Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why .357 and not .45?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Gunsmoker, Aug 1, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Gunsmoker

    Gunsmoker Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    Messages:
    265
    So I see these threads of people going hiking in bear country and asking what gun to bring along with them. Most of the time, people say to bring a .357.

    Why don't people recommend bringing a .45?
     
  2. AStone

    AStone Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Messages:
    24,176
    Location:
    Far N, E coast
    Depends on where you are, Gunsmoker, and what kind of bear you might encounter.

    For black bear, .357 mag is fine, it seems.

    For griz, most recommend something much more substantial.
    Alaskans are fond of .454 Casull, for example, or a .45-70 or a 12 ga with slugs.
     
  3. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Messages:
    12,069
    Gunsmoker, a .45 what? .357 Mag has more energy, and better penetration than .45 ACP. Get into .45 Colt with heavy slugs, particularly the +P stuff and it's a whole different ball game.
     
  4. Geronimo45

    Geronimo45 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    Messages:
    3,345
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    'Cuz .357 says 'MAGNUM' after the numbers. The .45 just says 'ACP'. Also, there is a near-religious belief that no caliber in a semi-automatic action can take down a bear under any but the most strange of circumstances.

    I don't know exactly how .357 Magnum versus .45 ACP FMJ penetration compares... but I have heard 16" or so in ballistic gelatin being about the standard for the .45 FMJ round.
     
  5. Regolith

    Regolith Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Messages:
    1,365
    Location:
    Nevada & Oregon
    Honestly....if I'm defending against bear, I'll take something of the long gun variety, such as 12ga or .45-70. A pistol might work (depending on species, age, caliber selection, etc), but if my ass is on the line I'd prefer something I know will work.
     
  6. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    Messages:
    22,575
    Location:
    Northeast PA, USA
    That's not fair. Most of the people who recommend a .357 Magnum don't do it just because of the word Magnum. It's a good round for most 4 legged critters in the lower 48 and a revolver is a good choice for woods carry.
    I'll let you know next time I'm attacked by Ballistic Gelatin while in the woods. :rolleyes:

    There was no reason for you to put down a whole group of shooters because you have a bug up your butt about some people not agreeing with you that a semi-auto is the best choice for SD while hiking.

    Regolith, you are totally correct, I would rather have a shotgun if something large decided it wants to make a good lunch out of me.
     
  7. Geronimo45

    Geronimo45 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    Messages:
    3,345
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    No put downs intended. I see no problem with preferring a revolver to an auto in that role, or any other role - just a problem with some people (usually seen in the 'bear threads') dismissing guns out of turn - throwing out, say, a Glock 10mm (with however many rounds it holds) as vastly underpowered in comparison to a (five, six, seven, or eight-shot) .357 Magnum... when the velocity/bullet weights are pretty close. It makes no sense to me when people do that - and with the extra emphasis I have heard people use when saying 'magnum'... I can only surmise that the name alone is what draws some people to it.
     
  8. finalcut

    finalcut Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    151
    Location:
    Alaska
    I live in Alaska, and carry a .44 Mag - S&W 629 with some loads just for Bear. I would not feel good with a .357 or a .45, and I'd go with a 10mm over them both. But - the 44mag is eeeking by as far as I'm concerned.... I wouldn't mind a Semi Auto in .44 mag, but I feel my Revolver is more reliable, and if a Griz is closing in I don't want to deal with any Malfunctions that a Semi might encounter.... ( Not that my wheel gun is perfect )

    One reason I could see to carry a .357 perhaps over a .45 would be the abilty to also shoot .38 +P.... But - I wouldn't carry a .357 over a .45
    In fact - I would rather carry a .40 over .357 & .45 : )
     
  9. ozwyn

    ozwyn Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Messages:
    714
    Location:
    Maryland
    I think .45 LC with a good load would be just as good as .357......

    you did mean a revolver load, right?
     
  10. shadowalker

    shadowalker Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    Messages:
    640
    Location:
    Idaho
    I'm from Alaska and we carried a S&W 629 or a LAR 45 Win Mag semi auto which was nice as well. Handguns in general are bad for bear defense, some are just worse than others.

    9mm, 40, and 45 ACP are for two legged and smaller threats, even with those threats there are failure to stops, 40 S&W has trouble with dogs sometimes.

    I'd prefer a SG or rifle but I'd carry a 10mm with 200 grain FMJ for blacks, 41 Magnum should also work pretty well.

