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The Best New Handguns for Hunting and Bear Defense

Regardless if you're looking for a hunting handgun or sidearm to keep those feisty bears at bay, we've got you covered with new offerings for 2024.

The Best New Handguns for Hunting and Bear Defense

Whether you like to hunt close on purpose or are simply looking for a sidearm to protect yourself when packing out a bloody load of elk in bear country, an appropriately chambered handgun is the answer. No, a handgun isn’t superior to a big-bore rifle when it comes down to facing an angry bruin, but it’s a heck of a lot easier to carry. Here are some hunting handgun highlights for the new year.

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Taurus TH10

Taurus has made huge strides in terms of quality and performance under its current leadership. Their TH10 10mm Auto is a great example of the company giving us guns we actually want. The TH 10 is a DA/SA design that can be carried cocked and locked or with the hammer down, depending on the user’s preference. The barrel is 4.25-unches long, creating a good balance between terminal performance and portability. It has a 15+1 round capacity and weighs 28.5 ounces unloaded.

taurususa.com, $529
320-xten-carry_right

SIG Sauer P320 X-TEN Comp

I’m a big fan of the SIG X-TEN handgun so I was excited to hear that the company is expanding that series to feature a more compact version. The new X-TEN Comp uses a 3.8-inch barrel that includes a compensator. With the shorter barrel and the carry-length grip module, this handgun is 7.6-inches long and weighs 32.3 ounces unloaded. This is truly a carry-sized 10mm that gives up nothing in terms of capacity with a 15+1 round magazine. It comes with night sights and is optics-ready on the Delta Point Pro footprint.

sigsauer.com, $950
345495-uberti1873hunterrevolver-44mag-75-walnut_siloright

Uberti 1873 Hunter

Uberti is taking the original “Peacemaker” revolver and making it optic-ready. The 1873 Hunter combines the lines of the Colt Single-Action Army, but adds in a Picatinny rail for mounting a handgun-appropriate optic. Chambered in .45 Colt and .44 Magnum, the 1873 Hunter has a six-round capacity and is equipped with a 7.5-inch barrel. The unfluted cylinder is a cool touch, as is the Uberti 1860-style walnut grip, which is longer than the original and provides more surface area.

uberti-usa.com, $799
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Ruger Super Redhawk .22 Hornet

This one wouldn’t fall under the “bear defense” category, but it would certainly be a fun choice for handgun hunting varmints or predators. Ruger has taken their usually big bore Super Redhawk in the opposite direction, chambering it in the .22 Hornet round. The Hornet is a rimmed cartridge, making it a natural choice for a revolver. This stainless-steel double-action handgun combines an eight-shot capacity with a 9.5-inch barrel that should help maximize velocity. It has a HiViz green front sight with an adjustable rear and comes equipped with scope rings and integral mounts. Weighing-in at 66 ounces, it’s no lightweight, but that mass will help stabilize the gun for longer shots.

ruger.com, $1,499



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