Armory, Self Defense, And EDC > Firearms Advice For Beginners

griz ..

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You really only need a 22 in bear country and a slow friend...slower than you anyway and that's where the 22 comes do you spell kneecap? :P

David in MN:
Just to be clear. The desire is to select an inexpensive gun that a relatively inexperienced shooter could use to defend herself from a bear while on horseback?

I regret to say that no such weapon exists. I'd get the spray.

Defending oneself from a bear is no small task. It requires big cartridges and often many of them. If you ever see one in the wild you'll understand immediately. I don't want to tussle with a badger. Bears? No thanks.

Depends how brave you are under pressure. Hard to say, wouldn't want to find out but sometimes it's like that .. The truly brave are not afraid to die, at least perhaps not for that 30 seconds of adrenaline .. Some native Americans supposedly fought bears with knives and spears. Some claim animals show more respect to those who have no fear

 but I always thought a shotgun is not hard to shoot .. can't you practice with dummy shells to see how fast you can reload without damaging any pins etc ?

As for me, I doubt I would camp in grizzly country only because I wouldn't be able to get a good night sleep. I would be listening tor every little noise. There's lots of places in the world where I wouldn't surf either or I would only surf where other people are surfing because I sometimes think about whats under the water. Some places there are alot of those big fish

From what I read, some American Indian warriors seemed so eager to do battle and prove their bravery that alot of them where easily killed off in the indian wars. I wonder if being killed fighting a bear would have been seen as a great honor ?

Not my thing, but I was reminded of this. The Tiger Swami is mentioned in the world famous book "Autobiography of a Yogi". He was severely injured by a tiger but managed to kill the tiger with his bare hands which was his last fight. Other fights previously he did much better and apparently always prevailed.

The story is, he was renowned for fighting tigers but a prophet or astrologist of some type warned his father that the next tiger fight would be his last. He was injured in that fight and afterwards gave up fighting tigers and became a swami

Soham Swami, or Tiger Swami, was a guru and yogi of India. He lived before the first quarter of the twentieth century


was one of pioneers of physical prowess of modern Bengal. He had so much physical strength that he could wrestle even tigers. Due to this reason came to be known as Tiger Swami. But this tiger bouts took place before he entered into the spiritual path.

Chapter from the book on the tiger swami is here:

 "Will you not tell us, please, how it is possible to subdue with bare fists the most ferocious of jungle beasts, the royal Bengals?"

"My sons, it is nothing to me to fight tigers. I could do it today if necessary." He gave a childlike laugh. "You look upon tigers as tigers; I know them as pussycats."

"Swamiji, I think I could impress my subconsciousness with the thought that tigers are pussycats, but could I make tigers believe it?"

"Of course strength also is necessary! One cannot expect victory from a baby who imagines a tiger to be a house cat! Powerful hands are my sufficient weapon."

He asked us to follow him to the patio, where he struck the edge of a wall. A brick crashed to the floor; the sky peered boldly through the gaping lost tooth of the wall. I fairly staggered in astonishment; he who can remove mortared bricks from a solid wall with one blow, I thought, must surely be able to displace the teeth of tigers!

 "A number of men have physical power such as mine, but still lack in cool confidence. Those who are bodily but not mentally stalwart may find themselves fainting at mere sight of a wild beast bounding freely in the jungle. The tiger in its natural ferocity and habitat is vastly different from the opium-fed circus animal!

"Many a man with herculean strength has nonetheless been terrorized into abject helplessness before the onslaught of a royal Bengal. Thus the tiger has converted the man, in his own mind, to a state as nerveless as the pussycat's. It is possible for a man, owning a fairly strong body and an immensely strong determination, to turn the tables on the tiger, and force it to a conviction of pussycat defenselessness. How often I have done just that!"


"'I am no fatalist, son. But I believe in the just law of retribution, as taught in the holy scriptures. There is resentment against you in the jungle family; sometime it may act to your cost.'


"'Tigers are the most contemptible of the jungle breed! Who knows? my blows may inject some slight sanity of consideration into their thick heads. I am headmaster in a forest finishing school, to teach them gentle manners!

Rounds complete, end of mission. She has spray and does not seem interested in going through the time, money and effort to do firearms in a useful manner. She is as ready as she can usefully be.

If you really want to open the door to something more, she can buy a furearm with NO connection to bears. Perhaps she will become interested in shooting bear grade calibers later. For now, bear spray is quite prudent.

Otherwise she is as prepared as she wants to be. By the by, she does not seem poorly prepared, just not what I consider ideal.


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