Backpacking pistol suggestion


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IdahoSkies
August 2, 2011, 06:53 PM
I have reviewed prior posts and threads and I'm not totally satisfied so I'll ask my own question, though it may have been dealt with somewhere. Its a spend my money question.

I hike and backpack a lot. With the recent increase in wolf activity in my area as well as some recent drug busts in national forest land I am seriously considering adding a firearm to my backpacking set up.

My concern is that a .22 "trail gun" style weapon is not enough for my concerns. But I am also fairly weight conscious as it really adds up and I have been known to cover 30+ miles on a trip. (on my feet).

I carry a kt .32 almost on a daily basis and its fine for my low key environment but I have some concern about its ability to fend of something large and four legged.

As such I would like some suggestions. I'm not wedded to any particular plat form (revolver/semi). I have a k frame .38, (4 inch) and an eaa witness in 9mm. The witness is heavy as sin and the k frame is a possibility but it is also pretty weighty.

What are others using in similar situations, or what suggestions do you have. Thanks.

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Exeter
August 2, 2011, 07:30 PM
Ruger LCR. Very light weight and available in .357magnum.

waidmann
August 2, 2011, 07:31 PM
I favor a 3" J-frame .357. Carrying a limited mixed bag of snake shot, wadcutters and the magnums for the dangerous critters especially of the 2 legged variety

agent89
August 2, 2011, 07:57 PM
Glock 26, light , tough, reliable. Easy to shoot well. 10 rd capacity in a small auto, hard to beat combination.

armoredman
August 2, 2011, 08:13 PM
Using what I currently own, I would go with my CZ Phantom, 18 rounds of 9mm at 1.8 pounds, pretty light, and I always carry a spare mag. If I bought a gun for backpacking only, I might go with a nice 4 inch 357 mag loaded with hot soft points. A good solid belt will help with the weight, and I would probably carry two speedloaders, JIC.
Reminds me of when I was issued my very first rifle, a demilitarized Springfield 1903A3 in JROTC, with the following lecture; "This rifle weighs 8.69 pounds combat loaded. After twenty miles, the decimal point disappears."

gbran
August 2, 2011, 08:26 PM
G20 Glock. Not too heavy. 15 rounds of 10mm. If it's too big, get the G29 in 10mm. Lots of firepower for your worst nightmare.

Deaf Smith
August 2, 2011, 09:40 PM
G20 Glock. Not too heavy. 15 rounds of 10mm. If it's too big, get the G29 in 10mm. Lots of firepower for your worst nightmare.

If you want power, firepower, and not a real heavy gun I think this is the way to go.

Just use Doubletap or Buffalo Bore 10mm ammo.

And I'd get the newest Glock 20SF, short frame.

Deaf

Jeb21
August 2, 2011, 10:58 PM
Another vote for the Glock, given that weight is a primary concern. Another option would be an Airweight 38 J-Frame.

Finprof
August 2, 2011, 11:15 PM
You don't want to shoot it much, but a Smith and Wesson Model 357 is a 41 magnum in a scandium frame with a titanium cylinder. It weighs about 27 ounces with a 4 inch barrel. I have one for the Idaho mountains. My hunting buddy has a Taurus of similar weight in 44 magnum. It hurts. He shot it four times at a coyote and his hand hurt for two weeks.

pintler
August 2, 2011, 11:28 PM
I see 'Idaho' in your handle. If you're interested in Brown Bear defense you want a 44M or 10mm. The S&W 329PD at 25 oz is the backpackable 44M. Glock makes a couple of 10MM guns if you like that, the G20 at 30 oz. with empty mag, and the G29 for a couple of oz less. When comparing weights, remember to include the ammo weight; 6x300 grains=4 oz, 15*200gr=7 oz.

Strictly for wolves, I'd look at Smith's 3 inch J frame .357 at something like 14 oz.

Druggies are harder. You're potentially talking about bringing a pistol to a rifle fight; I don't think there is a good answer to that. Aside from that, any of the above should work.

soloban
August 2, 2011, 11:36 PM
Ruger SP101 in .357 Mag.

Elm Creek Smith
August 3, 2011, 02:00 AM
Kel Tec PLR-16. This should handle any ruffians you might meet on the trail.

http://keltecweapons.com/our-guns/pistols/plr-16/

ECS

easyg
August 3, 2011, 09:19 AM
Glock 26, light , tough, reliable. Easy to shoot well. 10 rd capacity in a small auto, hard to beat combination.
An excellent suggestion!

