Better woods carry - heavy .40 or heavy .357mag?


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ShooterMcGavin
January 26, 2010, 01:33 AM
I hike/backpack in the Pacific Northwest and I want a gun with great penetration. We have bears (even some grizzly), moose, and cougars. Of course, I am only trying to prepare for the very worst encounter. Yes, I know the more likely threat comes from humans, but I'm not going into the woods with a .380 because of that.

As options, I have a S&W M&P40 (15+1 capacity) and a Ruger SP101 in .357 magnum with 2-1/4" barrel (5 shot). I have some 200gr Double Tap ammo for the M&P40 and I was planning on buying some 200gr Double Tap for the .357.

I know the .357 magnum has a reputation for great penetration and it has taken down every animal in the lower 48. The SP101 is tough and dependable. The M&P40 carries 16 rounds (MUCH more than I can envision needing) and recoil is more easily controlled. With those two guns/calibers as options, which would you choose and why?

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REAPER4206969
January 26, 2010, 01:39 AM
Neither are a good choice in grizzly country. .44 REM MAG minimum.

REAPER4206969
January 26, 2010, 01:41 AM
in the Pacific Northwest
Is there really that big of a grizzly threat in WA/OR/ID?

ShooterMcGavin
January 26, 2010, 01:43 AM
Is there really that big of a grizzly threat in WA/OR/ID?
I don't believe so. I think a moose encouter would require the advantages of a heavy, hard-hitting bullet more than the typical bear I'd run into.

Grizzly are pretty rare here. Those are my options and I do not have any extra money.
Also, I am trying to keep weight down at least a little. I don't really want a 40oz. gun if I can avoid it. A rifle would be the real answer :)

REAPER4206969
January 26, 2010, 01:47 AM
I would carry the M&P. 16 rounds of modern bonded 180gr. .40 out of a fullsize service pistol beats 5 rounds of .357 MAG out of a compact, heavy revolver with poor sights. I carry my Glock 23 (.40) everywhere.

Boats
January 26, 2010, 02:01 AM
You stand a better chance of getting struck by lightning in Washington State than you do of encountering a grizzly bear. USFWS estimates there are fewer than 20 grizz in all of the northern Washington Cascade range.

There are no grizzlies in Oregon, the last confirmed one having been killed in 1930. Oregon is now black bear country.

If you expand the "PNW" to include Idaho, you'd probably know whether you were hiking/camping in the Bitterroot Recovery Zone in east central Idaho, the only place you'll likely encounter grizz.

A .357 Magnum will cover the contingency of facing off with humans, cougars, and black bears.

I don't trust loads in auto pistols that push the theoretical maximum for bullet weight because those loads are usually close to max acceptable OAL. They can also pressure spike if the bullet is set back when chambered. While these issues can also effect revolvers, (recoil causing crimp jump tying up the cylinder) the .357 magnum's case is more generously dimensioned for its heavier loadings than is the .40S&W's. The revolver's heavier rounds can also be shaped with flat points with no regard given to a feeding friendly shape.

I trust revolvers for the woods more than any auto. Then again, mine is not a snubby, which aren't exactly great trail guns in anything less than .44 Magnum.

REAPER4206969
January 26, 2010, 02:06 AM
A .357 Magnum will cover the contingency of facing off with humans, cougars, and black bears.We're talking about an SP101 here. The M&P with 180gr. bonded load is a far better choice.

Boats
January 26, 2010, 02:16 AM
Yeah, I did make a note that mid caliber snubbies suck as trail guns. Still I don't like the max loads in .40S&W, which has a rather limited margin for error in OAL and bullet setback. I also wouldn't want the M&P along if it has a mag disconnect because then five shots are going to easily beat no shots if the mag becomes unseated and hits the dirt on a draw.

Chances are extremely good that he won't encounter anything in need of shooting if he exercises even a little bit of common sense regarding hiking and using smart camping practices with regards to food handling.

Cosmoline
January 26, 2010, 02:36 AM
I think a moose encouter would require the advantages of a heavy, hard-hitting bullet more than the typical bear I'd run into.

