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What's the best Bear Ammo to use in a .357 Mag

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Mr. T, Jul 20, 2009.

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  1. Mr. T

    Mr. T Member

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    I know, I know many of you would rather use a .44 Mag; truth be told so would I, but I have a .357 Mag and would like to use it on an upcoming camping trip. Numerous Black Bear Sightings have been reported in the area and I would rather be safe than sorry. Any recommendations?
     
  2. wnycollector

    wnycollector Member

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  3. bflobill_69

    bflobill_69 Member

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    Funny you should mention that - my Dad still lives in the southern tier of WNY and has told me they have been seeing ALOT more bear activity near farms, homesteads...
     
  4. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    I was going to say the same: hard alloy lead SWCs or flat points, 158 grains or heavier, in a true .357 Magnum loading.

    No expanding bullets (expand too soon), no weak "tactical" loads -- you need all the velocity you can get.:)
     
  5. pps

    pps Member

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    When it's not practical for me to have the 12ga with Brenakee slugs, I carry 185gr LBT over 15.8gr of H110 for 1200fps out of my 627. In my area there ae only small blackbears...no brown bears.
     
  6. Erich

    Erich Member

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    For black bears (as you specify), I feel perfectly confident with 180-grain hardcasts. I roll my own, but any of them ought to do fine.

    Since black bears tend to behave about like giant raccoons, you ought not have any problem, but you might google a black bear shot placement diagram.
     
  7. Fumbler

    Fumbler Member

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    For the non-reloader, use the heaviest Buffalo Bore or Double Tap hard cast lead semi-wadcutter or lead wide flat point.

    If you need factory loads that you can buy in a store then Winchester has a 180gr Supreme Partition.
     
  8. yongxingfreesty

    yongxingfreesty Member

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  9. Rio Laxas

    Rio Laxas Member

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    I keep double tap 200 grain wide flat nose gas check hardcast in mine. If I know I'm going somewhere with bear activity, then I will take my 44 mag. Otherwise I rely on the .357 as my daily carry.
     
  10. WTBguns10kOK

    WTBguns10kOK Member

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    I use 180 gr. Buffalo Bore hardcast thingabobs since I'm in everything bear and moose country. Probably will switch to DoubleTaps though, because they are cheaper. I'd go with Armed Bear, since ur only in the midwest anything 158 or bigger should be golden.
     
  11. wnycollector

    wnycollector Member

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    The police had to shoot a juvenile black bear ~20 miles south of my house last week.
     
  12. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    Well I bought all the old stock Corbon 200 grain Hardcast from a local store 5 years ago. It is the best load I've found, I can't load as heavy and still get the easy extraction they did?
     
  13. JAV8000

    JAV8000 Member

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    Black bears are tough, but can easily be rolled over with a decently placed .30-.30. A nice SAMMI max hard cast .357 out of a good revolver should have no problem rocking one. Not exactly ideal but good enough with good placement.....hell, I bet if you put one in the air near the bear it would take off really quick. I personally would rather not shoot a bear if I wasn't prepared to process it's natural bounty.
     
  14. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    There are more than a few good choices for ammo out there for your needs but IMO the best is a very hard cast bullet with a wide flat nose. The Grizzly Cartridge Company makes just that ammo, their 180gr WFNGC ammo. They use a Cast Performance bullet (same company) and it's loaded hot...

    The hunting ammo from Federal, Remington, Winchester, Buffalo Bore, Double Tap, CorBon and a few others are all good choices but I feel the Grizzly Ammo is just a little better.
     
  15. Oro

    Oro Member

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    No more needs to be said about the cw on ammo for this. But a word on camping. As a semi-frequent back country user in bear habitat, I take this seriously (bears encountered so far this season: 2 - 1 black, 1 brown/grizzly).

    Unless you are traveling with an experienced guide who knows this stuff, study up on how to camp in bear country. In areas with lots of activity you need to take precautions like making a separate cook fire from your "camp" fire, 50 yards or more downwind. Cook there. Store the food "treed" in that area and not in camp (bring a line for this if you aren't packing any). Don't sleep in clothes saturated with cook smoke - "tree" them, too. You can google this information up and the forest service/park service has more information.

    If you do see a bear, don't freak out. I have been seeing a couple a year the last few yeas since being in this area. They have their business they are doing and basically want nothing to do with you. Marvel at the fact you got to see one and try to get a picture (but don't approach them and hang around). Take a look, enjoy it, then move along in another direction and everything goes fine.
     
  16. wnycollector

    wnycollector Member

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    IMOO these are the best way to prevent any nighttime visitors to camp!
     
  17. 41magsnub

    41magsnub Member

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    I carry Federal 180gr hard casts in my 357 in the woods, have not had to test it on a bear however. Every black bear I have seen is just the butt end running away from me.
     
  18. Mr. T

    Mr. T Member

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    Thanks for the input everyone. I was just at the local Gander Mountain and there was hardly any .357 Mag on the shelves. What was there was only jacketed hollow points. Is there any place on-line where you might recommend buying?
     
  19. kanewpadle

    kanewpadle Member

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    I agree. The harder and faster the better when dealing with animals like this. Yes a 44 would be better. But if all you have is a 357 then so be it.

    In my experience black bear can be more unpredictable and more agressive than browns.

    If you can't find Double Tap use a heavy FMJ.
     
  20. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    I can't believe we are 20 posts into a thread about bear defense, and no one has yet called you an idiot (or worse) for wanting to be prepared. I don't know what this board is coming to. The bear whisperers must all be on vacation. I am leaving this weekend for a week long camping trip out in the Rockies, and I will certainly have my 44 mag handy.

    You have been given good advice about ammo selection for 357 mag. You want the heaviest, fastest, hardest load you can find. I thought I was going to take a 357 with me, because the front sight of my Ruger Blackhawk blew off while shooting about 2 weeks ago. I sent it off to Ruger, and they have installed a new sight on it much faster than I thought they would... so its back in commision.
     
  21. robphillips

    robphillips Member

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    Yellowstone relocates bears that are a problem in the park to a certain hunting area, I can't remeber the number. A friend of mine used to hunt elk in that area. The bears are so bad now noone hunts there anymore.
    What a great idea, put all the problems in one place.
     
  22. Antihero

    Antihero Member

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    I like Buffalo Bore's 180 cast loading myself. Out of my 6 inch GP100 it hits almost 1500fps and almost 900 ft-lbs of muzzle energy.
     
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