10mm Auto Bear and Moose Defense.
The seven reasons I chose the Glock 10mm for my platform are as follows: 1.) Reliability 2.) Magazine Capacity (firepower) 3.) Ability to add Night Sights. 4.) Availability of Accessories. 5.) Muzzle Energy 6.) Accuracy. 7.) Versatility. I have been shooting the Glock 10mm for about 18 years and I can say it's probably the most reliable auto loading handgun I have shot. Don't get me wrong all guns can Jam or fail but in comparison to all other auto loading handguns, the Glock 10mm has jammed or failed the least. The Glock 10mm is also a fast shooting, accurate and practical firearm that can be used not only for bears and moose but for anything smaller as well. The durability of the Glock is amazing too, it's an all around excellent choice for any task.
When you look at what it takes to kill a bear, you will find out that the best first shot you can make is if you take out the lungs and heart. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you won't want to then shoot the bear in the brain and spine, I'm saying your first shot is best to be through the lungs and if possible the heart also. You should then follow up with brain or spinal cord if the situation permitted. Under the intense act of a bear charging, I would at least shoot as continually and as effective as you can.
We know that your first shot should be through the lungs so we know that it would be important to have penetration and to have expansion. Bear hunters say you should use a solid bullet. I however believe that as long as you use a bonded bullet, then you can use a hollow point. The Gold Dot Hollow Point is designed to retain it's mass, it is also designed to expand after it penetrates (delayed expansion) or bullet weight retention; and it is for this reason I chose to use the GDHP for this venture. We know bear hunters suggest a 200 grain slug traveling at 1000 feet per second, which is basically this load in 45Auto; .45 ACP +P Speer Gold Dot 200 gr; minus the fact it's a hollow point but excepted in my opinion because it's a bonded design; so what about a 180 grain slug traveling at 1300 feet per second?
You will find the muzzle energy is much higher. You get 676 foot pounds with the 180 grain at 1300 and you get 17" of penetration through ballistic gelatin as opposed to the 200 grain at 1,000 feet per second which is 444 foot pounds and 12.5 inches of penetration; see below video for general proof.
see for yourself as below is a kinetic energy calculator link.
So, I decided to settle on the 180 grain Gold Dot Hollow Point shot from a 6" barrel in 10mm Auto loading, simply because of the bullets (not cartridge) availability in stores and it's performance.
I have not been able to find a commercially loaded 180 grain gold dot hollow point cartridges for 10mm Auto in the stores in my area. You can order them online but I don't normally buy ammo online, it's not my preferred procurement method, so I decided to load them myself. To achieve the velocities necessary I found that the Hornady Reloading manual suggests to use up to 10.7 grains of Blue Dot. I settled on using 10.5 grains of Blue Dot for my load. I will say however that if you look at Alliant's website they show a load of 11 grains of blue dot. I decided to stick with the 10.5 because I don't need to over do it, I just need to satisfy the requirement right.
If you are not interested in loading your own then the best over the counter 10mm load that I was able to find in stores in my area are the HPR 180 grain hollow points. They load these to be powerful enough to meet the criteria. I would feel okay carrying this ammo as well. The other thing you can do is buy the loads online; I suppose you could try the below if you wanted to.
How to carry in bear country.
I have plenty of experience engaging in outdoor activities and I know enough to select the proper carry system. The main principles of a holster to carry should include a safe holster that is quick to draw from but also retains the handgun in a scuffle or a fall. The best holster for this task is the Blackhawk Serpa. The Serpa allows for a fast draw but it also keeps you from losing your handgun if you fall in a river or down a steep hill in thick brush. The magazine holder should exhibit relatively quick to draw a magazine from but is going to make sure you don't lose your magazines when you slip down a hill or fall in a lake. After having lost many of magazines in the woods under those circumstances I have dead set myself on using snap style magazine holders. I recommend the Uncle Mikes snap style magazine holders.
Pro Tip: Cant- your Glock model 20 Serpa "holster" to the front a notch to help keep the muzzle of the Glock Model 40 from hitting ground or vehicle seat while sitting down or riding in a car.