Shooting a moose? That's totally uncalled for. Anyway I'm not sure what good it would do. They don't usually realize they've been shot for about a minute. Just run away from a charge, you'll be fine.

As far as the choice, it really comes down to what platform you want to carry around with you. I like my Speed Six in a chest holster for trail carry, loaded with 200 grain hardcasts. Cast Performance makes them now and you can fine tune your loads for the weapon you're using. You don't have to crank up the FPS to get fantastic penetration from them.

cz85cmbt
January 26, 2010, 02:44 AM
Geez, a full size .357 would be great but not a snub. The .40 is tough because most light bullets expand fast for effectiveness on human attackers while 180 grain loads lack serious foot pounds. So go to buffallo bore they have a heavy 180 grain load with a gold dot has 484 foot pounds at the muzzle, problem is with an auto loader you trust your life with, you want to put a minimum of 100-200 rounds through it to make sure it is reliable. They also make a short barrel tactical .357 load with a gold dot that will do about 400 foot pounds or more with about a 2" barrel and revolvers you can get away with shooting a cylinder and you know you are 100% reliable. Both of these are solid for cougars and most black bears but pushing it for a grizzly.

ShooterMcGavin
January 26, 2010, 03:07 AM
Shooting a moose? That's totally uncalled for.
I'm not sure why I even need to explain myself here. Are you trying to make me out to be some blood-thirsty lunatic or did you not read my post very closely? I clearly stated "I am only trying to prepare for the very worst encounter".

What do you plan to do when you are hiking, in a thinly wooded area, maybe some snow on the ground, with your girlfriend (who isn't the track-star runner that you are), and you crested a hill a little too close to a moose or its cub? I can tell you that ONE OPTION is to hope and pray that the moose doesn’t trample and kick her too hard.

Just run away from a charge, you'll be fine
When I go hiking with a girl next, I suppose that's what I should tell her. :rolleyes:

ArchAngelCD
January 26, 2010, 03:15 AM
ShooterMcGavin,
The advice for a moose charge is correct. He's not telling you to act like a girl, he's telling you either handgun will do no good on a moose until you are hanging from it's rack. You will be safer avoiding the charge than shooting at the moose with a handgun.

I'm guessing the M&P 40 is your daily carry so why not carry both so you have a backup.

Oro
January 26, 2010, 03:23 AM
I'd take the Sp101. I take a 2.5" S&W K frame .357 when I feel like going "light" in the woods. While the 2.5" gives up a little bit of muzzle speed vs. a 4" gun, it by no means makes it an ineffective cartridge, don't let anyone tell you that.

Also, you aren't going to engage in squad-type "fire-and-manuever" tactics with the animal. A revolver will carry enough fire-power and offer the reliability you need. I have spotted only one possible grizzly in WA - it was not as massive as the stories go, but the ragged brown coat and hump were present. But it was also not running away from human activity as all the blacks I've encountered universally did.

Generally I take a 3.5" or 4" full-size (L or N frame) .357 or a 3" (N-frame) .44 magnum. The .44 when I go on trails far from human habitat. But the 2.5" gets the nod occasionally and any serious study of ballistics will show you it will do just fine in comparison to a 4". If you don't have a chrono yourself to experiment, look at older Speer manuals (like 7,8, 9, etc.). They give comparable load data for multiple guns - 2.5" up to 6.5" - for .357. And in guns, not test barrels. The difference is not what casual internet chat would have you believe.

Another point for small guns as trail guns is that the small-yet-powerful gun you have at hand is 10 times more useful than the large gun you leave in your pack because it's awkward to carry, or the shotgun across your back you fail to reach in time in a sudden encounter.

REAPER4206969
January 26, 2010, 03:48 AM
He's more likely to drill a meth head or weed farmer than a bear or moose. Take the M&P.

jackpinesavages
January 26, 2010, 08:17 AM
+1 w/Reaper

That's more of a growers operation territory than grizzly country-M&P with 2 extra mags.

