View Full Version : .357 sig and .40 advice for cougars and black bears
I hike and backpack quite a bit. I carry a full sized 10mm Glock 20 with 200gr JHP (1250fps) when I go. I am comfortable that this gun will take down cougars and black bears if needed. However, I also do a lot of very light weight speed-hiking that involves several miles of running, and at times I still wish for a lighter gun that is easier to carry. I have been considering buying the .357 sig Glock 33 or .40 cal Glock 27. Fully loaded, my Glock 20 weighs about 2.5 lbs and is a bit bulky for a guy in nothing but athletic shorts and a CamelBak hydration system. A fully loaded Glock 27/33 weighs about 1.6 lbs and is 1 inch shorter in the slide and .5 inches shorter in the grip. I like the size and weight of these guns for speed-hiking/running. But hereís the questionÖwill the .357 sig or .40 do the trick on a cougar or black bear? Iíve posed this question to you hunters because you I donít care what these loads would do to a human through a windshield. I want to know how they will perform on medium sized dangerous animals in the wild and Iím hoping that some of you have real world experience with either of these calibers. I am aware of the smaller 10mm Glock 29, but for my purpose I really donít save enough weight or size to switch. I really have to go to the smaller .357 sig/.40 Glock models to get any real weight and size advantage. If the .357 sig or .40 just wonít cut it in the wild then Iíll stick with my Glock 20. Itís not that bad to carry really. But when Iím running through the mountains for 4 hours I measure my equipment in ounces not lbs. Any weight I can shed is very noticeable and Iíll shed it if I can. Thanks for your help.
1. Run a Search; this has been cussed and discussed many times here, in just about every caliber/flavor you can think of.
2. If it were me, I'd stick with the G20....and spend some time researching the habits, physiology and behavior of the animals in question--that'll keep you out of critter trouble most of the time.
What about a 29 its still a 10 mil but its also small
Personallay id stick to the 20 or one of the SMith & wesson scandium 44 mags
i've shot the 29. it's nice. but the 20 is so much more shootable with the hot 10mm loads and feels much better in my hand. plus it's not THAT much smaller and lighter. i just like the 20 better. having said that, the 27/33 feel great and are very shootable too. but i'm concerned that they may not be powerful enough to do the job. looks like i'll stick with the 20.
Pumas, mountain lions, cougars or whatever you wish to call them are rather glass jawwed and are regularlly killed with less powerful calibers. Black Bears on the other hand are a completely diiferent matter indeed. Any caliber suitable for whitetail deer is suitable for black bear. However if it's a defensive situation I'd want more power than either 357 Sig or 40 Smith. More people are killed and mauled each year by black bear than all other species combined. I own and carry a Sig P239 regularly but against a black bear I beleive I'd rather be packin' a 10 mm or more in power. I feel mighty safe with my poormans Desert Eagle, ( souped up Witness in 10mm). A short barreled 44 or 454 is minimum in some instances and for good reason.JMHO
I too spend time in the backcountry, often solo, and have also been shopping for a ďtrail gun.Ē I understand your concern for shaving ounces and keeping down the footprint.
Black bear, cougar, wild dogs and the occasional trail head ďbad guyĒ infrequently make themselves seen where I travel. Stories abound of black bear being taken with well-placed 9mm rounds, but for me, even .40 seems inadequate. Iíve considered a wheelgun, but am partial to the capacity, recoil and footprint of a semi-auto.
Iíve looked at the G29, but didnít like the fat grip. Iíve considered the G33, but after looking at .357 SIG ballistics I wasnít overly impressed it would outperform a hot .40 (.357 SIG lovers feel free to flame).
That said, just today I read the following thread in the TOP GUNS *.357 Sig* Club forum:
So, if Mike McNett at www.doubletapammo.com can do for the .357 SIG round what heís done for 10mm, it may be the tipping point that makes the G33 my choice. Still not an ideal black bear round, but I believe an acceptable choice with the trade-off for weight and footprint. I expect cougar, wild dogs and trail head ďbad guysĒ wouldnít like it much either.
Another issue is how to carry. I prefer not to carry open for several reasons and have found the ďSafepackerĒ may be ideal. It is unconventional looking, could possibly be mounted on a pack hip belt and still allow quick access. It was originally designed for LEO Mountain Rescue and comes in different sizes.
I know a G20 or a .357 Mag. or bigger wheelgun would be better, but for those of us looking to shave ounces and the footprint, I believe a G33 with hot loads and a good carry system would be an acceptable choice. Iím interested to see what Mike reports heíll be offering with the .357 SIG.
i decided i needed to test them for myself. so i bought a G27 and a G33 barrel to drop in. i'm just going to shoot them a bunch with many different kinds of ammo and see what i think. i look forward to the doubletap 357 sig ammo for sure. it may take a couple of months before i decide. in the mean time i'll keep hiking with the G20. something i didn't count on. the G27/33 is my first sub compact. it's nice and i like how it shoots so far, but i'm far more accurate at 25 yards with the full sized gun. the 357 vs 40 question for animals may be moot, after all. i place a lot of importance on accuracy at longer distances with animals than humans. when it's all said and done, i'll probably choose to carry the G20 not just for the 10mm power, but also for the ability to hit something farther away. i didn't even think of that when i was considering the 357 vs 40 issue. i got all caught up in the caliber question and forgot about some other important issues. not a big deal though. the G20 is still very carryable in the brush, and the G27/33 is a great little conceal carry gun in town!
