What bullet for backwoods protection?

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    1. #1
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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.

    2. #2
      Senior Member HGF Gold Member unpecador's Avatar
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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.

    3. #3
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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.

    4. #4
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      Well, I not going to avoid those areas because of the cabin and I was more interested in bullet type.

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

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

    6. #6
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      I mean hollow point, fmj, cast, softpoint ect. which bullet?

    7. #7
      Junior Member biotech's Avatar
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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.

    8. #8
      TOF
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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.

    9. #9
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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.

    10. #10
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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.

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

    12. #12
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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.

    13. #13
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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!

    14. #14
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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

    15. #15
      TOF
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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.

    16. #16
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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

    17. #17
      Member 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

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

    19. #19
      Junior Member 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

    20. #20
      Member 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.

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