The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: General Handgun Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old January 2, 2010, 02:25 AM   #1
silent_warrior
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 5, 2009
Posts: 109
Unlikely Comparison: .357SIG vs. .357Mag vs. 10mm vs. .44Mag

I'M NOT TRYING TO START A SEMI-AUTO VS REVOLVER ARGUMENT.

I'm searching for a pistol to accompany me on backpacking trips, camping trips, and escapades deep into the brush. The most dangerous predators I may encounter in my area are: black bears, wolves, venomous snakes, and humans. I think any of the four calibers mentioned in the title would work well for against humans or wolves, with the semi-autos (.357SIG and 10mm) having the slight advantage of capacity over both revolver calibers and lower recoil than the .44 Mag. Snakes and bear are the tricky ones. I suppose the best alternative to snakes (or any of the above really) is avoidance, if possible, and if that's not possible I've probably already been bitten. I know you can get snake shot for .357Mag, but what about the other three? And how effective is snake shot really? I'm told it won't cycle semi-autos. Is it even worth messing with?

Next is bears. Black bears are smaller than Grizzlies of course, but they're still big enough, and I've read that black bears are actually more likely to attack humans unprovoked than Grizzlies, and playing dead doesnt work. I've also read that pepper spray is a more effective bear deterrent than a non-lethal gunshot (though of course the goal is to be lethal). I don't know if I want to trust my life to pepper spray though... any input? As far as the lethal, lights out shot required for a charging bear, my thought is that accuracy and shot placement are more important than brute force, though I could be wrong. I do believe you'd need to hit the bear in the head or spinal cord to drop it instantly, correct? So do any of my proposed calibers not offer sufficient penetration for that purpose? I'm not looking to hunt bear, just defend myself against becoming lunch. Which of the four calibers mentioned would be suitable against black bear, and should I venture into Grizzly country, which are suitable against the mighty grizzly?

As far as Semi-auto vs. Revolver goes, both have pros/cons. Revolvers are simple, unstressed even when fully loaded, and will always cycle. For Semi-autos I would buy another Glock, so I'll focus there. A Glock would offer additional capacity, a more weather resistant finish than even stainless steel revolvers, and I have the utmost faith in their reliabity. Should it ever FTF/FTE, a quick tap and rack and you're back in business. They're more compact than revolvers, and I'm under the impression they are easier to fire quickly (repeat shots). Like revolvers, there is no safety to worry about and they are safe with a chambered round.

The major shortcoming with a semi-auto of any kind, that I see, is also its greatest asset: magazines. Higher capacity may mean more lead in mr. bear, or any predator, or more second chances with missed shots, though the saying is true: you can't miss fast enough. I've never dealt with speed loaders for revolvers, but I do know that mag changes are a snap, and with two extra mags you're carrying more ammunition than I'd ever want to have to use at one time. The same can't be said for 6-shot revolvers and speed loaders. However, spring fatigue can be a problem with double stacked mags, where there is no fatigue in a revolver. You could probably solve the issue with half loaded magazines, but then you're only a few pops over a six-shooter.

I am familiar with shooting semi-autos, but have never shot a revolver. Am I correct in assuming I would need to train with both to be proficient at both? If true, this would make me lean further toward semi-auto, for reasons of time and money.

I'm leaning toward either a 10mm Glock or a .357 DA Stainless revolver. I believe the 10mm actually has more punch than the .357Mag, though I don't know if either are sufficient against mr. bear. Of course .44Mag (or an even larger caliber) would be, but then its less suitable for the smaller threats, IMO. So there's my dilemma.

What are you're opinions? The gun needs to be light enough to carry comfortably for prolonged periods, suitably weather resistant (mainly against humidity/rain - I don't plan on dragging the pistol through the mud), and in a caliber commonly available, with manageable recoil, and sufficient energy.
silent_warrior is offline  
Old January 2, 2010, 03:08 AM   #2
Jim March
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 14, 1999
Location: Pittsburg, CA, USA
Posts: 7,299
OK. First thing I gotta ask...

