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Springfield Armory New XD-M Elite 3.8” Compact 10mm Pistol

Is this the best handgun for backcountry bear defense?

Springfield Armory New XD-M Elite 3.8” Compact 10mm Pistol

If you're going to be spending time hunting in grizzly country, protecting yourself is a must, and thanks to Springfield Armory you no longer have to tote a hand cannon just to feel safe. (Photo courtesy of Keith Wood)

It’s late afternoon and you’ve just arrowed the bull elk that you’ve been pursuing for days. It’s September, which means the rut is on. It also means that America’s most fearsome predator is out looking to fill his stomach before winter sets in. You quarter the bull by headlamp and hang what meat you can’t carry in the trees. It’s pitch dark by the time you begin making your way down the mountain, a bloody hunk of elk strapped to your pack. Are you predator or prey?  

Bear attacks, though rare, do happen. Bear spray works but it isn’t ideal for every situation. For me, the solution is to carry spray in addition to a lightweight...

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