2 inch .357 magnum for wood carry?


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Propforce
October 6, 2012, 06:34 PM
I have a 2 inch model 19 that I am considering for occassional carry in the woods. I know it is plenty adequate against 2-legged varmints, but how is it against 4-legged creatures? Here in the south, I don't expect grizzly but occassional black bears, mountain lions, etc. are possible. I plan to use 158 or 180 gr LSWC.

I also have a 4-inch 686 but the 2-inch is more comfortable to carry.

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SpringfieldM1A
October 6, 2012, 06:44 PM
I would say whichever gun your most comfortable shooting would be adiqute. I carry around my gp100. Im confident with the revolver and I have a holster that I like. In most cases with black bear when they see you they start running the other way. I've yet to come across a bear that would be dumb enough to charge me.

sixgunner455
October 6, 2012, 06:52 PM
Very good choice for your situation, and certainly a more comfortable belt gun than a 686.

ColtPythonElite
October 6, 2012, 06:57 PM
I often knock around in black bear woods feeling well enough armed with a SP101...Sure, it isn't the best bear killer, but it beats a rusty nail and waiting on tetanus to finish them off.

56hawk
October 6, 2012, 07:18 PM
I reload 357 to book max and can only get 158 gr bullets to 930 fps out of my 2" M&P 360. They do 1200 fps out of my 4" 686. So out of a 2" barrel you're looking at ballistics somewhere between a 380 and a 9mm.

Personally I would probably take the 686, but it doesn't bother me carrying a heavy gun.

MCgunner
October 6, 2012, 07:47 PM
The two inch isn't nearly as hindered by the short barrel with heavy bullet loads like the 180s as it is with the light stuff. I got about 660 ft lbs with a heavy 180 load in my SP101 shooting 13.8 grains of AA#9.

56hawk, what powder are you using? I got 550 ft lbs out of a 140 Sierra and 2400 in the SP101. I barely made 380 ft lbs with a 125. The 140 is over 17.0 grains of 2400 and the 125 was over 18.0 grains of 2400. The heavier bullet accelerates slower and traps more of the pressure, or that's my theory.

I get no more than 410 ft lbs from a 9x19 load in a 3" barrel, pretty decent, but +P pressures and still no .357 even in a short barrel.

Check out Buffalo Bore's results from 2" barrels.

56hawk
October 6, 2012, 08:14 PM
I'm using 17 grains of H110 behind a 158 grain bullet. Maybe my chronograph reads slow but they sure have a lot of recoil, even out of my model 28.

W.E.G.
October 6, 2012, 08:17 PM
The difference on-target between the two is virtually nil.

The chances of you having to fend off a bear or a mountain lion unless you actively seek their company is almost exactly nil.

Any functional .357 of any stripe will do just fine on aggressive small mammals.
Your biggest challenge will be actually hitting the target if the target appears suddenly from an odd angle, and is in motion.
Very hard to practice that scenario. Do what you can to avoid it.
Be as physically fit as possible to improve your chances.

threefortyduster
October 6, 2012, 08:20 PM
I always have my snub as my sidearm when in the woods. I figure the toughest thing I'm likely to come across is a big big hog. We don't have too many bears down here, but I never feel undergunned with my .357 snub nose. I tend to put 158 gr soft points in it while I'm there, haven't really felt the need to get 180 hardcasts yet.

Propforce
October 6, 2012, 08:33 PM
Thanks for the feedbacks guys. I agree that the chance are nil to encounter black bears, mountain lions, etc., but it's just for the comfort factor for that 1% possibility.

22-rimfire
October 6, 2012, 09:25 PM
You will be just fine. Rotate them if you like both.

rcmodel
October 6, 2012, 09:30 PM
Do you feel well armed against the most dangerous animals in the woods with it?

Two dudes in wife-beater T-Shirts tending a "crop" are more likely to be a danger to you then all the bears and cougers in the "south", wherever that is.

rc

kbbailey
October 6, 2012, 09:42 PM
I have been packin' my SP101 in the woods for a while now. Recently, I thought my Blackhawk had been feeling neglected, so I put it in my crossdraw holster, and headed out to check trail cams. I guess I got accustomed to the SP101 pretty quickly, 'cause the Blackhawk felt like an anvil in my holster.

xXxplosive
October 6, 2012, 09:55 PM
A 357 mag...on a bear is better than a punch in the nose.....a good size BB can absorb alot of lead once the adrennelin starts pumping.....would opt myself for a 44 Mag.

dprice3844444
October 6, 2012, 10:14 PM
if you are expecting a chance encounter of a bear in your planning,do not use hollow points.they will expand in the fat and might not reach vitals.flatpoints or keith type heads

22-rimfire
October 6, 2012, 11:31 PM
Outside of FL, I don't believe there is a breeding cougar population in the South. But I keep hoping. A cougar was shot a while back in GA.

