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  1. #1
    wibowhunt is offline Junior Member
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    What bullet for backwoods protection?

    I have a Ruger gp100 357 mag. With a heavy black bear population and a out of control wolf population I think I'm going to start carrying my gun on my hip when I'm in the backwoods of Northern Wisconsin. What would be the best bullet for this situation. I know the chances of stumbling on a Meth lab are probably better than getting into it with a wolf or bear, but its fun and I like carrying the gun. I just dont know what type, brand ect. of bullet to load up with. Any help is appriecitated.

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    unpecador's Avatar
    unpecador is offline Senior Member HGF Gold Member
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    I think the best thing would be to avoid going where there is a heavy population of bears and an out of control wolf population.

  4. #3
    DJ Niner's Avatar
    DJ Niner is offline HGF Forum Moderator
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    I'd recommend ammo with bullets on the heavy side of the spectrum; let's say 158 to 180 grain. Brand would be your choice or whatever you can find locally, and if two or more brands are available, then get a box of each and test-fire them for accuracy. You'll likely have to re-zero for the heavy-bullet loads if you've been using lighter JHPs for personal defense.

    I usually lean toward Federal as my favorite brand, but nowadays I'll try anything domestic or domestic-labeled that I can find in good supply at a decent price.

  5. #4
    wibowhunt is offline Junior Member
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    Well, I not going to avoid those areas because of the cabin and I was more interested in bullet type.

  6. #5
    The_Vigilante's Avatar
    The_Vigilante is offline Junior Member
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    What bullet for backwoods protection?

    Buffalo Bore 180g. However, I think a .44 Magnum would be more appropriate for bears.

  7. #6
    wibowhunt is offline Junior Member
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    I mean hollow point, fmj, cast, softpoint ect. which bullet?

  8. #7
    biotech's Avatar
    biotech is offline Junior Member
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    You would be better off with FMJ or soft points if your intention is bear / wolf protection the fur would plug up the hollow points and limit penetration. 357 is on the small size for this purpose you may be better off with a 41/ 44 mag.

  9. #8
    TOF's Avatar
    TOF
    TOF is offline Senior Member
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    Hard Cast 180 grain or 158 SJSP would be an excellent choice.

    We have Black Bear and Cougar in my area of Arizona's high country. They occasionaly find the path to my driveway and yard. I load my own using 158 Grain Semi Jacketed Soft Point bullets and feel quite safe. Several individuals in the area guide for both Bear and Cat and consider either of these bullets up to the task.

    If you don't load your own then Buffalo Boar has some good choices available.

  10. #9
    DevilsJohnson is offline Senior Member
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    I think I'd be wanting something a little bigger if it was me but if you can find a heavy soft point round you should be good to go. It was me I'd want a 44 and I'm still wanting a SJSP round. and maybe a speed loader...or two

    We have some black bear here. It's getting more and more every year. Most what I see are coyote, Those things will fall over from about anything. Bears on the other hand...Whew..I hear tell they can move upwards of 35 mile an hour. That's one big fast moving animal.

  11. #10
    wibowhunt is offline Junior Member
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    I know the .357 might not be the best choice but I sure think its better than nothing. Plus its all I got and I love it.

  12. #11
    unpecador's Avatar
    unpecador is offline Senior Member HGF Gold Member
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    Good luck, and be safe.

  13. #12
    4X4SNEAK is offline Junior Member
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    I have a GP100 as well. Mine is a 4" Stainless. Great Revolver!

    Anyway, when I am out here in Montana with it I use 158 Hornady XTPs. It is my all-purpose load at about 1250 FPS. I have shot Coyotes with it and it knocks them down quick!!! I think it would be perfect for protection on wolves and it would sure impress a black bear.

    Before I had a 4" 44, I used 180 Grain Lazercast smoking along at about 1200 FPS. That load was in Grizzly country.

