Need a backpacking gun: 44 mag, 30oz max, is the 329PD the only option?


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JLStorm
December 18, 2010, 11:47 AM
Hey all. Im looking for a 3 - 4 inch barrel 44 Mag that wont be more than around 30 oz empty. I dont want anything as short as a 2.5" and anything longer than 4" is just too much, since some areas I backpack in, the gun needs to be concealed, which I do fine in a small lumbar packs, which is just a bit bigger than the standard fanny pack. I just fit a gun with the dimensions of the 329PD . I'll be using this gun in the North East from PA to ME and in AK, primarily Denali. The gun is going to be one that will be carried a lot and shot a little. Its just for personal defense from large 4 legged critters.

Ive had w 357s below 2.5" barrels and I am not a fan due to my ability to be accurate with them. I know some of you may be deadly accurate with those 2.5" but I am just not a fan so please dont try to convince me...been there done that.

The only gun Ive come across that fits the bill is the 329PD, which fits the bill in all areas, but it is a little lighter than I need and an extra 5 oz would surely make a difference in recoil, not to mention that it is quite expensive. S&Ws other 44 mags are just too heavy to be worth while carrying day in and day out for many miles. Ive looked at ruger and they dont make anything that works either. Ive had too many problems with Taurus revolvers over the years, so they are not in the running.

Is my only option given my going to be the 329PD? I currently carry a gun that is 33 oz fully loaded and its manageable, but I do not want to go any heavier. Yes, I know people say oh its only a few ounces, you wont notice, but I have to shed ounces everywhere I can or else before yo know it its pounds of extra weight. Remember, this is a gun that will be carried a lot and used very little, so while its a priority, it certainly isnt one of the top priorities when it comes to allowing extra weight.

Any options I may have over looked in 44 mag (and only the 44 mag, please dont turn this into a caliber debate)? Thanks.

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rcmodel
December 18, 2010, 01:39 PM
Yes, I think the 329PD is the only .44 Mag that fits all your criteria.

However, be forewarned.
As a .44 Magnum, they make a much better .44 Special!

If there is another gun that hurts worse to shoot, it would have to be a Sc J-Frame with full bore .357 Mags. But I'd still give top honers to the 329PD for Hurts!

As for your lightest best defense against 4-legged critters?
The most dangerous animal in the woods of which you speak is standing on his hind legs, wearing a wife-beater T-Shirt, smoking crack, and tending his meth lab or marijuana plot.
A .357 or 9mm will handle him & his friends quite well.

If you are concerned about black bears, get a can of pepper bear spray.
It's lighter then a 329PD, hurts far less to use it, and is probably more effective.

rc

Harley Quinn
December 18, 2010, 02:17 PM
For some the light weight, heavy recoil, (357, 44 or what have you) have ruined their ability to shoot, anything else I have noticed...

Before you think about getting one, go to a range that has some for rent and shoot them, do yourself a favor...;)

Waywatcher
December 18, 2010, 02:38 PM
I realize this is in the revolver section, but I really think a Glock would fit the bill nicely.

Any caliber really, for the reasons rcmodel already pointed out.

Don't get me wrong, I have some revolvers and enjoy 'em, but they are not always the best answer.

David E
December 18, 2010, 02:53 PM
Have you had some close calls with the 4-legged hostiles out there?

A 30 oz .44 magnum is tougher to be accurate with than the 2.5" barreled .357's you can't hit with.

I always consider snakes of the two-legged variety to be more likely threat than a 4-legged predator. Therefore, as has been pointed out, there are better gun choices to handle that threat that fit your arbitrary weight criteria.

If you insist on a .44 Magnum, the S&W Mountain Revolver in .44 magnum weighs 39.5 oz. If that weight increase is too much, then cut it elsewhere or hit the gym.

Lucky Derby
December 18, 2010, 05:37 PM
A Taurus Tracker would almost fit your perameters and weighs in at 34oz. That would be the next closest, except for your anti Taurus condition.

