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smoky14
Junior Member

240 Posts

Posted - June 09 2015 :  3:50:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've encountered black bear on my recent hikes and thus far have felt somewhat safe with my procedures and bear spray, govt approved so's not to offend the bear.
I have a choice of 40S&W 10 rnds or 357 six shot. Which would you pick for your survival? Does anyone make a spray that may be more effective even though it might offend the bear in question.
Any suggestions welcome. The number of bear seems to be increasing and the Forest Service seems to be more concerned about the bear than the hikers.
Thanks
Smoky

Badge
Advanced Member

USA
1648 Posts

Posted - June 09 2015 :  3:57:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Either weapon should be more than enough with proper projectiles. I'd consider the " Bear Sprays " that can be found in Gander Mtn., or online for roughly 35 clams as they are recommended for hikers out west in Grizzly country. My bride and I carry it when we walk our dogs and it also does very well on aggressive K-9's.

MSS
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gw
Advanced Member

3984 Posts

Posted - June 09 2015 :  5:41:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Depends on the size of the bear and whether it wants to fight.

neither is much of a bear gun to me, I wouldn't use either to shoot even a treed bear.

but if that's what I got, and the magnum is a service size 4inch or better gun, I'd go to Buffalo Bore and get some of their heavy magnums or something equivalent and go with that.

and I'd try real hard not to kill a bear, like you say, they care more about bears than you.

"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..."
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4949shooter
Senior Member

USA
584 Posts

Posted - June 09 2015 :  9:28:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
10mm would be a better choice than either, but of the two I would pick the 357 magnum. Below are the details for Underwood's heavy offering:

Technical Information

Caliber: 357 Magnum
Bullet Weight: 180 Grains
Bullet Style: Lead Flat Nose Gas Check 21 BHN
Case Type: Brass

Ballistics Information:

Muzzle Velocity: 1400 fps
Muzzle Energy: 783 ft. lbs.

Edited by - 4949shooter on June 09 2015 9:29:28 PM
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jle3030
Advanced Member

USA
4992 Posts

Posted - June 10 2015 :  05:58:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 4949shooter

10mm would be a better choice than either, but of the two I would pick the 357 magnum. Below are the details for Underwood's heavy offering:

Technical Information

Caliber: 357 Magnum
Bullet Weight: 180 Grains
Bullet Style: Lead Flat Nose Gas Check 21 BHN
Case Type: Brass

Ballistics Information:

Muzzle Velocity: 1400 fps
Muzzle Energy: 783 ft. lbs.

Which raises the question of what frame size .357 we're talking about. Not all .357's are equal for handling heavy loads.

Jeff

jle3030
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Ace
Advanced Member

USA
5049 Posts

Posted - June 10 2015 :  06:27:24 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My first choice would be Ruger GP100. The Blackhawk would do, too, assuming ability to use single action efficiently, though it might not be the best choice for 2-legged 'bears'. Ace

Give me $1 every time a Liberal lies, I'll give you $5 every time one tells the truth; I'll end up a wealthy man, you'll end up broke.
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Uncle Mike
Advanced Member

USA
1605 Posts

Posted - June 10 2015 :  09:42:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi, people I know,that live in bear country, call bear spray, bear candy. That being said I would try it and of the two calibers, 357,regards, Mike
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Pop Pop
Senior Member

USA
687 Posts

Posted - June 10 2015 :  12:44:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Neither caliber would be my first choice, but the 357 if that is all one has. I would also opt for heavy hunting ammo.

Pop Pop
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4949shooter
Senior Member

USA
584 Posts

Posted - June 10 2015 :  4:40:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jle3030

quote:
Originally posted by 4949shooter

10mm would be a better choice than either, but of the two I would pick the 357 magnum. Below are the details for Underwood's heavy offering:

Technical Information

Caliber: 357 Magnum
Bullet Weight: 180 Grains
Bullet Style: Lead Flat Nose Gas Check 21 BHN
Case Type: Brass

Ballistics Information:

Muzzle Velocity: 1400 fps
Muzzle Energy: 783 ft. lbs.

Which raises the question of what frame size .357 we're talking about. Not all .357's are equal for handling heavy loads.

Jeff



Good point. Since it is a six shot I presume it can handle the heavy load, but it it worth checking for sure.

There are no warnings on Underwood's website for this ammo regarding firearm compatibility.They do give warnings for their 10mm loads.
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smoky14
Junior Member

240 Posts

Posted - June 11 2015 :  09:03:59 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a GP100 4" barrel, or my HK compact. It seems that bear spray is developed to not hurt the bear, to meet FS requirements. Funny we can use anything on two legged bear but have to have PC stuff on the four foot variety.

Smoky
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Pop Pop
Senior Member

USA
687 Posts

Posted - June 11 2015 :  12:59:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I suppose they figure the 2 legged bears should know better. Just sayin.

Pop Pop
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wolfgang2000
Advanced Member

USA
3742 Posts

Posted - June 11 2015 :  1:17:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The 357 should do what you want with the proper loads. It's what I use when I'm working on my place.

