You always post interesting thoughts TN! With lots to ponder.
I haven't stated this before anywhere, but the interest I've had in 'bear guns' stems from a couple of very simple facts I thought many on the board would pick up on.
Most shooters/ would-be-survivalists have limted budgets and I think try to buy firearms that will serve several purposes and give the most-use and application for the buck$$! Sort of intuitive.
But also the adage a "shooter when protecting his- or herself should choose a firearm (and cartridge) that is the biggest they can handle (esp for women) when trying to accomplish a "job" (of defense). this normally applies to dealing with THUGS, but not always just-THUGS! In the remote western U.S. states that are still very wild a lot of the time, the biggest "threat" is often a moose or bear
(each weighs considerably more than any THUG), if one spends considerable time in the remote lonesome areas of Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, etc. A .357 isn't very big! And certainly not a round like a 9mm, .45ACP, etc. I thought most viewers to GBO already knew these things!! And folks who live in even more remote areas in Alaska and Canada know these things even better than I think I do!
"Preditors" (bears, wuff, cougars, feral stuff) are increasing in many areas, and man-wildlife confrontations seem to be increasing as well. So what's the likelihood of encountering weird stuff or having a confrontation?
Approx 30 years ago my family was nearly attacked by a black bear when camping once, as we put groceries away in the car one night before sleeping! Bear climbed into the car and nearly knocked my mum down when it fled.
And the last time I trout fished in Wyoming, it was 1pm on a sunny/cloudy day when I walked face-to-face into a cow Shiras moose with twin calves. Why weren't they bedded down [hiding] like normal critters are supposed to do!? I made all kinds of noise approaching them.
I've always been extremely grateful that momma-moose was on the heels of her young as they fled, instead of stomping on muah! There was not time for me to do anything but stare, it happened that FAST! Was I lucky? Oh yeah!
And then there was the times I encountered my first copperhead in NW Florida (where the species isn't supposed to exist!) And while I never encountered a rattler in FL, I did confront several coral snakes, and even the false-coral (red scarlet king snake). I next encountered a copperhead in a downtown Atlanta suburb under a can of charcoal lighter fuel!
And first time I saw an alligator in the wild was when a family friend's boy and I were smimming in our backyard in a bayou about 3pm one summer day. A piece of driftwood not too far away seemed to move against the breeze, and then it disappeared! We vamoosed quickly out of the water.
And my bro-in-law who grew up in southern FL all his life near the 'glades. He was 10yo one day when he and a buddy were fixing a bike flat. Imagine his shock the next morning when a cottonmouth bit him on the wrist as he picked up the new tire! He was in the ICU for several days.
And then there was my 96yo aunt who passed away last summer. She was my dad's oldest sister, and oldest of the five my grandparents had, and last to die.
Seven or 8 years ago she came home to her Cody, Wyoming home (west of town). She had been a widow 14-16 years, lived alone. Imagine her shock when she found a 6 1/2'plus western diamondback on her elevated front porch blocking entrance into her home!
She found a shovel to kill it with, only after she had to climb into a window above the snake to first get the shovel. Her photo and story were in the Cody paper! All these incidents tell me it pays to consider "contingencies," and that extinuating things happen! (glad these "odds" were not with lightening strikes or tornados!). Plus the incident that WyoCowboy told about spring trout fishing, and the elk carcass he came upon with fresh grizzly tracks beside it ..... I would wager that such incidents happen DOZENS of times EVERY YEAR in the remotest areas of our country!
I know many GBO members like yourself TeamNelson, live back east or always in more-civilized locales, but one can never predict when the extempotaneous things might happen!
P.S. - To clarify, I don't think "dozens" of grizzly bear encounters (or all bear encounters in the WEST number in the dozens and dozens, but when considering "generic encounters of all kinds" in the remote areas of the USA (all areas in the 48 contiguous states!), I do bet the need for a gun might number in the "dozens and dozens!" And where I live and spend my time, sometimes a "danger might be as small as a snake or badger or feral dog, or bigger on occasion.
Even my buddy who took me horse-riding when we'd scout for mule deer, packed a Contender pistol ALWAYS, for if his horse ever broke its leg! Never expected to need it, but like American Express, never left home without it!