Ideal gun for working on land?


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Norton
July 17, 2005, 11:59 AM
For you folks fortunate to have some remote land to work....what would be your ideal handgun for having around while working?

I'm not talking SHTF, zombies, or hunting.....just as a tool for the possible snake, critter, or two-legged jerk who wants to take advantage of a lone person working way out in the woods. From what I understand, there are plenty of bears and bobcats around too.....but haven't seen any as of yet.

To my way of thinking, the gun needs to be reliable, rugged and not too expensive so that it's not a big issue if it gets a little dinged up.

I've been carrying my HK USP9 and it definitely meets the first two criteria but I find myself "worrying" about it so that I don't scratch it. I'm also a little concerned that the 9mm would be woefully inadequate for anything of the bruin variety should that need arise.

Should also mention I've been taking the Mossberg 500 with first round of birdshot (snakes), couple of rounds of buckshot, followed by slugs. Feel like I'm pretty well covered there, but it gets to be a pain to carry shotgun around in addition to tools when moving to different parts of the property.

I may try something in a revolver....I have a Taurus .38 spl that I could do a couple of shotshells with followed by +p ammo. Still not too hot to trot on the .38 for anything larger than the occasional critter.

I'm wondering if I should be looking for something in .45 Colt.....good for larger things like bears (well, would maybe give me enough time to get to the Mossberg). That Taurus 4410 caught my eye.....45 Colt or .410 shotshells.....

Thoughts?

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Derek Zeanah
July 17, 2005, 12:13 PM
I'd probably go with something like a S&W 629 -- it's hard to beat a .44 magnum for most roles, and it meets all your criteria except maybe price/it's-too-pretty.

Maybe an older S&W in .45 Colt instead? A quick check of the S&W website suggests they're only available in carbon steel now, and I'd think stainless would be a better choice.

logical
July 17, 2005, 12:15 PM
I'd look for a used Ruger Security Six, 4 inch in .357. Should be able to find a nice stainless one for $250-300, maybe less if it is nice and scratched up. It will give you the option of full magnums, lighter .38 loads and shot shells. Rugged, corrosion resistent, not too heavy.

XLMiguel
July 17, 2005, 12:15 PM
Taurus Tracker in .45 Colt would do. Not expensive, I believe you can get shotshells for Charlie Noshoulders, and load up some stouter stuff for Yogi & Boo-boo. Might want to say away from the alloy framed version if you're going to load-up hot.

garyk/nm
July 17, 2005, 12:18 PM
Get more guns! :D
I don't think there is a one gun solution. How about a 45-70 BFR on one hip and a .38 loaded with snake shot on the other? Works for me!
Unless the bear brings his snake buddies along for the attack :eek:

Ala Dan
July 17, 2005, 12:30 PM
S&W 686

tg_26101
July 17, 2005, 12:42 PM
S&W 686
__________________
Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, The Gun Man
N.R.A. Life Member


Or 681, the fixed sight version (less chance of snagging or scratching your forarm on the rear sight while working). 357 Magnum, stainless steel, reasonable cost (buy a mechanically sound used one - not available new any longer) - it don't get any better.

dolanp
July 17, 2005, 12:44 PM
I dunno, I'd want more than six personally because there may not be just one and you may not put them down on the first shot. I think a 9mm would be alright, but I'd prefer good defense loads over standard 115gr FMJ ammo.

tg_26101
July 17, 2005, 12:47 PM
.

Sharps Shooter
July 17, 2005, 12:53 PM
I'll second the S&W 629 .44 Magnum or .45 Colt idea. But for a .45 Colt I'd go with either a Ruger stainless 5 !/2" Redhawk or a Ruger Stainless 4 5/8" Blackhawk.
I too am fortunate to be in kind of the same situation as you. I spend a lot of time working on the back of our place here and that's several hundred yards from the house. However, the back of our place is not that far from a major highway and there's a lot of trash driving up and down that road. Several times a year we have jerks wander up to our house wanting gas or to use our phone. We've had to have a couple of abandoned cars towed away. I carry a little Taurus .32 H&R Magnum while out back. I'm sure it would be marginal if I ever come up against anything bigger than a large dog, but it's light and doesn't get in my way. Besides, there aren't any bears around here and my shovel beats anything less than a shotgun for snakes.

Norton
July 17, 2005, 12:56 PM
The .357 is a good suggestion, and even if it is too light for bear stopping in and of itself it should give me time to get to the shotgun.


I think a 9mm would be alright, but I'd prefer good defense loads over standard 115gr FMJ ammo.

I have no problem with a 9mm as a personal defense gun for two legged creatures but isn't it true that for bearish creatures FMJ is pretty much a no-no? :confused: My understanding is that the big critters with heavy hides need penetration more than expansion.....

.44 magnum sounds good, but even better....how about a .454 Casull loaded with .45lc with the option for the heavier loads? Is that the Ruger Alaskan if I recall right? Defeats the cheap option though.

Norton
July 17, 2005, 01:03 PM
tg_26101,

We're just a ways south of you down in Monroe County....

Your thoughts on the shotshells cycling the semi-autos is exactly what led me to thinking about a revolver.....I know for a fact that the .22lr shells won't cycle my little SW2206.

I may have to look around for one of those Redhawks or Blackhawks.....i don't know what the romanticism is with the .45lc, but it seems like such an ideal "ranch gun".....must be too much time spent on Westerns ;)

tg_26101
July 17, 2005, 01:09 PM
.

turbonatr
July 17, 2005, 02:28 PM
45 Colt would be my choice (and is, in fact) for such a chore. Loaded in the proper gun, it is more powerful than the 44 magnum. It manages to top the 44 mag. with lower operating pressures and recoil, too. However, even in standard pressure form (for use in Taurus and S&W revolvers) it is an excellent woods gun. There isn't anything in the lower 48 that won't fall to a 255-260gr. Keith slug at 1000fps if placed properly.

