Ammo for woods carry


November 2, 2007, 10:27 PM
I'm trying to decide on the best type of ammo for woods carry in Southeastern NY State (Hudson Valley and Catskills). I'm considering carrying either 357 sig, 45 ACP +P (Sig 239 or 220) or possibly 10mm (Glock 29). My question isn't so much about which caliber as it is which type of bullet. I know that FMJ or hard cast is best for defense against animals /black bears in particular. But in my area, bear encounters are pretty unlikely although not impossible. More of a concern would be other animals as well as 2 legged predators. So I'm wondering if perhaps Corbon DPX is a good compromise since it is a hollow point but has significantly more penetration than a regular JHP. Or should I just be using FMJ/hard cast in the woods? Note that we are not talking about grizzly's here.


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November 2, 2007, 10:53 PM
Start by checking the hunting regs. You may be required to have a hunting licence to carry in the bush.
FMJ's are no good for much of anything but shooting for fun. They're especially useless for any game animals. They don't expand at all. A black bear is extremely dangerous if you wound it. That's what an FMJ will do.
I'd be using a JHP in your 10mm. Even that is no guarantee of anything. No pistol round will give you a 100% guaranteed one shot stop on anything.
You have to be very fast to deal with Cindy with cubs too. (Yogi won't bother you unless you bother him.) A black bear can run 35 mph. If it's PO'd and under 100 yards away, you're toast.

November 3, 2007, 12:00 AM
Welcome to THR!

Do you already own these pistols?

If not, consider a .357 magnum. Buy hard cast bullets rated for black bear - Federal is what I have, Buffalo Bore has a lot of fans on this site.

Get a relatively light weight revolver so it's easy to carry.

Actually I carry an extra speed loader or two with things like snake shot or SP magnums.

November 3, 2007, 07:33 PM
DH999, In the Hudson Valley or Catskills your chance or encountering dangerous animals are slim. I would concern myself mostly with the cityslickers in the orange suits that visit just about this time every year.

As a side note: NY State requires at least a 4" barrel (not including chamber) of at least .35 caliber to hunt big game. The good news is that a handgun can be substituted for a slug gun in shotgun only areas. A good 4" .357 magnum will do for just about anything in the woods. I have taken a couple of deer with a Colt Trooper 4" with 180 JHP's. If you do have active bear in your area (it's been a warm fall) than I would go with at least a 158 Hardcast SWC or something heavier. If you reload look for the Lyman Keith SWC at 173 grains. Remember to always have your tags with you just in case unless it is your property. Hope this helps Bill

November 4, 2007, 11:43 AM
You can buy Doubletap ammo from Midway (or direct from Doubletap). They make some loads specifically for your stated purpose. Check out their website.

November 4, 2007, 12:35 PM
Before I picked up my .357 S&W 28-2, my walking in the woods/camping gun was a SIG P220 loaded with doubletap FMJ-flat point +P .45. I never felt undergunned against any 2 or 4 legged animal;)

I would carry what I felt most comfortable/most accurate with! For me that currently is the 28-2, I just shoot it better and it is 100% reliable...but then again so is my SIG.

I have lived, hiked, hunted and camped ALL over NY and have never run into a bear, but camping in the UP of MI this summer I saw 6 bears in 7 days!!!

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