The moose advice is correct per running unless you'll carry a .300 Win Mag or a .375? I love your neck of the woods out there. Have a great hike.

kanook
January 26, 2010, 09:10 AM
Since you're thinking worst case, keep thinking that. Animal jumps you, you're struggling for your sidearm, you get it out and shove it inbetween you and the animal and pull the trigger. The firearm goes bang and then goes click and the second pull because you didn't have enoough room for the slide to cycle.

Or you drop it and the girlfriend grabs it and click, click, click. The girlfriend forgot how to take the safety off under stress because it's not like hers.

Guess which one I'm voting for.

And Reaper brings up a good thing also

JEB
January 26, 2010, 01:46 PM
i like the sp101. when it comes to woods carry i almost always o for a revolver, and when i choose the 3" sp101. in the woods i hunt im more worried about trespassing poachers than dangerous animals

Cosmoline
January 26, 2010, 02:13 PM
What do you plan to do when you are hiking, in a thinly wooded area, maybe some snow on the ground, with your girlfriend (who isn't the track-star runner that you are), and you crested a hill a little too close to a moose or its cub?

I've never been much of a runner, but it's not difficult to back off from a moose. If you crest the hill a little too close to a cow and her CALF (not cub) she will let you know and you just need to back away. That's what she wants you to do. She's not trying to actually attack you and she doesn't want to. If you ignore her and try to push your way past her to the calf you're in deep trouble, but it would be your own fault.

My point is simply that shooting a moose isn't really a viable option so put it out of your mind. The response to a charge is to run and if need be dodge off the trail. Moose aren't out to get anyone. They're pretty amiable ungulates. Encounters with people are very, very common around here. I've been charged many times. Nearly got entangled with a bull on Sunday while riding my bike. In no event is it proper to throw down. The situation is completely different from a predator encounter.

In the extremely unlikely event that a moose is actually attacking you it's unlikely you'll be able to draw or that a shot will do you much good. Plus it's the equivalent of shooting a bull or cow on someone's ranch because it scares you. Only in this case the ranch belongs to all the people.

Like this moose I nearly ran into on Sunday. I turned around, backed off and eventually had to find another way across. I had my handgun and a Mosin, but the idea of *SHOOTING* him never occurred to me, even when he bolted up from his sleep and stomped at me. If he had been a bear (though obviously this is the wrong season) things would have been a lot different. A brown bear stomping at you and stalking around a few yards away is a very different issue. But in this case the big guy was upset that I'd woken him up and was looking around for some browse.

http://photos-c.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs163.snc3/19031_1339105965867_1477701250_942128_1201670_n.jpg

ArmedBear
January 26, 2010, 02:29 PM
Only in this case the ranch belongs to all the people.

So you just ward off an angry moose with your convenient hammer and sickle, then?:D

Seriously, around here, I anticipate shooting a badger, a rabid coyote, or a rattlesnake, before a moose. And yes, we do have moose.

I wouldn't want to shoot a badger, because they make me laugh. And rattlers keep the rodent population down, so I don't look for them to shoot, either. Coyotes tend to be very hard to approach, unless they are rabid or something, so I'm not too worried there.

Just carry what you want, in case you need it. I'd lean towards the revolver, myself, just because.

Cosmoline
January 26, 2010, 02:31 PM
I should specify--the moose belong to all resident Alaskans. We all have a claim to them. That fella is just part of the herd.

Water-Man
January 26, 2010, 02:33 PM
Take the Ruger and load it with some 180gr. Buffalo Bore.

ArmedBear
January 26, 2010, 02:34 PM
Hiking around the Northwest, you should probably carry an oxygen mask, though.

Some people don't know that "bath" isn't spelled "patchouli", so they think they're the same thing.

Of course, they seem to hang out in hiking clothes around town, not actually hike...

huntme
January 26, 2010, 03:07 PM
i live in oregon,so i understand the need to carry a hand gun.the 357 would be a better gun,except your barrel is to short,the bullet needs a 5 inch barrel or longer to burn off all the powder.so i would go with the 40,it is equivelent to a 38.grizzle is another story,i would not want to take on a grizzle with nothing short of a 44 mag.357 would work in a pinch,but you will need to be with in arms reach.the 380 is definitly to small to want to carry in the woods.cougars are thined skined annimals,coyotes are thined skined annimals,so the 40 would work well. use hollow points,do more damage.