  14. #13
    Teuthis is offline Member
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    I think that any good 158 grain factory load hollow point would protect you. The 180's will work too. The .357 is quite enough for the beasts you are encountering. In the case of meeting a bear, the encounter would most likely be close and you would be looking at head and chest shots. The .357 will stop those other creatures at quite a distance if necessary. I do not know your woods experience, but I would caution that if a wolf, or skunk, etc. comes at you aggressively, get them from as much distance as you can. They might be rabid. Rabies can be spread from near contact, so keep your distance. Good luck!

  15. #14
    DevilsJohnson is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by wibowhunt View Post
    I know the .357 might not be the best choice but I sure think its better than nothing. Plus its all I got and I love it.
    Don't think I/we are putting your gun down. Just saying that it I seen a bear I'd want as big a round moving fast at that critter. I'm thinking that if it was me and I seen the bear I'd probably turn my blue pants brown and want that thing dead and me someplace else ASAP

  16. #15
    TOF's Avatar
    TOF
    TOF is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by DevilsJohnson View Post
    Don't think I/we are putting your gun down. Just saying that it I seen a bear I'd want as big a round moving fast at that critter. I'm thinking that if it was me and I seen the bear I'd probably turn my blue pants brown and want that thing dead and me someplace else ASAP
    Mr. or Mrs. Black Bear is not the absolute bundle of death to humans that some may think. I have encountered a few over the years and as many as 3 in one day. I have never hunted them with dogs and never will. I say that not to down hunting with dogs but to indicate how many Bear are in our area. You will rarely see them because they normaly run away at the first indication of man. I have sat on my front porch and watched one eat porkchop bones from our trash (at 3:00AM) then get up and saunter liesurely away with my dog raising cain not 15 feet away from him. He was a smallish 400 pounder Game & Fish caught and relocated a couple of day's later.

    A friend took one with a .22 Magnum a few years back. Now that was a mistake and too small a gun but it finaly did the job. He tells me he will not try that again.

    Grizzlys and Browns require more gun but I am convinced if you hit in the right spot the .357 is enough for Blackie. If you miss a .500 S&W is not big enough to save you. I would not use a Hollow Point because of the hair.

  17. #16
    DevilsJohnson is offline Senior Member
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    Man I have not seen many. The first was one that a guy killed accidentally while cutting hay. It was a baby. Mom was there in the open within seconds. I think that farmer thanked God for the enclosed cab on that John Deer Tractor..heh. A couple others through out the years. They tell me that they are cumming north from Tenn more now for whatever reason, say it's population overcrowding. Those things are just plain big and move pretty quick. Black bear are smaller but a lot bigger than me I just think it best to keep distance between me and them. I don't hunt much of anything anymore since I messed up my back. I am sure even if I did have a hunting hankerin' it not be for bear..heh

  18. #17
    Old Padawan's Avatar
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    Heavy flat point. You want penetration more than expansion. Cor Bon and Buffalo Bore 180 fp are great choices.
    If you know someone that loads, go with a high shouldered lead round in 180. You will get more velocity.
    "Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it." -Mark Twain

  19. #18
    niadhf's Avatar
    niadhf is online now Senior Member
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    i would look into the hornady leverevolution rounds.

  20. #19
    JohnnyFlake's Avatar
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    I must agree that a .357 should be considered marginal as a bear gun, especially on grizzly. Black bear are smaller and a .357 with the right load should do the job with well placed shots.

    If I were you, I would load up with Buffalo Bore 180gr ammo. here is a link with some info:

    http://www.gunblast.com/MilesFortis-...uffaloBore.htm

  21. #20
    clanger's Avatar
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    Did you say bear/defence?

    Bullet type?

    Heavy, hard, flat and fast.

    Esp for a head-onish shot, which is exactly what kind of shot you'll be taking from a defensive posture.
    Otherwise, you are hunting. Leave the HP's at home. Useless for attack defence in most cases.

