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Old 03-21-2011, 08:48 PM   #11
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I am helping a guy who is new to handguns who is a bow hunter. He hunts in a area where there has been alot of black bear sighting's and so now he wants to buy a handgun to take carry with him in the woods easy right .357 mag. At least that's what i told him,well it wasnt that easy he said he does not like the recoil or revolvers. He wants a 40. s&w i told him im not sure if it has enough stopping power on the first hit to put a bear down but im not a bear hunter. I suggested you dont want anything smaller then a 45 cal. So any information or idea's you have please help because i dont want to turn him off from the fun of handgun shooting.
i would feel comfy with my 460 rowland. power of a 44magnum recoil like a 45acp. drop in kit for steel frame 1911's. can switch back to 45acp or fire 45acp through the 460 kit. i would use fmj or some sort of softpoint handload.



a 40sw will just piss the bear off.
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Old 03-21-2011, 09:18 PM   #12
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Your friend needs to seriously rethink his approach.

Even a double stack with +P .40 S&W rounds is going to be what one would consider "adequate" for even medium sized black bears.

Personally I wouldn't carry anything as my lone "modern weapon" that didn't have the power to make big assed holes in very dense flesh and fur.

.460 Rowland conversion is a great choice.
.44 Mag
.357 with hot loads
.500 Mag

Something along those lines. You are talking about a BEAR. This isn't an animal known for just lying down and playing dead when you point a finger and go "BANG!".

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Old 03-21-2011, 10:33 PM   #13
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Sounds like an excuse to need a handgun! I hunted moose, whitetail, and bear w/ my bow, a 65# at 28" recurve. I pull to 29". I carried 5 arrows in my quiver. 3 lighter shaft and broadhead for whitetail and 2 heavier shaft and broadhead for bigger game. With his bow a heavier combo will make short work of a Black bear. Mass weight equals penetration. My whitetail broadheads are 125gr, my Moose, bear broadheads are 150gr. Add the weight difference of the stiffer shaft, there is a 35gr difference. I carry for the two legged morons, not the game. I also carry a big knife! Most hunters use a tree stand, I track and stalk. Most Bear will wander on by and may look at you, but that is all they do. I talk w/ them. Cubs are a different story. Move away from them if your on the ground.

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Old 03-21-2011, 10:53 PM   #14
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I thought the .40 was comparable to the .357?

I thunk I'd rather have 12 or 15rds of .40 than 5 or 6 .357's between the two.

If it were ME though, I would opt for the .44magnum or .460Rowland.

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Old 03-21-2011, 11:10 PM   #15
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The 357 Sig approximates the 125 gr load in a 357. Not good enough for bears. Tell him to get a can of bear spray. If it doesnt work, the bear can use it for seasoning.

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Old 03-21-2011, 11:31 PM   #16
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I thought the .40 was comparable to the .357?
the 40sw is the equivelant of 9mm maybe slightly stronger. not much. its parent cartridge the 10mm is almost the same as a 357 mag. 10mm/357mag still too light for bear.
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:38 PM   #17
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This might add a little clarity. Ballistic Coefficient is related to how well a bullet travels in flight, but it also can tell you how much energy is transferred.

.357 Mag; 158 grain bullet travels at about 1200-1250 FPS and generates a B.C. of about .206
.357 Mag; 180 grain bullet travels at about 1100-1180 FPS and generates a B.C. of about .230

.40 S&W; 155 grain bullet travels at about 1100-1180 FPS, but it only generates a B.C. of about .137

.40 S&W; 180 grain bullet travels at about 850-950 FPS; but it only generates a B.C. of about .164

The B.C. of the .40 is about 2/3rds of the .357 with a comparable weight bullet.

By Contrast:

.44 Magnum: 240 grain bullet. About 1100-1145 FPS. Generates a .205 B.C.
.44 Magnum: 300 grain bullet. About 1100-1150 FPS. Generates a .245 B.C.

.308 – Everybody’s favorite rifle round. 168 grain travels at about 2700fps. Has a B.C. of .410

HUGE difference kids. HUGE.

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Old 03-22-2011, 12:48 AM   #18
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Go with the .44!!

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Old 03-22-2011, 01:52 AM   #19
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Thanks all for the comments. I did suggest the 44 mag to him and i told him we can get the recoil down with a longer barrel, ported barrel,and rubber grips i just got to get him pass the dislike for revolvers.

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Old 03-22-2011, 02:19 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by FaTmAn View Post
Thanks all for the comments. I did suggest the 44 mag to him and i told him we can get the recoil down with a longer barrel, ported barrel,and rubber grips i just got to get him pass the dislike for revolvers.
He'll dislike a pizzed off bear even more...
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