A couple of weeks ago, I asked “What caliber for bear?” A few of you mentioned the 10mm.

It turns out (via Commander Zero) that handguns are effective on bears 97% of the time. Who knew? Like me, he leans to the .44, but there is no getting around the 10mm and its higher capacity.

There is also Peter’s post over at Bayou Renaissance Man about the 10mm coming back as a defensive round.

I own defensive handguns in .38Spl, .380ACP, .357 Magnum, .357Sig, .40S&W, .45ACP, and 9x19mm. They require magazines, speed loaders, and a stock of ammo that has to be maintained and occasionally fired. Adding another caliber to the mix will require a lot of shopping and a fair amount of money. Then again…

You guys suck. Now I am starting to think about branching into a new caliber in the middle of this crazy ammo shortage. I may have to take a trip to the LGS to see what 10mm offerings are there…

Categories: Guns


Bert · February 3, 2022 at 8:29 am

Bullshit, you just wanted an excuse.
Crocs would of been better cover, bears in Florida is not the best line.
Good luck with your search.

    Russell G. · February 3, 2022 at 10:09 am


TechieDude · February 3, 2022 at 9:23 am

In tough times, It’s good to be diversified.

Russell G. · February 3, 2022 at 10:08 am

10mm brass has virtually disappeared at our range. 40s the same.
I see 44 and 45LC more often, and that ain’t a lot. People are apparently dragging out wheel guns and maybe some levers. But, you can find the ammo and the barrels, so, whatever. You know the story with the 10s and 40s…LEOs complaining about the recoil and muzzle rise…

Furminator · February 3, 2022 at 11:15 am

My hunting buddy guided bear hunts in Canada back in the day and lived in AK for several years. So he’s hunted and killed *and avoided* numerous bears. He claims to have shot one brown bear five times with a .458 Win Mag without killing it and has only ever seen two killed with a single rifle shot. I have a video of him dropping a running antelope at over a hundred yards with one shot from a .500 S&W. Such shooting is characteristic of most of the critters I’ve seen him kill.

He says categorically that he would never shoot a bear with a handgun.


Jonathan · February 3, 2022 at 12:07 pm

I agree – a handgun is the last resort for a bear.
But if you have no other option, I would go with as large a caliber as possible AND with as many rounds as possible – which to me rules out wheel guns.
I suspect a good 45 load wouldn’t be far behind 10 mm. That, of course, leaves the question of what is a good load…

J. Smith · February 3, 2022 at 12:15 pm

Look at the 200g cast core loads from Doubletap for .40 S&W. Velocity is like 100fps less than 10mm, much less blast and recoil. I carry them in the mountains of PA where we get large black bears. If Im carrying a wheel gun, I carry 200g castcore .357 mag rounds I got in alaska, out of a 4″ they clock 1250fps. More than enough for black bears. I carried a 5″, .480 ruger with 400g cast core when I was stomping around grizzly country in Alaska. Bears in NW Florida, which I see in my yard weekly on trash day, Im fine with the aforementioned .40 or .357 loads. I dont get the 10mm fanboy club. The ballistic difference between some .40 and 10mm loads is marginal and mostly academic, as we used the say, the juice isnt worth the squeeze. IMO.

    Dirk Diggler · February 3, 2022 at 12:40 pm

    Not a 10mm fan boy. I could load some super hot .40sw on the Ole Dillon, and download some 10mm to the wimpy crap some companies are putting out there and claim your statement even harderer that .40sw is even gooder than 10mm. Doesn’t make it true. REAL 10mm power levels can exceed .40sw quite handily. It’s simply a matter of case size and powder charge. That said, I ccw a .40sw G22 every day, but my camping gun is a G20 with underwood penetrators. But you cherry pick those numbers and do you, I’ll do me…

      J. Smith · February 3, 2022 at 4:33 pm

      I dont call it cherry picking when citing production ammo specs for stuff thats available. Why carry a G22 at all then? switching to a 10mm after using a .40 for CCW seems superflous and brings unnecessary costs for the average Joe. My point with using a .40 albeit the minor differences is I could easily go from 135 jhp corbon ammo at 1350 fps, basically matching .357 ballistics with a 125 jhp, to a bear load with a simple mag change presents Minimal cost, investment, etc.. for the average joe. Most shooters arent reloaders so…that is why I mention production ammo specs, not cherry picking. Another thing that makes getting another semi-auto cal just for the very off chance of a bear encounter is why an auto? Does anyone really think theyre gonna get to use all 10 or 15 rounds. Like what would the odds be if you even got a full cylinder of six off you were attacked? So, yeah thats why I call the all “enamorship” with 10mm fan boy. A .357 does anything a 10mm does and some things better, so why 10mm for the average Joe? .357 is ubiquitous and cheaper. I cant think of one reason. But, Im sure youll continue to make your case that less availability, more cost, recoil, blast, etc, ad infinatum is always better. Youre right you do you, and Ill do logic and common sense and not fanboy. And apparently according to the study in firearm use with bears, 9mm did well, so how about the gun you have is the best gun. Its like animal farm, some are just more equal I guess. Using a .480 ruger is probably bad also, I should have only opted for a 454 casull or bigger despite the power factor being better, and having lest blast, recoil, etc….than other big bores and probably the 10mm also is still better. Taking whatever works, is available, common, etc… isnt fanboy its necessity.

      PapaSierra · February 4, 2022 at 8:24 am

      Unless you’re dealing with grizzly bears, I would expect that this would be adequate.

      Underwood Ammunition 40 S&W 200 Grain Hard Cast Lead Flat Nose

T Town · February 3, 2022 at 2:07 pm

Rather than invest in another caliber, just get some hard cast ammo for your 357 mag.
Personally, I just got some 147gr hard cast 9mm +P ammo for my full size pistol and carbine, because I don’t expect to run into anything larger than small black bears or the rare cougar that happened to migrate too far from its natural territory.

Prairie1 · February 3, 2022 at 8:35 pm

Well in my zip code we have brown and black bears, cougar and wolf. Best bullet for them is what you actully carry and shoot well. Doesn’t matter what size it is if you don’t carry it our shoot it well. My 357’s are with me far more than my Linebaughs because of that

TRX · February 5, 2022 at 7:19 pm

Remember, check the ballistics before purchasing loaded ammo. A majority of 10mm Auto is loaded to plain old .40 S&W velocity.

I’ve never seen a credible explanation as to why, but a lot of guys shooting 10mm don’t seem to be aware they’re being gypped.

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