It took six shots to finally dispatch the badger, from a distance of only twenty five feet. On another occasion, it took four shots to take down a 250-pound black bear, from about twenty five yards away. Both times, I was using a .357 Magnum revolver. After the incident with the bear, I decided that a .44 Mag handgun is better suited for handgun hunting than a .357, and I’ve since reserved .357 Mag and .38 special loads for rabbit and small game.
In the badger’s case, the gun that shot him was a Colt Trooper Border Patrol revolver with a 4″ barrel, loaded with 125-gr JHP ammo — a well-known man stopper. I happened upon the badger while riding around my brother-in-law’s ranch on an ATV, and I saw it run off into some bushes. The 125-gr JHP .357 Mag round supposedly stops an attacker in his tracks 96% of the time, with one shot. Every shot hit the badger, and every shot should have put an end to his life — but it took six shots to do it.
For the bear, I used a S&W Model 686 with a 4″ barrel, loaded with Federal 180-gr cast SWC-style ammo. I had just pulled off the main road to one of my favorite hunting spots, when I spotted the bruin sitting on the side of the road, just twenty five yards away. I had my Winchester Model 70 .300 Win Mag rifle in a case in the back of my SUV, and I wasn’t able to get to it. So I stepped out of the car with my holstered S&W 686, and unlimbered on the black bear. It wasn’t until the 4th round that the bear took a tumble down the embankment into a creek, dead at last.