Ruger 57 for black bear defense?

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Moparfreak

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 21, 2022
Messages
19
Location
La Follette, TN
I'm thinking of when we go for hikes in the Cumberland or Smokey Mountains of Tn. or the occasional jaunt up into the Colo. Rockies. I have a Security Six in (4inch barrel) 357 Mag, with semi wad cutters in 357 mag. Pretty good kick, six rounds and in a bad episode (with a probable Black Bear), maybe inaccurate? What about the Ruger 57? Obviously you would want head shots if possible. That round should pierce a bears skull, plus 20 rounds and decent recoil might be more advantageous? Thoughts?
 

dweis

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 9, 2022
Messages
171
Location
Garnett Valley, PA 19060
I have been hiking in PA black bear country for over 50 years. I have encountered many black bears without incident. I have experienced 2 defensive charges from females with cubs. A bit of bear spray ended those capers. Te scary incident was a big male who made an aggressive charge. First shot of bear spray turned him away, but he came back. Second shot of bear spray drove him off. He did not come back. Bear spray is better than a gun, which should be the alternative if the spray does nor end the incident.

I have studied a great deal about black bear encounters over the decades. First advice is do not shoot for the head of a charging bear. Very thick skull can cause ricochet and failure to stop. Bears run at 35 mph. They can close 50 feet in a couple seconds even with a bad headache. Bear spray repels them or slows them down. Move to side for a shot to the side of the head or even better to the torso right behind the shoulder. That’s where the hear and lungs are.

In the woods I carry Underwood Extreme Penetrator +PP 9mm. Do not use JHP. Penetration is the key. A 357 with that ammo ought to be ok for a black bear. In CO you might encounter black or brown bears. If I were going there I would want a 45 magnum. But I am not going there. In CO you also have to be aware of cougars.

Learn about the difference between a defensive and aggressive charge. The bear will actually let you know whic. A defensive charge come with a lot of growling, standing, and showing teeth and claws. An aggressive charge the bear get closer to the ground, does not stand in 2 legs, does not growl, has ears pinned back and eyes always on you. It’s damn scary. Read up,on bear spray — it’s your best first line of defense. Good luck.

Added later. Forgot two things 1) if you have to shoot the bear keet firing until it drops and be prepared in case it gets back up. The problem with a revolver against a bear is capacity. The the Adrenalin rush you will not be achieving range shooting accuracy. Today when I go into bear country I carry 15+1 with 15 more in an OWB mag pouch.
 
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noahmercy

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jun 13, 2015
Messages
291
Location
Sheridan, WY
No way I'd trust any 22 caliber for defense against a bear. 357 magnum is the absolute minimum I'd consider, and bigger is better. Penetration is what is called for, and a 158-180 grain LBT-style cast bullet in the 357 will drill plenty deep and do a lot of damage on the way through. Buffalo Bore makes some good stuff if you don't handload, but if you do roll your own, Montana Bullet Works sells a couple great designs for the application.
 

Mobuck

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Messages
7,352
Location
missouri
Not for me. I spent an entire summer walking black bear country and felt marginally equipped with a SBH 44 mag. I would have felt more secure with a 12 ga but that might upset 'visitors'.
I don't think anyone would recommend the 5.7 for this purpose.
 

3manfan

Bearcat
Joined
Feb 18, 2018
Messages
71
Are you out of your mind? You want to piss it off to make sure that it kills you, or what?
I've owned a PS90 for 12 years & a Five Seven pistol for 9 years.
The 5.7X28 round is basically slightly more effective than a .22 Magnum.
Even a .357 is under powered for bear. You're expecting to make effective head shots on a bear that's intent on doing you harm?
Yeah, good luck with THAT.
Better get yourself a .45-70.
 

Biggfoot44

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 6, 2009
Messages
821
4 inch Security Six , and " maybe inaccurate " ?!? Those are very accurate guns , .more so than 5.7's .Perhaps you are saying you need more practice with a semi serious handgun ? In which case , there's your solution , get some coaching and practice with your rapid- ish DA shooting .

That combo is already on the mild side for your intended purpose .

We can debate endlessly on .357 vs .45 vs .44 vs .41 vs 10mm . But the 5.7 is unquestionably a major leap in the wrong direction . ( My usual comparison is 5.7 from a pistol is equivalent to .22WMR from rifle ) .
 

TestEngineer

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 7, 2022
Messages
20
I've lived in Colorado my entire life (60 years). Black bears are not typically aggressive like other species of bear. Most attacks occur when you surprise them at close range. The attacks are defensive in nature.

