Projectile Choice for Woods Carry

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You can carry in California?
LOL I like your style :D

sure can. I teach CCW here too.

I live in Northern CA. The good part, turns out.

In the places I chase cows and like to backpack in you would be dopey to not carry.

Heck, I found a dude evading capture from LE up there in the snow once. Well, what was left of him, anyway. Critters had about 4 days to spread him around a little bit.
Whilst there are some who choose to load something other than expanding hollow point ammunition for personal defense, the general consensus seems to be that HPs are the preferred option for SD against the two-legged predators.

But when spending time in wild places, we know there is the potential to encounter other dangerous animals. And I don't just mean bears, wolves, and mountain lions. Moose, elk, and even deer can pose a threat to people in the right circumstances. Not to mention feral hogs, feral dogs, or even agressive off-leash pet dogs. And there's still the chance of meeting unsavory and violent people, like those running the local backwoods meth lab.

So given variety of potential dangerous fauna, what type of projectile do you prefer in your "local" wilderness areas? Do you favor a typical HP SD bullet, or do you like to have some heavier hardcast lead?

Being that I spend most of my out-of-town time in the Rockies - where there are some larger animals - I tend to prefer LSWCs, or a heavier HP that gel testing (for what that's worth) shows less expansion and more penetration than lighter grain weights in the same caliber. How about you?

Here in East TN, there are some black bears and feral hogs but that's about it. I have a .44 mag Trail Boss that I used to carry but I'm recently carrying my p226 in either 12 rds of .40 S&W 165 gr. HST or 20 rds of .9mm 147 gr. +p in HST. More worried about dogs and humans than anything else, really. Still, 20 rds of heavy 9mm HST should be fine and there's also quick reloads. The HST is a great bullet with very good penetration. Not the same as my beloved .44 mag tho ...
1. Counter Assault Bear spray; large container.Almost every place I hike out in ID, MT, WY.

2. Beretta PX4, .40 200 gr Buffalo Bore HCFN. Every place I hike and camp.

3. Taurus Titanium .44 mg 320 gr Corbon HCFN in certain areas of WY/MT, along with items 1 and 2.

4. And back at camp....Mossberg 500 Cruiser 12 gauge 3" 602 gr Black Magic slug
Typically a 357 with Speer Gold Dots or a 45acp with 230 gr Hornady hollow points. Mountain lions, dogs, and criminals are the biggest threat by me. The elk are skidish and stay out of the way. I have been charged by whitetail dear, a coyote, and aggressive dogs. Never had to shoot though.

However when in the Rockies I carry a 460 mag with 325 gr hard cast ammo. It requires suspenders. I'm questioning that choice though.
Depends on what I carry. Typically I like heavy for caliber solid bullets, usually plated for defensive/opportunity rounds so that i get good penetration. The biggest exception there is 357 where I like a 125gr jhp over a bunch of aa7.
Buffalo Bore for me too,regardless of the caliber.

Just be sure that the gun & frame can take that load and pressure.

JHP's are my go to in any "civilized" AO.

In the wild places I prefer penetration loads.

When I do carry my Glock 23 while hunting,I carry 180 grain JHP or even FMJ's.
Here in southern Arizona, we are just as likely to encounter large predators such as black bears or mountain lions as bad guys coming across the line. The Game and Fish Dept even got some game camera pics of another jaguar here in the Huachuca Mountains. I live in the foothills of the Huachucas.
After several very close encounters with black bear this past year, I decided I wanted a handgun bullet that may penetrate a bit farther than the Gold Dot and XTP bullets I had been using in my .357 Sig ammo.
I loaded up a number of the solid copper Lehigh Xtreme Defense and Xtreme Penetrator bullets in both .357 Sig and 9MM and I am now using these Lehigh bullets in my carry loads.
Redhawk .44 with PMC Bronze TC-SP, 240 grain, kind of a jacketed truncated cone, 1,300 fps/900 ft lbs.