And if you prefer a pistol with a manual safety, then I recommend the Ruger SR9c or the S&W M&P9 compact with manual safety.

Daveboone
August 3, 2011, 09:49 AM
I will be going against the grain here, but...
Being an avid backpacker myself, I know it is impossible to carry accessibly a handgun where we normally would (waist or shoulder carry), which means mostly carrying it on or in the pack. Stumbliing along on the trail, we make plenty of noise to warn off any critters anyway. Hoods dont normally want to work hard enough to get to where we are. Just the same, I agree with the principle of carrying something (even though in 40 years of backwoods camping and backpacking, I have never had a reason for it).
I carry alternately either a .22 small frame revolver or a J frame S&W .38. The .22 will be enough to bugger off any critters ( dont even worry about the wolfs), although my philosophy is that anything short of a 12 gauge with slugs is a moot point against a charging female bear protecting cubs...see my initial opinion of that threat above.

amd6547
August 3, 2011, 10:06 AM
I have backpacked for decades and have always carried.
There have been about three occasions where I have been glad to be armed when encountering individuals that raised the hair on my neck, though I have never had to draw.
"impossible to carry accessibly"....I use a North Face internal frame pack which has a triangle shaped zipper pocket on eitHer side, just over the waist belt...if you didn't know this pack had them, you would never see them. They zip shut, and are easy to access with the pack on. Around camp, I transfer the pistol to a cheap uncle mike clip on IWB holster, which is featherweight to carry.
These pockets are big enough for a Glock 23, which is a pistol I have carried on the trail.
Glocks are great for backpacking, due to the light weight, and due to their resistance to corrosion. The week long trip I carried my G23 on rained every day, and when it wasn't raining it was damp humid...the cloth holster I used was pretty soaked most of the time.
The Glock looked as if it had never left home.
I am much more concerned with two legged threats than animals.
The greatest chance for nasty human encounters is at trail heads and near roads...basically anyplace close enough to the road to easily carry a 12 pack of beer.
However, at least one of the scary encounters I had took place on the trail, and was with what seemed to be a mental case...I was very glad to have a snub 38 in my parka pocket that time, and had my hand on it the whole time...the mental case never knew he was being covered.

Cemo
August 3, 2011, 11:45 AM
+1 on the Glock 23, plenty of ammo and plenty of power, suggest 180 gr. load for max penetration.

Mainsail
August 3, 2011, 12:29 PM
I also do a lot of backpacking and hiking, often away from the trail system. Lighter is righter! I would suggest the G29SF as the best all-around choice. Ten rounds is plenty for whatever you may encounter, and the 10mm is a great overall round.

I carry (G20SF) in a Bianchi M12 military holster. It attaches over the pack belt instead of threading through a holster's belt slots (which is impossible with the giant buckle on the pack's belt).

http://www.topohiker.com/Holster.png

788Ham
August 3, 2011, 12:55 PM
As has been mentioned earlier, I'd suggest the Ruger SP 101 in .357. Mine has the 3 in. barrel in stainless. Weight wise, the barrel isn't too long, nor is it too heavy to be packed all day on the hip. The size of the SP 101 in this configuration, is also ideal for a pack pocket on the backpack.

Old Shooter
August 3, 2011, 01:01 PM
Hoods dont normally want to work hard enough to get to where we are.

Probably true. But in the part of Virginia where I am we have had several instances of murder and rape on the trails and national forest in this area. The odds may be slim, but it only has to happen once to you to make it 100% ..... No?

rich e
August 3, 2011, 01:02 PM
Another vote for the Glock 29SF....I just picked one up a couple months ago and added the pinky extensions on all 5 mags....Thats what I carry when hiking with the family in bear country...

Glock 27 set up the same way would be my runner up...

I feel the airweight 41s and 44s are just plain nasty to shoot..I have an all steel S&W mountain gun in 44 mag but prefer the weight/capacity of the 29SF...