I took the below information from the Utah DWR Bear Orientation Course.
In the spring, bears in Utah emerge from their dens from the third week in April through the fourth week in May. Males generally emerge about 1-2 weeks prior to females, and they are most susceptible to harvest the last weeks of April and first week of May. The peak week of emergence for males is mid to late April. Most females emerge during the first 2 weeks of May. Adult males leave dens earlier and wander more than females. In the spring, therefore, males are more available to hunters than adult females, and are more susceptible to harvest.
In Utah, bears will generally stop feeding and enter dens in late October through mid-November. In years with abundant fall foods, such as acorns, bears often continue to move and feed for 3-4 additional weeks and don't enter dens in mid-November through December.
Pregnant females usually enter dens prior to other females and males, but hunters should not consider date to be a reliable predictor of the sex of bears encountered during the fall months.
Young bears have smaller feet and leave smaller tracks and shorter strides than adults. Adult male bears usually have larger feet than female bears: The front foot tracks are one of the most important clues: male tracks are usually wider than 4.5 inches, but females are usually less than 4.5 inches wide.
BEAR TRACK MEASUREMENTS
Bear paw graphic depicting how to measure its width
Most adult male bears in Utah (42% of those sampled) had pad widths equal to or greater than 4¾ inches.
Very few (7%) of females had front pad widths greater than 4½ inches
Proportion of Females in Harvest
In a lightly harvested population, there are many surplus males produced that will wander more and be more susceptible to harvest. If hunting is more aggressive, however, the proportion of females that are harvested will be higher. As more males are harvested, there will be fewer surplus males to harvest and then when females are harvested, the reproductive potential of the population is reduced. More females harvested means fewer females left in the population, and fewer females on the landscape means fewer bears.
Adult male bears are usually larger than females. A large male bear often weighs between 175-200 pounds but they can grow to over 300 pounds. Adult females are typically 130 to 150 pounds. Don't only use size to determine if a bear is male or female; in the fall, for example, female bears without cubs can be much larger than females that are nursing bears all summer.
Adult bears are more bulky and stocky than thin-bodied and long-legged yearlings and subadults.
Head shape and ears provide good clues for telling males and females apart. Mature males have rounded heads and necks that appear short. Their ears are more short and rounded, and are set farther apart. Females and young bears usually have thinner necks and snouts, and may appear to have longer legs. Females and young bears have ears that appear large and set close together.
Characteristics of adult female bears:
• Smaller and leaner looking, appearing as long as they are tall
• They have elongated muzzles, flatter foreheads and bigger looking ears set closer together
• The vulva may be visible when if they are "in heat," typically in June
• They will have enlarged teats if they are nursing young
• They urinate toward the back
• If the teats of a female in a tree are large enough to be readily observed from below, it probably has nursing cubs nearby. Cubs may nurse as late as August-September
• They may be more cautious and slow when entering a bait site
Characteristics of adult male bears:
Bears generally do not travel in groups unless they are a female with offspring. The female may be accompanied by cubs (born in the den that year), or the previous year's offspring (yearlings). In the spring, females may park cubs in secure trees while they forage, so look for tracks of cubs and evidence of nursing before harvesting. Females with cubs are illegal to take or pursue.
Adult bears will sometimes feed close together to share concentrated food sources, such as acorns in oak stands. When hunting where foods are concentrated, extra care must be taken to determine the age and composition of bears. It will be useful to watch the animals for some period of time and examine their relative sizes and weights and to determine if they are actually traveling with one another or only feeding near one another.
The DWR tries to place radio collars on bears throughout the state of Utah. The radio collars are one way that we can collect important biological information on bears. Every spring the DWR will find bears in their dens using the signal from radio collars. We can also determine the number of cubs that a female has going through the winter and help estimate the population growth over time. In other cases bears with radio collars may be part of research projects with Universities. Because it is hard to replace radio collars if the animal dies or is harvested we request that hunters pass over radio collared animals.