There are more black bear than you think in the SE US. You just never know when you might encounter an aggressive young male especially in the moutains of TN, GA, NC, and VA. But it certainly is not a common sight even in the mountains where there are a lot of black bear. Like everything else, just pay attention and you will be just fine with the 357 mag. I would load it with solids for carry in the mountains however.

My choice is a 41 mag. Because I like the caliber and shoot it pretty well. But more often than not, I would have a 22 with me simply because I am not particularly worried about black bears.

cpt-t
October 7, 2012, 01:43 AM
Propforce: I don`t see why not if you can shoot a Subbie, I carry a 640 S&W some of the time and don`t have a problem with it , but I shoot this gun quite a bit and feel comfortable with it. If I were going to do this, I belive I would be using one of the new defencive loads in 357 caliber. But you would probable find me carrying a 4 1/2 to 6 inch 45 LC or 44 MAG. My only problem with carrying a handgun is that they are loud, and you have to solve your own hearing protection problems. Just make sure you can shoot the gun you choose. GOOD LUCK TO YOU: ken

Water-Man
October 7, 2012, 01:49 AM
I don't go below a 3" .357mag for woods carry and preferably 4".

To each his own.

Alaska444
October 7, 2012, 02:01 AM
I use my SP101s, shrouded 2.25 inch .357 as my EDC. In the woods around town at various parks, I throw in the BB 180's. When out in the deep woods in the mountains, I pocket carry my SP101 with the 180's but as a BUG. I throw my Ruger SRH .44 magnum over my shoulder with a cross carry bandolier holster filled with BB +P+ 340 gr shells. They have grizzly here so that is a must in my opinion.

They also have tons of wolves in northern Idaho now that can come in huge packs. The main difference in the last couple of years is taking a whole lot more ammo out in the woods.

Guillermo
October 7, 2012, 01:09 PM
but it beats a rusty nail and waiting on tetanus to finish them off.
LOL


In the south there is nothing in the woods that a .357 isn't more than enough gun to handle.

diyj98
October 8, 2012, 11:02 AM
Your biggest challenge will be actually hitting the target if the target appears suddenly from an odd angle, and is in motion.
Very hard to practice that scenario. Do what you can to avoid it.
Be as physically fit as possible to improve your chances.

I like to practice shooting with a handgun pointed behind me while running wide open and screaming like a little girl. You can't beat proper training!

Guillermo
October 8, 2012, 12:59 PM
^^^^^^^^^^^^^

that there is funny stuff

JohnM
October 8, 2012, 01:03 PM
Yeah! Hope you got someplace private to practice :D

Certaindeaf
October 8, 2012, 01:27 PM
Little girls unite! lolz

j1
October 8, 2012, 01:35 PM
If a mountain lion wanted to kill you you are dead. They strike from concealment and can be on you before you knew that you were being attacked. Your sidearm would never leave the holster. The only purpose to carrying is to make you feel better, and possibly to end your misery. We all like to feel that we are the masters of our own destiny, but we are not.

Certaindeaf
October 8, 2012, 01:37 PM
So we gotta shoot up in the air and run now?

Guillermo
October 8, 2012, 01:41 PM
They strike from concealment and can be on you before you knew that you were being attacked

while this is usually the case, it is not always the case.

I remember hearing an interview of a hiker who was a attacked. She saw the cat and described the horrible feeling of seeing it spring.

In addition, if you are hiking with someone else, or a dog, you might not be the victim, thus a sidearm can be of assistance, perhaps only as a noise maker.

That said, I do not carry, even in knowing a mountain lion is about, concerned about the mountain lion. Getting struck by lightening is more likely.

jon86
October 8, 2012, 02:30 PM
We all like to feel that we are the masters of our own destiny, but we are not.

Well crap. I'm gonna stop carrying altogether now. Matter'o'fact, I'm not gonna wear a seat belt either.

Certaindeaf
October 8, 2012, 03:00 PM
I'm gonna kick a can of Meow-Mix down the road. That's just the way I roll. the can. down the road

jmr40
October 8, 2012, 03:02 PM
I'd leave the 2" gun at home. With 357's below 4" you would be better off with a 9mm.

http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/357mag.html

jon86
October 8, 2012, 03:29 PM
I'd leave the 2" gun at home. With 357's below 4" you would be better off with a 9mm.

