In order to participate in the GunBroker Member forums, you must be logged in with your GunBroker.com account. Click the sign-in button at the top right of the forums page to get connected.

Nononsense.?.?.?

n/an/a Member Posts: 168,427
I need a no nonsense answer and I figured you'd be the best place to get it[:)]. I'm going to be in bear country this weekend and I'm going to take my .357 SIG. Is the flat nosed, jacketed plinking ammo loaded as hot as self defense hollow points? I would think the fmj's would have better penetration and be better suited for bear defense. Would you agree? Thanks!!!

Comments

  • nononsensenononsense Member Posts: 10,934 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    ECC,

    I hope that I've understood your question correctly.

    Re-phrased as:

    "Will the JFN plinking ammunition perform as well as the JHP self defense ammunition?"

    "Will these plinking loads be suitable for self defense in bear country?"

    Probably not. I don't want to offend anyone with my comments about their choice of firearms or ammunition but I do encourage folks to take a hard look at their choice of ammunition when it comes to the potential of being beaten and eaten by bad tempered bears that are hungry. The plinker ammunition will be loaded to approximately the same pressure and therefore similar velocities as most of the standard 357 SIG ammunition. The only drawback then that could occur is with the bullet itself. The question to ask is "Will it perform well enough to stop a bear from killing me?" First time, every time, without fail. Will you bet your life on it?

    The 357 SIG may have velocity going for it but it's still a 9mm loaded to provide approximately +500 ft. lbs. of energy at the various velocities and bullet weights. Manstopper, yes. Bearstopper????

    If my only choice was the 357 SIG then I would opt for something along the lines of the Speer Gold or Hornady XTP for bullets.

    My two choices for bears are the .44 Magnum in either a S&W Model 29/Ruger Super Blackhawk or better yet, a shorter barreled 12 ga. shotgun loaded with slugs. I have hunted and killed bears with the .44 Magnum and I trust the 12 ga. slugs.

    Here is a good chart and graphics illustrating the penetration of various .357 loads:

    http://stevespages.com/page8f357sig.html

    Best.
  • n/an/a Member Posts: 168,427
    edited November -1
    NN...thank you again for a very informative reply. If science ever figures out that "Vulcan mind meld" thing, I'd pay top dollar to gain some of your wisdom.[8D]
  • n/an/a Member Posts: 168,427
    edited November -1
    One more question if I may...Do you think it would be beneificial to stagger my rounds with the Speer GD, and something that has better penetration? It is highly unlikely that I'll have an encounter with a bear, but I will be camping in a remote area by myself...
  • nononsensenononsense Member Posts: 10,934 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    ECC,

    I'm not sure that alternating your types of loads will solve a problem or maybe create one. We used to try this technique with shotgun loads but it always seemed that we were wasting a shot to get to load we really needed. They never seemed to be in the right order for any of the situations that we got into.

    My thought would be to have a magazine full of the best bullets over the best performing loads. Practice with that first shot and make it your best followed by as many more as the magazine holds. Stress managament is positive attribute when traveling in bear country.

    Practice all of those camp guidelines for preventing the attraction of bruins. [:D]

    Good luck and have a ball!
  • schutzenutsschutzenuts Member Posts: 70 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    ECC,
    I think I'd go with the penetration over expansion. Bears, much like hogs are VERY hard headed and thick skinned. Hit him with something that cracks his skull or penetrates through the vitals and exits will serve you much better than a couple of rounds that explode on the surface.
    That chart lists the Speer Lawman load as a super penetrator, I'd go with it or the GD, but my experience with XTP's in a .41 would keep me from using it on thicker skinned stuff.
    My2 cents, which is about what it's worth.
  • nononsensenononsense Member Posts: 10,934 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    ECC,

    I wanted to point out two other comments before retiring from this thread:

    1) You might want to consider the use of "bear spray" in addition to your firearm. Professional guides and hunters often recommend this as a better deterrent than a firearm especially when hiking and an encounter is a big surprise. It can be carried in a holster for quick access.

    2) Please take this in the spirit of concern for your safety. DO NOT attempt a head shot on a bear. The skull is designed in such a way that most shots merely skid off the skull and really piss off the bear big time! Unless you are extremely lucky with an ear shot or eye shot, you will only escalate your danger from a severely angry bear hellbent now on killing you.

