What do you guys think of .38 +p as trail ammo for hiking around Washington? I talked to their dept. of fish & wildlife, and they have no grizzly population to speak of. Nor have I ever heard about any trouble with blackbear or cougar. (A coyote was recently sighted in a Seattle park, though. ) My current carry gun is a Ruger Sp101 in .357 mag, but even that little thing feels like a bit much to pack around here. I'm thinking of switching it up with a Smith Airweight.
It's kind of funny because I've never though of .38 special as a decent caliber for protection, and here I am reading through ballistics charts to see what's hottest. It looks like Buffalo Bore & Double Tap have the off-the-shelf loads with the most oomph.