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Hi all....me again <!--emo&:)--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':)'><!--endemo-->

What TKO figures are needed for reliable bear loads(blackies)?  This will be useful for me when I begin to reload - I'm being an optimist...no wheelgun yet but I've purchased sundry reloading items in anticipation!

In His service,

Alan
 

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Alan,

While the TKO numbers do serve a purpose don't consider them the Holly Grail. It's true that using the figures allows us to compare different cartridges but it's not really possible to say a load producing a 22 TKO is all you need for balck bear. If you check the Ballistician's Corner (left hand tabs) you can crunch all the numbers you want and compare some different loads.

The Thorniley stopping power chart does give a baseline for different game and you may be better served checking your loads on this chart. The permanent wound channel calculator is another interesting tool.

You also state this this purchase will be your first big bore handgun. Please take this advice in the spirit it is given.  Start shooting reduced loads and become familiar with whatever gun you choose. It's very tempting to rush out and shoot the hottest barn burners you can load but this is the path to poor results. A short introductory time using light loads will pay off in the long run.

A flinch that develops from firing less than comfortable loads is hard to get rid of. It's also much more rewarding to fire some nice tight groups and show yourself how well you shoot as apposed to burning your eyelashes off with a maximum load and hardly hitting the target.

I missed this bit of advice when I started shooting. Save yourself some time and start slow.
 

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"...It's also much more rewarding to fire some nice tight groups and show yourself how well you shoot as apposed to burning your eyelashes off with a maximum load and hardly hitting the target. "...

MT - you offer sage advice.   I've shot a fair amount of .357 factory loads and "who knows what" loads and while the muzzle blast is certainly there, I understand that the recoil is not...as compared to a 44 or warm 45.  I certainly intend to start comfortable.  Personally, I'd like to avoid singed eyelashes (grin) at all costs - I don't like recoil - very little temptation here!  I want to shoot comfortably; from all that I've read, 255 gr. swc's over 10 grs. Unique or 18.5 grs. 2400 will just about cover any recreational shooting activity I care to enjoy.  It's when I'm chest deep in Salal or settled into my bed roll that I want plenty of bite to back up the bark when the hammer drops.

God Bless,

Alan
 

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Alan,

Your right on the money. You also be surprised what those mild loads will do to any game in the lower 48. Bullet shape and shot placement are the key.

Did you check the Ballistician's Corner yet? I'd like to see if the information there helped at all or if your still wondering. It's easy to get "over teched" sometimes.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
MT -

The Ballistician's Corner is an outstanding resource!  I'm a number puncher at heart  :^)

The "tech" part of these conversations is what I enjoy the most.   It helps me learn possibilities and limitations.  Example - a .357 is....well...better than nothing.  The charts all seem to point to a 300+ gr. pill moving in the 1200 fps range for blackies.  Factory offerings from Cor-bon, Garrett, Buffalo Bore and even Federal Premium meet this criteria.  I've never shot a big bore load heavier than a 240 gr. standard factory round (from a 49 oz. 44 mag) so I can only assume the above ammo sampling has plenty of giddy-up after ignition.

Thanks again for all of your input and patience.

Alan
 

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Newbie,

If you have been buying handloading materials it sounds like you have made many of the decisions already.

I have seen a few blackies shot with handguns ranging from hot 45 acp loads to factory 44 manglems. A 45 caliber 200 grain bullet at 1100 to 1200 fps will do just fine  with good bullet placement. Without adequate  bullet placement nothing you can shoot in a handgun is likely to be much more successful. One of the deadest grizzlies I ever saw went down and skided on his nose when shot with a hard cast semi-wadcutter from a 44 magnum.
Regards,
Dave
 

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Something that is often overlooked when discussing John "Pondoro" Taylor's Knockout formula is that it was devised as a tool to measure a cartridge's ability to stun or "knockout" an elephant with a brain shot to the forehead, allowing an easier second shot if needed. It is a comparative measure. For example, the .511 Billy Banger has twice the knockout power than the 7.62mm Whizzer. I'm not convinced it has much relevancy for anything else.
 

