"Is there truly a use for a defensive firearm against dangerous animals? Generally speaking, the only circumstance which we can call to mind here would be defense against the big bears. Both the big pistol and the shotgun are suggested, but neither is really handy. The shotgun works fairly well, provided a properly designed slug is used and the range is kept under 20 yards.
It is, of course, quite possible to hit a big animal at ranges up to a 100 yards with a good shotgun, but penetration can be a problem. Beyond very short range, the heavy hair, hide and muscle of a big bear are apt to throw the projectile back at the shooter. A big pistol (44 Mag and up) will do fairly well at ranges up to 50 yards, assuming the shooter is up to the task. As in most such questions, the answer lies with the user rather than his instrument. A properly designed medium rifle, well set up, is better than either pistol or shotgun, but ease of use always makes for a problem. Packing a rifle around is not always handy."
When using dogs to hunt coyotes---the 12 with 00 mags is the only weapon that works in the woods... out side in the open fields, the snow mobile can't be beat in the winter snow covered land...you can drive along beside the coyote and laugh at him.
Possibly the greatest of all is the "simple 45/70---the only thing better is the 45/90----both can take down a deer, elephant---possibly a 12' big foot.