That being the case, a S&W model 25-5 or Taurus Tracker in 45 Colt will do ya just fine.

Smoke
July 17, 2005, 02:36 PM
Ruger Single Six .22lr

Durable, reliable, cheap.

No bears around here. Cats will not show themselves while I'm working.
Snakes are the main threat, followed by skunks.

Smoke

ALHunter
July 17, 2005, 02:38 PM
+1 for S&W 686.

Frandy
July 17, 2005, 03:05 PM
Ruger GP-100 or S&W 686. Choose yer length, though I'm partial to 4".

chris in va
July 17, 2005, 03:24 PM
Forgive my ignorance, but you can do that in Maryland?

Dr.Rob
July 17, 2005, 04:02 PM
2, 3 or 4 inch .357 mag.

Likely the most versatile of calibers for the woods, without the heft of the average .44

Ruger's SP 101, GP 100, SW model 65, Colt's discontinued King Cobra and Magnum Carry, Taurus Tracker and Ti models...

A small lightwieght .357 is one of the best choices for a 'backpacking gun' you can find.

jc2
July 17, 2005, 04:55 PM
Usually a four-inch King Cobra (but sometimes a three-inch M65LS).

Jeff White
July 17, 2005, 05:16 PM
Norton said;
I've been carrying my HK USP9 and it definitely meets the first two criteria but I find myself "worrying" about it so that I don't scratch it.

Holster wear and scratches are just a fact of life with a duty weapon. That said, I used to carry a USP in .45 on duty. After two years of daily carry and getting banged around it's finish still looks good. It has worn better then the Glock or the Kimber Warrior I carry now.

Perhaps a stainless steel revolver in .357 magnum would fill your needs?

Jeff

revolvergeek
July 17, 2005, 05:19 PM
S&W 686 with something heavy (some of the Buffalo Bore stuff maybe) in it if (black) bears might be around. Not many handguns around will do you a lot of good against the bigger bears.

Personally for around here I like my S&W 67 loaded with Speer 158 TMJ +p ammo (maybe a shotshell or two if I was working around ponds/lakes) and a couple of speedstrips in the pocket full of either 158 LSWHP +P or 135 GCHP +P.

epijunkie67
July 17, 2005, 05:57 PM
If you want something cheap you won't mind dinging up why not get a makarov? They're dirt cheap and you could drive railroad spikes with it. It's not a powerhouse but it would take care of most average sized critters, including the two legged kind.

Barring that I'd go with a used .357 of some kind.

Norton
July 17, 2005, 06:36 PM
Forgive my ignorance, but you can do that in Maryland?

Chris,

Assuming that was directed to me:

1) In this particular case, it's referring to our land in WVa (henceforth known as the United States ;) )
2) If it were in MD, I believe that it is legal to conceal carry within the confine of your own property or at your place of business (if your business, or with your employer's consent) without a permit.

tg_26101
July 17, 2005, 08:59 PM
.

Norton
July 17, 2005, 09:25 PM
tg,

The nearest neighbor to us is around 1/2 mile....not sure who else is lurking around out there though. I can see pretty much every corner of my land as it's only 11 acres, but there's a lot of other land around us.

I hear you about the meth problem.....over in my old stomping grounds in the Shenandoah Valley it's getting quite ugly over there.

The last two times down, I had the USP9 with 2 15 rounders of Corbon JHP with me as well as the Mossberg 500 as previously mentioned. When Spot77 was with me, we added his P97 .45acp and AR15 to the mix as well.

I'm picking up an extra Yugo SKS to take down there that can afford to get banged around....may even put a folding stock on it so it takes up less room in the Jeep.

Norton
July 17, 2005, 09:29 PM
OK...so here's another thought....

anyone know what the relative ballistics are of .45lc, .357magnum and a .45acp?

I'm wondering if something in .45acp might be the ticket with regards to a compromise between ballistics and number of available rounds. With the number of large capacity .45acps out there, I could have a little closer to the best of both worlds.....maybe?? :confused:

ksnecktieman
July 17, 2005, 10:05 PM
You want a gun to carry while you work on the farm? You have a fine weapon,,, cry really good for the first BIG scratch, and carry on. You could ponder and think forever, and you can not find one gun that will do everything, and leave you free to work. As you said, you have a scattergun that will do anything,,, but you can not work, and keep track of it very efficiently.Even if you could,, it will have birdshot when you need a slug, and a slug when you need birdshot. Carry your centerfire pistol,,, ANY centerfire pistol, and console yourself that you are probably the most well armed homeowner working outside in the area.

NO WAY can you find anything that is perfect for everything, and still be convenient.

nitesite
July 17, 2005, 10:37 PM
AlaDan got it right....

4" Smith&Wesson 686.

158-gr Magnum loads. A few loose shotshells in the back right pocket. A speedloader with the same Magnum loads in your right front pocket.

Good to go.

tg_26101
July 17, 2005, 10:40 PM
Sorry if I got you off on a tangent....

Considering your first post (inexpensive, rugged, shotshell capable for snakes), I'd still go with a used 357.

Factory loaded 45LC and 45ACP is a wash, power about equal, with more bullet choices available in the 45ACP. 357 Magnum trumps both in factory loadings, with a wide range of bullet selection in weight and style. Handloads, the 45LC has the advantage.

bernie
July 17, 2005, 10:46 PM
I have tried many and settled on what is for me an unlikely sidearm. I use a Super Blackhawk in .44 magnum with a 4 5/8" barrel carried in a crossdraw full flap holster.