I always carry my G32 when I hit the woods. Since one of the local SO here went to the .357Auto, I carry the Gold Dots like they do in case I ever have to use it to defend myself. However, when I hit the woods, I carry the Ranger T because it opens a little larger and more consistently in the testing that I have done. I also am under the impression that the little 'talons' would do more damage on the internals of a medium to large animal, provided you can hit them where it counts.
Just a personal preference really, never shot anything with a forty but I do know that the .357Auto will take four legged critters off their feet.
Don't know what the velocity for a shorter barrel is but 8.0gr of Vitahvouri N105 under a 200 XTP will give you 1100 fps in a G22. Have not killed a bear with this load but I have taken one down with 180gr Sierra JHP under a charge of AA#7 in the 10mm at about 1250 fps. I would't hesitate to use the 200 gr 40 cal on a black bear.
Someone mentioned a wheelgun, how about one of S&W's scandium .44 mags or a Taurus titanium .41 mag? No such thing as too much gun for an an attacking animal.
Originally posted by tylerdurden244
If the .357 sig or .40 just wonít cut it in the wild then Iíll stick with my Glock 20. Itís not that bad to carry really. But when Iím running through the mountains for 4 hours I measure my equipment in ounces not lbs. Any weight I can shed is very noticeable and Iíll shed it if I can. Thanks for your help.
Since many of the loadings for both are many in JHP with few flatpoints, you cannot count on penetration.
Avoid them - love my G33 and G32 but out there, my G20 gets carried where in remote areas where larger animals abound.
I think the 10mm is enough gun for the task. The .40 or .357 Sig would be fine as well. I carry a G23 everwhere and I would not feel undergunned for lion or black bear with it (both of which are in Arizona where I live). 10+ rounds in any of the three will put a hurt on any animal in North America.
BTW, last week we went camping in the area of Arizona where the Mexican Grey wolf has been re-introduced. I liked the warning signs the AZ game and fish dept. put up telling when it was legal to shoot one, basically, the wolves have the same legal protection as human predators do, probably even more. Either way, I did not feel undergunned at all with my G23 loaded with 165 gr. Gold dots.
I have shot many animals with the .40 with 155, 165 and 180 gr. hollow points and I know they work well. If I was using the .357 Sig, I would make sure to use a bonded HP bullet like the gold dot or others, the 357 has better penetration overall with bonded than the .40 does, and should be close to the 10mm even with the .357 lighter bullets.
Of course, it all means nothing if you cannot hit what you are shooting at!! I know because I have missed coyotes at 3 yards with a 22-250 and they lived!
A deputy i know killed a mtn lion with his .40 so I'd feel comfortably with that. Now on a black bear I might want to find out. A large cat is nothing compared to a bear.
you could go with either one just use good bullets that penetrate, with some controled expansion. The .357 sig might have penetrate better but i dont know much about the bullet designs for that round. You can get 158 and above rounds for a .357 mag, a jacketed soft point or a jacketed hollo point designed for hunting would work.
I dont like the 40, so I'd go with the sig. I did drop a bear with my 10mm and a factory load. So anything that comes near the 10mm would be enough for me.
Go with the 27 or the 33. The reduced weight will help you run faster if it doesn't work!
.357 Sig handicapped by the low bullet weights. A .357 Magnum revolver with 180 or 200 grain penetrators is an underrated trail gun.
.40 S&W is probably sufficient.
I now lean more towards revolvers for a trail gun since a real animal attack will probably involve you hitting the ground with something big and furry on your back. A revolver is more reliable in such circumstances. Think. Pull out gun, press into attacker and start pulling...
Originally posted by tylerdurden244
However, I also do a lot of very light weight speed-hiking that involves several miles of running,.
Don't carry anything!!! I can't imagine anything more motivational for "speed-hiking" than a mountain lion wanting to nibble on your behind!!;f Think even an old slug like me could break some land speed records in that case.
Anything gun is better than having nothing at all. The 10mm is top choice for auto, but I wouldn't worry too much if I had a full magazine of .40s. Like the idea about the lightweight S&Ws or Taurus revolvers, plus good excuse to buy a new toy.
"Speed-Hiking"???? Sounds too much like work to me. I'll stick to the slow lane.
Originally posted by Quake Guy
.357 Sig handicapped by the low bullet weights.
.40 S&W is probably sufficient.
I don't see your point. The issue here is not bullet size, but penetration. The 10 mm has mostly enough, the .40 S&W has less, the .357 SIG recovers a bit. Bullets in either are good enough to damage the vital parts if they only get there. I'd feel better with the latter.
You are just not shooting through gellatin, weight and the frontal area of the bullet plays an important part in penetration.
You will be amazed how much even a FMJ will deform when hitting bone.
Cougars are thin-skinned and easy to kill. Small black bears also don't present much of a challenge for most centerfire handgun rounds. Your chances of being attacked by either are somewhere between zero and infinitesimal.
I believe I would be more interested in the manner in which you carry the gun.
A properly set up holster is IMNSHO more important than going to a lesser gun. Since you plan on running I would look at and test rigs while wearing the appropriate attire.
You may just find that with a good rig, the 1/2 pound extra weight of a G20 is not as cumbersome as previously thought.
I take my 357 wheel gun with. A nice hot 357 bullet should take care of whatever i need. I dont really trust my 40cals for backpacking(bears)
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