I disagree. With the BBTI website, the 2 inch barrel does not include the entire cylinder length of the revolver. Therefore, a more accurate measurement would be to look at the 3 inch measurements when considering a 2 inch revolver.

Also, loaded with buffalo bore 180 grain lead flat nose, a 2 inch gun would PROBABLY get about 1200 fps. (A three inch gun is listed at 1302 fps.)

I am not aware of any 9mm round that is a lead flat nose 180 grain @ 1200 fps for 575 ft/lbs of energy.

Note: I have not chronographed the buffalo bore 180's out of a 2 inch gun. I am simply guesstimating.

Alaska444
October 8, 2012, 03:40 PM
If a mountain lion wanted to kill you you are dead. They strike from concealment and can be on you before you knew that you were being attacked. Your sidearm would never leave the holster. The only purpose to carrying is to make you feel better, and possibly to end your misery. We all like to feel that we are the masters of our own destiny, but we are not.
Hmm, I know folks who have shot and killed mountain lions that were stalking them up here in Idaho. Yes, very scary beast, in many ways more so than a bear, but a good .357 is all you need for a mountain lion. Better yet, go with a friend so armed to serve as your own protection and vice versa. More than one way to skin a cat.

Propforce
October 8, 2012, 05:22 PM
Do you feel well armed against the most dangerous animals in the woods with it?

Two dudes in wife-beater T-Shirts tending a "crop" are more likely to be a danger to you then all the bears and cougers in the "south", wherever that is.

rc

1. Is that a likely scenario in your neck of the woods?

I don't go wonder off in the woods that is either far away from town or I am not somewhat familiar with, just as I don't go take a casual walk in the bad part of town just to enjoy the scenary.

2. In your scenario, what in your opinion, should you be packing? Keep in mind that I am not DEA who's go seek out these "crop" growers.

Propforce
October 8, 2012, 05:58 PM
I like to practice shooting with a handgun pointed behind me while running wide open and screaming like a little girl. You can't beat proper training!

It actually happened to a friend back in California who hired a guide to hunt black bear. Somehow both of them missed with their rifles, ran out of ammo, running back to their car with an angry bear right behind them while squealing like little girls and shooting their handguns over their shoulders.

Believe me, it was hard to get the story out of him. He was surprising quiet after the trip compared to boasting to everyone that he was going bear-hunting before the trip.

Deaf Smith
October 8, 2012, 08:13 PM
I have a 2 inch model 19 that I am considering for occassional carry in the woods. I know it is plenty adequate against 2-legged varmints, but how is it against 4-legged creatures? Here in the south, I don't expect grizzly but occassional black bears, mountain lions, etc. are possible. I plan to use 158 or 180 gr LSWC.

I also have a 4-inch 686 but the 2-inch is more comfortable to carry.
It will do quite well on any critters like hogs, bobcats, coyotes, snakes, gerbils, and even an occasional horny toad (but keep in mind horny toads are a protected species now.)

I use a 4 inch Security Six all the time and I don't even use top loads. Your 2 1/2 combat magnum will do fine.

Deaf

SullyVols
October 8, 2012, 08:19 PM
A 2" .357 won't have any more muzzle energy than a .40 S&W or 9mm +P out of a full size service weapon. The revolver cartridges are a lot more sensitive to barrel length from what I've looked at online.

That being said most things you'll find out in the woods in the US aren't going to take much to bring down and the sound of the .357 is a weapon in and of itself.

outerlimit
October 8, 2012, 10:03 PM
In response to the thread title, "Unequivocally, no."

sixgunner455
October 8, 2012, 10:50 PM
Energy isn't all there is to this. .358" 160-180gr WFN lead bullets at 1100 fps + do all kinds of neat things to critters, regardless of what the calculated energy figures may say. Fairly easy to get a load to do this (or hotter) in a .357 Magnum revolver, even in a short barrel. Pretty challenging to get a .40 S&W to do anything like that ball park, though the 10mm can potentially do it, with some careful work. Pretty impossible with a 9mm - heavy bullets don't break 1k fps in 9mm pistols. :D

340PD
October 9, 2012, 10:25 AM
If accuracy and knockdown power is required for what you think will be needed, carry the 4" 686 and learn to live with a little more weight. One extra round may come in handy also.

mdauben
October 9, 2012, 01:07 PM
I have a 2 inch model 19 that I am considering for occassional carry in the woods.
If I was out buying a gun for this purpose, I would probably look for a 3 or 4 inch barrel, but if the 2 inch is what you have I don't think you are giving up all that much.

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