The .44 rat shot load is devastating on snakes.

The .44 will carry a long way, accurately, on long shots at 4 legged varmints.

While in the crossdraw, it carries well whether walking or driving a truck or tractor.

While a single action in a flap holster may not be tactical, since the sidearm cannot actually be seen for identification, any potential 2 legged varmints only see a really large sidearm of some type.

I have tried a lot of stuff and this is what works for me, and I consider myself a semi auto shooter.

pauli
July 17, 2005, 11:02 PM
OK...so here's another thought....

anyone know what the relative ballistics are of .45lc, .357magnum and a .45acp?

I'm wondering if something in .45acp might be the ticket with regards to a compromise between ballistics and number of available rounds. With the number of large capacity .45acps out there, I could have a little closer to the best of both worlds.....maybe??

i gotta say, in the context we're planning for (remote, wooded land), if you need more than six shots before you can possibly spare the time to reload, you're screwed no matter what, and probably haven't held up your end of the situational awareness and good shooting duties. which is to say... it sure ain't the gun's fault if you get overwhelmed before you can get back to a longarm in the jeep.

i'd go with a revolver in 357. this a textbook role for it.

W Turner
July 17, 2005, 11:21 PM
For me it's a toss up between these two......

Revolver- SW 629 Mountain Gun - about the same weight as an L frame and .44 is one of the most versatile calibers out there. Ideal for areas where the possibility of running into an aggressive critter outweigh the possibility of running into an aggressive human.

SemiAuto- Glock 20 - The most versatile auto caliber out there. 15 + 1 rounds of Double-Tap ammo will handle up to deer-sized critters and would suffice for Black Bear if necessary. Better if you're more likely to run into aggressive humans.

W

Augustwest
July 18, 2005, 12:04 AM
Second the thought on a Ruger Security Six...relatively inexpensive, very reliable, and as has been mentioned, .357 is a very versatile platform.

Personally, I think the odds of getting attacked by a bear on the east coast are so slim, that .357 is a better choice than .44.

PowderBurn
July 18, 2005, 12:58 AM
+1 on the Glock 20. Easy to shoot, accurate, hi-cap, fast reload, alternate anti-personnel with heavier slugs, total package. You can't practice for cheap, but it's easy enough to shoot you don't have to practice much. This gun was born for the role you describe. I'm not a Glock lover, but when I'm alone in the boonies, the G20 is attached to me in some fashion.

Dienekes
July 18, 2005, 01:50 AM
Don't own land (other than the house and lot it sits on) but I do roam around on BLM land a lot in the mountain West. Carried a 4" Ruger Security Six for plainclothes LEO work for years and it still is the default option. I have a variety of other good working guns but if they go out it's just for that day. Any of them will suffice (Rule 1: "Have a gun"). It's just that that old .357 and I have been together a long time and we're partners.

Wear happens. The guns I am fondest of have the least finish. If they need factory work eventually they get refinished. Otherwise they just show the honest wear any good tool will in time.

kevin387
July 18, 2005, 02:14 AM
SP 101 357 with a 3" barrell, you won't get a better combination of power and portability.

double0757
July 18, 2005, 02:51 AM
As a hiker, backpaker and fisherman I too use to ponder on a perfect woods gun. I found it this year, the S&W 329pd. It is the .44mag scadium model 4" revolver, with high vis front sights. The gun only weight 29oz, you don't know it is there. I load up with one bird shots (first shot) follow by 300gr bear shots. The scadium and titanium don't rust, even during hot sweating hikes. When backpacking I carry it in front, inside a fanny pack. During hikes and fishing I carry conceal IWB, strong side, in a kydex holster. The high vis front sight makes it fast to get a good aim at target. .44spl is a very good defence round for 2 leg critters. If you reload, you can create very specific rounds for the threat you would encounter in your property.

Drawbacks: Price ($775), and follow up shots are not as fast as a steel gun.

Hope this helps or get you more confuse! Double O

Norton
July 18, 2005, 07:21 AM
You have a fine weapon,,, cry really good for the first BIG scratch, and carry on.
Reminds me of my friend who used to be a travelling race car painter.....said it killed him when he would work a few days painting a race car and the driver would come along and run a key down the side of the car so that he wouldn't baby the car when running it.

ANY centerfire pistol, and console yourself that you are probably the most well armed homeowner working outside in the area.

NO WAY can you find anything that is perfect for everything, and still be convenient

You're right, of course......that's the beauty of hashing out these topics here....that we get to speculate on how best to spend each other's money :D I agree that we forget that rule #1 is to have a gun and everything after that is icing on the cake.

i gotta say, in the context we're planning for (remote, wooded land), if you need more than six shots before you can possibly spare the time to reload, you're screwed no matter what, and probably haven't held up your end of the situational awareness and good shooting duties

Also right! I guess I'm getting too wrapped up in worrying about firepower for the sake of firepower and not focusing on the other demands of this particular gun....ruggedness, ease of use, and cost.

Looking more and more that I'm going .357 shopping....with 6 (or 7) rounds of .357 and a reloader I don't think that I'd be at all underarmed.

only1asterisk
July 18, 2005, 07:59 AM
Since you don't have a .357, that's the way I'd go.

But if "firepower" is a consideration you could do worse than a Glock 20 with an extra mag.

David

No4Mk1*
July 18, 2005, 08:59 AM
I would reconsider putting birdshot in the #1 position. If you are attacked by a snake, you will be bitten before you know there is a snake there. If you have time to draw your gun and aim, then you have time to unload bear ammo and reload snake ammo before shooting. If you are attacked by a bear you really don't have time for the first shot to be useless. My woods gun is a Glock 19 with 147 grain JHP ammo. I guess I think humans are the biggest threat in the southeastern woods. Any of the suggestions here would be a fine choice. Some are light on bears, but faster with follow up shots, others are better for bear, but slower follow up shots. Handguns are all about compromise.