“The key is to hit them hard, hit them fast, and hit them repeatedly. The one shot stop is a unit of measurement not a tactical philosophy.” Evan Marshall
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gw
Advanced Member

3984 Posts

Posted - June 11 2015 :  8:18:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
if you get serious about it, and maybe you should, you might trade up to a .44


"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..."
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jle3030
Advanced Member

USA
4992 Posts

Posted - June 12 2015 :  05:51:57 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Is this to be an all round versatile "perfect packin' pistol" (reasonable weight, handy, and powerful enough with the right load)) or a dedicated bear gun? Putting it another way, does the Ruger already serve another purpose? You may already have the gun you want; just fine tune the loads and know how they shoot.

Moving up to a bigger caliber, I'm fond of the S&W .44 Mag Mountain Gun. Its primary diet is the Skelton/Taffin .44 Spl. load, but that can be escalated if needed.

Jeff

jle3030

Edited by - jle3030 on June 12 2015 06:20:55 AM
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Jim Higginbotham
Moderator

USA
9431 Posts

Posted - June 12 2015 :  08:01:57 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Black Bears come is all shapes, sizes and temperaments.

Sounds like a perfect opportunity to purchase a Mtn. Gun in .44 Magnum or .45 Colt (and shoot Underwood or B.B. WFN loads).

I've seen quite a few hogs shot with .357 with good bullets and I've shot a few deer with 4 to 8" .357s with self defense bullets - none were impressed except one poor little critter that got his head in the way of a pass through - and he did not die quick enough to suit (but he was certainly out of action).

If a .357 was all I had, I'd go with one of the above solids and shoot for the head. I'm pretty sure that would do the trick if the angle is not too steep.

A neighbor goes bear hunting every year - last year in South Carolina his party took a 500 and a 550 lb black bear - that is way larger than what I am used to hearing about or seeing on my trips to the Tennessee hill county.

OTOH - Both George Nonte and Lee Jurras (Of Super Vel Fame) each killed black bear in the 200+ lb range with standard .45 Auto and Supervel Ammo - but they weren't aggressive. There is a huge difference between humanely killing game and defending yourself against an attack by a wild predator.

I'm thinking a Marlin 45-70 might be just the ticket - or maybe an 870 with Brenneke slugs

Jim

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Edited by - Jim Higginbotham on June 12 2015 08:04:06 AM
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Jim Higginbotham
Moderator

USA
9431 Posts

Posted - June 12 2015 :  08:08:44 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Not to drift the thread but I recently started hiking and I find I have use for a different type of firearm - a relatively quiet .22 (not that I would go out without a major caliber sidearm also).

Last week I hiked an old trail I was familiar with and found it had not been maintained well and it just looked "snaky" to me. I was certainly within normal ear shot of a federal office. Hunting would not be really legal there but wearing a gun is OK (with a permit).

I figure some sort of quiet .22 ammo might get the job done without alarming the whole neighborhood. I have a suppressor that fits my Ruger MkIII but it would be heavy and unhandy.

I need to try out some of the CCI "Quiet" .22s and see how they sound and if they would work in my PPK or my Pre-War Woodsman.

Jim

Get the Weaponcraft Journal on Amazon: Print or Kindle!
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gw
Advanced Member

3984 Posts

Posted - June 12 2015 :  09:50:06 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
a 2 year old kid was killed up in Tennessee several years ago, they bated a trap with the remains, trapped and killed a 700lb black bear soon after.

even small ones are quicker than a cat and not like the ones you see on tv at all.

"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..."
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Malcolm
Advanced Member

USA
4008 Posts

Posted - June 12 2015 :  4:32:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
WHen hiking in the California mountains and woods, I felt "comfortable" carrying "only" a .357 magnum revolver. Now, a little farther East, where bears are far more prevalent, I'm leaning towards getting a 10mm for hiking/backpacking ventures, IF, I go bushwhacking into the off-beaten paths.

"The measure of a man's character, is how he treats someone who can do nothing for him." (unknown)
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Malcolm
Advanced Member

USA
4008 Posts

Posted - June 12 2015 :  4:35:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I should add that the last 15 years we lived in SoCal, we routinely encountered mountain lions NOT afraid of humans at all in the areas within Orange County itself, only saw a few bears when living in NorCal as a kid. I'm more concerned with mountain lions than bears, (just me).

"The measure of a man's character, is how he treats someone who can do nothing for him." (unknown)
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revjen45
Advanced Member

2234 Posts

Posted - June 13 2015 :  12:03:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The Magnum Research BFR comes in .45-70.

Better to perish in the struggle for freedom than live to see defeat.
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bandaidman
Advanced Member

USA
1309 Posts

Posted - June 14 2015 :  04:51:51 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Malcolm

I should add that the last 15 years we lived in SoCal, we routinely encountered mountain lions NOT afraid of humans at all in the areas within Orange County itself, only saw a few bears when living in NorCal as a kid. I'm more concerned with mountain lions than bears, (just me).