Seriously, you can't shoot a 2.5" .357 and you expect to be able to shoot a 4" 30oz .44 mag? A 2.5" M19/66 with full power loads is significantly easier to shoot than a 329.
Your options are:
1. Get the 329
2. put up with more weight
3. go down in caliber

RidgwayCO
December 18, 2010, 07:00 PM
I know you didn't want to turn this into a caliber debate, but have you considered a different .44 caliber, the .44 Special? My M396 AirLite (Mountain Lite) has a 3-3/8" barrel and weighs 18oz empty. It's my usual companion on romps in the woods here in Colorado. I'm not sure I'd trust it against a grizzly, but then I'm not certain I'd trust a .44 Magnum against one either. When I'm in the woods, I worry much more about the two-legged varmints than the four-legged variety. With my loaded M396 on my hip, and an extra speedloader in my pocket, I'm more prepared than 99% of the other people in these mountains.

Just a thought.

Lost Sheep
December 18, 2010, 07:13 PM
I know that you specified 44 Mag, but please consider that a Ruger in 45 Colt would be slightly lighter than the same gun in 44 mag and the 45 Colt can be loaded to 44 mag levels of lethality (for use in Rugers and similarly strong guns).

Would a 4" Ruger Redhawk in 45 Colt with handloads or heavy loading like Buffalo Bore meet your needs? Carried in a chest holster on on your backpack, weight is less of a consideration.

rcmodel's suggestion of pepper spray is right on. Lighter to carry, easier to hit with than any handgun, cheaper and having a MUCH better track record of preventing injury to the humans in human-bear encounters. Oleoresin Capsicum, or the newer UDAP spray.

There is also no more certain way of ruining a good hike or fishing trip than to interrupt it with a DLP shoot. (Defense of Life or Property) You have to report it to the (Alaska State) Troopers, who investigate. You are also responsible for recovering the skull and cape and turning it over to the state, and the meat, if edible, isn't yours either (unless you have the license)

And if you don't kill the bear, you have left a more dangerous animal in your wake. On the other hand, a sprayed bear may just be safer for other humans (after recovery from the effects of being sprayed), as he/she is likely to be MORE averse to humans.

Just some off-topic thoughts that may be pertinent.

Sounds like the Smith will be your choice, though I carry a 7.5" Super Redhawk in 454 Casull, myself. In addition to the spray. And, if only one, the spray. Make sure all your cartridges have a good, strong crimp.

Good hiking. Good luck.

Lost Sheep

Lost Sheep
December 18, 2010, 07:16 PM
Just a thought. With an aluminum grip frame, it is lighter, speedy reloading is not usually a factor and, with practice, shooting is just as effective.

Lost Sheep

Lost Sheep
December 18, 2010, 07:25 PM
If you have a lighter gun, the tendency for unfired rounds to "jump crimp" and protrude from the front of the cylinder (thus tying up the gun) increases.

The lighter the gun, the heavier the bullets and the more powerful the loadings, the greater the tendency. The last bullet fired (if you empty the cylinder) has been subjected to 5 recoils tending to extract the bullet from the case.

Make sure your ammunition has a good, healthy crimp to it. Then take one cartridge and subject it to the recoil 10 times, measuring the overall length at the beginning and end of the test. If it has lengthened, use a heavier crimp.

Twice that I know of, it has happened that a mere two shots has left a revolver unable to deliver a third against the bear that prompted the first two shots. Most recently to Greg Brush of Soldotna, Alaska, August 7, 2009.

Good luck,

Lost Sheep

Brian Williams
December 18, 2010, 08:44 PM
Using it from PA to ME, you can't carry it in NJ, NY, or MASS without major permits. I am not sure about either ME or NH but VT is a free state and anything can be carried by anybody who is legal. PA requires a permit to carry concealed but you could carry openly.
Good luck.

