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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My dad recently purchased an SP101 4.2" .357 for protection in the woods. I think he should have chosen a GP100 in either a 4" or 6" so he could have more heft, and that extra round. He is having some trouble with accuracy- partly because he is in his 70's and isn't as steady as he used to be- but I'm gonna blame part of it on the weight. Sp101s are fairly light and could be hard to control the recoil of magnum loads. He shot the mags through it because that's what he will carry in the gun. Do you guys like any particular aftermarket grips that could help with the recoil?

My question: do you think he should have picked a gp100??
 

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I can't say on that any more than you or anybody else. He wanted something lighter & easier to carry as a trail/woods gun is going to be carried a LOT more than fired. A GP100 would be easier to control & shoot recoil wise due to the weight. Perhaps have him try 110 gr loads or even think about having it Magna-Ported?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
^^^ that's what I say. If I stumbled across a bear or a mountain lion, I'd want something heavier so I could acquire the target faster and have that extra shot.
 

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Whatever our opinion(s), it's his call. I'll just suggest that if a 4.2" GP100 is too heavy a carry, it's because it is carried on the hip, probably on an inadequate belt.
 

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I had an SP101 in 327 magnum and with the stock grips that gun recoil liked to rattled my fingers to the bones when shooting the mag 327 rounds. I only shot it maybe three times before I said the heck with this. I immediately ordered Hogue Tamer grips and they made all the difference in the world. I imagine the SP101 in 357 is possibly even worse felt recoil than the 327.
I suggest your dad practice with 38 special and for woods use maybe use the 38 special or the 38+P. Out in the woods without hearing protection your dad better hope he never has to shoot 357 magnum rounds. I bet his ears would ring or he might not even hear anything for a week after that.
The GP100 handles the recoil much better because it is heavier. Even still I wouldn't want to be shooting 357 without hearing protection for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The reason he chose the sp101 over the GP was because it felt better in his hand. I don't think think he liked the big blocky Hogue grips on the GP. I honestly don't think he realized that the sp101 only held five vs. Six with the gp100. He just picked the one that felt better to him. Yeah, I've shot a few rounds of magnum ammo without hearing protection before- it is pretty loud. As to carrying .38s in it- he already has a colt police special in .38- that's why he bought a .357 mag.
 

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You can't go wrong with either for the application. It's not like he is going to an LCP. Remind him to carry extra ammo for bears.

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jRTrRxamxQ"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jRTrRxamxQ[/ame]
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
^^^I would be freaking out.....I'll never bow hunt without a sidearm..........
 

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I don't know if this is a good reason or not however if I were in bear country I would prefer to carry a heavier caliber. I understand that as we grow older our strength and stamina diminish. I have a GP100 with a 4" barrel and found to carry on your hip is very uncomfortable after a while. You don't realize how heavy the pistol is and then becomes as you tire. My GP100 has Pachmayr grips on it which fit a little different than the Hogues. They seem to fit my hand better plus they absorb some of the recoil when shooting magnum rounds. If he is going to carry a GP100, I would encourage you to find a good fitting shoulder holster with a couple of the quick load cylinders (forgot the name) and fit it too him so he feels comfortable. You may have to go with him a couple of times to ensure that the holster is fitting properly, has easy access if needed, and do some re-adjustments as needed. Just MHO is all.

Tommy

P.S. I have Pachmayr's on all my handguns as I have long fingers and they are less apt to slip when hot or rainy weather occurs. Wood grips, faux pearl or ivory will have a tendency to twist when pulled out. Of course sweaty hands can also be a detriment and if a bear gets that close, my hands aren't going to be the only part of me that is sweating or puckered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
^^^ Yeah, a .44 mag or even bigger would be my choice for bear. The main reason he bought it was so he could have a sidearm while deer hunting with me and my brother. He used to hunt 35 years ago or so and I've sorta brought him back into the gun and hunting world. It's mainly a backup for his
.270. Or if he's not hunting, I'll always have my rifle. It's mainly a backup.

What would you have done in the bow hunters situation with the bear assuming you had your bow and, let's say, a .357 mag?
 

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The hunter did the right thing, even if you have a 44 mag, if not attacked and no permit you don't shoot.;)
 

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Tommycourt
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^^^ Yeah, a .44 mag or even bigger would be my choice for bear. The main reason he bought it was so he could have a sidearm while deer hunting with me and my brother. He used to hunt 35 years ago or so and I've sorta brought him back into the gun and hunting world. It's mainly a backup for his
.270. Or if he's not hunting, I'll always have my rifle. It's mainly a backup.

