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Old 02-10-2020, 12:33 PM
Robert B Robert B is offline
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Default 38+p good for big dogs?

I carry the Speer 38+p short barrel load in a 2.5 inch 686. Just wondering if this round would protect against a big dog attack or if I need a different carry round. I am asking reloaders because you guys most likely have shot stuff besides the paper targets that I shoot. I have some Buffalo Bore 38+p hard cast Keith 158s ordered for when I travel to Northern AZ in case I run into a larger angry animal in the forest. I am trying to stick with 38+p in my 34 ounce 686 to minimize recoil. Thx Guys.
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Old 02-10-2020, 12:44 PM
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I would think any round useful for self defense on humans would work effectively on similar sized thin skinned animals like big dogs.

So yes. 38 sp would work.

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Old 02-10-2020, 02:08 PM
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Some leo friends have emptied Glock .40s into determined dogs and one of them still got bitten. Unless your shot is perfect, be prepared to keep shooting and retreat.
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Old 02-10-2020, 03:03 PM
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Shot placement is key with any small animal IMO, take a look at CCI BIG 4 in .38spl it's a shot shell and big enough shot to either kill or tuck tail and run away... run 2 rds of that followed with some decent HP's and the final being a .357 just in case... just IMO sir.
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Old 02-10-2020, 03:05 PM
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Yes indeed! I like Solid bullets.
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Old 02-10-2020, 03:21 PM
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Why not use 158 grain HP .357 for the most punch?
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Old 02-10-2020, 03:29 PM
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Why not use 158 grain HP .357 for the most punch?
I don't usually take overpenetration very seriously, but on a dog? HP or not, I'm pretty sure that 158gr .357 Mag is near the top of the heap. If you have reliable info from gelatin tests that says otherwise, I will sit corrected. Until then, I would consider the thunderous 125gr HP a little safer, unless you are sure that it will never be used around other humans.

JMO, and I'm no expert, anyway.
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Old 02-10-2020, 03:30 PM
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Shot placement will be king.....

Would not rely on getting a one shot stop...... double or triple tap.

In 50 years in the laurel highlands of Pa. I've observed packs (5 or 6 ) of dogs on two occasions..... luckily for me they were focus on the deer they were chasing........

1st time I was about 12 with a 5" knife.......second time a 4" model 10 and a 5" knife...... still felt under gunned ........
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Old 02-10-2020, 03:54 PM
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Yep. With good hits it'll work. Dogs, even large ones can be said to be having a bad day if fairly struck with .38 Special +P 158 grain SWCs. Feral dogs in a rural environment are a bad thing for livestock and poultry. I've taken some out with the .38 Special and +P 158 grain SWCS.

For that matter, the .22 Long Rifle can be surprisingly effective on dogs, even with body hits. I've had to press a .22 rifle into service on occasion.

It's not the dog's fault, but rather the shameful irresponsibility of the owner who can't or won't control his pet or else cravenly dumps unwanted pets.
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Old 02-10-2020, 03:58 PM
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Thx for all your quick replies. I am trying to keep recoil down for this round. Seems like my short barrel load would be alright for a big dog and then recoil is low in my 686. Thx again guys
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Old 02-10-2020, 04:05 PM
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You donít need +p or 357 ammo for dogs: virtually any 38 spcl ammo will work just fine so long as it isnít shot shell.

A walking stick is another good choice.

A can of bear spray is very effective on dogs as well.
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Old 02-10-2020, 04:06 PM
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How about the old rule "two in the belly and one in the head" ? Seems to me a spine spot would do the job.
A walking stick jammed down the throat gets their attention PDQ.
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Old 02-10-2020, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal44 View Post
I would think any round useful for self defense on humans would work effectively on similar sized thin skinned animals like big dogs.

So yes. 38 sp would work.
I agree, dogs, even but dogs are very thin skinned and not hard to stop.
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Originally Posted by OKFC05 View Post
Some leo friends have emptied Glock .40s into determined dogs and one of them still got bitten. Unless your shot is perfect, be prepared to keep shooting and retreat.
Unless you make good hits on humans or animals the above is true. Panic shooting in poor areas of the body will not stop a dog or bad guy. I'm only saying to use the .38 Special +P ammo, not because it's needed but because it's your normal carry ammo so you probably practice most with it and are most accurate with it.