You're way the heck out in the woods or desert or whatever. You see a snake. Under what possible circumstances is shooting it a good idea?

Seriously?

Let's see. If you're somewhat aware of surroundings and avoid it, there's no reason to blow it away. If it's around a ranch or farm or suburbia yeah, I can see killing it...but a shovel is a better tool for the job 9 times outta 10.

But if it's out in the middle of nowhere? Why kill it? It's part of the ecosystem.

If you've been wandering around unaware, look down and Mr. No-hips is right next to your foot, for God's sake JUMP! Way better odds that way than trying to pull a gun out and shoot the sucker without also putting a bunch of pellets into your friggin' leg.

So. Please, somebody explain to me, why in God's name anybody would shoot a snake (poisonous or otherwise) out in the back country unless they were pretty dang hungry?

Mind you, I think carrying some snake shot along IS a good idea but not to have loaded in the gun - it's there as food-getters against any sort of small game if you're in a bind calorie-wise - scaly, furry or feathery.

-----

Now. As to calibers.

The 357Mag and 10mm are more or less a wash in terms of bullet energy. The 357Sig lags, esp. if the bullet weight goes up past 125gr. And in terms of projectile shape, no autoloader can keep up with the sort of stuff you can run though a revolver. If the goal is to try and stop a charging black bear, there's no autoloader rounds available in 10mm that can touch a 357Mag loaded with 180gr flat-nosed hardcasts running balls-out as loaded by Buffalo Bore, Doubletap or Grizzly Ammo.

This goes triple for the 44Mag...but that means a bigger gun and less total ammo capacity. If I was on a long backpacking trip anywhere in the lower 48, I think I'd rather have a 357Mag due in part to the amount of extra ammo I can carry over the 44Mag, 45LC or the like.

Oh. One more thing. When we're talking bears and you're way out in the woods, a warning shot can be a good idea. I do not EVER ever ever recommend warning shots against humans but they can make sense against animals, esp. away from urban areas. Against a human, a warning shot is just the signal that it's now time for both parties to begin trying to kill each other with all possible haste. Against a critter, different story.
__________________
Jim March
Jim March is offline  
Old January 2, 2010, 03:18 AM   #3
FrankenMauser
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: 1B ID
Posts: 6,651
With practice, a double action revolver can be fire as fast as most semiautos. (Not a revolver vs autos statement, by any means. Simply my opinion.)

Five good shots from a revolver should stop anything in your path (six is better, but there's the question of bulk and carrying on a loaded chamber... even with transfer bars... blah, blah.... not trying to start a debate).

HOWEVER, I have been charged by black bears, at less than 100 feet. I can tell you from experience, that I would not have been capable of well placed shots. I was unarmed and alone for all, and scared sh**less for the first one. For the second charge, I still had an incredible adrenaline rush. There is no way I could have held a pistol steady enough to make the shots count. (The third encounter was not a charge; but me wielding a big muddy stick, and throwing it at the bear, to allow me to get to the other side of my truck. A search of my name and "black bear" should turn up some results for a better explanation.)

My choice would be a good, hard cast bullet in the .44 or .357 Mag. Knowing what I do, about my own body and reaction; I would be torn between the wheel gun and a semiauto, though. Having 10-15 rounds, versus 5-7, would be a very tough call to make.

Honestly, the 10mm Auto would win this battle (for me). It's a great cartridge, with good magazine capacities. But, there is a problem: Weight.
The pistols are heavier. The cartridges are heavier. It's a lot of weight to haul around.

My ideal compromise would be a .38 Special or .357 Mag, in a 5 shot snubby. The compact size, combined with performance, would be enough to comfort me against most threats. If 5 shots weren't enough... I guess I should have paid more attention, and avoided the situation.
Knowing what I do now; I will wait for large predators to get closer, before attempting to fire. It's a gamble, but mock charges are fairly common (the only reason I am able to type this), and it adds some probability to shaky shots actually hitting something important.

