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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.
 

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Yep, .44 Specials are just fine in the .44 Mags.
As far as bears... they seem to be getting VERY people-friendly lately... not necessarily on what WE'D consider friendly, though.
In fact, almost ALL our larger predators are making themselves known far more than ever before. We're stealing their land, and they want it back!
This is really, really noticeable in Ohio. You literally wouldn't recognize the area surrounding me in a fifty-mile radius if you hadn't been here for ten years... more Malls and Shopping Strips (and golf courses) than any three states need.
Now, I've got Racoons, Opossums, and Skunks that must be fed on a daily basis... not to mention the pack of coyotes that run through my back alley every night!
Flyer
 

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Ah, don't forget that Cor-bon is coming out with a 500 S&W Special cartridge to be used in the 500 S&W Magnum....the ultimate large caliber combination.

April 16, 2004 COR-BON introduces the new 500 S&W Special at the NRA show in Pittsburgh
 

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If you should have an encounter with a bear I think you would be better off with the .44. If you cannot tolerate the recoil you can download it to a comfortable level while still giving adequate penetration. Having owned s/w 29's and ruger single actions, I would opt for the ruger as when recoiling it will twist making felt recoil less than the smith which recoils straight back. A double action is not necessary as it is too hard to control shooting d/a as are most magnums, including the .357 full house loads unless shot from a heavy revolver. Go to your local gun store and see which one feels better in your hand. A properly loaded .357 or even a .38 will kill a bear, but the .44 will do a better job. Additionally if snakes are a concern the .44 shot shells are much more effective than the .38/.357.
Good luck.
 

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TxCajun said:
One problem is that much of the hiking trails are on National Forest land where firearms are not allowed.
I thought you can carry in National forests, but not in national parks. a small difference, but if I'm not wrong....

http://www.packing.org/state/index.jsp/all+united+states

check down the page. It address' national parks and forests.

best of luck!
 
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