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Thread: 357 big enough for blackie

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    Default 357 big enough for blackie

    Is a 357 magnum big enough for black bear?

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    Member ret25yo's Avatar
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    depends on when you want him to stop....

    If you cant stand behind the troops in Iraq.. Feel free to stand in front of them.

  3. #3

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    It depends, alright. I've killed a couple with a 357 and seen others. All one-shot kills. But they were treed bears and the shots were aimed from 15-20 feet to hit the junction of the neck and skull to save meat.

    Open field or over bait? If I could get a good clean broadside lung shot, no sweat. Blackies die easy with good shots. But the limitations on that shot are the shooter and not the cartridge. I don't think there's any margin for error.

  4. #4

    Default Not dependable

    enough to guarantee a stopping shot. If you use a hollowpoint, then you lose penetration. If solid, hardcast, flatpoint, then you get a small penetration channel. Yeah, you CAN kill them, but you're running the risk of MAYBE. To just flatly say that blackies die easily is not a constant.

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    Not reliably with any over the counter ammo I know of but I have been playing with some 200g cast with LilGun that thumps close to 41mag. I would be confident over bate where I can pick a shot with a well loaded 357 but I would not spot and stalk with such a marginal caliber.
    Andy
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    Default I'm a FORDY FORE Packer nowadays, BUT....

    I'd be comfortable with my 357 for Black Bear protection.

    (Because of the following qualifications.)

    I carry either 180 or 200 grain cast bullet loads in it.

    My Ruger has a 6.5 inch barrel, and I don't lose a lotta velocity.

    It's hefty enough that recoil is pretty much a non-issue, even with heavy loads.

    I'm familiar with shooting it.

    Smitty of the North
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    Default more power to ya Smitty

    Just a suggestion though,
    If you have both a 44 mag and a 357 mag and you just want to disprove a theory ,take em both along.
    A man told me once that he killed a bear with a .22 broad side shot in the ear.
    Can't say it's impossable , even tempted my self to see the limits of the .17hmr. But ,
    should I have that kind of oppurtunity, I still can't think of attempting such a trick with out a back up plan.
    Just a thought though, if you are going to use a tree stand , you might use some sheet metal on the tree about 6' up . I recently watched a you tube with some bow hunters and a cub ran up the tree they were in.

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    Default yes

    A 357 will kill a blackie, but like anything use the proper bullet and of course bullet placement is always key. I know an ole houndhunter who prefers the 357 over the 44 mag, but as BrownBear stated that this is at a treed bear usually at pretty close range. I carry my security six a lot in the spring out looking for shed antlers for bears and wolves. just my .02
    LIVE TO HUNT....HUNT TO LIVE!!!!

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    a .357 is just fine for blackies with a good bullet. XTP 158grn or better yet a good hard cast flat nose.

  10. #10

    Default I have to

    respectfully disagree with the guys who confidently say a .357 mag WILL take out a blackie. The .357 has always been an iffy cartridge on anything other than deer at close range or a treed cat or black bear where a close range steady shot is possible. It was meant for people defense, no matter what the early advertising would have people believe. I contend that a 300+ pound blackie makes for a potential kill with a .357, but not a stopping shot. Is it worth the risk if a larger, more powerful round is available for the task at hand. You can get several .41s or 44s for the same price as a .357 of same quality. I'd always rather be overgunned than otherwise.

  11. #11

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    Before the ammo companies "wussed down" the 357 it was truly a powerhouse(and can be once again thanks to Lil-Gun powder).
    In 1935 it was the big kid on the block and proved it was! Now because there are heavier hitters it is considered to be a "better than nothing round" but if you take time to load up some 158,160, 180,or 200gr. bullets I think you will see it outpowers the STANDARD 240GR. FACTORY loadings by Winchester, Federal and Remington!
    I'm not here to argue this point, look up the ballistics at the factory websites, then compare them to a 158gr bullet at 1550fps or a 180gr bullet doing in excess of 1400fps(yes, thats in a revolver ).
    Lil-Gun can and WILL get you to where the 357 started out long before light weight alloy revolvers had to be taken into consideration Just be sure to work loads up for YOUR gun and I would advise it be a S&W N-frame or something "beefier".
    Ok, i'm getting down off my pro-357 soap-box now, LOL!
    I'll let history speak for itself............