I have Buffalo Bore hard cast big stuff but they hurt my itty bitty whist when fired. So, I save them for the occasional T-Rex, mad bison, and such, in a Deerfield carbine. They have to be loaded single shot as they do not fit in the magazine.

The PMC loads are, hopefully, adequate for black bears, mountain lions, and asshat criminal fugitives.
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Last summer one night about 1am, I took the dog for a walk around the block. As I approached my house I saw movement in the driveway. About 15 feet from my front porch. I few steps closer revealed a large black bear dragging one of my bags of garbage. At this point I was 60 feet from the front door. The thought that ran through my head about 10 times in a row was.....J frame, front pocket, only 5 rounds of 38 special, 125gr XTPs, crap! Driveway is on right side of house. I ducked around the left side and in the back door. He was busy browsing in his lunch bag
That should have worked if you can hit with it. Save the last round for a contact shot to the bear's head.
Good topic. Winter is on the way out and soon a lot of us will be coming out of hibernation and hitting the trails.

I carry a Gen III Glock 20 in 10mm Auto. For EDC and personal defense, I carry 200 gr Hornady XTPs loaded to 1250 fps by Grizzly Cartridge Co. I've taken a couple deer with this load, and wouldn't hesitate to consider it for black bear and hogs up to about 300 pounds, provided I was hunting and could therefore wait for broadside shots. For woods carry and critter defense, I prefer a 200 gr FMJ with a decent meplat loaded to the same velocity as I feel this load has a better chance of penetrating the front of a bear skull or lengthwise through the chest.
a round nose flat point or semi-wadcutter bullet profile with a decent meplat. heavier and faster is better for max penetration.

Factory 230gr PDX-1 for my XD-45
Handloaded 180gr Nosler HP for my RIA 10mm
Handloaded 240gr Sierra HP for my RedHawk 44mag

We have cougar, pretty big black bear (over 600lbs) and big Hogs here. Occasionally packs of dogs that can be aggressive.
Generally I carry .45ACP since I'm not normally in big brown bear country.

Typically, I carry Underwood's 255gr +P hardcasts.

But I've been known to also carry Hornady Critical Duty +P as well since it's supposed (hopefully) penetrate nicely for an expanding bullet. It's easy to find at any store.

If I'm not going for expansion on a fast bullet (like 9mm), then I like the fatter options like .44 or .45 as they make a marginally fatter hole.

This for my .45 ACP as well, usually a Glock 21 or 1911.

If I'm using my 10mm for woods walking I run handloads 200 grain XTP since they seem to penetrate well and run reliably in my 1911.

I'm thinking of using my Vaquero .357 mag for woods work in the future but am debating which projectile to load, leaning towards XTP again.

If I'm near big bears I like .44 mag and hot loaded hard casts
Here in Florida, the biggest predators are two-legged, dogs, cougars, or gators.
Anything but the gators, I'm fine with the same 9mm HST as I usually carry. Cougars aren't known for attacking much that fights back.
I carry a round of snakeshot when I carry my .38, and a couple in a pocket. Not likely to need it, but I'm not out much keeping it.
The gators? A better bet is a long stick and a good pair of boots.
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Here in Florida, the biggest predators are two-legged, dogs, cougars, or gators.
Anything but the gators, I'm fine with the same 9mm HST as I usually carry. Cougars aren't known for attacking much that fights back.
I carry a round of snakeshot when I carry my .38, and a couple in a pocket. Not likely to need it, but I'm not out much keeping it.
The gators? A better bet is a long stick and a good pair of boots.
Up here in the Ocala National Forest we have an over abundance of bears, some of which are quite large. I'll stick with my 44.
What I worry about running into where I live in NE Ohio is feral dogs & feral people. As such the normal 125gr jacketed hollow point loads I carry in .38+p or 124-147gr 9mm+p will work fine. I have got a curiosity to try some of the Buffalo Bore hot 158gr .38+p hollow point & wad cutter loads as well as the BB 147gr hard cast 9mm+p. All get great reviews. We do have an occasional confused black bear wander over from PA once in a blue moon.
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