Pistol grip is ok, barrel can go down to 18 inches. Load slugs or double O buck. Black bears more pesky but they are opportunistic and can take your head off with a well placed cuff. Cougars will come out of nowhere and go for your head. I carried while working in the bush of northern BC, but you don't wait around for the bear when you see sign, you leave quickly. Moose can do damage and are serious stompers. If you're there in the rut even a warning shot will get them going. Grizzlies are getting rare, these days I figure it would be a privilege to be eaten by one, and yes they will eat you. Mainly I say that cause dying by cancer or some other such old disease is way slower and no glory. Yes I'm serious and my wife thinks I'm crazy, but think of it this way, you don't need to save up for a casket and plot. Have a great trip!