Oro
January 26, 2010, 06:02 PM
That's more of a growers operation territory than grizzly country-M&P with 2 extra mags.

Let's see, in my last two/three years in the Cascade range of central and northern WA:

Grizzlies - 1
Black bears - 3
Cougars - 0
5' rattlers - 1
Meth heads - 0
Pot growers - 0

I really think he needs to think about dangerous wildlife and not MSNBC or Fox News scareHysteria reports.

the 357 would be a better gun,except your barrel is to short,the bullet needs a 5 inch barrel or longer to burn off all the powder.

You might want to read the whole thread, and footnote or cite why your ballistics results are different from Speer and others. The .357 has been shown to be highly effective from shorter barrels.

dom1104
January 26, 2010, 06:27 PM
I agree with Oro.

Much more likely to encounter wildlife than humans in the woods.

Is that wildlife going to kill you? not likely.

Would it know the difference between those two handgun rounds? probably not.

bad_aim_billy
January 26, 2010, 06:38 PM
A guy around here had to fight off a moose with bear spray approx. 1/4 mile from the trailhead. The moose I've been close to haven't shown any aggression, and running away would probably work in most instances, but in the thicker stuff, I'd still want bear spray.

As far as guns, carry either and a can of spray, you'll be good to go.

jeepguy
January 26, 2010, 07:44 PM
you take the 40 and give her the 357 mag.

jeepguy
January 26, 2010, 07:50 PM
you take the 40 with at least one extra mag. if your girl can shoot and carry let her take the 357 mag.

Big Bill
January 26, 2010, 10:21 PM
Neither are a good choice in grizzly country. 44 REM MAG minimum.This is good advice. Probably the best so far.

However, of the guns specified, I'd carry the M&P for overall firepower. I know, if you lived in Idaho, you'd probably have mentioned wolves. IMHO, encountering a pack of wolves would require a gun with firepower - which you would acheive with the 40.

However, if it were me, I'd go with something like a Ruger Redhawk .44 mag with either a

5.5 in barrel

http://www.ruger.com/products/redhawk/images/5004.jpg

or a 4.2" barrel - and several speedloaders.

http://www.ruger.com/products/redhawk/images/5026.jpg

And, I'd use Buffalo Bore heavy ammo (http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_list&c=6) or the 44 mag +P+ (http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=54).

Why not sell that SP101 and buy the actual revolver that you, without question, need.

MikePGS
January 26, 2010, 10:36 PM
If you use the .40 use the 180 grains. The 180 grain's bullet design causes it to penetrate more thoroughly.

Big Bill
January 26, 2010, 10:40 PM
Or, you could get a Super Redhawk Alaskan in .45/.454 casull.

http://www.ruger.com/products/superRedhawkAlaskan/images/5301.jpg

In addition to .454, Buffalo Bore also makes heavy .45 LC (http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_list&c=8).

hogshead
January 26, 2010, 10:50 PM
I love bear threads. Cosmoline whats up with that tote,is like a sled/trailer? Do you carry extra ammo in there?

NMGonzo
January 26, 2010, 10:51 PM
Redhawk

pick your flavor

Leanwolf
January 27, 2010, 12:33 AM
With which handgun are you the most accurate, consistently???

That's the one I'd take, if it were I .

L.W.

S&Wfan
January 27, 2010, 01:56 AM
The O.P. is a runner, but not a big game hunter. Humanely harvesting lots of big game teaches a sportsmen amazing things about how animals can take lethal hits with perfectly aimed ammo . . . and not go down or stay down.

Neither of these two handguns is adequate for the scenario he envisions, and neither would bring down an angry charge by a grizz or a moose before the shooter was trampled or clawed and bitten to death.

IMHO, if these threats are realistic in that territory, he needs more gun!

I'd recommend a minimum of a 4" barrel in .44 Magnum. Ammo? A flatnose, hard cast lead and HEAVY bullet of at least 300gns., loaded really hot. Flatnose, hard cast lead bullets will shoot through most anything living they hit, and thus penetrate well . . . one's only chance with a head shot on the bear that is starting to eat you.

