I know there's been a lot of discussion about all three of these guns on this forum, and I've browsed a bunch of it, but I'm trying to make the final decision between The Ruger Alaskan .454, the same gun in the .44 and the S&W 629 Backpacker.
One factor with the .454 is that they are impossible to buy right at the moment, so I may have to wait a while. The question is, is it worth waiting for?
I know there's a good amount of debate about the effectiveness of a .44 as bear protection, but I am of the opinion that a few well placed 320 grain slugs in the bread basket will stop just about anything and that a head shot from any of these and even larger handguns may only stun for a few seconds, or not even that.
So I guess I would like some input on what you all think about caliber size for bears, but I don't want that to be the focus of the discussion. I do think I've narrowed it down to these three models so I'd love to hear what people think. I will be using the gun primarily for protection while fishing, but I do like to shoot some for fun and to stay competent. I just lost a blackhawk .44 with a 4" barrel, so I'm pretty familiar and felt safe with the .44.