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Old March 20, 2011, 07:28 AM   #26
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No, 10ring, it doesn't. I never said a bigger bullet wouldn't work, or work better. I said you don't need them to get the job done, which in this case is hunting.

Note that I did say there is a big difference between hunting, and defense. Now if I were defending myself from bear attack, then yes, I would want the biggest thing available, and practical. But I wouldn't feel naked and helpless with a .357 magnum. Bears, even the big browns have been killed with less
Yes, I understand what you are saying now.

I have heard of black bears being killed with a .22lr also.

If, and I repeat IF, one were to wound a black bear while hunting it, it could soon be a situation of you defending yourself from one very PO'd bear!
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Old March 20, 2011, 09:37 AM   #27
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Black bears seldom attack people even when shot/wounded by a hunter.

My personal opinion is that the 357 mag should be considered the least caliber for whitetail deer from a handgun. I tend to believe something larger works better.

For black bear, my vote is for something larger than 357 mag. I would start with 41 or 44 mag. But if you make a good shot, there is no reason why a black bear won't go down with a 158 gr JSP from a 357. The thing about black bears is that they tend to run off a ways regardless of what you shot them with unless you hit them really hard or are lucky based on what rifle hunters tell me. I have never shot a black bear, never really wanted to hunt them.
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Old March 20, 2011, 11:11 AM   #28
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I've hunted deer for over 20 years almost exclusively with my 6.5" Blackhawk in .357. It is very effective inside 60-80 yards. Have also killed hogs and two black bear with the same gun. The blackies weighed 210 lbs and 390 lbs. Both were one shot kills, but in both cases they ran out 50 or so yards before dropping from shots that hit one or both lungs with one having also clipped the heart.

I handload 180 (or sometime 187) grain Cast Bullet Performance LBT Hardcast Solids over a stout dose of 2400. It's a "Ruger Only" type load that I would not recommend in many other .357's. It penetrates extremely well . . . through and through. Even had one go through a 350lb hog from neck to butt and exit.

Based on what I've seen, I have no problem hunting black bear with .357 from a tree stand. I would not prefer it for still hunting or bear defense vs. a .44 mag.
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Old March 20, 2011, 11:17 AM   #29
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.357 is fine for deer and I wouldn't have any issues using them against blackies either. In reality, a heavy .357 penetrates "about as well" as a standard .44 due better sectional density. IMO again.

I roll my own. A 180gr XTP back by a good dose of BlueDot for about 1200 fps. My state requires expanding bullets on deer. Try Buffalo Bore heavy loads and check accuracy but for IMO most loads from 158grs on up should work well. And yes, those 180 xtp's damage some meat.

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Old March 21, 2011, 02:17 AM   #30
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aggressive black bears

A black bear is a wild, formidable creature, up to 600 (that would be a VERY big blackie) or so pounds of teeth, claw and muscle, and should not necessarily be trusted. But I'd have to disagree with the "aggressive" comment. True, there are black bear fatalities and injuries. But they are far from the norm. The Smokey's receives something like 13 million visitors annually, its the nations most visited National Park. Over the years quoted in an earlier post, the visitation would be in the hundreds of millions. From that there were what, 107 injuries.?

I no longer live or work in black bear country, but did for a while and had some interesting opportunities participating in black bear studies and relocating "problem" bears in Shenandoah and Great Smokey's. As with any animal, they can definitely get brazen if they become accustomed to humans. And humans ( myself included) can do some brazen and stupid things if they get accustomed to bears. That's for another post. Much of that has been resolved once the parks got a grip on handling trash, and relocated the real problem panhandlers. The "yogi" bear jams are largely a thing of the past.

To the OP. A .357 revolver loaded with 158 gr or up would be plenty for deer. Much depends on the placement of the shot of course. Average black bears are likely closer to 300 lbs +/_ and the .357, loaded heavy, though not optimal, should work there also. I would stay with SWC penetrators for bears, due to the larger bones, hair, hide, fat, muscle make up on bears, as opposed to a JHP. JSP's might be a happy medium.
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Old March 21, 2011, 03:39 AM   #31
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I have a dan wesson model 15-2 with an 8" barrel.I am in the process of putting a scope on it and am planning to hunt whitetail deer and black bear with it.My problem is I am not sure what ammo to buy that will give me the one shot one kill method of hunting I prefer.Do I want a heavy hollow point or soft point?
If it were me, I'd go with a hard cast heavy wide flat nose bullet pushed as hard and fast as I could push it. In my case, that would be handloaded 180 gr Cast Performance WFNGC pushed by a stout charge of H-110, which happens to emulate the performance of the premium factory rounds that are available. Yeah, I use handloads for this purpose, but you can obtain similar factory loads of you seek them on the web.
Formerly lived in Ga, but now I'm back in Tx! Aaaand, now I'm off to Fla...
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Old April 9, 2013, 02:37 PM   #32
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Good reloads

This is a very old post but if anyone is still looking at it bearclaw makes excellent reloads ideal for multipurpose hunting.
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Old April 9, 2013, 03:11 PM   #33
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Bearclaw reloads