Leave the mouse guns at home . . . unless you are taking a leisurely hike in a more populated area. Plus, kill a bear or a moose . . . and you'll WISH you were dead after the state gets through with you. Observe and respect wildlife from a safe distance, use your head, and you'll never have a problem with wildlife . . . and carry a BIG BORE gun with hot, heavy NON-EXPANDING big bore bullets in case you do!

Boberama
January 27, 2010, 02:14 AM
Shotgun with slugs is what I use, but only because I don't yet have that nice Marlin 45-70 and because handguns are illegal to carry here.
Out of your two choices I'd definitely go with the .357.
No question.

jbrown50
January 27, 2010, 08:50 AM
If i only had a choice between those two guns i'd carry the SP-101 .357 mag loaded with 180 gr. hard cast flat points. .40 is nice for a shoot out with gang members with it's high capacity and all but you'll need penetration for animals.

Carry both if you can but make sure you carry the revolver. It won't jam while the animal's on top of you chewing on your arm.

If a mountain lion lets you see it, then it doesn't really want to attack you. Moose are quite docile animals unlike brown bears and cougars but, on the rare occasion that you do make one angry it won't just let you walk away.

lloveless
January 27, 2010, 11:16 AM
I find it interesting that mushers carry .44 mag to deal with "docile" moose.
ll

Cosmoline
January 27, 2010, 12:25 PM
That's because mushers have a bunch of dogs and lines in front of them. A team getting tangled with a moose can be a real nightmare. On top of that, dogs and moose are like gasoline and fire. The only time a bull ever tried to gore me, he had been angered by two off-leash dogs. The dogs bolted out of the underbrush and down the trail past me, then comes a bull with his hackles up ready to stomp. I ran pretty fast that day, and had to dive into the devil's club. The moral of that story is don't let your off-leash dogs harass wildlife.

Izzy77
January 27, 2010, 01:06 PM
Another thing with Autos is the mag can be unseated and you might not even be aware . ( due to body / gear pressure, incorrect grip, a struggle) etc.

My woods revolver is a Redhawk .45 , but it is by no means a substitute for a full bore rifle, or a 12ga with slugs... and anyone who thinks so needs to look at the ballistics...

If you cant doge, run, or climb your way out of a worst case attack...good luck to any of us, if the bear has the DROP on you...no matter what we do...it will be an uphill battle.

This is a crummy article in gun terminology, but if the gist is correct, here's how your encounter might have a happy ending:
http://www.fieldandstream.com/node/57544

I would carry a Pepper Spray made for bears and other wild things...

http://www.gi.alaska.edu/ScienceForum/ASF12/1245.html

http://www.bodysecurity.com/Pictures/Animal_Repellants/bearspray.jpg

OldCavSoldier
January 27, 2010, 01:17 PM
Seeing as it is for emergencies, and you're not out hunting trouble, if I was you, I'd take the .357 with 158 grain soft points and a speed loader along with the critter-capable pepper spray. Also, walk around with a bell on you so that any four-leggers can be warned of your approach. Two-leggers are a different story.

Hud
January 27, 2010, 04:48 PM
Ah, bells & pepper spray...

REAPER4206969
January 27, 2010, 04:58 PM
Ah, bells & pepper spray...
You know how I know you're from California?

REAPER4206969
January 27, 2010, 05:00 PM
but you'll need penetration for animals.
And you won't get it with a 2"bbl.

REAPER4206969
January 27, 2010, 05:01 PM
because handguns are illegal to carry here.
Where?

kanook
January 27, 2010, 05:07 PM
You know how I know you're from California?
Those signs are Canadian from BC

REAPER4206969
January 27, 2010, 05:18 PM
He edited that pic in after the post.

StarDust1
January 27, 2010, 06:20 PM
I hike/backpack in the Pacific Northwest and I want a gun with great penetration. We have bears (even some grizzly), moose, and cougars. Of course, I am only trying to prepare for the very worst encounter. Yes, I know the more likely threat comes from humans, but I'm not going into the woods with a .380 because of that.

