357 Or 44


April 10, 2005, 08:14 AM
Hey guys, is a 357 big enough for bear/preditor protection or is the 44 necesarry. They say we are going where there are plenty of grizzlys. Guys chime in
+ & - of both if you have any insite. Any info is appreaciated. thanks

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Brian Williams
April 10, 2005, 08:30 AM
Get any of the big 4, Shotguns that is, Rem 870, Win 1300, Ithaca 37 Deer slayer, Mossberg 500/590 get a mag extension and fill it with slugs.... As much as I love my 1894c Marlin in 357, I would not take it against Griz

April 10, 2005, 08:42 AM
.357 is not a wise choice; .44 is the barest minimum. Consider a 45/70.

April 10, 2005, 08:53 AM
Go to www.federalcartridge.com and check out there ballistic tables for .357 and then .44 mag. Then go check out what it is for 45-70. Big Big difference. Even a 30-30 lever action rifle will deliver twice as much energy as a 44 mag Revolver and a little more than a .44 mag in a rifle.

the best bear defense is a good pair of running shoes! :D

April 10, 2005, 09:19 AM
so a 45 acp is not even an option?

April 10, 2005, 09:23 AM

April 10, 2005, 09:47 AM
I sarted a new job as a zookeeper a few weeks ago and after working with the grizzlies for a while, I would trust NO handgun round in the world for grizz defense.
I'm not even sure I'd feel comfortable with my 870 loaded up with slugs even though this is what we keep in a safe for emergencies.
Just my two pennies...

April 10, 2005, 10:09 AM
cozyc so a 45 acp is not even an option?


How accurate are you with a handgun? Would you be willing to bet you're life that you can hit a moving target with one at 50 meters in a vital area? Even at 25 meters? Do you want a charging Griz to get closer than that before you start shooting?

If you shoot a bad guy with a .45 his brain says "Holy Cow. That hurts! Get out of here now!" Shoot a bear with one and theres a good chance his brain will say "Holy Cow. That hurts! Must kill this pain causer now!"

Your .45 might kill him, eventually. In the mean time he's going to be peeling the skin off your skull with his teeth. If you have serious Griz concerns you need something that can STOP him before he reaches you. Like they say, carry enough gun.

Vern Humphrey
April 10, 2005, 05:36 PM
Phil Shoemaker, a sourdough's sourdough, and a guide who probably has as much experience with brownies and grizzlies as anyone alive advises carrying a .357 loaded with heavy, hard-cast bullets.

His rationalle is that you can penetrate the skull with that load -- and that's the only way to stop a charging bear with a handgun. And with the .357, you can get off faster follow-up shots if you need them.

April 11, 2005, 02:06 AM
Yeah, but is Shoemaker carrying a revolver? I would think that with a rifle (that is what we are talking about, right), a .44 would be reasonably easy to make follow up shots. This is the rifle forum, I think.

Incidentally, I would love it if someone would publish some data on the increased speed and power of a .44 from a rifle.

April 11, 2005, 02:41 AM
The Sierra loading manual contains load data for several pistol cartridges when used in rifles. For .44 Magnum, a 240gr bullet tops out at 1750fps out of their 16" Winchester 94 versus 1400 out of the 7.5" Blackhawk.

For what it's worth, 158s in the .357 Magnum do 1800 out of a 18.5" '94, and 1250 out of a 6" Colt Trooper.

April 11, 2005, 04:20 AM
I think I would want a full auto gun. Some thing preferably with a large clip.

April 11, 2005, 06:21 AM
so a 45 acp is not even an option?
If its all you got, I'm sure you'd be glad you had it. Beats just poking a finger in its eye. You can do that after you empty the pistol. :)

Vern Humphrey
April 11, 2005, 11:22 AM
Yeah, but is Shoemaker carrying a revolver?

Shoemaker lives in bear country, in most years making it into town only once or twice. He and his family, according to what he says, habitually carry .357s everywhere they go.

April 11, 2005, 11:38 AM
I think that the handgun you carry in bear country is probably more important. If you have time to get to a rifle and put it into play when you see a bear you are probably not in much danger (i.e. if a bear attacks it will happen quite quick). In bear country I want at least (bear minimum :D) a .357mag, in Grizzly country I'd want no less than .44mag.

However, it is good to keep a rifle around and have it near you in case you can get to it. Still, as much as I love lever rifles in revolver calibers, I think I'd want a real rifle. I'd be looking for 30-30, 45-70, .444, etc. in a lever. If you really want a pistol caliber I may be comfortable with one of the .454 rifles from Rossi. If you must go with pistol calibers (ammo interchangability), and you don't want .454, I'd say go with the .44mag (when dealing with bear, especially Grizzly, I say go with the most powerful you can).