I will never understand why so many current shooters think you need a 300 WinMag for deer or now a .357 Magnum to stop a dog. Why so much overkill?
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Old 02-10-2020, 04:28 PM
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Good for big dogs? No, I would think it would be very bad for big dogs. Very bad indeed...
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Old 02-10-2020, 04:28 PM
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Just a comparative story here:
When I was a youngster there was a dog that would run out and chase me every time I walked down the road from school.
One day I decided it was enough I picked up a rock about the size of a baseball and waited as it ran towards me, I planted the rock right in the dogs head. It went down in the road like a sack of potatoes... so yes a .38 of any kind will do the job.
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Old 02-10-2020, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BAM-BAM View Post
Shot placement will be king.....

Would not rely on getting a one shot stop...... double or triple tap.

In 50 years in the laurel highlands of Pa. I've observed packs (5 or 6 ) of dogs on two occasions..... luckily for me they were focus on the deer they were chasing........

1st time I was about 12 with a 5" knife.......second time a 4" model 10 and a 5" knife...... still felt under gunned ........
In this case a 38/357 levergun loaded w/10 rounds, the 4" M10 and a 5" knife would make me feel safer!!
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Old 02-10-2020, 04:33 PM
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Being a dog lover, I like the bear spray suggestion. Humans often donít consider that what we see as an attack the dog may regard as doing his duty protecting his property and human family. I realize that might not mean much if youíre gettiní your leg chewed on. Nevertheless, give the bear spray some thought.
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Old 02-10-2020, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
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In this case a 38/357 levergun loaded w/10 rounds, the 4" M10 and a 5" knife would make me feel safer!!

LOL for a few year I had a Rossi .357 lever gun..... traded it for a Winchester Trapper that's too nice to take Penn's Woods. I have a Ruger 77/357 18" .357 that is a utility gun also a Ruger American .22mag carbine with 9 in the magazine....... usually backed up with a little 3" 60-10

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Old 02-10-2020, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Model520Fan View Post
I don't usually take overpenetration very seriously, but on a dog? HP or not, I'm pretty sure that 158gr .357 Mag is near the top of the heap. If you have reliable info from gelatin tests that says otherwise, I will sit corrected. Until then, I would consider the thunderous 125gr HP a little safer, unless you are sure that it will never be used around other humans.

JMO, and I'm no expert, anyway.
I'm curious about the scenario where you'll need to shoot a dog with other humans downrange.
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Old 02-10-2020, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erocksmash View Post
Shot placement is key with any small animal IMO, take a look at CCI BIG 4 in .38spl it's a shot shell and big enough shot to either kill or tuck tail and run away... run 2 rds of that followed with some decent HP's and the final being a .357 just in case... just IMO sir.
A shot shell might just enrage the dog before you had a chance to get to the real rounds. Things can go south real fast.
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Old 02-10-2020, 05:20 PM
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Me 2!
After I get that correct bullet placement, I want penetration.
Regret to report that the last time a pack of dogs attacked me,
I didn’t have a gun.
Picked up a solid piece of wood, backed up on a cactus patch.
You want to back up on something to limit backside assault.
Here comes 8 pretty good size dogs.
Just as I was waiting for the lead Alpha to get into range, the scumbag owner jumped the fence and called them off.
He pretty much explained it was my fault.
Yes I still had my pole and I really wanted to hit him in the head!
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Old 02-10-2020, 06:02 PM
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Default Thx again guys

Seems like the consensus is that any 38 special will do the job on a big attacking dog. I am very practiced with my 38+p carry round and the recoil is low. Thx for helping me know that I can just stick with my carry load. Thx again.
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Old 02-10-2020, 07:10 PM
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Interesting thread - good read and info. I will have to second, or third, the comment about carrying a big stick. I almost always carry a heavy walking stick when I'm out and about in the neighborhood - and never go out with a big-ish folding knife. Fortunately, I've never encountered one, but I worry about someones pit bull getting loose and going on a rampage. A PB killed it's (female, I think) owner in just the last couple of months and made the news. Other breeds I don't worry about so much. Back on topic, I tend to carry either a 9mm or a .380 so I'm thinking the stick and knife will be handier!
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Old 02-11-2020, 01:28 AM
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Bear spray, will stop them in their tracks...
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Old 02-11-2020, 02:19 AM
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As a former LEO, I carried a few 38 Special loads on my belt to put down injured animals. A +P 38 Special will do the job if shot placement is good.

I might add though, that when the chips are down, you'll always wish that you had a bigger gun or at least more powerful ammo. When the adrenalin is pumping, you'll not notice the recoil or report.

