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Old 06-26-2010, 12:25 PM
kirk edwards's Avatar
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GP100 .357 Loaded with Buffalo Bore & Bears

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I live in the Northwest upper corner of Oregon and we have moderate sized black bears here in the Cascades where I camp and hike. The bear and the cougar population is going up fairly fast these days.

My question is this: Will a Ruger GP100 stand a fair chance at stopping an angry black bear if I use some hot loads, such as Buffalo Bore?

I also have a Ruger Red Hawk .44 Mag with a 4" barrel, but it is bulkier and heavier. I have also had a hard time finding a decent holster for it. Frankly, it just heavy enough that I don't like carrying it on my belt. I might get a shoulder harness if I keep it, but I am thinking of selling it. I also have a nice Ruger .44 caliber carbine that is fun to plink with. It's kind of cool to have a rifle and a revolver in the same caliber.

I have an older S&W .357 in good condition with a 4 inch barrel, but I was thinking of consolidating and trading the new .44 Red Hawk and the S&W .357 for one GP100 in a .357 GP100 with a 4 inch barrel that I can use to protect myself with hot loads in the wild and regular loads as a house gun to protect my family. The .44 Red Hawk also had a nice trigger job done on it recently by a good gunsmith, so it is very smooth. Another reason maybe not to sell. Argh! It's just so big for my hands and so bulky but it is also very cool.

I am $3,000 in debt from my gun collection right now. I might need to sell a few guns to get out of debt. Still, it's not a huge debt, so I could eventually pay it off if I need to.
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Old 06-26-2010, 05:11 PM
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Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 490
A gun that you are comfortably carrying is much more useful than one that is back in the truck because it is too heavy or clumsy to carry. I have a Ruger SRH .44 that I carry when specifically hunting with a handgun, but when I am just out in the woods I carry a S&W Model 66 4" .357, a S&W Model 10 .38 or or a Glock 19 9mm. They are all easy to carry and fast to handle.

No black bear or cougar ever born could stand up to a heavy .357 bullet that is properly placed. A hard cast 160 to 180 gr. .357 bullet is where good defensive handguns for the woods start. Many will criticize a .357 as being too small, but it will work if the shooter does his job (and nothing will work if the shooter doesn't do his job).

The nice thing about a DA .357 is that it is easy to carry and easy to shoot well. Cougars and most black bears are about the size of a man, and since neither cougars nor black bears are armor plated, and considering the fact that a .357 is unquestionably effective on human assailants, you are in the ball park if you decide to carry one afield. There is no need for you to spend money you don't have on a new gun. A box of good ammo is all you need.

Last edited by wildhobbybobby; 06-27-2010 at 07:48 AM.
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Old 06-27-2010, 02:39 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Lovettsville, VA
Posts: 2,450
For a light but very powerful revolver in your situation I would get the 4 and 5/8 inch Ruger Blackhawk in 45 Colt. It only weighs in at 36 oz. Light and heavy loads are available to cover all your needs. No question about power as it will take the heavy loads. The S&W 329 would also be good but its expensive. You didnt say which S&W 357 you have but the 357 BTB 185 gr load listed here would work for you with that revolver. The Buffalo Bore load is about the same. Just my .02.

Last edited by ironhead7544; 06-27-2010 at 02:47 AM.
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Old 06-27-2010, 06:22 AM
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+1 on the Blackhawk (or Vaquero) in .45 Colt. A 255 grain SWC at around 1,000 to 1,300 fps is "more gun" than any .357 - epsecially when it comes to large game. Even at "normal" loads of around 900 fps the 255 grain SWC will shoot through most anything on a broadside. .45/11.5 mm pre-expanded bullets are nice compared to the 9mm/.357.
"Had his shooting been as good as his running, he might have given a better account of himself."
James. C. Henderson
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