SharpsDressedMan
December 18, 2010, 09:13 PM
Back to the original question, the 329 is a great gun. Yes, it kicks hard (obvious laws of physics, etc), but it does much more damage to the target than it does to the shooter. For packing a powerful gun in a comfortably carried package, that is the sacrifice to be made. My hand stung a bit when I fired mine fast with six full loads, but it was controllable, and easily accurate for animal targets to 25 yards. I caved in and let my brother's friend talk me out of mine (we're both lefties, and he wanted the LH Blade-Tech holster, too), and I do miss it it. What a sweet gun to carry. Also, the heavier duty Hogue grips that S&W puts on the 460 and 500 mags would probably make the 329 more bearable, as it has rubber padding on the back strap.

JLStorm
December 18, 2010, 09:46 PM
Mods you can close this thread. This, of course turned into a caliber discussion. I give up. Its gone so off topic that there is no point in continuing with the conversation.

paul105
December 19, 2010, 11:05 AM
Get the 329. Equip it with the Hogue 500 S&W grips. Load it according to the threat level in the area you are hiking. With heavier loads, make sure that bullets aren't moving under recoil with your chosen ammo. Make sure you understand reported problems with the "lock".

Might not do you much good burried in a lumbar pack. While elk hunting, a friend of ours had to kill a mountain lion (self defense) with his bow -- when his mom asked where his sidearm was, he replied "in my pack".

I live in Montana and the 329 is my all day, everyday carry gun. It provides the perfect power to weight ratio for my purposes. For up close and personal defense, it should work just fine for you also.

FWIW,

Paul

Waywatcher
December 19, 2010, 02:33 PM
JLStorm,

I'm not trying to be rude, but what do you think discussion forums are for?

Take it easy! :)

Looking back at the thread, it looks like you had already made up your mind, and when other people's input didn't match with your decision you got upset.

Like has been stated already by others, the .44 mag under 30oz you have the sole choice of a 329.

wgp
December 19, 2010, 03:28 PM
Don't be afraid of the 329PD. Great gun with .44Special and absolutely shootable with .44Mag. Like you, I have found nothing else that can deliver that power with such light weight, and my model 29 stays at home due to weight. Just carried my 329 for a few days of deer hunting, you hardly know it is there. I use a Galco holster made for that gun that has a retention strap and can be worn on the hip or cross-draw. Use ammo with a good crimp as otherwise the recoil will cause the bullets in the rounds in the cylinder to start to back out of the brass. You are perfectly on target: this is a gun with a particular purpose, that being to mostly be carried, and I believe in the face of a dangerous situation the recoil won't be felt very much. Shoot it enough to be able to hit.

Grey Morel
December 19, 2010, 05:18 PM
The first thing you need to realize, it that from a snub barrel, most 44 mag ammo will be making 600 foot pounds of LESS - many factory load swill be SUB SONIC in the revolvers your looking at...

So basically, your looking at 45acp +P power, but burning 3 times the powder and generating 3 times the free recoil energy.

A Glock 36 holds the same number of rounds as a revolver (6) and weighs in at only 27oz LOADED... I know your looking at a revovler, but this solution makes a FAR better backpacking gun. It gets you a slimmer smaller gun with the same number of rounds and most of the power.

Cosmoline
December 19, 2010, 05:19 PM
The gun is going to be one that will be carried a lot and shot a little.

Very bad idea. If you have any hope of hitting and stopping a griz you're going to need to be exceptionally proficient with your short gun. So if as it appears you are determined to get an underweight .44 mag, you'll need to shoot it till you're sore then shoot it some more. So there is no hesitation, no flinch, and dead-on accuracy.

I realize you don't want opinions, but Waywatcher's point is sound. With your parameters a Glock 20 would work. Not an easy gun to shoot, but it's easier to deal with than powerhouse 44's out of the light S&W. The 329PD firing full power .44's (let alone bear loads) is described by Jeff Quinn as "brutal after a few shots."

http://www.gunblast.com/SW329PD.htm

Jeff's not someone you'd call recoil sensitive! So that's something you should keep in mind.

Grey Morel
December 19, 2010, 05:26 PM
I think this is a pipe dream, regardless of what gun you lug with you...