Your first line of defense in bear country should be to make noise while you hike. Add a fishing bell or two to your pack or hat brim. The bear will usually move off to a distance it feels comfortable with before you ever arrive.

Bear spray is an excellent backup plan. A firearm should always be the last resort. .357 or bigger would be my recommendation. Also, a good belt knife is recommended in cougar country. If one has the inclination to take you out, it will be on top of you before you ever know there's one around. I've only seen a couple in my life, but I know there's been dozens that have seen me.
 

harley08

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 9, 2014
Messages
179
Are you out of your mind? You want to piss it off to make sure that it kills you, or what?
I've owned a PS90 for 12 years & a Five Seven pistol for 9 years.
The 5.7X28 round is basically slightly more effective than a .22 Magnum.
Even a .357 is under powered for bear. You're expecting to make effective head shots on a bear that's intent on doing you harm?
Yeah, good luck with THAT.
Better get yourself a .45-70.
Or a .458 Socom semi auto
 

Mobuck

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Messages
7,352
Location
missouri
"I've lived in Colorado my entire life (60 years). Black bears are not typically aggressive like other species of bear. Most attacks occur when you surprise them at close range. The attacks are defensive in nature."
Unfortunately, black bears are more likely to make 'predatory' attacks than any other bear species except polar bears. The place where I worked was in a 'travel path' for bears coming out of high country. I patrolled our perimeter each morning checking for tracks entering the property via a dirt trail along the fence line. Never had an issue there but was second on the scene behind the nuisance wildlife control officer at the scene of a bear entering a public campground. Shots had been fired and the officer left me to secure the scene while he went out looking for the bear. I didn't see the bear and neither did the officer. Shots must have missed (as the shooter claimed was his intention) and no one was hurt but supper on the grill was a bit worse for the experience.
A week later, soon after passing a couple of bikers and their dogs I noticed VERY FRESH bear tracks on the hiking trail I was following. I pointed this out to the bikers who immediately decided to try a different trail. This was less than a mile from the campground incident so this bear may have the same one. Hanging around close to human activities(several houses and a state campground in the immediate area) and walking a well used hiking/biking trail in open timber late morning/mid-day sort of seems like a problem in progress.
 

planetcat

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
298
Location
U.S.A.
You need the first shot to count. Unlikely you’d get more than 2-3 shots off on a charging bear. I wouldn’t do it unless I had nothing else and no pepper spray. Plus, it’s not fair to the animal to have to shoot it more times than necessary with an under powered cartridge.
 

Moparfreak

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 21, 2022
Messages
19
Location
La Follette, TN
If you carry the .357, consider loading 157 gr. lead semi-wadcutter ammo. Decent velocity, good penetration and widely available. I would stick with the solids and not the hollow point. And do carry a speed loader as well.
Here's what I have currently. Not Hard Cast...
 

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beentheredone

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 27, 2022
Messages
107
Location
SC
I happen to own an ideal bear-protection gun -- KelTec KS7, well-stocked with slugs. But in many years of wandering woods chock-full of black bears I never needed even the S&W Kit Gun I packed.

If you REALLY need to shoot, nothing you can carry will be big enough to suit you ...
 

pyth0n

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 11, 2007
Messages
808
Location
Florida
I used to hear if you carried a revolver, load all six. Five for the bear & one for you. These days it'd be save the last round for yourself, regardless of what you carry.
When owning a gun is made illegal by government, & being made a criminal, I'll then be allowed to use a 40 mm grenade launcher for protection against bears. 😉
 

protoolman

Hunter
Joined
Oct 15, 2001
Messages
2,117
Location
ND
Elmer Keith pointed out that a lead 44 or 45 caliber bullets at 900 fps would get full penetration in an elk side to side and would far out penetrate a higher velocity 30-06 with a lighter bullet. Since the invention of the .45 colt the only improvement in bear guns reasonably possible seems to be switching to heavy rifles or shotguns. I do understand black bears respond better to bearspray than grizzlies so that would be my first line of defense. Practice making 2 fast accurate shots because that's all you might get. Probably won't get a chance to shoot at all if you opt for spray.load your .357 with heavy .357 180 gr lead bullets if that's the gun you have.
 

Jeepnik

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 16, 2005
Messages
5,504
Location
On the beach and in the hills
I used to hear if you carried a revolver, load all six. Five for the bear & one for you. These days it'd be save the last round for yourself, regardless of what you carry.
When owning a gun is made illegal by government, & being made a criminal, I'll then be allowed to use a 40 mm grenade launcher for protection against bears. 😉
It’s been a long time, someone remind me of the distance of travel for a 40 mm grenade to arm.
 

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