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2 inch .357 magnum for wood carry?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Propforce, Oct 6, 2012.

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  1. Propforce

    Propforce Member

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    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.
     
  2. SpringfieldM1A

    SpringfieldM1A Member

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    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.
     
  3. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Member

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    Very good choice for your situation, and certainly a more comfortable belt gun than a 686.
     
  4. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    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.
     
  5. 56hawk

    56hawk Member

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    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.
     
  6. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    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.
     
  7. 56hawk

    56hawk Member

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    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.
     
  8. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    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.
     
  9. threefortyduster

    threefortyduster Member

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    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.
     
  10. Propforce

    Propforce Member

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    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.
     
  11. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    You will be just fine. Rotate them if you like both.
     
  12. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    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
     
  13. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    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.
     
  14. xXxplosive

    xXxplosive Member

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    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.
     
  15. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

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    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
     
  16. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    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.
     
  17. cpt-t

    cpt-t Member

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    2 inch 357 magnum for woods carry

    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
     
  18. Water-Man

    Water-Man Member

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    I don't go below a 3" .357mag for woods carry and preferably 4".

    To each his own.
     
  19. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    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.
     
  20. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    LOL


    In the south there is nothing in the woods that a .357 isn't more than enough gun to handle.
     
  21. diyj98

    diyj98 Member

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    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!
     
  22. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    that there is funny stuff
     
  23. JohnM

    JohnM Member

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    Yeah! Hope you got someplace private to practice :D
     
  24. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    Little girls unite! lolz
     
  25. j1

    j1 Member

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    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.
     
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