OH25shooter
July 18, 2005, 09:08 AM
Any .357 revolver of your choice. With all the dirt, dust and rain you may encounter, I wouldn't choose an automatic. Personally I'd trust a revolver. Worked for the range cowboys.

jc2
July 18, 2005, 09:10 AM
But this "advice" is a recipe for disaster:
alternate anti-personnel with heavier slugs, total package.
You can't practice for cheap, but it's easy enough to shoot you don't have to practice much.

The Drew
July 18, 2005, 09:22 AM
The .45LC isn't ballitically superior in factory loads to the .45acp. The LC was designed as a black powder cartridge, and still performs best loaded with black powder. modern propellants don't do it justice in standard pressure loads.

OTOH if you own a beefy gun, you can hand load up the LC to magnum levels.

I personally would go for a magnum in either .44 or .357 for your duties...

scotjute
July 18, 2005, 10:10 AM
I have a 6" Ruger Security Six I've had for years. Would carry first two rounds .38 shot and the rest 158 gr. hollow points. Carry it in a covered holster. Also carried a short barrelled .38 spl at times when fishing.
Just recently bought a Ruger Single Six, will be carrying it once I have it sighted in with .22 magnum rounds. Around here, .22 magnum is normally sufficient for a variety of game and maintains long distance accuracy over .22 lr.
But if I thought I'd run into serious trouble, I'd be wearing the .357.

PX15
July 18, 2005, 10:27 AM
The situation here must be "less threatening" than where you live as I feel quite comfortable when in the woods with just my Firestorm FS 22. I have it loaded with 10+1 of CCI Stingers, and feel confident it will disuade anything I might run up on around here.

IF there were a problem with "meth labs, mj growers" I would probably start taking one of my 9mm auto's (Sig P239, S/W 3913, Bersa Thunder 9 uc/KelTec P11). The P11 is so small and light that it would probably be the best for that particular duty.

The full size Bersa Thunder actually has a capacity of 17+1 and you can get it for probably $300-350. I can't imagine anything in the woods, man or beast, that 18rds of CorBon couldn't slow down sufficiently for you to make a getaway.

Now if you have a Grizzly bear in your woods I would suggest you stay your butt OUT of the woods. Those suckers scare me to death, and I doubt if there's one within 1500 miles of my little redneck paradise here in se Ga.

I know recommending Bersa will probably get some shaking of the heads, but I've found the Bersa's to be excellent value, high quality firearms. Lifetime warranty and you seldom ever read a bad post about a Bersa. The only complaint you generally hear about Bersa/Firestorm's is the price of extra magazines, nothing negative about the pistol themselves. Bersa's have a reputation for accuracy, reliability and folks who own one generally buy another. (www.BersaTalk.com)

Just a thought.

Best Wishes
JP :D

logical
July 18, 2005, 10:32 AM
If you really believe there is even the slightest chance you are walking up on a meth lab....you should turn around and walk the other way. There is no telling what kind of hyped-up well armed whack job you might encounter.

bigmike45
July 18, 2005, 11:09 AM
Ok since we are trying to cover all the bases with one gun...especially bears!!

Buy one of the new Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan 454 Casull and load it with 3 full loads for big critters, two snake shot loads and one 45 long colt load for small animals. Also look into a speed loader or a ammo pouch with extras of each.

Just a suggestion!!

RCL
July 18, 2005, 12:16 PM
Two choices to consider....
A basic .357 mag, Ruger Blackhawk. They can be picked up used (and pre scratched), for a decent price, and are tough as they come.

If you think you need a powerful high capacity handgun, I would consider a full size Glock 10mm.

jc2
July 18, 2005, 01:11 PM
Buy one of the new Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan 454 Casull and load it with 3 full loads for big critters, two snake shot loads and one 45 long colt load for small animals.
And hope that the right one is up when you need!

Pardon me, Mr. Bear, please stop chewing on my leg while I open my revolver up and roll the cylinder to the proper round.

Mr. Diamondback, please don't bite me again, I have three bear loads and an anti-personnel load in front of you.

bigmike, if you're goint to make posts like that, you need to learn to use the smilies otherwise someone might take you seriously!

Norton
July 18, 2005, 01:24 PM
I know recommending Bersa will probably get some shaking of the heads

I don't have much experience with any of the Bersa line other than the .380......if the rest of the line is as good as that little gun, I'd never shake my head at that

lee n. field
July 18, 2005, 01:41 PM
To my way of thinking, the gun needs to be reliable, rugged and not too expensive so that it's not a big issue if it gets a little dinged up.

I've been carrying my HK USP9 and it definitely meets the first two criteria but I find myself "worrying" about it so that I don't scratch it

<snort!>

I've seen .45ACP shotshells. I have no idea if they work well or not. If they do, a Ruger P90 would fit your listed criteria pretty well.

Makes a big, satisfying BOOM.

Polishrifleman
July 18, 2005, 01:47 PM
Norton, I skipped most of the other posts but am in a similar situation. Last year my wife and I bought a large piece of property up in the mountains, 2 hours from our house. We live in suburban Seattle and I wanted something to let our boys loose on (not to mention myself) :evil: . We are about 6 miles from the nearest year round home, no power, or water, just nature until you fire up the 5kw genset, or hydraulic wood splitter, and start working.

Bears won't bother us, I do worry about cats and the boys. We have cougars and bobcats in the area. Bobcats are more nocturnal than cougars although both are shy and if they have good food sources they won't go for human unless they are defending something. We have coyotes too but again fairly shy.

