Hunting Sidearms


July 17, 2006, 06:57 AM
this isn't a thread about handguns as primary hunting arms, but as a sidearm. what do you carry in addition to your long gun, if anything?

i carry a 6 1/2" Ruger Single-Six in .22 WMR most of the time. it's lightweight and accurate, and packs enough punch for what i might encounter in my usual hunting areas.

when hunting farther north in AZ i usually switch to a Ruger Gp100, in case of larger threats.

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July 17, 2006, 07:53 AM
If you don't trust your rifle then you ought to stay home. Firing a 22 pistol at that pesky squirrel can chase away that nearby deer !!

July 17, 2006, 09:25 AM
Who needs a rifle as a primary against deer?

July 17, 2006, 10:05 AM
My contender is my primary when handgun hunting, but I like my Ruger .357 Blackhawk. Was playing just yesterday at the range at 100 yards with it. My 180 grain XTP load shoots about 3-4" groups when I can get my eyes to focus on those irons. :D I think I'm going to use it some more this season. I've killed one deer with it.

As for toting a handgun when I'm rifle hunting, yes, I usually do. Now, I have carried a .22 for squirrels because the squirrels were so thick I couldn't resist. :D However, out west when I'm spot and stalking, I'll often have a good walk ahead of me before I get to the areas where the deer hang out. I'll tote a .357 mag stoked with .38s, a J frame .38, or a kit gun for rabbits or such that I might come across. I have a Taurus M66 and a Blackhawk in .357 that I've toted, or I just got a little Rossi M68 that's tight, times perfectly, has a good trigger, and is 2" at 25 yards accurate. It's very light on the hip and I'm thinkin' this might be my walk about gun while hunting in the future. It's PERFECT!:D The .357s get a little heavy on the hip after a while. I did have a stainless Rossi M971 in .357 that was only a little over 30 ounces that was great for this duty, but traded it for my Stainless Blackhawk .45 colt, a trade I wouldn't take back.:D

I like the little .38, myself, but I know guys that carry a .22 mag such as you do and I have a friend that absolutely LOVES his Ruger SSM in .32 H&R mag for this. He hunts Colorado a lot and comes across these grouse that just sit there asking to be shot, the way he talks about it. I've never hunted the Colorado high country, but these birds do sound tasty. :D The .32 is a neat caliber, but I figure my little .38s are about the same application. That little Rossi is a pleasure to carry and it's quite accurate with wadcutters or hotter 158 grain +P loads. It shoots 'em both pretty close, the wadcutter directly to POA. Seems like the perfect bunny gitter when I get out west again. If I'm hiking, I like to tote a medium frame .357 or a Blackhawk, but when I'm rifle hunting, I'd rather have the lighter .38 on my hip. I won't be needing magnum loads for anything.

Here's my little Rossi.....

July 17, 2006, 03:29 PM
But I've had too many experiences in fog, rain and other dark deep cover/foliage situations where I've drawn one of my pistola's and been successful. I keep the scoped rifle in hand for the open land, and open timber. If I'm packin an open sighted lever gun, then no, I don't usually take a side arm on a hunt. (But I have)

It's usually this .44 Mag or my Ruger Bisley SBH.

This .357 Mag needs to get out more though.


Vern Humphrey
July 17, 2006, 04:05 PM
Living in the Ozarks, as I do, I'm pretty much hunting when I step out the door. Deer hunting, I'll carry a Hammond Game Getter (shoots a 00 buckshot from a modified .30-06 case with a nail-setting blank.)

But for general hiking and riding (as well as dedicated hunting), I'll usually carry either a Colt Officer's Model Target .22, a 2nd Generation SAA in .357 (usually loaded with .38 special wadcutters) or a .45 Colt (either a Ruger Blackhawk or a Colt New Service.)

July 17, 2006, 07:20 PM
I've carried most all of my handguns hunting at one time or another on hunts. For years I carried a .22 Ruger mk2 5.5 inch Bull Barrelled target pistol as a side arm/survival arm/signalling device.

I carried a .45 auto and my 1917 New Service Colt on elk hunts. (though not at the same time)

Then, one year I was packing out an elk quarter (dad had gotten this one) and I ran into a cow elk, not 20 feet away with a cow tag in my pocket and a .22 on my hip.

