I need a sidearm that has the power to stop a bear or mountain lion in its tracks. If at all possible, it should be one that can penetrate a brown bear's skull. The purpose of this gun will be to protect myself in the wilderness. I am a geologist, so I often find myself going to remote areas and spending hours (sometimes days) by myself. Starting this Spring, I will regularly be going to a location where several people have been attacked by mountain lions and bears in the past. Several years ago in a similar location, a hiker was killed after being mauled by a bear. Despite being armed. After the bear was tracked down, it was discovered that most of the bullets had ricocheted off of the bear's skull... while several had entered its abdomen. While the hiker had apparently fired under a very nervous state, it was also obvious that his gun was too weak to stop the advance of the bear. Naturally, I'm not going to fuck around with "animal-friendly" repellants. If a predator threatens me, I want it dead. Period. Of course, a shotgun or rifle would do the trick... but they would be too cumbersome for me to carry around all the time. Price is not a huge issue, although I would prefer to spend no more than $1000. I'm guessing that a good old Desert Eagle can do the trick ... but I'm wondering if I could do the job with a less powerful gun given the right bullet type. Thoughts?