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357 Mag and bear?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by dwo357, Dec 25, 2012.

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  1. dwo357

    dwo357 Member

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    I have an older Ruger Security 6, 357 mag. That I might turn over to my daughter to use as protection while she hikes in the back country of Washington's Cascades. She can handle this gun well but what do you guys think. I hand load all my ammo so what do you think about 200gr.JSP for penetration and will the Ruger handle that load?
     
  2. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    .357 with good, deeply penetrating bullets is just fine for almost all black bear (the exceptions being the 300 lb+ monsters). Moving for ya.

    Merry Christmas, John
     
  3. MutinousDoug

    MutinousDoug Member

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    Although a .357 would be considered marginal for hunting black bear, whatever your daughter is carrying is better than nothing.
    I loaded 180gr Hornady silhouette bullets for my wife's S&W bear defense gun, the biggest gun she will shoot or carry.
    Aggressive black bears are generally looking for a free meal rather than a fight when confronting humans. I doubt they would press an attack after a center mass hit from a heavy .357 load.
    It's important though, to get a round or two into them before they get ahold of you.
    Yes, your Ruger will handle a 200gr load. I can't speak to accuracy although my wife's Model 66 shot the 180s well.
     
  4. hogshead

    hogshead Member

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    357 should be fine just no hollow points. Might want to check out hard cast lead bullets too.
     
  5. rswartsell

    rswartsell Member

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    Buffalo Bore 180gr WFP HC Gas Check should be just the ticket.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2012
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    You reach a point of diminishing returns in .357 at about 180 grain.

    Forget the 200 grain bullets.
    And forget the Hollow-Point bullets.

    You want a LSWC or WFP for deep penetration, and the ability to break down bones & joints.

    Look here at the Lyman #357429 170 grain, and the LBT 160 grain.
    http://montanabulletworks.com/357.html

    rc
     
  7. Sergei Mosin

    Sergei Mosin Member

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    Hard cast lead bullets are the thing. Deep penetration and they will smash bone. I have some Federal 180-grain CastCore rounds for use in my GP100. They'll do nicely for black bears, mountain lions, or two-legged predators.

    Edit: hey, post number 357 and it's on the .357 Magnum! :D
     
  8. BigJimP

    BigJimP Member

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    Yes, its plenty with the right bullet on black bear.....
     
  9. rswartsell

    rswartsell Member

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    and gas checks are a very good idea for fast moving .357 lead!
     
  10. Cocked & Locked

    Cocked & Locked Member

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    I like bear gun threads
     
  11. OilyPablo

    OilyPablo Member

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    As long as she is willing to carry the gun (with a CPL) and most importantly practice a LOT.
     
  12. power167

    power167 Member

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    Heh, thought the title was .357 and beer. Was going to recommend Dales Pale in the cans.
     
  13. ShooterMcGavin

    ShooterMcGavin Member

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    I've had friends ask my advice on bear-stop ping guns a few times. My typical answer is like my answer for other critters - shot placement. The perfect shot will stop a bear with basically anything. My minimum comfort zone for myself is with my .40, using heavy loads, but that's because I'm good with that gun. I think .357 is a little better than .40 for penetration, and that is most important.
     
  14. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Long as we're talking average black bear, any good duty-caliber (.38, 9x19mm power range to 10mm/.357) piece is okay, but I'd want 158s in a .38, and at least 124s in a 9x19mm. When you start talking really big black bear, such as the ones in Canada and Alaska, then more gun is better. Handgun calibers for Alaskan dangerous game start with .4 or .5". On a 200-lb bear at 10 yards, though, a good controlled-expansion or hardcast .357 will do the trick.

    John
     
  15. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    It's marginal with the right bullet on the wrong bear.

    But I would be comfortable packing a 357 mag revolver for defensive purposes from the average black bear in the US.
     
  16. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    An arrow from a compound bow works, so will a .357mag 158gr. Solid @ 1400fps.

    DISREGARD, I WAS THINKING HUNTING NOT DEFENSE FOR ONE BENT ON ATTACKING YOU.
     
  17. skidder

    skidder Member

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    I've recently migrated from 44 to 357. My old Redhawk seems to be getting heavier as I get older.

    I still use my Redhawk in Grizzly country, but for black bear areas I grab my 4" Security Six with 158 hardcast loaded @ 1400 fps.

    I'd say there's a slight difference in size, wouldn't you?:scrutiny:

    [​IMG]
     
  18. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I think the best bullet for Bear Defense is a 180gr Hard Cast GC bullet, the ones made by Cast Performance. Those are the same bullets used in Grizzly Ammo, they are sister companies. Those bullets have a very wide meplat and will drive right through mussel and bone, just what you are looking for in a good bullet.
    180gr WFNGC Cast Performance Bullets
     
  19. gazpacho

    gazpacho Member

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    Aren't there still grizzlies in Washington state?

    As for 357 mag vs bear, if I had to choose, I would want the 180gr Buffalo Bore load. If I had my choice, I'd be slightly more comfortable with my Ruger Alaskan in 454 and a pair of adult diapers.
     
  20. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    The .357 is a fine cartridge, and as was proven soon after its debut...capable of taking large game.

    However, there are better calibers for facing down a bear. We can never bet on the size of the bear that we'll encounter, nor his general attitude. If he's on the attack, he'll be quite a bit harder to...dissuade. If he's also a big one, that problem is compounded. I'd prefer a heavier bullet driven to enough velocity to not only penetrate...but to break heavy bone without excessive deflection as it courses its way through.
     
  21. dawei

    dawei Member

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    As there are Grizzlies in the North Cascades, and the Selkirks; I'd recommend something with more punch than a 357 Magnum. For me personally, when I hike in those areas; I carry a 41 Remington Magnum. If I were limited to a 357 Magnum however I would load the gun with these..........
    https://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=100
     
  22. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    The bears most likely to attack humans are going to be malnourished (which is why they're attacking)...and therefore, smaller. It's a lot better to have a controllable revolver that's small enough to actually have with you, than the handcannon that's so large it gets left.

    John
     
  23. PabloJ

    PabloJ Member

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    You'll likely to get two shots. The .41Mag is not enough for a Griz. When I owned FA revolver and there was Georgia Arms .45LC load 320gr or 330gr hard cast at about 1300fps at the muzzle. That would be minimum required from a handgun. Due to severe recoil there would be one shot but if well placed it's as good as you're likely to get. Anything bigger belongs in modern Marlin lever action rifle.
     
  24. charlie echo

    charlie echo Member

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    i do also
     
  25. charlie echo

    charlie echo Member

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    illustrative photo: nice. appreciate your signature as well.
     
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