I wouldn't go with a shotgun. I've heard (no real knowlege here, only internet buzz) that even slugs have penatration issues when dealing with bear. Anyone more familiar with shotguns who can comment on that may be helpful if you want to go that way though (maybe it is true- the size of the slug spreads out the energy too much and the bear is pretty strong and resilient, or the sheer power of the shotgun slug will do it?).

April 11, 2005, 11:41 AM
In theory, a 180gr .358 bullet moving along at 1300fps will penetrate the same as a 300gr .430 moving along at the same speed. In practice - I dunno.

But I can say one thing with certainty - I can crank off six rounds of hot-rodded 357 Mag from my GP100 a whole lot faster and mo' accurately than I can unload a cylinder of 44 Mag out of my Redhawk. Iffen y'all wanna buy me a Marlin 357 and 44, I'd be more than happy to test how this translates to rifle performance. :D

April 11, 2005, 12:16 PM
A long-lived hunter once told me that a .44 Magnum is adequate for any bear... except grizzly.

April 11, 2005, 12:38 PM
If you are carrying a pistol cartridge rifle, I'd go with a .454 levergun or one in .45 LC.
The .45 LC can be handloaded to surpass the .44 mag.
If you don't handload, BuffaloBore makes some great .45 LC and .454 loads (they make some good .44 and .357 loads as well).
For .454/.45LC I love properties of their 335gr load. Sure to penetrate any North American animal and break any bones it hits in the process.
Check Gunblast.com's article by Paco Kelly on the .454 and .45LC leverguns by Legacy.

Sharps Shooter
April 11, 2005, 05:51 PM
I'm guessing your question somehow ended up in the wrong forum because I can see no logical reason why anyone would carry a rifle chambered for a standard revolver cartridge as grizzly protection. As someone pointed out, the 44 Magnum is comparatively weak next to even the lowly 30-30 Winchester. If you're going to carry a rifle or carbine exclusively for grizzly protection, carry something like a 45-70, a 338 Win Mag, a 375 H&H, or a 30-06 loaded with heavy, 200-grain bullets.

Second, you didn't say where you are going. But seeing as how the only significant grizzly populations in the lower 48 are in and around Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, I'm guessing you're headed way up north, like Alaska maybe. Every time I hear of someone shooting a grizzly around here, the person ends up in court. Or at least there's an investigation. If you shoot a grizzly in the lower 48, you had better be ready to show claw marks or remember the 3-S rule - Shoot, Shovel, and Shut-up.

If you are going to carry a revolver for grizzly protection, and your choice is between a 44 Magnum and a 357 Magnum, I'd go with the 44. Load it with hard cast, 300-grain Keith style semi wadcutters over a stout charge of WW296. That's what I carry while backpacking. Although, I've never even seen a grizzly outside of a national park. But I have used that load to kill a couple of mule deer during season. At a little over 30 yards, it will exit a large buck after breaking a rib on one side and the shoulder on the far side.

Even with my heavy loaded 44 Magnum while backpacking, I figure my first line grizzly defense is avoidance. My wife and I both carry bells and whistles. And we use them while traversing areas where we can't see very far ahead. My second line of defense is a large canister of pepper spray. Yeah, I've heard all the jokes about grizzly scat having little bells and whistles in it and smelling of pepper spray. I've also heard the ones about filing the sights off my handgun so it won't hurt so much when that grizzly shoves it up my you know what. So, I guess it's a matter of opinion - just like whether a 12 guage loaded with slugs offers enough penetration or not. But from accounts I've read, most grizzly attacks come very fast from a distance of less than 50 feet. I love handguns, particularly large bore revolvers and I've used them for over 40 years. But with a fast, angry, and powerful target at 50 feet or less, I'll take my chances with a big bottle of 20% capsicum pepper spray thank you.

April 11, 2005, 06:23 PM
Energy of a 30-30 compared to a 44 with decent loads isn't the operative question. Penetration is. This is one area that energy isn't a reliable indicator of terminal performance. Solid heavy bullets penetrate deeper than smaller expanding ones do. Linebaughs seminar tests on different materials consistantly show heavy solid bullets penetrating much deeper than expanding bullets, even 375 H&H bullets. Breaking bones and skulls is the odjective in close range bear encounters, deep penetrating bullets do this better than lighter, faster, expanding ones do. Some expanding bullets penetrate well, but in the act of expanding, some penetration will be lost.

Like Sharps Shooter, I agree that pepper is good, but it isn't 100% reliable to effect every bear, or conditions may prevent effective use, like high winds etc. Good to have as another layer, but I also have another layer of defense, and it has "Ruger 45" on the side of it.

