U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- On 19 September 2018, Jimmy Cox used his Glock model 20 10mm to stop the charging grizzly bear pictured, at 10 feet. The incident leading to the dramatic events occurred the previous evening.
On the evening of 18 September 2018, Anthony Reyna was happy and excited. He and his friend, Gary, were hunting moose on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson north of and sharing a boundary with Anchorage, Alaska. Tony had drawn a moose tag for a bow hunt. He was using a 60 lb PSE ThunderBolt compound bow. He has owned the bow since he was a teenager. Tony and Gary set up and started moose calling about 6 p.m. After 40 minutes, they heard a bull moving in. They saw his antlers at 30 yards. Suddenly, a second bull appeared at 15 yards! It was not as big, but Tony was hunting for meat.
Tony was able to take a shot as the bull moved 20 yards out. The bull turned at the last moment; the arrow glanced off a rib. It did not spook the bull, but the bull moved off 200 yards. Tony stalked it to 24 yards and put an arrow through both lungs. This time the bull ran. As they tracked the bull, the blood trail ran out with the daylight. It wasn't safe to search in the dark. They decided to come back the next morning.
At 08:30 the next morning, Tony was back with his friends Jimmy Cox and Ron Sheldon. It was cool, cloudy, and calm. They found the end of the blood trail. Jimmy Cox had the lead with a Glock 20 10mm in a Blackhawk Serpa holster on his right hip. Jimmy is right-handed. The three friends are experienced combat veterans. They decided to do a grid search in the direction the blood trail was leading. Ron went up a hill to help guide the search from an elevated perspective.
The area is heavily wooded in black spruce and birch, some aspen, with plenty of undergrowth and downed trees.
Tony and Jimmy head out. They hear crows about 50 yards away. Jimmy says: “That's where your moose is”.
As they approached the area where they heard the crows, the birds kick up. Less than a second later, they hear the roar, directly ahead. From 10 yards away, a large grizzly is charging them full out.
Jimmy is in the lead, about five feet ahead of Tony. He has time for a startled “F*ck Bear!” as he draws the Glock from the Serpa. He has trained and practiced. The draw is smooth and fast from a retention holster. As the bear bounds over the downed spruce, Jimmy double taps, two shots, one to the chest, one to the head. The bear crashes down, 10 feet from Jimmy, dead right there (DRT). It is over in a couple of seconds.
The bear is a big grizzly bear. The friends call Fish and Game on base to report the self-defense killing. Mark, with Fish and Game, shows up. He has no issues with the shooting. He estimates the bear at 800-850 lbs. It squares at 7 1/2 feet.
They are instructed to go to Anchorage the next day to fill out the required paperwork, the Defense of Life and Property (DLP) report. They were already busy with the hard work of skinning the bear and dressing out the moose. The moose had been buried by the bear and had its ear and genitals ripped off.
The meat was judged salvageable. Fortunately, a co-worker was able to get his truck within 100 yards of the scene, minimizing pack-out time. Tony was able to get back home, get the meat through initial processing and stored by 9:30 p.m. It had been a long 30 hours.
Jimmy's Glock was loaded with 200 grain HSN bear loads. The first shot took the bear in the chest. It penetrated the right lung, through the chest cavity, and broke the spine. As the bear dropped, the second round caught it in the head. Neither round exited the bears body. The friends could not follow the second round wound channel, because the head, skin, and paws had to be turned in. Because the bear dropped nearly instantaneously, Tony believes the second bullet hit the brain or top of the spinal column.
Tony credits training and practice drawing to developing the muscle memory to make the needed shots. He says they give you the confidence you need when you need it. He says Jimmy was the right man in the right place. Tony says the 10mm Glock is getting hard to find in Alaska, as they are sought after as bear defense guns.
Another poster, LJ Miller, on facebook, suggested it was the same bear he had problems with one year before, in the same area, September of 2017. He and his partner went to some trouble to avoid shooting the grizzly, which harassed them while they were packing out a quartered moose. It is fortunate Jimmy was there, was well practiced with his Glock, and in the lead. It could easily have been a tragedy.
This use of a pistol to defend against bear attack was not reported in the news. Without diligent searching, no one but the participants would know about it. If you know of a defensive pistol use against bears, please contact us. We include every use where a pistol can be reasonably documented as being fired in defense against a bear, in our database. An email sent to Ammoland will be forwarded to me.
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.