IdahoSkies
August 3, 2011, 01:09 PM
I will be going against the grain here, but...
Being an avid backpacker myself, I know it is impossible to carry accessibly a handgun where we normally would (waist or shoulder carry), which means mostly carrying it on or in the pack. Stumbliing along on the trail, we make plenty of noise to warn off any critters anyway. Hoods dont normally want to work hard enough to get to where we are. Just the same, I agree with the principle of carrying something (even though in 40 years of backwoods camping and backpacking, I have never had a reason for it).
I carry alternately either a .22 small frame revolver or a J frame S&W .38. The .22 will be enough to bugger off any critters ( dont even worry about the wolfs), although my philosophy is that anything short of a 12 gauge with slugs is a moot point against a charging female bear protecting cubs...see my initial opinion of that threat above.

That has been my feeling for years but with the increasing population and increasing run ins between pets and livestock and the predators I am increasingly worried, especially since I often hiking/camp and backpack with my kids (who are under 10 years of age). This has changed my assessment of my threat level.

I have not considered the 10mm but will do some research on it and try and shoot some. I've liked Glocks in the hand but been uneasy with them in anything over 9mm due to the feed ramp problem, and with the 10mm being the 40s big brother, does the 10mm's feed ramp have the same problem?

Thanks for the suggestion.

A .357 LCR was also on my list but capacity and sight radius are a bit wanting on it.

easyg
August 3, 2011, 01:15 PM
As has been mentioned earlier, I'd suggest the Ruger SP 101 in .357. Mine has the 3 in. barrel in stainless. Weight wise, the barrel isn't too long, nor is it too heavy to be packed all day on the hip. The size of the SP 101 in this configuration, is also ideal for a pack pocket on the backpack.
I dunno...

That Ruger SP101 is 27 oz. empty, and only gives you 5 shots.

But you can get the Glock 33 in .357 Sig that is 26.63 oz. loaded, and gives you 9 rounds.

Mainsail
August 3, 2011, 01:23 PM
...does the 10mm's feed ramp have the same problem?

I'm not sure what you mean by feed ramp problems. Both my G200SF and G29SF have been 100%. I have a LWD barrel in the G20, but the G29 was so accurate right out of the box I left it stock.

I have never heard of a 10mm Glock blowing up, the guns were designed for that round.

http://www.topohiker.com/2Gs.png

IdahoSkies
August 3, 2011, 01:33 PM
I've seen and heard of the .40 glocks having problems with an unsupported chamber and case failure (ie. the brass would rupture where it was unsupported). I guess I misstated my concern as it was not a feed ramp problem but a chamber concern.

SwampWolf
August 3, 2011, 04:13 PM
I'll suggest one of my favorite pistols that I take on Boundary Waters canoe trips: a Smith & Wesson Model 6906. Chambered in 9mm Luger, the pistol is fairly light-weight and compact, is corrosion resistant, holds thirteen rounds and is reliable in the extreme.

Judo
August 3, 2011, 06:01 PM
Another vote for the Glock 29. I have one and rides with me on every hunt, hike, scouting trip in a Wilderness Tactical holster. Plenty of power and capacity for what your looking for. The reason I bought the gun was for use as an all around outdoors sidearm.

788Ham
August 3, 2011, 11:13 PM
easyg,

I'm not the least bit concerned about the weight of the firearm, loaded or unloaded, its the power of the cartridge sending the bullet out the end of the barrel. Light weight of the firearm doesn't concern me, I can hang onto the revolver!

easyg
August 4, 2011, 10:41 AM
I'm not the least bit concerned about the weight of the firearm, loaded or unloaded, its the power of the cartridge sending the bullet out the end of the barrel,...
Okay.
But most hikers are concerned about the weight of their gear.
And most hikers want the greatest amount of usage and functionality for the weight they are carrying.
And the .357 magnum from a 3" barrel really isn't any more effective than the .357 Sig from a 3.46" G33 barrel.
And when both calibers are practically equal in performance, 9 rounds trumps 5 rounds every time...especially when the handgun holding those 9 rounds is lighter in weight than the handgun holding the 5 rounds.

I like revolvers as much as the next guy.
But in this particular instance, the Glock 33 just makes more sense than the Ruger SP101.