While on a walk with the wife yesterday, we had a large dog (100 pounds or so) circling us and growling. I had pepper spray out, but was confident of the 38 Special on my belt if that didn't work. Fortunately the owner came running and apologized for the incident. We all left in good spirits with the dog under tow back home.
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Old 02-11-2020, 08:35 AM
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My best friend took out a 100 +/- pound hound dog in 1984 with a Sharps 45-70. It tore lungs out the far side! However, a good 100 yard shot at 5 or 10 feet lets the doge live about 45 seconds and a wounded dog can do a lot of damage in 45 seconds! He fended the dog off with the rifle barrel.

I was walking in a local park about 4 years ago, I came around a curve in the path when 2 loose dogs saw me and charged the 50 or so yards. I had my J-frame in my hand and was about to squeeze when the Pit Bull recognized me and latterly smiled and stated wagging his tale. The park is posted repeatedly with notices to leash your dogs! The owners were along in 2 or 3 minutes. I talked with the County park police, and they would back me up, but stupid people are the biggest problem with dogs!!!

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Old 02-11-2020, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 38SPL HV View Post
Bear spray, will stop them in their tracks...
Haven't used "bear spray", but three varieties of OC--
LE DefTech, the USPS Halt stuff, and a civilian keychain type.

My experience was that OC buys you some time with
dogs, but nowhere near what it does to humans. I never saw
more than a couple of minutes of 'distraction'.
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Old 02-11-2020, 10:25 AM
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The only dog I ever had to stop was a Chow. This particular dog had bitten over 20 people over a period of years. The short version is that I was standing in the main dole of the road with a rollatape in my left hand. The Chow charged me and I fired one handed. The dog went down immediately and died. I was using a 125 grain silver tip out of my 4Ē Python.
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Old 02-11-2020, 10:31 AM
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On duty I was suddenly attacked by three Pit Bull Dogs. I was able to draw and "Double Tap" each dog in the chest. The dogs acted like they were not shot, but the noise of the gun shots turned them. Calling for "Back Up" and retrieving my 12gauge we searched for the dogs and found them alive and dispatched them with buckshot. Examining the dogs we discovered that the rounds had traveled though the dogs and exited out the rears. Issue service weapon was Sig-Sauer P-229 .40. Issue ammo was Speer 180 grain JHP ammo. Lesson learn was on a Bad Dog call take your 12 gauge.
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Old 02-11-2020, 11:49 AM
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Dogs are simply wired differently than a lot of other animals. A handgun is better than nothing at all, but there are a ton of stories in which it took multiple hits from a handgun to stop a dog and plenty of stories in which that was insufficient to put down a dog. Once again, a hit in the brain pan is the best bet, but that's a really small target and one that rapidly moves.
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Old 02-11-2020, 02:05 PM
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I think if I were in a situation where a feral dog wanted to eat me, I certainly wouldn't worry about "over penetration" or recoil. A through and through shot with a 158 gr SWC at 800-900 fps is gonna do a lot of damage on it's way and quite possibly end the altercation. We all have ideas as to what combination would work best and I think I would opt for another gun, a longer barrel revolver in 38 or 44 caliber with just about any "Self Defense" load...
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Old 02-12-2020, 12:12 AM
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Let me add a little levity to the conversation.

Years ago I had to handle a dog bite call as the animal control officers were busy, AWOL or on sick call so I responded. When I got to the RP's address, he reported that a small dog had nipped his daughter while she was in a park a few blocks away. No ID, just a description so I started a quick report to turn over to animal control.

While writing, their small dog snuck up on me and bit me in the Achilles tendon of my right leg. I always wore highly shined black combat boots when in uniform so it really wasn't a big deal, but I did kick the dog away.

You should have seen the RP come unglued. Apparently it was alright for his little fifi to bite me, but for another ankle biter to nip his daughter was a K9 felony. I just left after some cross words and turned it all over to the watch commander and he just laughed with me over the incident.
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Old 02-12-2020, 01:04 AM
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Sure if you keep your cool & shoot straight but a 686 is pretty tame with even mat ums so I would up my carry load if there was a good chance I needed to stop a dog attack. A midrange magnum load like the win 145gr sthp would be my choice.
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Old 02-12-2020, 05:19 AM
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Got bit by a GS when he came after me out of nowhere. On the second bite I got ahold of his lower jaw and hit him with a pointed end of a halligan bar/tool. Hard. DRT The d*** bites really hurt but he got a bit of the turnout coat on the first one. Owner was PO'd especially after the police charged him with attacking me. Most problems with dogs were with the smaller ankle biters. Saw more than one take flight at the end of steel toed fire boots. I had a pack of dogs sneak(well kinda) up on me in the woods back in Md. I was deer hunting. killed 3 with slugs before they even tried to get away. two more on the run but under 15 yds on the last. 38 s in a snubby should work. But I once shot a rabid coon with the closest gun...a 9MM with 115 FMJ. Took 8 rounds
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Old 02-12-2020, 08:58 AM
brucev brucev is offline
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I can by experience state that a .45 ACP applied Texas style to a big heavy dog that has just killed my daughters cat will absolutely settle that dog down quick. It also works very well when applied in a chest shot on the other dog. We had just pulled up in the driveway and the pistol was handy ... lying on the floor under the front seat. Incident occured just after getting home on Sunday from church. Turned myself into the police that afternoon for discharging a pistol w/in the city limits. They asked that in the future I keep a .22 LR caliber rifle handy.