Mountain lions will track you while a bear will usually run away. The bear I got a couple of years ago went down after one jump with just one shot from my 44mag. I used barnes 225gr XPB shot behind the facing shoulder and went through and out the other side with a 4 inch hole going out. I've been looking for a 4 inch 629 as a "woods" gun.
My son-in-law went fishing in Alaska with his brothers, saw a black bear trying to get into a cabin and used his 45 with dismal results. But he was carrying ammo more for the 2 legged kind.

“If for a while the harder you try, the harder it gets, take heart. So it has been with the best people who ever lived.
Jeffery Holland
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LittleBill
Advanced Member

4377 Posts

Posted - June 14 2015 :  1:15:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I just spent a week camping at Big Bend National Park down on the border in southwest Texas; and the lions are making a big comeback there.

I was in the main campground in the Chisos Basin, where I've been going on and off for 20+ years. When I first started going there, the campground was populated by herds of javelina (wild-pig-looking critters that are actually 'pecccary')--- not a day would go by without seeing them--- abundant herds of deer, and beaucoup rabbits. A mountain lion would be spotted in the main campground maybe every few years, it was a big deal when it happened.

Now, they're seeing lions in the main campground every couple months! These 'elusive' cats are becoming very bold.

And all the javelina are gone, gobbled up by the lions. I only spotted a few deer and a couple rabbits. (Folks who've been successfully hunting the nearby Terlingua Ranch for years are complaining that the deer there are few and far between.) There are 'Mountain lion alert' posters up in the NP washrooms, and they advise you not to hike alone.

But I was alone...

I had a stout walking stick, and my P226 stoked with .357 Sig DPX (it's now legal to carry in Parks). The problem with that being, mountain lions typically like to ambush their prey from behind, waiting till it walks by first, then pouncing... usually the first hint the prey has of the lion's 'presence' is a heavy weight knocking it face-first to the ground and the lion's jaws crunching the back of its neck...

It certainly made for some... interesting hiking in the out-of-the-way places I like to go.



"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast

Edited by - LittleBill on June 14 2015 2:20:02 PM
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LittleBill
Advanced Member

4377 Posts

Posted - June 14 2015 :  1:41:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by smoky14

I've encountered black bear on my recent hikes and thus far have felt somewhat safe with my procedures and bear spray, govt approved so's not to offend the bear.
.... The number of bear seems to be increasing and the Forest Service seems to be more concerned about the bear than the hikers.
Thanks
Smoky


Yeah, I had an interesting conversation with the Rangerette who checked me in to Big Bend Park.

While she was checking me in, a gentleman came up and asked her about the presence of mountain lions and what danger they posed to hikers. She proceeded to tell him the usual stuff--- don't hike alone, stick together as a group, don't let your kids run ahead, if you see one wave your arms and try to make yourself look big, slowly back away from it, don't run, don't throw anything at it--- all good advice, as far as it goes. When it became clear that she was finished, I politely chimed in and said to the man, "And you can always carry a gun, that's legal in the Parks now."

Rangerette: "It's illegal to discharge a weapon within the Park boundaries."

Me: "Well... I believe the law for that is the same as the law for self-defense against human predators, right?... If your life truly is being threatened, and you have no other way of escape, then you're allowed to discharge that weapon... to shoot the lion... correct? And that's OK, the law allows you to do that."

To which she reluctantly agreed. "You'd better have scratches on you to prove it." You could see she didn't like the idea at all, that a citizen might use a gun to defend himself against lion attack.

Like Smoky's experience with Rangers and bears in his neck of the woods, she seemed more concerned with protecting the lions than protecting the hikers.

"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast

Edited by - LittleBill on June 14 2015 2:02:36 PM
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LittleBill
Advanced Member

4377 Posts

Posted - June 14 2015 :  2:00:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

BTW: If you're 62 or older, you can pay $10 and get a National Parks Lifetime Senior Pass. It gets you free admission to all National Park facilities, and 1/2 price on camping and accomodations. Great bargain.

"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast
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Pop Pop
Senior Member

USA
687 Posts

Posted - June 14 2015 :  3:32:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a Nat Park Senior Pass and they are good in any Federal Gov Park in the US. I use my pass alll the time. GEt 50% off camping and free admittance to any park. Even went to the old fort in St Augestine Florida free with my whole party of 4. Like the man said 10.00 for a life time pass.

Pop Pop
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dawei
Junior Member

USA
182 Posts

Posted - June 14 2015 :  4:36:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
When I'm in the woods of the Pacific Northwest (WA); I carry a 4" Barrel Taurus® TRACKER™ in 41 Remington® Magnum. I also carry bear spray. The gun is loaded with Federal® Vital-Shok® 250gr CastCore® bullets.

David

Only two defining forces have ever died for you:
1. Jesus Christ.
2. American Soldier, Sailor, Airman, & Marine.
One died for your soul; the other for your freedom.

1Cross+3Nails=4given

Edited by - dawei on June 14 2015 4:38:15 PM
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