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357 Woods Carry Ammo Thoughts

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by RangerEric, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. RangerEric

    RangerEric Southern Oregon, United States Active Member

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    Hey guys -

    Just wanted to gather some thoughts on something. I've been carrying a 6" S&W 686 357 Mag while playing in the woods, hiking, hunting, fishing, etc. This has primarily been in Western and Central Oregon, where aside from two-leggers, the only threats i'd have even a chance of encountering would be pigs, cougars, or possibly black bears. Have been stoking it with 158grn Semi-jacketed softpoints, thinking about the increased penetration. Almost bought some 180grn hardcast Doubletap loads tonight, still thinking about penetration on critters. But at some point I wonder if I'm into overkill territory for the critters in these parts. Do I step up to 180 HC's? Stick with 158 SJSP? Or would I even be better served going with a 125grn or 158grn HP, which would certainly be more effective against the more probably 2-legged critters growing pot out in the woods? Recoil of any of those less of a concern than terminal effect. Lastly, do any of your answers change if my territory changed to Central/Northern Idaho where wolves and brown bears conceivably enter the equation as well? Discuss. Thanks!
     
  2. idRATHERbeOUTDOORS

    idRATHERbeOUTDOORS Yamhill County Active Member

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    i wonder who will be first to say, ".357?, nah you need a .44mag. A bear will laugh at you if you use a .357"

    I think any hotter .357 should work for yah. SJSP or HC should be fine, these threads always turn into hypothetical what-ifs and armchair scientific theory.
     
  3. RangerEric

    RangerEric Southern Oregon, United States Active Member

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    Haha, yeah, it's bound to happen. ;-)

    Bear is by no means the primary concern, just trying to think of the solution that will most adequately (or least inadequately) address the largest number of possibilities. Guess the core of my qustion is just "Hollowpoint or not?"
     
  4. idRATHERbeOUTDOORS

    idRATHERbeOUTDOORS Yamhill County Active Member

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    i think I would go with a rounded or flat soft point if it where me.
    But I'm just a guy that takes a glock 23 in the woods so I'm sure I'm not "qualified" to give input. lol
     
  5. the4thshake

    the4thshake Portland Active Member

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    If you ever have to use it on a big hairy toothy critter :paranoid:... penetration will be key.

    A 180 grain hardcast flat nose loaded stout would be my choice. :thumbup:
     
  6. plumberfishes

    plumberfishes Gresham oregon Active Member

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    based on the lack of animal attacks in oregon in the past, I don't know the numbers but I do know its surprisingly low... I would run 158 XTP's you will definitely find more on the two legged side to worry about than the 4 legged, and most of what we do have... they should stop just fine....Cats in oregon.... please if you can hit it a .22 will stop them.. a mag is almost over kill! bears... well on the outside chance that you trip and fall in its mouth, or are nuts enough to get between a sow and cubs, the range should be short, and the adrenaline high, good luck with that, but the gun will stop most oregon bears.
     
  7. safetyman

    safetyman Clark County, WA Active Member

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    I carry 180gr hard casts. I like to have the extra power and not need it than need the extra power and not have it. Why speculate and go with a lower powered round?

    Of course, practicing every now and then with your carry ammo may not be as practical because of the extra cost, but it is important.
     
  8. longcolt

    longcolt Zephyrhills, FL Active Member

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    When hunting in Eastern Oregon we use Buffalo Bore hard cast ammo in 357 mag. They make some powerful stuff that will give you the penetration you need for black bear. The 357 goes to my son and I pack a Ruger SS single action 44 mag just because I like that heft on my belt.

    Know a guy that did shoot a black bear with his Glock 40 cal. Took nine shots to bring it down, he said. He had 13 rounds plus an extra magazine so he was good to go unless the bear got to him first.