I've been looking around at prices, brands, etc. I was wondering if a 44 mag can shoot 44 spec ammo much as the 357 mag can shoot 38 spec? If not, I suppose there are lighter target loads for the 44mag. Any thoughts on 357 vs 44 and/or similar calibers along with various gun options, relative ammo options, prices and so forth. I do spend some time camping and hiking in bear country (Northern NM and Co) each summer. I saw a few posts here lately regarding bear encounters and it got me thiking. One problem is that much of the hiking trails are on National Forest land where firearms are not allowed. Well, I guess I'd rather pay a fine than become an entree with a side of berries.