We are on the fringe range of the Western Rattlesnake but do have Rubber Boa's which are constrictors that only get to be a couple feet long and primarily live underground.

We are normally making so much noise I don't worry to much about anything 4 legged, but 2 legs is a little more interesting. Wide open space and a lot of noise leads to a very disadvantageous situation.

I pack a S&W 4506 on my hip and have a Model 94 in 30-30 close by the cabin. We have only had 2 visitors and they are curious or lost. The plan there is to meet them as far away from the cabin as possible be friendly and smile and have the wife get the kids in and have the 30-30 backing me up.

Sam
July 18, 2005, 02:17 PM
Best thing for your application is a nice 4" medium frame 357.
K frame Smith or a ruger Security Six. Anything bigger is just a pain to tote and liable to be left behind. You can use any of a wide range of 38/357 loads to meet almost any possible application. Smaller lighter 357's are available but harder to shoot and to my thinking weak for heavy 357( anything smaller than an N frame Smith is too weak for really heavy 357's)
As for vermin, the 357 is more than adequate for 2 legged pests and all of the bear defense arguements are for practical purposes, hogwash.

Sam

CowboyEngr
July 18, 2005, 05:06 PM
Do I understand this correctly? You're wanting a handgun to carry, while you work in somewhat remote country, to use as a tool to protect you from danger? Depending on what the perceived maximum realistic danger is, I'd carry the BEST firearm I owned that was adequate for that maximum danger. If it's people, at least a 357. If it's snakes, a 22 LR. If it's bears.....at least a 30 cal. rifle! I can't imagine betting my life on a firearm that wasn't the BEST I could afford. Leave all my S&W's and Colt's at home so they won't get scratched, then CARRY some 3rd. world cheapie to protect my life???? I don't think so! No offense intended, but a handgun that gets a few dings and the bluing worn off, as I carry it to guard my life, only gets more beautiful each day.

jc2
July 18, 2005, 05:10 PM
Polishrifleman -
I do worry about cats and the boys. We have cougars and bobcats in the area. Bobcats are more nocturnal than cougars although both are shy and if they have good food sources they won't go for human unless they are defending something. We have coyotes too but again fairly shy.
The big cats can bear watching for (at least check for their sign)--particularly as they get older and slower or in a bad year.

Don't be so quick to right off the bobcats (or coyotes). We've had bobcats attack full grown adults around here in broad daylight when they were rabid. In fact, not too many years ago, we had a lady that would have probably been killed by bobcat if she didn't just happen to strap on her revolver that morning before she went for a walk. It's been a while, but I believe she actually shot it once or twice while it was chewing on her, and when the Sheriff came back several hours later it attacked him (fortunately he was in his truck). Best I recalled he finally put it down with a shotgun (and it wasn't easy).

After her recovery, she wrote a short book about it geared for third and fourth grade children. I had my son read because we're often out in the country, and like many boys, sometimes his confidence overshadows his wisdom. It was a truly sobering (scary) tale, but he does a whole lot better job of being careful and staying close.

If an animal actually gets grabs you (muzzle contact distance--a very likely occurrence), the revolver probably has the advantage over an autoloader.

nitesite
July 18, 2005, 05:21 PM
No4Mk1* wrote:

I would reconsider putting birdshot in the #1 position. If you are attacked by a snake, you will be bitten before you know there is a snake there. If you have time to draw your gun and aim, then you have time to unload bear ammo and reload snake ammo before shooting. If you are attacked by a bear you really don't have time for the first shot to be useless.

You and I think a lot alike on this subject. That's why I recommended in my previous post that all six chambers be one load type, with some shot shells in the right rear pocket. Snakes either bite before you know they are there, or give you time to skirt around them or reverse direction, except for the rare occasion that they just have to be shot.

Mixing loads is foolish.

Onmilo
July 18, 2005, 05:26 PM
I live in remote west central Illinois.
Most time I get along just fine with a .22 handgun or rifle, sometimes both.
Meth is getting to be a problem east of here, so far no trouble with it yet, of course we are all old farts and won'[t put up with that behavior in our area either.

If it comes to protacting myself and my land from meth cookers in my neck of the woods I will start carrying one of my AR15 rifles with me.
County cops are usually a long wait off.

flip180
July 18, 2005, 06:02 PM
If I had land to do some work on that pretty much put me in the middle of nowhere here in Texas, I'd use a Marlin 1894C. But, If I limited myself to being able to only have a pistol, I'd use a .357 Smith or Ruger. If I was worried about bears and snakes why not get a gun that will do both. A Stoeger double barreled shotgun. Load it up with bird/buck shot for the snakes in one barrel and a 3in slug in the other barrel for the bears. Put a nice leather shell holder on the butstock and have a nice leather bandoleer on hand and load them both up with a mix of different types of bird/buck shot and slugs and you'll be all set.

Flip.

Polishrifleman
July 18, 2005, 06:50 PM
JC2, thanks for the input. I am definately not walking around at 1 or even 2 when at the cabin I did not mention that my boys are 2 and 4 (small enough to be carried away). Always as ready as I can be.

I think the info. is that a lot of animals get a bad rap much like us gun owners. :D The advice I am trying to get across is get to know the threats in your area and their habits so you can be prepared and react appropriatley and that when in a remote enough setting and you are working ie: making noise most 4 legged animals will bug out and the 2 legged variety will come and see what is going on.

Velocity229
July 18, 2005, 08:23 PM
I'm surprised that many here are recommending 357 Mags for bear. Even the maximum 357 Mag hunting loads are insufficient for bear.