I bought a 44 magnum because it's LEGAL for taking big game. I usally carry a Ruger Vaquero 44 mag for that reason alone, when off in the high country.

But when antelope hunting (where a side arm is primarily there to deliver a coup de grace if needed) I've carried a .45 Lightwieght Commander, a 9mm Hi-power clone, an FEG .380 (which came in very handy one day), a Dan Wesson 357 Maximum (in case I was feeling the need to try antelope with a handgun). I'm taking my Luger next time.

I do some upland bird hunting in an area full of bears. I don't go birding up there without a big pistol.

Oh and then there's my 'fishing' gun...

July 24, 2006, 11:33 PM
Until there is snow on the ground I carry a S&W 66 in .357 Mag with the first two rounds loaded up with snake shot (I hate snakes). otherwise, I carry either my Colt 1991 or a Ruger Blackhawk in beefed up Magnum powered .45 Colt loads (on the off chance I can get one with the handgun.)

July 24, 2006, 11:50 PM
I always carried a .44 when bowhunting. Not necessary when hunting with a rifle.

Nowadays I'll carry a .22 pistol to whack camp meat when hunting and leave the revolver in the sleeping bag for tent security at night.

July 25, 2006, 02:58 PM
Don't hunt with a long gun . I use one of these To kill one of these this one was killed with a S&W 657 not a Ruger, just don't have pics of the S&Ws yet. :o The mount pics are from yesterday should have the completed mount by Friday.:D

July 25, 2006, 04:02 PM
either my smith 19 in 357 (most of the time in deer season) or my blackhawk in 44 mag for elk season.

30-06 lover
July 25, 2006, 04:12 PM
I carried a 22LR for a few years for squirrels & snakes. For the last four years I haven'y carried a pistol, but last years experience in the woods has prompted me to buy a 45 and carry it while hunting.

Al Thompson
July 25, 2006, 06:16 PM
Glock M26 with a G17 magazine for the reload. Enough punch to get through a boar's head, light enough for packing ease. I do like the 124 grain Gold Dot for performance.

July 25, 2006, 06:47 PM
2 guns... depends on what I'm after and what's out there.

#1 - Ruger Redhawk 44mag 5.5". Deer, Elk, Bear. Hunt with .30-30 or .308.
#2 - Glock 21 45acp. Javelina or bunny-popping with a tiny rifle, want something bigger in case of cranky mexican buffalo, 2-legged bothers, or anything else unexpected, but there aren't any really big critters around that a good 45acp load won't drop.

bigger jon
July 25, 2006, 07:30 PM
I was a hunting guide in northern Cal i used my old 1920 something 38spc, I`ve killed or finished off 50 to 60 hogs over the years

July 25, 2006, 08:58 PM
When big game hunting with a large caliber rifle, I usually carry a model 17 S&W .22lr.
If I'm small game hunting with a .22 I'll carry my model 19 S&W .357. I've taken a couple of deer with this one, too. I've recently bought a .44 629 MG that will see some use in this role this year.
Even when rifle hunting, I usually have my mod 19 in the truck. It comes in handy when you have to make a trip back in the woods to get your stand or help your buddy drag one out.
I've had 2 single-sixes. I used to use mine as a primary for small game. I found the long barrel made it awkward to pack as a sidearm, when rifle hunting, though. I like the 4" inch barrels for a sidearm.
I hunted more with my 7.5" ruger SBH last year than anything else. In the swamps around here, where short ranges are the norm, it's perfect. My rifles might be gathering dust, this year.

July 26, 2006, 05:17 AM
I plan to carry my 10mm when Elk Hunting. I've heard several first hand accounts of elk hunters encountering cougars while stalking elk. Less fur damage if time allows, I want a rug.


July 26, 2006, 10:22 AM
Down here a sidearm is a smart thing to do. Especially if your out running washes quail hunting with a shotgun. There are always coyotes out here and I don't mean the one with 4 legs. A sidearm is a piece of mind when you walk up on a group of 20+ sitting under mesquites cooling off from a long days walk.

