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Old 07-19-2010, 05:20 PM
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Default .357 Mag Load for Black Bear Defense

Does anyone have suggestions for .357 mag. factory loads for use in a self defense / protection mode against black bears? Note this is not black bear hunting. Yes, I know a .41 mag, .44 mag, .454, .500 and a rifle or a shotgun with appropriate loads are all better protection from bears than a .357 mag. But my question is regarding a .357 mag. load - so please no info on other calibers. A full metal jacket bullet may be best for deep penetration and to avoid early expansion from jacketed and soft point bullets. Thus the Fiocchi 142 grain full metal jacket .357 mag. with 618 ft.lbs of muzzle velocity may be best. See link below.

Ideas?

Ballistics 101 | 357 Magnum Ballistics Chart
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Old 07-19-2010, 08:29 PM
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I think the Federal CastCore would be a very good choice.
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Old 07-19-2010, 08:38 PM
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Heavy 357 Magnum Pistol & Handgun Ammunition
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Old 07-19-2010, 08:40 PM
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I just really like Bear threads...

How about a 173gr. Keith hard cast swc over a dollop of 2400 or a Serria 170gr FMJ bullet.

In a factory load something like the ol' Norma 158gr. load...Like WOW !

Su Amigo,
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Old 07-19-2010, 09:04 PM
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Muzzle energy is not important, bullet weight and construction is. I would go with the heaviest, non-expanding bullet I could find.
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Old 07-19-2010, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martyg View Post
Does anyone have suggestions for .357 mag. factory loads for use in a self defense/protection mode against black bears? Note this is not black bear hunting. Yes, I know a .41 mag, .44 mag, .454, .500 and a rifle or a shotgun with appropriate loads are all better protection from bears than a .357 mag. But my question is regarding a .357 mag. load - so please no info on other calibers. A full metal jacket bullet may be best for deep penetration and to avoid early expansion from jacketed and soft point bullets. Thus the Fiocchi 142 grain full metal jacket .357 mag. with 618 ft.lbs of muzzle velocity may be best. See link below.

Ideas?

Ballistics 101 | 357 Magnum Ballistics Chart
Option 1

Option 2
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Last edited by badge 851; 07-20-2010 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 07-19-2010, 11:16 PM
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.357 mag hog loads
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Old 07-22-2010, 08:14 PM
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1)DoubleTap Ammunition

2)DoubleTap Ammunition

3)The Buffalo Bore 180's already mentioned

I do not handload yet so this is all I got.
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Old 07-22-2010, 08:55 PM
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Definitely not a 142 grain bullet for this role. Definitely one of the heavier loads mentioned above at least 180 grs.
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Old 07-23-2010, 11:28 PM
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Best two defences against bear attack are: 1) bear smarts, that is, don't do stupid things that attract, enrage or frighten bears, and 2) situation awareness in woods, just like anywhere else.

Bumble around in woods, paying no attention to what is around you, messing with most any bear, especially one with cubs, enticing bear with food, surprizing bear in a threatening manner, seeming to want their food, etc., etc.

Mostly bears will avoid humans, given any reasonable option, especially black bears. Bears are most likely far more aware of your presence than you are of theirs, often without you ever knowing they were there. After a lifetime of encountering black bears in woods, sometimes at very close range, I have never been threatened or felt threatened. Generally I was not carrying any gun at all.

Niklas
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Old 07-24-2010, 05:36 PM
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Obviously you know the limitations of .357 Magnum against bears, and like me you choose to carry that caliber anyway. I use Cor-Bon 200 grain hunting loads: 357 Mag 200gr COR?BON Hunter HC | CORŽBON/Glaser Self Defense | Dakota Ammo
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Old 07-24-2010, 08:05 PM
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Pepper spray is excellent if you are really nasty. A nice guy would holler at them and chase them while beating your pots and pans. You'll scare the poop out of 'em.

Take it from an old backpacker!
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Old 07-25-2010, 01:09 AM
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Thanks for all the replies on the hard cast bullets.
I've seen a few bear while out in the back country, but at a safe distance.
I've seen a few pass near the house, mostly in the spring.
Bear spray is standard carry equipment.
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Old 07-25-2010, 01:38 AM
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I will tell you in all seriousness that I would use the old Keith 358429 cast bullet 170 grain behind a good charge of Unique or 2400. The other thing I would do is try to find what they used to use back in the 1930's on bears. Remember that when the .357 first came out, Colonel Wesson killed EVERYTHING with it including grizzly bears. The only reason the handgun hunters of the day stopped using the .357 was because guess what, the .44 Magnum came out. That doesn't mean there is anything wrong with the .357. You didn't say what revolver you are carrying. Personally if I was going to have the .357 for bear defense, it would be in either an N frame or an L frame Smith or (I know) a Ruger which are built pretty tough as well. I wouldn't want to try and shoot heavier .357 loads out of a J frame snub for bears.
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Old 07-25-2010, 10:20 AM
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I second buckeyefan's recommendations. I like the 180 grain Double Taps.
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Old 07-25-2010, 03:46 PM
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I do not reload so I will go with the 180 gr or 200 gr factory loads recommended here. The loads would be used in a 4 inch 686.

Thanks for all the input.
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  #17  
Old 09-01-2010, 11:38 PM
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Default .357 bear defense

Not .38spl. Full power .357 Magnum, I'd be comfortable with any 158 grain bullet. Since it's a revolver you don't have to worry about jams. Other wise; if you want to maximize the performance you may want to consider GOLD DOT bullets. I'm a big fan of GOLD DOT when it comes to Bears.

Last edited by handejector; 12-13-2010 at 09:17 AM.
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