    1935
    Major Douglas Wesson

    • Antelope - 200 yards (2 shots)
    • Elk - 130 yards (1 shot)
    • Moose - 100 yards (1 shot)
    • Grizzly Bear - 135 yards (1 shot)
    The Antelope was hit the first time at 125 yards. It ran, stopped and was shot the second time at 200 yards. The second shot killed it.
    The Bull Elk was killed with one shot through the lungs.
    The Moose was shot in the chest near the base of the neck. It cut the 2nd rib, passed through both lungs, sheared the 8th rib on the off side and stopped just under the hide. No follow-up shot was required.
    These animals were taken on a Fall hunt in Wyoming, near the West entrance of Yellowstone Park. The Grizzly was taken later in Canada.
    The above game was taken using factory loads which were a 158 gr. bullet at 1515 fps from an 8 3/4" barreled S&W producing 812 ft. lbs of muzzle energy. (S&W later shortened the barrels to 8 3/8" as we have today)
    To those who criticized, the Major replied that they "..had not the slightest conception of what we have accomplished in ballistics.." - a statement that still applies today.

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    Thanks MagLvr:

    Good point made.

    My Ruger New Model 357, can take heavy loads, and I field carry with either 180 or 200 grain cast bullets.

    Been using H110, I'll check into Lil-Gun.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    The problem discussing teh 357 magnum in regards to hunting is one needs to clarify what gun and what bullets. The 357 was originally released as a 45kpsi round, and in guns that can handle that pressure level, with heavier bullets, the .357 is an adequate hunting round.

    The problem is subsequently SAAMI reduced the working pressure of the .357 to 30 kpsi for weaker framed guns, and ammo manufacturers loaded the lower pressure round with lighter bullets.

    The .357 doesn't need some new wonder powder, it still performs exceptionally with 2400, in strong loads, loaded full patch with 170-200 gr cast bullets. 180 gr 1500 fps, 200 gr 1300 fps.

    Now if the 44 mag with a 300 gr bullet @ 1300 fps, sd of .233 is considered more than adequate, the 41 mag with a 265 gr @ 1300 fps sd of .225 is up to the task, then surely the 357 mag with a 200 gr @ 1300 fps sd of .224 isn't just going to bounce off or pencil through.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    The problem discussing teh 357 magnum in regards to hunting is one needs to clarify what gun and what bullets. The 357 was originally released as a 45kpsi round, and in guns that can handle that pressure level, with heavier bullets, the .357 is an adequate hunting round.

    The problem is subsequently SAAMI reduced the working pressure of the .357 to 30 kpsi for weaker framed guns, and ammo manufacturers loaded the lower pressure round with lighter bullets.

    The .357 doesn't need some new wonder powder, it still performs exceptionally with 2400, in strong loads, loaded full patch with 170-200 gr cast bullets. 180 gr 1500 fps, 200 gr 1300 fps.

    Now if the 44 mag with a 300 gr bullet @ 1300 fps, sd of .233 is considered more than adequate, the 41 mag with a 265 gr @ 1300 fps sd of .225 is up to the task, then surely the 357 mag with a 200 gr @ 1300 fps sd of .224 isn't just going to bounce off or pencil through.
    I agree completely and this is why in my first response here I said:
    Not reliably with any over the counter ammo I know of but I have been playing with some 200g cast with LilGun that thumps close to 41mag.”

