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Discussion Starter #41
Don't ask us. Let the Mrs. shoot both and get what she wants.

Just so everyone is clear, I’m was not looking for a yes/no answer. I am soliciting educated opinions and/or opinions based on actual use, particularly on the .327 magnum, which I have no field experience with. She always shoots every caliber before purchase. In fact, we are going to look at the new Springfield Hellcat tomorrow for her. She doesn’t like the SIG P365, and doesn’t really like my Glock 43X either.
But she has very little experience firing magnum revolvers. Anyway, thanks for all the input guys.
I am considering buying a larger double action Ruger revolver for myself and if she’s OK shooting my 4” GP-100 with full house Buffalo Bore loads, we will probably go with that for her. Again, my thanks to all who took the time to respond to my question. :thumbsup:


GS
 

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Discussion Starter #42
If I were going to Alaska, I would not want anybody to know I was only carrying a .32 cal., especially the bear. Just my .02.
I would never tell the bear anything...confusion to the enemy, and all that.


GS
 

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I have a Blackhawk and LCR in 327 and am a fan. I have 357's in 2" to 6". But I don't think this is a question for the OP to answer. It is for his wife, She is the one to select her gun, his job to find the right kind of ammo for it after she selects the best gun for her.
 

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Get her a .357 and have her carry the Underwood Xtreme Penetrator in the woods. They dig deep but have surprisingly little recoil. The Xtreme Defender doesn't penetrate as well but does some extraordinary tissue damage. I would use the Penetrator while in the woods and load with Defenders at home.
Cheers,
crkckr
 

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f you are in the field, why an SP101? The SP seems more for concealed carry rather than field carry and it's only 5 shots in 38/357. Also for it's size it 's damn heavy. It's a shame Taurus doesn't still make the Total Titanium Trackers. Mine is in 41 Mag, hers is in 357. She also get 7 shots to my 5. I was hoping to get two more, one in 327 and one in their convertible 22LR/22Mag . Those would have been sweet kit guns.
 

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I've seen a motivated eastern black bear sow absorb four rounds of .30-30 Winchester in the chest and shoulder, only to keep coming. (charging situation)

The owner of said Winchester evaded the bear by going hand-over-hand uphill in thick trees. She expired behind him. He traded the .30-30 for a .35 Remington.

Few pistols equal the .30-30 for energy, some can for penetration.

IF bears were my concern, I'd be carrying a T/C Contender Pistol, in .357 Maximum hot handloaded with 180 or 200 gr bullets.
Lit'l Gun or 1680 would be my powder choices, as you can duplicate .35 Rem ballistics in the 357 Max.

IF you don't handload, the .35 Remington, .444 Marlin, or .45-70 will nearly always stop a bear with a well-placed first shot.

That said, there are dozens of used Marlin lever-action rifles in .35 Rem, or .45-70 that I'd select as repeating firearms IF concerned about a short distance bear attack.
I seem to recall a factory-ported .45-70 was made some years ago as a 'guide gun'.
 

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I've seen a motivated eastern black bear sow absorb four rounds of .30-30 Winchester in the chest and shoulder, only to keep coming. (charging situation)

The owner of said Winchester evaded the bear by going hand-over-hand uphill in thick trees. She expired behind him. He traded the .30-30 for a .35 Remington.

Few pistols equal the .30-30 for energy, some can for penetration.

IF bears were my concern, I'd be carrying a T/C Contender Pistol, in .357 Maximum hot handloaded with 180 or 200 gr bullets.
Lit'l Gun or 1680 would be my powder choices, as you can duplicate .35 Rem ballistics in the 357 Max.

IF you don't handload, the .35 Remington, .444 Marlin, or .45-70 will nearly always stop a bear with a well-placed first shot.

That said, there are dozens of used Marlin lever-action rifles in .35 Rem, or .45-70 that I'd select as repeating firearms IF concerned about a short distance bear attack.
I seem to recall a factory-ported .45-70 was made some years ago as a 'guide gun'.
If you are going to carry a long arm then a Remington 870 with these is the best. https://www.brennekeusa.com/hunting-ammunition/black-magicr-magnum/
 

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Just curious as to whether or not you've considered a 3" or 4" GP100 and install the smaller, older, Lett Rubber Grip with the wood panels to fit a smaller hand better?
The heavier GP100 will help moderate the .357 Magnum round better and will have less felt-recoil into the hand.
My wife doesn't like anything but .38's in an SP101, but will shoot 180 grain JHP's through my 4" GP100 all day long (see Avatar).
Usually one had to try something repeatedly in order to really make a good determination.
Against 2-legged creatures, the .327 Magnum is sufficiently effective.
Against 4-legged creatures, the .327 Magnum is probably insufficiently effective.
I tend to believe that if the 4-legged creature exceeds 300#, it's time to bump up in caliber.
My hiking revolver, when East of the Mississippi, is a 4" GP100 loaded with 180 grain cast from Buffalo Bore.
My hiking revolver, when West of the Mississippi, is an Alaskan in .454 Casull, which will also shoot .45 Colt.
 

