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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have got tired of lugging around a sawed off Ruger Super Blackhawk .44 Mag in the Mountains for Black Bear protection, camp, or tent gun. I'm now carrying a SP 101 loaded with one of 2 loads I have worked up. The 1st is a Hornady 158 gr XTPHP over a stiff dose of Unique, Mag primer. The 2nd load is a Lyman hard cast 150 gr SWC, same powder, same primer. I'm just looking for opinions, What load would you carry if any? Any shot that I would hate to take would be under 25 yards for self defense only. I like the Ruger SP 101, it's easy to carry under your coat, out of sight out of mind. I spend as much time, in the Adirondacks, as possible. I'm camping back in far from any roads, I either Backpack or fly in. On every trip I flip a coin on what load to use. Any thoughts?
 

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Had one of those SP 101's - loved it! Great little revolver with a lot of thump.

How big are the black bear in your area? That could make a difference about the expansion of the JHP, or the penetration of the hard cast bullets.

Believe there are a couple of 180 grain factory loads available that are intended for bear-defense with a .357 mag revolver. I haven't looked them up in a while, but I'd check with Federal for their Cast-Core, Cor-Bon and Buffalo Bore. All of those companies produce some truly potent .357 mag loads.

My SP 101 is gone, but I still pack a 2.5" S&W .357 when backpacking through Washington's Cascades. Most of our black bear really aren't all that big, but there are some 400 pounders around. I've never run into a real aggressive one. Yet. Have settled on 158 grain JHP loads for what I hope will be the right combination of expansion and penetration. I could be wrong.

If I was really concerned about the bears - I'd tote my .44 mag. FWIW, Guy
 

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Adirondack Harry said:
I have got tired of lugging around a sawed off Ruger Super Blackhawk .44 Mag in the Mountains for Black Bear protection, camp, or tent gun. I'm now carrying a SP 101 loaded with one of 2 loads I have worked up. The 1st is a Hornady 158 gr XTPHP over a stiff dose of Unique, Mag primer. The 2nd load is a Lyman hard cast 150 gr SWC, same powder, same primer. I'm just looking for opinions, What load would you carry if any? Any shot that I would hate to take would be under 25 yards for self defense only. I like the Ruger SP 101, it's easy to carry under your coat, out of sight out of mind. I spend as much time, in the Adirondacks, as possible. I'm camping back in far from any roads, I either Backpack or fly in. On every trip I flip a coin on what load to use. Any thoughts?
For a Black Bear stopper I load mine with Federal Premium 180gr CastCore®. Give them a try; I think you will be pleased.
 
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M700...I would say our Bears average 200 to 300 with a occasional 400 pounder taken. I have a picture of a dump bear that would make you sweat. I seen him around the Long Lake area. In the area that I camp now, I have a Black Bear tearing down my bird houses (just a thing with me) and it's my fault. Like an idiot one day I put some bird seed in one of the houses to attract some birds. Well, now I'm fixing birdhouses and using some for kindling wood. I call him "Ole Birdseed" and he makes his rounds. :oops: I have never seen him personally and have no ax to grind with him, I'm camping in his house. I hope that I never have to defend myself against him. However, I think I might just try those Federal CastCore 180 gr bullets. At any rate it would be interesting to light off one of those 180's in the SP 101. Thanks guys for the input!!! :D
 

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For something small to carry, I think a compact .45acp would be better. Maybe not on paper, but I'll bet 230gr FMJ would give super penetration and be better in the long run........what say you all?
 

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I have a couple of boxes of 180grn Nosler Partition Golds loaded by Winchester for my Smith 19. They give a pretty good boom and the recoil isn't too bad. I don't know how they'd do against a bear, but it'll put a whoopin on a whitetail.
 

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Big fan of the compact 45's such as the colt commander model. Actually looking for a LLama Mini Max, colt officers model knockoff. Love the handling characteristics and the stopping power of the proven 45. With the new Concealed Carry law here in Ohio, im moving ahead with the purchase of one of these beauties.
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Huntinbull
 

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If you're gonna carry a 3-inch, I'd want to get some practice in with that heavy a load, it's not gonna be much fun to shoot! You might be better served with a 158 SWC cast hard, and shoot it a lot to get used to it. It might not penetrate as well as the 180 CastCore, but it should be easier to shoot, and a LOT cheaper!

PJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Im heading for the Mountains early tomorrow morning. This one will be a 6 day Fly In trip to my favorite Pond, mostly woods therapy, some Trout fishing. I have decided to use the Lyman 150 SWC load in my SP 101 for a all around carry load. Seeing that I'm flying my 4 5/8 inch .44 Ruger Super Blackhawk will also be going, it will stay in the tent. My load for that is a Speer 300gr PSP over H110 powder.
I read all the info on the 180 grain bullets. My Ruger SP 101 is a 2.25 inch barrel and I question if the over all length of that bullet would be too long for the SP 101 cylinder? The 150 SWC load is very close to the end of the cylinder. Well Boys, I'm going to paradise :lol:
 

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if I still lived in bear country(I now live in tx)nothing less than a 41 mag stoked with some super hard cast keith swc's loaded to the hilt.I have a taurus 41 mag tracker and not much bigger than the ruger.the real deal is that if I was camping and packing in bear country I would rather have a good 12 ga. loaded with slugs. :D
pete
 
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Love my 329 pd - lighweight S&W - 4 inch - not fun to shoot magnums, but manageable.

Love is so much, bough a 325 pd yesterday - a 45 acp revolver.

My wife carrys a Ruger SP 101 - 3 inch - still one of our best revolvers - not a lot of fun to shoot magnums with, but handy. Ours has a trigger job and PT Night Sights. She won't let me use it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yup, my SP 101 smacks a good lick with the Mag loads also. But, it's a good lick. Shot it this weekend, just to re-qualify and for fun!
 

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Was carrying Ruger sp101 .357 with Winchester Silvertips for bear when flyfishing mountain streams. But now carry Smith 4583-45acp with ,as TubbyT suggested above, 230gr FMJ, because I shoot it more "accurately" off the hip. Don't know if it would be any more effective though.
 
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