Five crucial shots are better than fifteen, "I'm over here - leave me alone" shots.
__________________
"Such is the strange way that man works -- first he virtually destroys a species and then does everything in his power to restore it."
FrankenMauser is offline  
Old January 2, 2010, 08:08 AM   #4
Webleymkv
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 20, 2005
Location: Indiana
Posts: 9,846
Well, Black Bears aren't as big as Grizz so the .44 Magnum really isn't necessary. They are, however, bigger than people so the .357 Sig is a bit light. This leaves either a .357 Magnum or 10mm which would both be about equal in performance on Black Bear. However, there is no snake shot available in 10mm and even if there was, it probably wouldn't feed reliably in a semi-automatic. For this reason, a .357 Magnum loaded with 158grn or heavier JSP, FMJ, or Hardcast would be my choice.
__________________
Smith, and Wesson, and Me. -H. Callahan
Well waddaya know, one buwwet weft! -E. Fudd
All bad precedents begin as justifiable measures. -J. Caesar
Webleymkv is offline  
Old January 2, 2010, 09:25 AM   #5
OldShooter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 28, 2006
Location: Maine
Posts: 846
I don't know what it is about people and black bears. In 40 years I have done a lot of back packing and camping in the norteast. In that time I have personally seen two bears and some sign. A few friends have had their camps raided and that was related to the way they stored their food. Heaving stones at the creature turned it away. No one I know was injured by a bear. I have also spent time in the Canadian Rockies and seen Mr. Grizz there close at hand but not in a threatening way. I have never carried a gun into the wilderness because I didn't need it. My biggest concerns in the backcountry are the weather, good water and keeping the damn mice and squirrels out of my food. We don't have any dangerous snakes.
OldShooter is offline  
Old January 2, 2010, 10:10 AM   #6
Blondie.357
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 18, 2009
Posts: 158
Quote:
They are, however, bigger than people so the .357 Sig is a bit light.
It's not just that they are "bigger", their bodies are also denser than ours.

1 lb of Bear bone and muscle tissue is far tougher than 1 lb of Human bone and muscle tissue.
Blondie.357 is offline  
Old January 2, 2010, 11:09 AM   #7
BlueTrain
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 26, 2005
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 5,825
A co-worker had a mounted black bear's skull in his office (he also has a mounted gnu's head) and it didn't impress me as being any thicker than a human's and, besides, we all know some thick headed people. It was smaller, however, and the odds of hitting one in the right place becomes positively prolematic. Which leads to a question.

Where is the right place and when do you start shooting? At least one thing I read ages ago supposedly written by someone with African experience implied near contact distance, which sounds uncomfortably close. But on the other hand, if you start shoot when the bear or other target is far enough to give you time or the need to reload doesn't sound like a good idea either. But here I'm assuming that the bear isn't going to jump you from a tree and that you will have a half-second to think it over. If the problem is a lion, very rare in the east, the circumstances are a little different.

I've seen four bears in the woods and, believe me, even a cub on its hind legs looks pretty big to me. They make all the deer I've seen look pretty small. Also, I'd say that if you were to shoot at a bear and thought you needed to, you would hardly notice the recoil or the noise.
__________________
Shoot low, sheriff. They're riding Shetlands!
Underneath the starry flag, civilize 'em with a Krag,
and return us to our own beloved homes!
Buy War Bonds.
BlueTrain is offline  
Old January 2, 2010, 11:13 AM   #8
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,369
I'd go 10mm for a woods gun.

More power than the 357sig or mag, lighter than a 44 with higher capacity and "close enough" power. Easy choice for me.