But I agree with Cosmoline - the only practical solution to this is to get something you can become proficient with for a reasonable amount of money and work. Most of us would suck up the weight and carry a shotgun or rifle for this reason - but since you insist on doing things the hard way, your best bet is to practice until you get tendinitis.

pacpiper
December 19, 2010, 05:36 PM
Not sure the weight but kicking it back just a notch with a S & W 696, 3" barrel in .44 special might be worth looking into.

I don't have a pic of mine but here's a link to one.

http://www.vintagepistols.com/images/696-2.jpg

oldrevolverguy
December 19, 2010, 05:50 PM
I have 40 years of handgunning experience and extensive trigger time with the 44 mag. I will cut to the chase; I got rid of my 329. I purchased it for the same purposes you are considering. I have owned a couple of 4" and 6" 29s over the years and enjoyed them thoroughly. The 329 feels flimsy to me and mine had to be rebuilt by the factory after 100 rounds of magnum ammo. Recoil was ridiculous, unmanageable for me. I have handloaded, hunted and competed with 44 mag and the 329 is not a viable model for me.

I carry a Glock 10MM 29 and a 870 with slugs in the circumstances you are discussing.

My two cents worth.

fmcdave
December 19, 2010, 10:09 PM
You didn't mention what kind of bear you were worried about. If it is a 250lb black, then I would argue that a .45LC or .357 magnum would be sufficient. If it is a 2000lb Alaskan Brown, then I would say get a light pistol and just use it to shoot yourself.

That said, I would argue for going with a higher weight and get a S&W .44 Mountain Gun with a 4 inch barrel. Sure, it weighs a lot, but you will find yourself practicing more...practice means that you might actually be able to use it when the time comes. I'm personally not a believer in the "carried a lot and shot little" philosophy. My philosophy is if you carry it, shoot it a LOT. I have a .45LC S&W Mountain Gun, probably the most accurate pistol I own. I shoot it a LOT and carry it from time to time.
http://www.xfer.daveandjanallen.net/mountaingun.jpg
Finally, consider some of the new front draw holsters which are now in the market. They strap across the chest and the weight is carried by the shoulder strap.

If I was in grizzly territory, I'm thinking I'd be carrying a Marlin .450 guide rifle (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BQY/is_6_47/ai_74033118/). I'd carry my Glock for those more dangerous and pesky two-legged varmits.
Dave

Dave

pintler
December 20, 2010, 01:40 PM
FWIW, I have had a 329 since they came out, and carry it backpacking a couple of months a year. I haven't had any problems other than a little holster wear. In particular, I haven't had any corrosion problems, despite week long trips in the rain.

In brown bear country I carry the load Garrett makes for the 329 - 310 gr at 1020 FPS. Recoil is severe, especially because I have hard plastic laser grips. I normally practice with powderpuff 44 special equivalent loads, and maybe a half box of full power (e.g. Winchester White Box) rounds at the beginning of the season. I use a shooting glove for those. I'm lucky enough to have a normal 629 set up with the same sights as the 329, and I practice with that all the time. The glove helps a lot.

My humble opinion is that if you practice enough to shoot well under pressure with lighter loads, the extra recoil won't be a factor given the adrenaline of a real situation. The point of aim will change drastically[1], and I normally keep the 329 sighted in for the Garrett loads and the 629 for a mild load (240 LSWC @ 950 or so).

[1]In fact, I had to mount a taller front sight on the 329 - I ran out of sight adjustment for the Garrett loads with the stock sights).

(p.s. - if S&W is listening, I think the 329 would be a great candidate for a polymer frame like the LCR and the new J frame)

Prosser
December 21, 2010, 01:59 AM
Having had a 360PD lock up on me dry firing, I would remove the lock on ANY 329, ASAP.

rockhunter
February 25, 2011, 01:51 PM
Taurus 444Multi Ultralite also fits your general requirements. 44 mag. 6 shot 4 inch barrel 28 oz. Titanium cylinder, alloy frame(Scandium?) and just as painful to shoot with full power loads as the S&W 329.