    You have several choices.... Punch, BB, etc. Practice rapid fire and up close stuff at a small target on one knee, prone etc.
    Again- you are defending against an attacker. When furr and fang comes flying at you, you need to stop it and quick.

    This aint no stand-shoot or day at the range.

  22. #21
    exercisemyright is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Padawan View Post
    Heavy flat point. You want penetration more than expansion. Cor Bon and Buffalo Bore 180 fp are great choices.
    If you know someone that loads, go with a high shouldered lead round in 180. You will get more velocity.
    I'd agree with Old Padawan and all the others who have recommended "heavy flat point." A 357 with a good load should be adequate for romping around in the woods with the slim possibility of running across a wolf or bear sometimes.

    Here in Idaho I run across bears on a regular basis and the wolf population is growing ridiculously out of control.

    My solution? Before I push my luck one more summer I am buying some UDAP bear spray. Every black bear I have run across (well almost every) has turned-tail. When an attack does occur it is typically a SHORT CHARGE! Not much time to draw and less time to aim. Plus when you're looking a bear head on you have very few vital points: a well armored head, some shoulders and maybe a glimpse of a heavy ribcage. That's not going to stop a determined bear. Bear spray has the advantage of easy aim, and it attacks his most sensitive and vulnerable points: eyes and sniffer.

    Moral: You're probably set with a good load. However, if you do enough tromping around in the woods that you expect someday to come face to face with an upset black bear, start carrying some bear spray!

  23. #22
    clanger's Avatar
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    start carrying some bear spray!

    Maybe on a bluff? Don't work on for-real's charges. Spray won't stop a momma-bear intent on gettin' some. Bullets do-..... sometimes.

    I suggest practice with a non-jacketed bronze or HC WC.

    I've carried spray in places that won't allow sidearms. Was better off with a Buck knife and a spear. Some newbs even sprayed it on their clothes as a 'repellent'. We jokingly refered to that as 'salsa'. I won't even go into bear country anymore if I can't pack my Alaskan. Seen what 'they' can do.

    *

    Some more advice- never remove your gunbelt, for any reason. The second your FA is out of reach is usually when the fur hit's the fan.

  24. #23
    exercisemyright is offline Junior Member
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    I admit I use to laugh at bear spray... (there's a good joke to go along with that) and while I don't have any firsthand experience with it yet, I've changed my mind.

    Check out the testimonials on UDAP's site (http://www.udap.com/testify.htm#testimonials).

    Especially testimonial 1 and 6 as both involve cub and sow. 6 is a grizzly.

    That being said, take Clanger's advice and never let that Ruger off your belt!

  25. #24
    clanger's Avatar
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    Wish I could see them movies... my box wont play 'em etc...

    I'll take yer word for it though... I've tested that stuff before going out (like it says in the directions), the cone of orange-death they spray is pretty unreal- one can even had a little recoil.

    The weedpatch we tested on the next day was pretty much done too.
    Nasty stuff to be sure.

  26. #25
    gspman is offline Junior Member
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    protection from wolves and bears

    I too have a cottage in NW Wisconsin,

    Not to mention the over abundance of bears and wolves there is also the threat although small.... from cougar.

    The WI DNR was trying to radio collar a male cat this spring not a 1/2 mile from my place.

    I run (3) german shorthairs in NW WI for grouse in the fall, SO besides the shotgun with bird shot I will be carrying my gp100 6in stainless with 180 grain corbons.

    There is no place in northern WI were a chance encounter can't happen with a bear, many wolf or cougar. The autumn season is way too beautiful to be run out of the woods because of toothy critters that might want to bite me !!!
    In fact an article just appeared in the paper today about the population expolsion of wolves seen this winter/spring across the state.
    If you have dogs or livestock beware, looks to be a banner year for the wolf.

    gspman

    ps
    Wolves don't run by themselves generally. When I have seen them they are always in groups of 3 or more.

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