A charging bear might not give enough time for multiple rounds to be fired.

A used 44 magnum (6 1/2 in. bbl) should be good for your case. Loaded with maximum hunting loads.

W Turner
July 19, 2005, 01:18 PM
Velocity - I think the only reason are looking at the .357 as a good sidearm even though bears are a possibility is because the main concern is black bears. They are a bear, but they are not in the Grizzly/Brown/Polar Bear class and are not as massive.

Don't get me wrong, if I KNEW I was going to encounter a Black Bear, I would be packing a .30+ caliber repeating rifle of one flavor or another in addition to a large-bore revolver. This is probably not practical in this case though.

Although adding a .30-30 or SKS to the mix in your truck or on an ATV wouldn't be a bad idea.


W

studebaker
July 19, 2005, 08:28 PM
A small, lw .22, like the Smith 2213, and some sort of lw, compact centerfire, like the Star PD .45. $300 used, adjustable sights, very accurate, 25 ozs, 7.5" long. The 2213 is 18 ozs, 6" long. The pair total 43 ozs, about what a single large, steel framed gun does. Why make the noise or spend the money of a centerfire on a snake, frog, bird? Why not have some real power available if you need it?

mokster
July 19, 2005, 09:51 PM
My vote is for a super blackhawk 44 mag good ,rugged,and dependable.

trickyasafox
July 19, 2005, 11:24 PM
i think a 3 or 4 in 357 fits your ticket perfectly good up to black bear, can get shot shells for it (no idea if they work worth a spit) and pretty great all around.

TimboKhan
July 20, 2005, 01:33 AM
Just my opinion, but if I were out working the high lonesome, I would pack nothing but a revolver. Nothing against autos, but in that type of environment, subjected to that kind of abuse, I would just rather go with a revo. Now, your choices for revo/caliber/barrel length and what not are legion, but if it were me, I would go with a Ruger Blackhawk in either .357mag or .30 Springfield. Barrel length would depend on the situation, and ideally I would like to have those in stainless (which, to the best of my knowledge, they are not currently made in). If you don't think that your gonna need something that big, then go with a single-six in stainless and your money.

Timbo

Skipper
July 20, 2005, 01:55 PM
NORTON,

My choice for exactly that same purpose is my Ruger SP101 w/ 3'' barrel.
I gave my 2 1/4" away just to get the longer barrel and could not be happier.
Tough as an anvil and versatile in the extreme. Your mileage may vary.

SKIP

studebaker
July 20, 2005, 02:07 PM
Autoloaders stand up to REAL abuse MUCH better than revolvers, which is why every military in the world uses the autopistol, not the revolver. Drop a revolver or otherwise strike it, and the cylinder probably wont turn, or wont line up with the barrel anymore. The revolver has lots of openings for dust and precipitation and sweat to enter, and do real harm. I've dropped a revolver in a granary full of soybeans as a kid, and into limestone dust. Both occasions locked the gun up so solidly that I couldn't rotate the cylinder, even with my weak hand trying to "help" the cylinder turn. Sand, or mud can do the same thing.

rancher
July 22, 2005, 10:01 AM
very good question,you raise.we run cattle and do some crops.e live and work on our place.we're getting up there ,though.i have always carried a single sis. .22 mag as the most common threat has been snakes,especilly during the migration periods.keep in truck or tractor.reach over and grab it and shove in pants belt.then,a few years back,our sherrif's dept lost two murderes and a rapist in a rather simple minded escape.various reports(usally wrong )had them moving in various directions.days went by and nothing.i really didn't give more thought until a beat up ol black truck wandered on to our place.stoped at various places,like looking around and started up towards the house.i hot dogged it over there and stopped them with my little .22 in hand and my wife runing for the shotgun.windows were blacked but could see a couple guys.finally the driver opend the door and out stepped our idiot ins agent!!!!!! i was so angry i was afraid to move .when he saw the wife with the big gun he turned white.turns out he was breakeng in a new agent and showing him around.he had claimed to have grown upon a ranch.but as i learned he was nothig but a city slicker.you just don't go wandering around a place ,even if the gates is open.! shorten the story-i fired him on the spot and called the home office to have them send a replacement.caused me to reevalutate what i carried.swithced to a s&w 637 so it could always be in my pocket(have gone through a number of pocket holsters(amazed haw hard daily carry is on holsters)now i have the very excellent mod 60 5" in .357 and a couple holsters-cross draw(great on tractor and truck) and a shoulder holster for cool weather and hunting got a new one coming as i adapeted my old 637 one.couple points ,in what is avery long post(sorry)i should have not just fixed on the most apparent threat but sat back and looked at all of them.yes ,i know many will say get a bigger gun,etc.there is,however< a limit to what you can carry day in day out on a practical basis.if i carried a long gun i'd be cleaning it constantly.and what do i do when i hike back to the house?carry the piece back and forth.no,the .357 is perfect.i did however,take to carrying my cell phone religously.i figure between those,i'm well covered.oh,i carry a couple shot shell and then the rest in .357.tough to do with a semi auto best regards

Norton
July 22, 2005, 11:10 PM
I went over to the local indoor range to day for a little handgun practice and decided to rent some .357s to see how they compared. Since you have to use their ammo, I only ended up getting a box of 50 rounds.

I tried:

SW 686 4" barrel
Ruger GP100 4" barrel
SW 686+ (7 round) 6" barrel

All three were pretty dirty since they are rentals, but all shot very well.

I did 2 cylinders of single action and 1 of double action in both of the 4 inch models. I did one cylinder each of single and double action in the 6" model.

The Ruger felt great in my hand until I tried to get to the trigger....then it felt cramped compared to the SWs. The SWs were pretty smooth in double action.

