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


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.
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