I also highly recommend a good pair of Danner Ft. Lewis boots. This is from personal experience. Used the right hand boot on a big bulldog that jumped my puppy while we were walking to the post office. Big dog. My puppy was maybe 25 lbs. , year old. She ran and hid behind my legs. Don't know what the Taylor Knockdown Value is for a Ft. Lewis Boot. Have never choreographed velocity delivered by a good driving kick. But, can guarantee it applied low right behind the left front leg it is 100% effective for a one kick stop. Must have been impressive b/c the owner came running hollering, "Don't hurt my dog!" Good man. Highly values his dog. Cool. Would have hated to see the dog get hurt real bad.

Nowadays I have moderated my dealings with dogs. When running/jogging, I've been known to carry one of those little plastic fantastic pistols. Small bore. Don't know the velocity, etc. But loaded with water and ammonia ... extremely effective on any dog at all, large or whatever. Don't even have to get a good center hit. Dogs have big old noses. They just don't seem at all to like what happens when they get a nose full of water with a good dose of ammonia in it. If I get to sweating to hard and mess up my glasses, I can also shoot the lenses with the gun and do a good job of cleaning them up. Cool. Sincerely. bruce.
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Old 02-12-2020, 10:50 AM
THEmodelof1989 THEmodelof1989 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OKFC05 View Post
Some leo friends have emptied Glock .40s into determined dogs and one of them still got bitten. Unless your shot is perfect, be prepared to keep shooting and retreat.
Emptying a glock mag into a dog is the most extreme overkill I've ever heard of and makes me a bit sick to my stomach. Tell your friends to find different jobs, LEO that need 15 rounds for a dog gives law enforcement and gun owners in general a bad reputation; we don't need that.
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  #37  
Old 02-12-2020, 11:01 AM
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Angus really does NOT like these "dog gun" threads. He says that a treat is good for him
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  #38  
Old 02-12-2020, 11:07 AM
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"I have some Buffalo Bore 38+p hard cast Keith 158s ordered"

For deer, and hopefully hogs someday, I like semi-wadcutters cast from pure soft lead. For my 44 I use the Lee Tumble lube gas check design.

This mold is on my wish list for my newly acquired Contender 357 Magnum barrel.
6 Cavity C358-158 Swc - Lee Precision

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  #39  
Old 02-12-2020, 12:21 PM
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How is this a reloading question? Seems it is a Ammo question to be debated until the dogs come home.
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Old 02-12-2020, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Cal44 View Post
I would think any round useful for self defense on humans would work effectively on similar sized thin skinned animals like big dogs.

So yes. 38 sp would work.
Simple, direct, very correct response.
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Old 02-12-2020, 02:34 PM
roo_ster roo_ster is offline
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What you list ought to work, though considering your talking outdoors and a 686, a nice old-school .357mag 158gr HP/SJHP might be a bit more effective.

Outdoors, so you don't have to deal with indoor magnum muzzle blast. And the 686 sucks up recoil for me, at least. Can fire the gnarliest 158gr and 180gr loads and not feel pain.
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Old 02-13-2020, 08:37 AM
Rule3 Rule3 is offline
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Any caliber/bullet will work if you hit it in the right spot.
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Old 02-13-2020, 12:10 PM
CA Escapee CA Escapee is offline
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Years ago I had a friend who's brother was out for a jog in a rural, unfamiliar neighborhood when he heard claws on the pavement and heavy breathing coming up behind him. He looked over his shoulder and saw a Rottweiler quickly gaining on him. He stopped, took his Ruger .380 out of his fanny pack and fired two shots at the dog while it was in midair lunging at him. The shots found their mark and the dog was DRT when it hit the ground.