Some shotgun slugs are designed for deer hunting, and are designed to expand. This limits the ability of the slug to penetrate. Brenneke slugs have a good reputation for penetration, and are not designed to expand. I'd still prefer a 45-70 rifle myself if not "hunting" per se. Some people like shotguns for hanging out in bear country, that's OK if you arent hunting, but if you are hunting, then you have another long gun to drag along to have in camp. A good pistol with good loads is very handy to have along, particulary if you already have your hunting rifle. If I'm hunting and take along another long gun, it would be a rifle like a 45-70. If I have trouble with my scoped bolt gun, then I have another hunting rifle, rather than a single purpose item like a shotgun is.

As to the original question, if a 357 or 44 rifle, get something better, if a pistol, either will work with the right loads, BUT having a 44 because it's "better" but you not being able to shoot it WELL is not an improvement.

April 11, 2005, 06:42 PM
Shoemaker lives in bear country, in most years making it into town only once or twice. He and his family, according to what he says, habitually carry .357s everywhere they go.

I guess what I am getting at is this: .44 magnum out of a handgun may make recoil so great as to make follow-up shots difficult. But does this extend to rifles as well? Would he not be better served by .44 out of a rifle rather than .357 out of a rifle? Are follow-up shots so difficult with a .44 magnum carbine?

Sharps Shooter
April 11, 2005, 07:21 PM
Recoil from my Dad's little 44 Magnum Ruger carbine is almost insignificant. Follow-up shots are easy. I've never shot a 357 Magnum carbine, but I can't imagine anyone being able to fire follow up shots much faster with one.

I still think this thread is in the wrong forum.

April 11, 2005, 08:09 PM
I have a 44 lever action carbine, with full power loads the recoil is a little stout in a very light lever carbine, but by no means should you have trouble with quick follow-up shots.

April 11, 2005, 10:23 PM
In a life or death situation, I'd trade power for follow-up speed any time. The difference in duration between Fox One and Fox Two, comparing .357 with .44 or even .45/70, will be negligible. In that situation, you will not notice recoil at all, and will be highly motivated to get a second shot off if the first one misses or is ineffective.

Bear Gulch
April 11, 2005, 10:38 PM
45-70 with hardcast bullets

April 12, 2005, 09:36 AM
thanks for all the advise guys, but we are getting a little off the subject. I was asking about back up side arms, why would I be carring a backup rifle or shotgun. That might be a little hard to lug around. I think the taurus tracker in 44 mag with the ported barrel would not have a huge recoil. http://www.taurususa.com/products/product-details.cfm?model=44%20TRACKER&category=Revolver Any info on this gun?
I read another thread about a 40 s&w. It seems small to me , but with the follow up shot being easier and high compacity loaded with cast bullets would what be addequate? 45 auto, 45 gap? All loaded with cast bullets?

30 cal slob
April 12, 2005, 09:38 AM
If anyone can point me to field evaluations of the relatively new .500 S&W, would appreciate it.

April 12, 2005, 09:46 AM
"I was asking about back up side arms, why would I be carring a backup rifle or shotgun. That might be a little hard to lug around."

Uh,..because you posted in the rifle section. That's why it was assumed by many that you were talking about a rifle.

If for some reason you used an auto, you'd be better off with full jacketed bullets rather than cast. I prefer a revolver for a field and possible bear protection gun. The power and reliability factors far outweigh anything an auto could offer in the same role. This sentiment seems to be the overwhelming consensus of those that spend a lot of time in bear country.

April 12, 2005, 01:15 PM
hey 30 cal slob we don't need anymore help getting off track :neener:

April 12, 2005, 11:59 PM
Holy cow! He was talking about handguns? Man, all that wasted thinking . . .

I personally like the looks of the Tracker, but 'they' say it has a slightly shorter cylinder, so some high-powered cartridges might not fit. Like, the kind you might want to have when defending against bear. That really is a shame.

April 13, 2005, 04:54 PM
...we are getting a little off the subject. I was asking about back up side arms, why would I be carring a backup rifle or shotgun. That might be a little hard to lug around. I think the taurus tracker in 44 mag with the ported barrel would not have a huge recoil.

What made us think you were asking about a rifle or shotgun was that you posted in the rifle section, not the general handguns or revolver section. I also don't see in your first post the word "backup" anywhere.

Anyway, the Tracker is a really nice gun. The "Ribber" grips and ports are supposed to really help with recoil. However, it is still only a medium framed revolver so I'm not sure how it would fare (and more importantly how your hand would fare) with the more powerful .44mag rounds. I would be more inclined to go with something bigger that could better handle (and better lessen the recoil of) the stonger magnum rounds- something like a Ruger, the S&W 629, Taurus 44 or Taurus Raging Bull (the 44 may be better than the RB though for a gun you would actually carry around).

April 13, 2005, 08:56 PM
sorry fellas, I have almost an identical thread going in the hunting forumn, and I recieved 9 post. I always post here, because I recieve alot more information.

April 13, 2005, 09:00 PM
"the best bear defense is a good pair of running shoes! "

How about a slow buddy :evil: .


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