I also agree with several others, I've never understood the idea of shooting a snake. Killing one, maybe. Shooting it, no.
__________________
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
---
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
-The Architect
-----
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old January 2, 2010, 11:17 AM   #9
OldMarksman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 8, 2008
Posts: 1,919
Quote:
...and should I venture into Grizzly country, which are suitable against the mighty grizzly?
.375 H&H....

A bear defense class at Gunsite was featured on one of the shooting shows some time ago. For black bear, they recommended a 12 ga. shotgun or a .45-70 carbine, with a .44 Magnum revolver for back-up.

People who live in bear country generally recommend bear spray over any hand gun.
OldMarksman is offline  
Old January 2, 2010, 12:39 PM   #10
carguychris
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 20, 2007
Location: Richardson, TX
Posts: 5,413
Quote:
The 357Sig lags, esp. if the bullet weight goes up past 125gr.
+1. As I've written before, the .357SIG is a ballistic one-trick pony. It's designed to emulate the ballistics of a .357Mag, but only using 100gr-125gr bullets from a 3"-4" barrel. It does this very well, but its lack of case capacity makes it incapable of handling 158gr-180gr bullets and/or large powder loads that take full advantage of 6"-20" barrels. Consequently, its performance against medium to large game comes up short compared to .357Mag.
__________________
"Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules... MARK IT ZERO!!" - Walter Sobchak
carguychris is offline  
Old January 2, 2010, 03:53 PM   #11
BlueTrain
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 26, 2005
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 5,825
I've seen pepper spray in containers the size of fire extinguishers, presumably to keep in your kitchen, or maybe they're for long range use.
__________________
Shoot low, sheriff. They're riding Shetlands!
Underneath the starry flag, civilize 'em with a Krag,
and return us to our own beloved homes!
Buy War Bonds.
BlueTrain is offline  
Old January 2, 2010, 04:56 PM   #12
Old Grump
Member in memoriam
 
Join Date: April 9, 2009
Location: Blue River Wisconsin, in
Posts: 3,144
Dinosaur opinion here, I go for reliability and that means as much as I like my pistols I pack a Revolver when I go into the woods, 357 is enough gun but for that little extra security I now carry a 41 mag with a 4" barrel. If I am hunting a 44 mag with 7 1/2" barrel. Never needed that extra power but like I said its that extra security thing. I would be sorely tempted to get the 10MM if you are a handgun hunter and you like to reach out for a little longer shot than most handgunners do but if my life was counting on the outcome its Ruger Super Blackhawk or Ruger Redhawk for me.

As a side note, the 7 1/2" 44 mag bites my hand less than the 4" 41 magnum does if that is a consideration for you. Convenience vs the extra sight radius and less felt recoil for that quick second shot if needed.
__________________
Good intentions will always be pleaded for any assumption of power. The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern will, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.
--Daniel Webster--
Old Grump is offline  
Old January 2, 2010, 10:11 PM   #13
jgcoastie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2009
Location: Kodiak, Alaska
Posts: 2,098
Uhhh... Jim...

Quote:
there's no autoloader rounds available in 10mm that can touch a 357Mag loaded with 180gr flat-nosed hardcasts running balls-out as loaded by Buffalo Bore, Doubletap or Grizzly Ammo.
HUH?!?!

Straight from Mike's website...
Quote:
Caliber : 10mm

Bullet : 200gr Wide Flat Nose Gas Check Hardcast

Ballistics : 1300fps/ 750 ft./lbs. - Glock 20
1105fps / 542 ft lbs 100yds Glock 20
Glock 29 - 1240fps
Quote:
Caliber: 357 Magnum

Bullet: 200gr. Wide Flat Nose Gas Check Hardcast

Velocity: 1200fps / 4" Ruger GP-100
1315fps / 6"bbl S&W 686

Muzzle Energy: 640 ft. lbs.
Quote:
Caliber: 357 Magnum

Bullet: 180gr. Wide Flat Nose Gas Check Hardcast

Velocity: 1300fps / 4" Ruger GP-100
1420fps / 6"bbl S&W 686

Muzzle Energy: 676 ft. lbs.
10mm trumps .357Mag...


