[ QUOTE ]
I believe the question refers to a gun for protection not for a grizz hunt.
For protection, either a handgun or shotgun.
[/ QUOTE ]
A handgun only for those that can use the big bores to thier potential.. When I lived in Alaska the Fish and Game had recomendations for Bear protection derived from testing and the shotgun with either slugs or buckshot was rather low on the list.
The same question was asked here:
Posted by Phil Shoemaker:
one of us
Posted Oct 5, 10:06 AM Hide Post
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ONE BEST BROWN BEAR CALIBER. A good bear hunter can make do with most any reasonable caliber. For most of the past seventy years the rifle of choice for the vast majority of Alaskan guides was the 30-06 and it still works as well today -actually even better with modern bullets - than ever. I have used one to kill half a dozen big bears - including serious up-close full-on charges.
That said, I don't consider it the ultimate big bear caliber but it works.
I don't have the exact number of bears my clients have killed over the past 25 years but it is somewhere between 100 and 150. In my experience the "ideal" calibers begin with the 338 Win, include the 358 Win, 35 Whelen, 9.3x62, 375H&H and up to the modern 45-70 loads.
The various 416's and 458's are great as a stopper for guides who might be required to stop a charging, wounded bruin but are absolutely un-necessary for any qualified hunter after un-wounded bears. If you honestly can handle one well they are fine but 99%+ of every hunter I've seen carrying the biggest bores are unreasonably afraid of both their rifles and of bears , which is a deadly combination. That is why if you ask the vast majority of experienced big bear guides what caliber they recommend they will recommend something close to what I have. A gut shot bear with a 460 WBY is a lot more dangerous than one heart shot with a 30-06.