    The recommendation that I remember was at least 200 grains and at least 1000 fps, with a very hard bullet non expanding bullet.

    A heavy 357 magnum load (not 125 grain) will work on black bears, we had two friends make less than intelligent decisions with bringing food up their tree stand and wound up having black bears join them in their stand.

    We also had a friend hit hit a bear in the head with a broad head, and then fall back to his 44 and miss 6 times, luckily the bear died from the arrow.

    A little thought will prevent most bear encounters, make some noise and be aware of where bears like to hang out, learn about bear behaviour and the differences between black and grizzly bears, there is a lot of free information on being safe in bear country.
     
  11. BlindJustice

    BlindJustice Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    Messages:
    2,798
    Location:
    Pullman, WA
    Penetration Test
    SInce I didn't have any Ballistic Gel I took a plastic milk
    crate and filled it with magazines ( not gun magazines )
    spine down and soaked em with water the night before
    soaked them again in the A.M and one more time before
    my buddy and I went to the proverbial local gravel pit...

    .357 Mag. W-W 125 gr. JHP
    .45 ACP W-W 230 gr. SXT JHP

    both went in about 13 magazines and were the
    deepest - I did some other .45 ACP and the
    poorest performer - only 6 magazines deep
    was the Rem 185 gr. JHP the rest of that box
    of ammo has been relagated to plinking/practice.

    I've since picked up some

    .357 Mag Hornady XTP 180 gr.
    .45 ACP Barnes XPB 225 gr.

    Perhaps another summary execution of the
    guilty and condemned magazines need
    killing real soon now....

    oh, Joke about Bear Hunters

    Two hunters are flying into the wilds
    of Alaska with their guide and the bush
    pilot. The hunters in the back seat are
    excited and talking away. One hunter
    sez to the other "Yeah, I brought along my
    .38 in case we run into a bear." The
    seasoned guide turned twoards them and
    commented "I'll presuume that is for shooting
    your self in case we see a bear?"


    Hunters are talking in the back seat. One
     
  12. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    3,942
    Location:
    Hendersonville, WNC
    :D
    I swear some day I'm going (black) bear hunting with a 1911. If someone was bent on using .45acp on bear, I believe they might seek some effective options for that cartridge. I would personally consider something from Double Tap, such as their 230gr FMJ-FP that delivers over 1,000 FPS and 520 FPE from a 5" barrel.

    However, I'm quite certain I could begin hunting black bear today with my 1911s and not finish until the black bear population was extinct as a result and there would still be those who claim the .45acp isn't enough for black bear. Granted, it certainly isn't ideal for black bear, but it could still very well be considered effective (as could be said for the .357 magnum).
     
  13. longeyes

    longeyes member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    7,227
    Location:
    True West...Hotel California
    How about a 12-gauge lupara with slugs?
     
  14. SWMAN

    SWMAN Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Messages:
    458
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    If I go into bear country (other than black bear) I'd carry a 12 gauge slug gun.
     
  15. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Messages:
    23,171
    Velocity, energy and penetration. .357 hunting ammo beats the .45LC and .45ACP hands down, when you're talking about standard factory ammo.

    .45LC can be loaded super-hot, but can be shot in only a few revolvers safely that way.

    A bigger bullet isn't everything.

    .44 Magnum is a better choice, of course, but not everyone finds it manageable to shoot. .454, .460, etc. even more so.
     
  16. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Messages:
    25,276
    Location:
    The end of the road between Sodom and Gomorrah Tex
    I've got a .45ACP, four .357 magnum revolvers, and a .45 Colt Ruger Blackhawk. My preference is, in order:

    .45 Colt -- 300 grains at 1200 fps
    .357 Magnum (rather carry this one if I'm hiking, light on the hip)




    Distant third, .45ACP.

    Yes, the 158 or 180 grain hard cast .357 magnum will out-penetrate a .45ACP hard ball AND do more damage hand over fist despite the fact that God, himself, designed the .45ACP. If you want an autoloader for hunting or outdoor use, get a 10mm and live happy. :D I like revolvers, myself, and I've killed a lot of small game with an accurate .357 loaded with light wadcutters. Versatility and easy carry is why I like a good 4" medium frame .357 for general outdoor use.

    The only bear country I have and will likely EVER hike is New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado. I'll likely never get to see Alaska, let alone hike there. Might get up to Wyoming or Montana some day.
     
  17. AndyC

    AndyC Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Messages:
    2,581
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    A bear is a big beast with a very strong skull and a very deep chest - I'd want as much penetration as possible.
     