The 6" model was a delight to shoot with a noticeable reduction in perceived recoil compared to both of the 4" models. In a perfect world, the 6" would be my choice for a "ranch pistol" but it's far to heavy and cumbersome.

Looks like I'll try for the 686+ in a 4" barrel.

TimboKhan
July 23, 2005, 02:12 PM
Autoloaders stand up to REAL abuse MUCH better than revolvers, which is why every military in the world uses the autopistol, not the revolver

uh... Are you out of your mind? First off, reliability is but one of the things that the military demands from its pistols, but they also use autos because they are faster to reload, easier to carry ammo for, and have a higher capacity. Autos have more moving parts, and, as any engineer will tell you, more moving parts = more chances for failure. Additionally, not only do you have a higher chance of failure with the gun itself, you have the added danger of magazine failure. Now, am I saying autos are crappy? Absolutly not! I own several, and even carry one occasionally, and most of us know about the torture tests that many of these autos have passed, some of which, sure enough, a revolver wouldn't have passed.

I've dropped a revolver in a granary full of soybeans as a kid, and into limestone dust. Both occasions locked the gun up so solidly that I couldn't rotate the cylinder, even with my weak hand trying to "help" the cylinder turn. Sand, or mud can do the same thing.

Look man, I have no doubt you locked your Revo up by doing this (although I am not sure how) but do you honestly think that soybeans, limestone dust, sand and mud won't lock up an auto too?

For the purposes that this guy has, he doesn't need the faster reload, and he has a wider variety of calibers to choose from, if he so wants. Weight is a consideration if your riding all day, and a revo with 6 rounds is lighter than many autos with a full load, especially those that are high cap (Depending, of course on the gun that you choose. A stainless 6 inch revolver in .44 mag probably is heavier than a glock in 9mm, but you can always go lighter with revolvers, especially iif you get into the titanium and scandium guns) Additionally, since he is outdoors, he doesn't have to worry about accidentally bumping a mag release and losing a mag. If he goes with a single action revo, thats even less to worry about (which is why the overwhelming majority of us that recommended revolvers recommended single actions). Finally, if he really needs to get a shot off, and fails, all he has to do is cock and there is a new round, which is much faster than having to rack the slide back. Faster yet if he happens to have a double action revolver.

I honestly believe that a Revo is the perfect tool for this job, but as I mentioned earlier, I own and carry several autos. Of those, my favorite is a Ruger P90, and it has been perfectly reliable. I actually have carried this pistol on backpacking trips and even once in a great while as my CCW pistol, and I had all the confidence in the world in it (my main carry gun is a "snubby" .357 revo). There is nothing wrong with autos, and I wouldn't ever say otherwise. Its just that there are options, and in this case, the revo is the better option, in my opinion.

Timbo

Cosmoline
July 23, 2005, 06:39 PM
I worked a semi-remote parcel up near Willow for the past few years. I'm back in civilzation now, but I learned a lot. One thing I learned was how impractical carrying a big boomer handgun around all day is. I ended up using a series of 4" to 6" .357 Magnums. The rifle that got by FAR the most use was my CZ 452 Lux .22LR, which took a ton of small game. No. 2 was the Mossberg 500, which took some game but also saw service in cutting out snags with slugs. The handgun I kept strictly for defensive purposes in case I needed to cover myself while getting to a long gun. A .357 loaded with hardcast 200 grainers was ideal, since it was easy to tote and quick in the hand.

Even the maximum 357 Mag hunting loads are insufficient for bear.

Where did you get that idea? A hardcast 180 or 200 grain slug has more than enough power and a high enough SD to penetrate a bear's head Even an arrow can go right through a bear. Whether you're using a .357 or a Casull, your only hope against the business end of a bear with a handgun is to break a shoulder or hit the CNS. In this respect, a lack of flinching and much faster followup shots win out over raw ft. lbs., at least in my book.

Of course, as with any kind of self defense, the handgun is merely defensive. I practiced drills firing six fast aimed shots while running back to the rifle.

Drop a revolver or otherwise strike it, and the cylinder probably wont turn, or wont line up with the barrel anymore

LOL I'm wondering what revolver you've been using :D You got a real lemon, whatever it was. Not only have I dropped my Rugers, I've run one over once when it was sitting in the driveway. I've left them out in the rain, and while I never used them as hammers one of them had a bunch of pings on the frame from where someone had.

Heck, even the Police Positive Special and OP I had out there did just fine. I wouldn't want to run over a vintage Colt, but the PPS in particular saw some rough abuse and did just fine.

Malamute
July 23, 2005, 11:02 PM
I've carried a Smith 4" 29 or a Ruger SA 44 or 45 Colt 4 5/8" quite a lot in the past 25 years, and don't find the size or weight to be an issue with a good quality strong side high ride (Threepersons type) holster. Either cal will do fine for protection from varmints of any type.

Malamute
July 25, 2005, 05:36 PM
" I'll tell you how.
the dust gets between the cylinder face and the rear of the barrel. It gets in the lockwork, thru the cracks around trigger and hammer. It gets into the cylinder bolt cuts, around the cylinder bolt. It gets into the slot for the cylinder hand."


Sounds good in theory, but I've carried DA Smith and SA Ruger and Colts for most of the last 25 years, lived out in the hills, sleeping on the ground for litterally months at a time, carrying daily, and occaisionally going up to a year or so between cleanings a couple times, and NEVER EVER had a revolver fail for the reasons mentioned, or any other reason. The dust in arizona andWyoming is simply remarkable in it's ability to get into everything, even in a house, let alone out in the hills. Some of this time in the hills was living off the back of a motorcycle.