SwampWolf
August 4, 2011, 11:34 AM
Light weight of the firearm doesn't concern me,

It very well might if you were toting it, along with all your other camping/fishing gear on your back, around on hiking paths or portage trails for long distances at a time. The op was specific in that he is "fairly weight conscious" and, importantly, has some security concerns regarding predators, both man and beast (wolves) types. Whether it's the Glock Model 33, weighing about 20 ozs. (empty), with a capacity of nine .357 SIG rounds as recommended by easyg or the Smith & Wesson Model 6906, weighing 26.5 ozs. (empty), with a capacity of thirteen 9mm rounds as I recommended, it would seem that either pistol offers a better weight to ammunition capacity ratio than the 27 ounce (empty) Ruger Model SP 101, having a capacity of five .357 Magnum rounds.
And while there's no question that either the .357 Magnum or the nearly equivalent .357 SIG cartridges are more powerful than the 9mm Luger, when it comes to stopping a man or (the unlikely) wolf attack, the 9mm cartridge is more than adequate. And, because wolves attack in packs, should such an attack take place, I think most people would rather have thirteen bullets on board than they would five.

Hamburger
August 4, 2011, 06:18 PM
If you want power, firepower, and not a real heavy gun I think this is the way to go.

Just use Doubletap or Buffalo Bore 10mm ammo.

And I'd get the newest Glock 20SF, short frame.



No Double Taps for hard hitting 10mm. Their numbers are VERY exaggerated.

Buffalo Bore and Swamp Fox really packs a punch.

I'm not saying Double Tap ammo is bad. I'm just saying that the numbers they post from testing out of a Glock 20 are off by a huge amount. Over 100fps on some tests.

jmr40
August 4, 2011, 06:38 PM
No Double Taps for hard hitting 10mm. Their numbers are VERY exaggerated.



My chronograph shows 1315fps from my G-20. That is 15 fps faster than advertised.

The G-20 is my choice if there is any possibility of bear. Otherwise I'd carry the same thing I'd carry in town, a G-19.

I'd suggest an auto. They are lighter, thinner and easier to pack. Auto's, especially Glocks, are also much less likely to malfunction when carried in dirty outdoor conditions.

A short barreled revolver loses a LOT of velocity compared to the ballistics charts. You may be loading 357 mag ammo into the cylinder, but from a 2-3" barrel you are getting 9mm velocity out of the barrel. I'm getting an honest 1300+fps with 200 gr hardcast bullets from my 10mm. A 357 may do it, but you'd need at least 6" of barrel to make it happen.

Dr.Rob
August 4, 2011, 09:13 PM
The point of a handgun in this scenario is a worst case emergency of some sort. You aren't hunting with it, plinking along the trail or bugging out.

Any 5-6 shot small frame lightweight revolver in .357 should be plenty for defense against most predators in the lower 48. If you aren't in bear country a 38 rated for +p will do.

Get it in stainless / aluminum for weather resistance.

Loosedhorse
August 5, 2011, 06:36 AM
I feel the airweight 41s and 44s are just plain nasty to shootI don't think they're near as nasty as .357 snubbies! And we're not talking about comfort or fine accuracy during an extended range session; we're talking about emergency use at close range against a bear or human attacker. Sure, you'll need a couple of range sessions, but that's why they make shooting gloves, and soft rubber replacement grips that cover the backstrap!The S&W 329PD at 25 oz is the backpackable 44M.There you go. And add to that Buffalo Bore (http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_list&c=10) makes ammo specifically for the 329--that's still a 255 gr Keith hardcast going 1350 fps.

'Course, neither the revolver nor the ammo are cheap!

I really like Glock 10mms. Short of large bear, it will do great with the right ammo. But my preference might still be toward a revolver in hiking/camping conditions. Plus the Glock ballistics don't match that .44 Mag load, and it weighs more. anything short of a 12 gauge with slugs is a moot point against a charging female bearAgainst a human attacker, a .22LR is way better than nothing. Against a bear, a .44 Mag is way better than nothing.

amd6547
August 5, 2011, 07:58 AM
I have carried a 38spl snub as a backpack pistol...I once had an older Charter Arms undercover "off duty" model which I found fairly cheap. It only weighed 17oz's as I recall.
A very good backpack weapon.
For me, I don't like to carry an expensive weapon that is going to be beat up on the trail. The Glock 23 I carried was an exception to this rule. On that trip, I did encounter a rare Pennsylvania golden wolf...he walked by our hillside campsite about 50yds away in broad daylight...It was a magnificent sight...the wolf paid no attention to us, but I was glad to have the Glock in my belt, just the same.
Currently, my backpack pistol is a romanian Tokarev. It is pretty compact and flat, it holds 8rds of 7.62x25, and it is stone reliable. With it, I can reach out to 100yds easily, and the 7.62x25 will penetrate just about anything I might care to shoot. Plus, I only have about $175 in it.