NMGonzo
February 25, 2011, 07:06 PM
I know how heavy is to carry a full size .44 and a back pack.

But I do have a problem shooting .44 out of a gun that weighs less than a flip flop.

BigN
February 27, 2011, 06:37 AM
Taurus Tracker in 44 mag fits the bill. Loud, hard kicking, light and accurate. Fun to shoot (just cover your ears.) Whoops, I see you don't like the Taurus. Well, I've had good experience with them so far but you don't like what you don't like. I understand that...

Cemo
February 27, 2011, 08:50 AM
The Ruger Alaskan in .44 mag at 45 oz might be a better option as the extra weight would allow for much needed quick multiple shots against a determined bear or multiple two-legged creatures. It is also available in the more powerful .454 Casull which would allow shooting the .45 Colt when maximum energy is not needed. Just a thought.

jtwodogs
February 27, 2011, 09:36 AM
Go with as light of a pistol as you want. Strap on a Houge monogrip. Keep your practice sessions short (So you don't develop a flinch). When and if push comes to shove, you will never notice the recoil.

CraigC
February 27, 2011, 12:04 PM
I guess I just don't understand how folks think they can buy the lightest .44Mag possible, "carry it much and shoot it little" and expect to be able to accomplish anything with it. I've been shooting the .44Mag for 20yrs. I own more .44Mag's than any other centerfire cartridge and the 40oz 629MG is the lightest .44Mag I want to shoot. All handguns are a compromise but carrying a heavy recoiling .44 that you don't want to shoot enough to be proficient with is a waste. Not carrying a sixgun that is heavy enough to become proficient with because of a few ounces is equally silly. So the question you have to ask yourself is, is giving up proficiency for comfort worth the risk to my life and limb? You may be better off with a light sixgun in a smaller chambering that you can shoot enough to become proficient with.

CSA 357
February 27, 2011, 07:59 PM
i would rather carry the extra weight i understand the easy carry of a light wt revolver but if my life was on the line i dont want a light wt 44 mag i have never shot the 329 but have shot 3 4 and 6 inch 29s with full power loads and dont think the 329 would be easy to control under a bear attack.

ECVMatt
February 27, 2011, 09:43 PM
I know that you are asking about a Revolver, but I am going to recommend a Glock as well. I would look at the 20 or the 29. Both should be close to your weight needs and with Double Tap ammo, they are decently powerful. They are both relatively easy to shoot and hold lots of ammo. I carry one in the woods and love it. I often forget it is there. I also carry a Ruger SP101 and 4" Redhawk. I much prefer the Glock 20.

Good Luck with your choice and practice as much as ppssible.

roscoe
February 28, 2011, 05:18 PM
THis is a pretty funny thread:
OP - "I want a $600 dollar car that goes to 100 in 6 seconds."
Post 1- "Well, that is tough, how about something realistic? Here are some reasonable alternatives from experienced folk . . ."
OP - "Mods, close this thread - I said $600 and 100 miles an hour!"

batmann
February 28, 2011, 06:07 PM
For less money, very little weight increase and a lot more fun to shoot, go with a 629 Mountain Gun. Mine weights in at about 39oz empty and with the X frame Hogues, can shoot most loads without problems.

S&Wfan
March 1, 2011, 01:14 AM
Mods you can close this thread. This, of course turned into a caliber discussion. I give up. Its gone so off topic that there is no point in continuing with the conversation.
You are correct. There's no point in trying to help you. You want the impossible in a gun and you won't listen to those with experience. Luckily, there's good news. There's a company out there that will make such an item . . . and commissioned sales sluts out there who will sell you one, so go for it.

In the meantime, I'd recommend hiring a good instructor to teach you how to shoot. If you lived in my area I could teach you to shoot extremely well . . . if you would listen.

Another option? I assume you are planning to hike by yourself. Instead, find someone to go with you . . . someone who can shoot well, and let that guy tote a practical gun.

Good luck, whatever you decide.

