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Thread: .357 for bears . . .

  1. #1
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    Default .357 for bears . . .

    I know it's not the ideal caliber for bear protection, but what factory loads should I buy for that purpose?

    Thanks . .

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    Default Thank you . . .

    Thanks, Grizzly, exactly the kind of information I am looking for. My pistol is a .357 Smith & Wesson with an 8" barrel. Are these guns marked with a model number anywhere? . . can't find anything on it.

    Bought the gun years ago, haven't shot it for years, and am considering giving it to our son who likes to hunt morel mushrooms in the spring. Can't do any harm for him to have it along with his bear spray.

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    Swing the cylinder out and look on the frame above the cylinder pivot, there should be a stamping of the model number.

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    Agree with the ammo, 357 wouldn’t be my choice but it’s a way bunch better than kung-foo.

    The serial number is on the frame under the cylinder crane arm, got to open cylinder to see it. Model number is usually there also if not on the visible outside someplace.
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    Thanks, guys, it's Model 27-2

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    Marcus
    the .357 is a heck of a lot better than no gun at all! I would go with the Buffalo Bore hard cast ammo. There are a lot of other critters in the woods besides Grizz to think about. It would be just fine for black bear and its just plain nice to have a gun with when in the woods. If one gets lost it can signal help and also secure supper. I was never sorry yet for bringing my .357 with in the woods. I have however been very happy i did. Good call Marcus!

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    I've used the Buffalo Bore 180s in my Blackhawk and I imagine out of an 8" barrel they will penetrate about as well as anything in a common handgun.

    Probably not my ideal setup for bears but its probably about as good as you can get in that platform. I also don't think there's really that much difference in .357/.41/.44 anyway when it comes to close range DLP. I'd take it with some spray and go on.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Marcus, a 27-2 is darned good shooting firearm. I still miss the one I had and did not appreciate how well I could shoot it (practiced a lot with it) until I got rid of it.
    I agree with the tips you are getting so far ......

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    Thanks again, gentlemen, for all the help and encouragement. Told my son that if he'd go to Sportsman's Warehouse and buy a 20-round box of Big Bore 180 gr. hard cast ammo, I'd give him the gun. I'm afraid if I don't put it that way, he'll put off buying the proper ammo and end up taking the gun out with the hollow-point ammo I'll give him with the pistol. And that would not be good.

    But just out of curiosity, what's my S&W 27-2 (like new) worth out there these days? There's "what the gun is worth," and then there's what one can actually get for the gun.

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    This http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=273045311 is the most help I can provide based on your description and my NOT being a dealer. If you look further you would see others listed for up to twice as much. One thing I always keep in mind is that-- anything is worth what anyone is willing to pay for it -- disparity in pricing aside. Maybe someone with a "Blue Book" has some input.

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    Condition is everything on a used gun, but I'd say:

    Very Good = $ 900, Excellent = $1050, NIB = $1300 +

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    Exclamation Holy smokes!

    Dad gum! I thought it might be worth $300 or so . . wow! . . should've bought a half-dozen of 'em!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    Thanks, guys, it's Model 27-2
    Marcus,

    Thats a serious 357. The 27 is a 44 size frame gun with lots of steel around the cylinder. Heavy loads by the thousands can be run through it. The -2 is an era of that model series that has the barrel pinned and the cylinders recessed for the rim of the magnum cartridge. These are among the most desirable of the S&W revolvers both to collectors and to those of us who shoot them. I have a 27-2 with a 5" barrel and it is a very robust revolver capable of taking the heaviest of loads. I find it more packable but not capable of the velocity of the 8 3/8" barrel of yours.
    I would not consider anything with an 8 3/8" barrel to be a trail gun but it will deliver all the whallop a 357 can produce. I would use a 200 or 180 grain, hard cast loading such as those mentioned here from Buffalo bore. If your gun is in very good condition, showing little or no wear it could be worth $800 or more. I disagree somewhat with some of the appraisal guides but it is a good piece of merchandise.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    Thanks again, gentlemen, for all the help and encouragement. Told my son that if he'd go to Sportsman's Warehouse and buy a 20-round box of Big Bore 180 gr. hard cast ammo, I'd give him the gun. I'm afraid if I don't put it that way, he'll put off buying the proper ammo and end up taking the gun out with the hollow-point ammo I'll give him with the pistol. And that would not be good.

    But just out of curiosity, what's my S&W 27-2 (like new) worth out there these days? There's "what the gun is worth," and then there's what one can actually get for the gun.
    My first black bear I killed was with my dads gun just like yours. He was with me and I convinced him to let me shoot it. After a one shot kill, it ran and went up a tree, fired again and missed but the bear fell dead out of the tree. I for whatever checked to see what ammo it was loaded with after the kill. It was a hollow point of an odd number, like 152 grains or whatever they are for the .357mag. It worked at less than 20 yards! Years later now he killed a bear this fall with the DT 180gr WFNGC. It will be fine for bear protection.

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    Once again, guys, you have all been more helpful than I could have imagined. I bought the gun about 20 years ago when we lived in Texas, can't even recall where I bought it.

    I had joined a gun club in Paris, Texas that met every week and which shot various types of matches: small bore, DCM/M1*, and combat . . bought the .357 so I could shoot the combat matches**.




    *The DCM matches were conducted under the auspices of the Department of Civilian Marksmanship. After one shot three or four (memory fails) matches properly certified by the rangemaster, paperwork was submitted to DCM, fingerprinting and background checks were conducted, and about a year later one sent DCM a check for $65 and received an M1 by mail. Gave mine to our son.

    **Recall one match where I shot down six, six-inch steel plates at 15 yards in nine seconds with the S&W. No double-action firing, cocked the revolver for each shot.


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    I'm up for adoption if you have any more of those old guns laying around that you're wanting to pass on.

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