Deaf Smith
August 5, 2011, 08:20 PM
Currently, my backpack pistol is a romanian Tokarev. It is pretty compact and flat, it holds 8rds of 7.62x25, and it is stone reliable. With it, I can reach out to 100yds easily, and the 7.62x25 will penetrate just about anything I might care to shoot. Plus, I only have about $175 in it.

I got one of the Yogo Toks. Yea with a Spear 'plinker' 100 gr bullet it would make a dandy trail gun. I paid $180 for mine!

Or a good Glock 23/32 (I prefer the .357 Sig for the trail if I pack a Glock.)

Deaf

Brian Williams
August 6, 2011, 08:53 AM
When I go hiking I like to take my S&W 36, 3" barrel small lightweight, comfortable and handy. I would really like it if S&W brought back a nice fixed sight K frame in 22lr. They could do it with a Scandium frame and a standard profile barrel and it would be sweet.

Shawn Dodson
August 7, 2011, 11:36 AM
A 10mm Glock 20 is what I suggest for carry in the outdoors.

RedAlert
August 7, 2011, 01:54 PM
Once you have chosen the weapon to carry, you need to think about where and how to carry it.

My suggestion, is to use the Wilderness product shown here:

http://www.thewilderness.com/storepinnacle/index.php?p=catalog&parent=171&pg=1

This allows you to carry it close to hand and yet avoid the " WOW " factor of open carry or needing to rummage in your pack to access it.

Zerodefect
August 7, 2011, 06:43 PM
I carry a Glock 23 in a pouch on my packs waist band. It is a binocular pouch I believe. Completely conceals the pistol. Most backpackers are hippies and would freak at the sight of it so i keep it concealed.

My total pack weight for a 1 week hike is 35 pounds. 25 or even less for a three day weekend.

I save weight elsewhere so that I can carry the sizeable Glock. That Glock is my heaviest piece of gear. Heavier than my tent and my pack, even my sleeping bag!!!!!!

Some areas I saved weight to make room for the Glock:
-Gossamer gear pack
-Gossamer Gear/ Henry Shires tarp tent
-Gossamer gear carbon poles
-lightweight Pepsi can stove
-MSR water works so I can pump my own water, not carry it
-dehydrated food.
-mountain hardware sleep bag
-Z lite folding foam pad
-only 1 Nalgene canteen. Some folks carry three of these heavy things.
-minimum water. Often only 1000cc's.
-Dryduck thin rain gear.
-only 1 extra shirt and under shorts, two extra socks, and soap.

Mainsail
August 7, 2011, 08:51 PM
Most backpackers are hippies and would freak at the sight of it so i keep it concealed.

Where do you hike? I hike all over western Washington with a full sized Glock G20 in plain view, and there's certainly no shortage of hippie libs on the trails around here. Not only have I never had a problem from them, they still stop and chat on the trail.

It's possible you're overacting.

NM Mountainman
August 7, 2011, 09:30 PM
Mainsal,

That looks like a pretty good backpacking setup in Post #17. I use the same holster with my Glock 20 when backpacking. I attached an extra 2" strap on the outside of the hipbelt so that it carried on the hipbelt. It is very secure, easily accessible, and comfortable; but I keep knocking my hand, wrist, or pole against it due to the natural swing of my hands while walking. I also had to develop a special procedure for removing my pack to avoid dragging the holster in the dirt as the hipbelt droops while I'm setting the pack on the ground. I am thinking of experimenting with chest carry accessories for that holster or perhaps a Wilderness holster.

On Selecting a handgun for backpacking:

I've backpacked for decades in the Rockies and the mountains of the SW states. For almost 30 years I often carried my S&W Model 19 and 24 rounds of ammo. I've also carried a model 629 (4"), a Taurus Tracker 44 mag (4"), and my Glock 20 as well as a large can of bear repellant pepper spray. (I only carried one handgun at a time.)

I've concluded that whenever I don't feel the need for the power of a .44 mag, my Glock 20 is my favorite backpacking gun. It's rugged, reliable, and easy to maintain. ( If I were to accidentally drop it in the dirt, and a horse were to come along and accidentally kick it off the trail, it probably wouldn't hurt it any. Might even improve its looks.) For anyone who has a large enough hand to use the G20 and who doesn't mind the inconvenience of buying or hand loading the ammo, the G20 is far superior to a .357 revolver with a 4" barrel for self defense. About the only advantage I can think of with my Model 19 revolver is its extreme accuracy for slow deliberate single action shooting. It is more accurate than many custom 1911 .45 target pistols.

