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Thread: Bear Loads

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    Happy Camper hcpookie's Avatar
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    Default Bear Loads

    Figure I'd stick this here.

    So in prep for my elk hunt I'm discovering "Bear Loads" so called for chance encounters with bear. And since I will have a bear tag I don't need to worry w/ a big pepper sprayer

    Wondering if anyone has tried loading up these larger loads. I'm looking at the .357 Magnum loads and the few 180gr+ bullets offered on Midway as "Medium Game" bullets.

    The Lyman manual calls for 15gr H110 (max load) for .357 Mag in the 180gr size. That should be quite a wallop!

    Any experience with heavier loads like this?
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    gunco irregular moleman's Avatar
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    They do sound interesting. What pressures are they running at?

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    Gunco Regular hvymax's Avatar
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    I'd rather have 20 some grains of H110 behind 300 some grains of lead!!!

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    Happy Camper hcpookie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moleman View Post
    They do sound interesting. What pressures are they running at?
    Per the Lyman book, right at 40,000 PSI. The Hornady book I have doesn't show pressures but it must be close as there is only a 1/2 grain difference between the two manuals.
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    I carry a S&W .500 when in the back country (Yellowstone, Northern Idaho and Selway-Bitterroot). Lots of Grizz.

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    NoWorkCamp4Me railbuggy's Avatar
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    I found a bag of 100ct 300gr JHP 45s at a fun show back in 09. I loaded them up for use in my 7.5" Redhawk and Blackhawk I had at the time. I found the load data under RUGER ONLY loads. Saving them for that special day.
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    Happy Camper hcpookie's Avatar
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    Did lots of reading on bear loads last night on the cast boolits forum, and other places on the Interweb.

    There appears to be 2 kinds of people in this world (Clint quote)... those who think anything less than a .45-70 super-mag hand cannon with uranium bullets will simply bounce off the skull of a black bear, and those who actually understand the power of the .357 cartridge.

    With the right loads, .357 should have no problems at all with black bears. Anywhere from 180-200gr bullets w/ wide meplat and max loads for deep penetration seems to be the standard.

    With that, the issue boils down to shot placement. Central nervous system shots and/or shoulder shots to incapacitate depending on what shot angle presents itself.

    Other bear species of course is a different discussion, and I should have clarified that.

    There's a reference somewhere that one of the original Smith & Wesson founders dropped a polar bear w/ a .357 mag many years ago. I'd like to find more information about that particular hunt!

    It looks like my 6.5mm Mauser will be the rifle I take w/ me, and .357 w/ bear defense loads.
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    Where's my lathe? ashhoe's Avatar
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    If you're going to do it, do it with something that makes a story.
    Your choices will make a damn good story. The bards may even sing about it.

    I still don't understand why I don't have a 6.5 Mauser in the box. Should have a long time ago.
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    Happy Camper hcpookie's Avatar
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    I'm weighing whether to buy a mold for the heavies or just buy a box of 50 slugs... looking at the 190gr slugs at Midway. Cost-wise it may just be better to buy since these are the same as the home defense rounds... not a plinker round so I likely won't be shooting that many, so 50 rounds may be enough. Tried to get my dad to go in half on a slug mold for his .357/44 Bain & Davis but he isn't biting!
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