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Thread: 45 auto vs. 44mag vs 357

  1. #1
    Member hunt-fish-trap's Avatar
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    Default 45 auto vs. 44mag vs 357

    I posted this in the fishing section because I really would like to know your opinion. As my trip to Ak comes closer I am torn as to which pistol to bring. I will be driving into Anchorage area and basing my trip from that area. And I will be fishing as much as possible.
    Now the question. I have a 1911 in 45 that is my everyday carry gun. I am fast, deadly and accurate. But it is kinda heavy. Then I have a S&W model 29 in 44mag aka. the "dirty Harry gun". I shoot it but its bulky , heavy and with the hi-power loads I find myself flinching and more often than not the pie plate at 30 yards does get missed. My third option is my ruger 357 stainless 5 shot. it is my fishing carry gun and I am deadly to 20 yards but at 30-50 with the hi power mag loads the pie plate does get missed. But boy howdy is that little bugger loud!
    So with that long winded post thank you for reading and thanks in advanced for your opinions.

  2. #2

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    When I carry a pistol I carry my S&W 629, but if I am really thinking bears I carry my short Mariner 870 full of slugs. Are you driving through Canada? It can be a real pain with a pistol. I haven't done it in over 10-20 years but getting it sealed back then was a pain in the @$$.

  3. #3
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    To first answer a question you did not ask. How concerned should I be regarding fishing in a bear's territory?
    Yes you should be concerned they are big and potentially dangerous animals, however you may,by chance, find yourself within a few yards of one (disturbed by your approach from a nap in the grass on the river bank perhaps) in which case the bear is most likely to poop and run of into the woods, amble off, sit there and wonder if you will poop and run away, or in RARE instances get pissed,scared, or defensive (potentially bad for you)
    Bears are something like strangers you meet on the street, most don't care you are there, some are passively curious about you, and there are a few who are concerned, measure the moment, and decide you are a threat/victim.

    OK now given the options and information you listed:
    45 would rank 3rd, Dirty Harry 2nd, and the lil 357 1st choice.

    If the 29 is say a 6 in or less, get a shoulder/chest holster then go out and practice w/ some 44 special rounds to build your confidence. Practice controlling the flinch, manipulating the holster, etc. A Hot 44 solid is your best option if you are comfortable, confident, and accurate. 6 inches or more too much gun to be comfortable carrying all day.

    I never plan to shoot a bear, yet I carry almost 100 % of the time while on the river. I've worked on and fished a number of SE, SW,and south central rivers over the last 18 years have seen or been near 100's of bears and have really only felt threatened on three occasions. One was a charge (bluff) that occurred so close and fast that a world class competitive shooter would have had trouble, one was a curious bear which entered the creek behind me while I was wade fishing, and third was a juvenile who was quietly moving toward me through the brush while a was filleting a King. The young bear (~3y/o) stood there as I yelled at him so he knew he was busted and to leave the area. This bear was definitely measuring the situation and eventually caused me so unholster my firearm. At this point I yelled a warning to the bear and something in my voice or smell must have keyed him into the idea that this was not an easy source of calories so he finally relented.

    Chances are you will be able to avoid a negative type of encounter if you keep your head up, eyes open, your wits when you see or hear a nearby bear and try to gather some location specific bear information (known aggressive bears, injured, cubs, adolescents,etc.)

    Hope this helps and/or gets some other to share their opinions.
    Matt
    Last edited by lineburns; 01-28-2012 at 11:51. Reason: poorly edited

  4. #4
    Member hunt-fish-trap's Avatar
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    thanks guys. I am shipping my guns up there as my shotgun is on the no go list and pistols are way more trouble than they are worth. but I have always been the prepare for the worst case scenario type of guy. I have been thinking that my 357 would prob be my best choice as its small, light weight and stainless.
    only 2 more years and I get to spend 3 months in the best place on earth.....ALASKA!