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.44 (magnum or special) is NOT the minimum needed for Alaska and it’s bears. Call Joe Nava in Fairbanks - he’ll give you the straight answer. A quick internet search and you can be in touch with him. Joe taught bear (brown, black, & polar) defense from Fairbanks for 50+ years. A lot of misinformation from the keyboard jockeys here.
 

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The .44 magnum S&W Model 69 should be a part of the discussion. I would feel a lot more comfortable carrying one of those in big bear country than my little SP101 (have both the .357 & .327).
 

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Sounds like a date night at the range is in order. I think I would rent some firearms and see what she likes and can effectively put ordance on objective. I would also research bear kills and calibers, you might just be suprised at what will work...
 

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.44 (magnum or special) is NOT the minimum needed for Alaska and it’s bears. Call Joe Nava in Fairbanks - he’ll give you the straight answer. A quick internet search and you can be in touch with him. Joe taught bear (brown, black, & polar) defense from Fairbanks for 50+ years. A lot of misinformation from the keyboard jockeys here.
When your life depends on it, "the minimum" is usually not the best place to start. Also, IIRC, Joe Nava taught not shooting was often the best option unless the bear crossed an imaginary line 20 feet away, and would teach shooting at a bear target at 20 feet with a 12 gauge slug gun.
 

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Discussion Starter #56
.44 (magnum or special) is NOT the minimum needed for Alaska and it’s bears. Call Joe Nava in Fairbanks - he’ll give you the straight answer. A quick internet search and you can be in touch with him. Joe taught bear (brown, black, & polar) defense from Fairbanks for 50+ years. A lot of misinformation from the keyboard jockeys here.

This is very interesting, I admit I had never heard of Mr. Nava until your message. I did a short search and read on him. What I think I found was that he was apparently an advocate of the .357 magnum? Is this true? It would seem self evident that whatever one chooses, you must be very skilled using it. Obviously the .357 magnum is not optimum, I would think a 12 gauge pump with slugs or a lever action 45-70 might be top the list. But a .357 that you can shoot with relatively quick, repeatable accuracy would seem more effective than a .454, 480, etc. that one cannot. At least it seems so to me. I reserve the right to be told I am flat wrong because many here have been in a very serious bear vs man situation and I have not.


GS
 

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I was tool, that when you're with other people, all you need for Bears in Alaska is a 22
You shoot one of the other guys in the Leg, and then YOU run like #e[[ :eek:
 

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Hi GS, Yes, Mr. Nava is a 357 Magnum advocate. Mr Nava would say to take a 12 gauge shotgun loaded with slugs with you in bear country (or 45-70) with the caveat that one cannot always keep that on your person - it will lean against the tree while fishing, gold panning etc.. That brings the sidearm into the equation. Shoot what you can aim and handle well as shot placement is key. Revolvers that could be considered are 44 mag, 41 ruger, 357 mag and revolvers don’t jam and in a bear threat situation jams are unacceptable. 45 Colt is too fat and slow so don’t bother. SemiAuto calibers to be considered are 10mm & 357sig (I lean toward 10mm as a diversity of 357 sig ammo is hard to find). Joe says “no” to the 40, 45acp, 9mm, etc.. (intriguing are the new copper offerings from Underwood (penetrator) and Buffalo Bore (dangerous game (DG))). According to Joe, 357 mag, for him, has gone through the skulls of every type of Alaskan critter with the exception of a walrus. The only reason walrus is not included is because he lacked the opportunity. I apologize, I do not know anything about .327 but I also have not heard of anyone considering it for a bush gun. I have also shot BB 357 hot in a 3” SP101 and it is not enjoyable.
 

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For 90% of your trail work, a .327 Federal Magnum is fine. For 10% of the time, you would want the largest caliber that you or her can fire accurately. There are many options with large caliber heavy revolvers.

None of the large magnums would be enjoyable to shoot.
 

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I'd suggest a GP100 .44 Special. It can be shot with loads that aren't high recoiling but in the event that you want to stoke it with a heavier hardcast, it can handle that. The gun isn't that big, it's got a 3" barrel and the trigger system on the GP100 is very good. The Redhawks are available in more powerful calibers, I don't like the trigger system of the Redhawk but if a Redhawk is a consideration, the .45 Colt/ACP model might be worth a look. You can shoot cheap 45 ACP through it, which is low recoiling and if you go hiking, it can be loaded up with something considerably warmer in .45 Colt, or use of .45 super via moonclips (same dimensions as .45 acp just higher pressure and more power).

Recoil sensitivity I think is a big factor at the range, but let's face it, if you're carrying something with the sole purpose being for potential bear protection, you're going to need something with some punch behind it. The chances of actually needing to use it are slim, but it would seem to me the priority, if such an attack were to happen, would be more punch on target, recoil sensitivity be damned if you're well being is on the line.
 
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