As options, I have a S&W M&P40 (15+1 capacity) and a Ruger SP101 in .357 magnum with 2-1/4" barrel (5 shot). I have some 200gr Double Tap ammo for the M&P40 and I was planning on buying some 200gr Double Tap for the .357.

I know the .357 magnum has a reputation for great penetration and it has taken down every animal in the lower 48. The SP101 is tough and dependable. The M&P40 carries 16 rounds (MUCH more than I can envision needing) and recoil is more easily controlled. With those two guns/calibers as options, which would you choose and why?
I lived in Alaska for years, I carried quite a few different firearms over that time, including autos(.45 ACP, 10MM, 9mm, and .40 S&W)
In the lower 48 a .40 S&W should cover a lot of ground with a few notable exceptions, those being large game such as Moose, bear(black or Brown/Grizzly), Elk, Cougar and Wolves! While the .40 will likely be capable of destroying such game, it's reliability to do so in a timely fashion is highly suspect!
That said, if you're actually worried about Bear and other dangerous predators or game, I'd not go less then a .357 magnum revolver, and that loaded with specific ammunition such as BB's heavy 180gr magnum load(1400fps from a 4" barrel)or some such similar load from someone else, keeping in mind that this is to my mind the minimum for such defensive work!
It's not that the autos aren't potent(particularly 10mm)for defense, it's mostly because(at least to my mind and experience) folks that end up using pistols & revolvers in a life & death encounter with a bear or moose often already have the animal on top of them before bringing the weapon into action, at such close ranges it's highly likely that the animal could contact the weapon during fire and cause the mechanism to malfunction or jam up! That would be very bad, and thats why I always preferred a magnum revolver for bush or back country outings....

S&Wfan
January 27, 2010, 09:09 PM
Great post, StarDust1!

I'll only add that an auto's slide only has to be pushed backwards a slight bit to take it out of battery and render it just a "paperweight" to a pissed bear.

Revolvers are "point and click" marvels!

Here's my deep woods revolver, a 6" S&W Model 29-5 (.44 Magnum), always stoked with 300 grain hardcast Federal "Castcore" flatnose hunting ammo. It is a devastating hunting round for me.

http://216.77.188.54/coDataImages/p/Groups/246/246167/folders/183771/2078646Piebaldand29.b.JPG

This revolver gets the job done, and has absolutely nothing in common in this way with my 2 1/2" and 3" S&W K-frame .357 Magnum revolvers for this purpose!!!

Here's my low-cost carry holster. The gun has always been secure and it affords a fast, silent draw . . .

http://216.77.188.54/coDataImages/p/Groups/363/363373/folders/277718/2221877holstermontage2.jpg

Grayowl
January 27, 2010, 10:24 PM
One of my primary carry handguns is a M&P 40 with 180 gn. Gold dots (the standard LEO load) Hollow points are not good for large game. When I'm in the woods, I carry a S&W 686 Plus .357 4" 7 shoot loaded with 170 grain gold dot soft points with 14 to 14.5 grains of 2400 or 15 grains of H110 powder.

kgpcr
January 27, 2010, 11:35 PM
I have spent a lot of time in Alaska. I have been chased by 2 moose and zero bears though i have seen many many grizz and blacks. one moose chasing was a very close call. I would take the .40 with a good hard cast bullet and rock and roll!

Bionicrooster
January 28, 2010, 12:26 AM
yeah, take the 40 if a 44 mag is not an option, the 40 with 16 shots will make you feel safer than 5 shots of anything, and feeling safe is what its al about. If you run into a griz or angry bull moose, either gun you own will not be enough anyway.

LeontheProfessional
January 28, 2010, 12:29 AM
If you run into a griz or angry bull moose, either gun you own will not be enough anyway

Well there are always exceptions to that.