MovedWest
March 1, 2011, 02:24 AM
Like some have already said, a light 44 mag HURTS to fire. Consider a heavier pistol or a lighter caliber. Good luck in your choice!

-MW

FTG-05
March 14, 2011, 05:31 PM
The 329PD is my next gun purchase. I plan to carry it CCW in Alabama and TN after I get my Utah CCW license here the next couple of weeks.

I just got rid of my 629-3 with it's 6 1/2" barrel. Great gun to shoot, excellent example of a gun I don't want to carry, at all. The 329 will be on my hip, the 629-3, not so much.

Good luck.

dawei
March 14, 2011, 05:49 PM
Need a backpacking gun: 44 mag, 30oz max, is the 329PD the only option?
Hey all. Im looking for a 3 - 4 inch barrel 44 Mag that wont be more than around 30 oz empty. I dont want anything as short as a 2.5" and anything longer than 4" is just too much, since some areas I backpack in, the gun needs to be concealed, which I do fine in a small lumbar packs, which is just a bit bigger than the standard fanny pack. I just fit a gun with the dimensions of the 329PD . I'll be using this gun in the North East from PA to ME and in AK, primarily Denali. The gun is going to be one that will be carried a lot and shot a little. Its just for personal defense from large 4 legged critters.

Ive had w 357s below 2.5" barrels and I am not a fan due to my ability to be accurate with them. I know some of you may be deadly accurate with those 2.5" but I am just not a fan so please dont try to convince me...been there done that.

The only gun Ive come across that fits the bill is the 329PD, which fits the bill in all areas, but it is a little lighter than I need and an extra 5 oz would surely make a difference in recoil, not to mention that it is quite expensive. S&Ws other 44 mags are just too heavy to be worth while carrying day in and day out for many miles. Ive looked at ruger and they dont make anything that works either. Ive had too many problems with Taurus revolvers over the years, so they are not in the running.

Is my only option given my going to be the 329PD? I currently carry a gun that is 33 oz fully loaded and its manageable, but I do not want to go any heavier. Yes, I know people say oh its only a few ounces, you wont notice, but I have to shed ounces everywhere I can or else before yo know it its pounds of extra weight. Remember, this is a gun that will be carried a lot and used very little, so while its a priority, it certainly isnt one of the top priorities when it comes to allowing extra weight.

Any options I may have over looked in 44 mag (and only the 44 mag, please dont turn this into a caliber debate)? Thanks.At 28oz and with a 4" barrel, THIS (http://www.taurususa.com/product-details.cfm?id=206&category=Revolver&toggle=&breadcrumbseries=) fits your parameters EXACTLY! Comes with a LIFETIME WARRANTY - NEW OR USED!!!!!

DC Plumber
March 14, 2011, 06:18 PM
Lots of interesting replies and suggestions. I think the funniest one is from fmcdave where he recommends carrying a light handgun and just using it to shoot yourself. That actually might be the best answer. Hearing that a grizzly can kill and elk with one swipe of it's paw, there isn't a lot of room for error. Maybe just hike with someone who is a bad sprinter and just try to outrun him if the bear comes after you.

I have shot a 329 with 310g loads which I think were from Corbon. I honestly think that they slapped my hand with more force than my Alaskan with 240g XTP's over 30g of 2400, which were going around 1300fps. I doubt I'll ever hike where there are grizzlies. I bought the Alaskan for fun. If I had a grizzly charge, I'd probably crap my pants and pass out, who knows.

I'd actually like to hear from someone who has seriously had a grizzly charge them and were able to kill it with a handgun in self defense. Not sneaking up on it and killing it, but actually killing a charging ticked off grizzly.

Anyone?

Wolfeye
March 14, 2011, 11:39 PM
I'd actually like to hear from someone who has seriously had a grizzly charge them and were able to kill it with a handgun in self defense. Not sneaking up on it and killing it, but actually killing a charging ticked off grizzly.


I'll try to chime in on this without straying too far from the topic...

