Grizzly Bear Charge Stopped with a .44 Magnum ~ VIDEO

Grizzly Bear Charge Stopped with a .44 Magnum

Dean WeingartenArizona -( The video was filmed by Leon Lorenz on 14 June, 2010. Lorenz originally filmed grizzlys without carrying a pistol. His mother insisted that he start carrying a .44 magnum a decade earlier.

The video has not seen much play in the United States.


Mr. Lorenz has filmed grizzlies for the past 19 years and knew well how to prepare for an encounter with a bear. He'd washed with unscented soap and was sure to walk without making any noise. He knew he could likely talk his way out of a grizzly attack by calmly reassuring the beasts. After all, he'd done it before.

Most importantly, he'd packed his .44 magnum stainless steel handgun, a safe companion he'd toted on many of his excursions since his mother asked him to get one 10 years ago.

The video got my adrenaline flowing. It shows all bear attacks are unique.  Sometimes, bears approach slowly. Sometimes they charge head-on. Sometimes they go away and come back. Sometimes gunshots draw them in, where they learn to associate gunshots with food. This is a real problem in Montana during elk season.

Sometimes gunshots scare them off. In this one, the bears run zig-zag toward the cameraman. They are likely following his scent in the nearly still air.  The bears run in and out of the visual field of the video camera.

The cause and the effect of the .44 shot is obvious in the video.  It dispels the notion that pistols are useless as a defense against bears. There are over a dozen cases where handguns have been used to stop bear attacks. I have been unable to document one case where the pistol failed to stop the attack or drive off the bear.

The cub follows its mother very closely. A two-year-old cub is a danger in itself. Sows with cubs make up a significant percentage of grizzly bear attacks. Lorenz estimated the bear weighed between 400 and 500 pounds. The cub appears to be less than half the sow's size. It is still a significant and active predator that can do enormous damage.  From the quoting the Vancouver Sun:

“She was a blur, going by me, she was so fast. Even if I had hit her, her momentum would have carried her forward. She was running on so much adrenalin, she would have made sure I was dead before she died, and her cub probably would have attacked, too.”

Lorenz has grown closer to his God after the experience:

Mr. Lorenz said he always prays with his wife and two sons before heading out on his filmmaking missions, but is doing it a little more fervently now.

This incident was covered by The Globe and Mail, the CBCthe National Post, and The Free Press, and the Vancouver Sun in Canada. It has strong visual values. It touches our primordial instincts and fears.

The video is dramatic. It doesn't seem to have been considered news by any American establishment media.

If you find a case where there was a failure of a pistol defense against a bear, please share it with us. I am not interested in 40-year-old rumors or second and third-hand stories. Stories of bears found with .38 bullets under the skin do not make the grade.

With an increasing number of successful defenses against bears, using pistols, there should eventually be a failure. It should make the news.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30-year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

  • 36 thoughts on “Grizzly Bear Charge Stopped with a .44 Magnum ~ VIDEO

    1. That bear isn’t playing. At 25 seconds into the video, you can see her wind his scent. Then, she starts to frantically hunt him because she has the cub. He was almost lunch.

    2. I don’t know if this qualifies as a pistol failing to stop a bear, but on one episode of ‘River Monsters’ a young grizzly stole the host’s salmon and came back for more even after the guide fired a warning shot from a .500 S&W. They had to leave the area because they were worried that because the bear isn’t afraid of humans it would quite likely attack and/or force the guide to shoot it. It’s the episode on the ‘Lake Iliamna Monster’. I don’t recall what the season & episode numbers are.

      1. What kind of bullet? 200, 400 grain? I have Ruger Alaskan snub nose with 400 grain hollow points. I use a ‘tanker rig’ so either hand can get the gun.

    3. OldVet
      Smart people who go hiking in the woods or fishing on a stream or just a road trip is to let someone know generally where you’re going and when you’ll be back. Pilots and boaters can file flight or float plans so the FAA/USCG can start a search.
      Some people carry personal locator beacons.
      If the family reported he was making kiddie porn in the woods they’d find him immediately.

    4. The camera is obviously on a tripod. So if the grizzly bear chasing the grizzly bear decided to eat the man the video should still be there.

    5. I had to go back and read this again after watching the video on Youtube. I thought in my first reading that he killed the bear but after watching the video I realized he just scared the bears off. So a .44 mag. didn’t stop the bears, it scared them. Why is that such a special story?

      1. I think there’s something wrong with your logic. The bear was attacking. He fired a .44 magnum. The bear ran away. Under what definition would that not be considered stopping the attack?! The title isn’t “Grizzly Bear Killed With a .44 Magnum”; it’s “Grizzly Bear Charge Stopped with a .44 Magnum.”

        1. The two bears appear to be playing with each other. Their path running in circles and weaving among the trees came toward the camera. Muzzle blast and flash did turn the bear that wasn’t angry, but playing .

    6. Apparently he wasn’t able to “talk his way” out of this one. The grizzly won, and the video was just too gory to show.
      It’s now “Tales from the crypt!” 🙂

    7. Hmmm. So, the “youTube” link goes straight to an ad for getting my blog site up. Nice. Don’t have a blog content yet but thanks for sharing. None of the links to the other news sources have any video connections that work, with the exception of a wildlife site that wants money before they will share. Oh well, could have been interesting. Hey Dean, can you fix this? Or is this simply more YouTube meddling? Don’t they want to poison our minds with seeing the usefulness of firearms?

    8. Your youtube video takes me to Blogger….wants me to ‘create account or sign in”…..ehhh….NO. Surely would like to see this – IF YOU can make it work..

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