WTBguns10kOK
January 28, 2010, 12:36 AM
Conventional wisdom through history suggests that a revolver is always the better choice for woods carry. Many of these "opinions" argue the tangential things like "16 shots is awesome", as opposed to the simplicity and reliability of a revolver, which is what you need most when on your own. Besides, simply look at the numbers between the two ammo choices, it's obvious...and DT's aren't even the most powerful loads for .357.

cyclopsshooter
January 28, 2010, 12:47 AM
i carry either a 3"sp101 357, a 3" or 4" smith 65 all with 158 grain when deep in the cascades

occasionally a 1911 or a model 10 if its a short range day trip

i own a 6" 29-2 but never really cared for the size or the caliber

Harold Mayo
January 28, 2010, 01:45 PM
If it's between the ones that you cited, the M&P would be best. More capacity, easier to shoot accurately under stress, good for human predators, etc.

ShooterMcGavin
January 30, 2010, 01:21 AM
I don't know which one I am most accurate with, since I just bought the SP101. However, of all my handguns (including a P7M8) I am most accurate with the M&P40. I don't think there is much chance that I am more accurate with the SP101. Actually, I am very good with a Smith Model 66 (4"), but it is pretty much a safe queen. I know, you are now all thinking that the 66 is the best option, but it's just too perfect to take into the woods.

They both have advantages and you guys brought up good points. I'm still not settled on one over the other. For longer trips into the woods, I am leaning towards the SP101. Totally reliable, smaller, and lighter. Also, I don't really expect to need more than 5 shots.

Ok, ammo? Buffalo Bore is better than DT for the woods application? The 180gr BB better than the flat nose 200gr DTs that I have??

Oro
January 30, 2010, 02:12 AM
Actually, I am very good with a Smith Model 66 (4"), but it is pretty much a safe queen. I know, you are now all thinking that the 66 is the best option, but it's just too perfect to take into the woods.


Head-smack. So you have a 4" 66 you didn't tell us about?

That's a great woods gun. In fact, somewhere on the inter-web, there's a great video of a park ranger wrestling an escaped grizzly in the back of a and behind a pick-up truck they were transporting him with. He dispatches him with his 4" 66 as I recall. Short of a .44, that's a great option.

There's no stainless gun that's "too nice" to take in the woods once in a while. High wear and not showing is what they are all about.

Ok, ammo? Buffalo Bore is better than DT for the woods application? The 180gr BB better than the flat nose 200gr DTs that I have??

Angels on the head of a pin. No one can tell you definitively which is better. I'd use either and if you already have one, then use it. This is not worth sweating over. I'd much, much rather launch either out of a 4" 66 than an SP101.

bdb benzino
January 30, 2010, 02:44 AM
I have been hunting in Eastern Oregon and also Western Oregon all my life and I have only come across 3 black bears one cat and countless deer and elk. No moose or grizz until you get closer to Canada. Honestly, you would have to worry about being trampled by elk would be the worst thing I could see happening besides freezing to death. Either pistol would serve you well, I personally carry a S&W 686p with 7 rounds of 357mag!

golden
January 30, 2010, 06:17 AM
McGAVIN,

I really don't like either choice.

The short barrel and light weight of the SP101 seem a bad choice with heavy bullet ammo that will have a hard kick and reduced muzzle velocity.

The M&P uses ammo that is primarily designed for anti personal use, not big game hunting.

When I lived in ALBERTA, CANADA, the farmers and ranchers liked a MOSSBERG cruiser style shotgun loaded with slugs for bear protection. That or a rifle like the MARLIN 1894 in .44 Magnum or a MARLIN GUIDE GUN would be my choice.

If I choose a handgun for bear or moose protection, it would be large bore, like the .41 or .44 magnum in at least an N-frame size gun with 4 or more inch barrel.

Between the two you listed, I would go with the S&W M&P. If you run into a problem with feral animals like dogs or criminals, which would be much more likely, it would be a much better choice.

Jim

MCgunner
January 30, 2010, 09:48 AM
The .357 is MUCH more handgun than any .40 so long as it has at least 4" of barrel. A 180 grain .357 will put up near 800 ft lbs, over 1400 fps from a 6" gun and not much less from a 4" gun and it will penetrate a lot better, better SD, better momentum even though the bullet may weigh a little less. The .357 compares to full power 10mm. .40s, .45s, .357 sigs, not even close.

Yeah, there are better choices, but the .357 beats the .40 hands down.

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