    There is a laundry list of other powders like 2400, #9, H110 and so on that will make a 357 thump so I didn’t mean to say it has to be LilGun or even 200g cast. It can be a little-big-gun with the right loads in a strong gun just not with the ammo from the stores.
    Andy
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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Andy,

    I didn't mean to disparage your comments, I agree as well. I was just trying to state that the 357 has always been adequate in proper guns, loaded to original specs, with the proper bullets. There haven't been any new developements to make the 357 reach those levels, just the side street the .357 took when it was donwloaded in both pressure and bullets for weaker guns and non hunting applications.

    I haven't found H-110 to perform nearly as well as I would have expected with the 200 gr bullets. I also haven't tested Lil-gun, so one of these days I'll have to cast up a pile of 200 gr bullets, and do a head to head between the various powders out of my 357 blackhawk.

  16. #16

    Default Okay then,

    I would like to know which of you fellows carry a .357 in the field when a .41 or larger is available. I know I can trust your answers, you're gun guys, right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    Andy,

    I didn't mean to disparage your comments, I agree as well. I was just trying to state that the 357 has always been adequate in proper guns, loaded to original specs, with the proper bullets. There haven't been any new developements to make the 357 reach those levels, just the side street the .357 took when it was donwloaded in both pressure and bullets for weaker guns and non hunting applications.

    I haven't found H-110 to perform nearly as well as I would have expected with the 200 gr bullets. I also haven't tested Lil-gun, so one of these days I'll have to cast up a pile of 200 gr bullets, and do a head to head between the various powders out of my 357 blackhawk.
    I know you weren’t. I was reading my first post when I pulled the quote and it kind of sounded like I was saying LilGun was a must so I thought I should say there are lots of powders that will get it done in a 357.

    I think 357 is pushing the lower case size limit for H110 but it does work. LilGun is a tad faster than H110 and does quite well in 357s behind 180s and 200s for my brace of 357 Blackhawks. I have not tried 2400 behind a 200g 357 but it should be very close to LilGun, maybe even better in that case volume. Any of these loads would rip your hand off if not completely destroy a light gun like my wife's Ladysmith, that thing hearts me with factory 125g 357 ammo.
    Andy
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    Quote Originally Posted by mauserboy View Post
    I would like to know which of you fellows carry a .357 in the field when a .41 or larger is available. I know I can trust your answers, you're gun guys, right?
    460V for me in Alaska but there is a 357 in my pocket when I'm down South.
    Andy
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    Quote Originally Posted by mauserboy View Post
    I would like to know which of you fellows carry a .357 in the field when a .41 or larger is available. I know I can trust your answers, you're gun guys, right?
    I generally carry a 480 srh loaded with 400 gr bullets @ 1200 fps.

    But there are times when I want a lighter gun, and I'll pack my 357 blackhawk w/ 200 gr @ 1200 fps. Perfect or ideal, no. Better than a rock, pointed stick or pocket knife, heck yeah.

    Not all threats in the field are on 4 legs with sharp teeth and claws.

  20. #20

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    I too didn't mean to make it sound like LilGun was the only powder that will bring the 357 up to the true magnum that it used to be, however, you will find Lil-Gun will get you there with less pressure than any other powder I am aware of. And it especially seems to work it's magic with heavy for caliber bullets, such as 180-200gr in the 357. There are also some folks using a 250gr flat point , .358 rifle bullet in a 38spl casing! Below are the specs. For some really great 357 load ideas with Lil-Gun as well as other powders check out www.handloads.org there is a WEALTH of great info found there! Be careful, be sensible, and be SAFE!!! Work your loads up SLOWLY! and PLEASE, if you load some hot stuff take the time to use a red magic marker on the case heads and mark your boxes accordingly!!! Happy shooting!!
    Maglvr

    Caliber...357 Magnum, 250 gr LFP bullet.......... 12.0 gr Lil’Gun.......... 1,186 fps 1.649" CCI 550 primer.... Fired from a 5.5" Redhawk, 45 deg F. For these to fit in the Ruger I had to use 38 Special cases. The bullet is a 35 caliber rifle LFP from Beartooth. This data has not been pressure tested, it didn’t show any signs of being over pressure but should still be approached with caution.

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