.357 sig vs .40 S&W for Black Bear

This is a discussion on .357 sig vs .40 S&W for Black Bear within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Back to the original question...I'd prefer a .357 Sig with 147gr hard flat nose bullets over the .40 because of the tremendous velocity. There are ...

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Thread: .357 sig vs .40 S&W for Black Bear

  1. #16
    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    Back to the original question...I'd prefer a .357 Sig with 147gr hard flat nose bullets over the .40 because of the tremendous velocity. There are very few studies with this type of ammo, almost all JHP. I'd want all the depth I could get, and believe the faster .357 would give it to you. Check out Double Tap's loads.
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  3. #17
    Member Array rednecksport's Avatar
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    if you are going to the smokey mountains nat. park u better leave them all at home at least for a while.
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  4. #18
    Senior Member Array usmc3169's Avatar
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    My two cents after various encounters with bears. Bring the spray, but dont count on it - many bears dont give a lick about the spray. I would bring .40 with the heaviest FMJ or other solid rounds you can get - gotta penetrate and break bones.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

  5. #19
    New Member Array RiverG420's Avatar
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    I have a 229 with both 357 sig and the 40 either is fine.Also I grew up in the Smokies the county I grew up in is 70 % national forrest .
    Never had a problem with bears LOL . I know of 1 bear attack in my 34 years being alive and the person was in a bear refuge .I would be more concerned with people more so then bears .

  6. #20
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by njr View Post
    I've heard that pepper spray will usually work and has the added bonus of not putting the bear in a situation where he either has to die or eat you.

    OTOH, if the spray does not work, I'm told that .357 mag is the minimum to carry. With a .357, shot placement is key- should be fine for a black bear, I'm told by an old Indian bear hunter. With large brown bears however, you would need a large caliber rifle or slug gun. Slug gun is also good for black bears, of course and what my mom recommends (being from the UP, Michigan).

    I would also wear bells and have conversations so that you don't startle the bear espec with cubs and so the bear has time to clear out before you arrive.
    That's a good way to identify bear poop also,Bear poop smells like pepper and has bells in it
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  7. #21
    Ex Member Array United93's Avatar
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    Take good spray, your .40 with heavy bullets, and save the money to buy a .44 mag revolver. OMO.

  8. #22
    Member Array NativH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post
    That's a good way to identify bear poop also,Bear poop smells like pepper and has bells in it
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  9. #23
    Member Array JimH58's Avatar
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    I should note that I was a long time Biology teacher and my son who often accompanies me has a degree in Natural Resource and Wildlife Technology. We have hiked and camped in the Smokies extensively over the last 30 years and never have had a need for a weapon. In over my 30 years of back country camping I have always worried about the two legged predators more then the four legged kind. For that I would carry my regular SD weapon. When it comes to the four legged ones I have always educated myself on how to deal with them. In the Smokies the bears are usually very shy and stay away from humans in the back country. Make lots of noise, announce that you are there, they will move away. Mothers with cubs are the most dangerous, stay away. Keep a clean camp and make food inaccessable to bears and other critters. I have even had bears walk through my campsite (rare occurance) at night and keep moving because there is nothing there of interest for them. I've always had more problems with Racoon and Skunk more then bears. Once a Racoon tried to steal a daypack, literally. Another night in a shelter on the Appalachian Trail in the Smokies we had a family of skunks (mother and several babies) walked by the shelter right outside the fencing. Mice in shelters are a nasty problem. Ground Squirrels in Colorado used to climb right inside my packs to steal things, anything, they could get their squirrelly little paws on. Had to shake the little buggers out of my boots each morning. In short, its often the smaller critters and varmints that are the problem and the larger animals like bears just do not want to have anything to do with you.

    A number of years ago there was a project where Red Wolves were released in the Cades Cove region of the Smokies as an experiment to see what effect it would have on the growing deer population in that area. To my knowledge there are no longer any of them left and the Red Wolf like the bear is very shy with humans.

    Have fun and don't worry so much about the bears who, chances are, you'll never see in the back country anyway. In fact if you do, you will be lucky. The smaller critters are more of a nuisance.
    JimH
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  10. #24
    Distinguished Member Array svgheartland's Avatar
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    There's a fairly informative book available called Bear Aware. It's primary focus is for those going into grizz country but some fundamentals would apply to all bears I would think. One thing that should help is making noise that is not "natural". A metal tip on a walking stick, bells (very annoying), etc. I prefer smacking empty beer cans together, which seem to produce regularly wherever I go. Plenty of advance noise will typically send a bear, even mother w/cubs, meandering away from the oncoming racket. The larger your party the better as well since an increase noise level would be normal w/more hikers.

    The spray is a good idea. Caliber.....I own both in question and I'd prefer the 357 for penetration. Yeah, 3" punkin balls would be better. But you can probably leave the street sweeper at home if you bang enough beer cans. Good luck. Enjoy time w/the kids. It passes much too quickly.
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  11. #25
    Distinguished Member Array svgheartland's Avatar
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    Sorry, let me amend my comments on caliber. I wasn't thinking 357 sig. My fault. Load heavy on the 40. I'm not a fan of the 357 sig, doesn't stack up to 357 mag. Save the last round for yourself if it keeps coming.
    Savage Heartland

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  12. #26
    Member Array bal_g23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbosyn View Post
    I can get a drop in .357 Sig barrel replacement for around $200.00.
    Quote Originally Posted by jimbosyn View Post
    but I really don't have the funds to buy another pistol.
    You could go pick up a used pump shotgun and a couple boxes of slugs for $200 more or less...
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