  5. #5
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    all the gray area of guessing what the intent or disposition of a wild animal is the treadwell approach. you are food. by and large they run away, you dont need anything for them. some are curious maybe a rock will do but for the ones that have a tooth ache or just got kicked out of their spot or as with any person maybe he's an a-hole, either way if you dont have the ability to control the situation he will eat you. 44 kills bears dead, 1 shot, but it can be hard to get the second. 357 place it against the skull, kills em dead, i carry 45. i dont plan on pulling the trigger untill i can smell him. i practice emptying my mag at 20' into a coffee can. i am generations deep in ak. no one i know has been attacked. one year at auke bay boat launch i talked to a guy that had been mauled,he said it knocked the rifle out of his hand and jumped on him chewed his noggen. the miles of staples in his head really let a person know bears dont play.

  6. #6

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    No issue here. Carry a Ruger Red hawk 44 mag in a 2 1/2" or 4 " barrel. They were the first 44 mag made and can handle any round. There is only 2 44 mag hand guns that can do that. It gets down to cylinder lenght and top strap strenght. Most 44 hand guns are made to handle the 44 round made for a rifle, which can not handle the longer lenght or higher pressure (30,000 psi) that a Red Hawk can. Then use Garrett rounds, (http://www.garrettcartridges.com/44mag.html). Made for short range shot., with little recoile and huge impact. Life and death calls for the proper handgun, huge knock down power, very little recoil, ability to shatter bones and not be deflected. Long barrel hand guns are for long range shots withs a scope. Most rounds like Buffalo Bore have too much recoil and are made of soft lead. As a long time guide a 44 Redhawk and Garrett rounds make for a killer lightweight set up.

  7. #7
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    We hear about all the shootings in defense of life but as others have said- using common sense is the biggest thing to keep you out of trouble. I have fished and hiked around a number of brown bears and only had one situation that made me think "oh cra-". It amazes me how many bears are shot "in defense" but the animals are shot in the side. The best gun to have with you is the one you are most comfortable shooting and have faith in. I mean no disrespect to anyone when I say this...when worried about people I carry a 1911 or 686. When in bear country I carry a .44 or my .500. Shotguns are great but tend to get left somewhere inconvenient. As the other poster mentioned- Garrett makes great hard cast rounds, as do others like Buffalo Bore.

    Enjoy the fishing and ue your head...99.9% chance the gun stays holstered!

  8. #8
    Member redleader's Avatar
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    Hmmmm...if you will be fishing the road accessible areas out of Anchorage carry what ever is handy on the outside and possibly other anglers will give you some room, as for the bears pepper spray would be better and easier to carry just in case, but judging from your screen name it sounds like you might prefer a gun even though not needed.

  9. #9
    Member hunt-fish-trap's Avatar
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    judging from your screen name it sounds like you might prefer a gun even though not needed.
    funny because I mostly bow hunt with my old bear recurve. I just want to be as prepared and safe as possible, as most of the time I will be by myself. I have read and heard horror stories about the combat fishing but I am hoping to get away from some of that so I can enjoy the day. also the screen name best describes how I feed and support my family.
    only 2 more years and I get to spend 3 months in the best place on earth.....ALASKA!

  10. #10
    Member redleader's Avatar
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    I would go with the 44mag as the 357 will just piss em off.

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    Carry which ever one you can shot one handed the best left or right. A big hand cannon is useless if can shoot it accurately. There a lot people on here that think you need a big pistol. Try this see which one you can get out quickly if you were getting charged... Like said earlier your dead on with .357 that's the one you carry.
    Do I give my friends advice? Jesus, no. They wouldn't take advice from me. Nobody should take advice from me. I haven't got a clue about anything..

  12. #12
    Member FNG IN AK's Avatar
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    As I recall, the legendary founder of Gunsite Academy, the late Lt. Col. (R) Jeff Cooper, drilled his students with a mantra for winning a gunfight -- Speed, Power, Accuracy. You need all three, or you surely will lose your life to an opponent who brings the trio.

    I'm guessin' an attacking brownie will have all three, so...

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