  18. AStone

    AStone Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Messages:
    24,176
    Location:
    Far N, E coast
    Once again, as in the past in "bear discussions", there's some "talking past one another" going on here.

    The OP specified only "bear country", but did not specify whether that's east Tennessee, Colorado or Alaska.

    Those in Alaska have one need; those in the lower 48 outside of ID, MT, WY and other griz states have a different need. Both griz and black will attack and eat you, but griz is a FAR more powerful beast.

    To not specify which bear you're concerned about only confuses the issue of "what's enough". Comparing guns "adequate" for each is comparing oranges and grapefruits. What's adequate in TN will get you eaten in AK. What's needed in AK is overkill in TN.

    If I was in east TN, and dealing with black bear, I wouldn't feel under-powered with a .357 mag revolver, especially with a 4" or 6" barrel. If I'm in Alaska (which is where I hope to live next, so I'm researching this issue in advance), I want either a .45-70 rifle or a shotgun with slugs. I'm a smaller person, and I'm not confident of my ability to control a .44 mag or .454C revolver.

    Sort it out, please, people. Specify where your bear country is, and for which bear - griz v black - you are preparing.
     
  19. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Messages:
    23,171
    I don't know about a Grizz, but a .357 does a number on Koalas.:p
     
  20. BlindJustice

    BlindJustice Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    Messages:
    2,798
    Location:
    Pullman, WA
    ok...

    I haven't heard of any Griz in the parts of the west central Idaho panhandle - but some north and into Montana so the cartridges
    I mentioned would be pointed at Blac Bear

    357 Mag Hornady XTP 180 gr.@ 1,175 FPS or
    .45 ACP Barnes X 225 gr. - no vel. claimed so
    I will chrono it out of my S&W 625 6 inch Bbl.
    when I am at the range next.

    that said I guess I would lean toward having them
    both on my hip as a camp cook - have some full moon clips
    with one full of shot shells for small vermin. but if I had
    to choose with no reloading in mind the 686P
    gets the nod because it has one more shot than the .45
    wheelgun... so use both with the New York reload eh?
     
  21. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    18,678
    Location:
    Deep in the Ozarks
    Phil Shoemaker, who is a licensed bear guide and who lives in bear country recommends a .357 with a heavy, hard cast bullet. His reasoning is you need to hit and penetrate the skull, and you might get a second chance with a .357. He also points out that the primary way to deal with bears is through your behavior -- act like a bigger bear, and stand your ground. That's a lot easier to do with a gun in your hand than it is if you're totally unarmed.
     
  22. RubenZ

    RubenZ Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2007
    Messages:
    437
    Location:
    Texas

    Simple really.


    Go into the woods with a .45 and 1 round and a .357mag with 1 round :) find 2 of the biggest meanest Wild Boars you can find and shoot one with each :)

    You'll see why people will go for a .357 mag over a .45.

    .45's are GREAT stopping rounds for 2 legged species. That heavy bullet does numbers on light humans. It just doesnt have the penetration that a .357 mag does when it comes to 4 legged beast.
     
  23. scubie02

    scubie02 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2003
    Messages:
    916
    Location:
    ny
    hey, I love my 1911's and carry them more than anything else, but I have also seen them bounce off trees and such any number of times, and you have to be careful where you shoot them sometimes--just not the best for penetration at times. Never had a 357 bounce off like that that I can recall.

    Smaller caliber with higher speed tends to add up to better ballistic coefficient and penetration, which is why supposedly the guy who went after Bonnie and Clyde used a 38 super over a 45 for penetration of Clyde's notorious Fords...

    but I still love me my big ol pumpkin ball 1911's :D

    Just not for bear
     
  24. RubenZ

    RubenZ Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2007
    Messages:
    437
    Location:
    Texas
    Exactly. .45's are a human stopping weapon. You ever try shooting a .45 at say 15yrds hitting some sheetmetal and car doors etc. Very disappointing results. They just do NOT penetrate that well.

    I'm not bashing the .45acp. It's just that its really only a caliber designed for sport and Self Defense. I mean it'll knock the crap out of a BG.
     
  25. obxned

    obxned Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Messages:
    1,490
    Location:
    OBX, NC
    I don't think either the .357 or the .45 are all that good a defense against black bears. Peppper spray would provide greater safety. A shotgun would be even better.

    However, it's not because of the bears (or wild hogs) that I carry a handgun in the field, it's for the two-legged snakes.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page