What are you using and why? I am going to use a spray as I have no desire to own a pistol. Plus in my mind, I think a spray would be easier to use leaving a large cloud for the bear to enter and the spray has been proven to stop an attacking bear in its tracks, it may not be foolproof but nor would a pistol be. With a pistol even if you were able to keep it together and hit an attacking bear he could still be on you. With the spray, if used right you should have at least a 5- foot cloud of spray the would have to pass through. Just my opinion and I am wondering what your thoughts are. If I had my way, I would be using a 12-gauge shot with buckshot.