What would you have done in the bow hunters situation with the bear assuming you had your bow and, let's say, a .357 mag?

Let me say this. I hunted black bear many years with a 7mm Magnum and my back up/carry was a Ruger Super Redhawk with .44 mag hollow points. I never had enough balls to hunt blackies with a bow. People don't realize how fast a black bear can run. He can run faster than a quarter horse (approx. 30mph) and with adrenaline pumping he will be voracious! He will attack the first thing that approaches him as he will feel that is his immediate danger. I also bow hunted but that was deer. I have seen deer, elk and black bear run over a mile with half of their heart gone and partial lung damage. When I shot a bear, I always hit him twice. Once to break the shoulder and the second to ensure he was dead. I would wait at least 15 minutes before I approached and then I had my .44 loaded and ready for a head shot. I approached very slowly as he might not always be dead. I pressed my rifle into his eye for re-action and if there was a blink, just a blink, I would .44 his head. I know many want to keep the skull BUT they are not worth the risk to your life. NEVER-EVER TAKE ANYTHING FOR GRANTED when hunting dangerous game!!! What may be dead, may not be and like a man, he may be waiting for the danger that hurt him, or building up his second wind. I would seriously feel under gunned with a .357. This is just my opinion but I have taken 9 bear in my last 30 years of big game.

Tommy
 

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Personally I'd NEVER even dare to think about going in bear country (grizzly/brown/kodiak) without at LEAST a magnum that starts with a 4, and hardcast heavy bullets launching kind of fast even then! I'd think MY idea of an ideal big bear backup/protection/hip gun would be a Redhawk converted to .454 Casull. Why Redhawk converted instead of simply buying a Super Redhawk in that cartridge factory made you ask? Simple, the Super was actually designed as a hunting revolver, and has 2 separate springs for main & trigger return, whereas the Redhawk has 1 spring lockwork. That means that after a Wolff reduced spring kit is installed the Redhawk has a smooth, light, non stacking DA trigger. The Super was designed to be shot single action a lot so it has a heavier stacking (think S&W) DA trigger. If the owner is determined to carry a .357 I'd recommend heavy hardcast SWC driven fast-either handloads or Buffalo bore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yeah, I agree with stalkingbear.
But, it's mainly a backup to his and my rifle, and on top of that, I've been living up here in WA for a few years now and I haven't even seen a bear. I've seen plenty of mountain lion tracks, but not an actual mountain lion. The only time he'll maybe actually have to use it would be if he stumbles into a deer on his way to the outhouse (we camp when we hunt) and doesn't have his rifle with him. Or to finish off a deer.
 

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There are lots of explanations out there for not seeing black bear in the woods. At least there were a few decades back.

Their smellers work very well. Human + oiled steel raises a red flag.

Their hearing works good. He may come to look, but cautiously.

I could go on, but there's no point in it around here. In a poor mast year, the bears come into town to look for bird feeders, for cripesake. They would never do that when I was a youngster.
 

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Yeah those loads are identical to the more commonly known Bullalo Bore heavy for caliber hardcast SWC driven pretty fast and my own handloads. If stuck with a .357 those are exactly what I'd have it loaded with! Of course if you're a glutton for punishment shoot them through a Scandium S&W, Titanium Taurus, Derringer, or Charter snubby! Even though I'm completely comfortable with my manhood, I freely admit I'm not man enough to do that!
 

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I was stationed in Alaska in the early 80's and went black bear hunting a couple times (never got one), one D*** A** shot a black bear cub in the back of the head with a .357 and the bullet went under the skin followed the skull around and lodged under the skin at the point of the nose, he said the cub started bawling and he heard a thrashing in the brush and got the hell out. We were told to shot the bear in the front shoulders to break them and run down hill, because supposedly if you impair their back legs they can still run down a man.
 

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In the woods

If the original poster feels comfortable with a 5 or 6 shot wheel gun, fine & dandy. But, the hunter in the woods can easily become the hunted by dangerous predators. My sidearm of choice would be my Para 1911 P14 .45. 14 + 1 should terminate or at least slow down whatever danger is heading my way.
 
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