    A guide's thoughts on eye/ear shots:

    "...you can NEVER count on placing shots into a tiny area like the eyes or ear. Ever. Try shooting marbles at very close range. Once you figure out that POI and POA are two different things up close, you can probably do it. Then, swing the marble around erratically on a string and try and do it. Then attach it to several hundred pound of toothed, furry meat with big claws trying to kill you or your companions. Like you said, nigh on impossible. Assuming one is a good enough shot to put one into an eye or ear at some distance into a still or slowly moving bear that you've somehow determined to be stalking you with intent to kill you, then be prepared to explain that it was honest self defense to the Fish and Game folks. If you have kill a bear in self defense, it will almost certainly be up close, moving fast and really mad."

    From a retired guide (not my ideas):

    "Solids on bear just dont make it....better off with a good expanding bullet in an appropriate caliber...like a 50 alaskan (or anything over 30 cal)

    But the key is to have a gun in the first place...I am so lazy at this point that the 50 alaskan stays home, the 338 stays in the truck, the 44 hurts too much to shoot...so when fishing near the road system I carry a 9mm...lots of rounds!!! Just spray and pray...

    Incidently, in the bear avoidence classes up here instructors are advocating 45/70, 450 or 457 magnum Marlins (or a 50 if you have one)...."

    And:

    "Many experienced Alaska outdoorsmen carry buckshot in their shotguns for bear...to increase hit probablility when ones bowels are opening as the Bear charges. Sort of like putting up a wall of lead.

    The USFWS uses 870s with slugs or 375s. USGS uses 45/70s. I carry a 9mm."

    And last but not least, another guide (not my words):

    "I grew up in Montana and have backpacked just about all over that area. With the exception of Glacier Natl Park, I have always had a gun with me. The biggest thing I can draw from my experiences and my friends is that a gun can be useful to prevent an attack, not necessarily in stopping an attack once it has commenced (including a charging bear). Bear (and lion) behavior is based on appearences. With the exception of a sow defending cubs, they will not attack if they believe it will hurt them. That is why the best bear defense (if they are not charging at you) is to stand your ground, make yourself look big (raise arms, puff out a jacket, whatever) and make a lot of noise. The last part is where I have found guns to be most usefull. If a bear is in close proximity to you and appears to be sizing you up, letting loose a couple of rounds into the ground while advancing toward the bear will usually get him running in the opposite direction. This is why if you talk to many guides in that part of the world, they will tell you that they sometimes carry a 22 mag revolver because of the intense noise factor (actually the highest up to like a 454 I think). Once a bear is attacking, then really your only hope is to put whatever amount of lethal force on it you can muster and hope it gets a different idea in its mind before your dogfood. I personally carry a .44 mag in the Montana area, or a 1911 6" in 45 super (big proponent here) when I'm hiking in other places like upstate CA. I do get very annoyed by people who think if they see a bear walking across the path in front of them, that they should begin shooting at it to "protect" themselves. I always try to have someone bring bear spray for those bears that may be curious but not harmful. That way I can employ the "continiuom of force" principle. You don't always need to draw your sidearm, sometimes just a little squirt of spray against a curious young bear casually walking toward you is all it takes.

    Bottom line from all this babble, guns are the best noisemakers and effective on non-threat bears. I personally think mountain lions are more dangerous in the wild and have seen more being curious of me and my fellow homo-sapiens. Be loud, be safe, and when the time calls for it, pull the trigger fast and aim well, then pray."

    Give a thought to the spray and be careful but have fun!

    Best.
  • sandwarriorsandwarrior Member Posts: 5,453 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    ECC,

    I'm going to recommend a good pair of running shoes. Remember you don't have to outrun the bear...just the guys you're with. Good luck and have a nice trip! LOL
  • n/an/a Member Posts: 168,427
    edited November -1
    Thanks!

    The only problem is...I'm going to be by myself for at least the first couple of days.[^][:D]
  • SawBonesBobSawBonesBob Member Posts: 44 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    ECC
    You need to take my friend Marvin with you on your trip. Marvin weighs three hundred pounds, is a heavy cigarette smoker and drinks a lot of beer. I know you can't outrun a bear but I'm pretty sure you can outrun Marvin so it really won't matter much what ammo you choose to bring.[:D]
Sign In or Register to comment.