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Newbie,

Here I go again, probably going against the tide of popular opinion!

I've killed many black bears with a Ruger Blackhawk 6" .357 magnum.   I've used cast bullets from 158 grains to 200 grains for the job and always had meat on the table!  The .358"-185g FNGC backed by 16.0g H110/W296 is about the most potent venom I've ever found for the .357.   It flat gets the job done!

Ralph Flowers, who worked for years as a professional bear hunter in Western Washington State has probably killed more black bears than anyone alive, he shot all of them with a .270 Winchester and a .357 Magnum revolver. (His book, The Education Of A Bear Hunter is excellent reading!)  All with factory loads... he never did reload a single cartridge during his bear hunting career!

Although I use many larger guns today, I wouldn't feel undergunned for blackbear in any close circumstance with a properly loaded .357.   Now, this being said, it goes to reason that anything beyond the power level of a .357 makes great bear venom as well.

Don't get too caught up on armchair theory... just go huntin'!

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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Here we go again!! ",357 Mag better than nothing"..Give me a break! I've pushed numbers till they ran out me ears and after it was all over that's what they were numbers! Get a cheap bag of cement..wet it down, let it set up! The .357 Magnum with BTB 185 gr FNGC with 16 grs of WW296/H110 out of a S&W 686 6" barrel at 1400+'/" will "bust" it up. That's what I can adequate! Please listen to what the people say! Do I shoot a .357 Magnum...yes, sometimes, but use my Ruger .44 mag SBH and Marlin 1894P most these days!
Best Regards, James
 

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Hey try my technique.
My youngest daughter is a real dish, her beloved is real eager to please.
My scheme is to take my S&W 25-5 or 6 using the usual 9.5 grains of Unique behind a 255 grain bullet. I send him out to kick the bear in the bohonkus. He's supposed to run back my way and as they pass I can get a nice close shot. The bear will get all the flash and boom, I don't get winded and daughter is pleased that her beloved comes home with very pleased father.
If the bear catches him before I get my shot....welllllllllll. Daughter won't have to grieve long because there lots of young fellas eager to please. And I have an unlimited pile of 'Family Traditions."
Hey seems like a great idea to me!
You want to hear about my pig hunting scheme?
Jim
 

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Newbie,

I started with a 71/2" Ruger Super Blackhawk in .44 and I never regretted it. Start with several boxes of .44 specials or equal handloads to get the hang of it. Then work up to your hearts content. I use rubber pachmyer grips.

Don't see how you can go wrong with a Ruger SBH .44!

My 2 cents
Eric
 

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Eric...You got it right...proper way to develop your skill..there's a young man in a South Florida hospital with 150 stiches in his leg that should have followed your method!!
Best Regards, James
 

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Alan,

When I was looking for both of the 44 mag handguns I bought during the past two years, I looked for used ones rather than new ones.  Why? Because in the past I'd seen so many "used" 44 mag handguns that were like new.

You may ask why this is so.

I found out that there are usually one or two 44 mags in any gunstore's display case that were bought by someone who'd never shot a 44 mag before.  This newbie then proceeds to buy one box of factory ammo and go to the range.  After firing 1 or 2 cylinders full through said gun, he brings it back to the store for either a trade in or a consignment sale.

My last two were a Smith model 29-5, 6" in like new condition and a 3" Taurus M44 that was, for all intents and purposes, a new gun.  That last one may have had all six rounds fired through it or it may not have had that many.  It looked as if it had just come from the factory.

By the way, I reload and have a very accurate and comfortable load with 5.4 gr. of Bullseye under a 240gr. cast bullet that I can shoot all day out of either gun.  On the other hand, when I touch off a full-house load in the 3" Taurus, I know why it was traded in with very little wear and tear.

Why do I say all this?  It's to recommend that you follow advice that was already given in this thread and load some mild range ammo and enjoy your new 44 mag.  But, once in a while, practice with the full-house loads.  This cartridge will earn your respect.

Nazman44
 
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