I carry a G20 with 2 extra magazines just in case. Not only because of that but I've always carried a side arm because I can. ;)

July 26, 2006, 11:00 PM
If I'm in the field hunting, whether with rifle or bow, I usually packing a S&W 686 .357 Magnum loaded with Federal hardcast bone crushers.

Always have, likely always will.


July 27, 2006, 10:54 AM
Colt Anaconda 6" .44Mag or Ruger SBH SS 4.5" .44Mag.:what:

August 3, 2006, 08:26 AM
In Northern VA where I have a CCW, I carry a Kimber 45 compact or a sp101 357, sometimes even a 38 snubbie. More worried about the guy I meet at the trailhead parking lot at 0430 than a black bear, but Yogi is out there. In Colorado or Alaska I carry a 629 classic 44 mag. Bigger stuff out there I think.

Vern Humphrey
August 3, 2006, 11:41 AM
In Colorado or Alaska I carry a 629 classic 44 mag. Bigger stuff out there I think.

If you run into a grizzley in Colorado, just let him eat you. That will be less painful than what the law will do if you shoot him.:p

August 3, 2006, 05:20 PM
IF I carry a handgun in addition to rifle it is most generally a 4" mod. 29 or 629.

August 8, 2006, 03:10 PM
KIMBER45TLE wrote:

Rifle? Who needs a rifle as a primary against deer?

I gotta hear the story of your hunting with a 1911. There's no doubt a .45ACP could take out a deer, but what kind of range did you take those shots at?

August 8, 2006, 06:48 PM
And I think it's a 10mm, not a 45ACP. Mucho difference in power levels. I suspect those are some close shots. I'd sure like to take a deer with my 10mm Witness just for bragging rights if nothing else. However, only if comfortable with the range. I'd need the time to put down the rifle first.


August 8, 2006, 07:08 PM
I team my Ruger Deerfield and Super RedHawk both in .44 mag., In the pistol, 300 gr hard cast, in the rifle Hornady 240 gr., JHP/XTP muzzle = 1350 fps, 50yds = 1188, 100yds = 1078. :fire:

Plenty of PUNCHING POWER. I hate walking far to pickup a deer. :cuss: Hit it, and lay it down. :D

August 9, 2006, 08:06 PM
1990 S&W Model 29-5, 6" S&W Silouette Model .44 magnum. I've removed (and saved) the double-pinned S&W four-height adjustable front silouette sight to cut down on holster noise. I have a pair of nice Hogue Rosewood laminate grips for this revolver, but it is pictured in it's usual hunting season trim. The "rubbers" are easier to grip in cold conditions.

Full underlugged barrel, unfluted cylinder. 1st generation Bushnell Holosight. Ammo: Federal 300 gn. "Castcore" hard-cast flat-nose lead.

I plan to leave my rifles home this fall and winter and just take the 29 into our Georgia woods. It's about time to leave the crutch at home.

I take deer every year with this super-accurate handgun and have most of the fondest memories in all my deer hunting via this revolver. The 300 grain bullets totally thump each deer I shoot with them.

August 9, 2006, 08:53 PM
I usually carry a handgun when hunting. Which one I have with me varies, according to what and where I am hunting. Two that get a lot of use are my Ruger Bisley Vaquero in .45 Colt, and a Model 34 or (63) S&W .22LR revolver.

August 9, 2006, 11:57 PM
For years I used my .357 Blackhawk for everything from rabbit & squirrel (.38 WCs) to deer (Win. Silvertip HPs).

August 12, 2006, 03:03 PM
I usually carry whatever I happen to carry on a daily basis. If I hadn't had one on the day this one came running up along side us, there wouldn't be a picture!:)

Pistol is a Glock 23 loaded with Remington 180 Gold Sabers. Single shot to the head.

August 14, 2006, 12:00 AM
Have carried a Ruger 4 3/4inch Blackhawk, a Sig 220ST, a Taurus 85 .38 Spec, and most recently, a Springfield 9109L 1911. This year, it will likely be the 4 inch 629 on the hip, holding a 250LSWC over dose of Titegroup, and I'm hoping to drop a hog with it.

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