They have a variety with different purposes and the price is alright.
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Old April 9, 2013, 07:20 PM   #34
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What happens if you have a necrophiliac bear thats desperate for sex and you play dead?
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Old April 9, 2013, 07:33 PM   #35
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Now you're giving the mods even more reason to kill this necro thread

As for .357 on a deer, meh that's pushing it, personally have never understood hunting with a pistol/scope.
.357 for a black bear I believe is cruel, you owe the animal a clean quick kill.
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Old April 9, 2013, 07:40 PM   #36
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This is a dead thread you knew it was dead but you brought it back to life anyways. This is frowned upon here, telling us that a company makes good ammunition for hunting is not enough reason to bump a 2 year old thread.
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Old April 10, 2013, 10:15 AM   #37
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357 Magnum is definitely adequate for deer or black bear hunting if the hunter has done a lot of practicing and can place the shot just where it needs to go.

For deer I would use a 158gr JSP, for bear I might go with a 158gr or even better a 180gr hard cast bullet.

First hand experience showed me bears can be very tough to kill once their adrenaline is up, but a well placed shot from ambush should do the trick.
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Old April 11, 2013, 03:06 PM   #38
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185 grain Beartooth FNGC with a stout load of H110 produces great accuracy and game harvesting capabilities. The guy who runs Beartooth bullets is a great resource for information.
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Old April 11, 2013, 07:01 PM   #39
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maybe the man who told me this was talking about grizzlies,,
but i still say its worth mentioning,

"if you have a 357 for bear protection, make sure to file off the front sight, so when the bear shoves the gun up your ass it wont hurt near as bad"

i rest my case
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Old April 11, 2013, 09:18 PM   #40
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My own opinion is that a .44 Mag should be minimum, only because it gives you a margin for error in case the shot you wanted to put in the lungs gets into the shoulder instead.
I've only killed one bear myself (68 lb. Hoyt throwing a 2216 with a 125 Magnus head ), but I also know a lot of guys who have, and it seems that in a hunting situation a black bear is no where near as tenacious of life as a whitetail. Put a good solid kill zone hit on them and they die pretty quick.
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Old April 12, 2013, 11:36 PM   #41
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Help, deer and black bear hunting .357 mag

I have no experience killing bear with a .357. But i do have plenty of experience killing game animals, and although a 44 or higher may not be a bad idea, i know from a fact with all my other experiences and my experiences with my .357s a well placed shot i would not be worried about killing a black bear. I also dont have any hesitation in using it for bear protection.

For hunting, practice, practice, practice. Like you would for any game animal. Also, at least in MN the ONLY sucessful way to hunt them is baiting, so you get to control the exact shot distance and plan angles. A .357 broadside at a 15 yard bait pile should lead you to place an accurately placed shot.

.357 for defense on paper from bears may look marginal. But the fact that i can swing my 3 inch sp101 around and out of holster quick, get on target quick and have many shoots of a more than deadly load going into them makes me feel as safe as i could being self defense with little warning. For me, a big 44 or 454 would lot allow me to do that.

If 44 or 454 or 480 makes you feel more comforabe quick and shots go off just As you plan great. But i feell my 357s have what the need to get it done and back to safty regaress of shot angles. In A much faster period of time
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Old April 13, 2013, 12:38 AM   #42
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I have been hunting bear and deer my whole life. My choice of weapons are 357 blackhawk with 158gr. jhp and 30 30 win. mod.94 sadle gun for bear. When I was a teenager in the 50s my grandfather shot a black bear that had climbed a tree and would keep the tree between himself and grandad. When grandad got a shot with his 45 colt he hit it between the eyes, you could see white bone for just a minute before it covered with blood. It took another shot through the lungs to bring it down.
I have shot well over 40 black bears and two griz. Almost always one shot kills. I can't imanage needing more than six 357 rounds to stop anything in north america.
I have never used anything but a rifel for deer.
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Old April 13, 2013, 12:41 PM   #43
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Wet, I'm impressed. Did you choose your TFL handle due to your bear hunting experiences?

My take is very simple. I read. The difference beween a 41 or 44 mag in a revolver is substantial as compared to 357 mag. Unless you already own the 357 mag, I do't know why someone would choose that caliber over a 41 or 44 for hunting.

As a young hunter, I always supported theory that shot placement was everything and I chose my rifle calibers accordingly in the Eastern woods. I scoffed at the need for a 30-06 (or larger) for deer hunting and the 30-30 ballistics were boring. I moved to a 270 win for my deer hunting over a 243 because having a little more power is helpful in putting the animal down quickly and humanely. But that 270 choice still leaned toward the shot placement over bullet mass approach. Been comfortable with the choice over the years but really don't use a rifle much anymore for deer hunting.

I take this experience to handgun hunting and a 30-30 is a great choice with a Contender. Does that make any sense at all? But I feel if you have the choice available to you, you should choose something a little larger than 357 mag for deer and black bear hunting.

The availability of the hard cast bullets/loads in 357 mag has changed the game somewhat just like pretty good bullets for the 223 has changed the rifle hunting game with deer. But I would still choose something a little larger.
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