Shortly there after the dog owner raced up the road in his pickup and was outraged that Mike had shot and killed his dog. Mike explained what had happened, but the owner wasn't having any part of that. The dog owner picked up the dog and put the body in the back of his truck. Then, while still threatening Mike, started to get his gun out of the truck. Mike warned him, repeatedly, not to do that and held him a gunpoint while calling 911.

The local sheriff deputy's got there fairly quickly, cuffed, separated everyone, and got their stories. The way it boiled down, the sheriff's department had numerous calls about the Rottweiler running free and chasing people in the past; the dog was allowed to become a nuisance by its owner.

In the whole process, the deputies asked Mike if he had ever been in jail or prison. Mike was a soon to be retired corrections officer from a Super Max prison in New Mexico. He and his wife were visiting Kentucky and looking for land to build their retirement home on. The deputies knew something was up by the way he held his hands, "correctly," when they cuffed him. Mike presented his credentials to the deputies and he was un-cuffed. Mike didn't want to have any kind of charges pressed, he felt that the dog owner probably learned a lesson that day. The deputies gave the dog owner a tongue lashing and turned him loose. They took Mike back to his hotel via an out of the way route. They didn't want the dog owner to give Mike any more trouble.

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  #44  
Old 02-13-2020, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by M29since14 View Post
Being a dog lover, I like the bear spray suggestion. Humans often donít consider that what we see as an attack the dog may regard as doing his duty protecting his property and human family. I realize that might not mean much if youíre gettiní your leg chewed on. Nevertheless, give the bear spray some thought.
I think we're talking feral dogs and coyotes not strays/pets on a city street. I walk my two Dachshunds 4-5 days a week and always carry a home 36" cane with a 3/4 in copper tubing tip to poke at dogs that come after mine. Works well on loose dogs. However when woods walking, I still take the cane or a longer walking stick and my 638 or 2" 64 loaded with +P LSWC-HP cause you never know what will be needed.
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Old 02-13-2020, 04:13 PM
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...and my 638 or 2" 64 loaded with +P LSWC-HP cause you never know what will be needed.
Hey, get outta my gun closet! Those are MY two favorite walking about guns.
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Old 02-13-2020, 04:30 PM
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I am definitely not Anti-Police, but some LEOs cannot just pull a trigger once or twice, but their trigger finger reacts up to 16 times, until a "click" is heard, depending on magazine capacity...
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Old 02-13-2020, 06:58 PM
Marshal tom Marshal tom is offline
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I too am a dog lover and hope to never have to shoot one in self defense. I was in LE for about 37yrs and never had to as well as delivering medical equipment for about 6.5 years. Only once did a little ankle biter come out and nip at my pants cuff. I personally think actual dog attacks are way over blown and that some seem to be just looking for the excuse.
Recently two pits had gotten loose from their yard and came up my street. They approached my wife, running while she had our elderly female lab with her on a leash. She was needless to say a little freaked out.
The two went up to her and our dog and then proceeded to go into our neighbors yard. He said that they tried to get into his chicken coop. I heard shots and the two came back toward my house. Both dogs came up to me. I could see that one was injured. I held the two while my wife called the police and our vet. We located the owner. Neither dog was vicious.
I can certainly see times when it is necessary to kill a vicious dog but I think that in many cases it is unwarranted.
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:03 PM
Cal44 Cal44 is offline
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One time I was walking in a city park early morning with no one around.

Heard a noise and saw a pit bull charging me at full speed. An almost full grown pup.

The dog slammed on the brakes and stopped about 10 feet from me and started wagging his tail. In fact, he was wagging the whole back half of his body.

He just wanted some petting.

It would have been a shame to have shot that dog.
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:47 PM
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I agree, sometimes it's hard to tell if an "attack" is the dog wanting to kill you or smother you with licks.
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Old 02-14-2020, 03:02 PM
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I much prefer dogs to people and would hate to have to shoot one. On the other hand, no way on earth am I getting bitten for being some place I have a right to be. Likewise my wife and our dogs.

It is not implausible that a motivated dog (like a human assailant, only more so) could take several rounds of service ammo to be stopped. Example, the Jared Reston incident in Jacksonville. If you have ever seen or experienced a motivated dog going after a person or dog, it's an impressive sight.

When walking my dogs, I almost exclusively carry a revolver (usually a 296 w/ 44 Special Gold Dots) in my fanny pack. I want to be able to make a contact shot to a vital area in case of a melee and not put my dogs or another person at unnecessary risk. Revolvers are less likely to present a reliability problem when jammed into the flesh of an attacking person or animal.
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