnum? I like the confidence I feel with a pistol in 44 Magnum on my hip and will share more on my carry of it in the deer woods this fall.
Note: during deer Muzzleloader or Bow season, you must have “license to carry permit with you” in addition to your muzzleloader/archery license or leave your pistol home.
Open Carry it during “regular”gun season if you like but if concealed under a jacket you need a “conceal carry permit”. When in doubt call NH F&G to get any questions answered before hitting the woods. Unless you have a conceal carry permit, you must unload your pistol while in a vehicle just like your rifle or shotgun. Bone up on pistol laws.
I have a conceal carry permit and you should too, see your local police department.
A concealed gun on you without a conceal carry permit is against NH Law so be aware.
Be Safe! Good Shooting!