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ok guys and gals,info annd questions. I have tgwo revolvers that I love
ruger blackhawk 357 and ruger vaquero 45lc

live in bear and moose country [fairbanks AK]
I do not rfeload and in my old age 79 can't take
the recoil of 44magOff the shelf which revolver
can I get amo powerful enough to carry on my walks inthe boonies
and what should I buy??? Thanks for ur help. \Gereat forum

Tom P,S. DONT WANT TO HURT eather weapon
 

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i've heard people say great things about the S&W 500 as far as a bear revolver goes, but i'm pretty sure that one would hurt a bit.
 

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Depends on what's in the boonies. I would probably opt for the .357. JMHO
 

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Well, if you're limited to those two weapons...

A 357 with the right load will be fairly effective on bear. You want a heavy *hard* bullet for penetration, no so much expansion, but rather penetration. Hard cast lead or guilding metal. I wouldn't worry about 'hurting' the Blackhawk, it's very strong. Any off the shelf load will be OK. If you go Hornady, go for Critical DUTY not Critical Defense. Their Duty ammo is designed for higher levels of penetration vs. Defense.

Since recoil is a problem for you and I know what you're talking about, my .44mag days are over too, you'll get good relief from installing different grips. There are *many* out there for the BlackHawk. Try rubber Packy or Hogue. They'll be a lot softer on your hands vs. using the standard Ruger wood grips.

No opinion on 45LC.
 

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As for which would be better, weigh them and take the lightest. I take my BH checking fence all the time. I'm 16 and by the time I get around the 3 or so miles of fields, it sucks, lets just say that. I am a fan of the .357 and I have no experience with the .45 colt. Good Luck and stay safe,
 

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Well, if you're limited to those two weapons...a 357 with the right load will be fairly effective on bear. You want a heavy *hard* bullet for penetration, no so much expansion, but rather penetration. Hard cast lead or guilding metal. I wouldn't worry about 'hurting' the Blackhawk, it's very strong. Any off the shelf load will be OK. If you go Hornady, go for Critical DUTY not Critical Defense. Their Duty ammo is designed for higher levels of penetration vs. Defense.
Well stated...the BH will handle just about anything you can do to a .357 Mag...and the hard bullets will get you significant penetration...which is more important than expansion in a large animal! Otherwise, I would have recommended an Alaskan in .454 Casull!
 

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The 45 colt would be good with 255 gr flat nose or semi wadcutters. You can get loads that are hotter than regular factory loads but not as bad as 44 mag. Around here the only dangerous animals are blackbear and mountain lion so either would be good. I carry either my 44 special with 240 gr semi wadcutters at about 850 fps or my Blackhawk 45 colt with 255 flat nose at about 1000 fps,
 

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Boonies

Guys I'm 71 and have a Taurus 44 mag 7 inch ported barrel and I can shoot it all day if need be with full blown loads with one hand. Softest shooting 44 mag I ever owned. I know a guy that has a RED HAWK 357 that is very heavy and plus P loads are a breeze to shoot in it. Both are SS
 

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Sort of depends if you want to injure the bear or kill it. Also, depends on whether you want to shoot and run or shoot and see what happens. I suggest shoot to kill, run, come back tomorrow. If you agree, the .357 mag in a Vaquaro aiming for the head then the heart then moving quickly in the opposite direction while reloading six shots is best. The .45 is a bit large and slow for penetration. The .457 may be too much recoil for the 6 aimed shots you need. In any case, you need your gun to be where you need it and good luck, bears are very hard to kill.
 

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I would use the hard cast round from federal in 45 colt or Buffalo bore's medium heavy 445 colt load 260 grain swc at 1100 fps.
 

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My friend has a S&W 500 and i've yet to shoot it. He tells me its a beast. :)
 

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Sort of depends if you want to injure the bear or kill it. Also, depends on whether you want to shoot and run or shoot and see what happens. I suggest shoot to kill, run, come back tomorrow. If you agree, the .357 mag in a Vaquaro aiming for the head then the heart then moving quickly in the opposite direction while reloading six shots is best. The .45 is a bit large and slow for penetration. The .457 may be too much recoil for the 6 aimed shots you need. In any case, you need your gun to be where you need it and good luck, bears are very hard to kill.
The 45 beside being big and slow is heavy that helps with penetration and breaking bone etc
 

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Is your .45 Vaquero an Old model or one of the newer versions? The original versions are built strong enough to handle .44 mag level .45 Colt loads(+p stuff from Buffalo Bore). Newer versions are built on a smaller frame and you have to stick with standard pressure loads. If its the old model Id choose it over the .357 and load it with the +p stuff from Buffalo Bore. If it's the newer version I think I'd choose the .357 and load it with Buffalo Bores 180 grain hardcast load. This .357 load should do 1375-1400 ft per sec and give over 600 ft lbs...this is enough to kill a bear provided you can make a brain shot. You might want to carry bear spray too.

