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.357 4" or 2" barrel?

2636 Views 13 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  JohnK
Is there a big difference in velocity between a .357 2" barrel and a 4" barrel, I haven't found any numbers on it. The idea is I'd like a light .357 in the unlikely event of meeting a cranky bear (hopefully even so a blackbear of smaller size than a kodiak). Where I usually pack in Idaho, I've never heard of a grizzly being in the area, but I have heard of black bear being around. The only reason I like the 2" is its weight and cost. On a 5 day pack trip, everything, including that extra roll of film you packed seems to add up.
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I have both lengths of barrel and find the 4 inch much easier to shoot. they both seem to carry about the same so there is no choice there for me. very true that a .357 is not your ideal bear medicine, but it's gonna be more useful than the ultra-magnum, wizz-bang, stinger missle handgun that's so miserable to shoot and carry that it's sitting in your gun safe when you really need it. i have a shotgun, and several big bore levers as well as larger bore handguns and carry them all from time to time. i always have a ruger gp with a 4" bbl. with me. try some of the heavier stuff from speer or hornady. federal makes a 180gr. cast core that should be a good load, never shot it personally, though. if your a handloader heavy for caliber (180-200grains) cast loads are the way to go. good luck.
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