"Depending upon the auto, no, such dust will NOT get where it can do anything harmful to the reliability. The Glock for instance, has no holes or cracks in its rear end, so that excludes a helluva lot of debris from its action. It has no locking lugs on the barrel, so no tight little cracks for dust or sand to lock it up."


I guess it does depend on the auto, I carried several Colt 1911's off and on, and had all of them fail to function at some point. I kept them cleaner than the revolvers. Some folks have trouble with Glocks choking for no apparant reason. No gun is perfect, or totally reliable. Some just are more than others, but no guarantee.



"You are QUITE full of it if you "think" a revolver's barrel, cylinder pin, or cylinder hand can't be SERIOUSLY bent by a fall to the pavement. I ruined a M60 Smith stainless snub with such a fall. I Know of a case where an Ill state cop smacked a bank robber over the back of the head with a Cobra, and had his cylinder lock up. I can take any K frame or J frame, open the cylinder, and bend the crane so BADLY, with just my bare hands, that you can't get the cylinder back into the frame without a hammer to beat on it with."


I've dropped several of my Smiths a number of times, including having my 29 slip out of the front of my pants and cartwheel down and bouce off the steel channel iron of my rear bumper. The only things I've ever damaged was the rear sight blade.

I'm sure you may be able to twist the yoke of a Smith revolver, but I hardly ever grab the cylinder and twist mine, so don't have that problem of damaging it like you do. I don't doubt that one could bend an alooy frame gun like a Cobra also from rough use. Bill Jordan awas reportetly in the habit of cracking bad guys on the head with a pistol, and specified a shrouded ejector rod on the Smith model 19 for that reason. I hadn't heard it was a one use gun for that purpose. Maybe some guns are up to it and some arent.

Before telling someone they are "full of it" you should consider your own words carfully, as you may be called on your comments as well, tho perhaps by someone more polite than you are.

jc2
July 25, 2005, 05:48 PM
I sort had to laugh when I read the following statement, "The Glock for instance, has no holes or cracks in its rear end, so that excludes a helluva lot of debris from its action." I wonder if he has ever seen a Glock. You can see daylight between the slide and frame, and it has two large holes in the grip. :rolleyes:

T. Bracker
July 25, 2005, 06:07 PM
I have a S&W Model 60 with 3 inch barrel in .357 that I carry on our ranch. We have a pretty fair number of rattlesnakes as well as the occasional coyote. I also use a Browning Buckmark from time to time. On a related note, does anyone know of a holster maker that makes a good belt holster for the 3 inch J frame, something that has a retention strap? I have a Kramer paddle holster that I use, but sometimes would like something more secure, as I usually don't need the super quick access.

jc2
July 25, 2005, 06:16 PM
It's quite a leap from:
The Glock for instance, has no holes or cracks in its rear end, so that excludes a helluva lot of debris from its action.
to:
so what? those holes don't mean anything
Odds are he's never seen a Glock or a 1911. :rolleyes:

Malamute
July 25, 2005, 10:48 PM
Hey, where did our buddies posts go?

CAS700850
July 26, 2005, 10:58 AM
Sigh. Yet again, we drop into the "my gun is better than your gun" debate.

For what it's worth, I've got a buddy that lives and plays in snake/cougar/bad guy lands out west, near the Arizona/Colorado border. He carries a stainless 6" .44 Mag Ruger Redhawk on his belt. His wife carries a Smith 686. And, he always has his M-1 Garand handy nearby. Also nearby are a Marlin .22, a Ruger .22 pistol, and a shotgun of some type. Those are fun guns that can do work if needed.

armoredman
July 26, 2005, 12:32 PM
An SKS with SP ammo, and a good duty auto or revolver would work. A wheelie with snake shot in the first two might make more sense in snake country, but then again, so do snake chaps or guards, and heavy duty pants. For a guy who wants to look period, and not quite so paranoid, a good 30-30 lever gun and a 357 SAA might be a great combo.

Mark8252
July 31, 2005, 02:43 AM
Taurus snub nosed titanium 445 in 44 special.
Small enough to carry comfortably and a big enough caliber for most crisis solutions. Titanium is a good finish for the outdoors besides being only 19.8 ounces.
And a Mini-14 223 rifle in the truck.

KC&97TA
July 31, 2005, 05:18 PM
Glock model 20, 10mm & 15 round mags - Priced around $575. Glock is #1 in reliability as my opinion and experiance goes.

10mm will drop a 200lb buck at 30 yards, one shot-one kill caliber, acurate, flat and packs a punch. I believe it's right between a .357 and .44 mag in balistics. Team the Glock with some Corbin rounds :)

Next choice would be a Kimber 45 with a Chip McCormic 10 round mag.

jc2
July 31, 2005, 06:04 PM
I believe it's right between a .357 and .44 mag in balistics. Nope, it's in a dead heat with the .357 Magnum--practically ballistic twins. Basically, the 10mm is the autoloader equivalent of the .357 Magnum.

Peter M. Eick
July 31, 2005, 08:23 PM
As a geologist/geophysicist, I have worked on land and in the field as part of exploration programs a bunch. I went through a range of guns. I started with a beretta 40, switched up to a glock 20 and used it for a long time. After a while I decided that even for the back country in the lower 48 it was just to much gun. I then switched over to a beat up 38/44 heavy duty with very hot 38 special reloads.

My reasoning is simple. When I carried an auto, you would get questions or comments from the very very few folks you ran into. No one gives a "prospector" with a beat up old revolver a mind. I am very good with my 38/44 so I am not to worried about it. Since switching to a revolver with a basketweave exposed holster I have never had even a comment on it. It just blends into the attire, sort of like the hat, brunton compass, canteens, filson bags, safety vest etc.

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