I doubt many guys could answer truthfully that they've had to shoot a grizzly with a handgun in self-defense. I'm a hiker who grew up in Alaska, and I've never had a bear charge me. The number of times a year that an outdoorsman needs to shoot a charging bear is virtually nil; the closest I've come is being there when someone had to shoot a .357 at a pack of wild dogs.

Even though I've never been charged when hiking, I've packed either a big handgun or a hunting rifle plenty of times, just in case. At the end of every single trip that I did so, I grumbled that I carried all that weight & bulk for nothing. For a while, this made guns like the 329PD very appealing, though I never bought one. Holding one for the first time changed my mind.

As I became more mature, I realized something: I wasn't really packing a big gun for bear protection. I was carrying a big gun because it's what macho outdoorsmen do. Bears are just the excuse.

When I realized that, it completely changed the way I protect myself when hiking. Being prepared for the given trip is a big issue, first and foremost. Minimizing weight is the second big issue. Keeping these two realities in mind, I've settled on carrying bear spray for animals and a small aluminum-framed .38 for personal protection.

Why? These weigh next to nothing; together, they may even weigh less than the 329. I can shoot a small .38 better than I ever will with an ultralight .44 magnum, effectively making it a better choice for personal protection for myself. And if you ask any park ranger, they would probably tell you that bear spray does its job better than any handgun will.

Are these tools macho like a .44 revolver? No. I've given up that claim. But they get the job done. And as a hiker, I've been quite happy with my choice.

Although the original poster appears to be unhappy with the advice offered, I'll answer anyway: no, there are no other .44's that fit those criteria. S&W has that niche covered, and they can keep it.

S&Wfan
March 16, 2011, 12:48 AM
Great post Wolfeye . . . dead on!

Prosser
March 16, 2011, 04:37 AM
You know what a brown bear calls pepper spray?

"Seasoning!":evil:

kbbailey
March 16, 2011, 08:33 AM
I think wolfeye has the perfect solution.
Pepper spray for bears(maybe the two legged kind too)......a light trail gun of your choice for whatever else.

drbeans
March 16, 2011, 09:46 PM
I think this thread has been beat to death, but heres my two cents anyway.

I was in your same position. Looking for a very light and powerful pistol for backpacking. I am actually still looking for the perfect option, but I dont think it exists. Common sense in regards to operating in the woods is probably the best defense, but lets talk about guns anyway.

I carry a SP101 with Buffalo Bore 180 grain loads in a front backpack waist strap pocket or chest mount holster. I shoot it regularly, and try to imagine how I would shoot it in a panic bear situation (fast). Who knows if this will help in reality, but what can you do. When I am car camping with the family, its the 12 gauge 870 over my shoulder. I can get 5 shells downrange very fast, and very accurate with this setup. I wish I could carry it on backpacking trips.

I figure, beyond these steps its not going to get much better.

Scipio Africanus
March 17, 2011, 12:57 AM
Yes.

friscolatchi
March 17, 2011, 01:19 AM
I spent the past 20 mins reading this thread and Mr Wolfeye has it right! I use the the bear excuse to justify the purchase of a particular handgun. My lovely wife has a, how can I say, Bear Phobia?. "Honey, I could really use a new (fill in the blanks) and it would be just the ticket for when we go to (fill in the blanks). I was planning a trip one time to the Winds and discussed packing my 629 Mountain gun with the outfitter. The outfitter told me to bring it and to save the last shot for myself.

DougB
March 17, 2011, 06:09 AM
I have a Taurus Tracker .44 and am very happy with it. This model comes with a ported barrel, soft rubber grips, and weight a little more than the 329PD (but much less than most other .44s). I don't find the recoil bad at all. I have one of the S&W Scandium .357s (about 13 oz I think), and it has a much nastier kick in my experience. I think the Taurus Tracker .44 is a good option for someone who wants to carry a .44 in the outdoors. It also costs about half as much as the S&W. Someone posted about another new Taurus .44 that weighs even less than the Tracker - I hadn't heard of it before, but it also looks like a viable option.

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