Having said that since recoil bothers you, you could just use standard .45 Colt ammo with hardcast bullets.
 

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If you would feel better with a bigger gun like the .44 Mag, but a revolver is painful to shoot, you might consider an auto like the Desert Eagle .44 Mag. I have several .44 revolvers ranging from 3" to 9", but my Desert Eagle shoots a lot softer than the revolvers because of the gas operation. The only thing is, if you are going to use cast bullets, make sure they are gas check loads. Drawback is that the D.E. is a heavy piece to tote around.
 

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I DO NOT live in Bear country so any advise is strickly based on on the question of recoil. IMHO, the recoil of a 'heavy' .357M can be harsh, but is still going to be less than a .44M.
I have always gone with the .44m, but like the OP, I am starting to find the recoil on the boarder line for me and have taken to carry my Ruger 50TH in .357M. I have it loaded with 158 gr GDHP from Double Tap ( no longer available) and for my use, that is a very good load. For bigger game (Bear) I would get the Buffalo Bore 180 gr HC.
 

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In my opinion (with no experience armed in bear country), I'd go out and get you a .44 mag. Sounds like you're comfortable with SA guns, so I'd go get another Blackhawk - a Super Blackhawk, rather.

As far as .44 mag recoil? I've shot a beautiful S&W Model 29 next to my - formerly my - .357 2" SP101. The Model 29 recoil was unimpressive compared to the SP101 shooting 158gr semi-wadcutters. The Super Blackhawk weighs the same as the Model 29, and it has the recoil-reducing SA grip (my understanding is that the SA grip transfers some of the recoil into a natural tipping motion of the firearm upon recoil).

In the mean time, I'd get some hot hard-cast or FMJ .357 ammo. You most likely will be shooting at a bear or moose face on - not broadside - so your bullets might have to pierce skull, sternum, etc. to hit anything vital.

Buffalo Bore's 180gr Hard-Cast sounds good - https://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=100. Most typical factory .357 ammo doesn't approach what Elmer Keith designed. I might be wrong, but I think this does.
 

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I am not a revolver guru by any means. I own a s&w 500 with an 8 3/8 barrel. I've had guys at my local range tell me a .44 mag has more recoil. At the range I use 300 grainers. I live way out in the country and don't know if any bears are in my area. I'm willing to bet a single shot of a 500 grain hornady to the head will put a bear flat on its behind.
 

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Tom... at 79, your hands are not as strong a they once were, cartilage thinning in joints. Whatever load you shoot, the gun must not fly out of your grasp.

I'd get a big can of the most concentrated pepper spray available. Hopefully you never need it, and if you do, that beast and you continue life unscratched.

The only pill to combine IMPACT & PENETRATION in Blackhawk .357 mag or Vaquero .45 Colt cartridge is a cast Wide Flat Nose. Try both guns; carry what you shoot best.
David Bradshaw
 

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As one Senior shooter to another- I think if there was a PO'd Bear in my vicinity, I would be less concerned with the recoil of my "for defensive purposes" handgun, than if Yogi was about to get my Social Security Death Benefit sent to my wife.

Do you want to frighten the critter out of your area...or are you intent on hiking thru the territory where the Mama Bear might be with her Cubs? I think this is a case where an ounce of 'prevention' (safer walking route) might be worth a hell of a lot more than '50 rounds of cure'.

Just my Humble Opinion... I woud give the same advice to someone who walks the streets of any major city in the USA at 2:00 AM flashing a wad of cash when they buy a coffee at a foodtruck, or who allows a Valet Parking Attendent to park his Ferrari (Remember Ferris Bueller ?)
 

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Do you want to frighten the critter out of your area...or are you intent on hiking thru the territory where the Mama Bear might be with her Cubs? I think this is a case where an ounce of 'prevention' (safer walking route) might be worth a hell of a lot more than '50 rounds of cure'.
Sage advice, except encounters with large mammals happen just about everywhere in Alaska. I lived in the center of Ft. Richardson. We had a mother and baby moose that occupied the small patch of woods behind our house for two winters. They bedded down 30 feet from our kitchen window. My neighbor's dog got between the mama and the baby and got the scare of its life. And I did too, but it was a juvenile that walked up to me on the street, stopped four feet from me, and just stared at me for a minute before turning and walking away.

Part of the draw of Alaska is the wildlife and wilderness. Prevention is great - like don't get between a mother and its baby, or knowing if there are distressed animals in your area (bears having a hard time finding something to eat) - but fbks ak is living in Alaska.
 
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