The Firearms Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm considering getting a Ruger SP101 with a four-inch barrel as a hiking gun. (I'm a little disabled now, but I hope to be healthy someday and resume hiking.) I'd want to load the gun with something that could discourage bears, mountain lions, or maybe even a wolf. At the very least, I'd want to be shooting a bullet weighing 158 grains, but I'd prefer to use something weighing 180 grains. I know that Ruger marks some of these revolvers to say specifically that they should not be used with bullet weights more than 125 grains, but I'm looking at one without those markings. I wonder what experiences people have shooting heavier bullets through the SP101. Is that too much bullet for good control in such a small gun?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
34,535 Posts
Our 180 grain 357 mag. ammo adds more power than ever before to the 357 mag. This ammo is safe to shoot in ANY all steel 357 revolver - this includes J frames. This ammo is no harder on your gun than any other normal 357 ammo. Please don't phone or email us and ask if this ammo is safe in your gun. It is, providing your gun is in safe condition for use with any normal 357 ammo.
https://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=100
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,266 Posts
I think a 158 grain bullet would be fine for what you are wanting. Its just having the RIGHT bullet
Are you hand loading or just looking to buy the ammo?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
19,170 Posts
I shoot 158 in mine all the time.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kweeksdraw

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I would want to buy commercial bullets. I used to load a bit, but I haven't hand-loaded in years.

Which 158 grain bullet would you recommend for bear country?

Do you know anyone who has shot 180 grain bullets through an SP101? Was that load difficult to control in a smaller-framed revolver?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
34,535 Posts
I would want to buy commercial bullets. I used to load a bit, but I haven't hand-loaded in years.

Which 158 grain bullet would you recommend for bear country?

Do you know anyone who has shot 180 grain bullets through an SP101? Was that load difficult to control in a smaller-framed revolver?
Rugers are built strong, with lots of metal in them. Not like some other brands. The SP 101 is not a light weight gun. But the heavier the bullet, and the lighter the gun, the more felt recoil you will feel. I've shot some pretty hot stuff in mine, and I can tell now that hot loads make themselves known.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,238 Posts
With critters that bite, scratch, and could turn me into a snack, I'd wan't something with more oomph than a .357 Mag. Rounds like the 10MM, .41 Mag, .44 Mag, hot loads in either the .44 Special or .45 Colt.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
19,170 Posts
I am a big fan of the 357 round. Nevertheless in bear country I would want more. 44 mag come to mind.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,577 Posts
To the OP's question regarding 125 grain bullets. My understanding is that the early SP 101's were built on a .38 Special frame, and therefore have a shorter cylinder and cannot cycle using longer bullets. These are indeed marked "125 grain Bullets" on the right side of the barrel. Ruger made about 3000 of these.

They will work fine with 158 grain .38 Special ammo, but not 158 grain .357 Magnum ammo.
 
  • Like
Reactions: carver

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,298 Posts
I have an SP101 in 38 Special (you never say what yours is) that only sees 158 grain cast. That said I'd consider an upgrade to one of those previously suggested if I were you. Now I've never shot a bear with a pistol so I can't speak from experience but my gut tells me you'd end up bear poop if you tried. Better off using it as a noise maker.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
966 Posts
If its critters your worried about,
Take someone with you who can't run as fast and then only carry what won't slow you down.
Trying to hit any critter bent on attacking you with ANY kind or caliber of pistol is folly in the least and ludicrous in the extreme.
As Firpo just said, they will make a good noise maker, if you get it out of the holster in time.
So, bottom line, carry whatever makes YOU feel the most comfortable as it is unlikely as a lightening strike that you will ever in your lifetime encounter any of the critters you named doing anything but trying to get AWAY from you. They know you are in their area a LONG time before you ever see them.

Good luck and enjoy the hikes.

UF
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,592 Posts
It's rare to see 1 wolf. More likely to see wolves for one. And as pointed out, most of those critters will be going away long before you even know they are there. But on the off chance you do manage to find one of those beasts looking to invite you for dinner you'll want something bigger and nastier than what they plan to do. And you'll want to have it in hand in a hurry. Whatever you get practice with it lots. Odds are you'll get the one shot maybe 2 at best. I'd go with a revolver to make sure you don't get jams, and the shots won't be for sure as close as standard SD range so practice a little further out. A charging bear should be shot before 21' IMHO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,181 Posts
If I thought I might be on a big bears menu a 12 gauge with slugs would be my choice. But the weight and logistics come into play and you indicate that a handgun is what you want to pack. The handgun I would pack for bear protection is Ruger Super Black Hawk 454 Casull or 480 Ruger. It weighs almost double what the SP 101 357 mag weighs but it brings a lot more "convincing" a bear to stop what it's doing. About $200 more than the 101 but at the moment of truth "priceless".
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top