If it were me, I'd go with the 10mm, but I must admit that I'm a huge 10mm fan... More power than a .357Mag and more capacity... Yeah, count me in. I carry my 10mm (Glock 20SF) as my social and woods gun in Kodiak, I just change ammo depending on where I'm headed...

If a wheelgun is what you're looking for then a good .41Mag is the ticket...

But I am a handloader that loves weird calibers... So YMMV
__________________
"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them." -Richard Henry Lee, Virginia delegate to the Continental Congress, initiator of the Declaration of Independence, and member of the first Senate, which passed the Bill of Rights.
jgcoastie is offline  
Old January 2, 2010, 10:31 PM   #14
Jim March
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 14, 1999
Location: Pittsburg, CA, USA
Posts: 7,299
Yeah, but first, will that heavy 200gr hardcast in 10mm feed reliably?

Color me skeptical.

Second, Buffalo Bore has some 357 fodder with more energy on tap, matching that 10mm load.

Third, if the 200gr slug DOES feed reliably, it can't have all that fat a flat-nose on it. So it may be strong on power but not as strong in terms of wound ballistics. I'd like to see a pic of the stuff. I assume this is Doubletap, right? Lessee...

http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/cat...roducts_id=105

Huh. OK, it DOES have a good nose profile. Cool. Great stuff for a 10mm revolver.

But does it go up feed ramps OK?
__________________
Jim March
Jim March is offline  
Old January 2, 2010, 11:05 PM   #15
JohnKSa
Staff
 
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 18,213
.44Mag is out in front by a HUGE margin.

.357Mag & 10mm are very similar whether you compare bullet weight, energy or momentum with the .357Mag having a tiny energy edge with the hottest loads and the 10mm having a small bullet weight edge.

.357Sig is not in the same class as the other three. Large animal defense is a bit out of its generally accepted performance range.
__________________
Did you know that there is a TEXAS State Rifle Association?
JohnKSa is offline  
Old January 3, 2010, 01:12 AM   #16
silent_warrior
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 5, 2009
Posts: 109
Good info. Scratching the .357SIG, down to three.

Snake shot is a dumb idea, got it. I'll avoid the snake unless I truly have to eat one, in which case I'll look for the non-venomous kind and can probably find another way to kill it, like with a large rock.

I'm torn between the 10mm and .357Mag, but I'm still a little unsure about the .44Mag. Lots of power there, also lots of recoil, and quite a bit of overkill for predators smaller than a bear, IMO. So in truth, this really is becoming a semi-auto vs. revolver discussion.

Has anyone tried the 200gr flat-tip 10mm ammo? I'd hate to but a 10mm auto only to find it wont feed the ammo and then wish I'd gone the .357Mag route instead. However, if it feeds reliably in a Glock 20... I'm just about sold. Just need to find out if I can grip the beefy grips on a G20.

Seems to me like the most dangerous thing in the woods is still people, and the semi-auto capacity still trumps a revolver simplicity in that regard, I think anyway. And if I were to use the suggested warning shot against bears and such, I'd be down to 5 shots in a revolver... hmmm.

One last note, if I carried a gun and pepper spray, which would I want to pull out on a bear under which circumstances?
silent_warrior is offline  
Old January 3, 2010, 01:20 AM   #17
silent_warrior
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 5, 2009
Posts: 109
A thought...

If I had a 10mm revolver, I could then also fire .40S&W ammunition out of it, correct?

My brain is storming, had to ask.
silent_warrior is offline  
Old January 3, 2010, 01:23 AM   #18
Jim March
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 14, 1999
Location: Pittsburg, CA, USA
Posts: 7,299
If it's based on moon clips, yes. And any 10mm DA revolver you buy SHOULD be - you'll have a damned difficult time ejecting 'em otherwise .

