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We're going to be moving from the desert up to the trees in the near future, and it's got me thinking about what would be the best direction to go with handgun caliber/ammo. I'm looking at not just two-legged predators, but possible encounters with bear, elk, and mountain lion. I'm thinking about a long-barreled .357, but would you go with ball or HP? I'm worried about HP's penetrating tough hides and bone enough to make a difference. What about stepping up to something like a .44 mag? Tell me what you think.
 

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We're going to be moving from the desert up to the trees in the near future, and it's got me thinking about what would be the best direction to go with handgun caliber/ammo. I'm looking at not just two-legged predators, but possible encounters with bear, elk, and mountain lion. I'm thinking about a long-barreled .357, but would you go with ball or HP? I'm worried about HP's penetrating tough hides and bone enough to make a difference. What about stepping up to something like a .44 mag? Tell me what you think.
Hey Dan, I live in Colorado...right in the Rocky Mountains where we see bear, elk and mountain lion on an almost daily basis. That being said, around town I carry my normal .40 with PDX-1 165gr. When I am in the mountains on the animals turf, I go with my S&W Model 29 Classic .44 Mag with 240gr XTP hollow points. Never had to use it so I don't know about the effectiveness on these critters but I am quite confident that at the very least it will thwart the immediate attack! just my .02
 

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I carry a heavy hard cast lead flat nose loading, such as those from Buffalo Bore. Where bear or moose are a concern I carry the .44 magnum. But I also carry the .357 magnum at times.
 

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Glock 20SF 10mm. Holds way more rounds than a wheelgun and I would feel safe here in the blue ridge or Smokey mountains with it. Just my opinion
 

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Don't pass up a perfect reason to buy a .454 Casull, or .460 S&W!
 

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I'd do a .44 mag with fmj for a hand cannon. However, if I'm heading to the mountains I always have a rifle with me.
 

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Well, the times I have been in the mountains hunting or hiking, never been bothered by elk, now bear, Mountain lion, wolves & sometimes even coyotes or the occasional moose or feral dog, reason to enough to carry a heavy hitting handgun. If I lived in bear country, nothing smaller than a 4"-41mag for me. When I backpack or hike, it's a 4" 44mag or 4 5/8" 45colt w/ heavy lead FP. None of my revolvers see jacketed bullets. A 10mm is still a service round, still lacking, the 357mag isn't a whole lot better in 4" bbls.
 

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when I am in an area where bear, cat or other big game animals are, I always carry a 4.5" super blackhawk with cor-bon 300 grain hard cast loads. there is nothing on this continent I would hesitate to shoot with this load, last year took a large boar facing me with a head shot and the round shattered his skull.
 

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Well, the times I have been in the mountains hunting or hiking, never been bothered by elk, now bear, Mountain lion, wolves & sometimes even coyotes or the occasional moose or feral dog, reason to enough to carry a heavy hitting handgun. If I lived in bear country, nothing smaller than a 4"-41mag for me. When I backpack or hike, it's a 4" 44mag or 4 5/8" 45colt w/ heavy lead FP. None of my revolvers see jacketed bullets. A 10mm is still a service round, still lacking, the 357mag isn't a qhole lot better in 4" bbls.
I think I would take this advice right here.
 

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My bro in the hills of az carries a 41mag for wild hogs and big cats.
I live in the hills of Az and would love to know where these wild hogs are located. I know of a couple of farms but the farmers aren't very friendly.

The Az black bear can be handled with a 4" .357. Bigger if you have to but i haven't felt undergunned with a .357 or .45ACP. I have black bear and cougar in the yard occasionaly so have a good idea of what we are talking about.

Grizzlies or Browns are another story.
 

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Double barrel sawed off shotgun with slugs. lol. If you aren't looking to buy anything and have a .357 or .44, go with the .44. I'd guess what most are saying, FMJ or SWC.
 

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I'd also vote for glock 20 in 10mm. Can't disagree with .44 or .460/ .454 either though...
 

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.357mag in a 6" barrel with SWC would work for most things. You would be better at penetrating with a .44 mag if you can carry the extra weight and size.

If you go 10mm, you would have to be sure to get the full power loads and not the ones barely warmer than .40s&w.
 

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I live in the hills of Az and would love to know where these wild hogs are located. I know of a couple of farms but the farmers aren't very friendly.

The Az black bear can be handled with a 4" .357. Bigger if you have to but i haven't felt undergunned with a .357 or .45ACP. I have black bear and cougar in the yard occasionaly so have a good idea of what we are talking about.

Grizzlies or Browns are another story.
Near seligman.
 

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I have black bear and cougar in the yard occasionaly so have a good idea of what we are talking about.

That's what the 12 gauge is for. We live on the benches, and I have seen cougar trotting down the street on several occasion in the early AM. I refuse to run early morning any more.
 

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That's what the 12 gauge is for. We live on the benches, and I have seen cougar trotting down the street on several occasion in the early AM. I refuse to run early morning any more.
Yeah, jogging w/ a 12ga would get old fast. Really though, a shoulder holster & a S&W M329 would be a potent light wt package, not much more than a G20 & quite a bit better terminal performance. Anyone thinking they are getting off more than a round or two @ an attacking carnivore are kidding themselves.
 

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We're going to be moving from the desert up to the trees in the near future, and it's got me thinking about what would be the best direction to go with handgun caliber/ammo. I'm looking at not just two-legged predators, but possible encounters with bear, elk, and mountain lion. I'm thinking about a long-barreled .357, but would you go with ball or HP? I'm worried about HP's penetrating tough hides and bone enough to make a difference. What about stepping up to something like a .44 mag? Tell me what you think.
Lucky dog, you're moving from PHX to some place nice? Ideally you want a rifle. My non-ideal choice is a 10mm auto.
 
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