If it's a 10mm SA revolver then no, that cylinder can't take 40S&W. Can't use moon clips, therefore you have to headspace off the forward rim same as an autoloader does, and the 40S&W shells would drop in too far.
__________________
Jim March
Jim March is offline  
Old January 3, 2010, 01:55 AM   #19
DRSmith
Member
 
Join Date: July 27, 2009
Posts: 41
Quote:
You're way the heck out in the woods or desert or whatever. You see a snake. Under what possible circumstances is shooting it a good idea?

Seriously?
I asked that question recently, and the answer I received was that if a person got bitten by a snake, someone in the party should kill it to show the medical personnel so as to get the correct antivenin.

Nevertheless, any snake I have captured, or seen captured, was taken without a firearm. And a lot of places where one might encounter a poisonous snake are a long ways from medical care.
DRSmith is offline  
Old January 3, 2010, 02:17 AM   #20
Jim March
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 14, 1999
Location: Pittsburg, CA, USA
Posts: 7,299
Well yeah, that's true, but if you need a gun to deal with a snake, you're not being creative enough.

Why?

























Because it's got no friggin' LEGS!

__________________
Jim March
Jim March is offline  
Old January 3, 2010, 06:37 AM   #21
jgcoastie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2009
Location: Kodiak, Alaska
Posts: 2,098
Jim, I'm typing this on my phone, but to answer your question....

In my G20SF (with EFK and factory barrell) the 200gr WFNGC rounds feed flawlessly. If they did not, I would not carry them for bear defense.

10mm trumps .357Mag in just about every category except for popularity contests...
__________________
"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them." -Richard Henry Lee, Virginia delegate to the Continental Congress, initiator of the Declaration of Independence, and member of the first Senate, which passed the Bill of Rights.
jgcoastie is offline  
Old January 3, 2010, 10:27 AM   #22
troy_mclure
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 17, 2008
Location: gulf of mexico
Posts: 2,716
i too am a 10mm fan, so i would pick that. but i also love my sbh in .44mag loaded up hot with 300gr bullets.

ive got an uncle that regularly hunts black bear in minnesota with his srh in .41mag.

the .41 falls dead between the 10mm, and .44mag, but i believe it has a "sharper" slap of recoil than the push of the .44mag.

if you want wheel gun id go with .41 or .44.

if you want auto go with 10mm.
__________________
There is only one tactical principle which is not subject to change. It is to use the means at hand to inflict the maximum amount of wound, death, and destruction on the enemy in the minimum amount of time."
troy_mclure is offline  
Old January 4, 2010, 05:20 PM   #23
RB98SS
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 16, 2007
Location: Shoreview, MN
Posts: 104
I used to holster my GP100 with 180gr hardcasts when on my property in northern Minnesota, but have switched over to my G20 SF. They both will work fine but there's something nice about having 15 rounds available vs 6. I do reload so I can load fairly hotter than the run of the mill factory watered down 10mm loads available. But you can, as mentioned, purchase premium ammo to fit the bill.

10 mm gets my vote though.
RB98SS is offline  
Old January 4, 2010, 11:15 PM   #24
pacerdude
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 23, 2008
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 586
The .44 mag might be a little too big for hauling around backpacking and camping.

I would probably go for one of the Glocks in 10mm, or a revolver in .357magnum. The advantage to the 10mm would be not only power but capacity.
__________________
Let not a man guard his dignity, but let his dignity guard him. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
pacerdude is offline  
Old January 5, 2010, 09:33 AM   #25
troy_mclure
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 17, 2008
Location: gulf of mexico
Posts: 2,716
so thats 7 for the 10mm! we have a winner!
__________________
There is only one tactical principle which is not subject to change. It is to use the means at hand to inflict the maximum amount of wound, death, and destruction on the enemy in the minimum amount of time."
troy_mclure is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:38 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13949 seconds with 7 queries