I discovered that the S&W Model 19, a 686 Plus, the Taurus Tracker 4", the S&W 629 4", and the Glock 20 were all about the same overall size and weight when loaded. Except for the 629 (47 oz loaded), they each weigh about 40 oz loaded. I also tried a Glock 29, but I couldn't see any advantages in saving a few oz. by settling for a shorter sight radius, a shorter grip, a little more muzzle blast, and a little less velocity. But if you already have one for CCW, it could be a pretty good choice.

I've found my Taurus Tracker to be as good as the S&W 629 for backpacking. Even though the Tracker (which is ported) weighs 8 oz less than the 629, it still has less recoil and muzzle jump. Both the double action and single action trigger pulls of the Tracker are just as smooth as the 629 and only about .5 lb heavier. My Tracker is just as accurate as my 629 with most loads, but I prefer the 629 because it's easy to mount a J-Point mini red dot sight on it. The Tracker has been reliable and problem free except for when I broke a firing pin spring by dry firing excessively. (The Taurus manual recommends no dry firing with the Tracker and recommends ammo with no more power than a 240 JSP at 1350 fps.) And by the way, I just thought that I would mention that Taurus CS is an oxymoron.

I've also tried .357 and .44 mag revolvers with 2.5" and 3" barrels as well as a Mountain Gun. I found they only offered 1 to 3 oz of weight savings and no real advantages in convenience or comfort when carrying. The barely noticeable advantages certainly weren't worth the reduced sight radius, reduced velocity, and increased recoil and muzzle blast.

The Ruger Redhawk with a 4" barrel is also a great backpacking revolver that is only a few oz. heavier than a 629. And if a horse loses a shoe, you can use the Redhawk to nail it back on. (Always remember to unload it first.) It's more practical and useful than the Ruger Alaskan unless you feel the need for a .454. The Alaskan is a specialized one trick pony and is mostly a marketing gimmick, IMO. Kind of cool looking and fun to shoot, though.

And one more thing, Taurus CS is, shall we say, a little less than substandard.

Scipio Africanus
August 8, 2011, 12:01 AM
Get a S&W 329 PD. Use .44 special for practice and .44 Mag for carry. You just can't get a more versatile and easy packin' pistol.

Izzy77
August 8, 2011, 12:33 AM
I just carry what I always carry in the city...like others I think humans are your biggest threat, and if you pack a decent claliber with a DA trigger with some corrosion resistance ( Nitrided /Glock, Stainless or hard Chromed) you cant go wrong with most of the choices presented here.

The smallest gun I would reccomend would be a g-26 ( 10+1 ) of 9mm, but the moderator 's suggestion of a airwheight type 38 is not so terrible either.

blindhari
August 8, 2011, 02:36 AM
Long time ago when I spent time with a pack, I crried a 357 mag S&W 65-5. It was clumsy, ill placed and too heavy until I came across what I think was a Bianchi Cross Draw Speed Leather with thumb snap. This placed the gun on the left front and weight distribution was perfect. Cross draw position made gun easily available to free hand. Thumb snap was ideal for retention and came off naturally when gun was drawn. Pack never covered pistol but a light jacket/long shirt was ideal concealment. Modern version seems to be Bianchi Cyclone 111. No matter what you decide on, Bianchi keeps it safe in a holster, or quickly in your hand.

blindhari

duns
August 8, 2011, 03:01 AM
For the scenario you describe -- two legged predators and wolves -- I think you have a lot of choices: 38 Spl +P, .357 magnum, .45 ACP, .40, 10mm. It could be whichever of those you shoot the best. If you bring bear into the equation, then I think .44 magnum is the minimum. Revolver or semi-auto depends on which you think is more reliable and on how many rounds you think you need to have in the firearm. I think it is very subjective. My own choice would be a 1911 .45 ACP with 8 round magazine if no bears are involved (1911 just because I shoot it the best) -- otherwise .474 Casull or .500 S&W (and forget about comfortable carry). Or maybe both a 1911 and a .500 S&W to cover all eventualities!

Formula94
August 8, 2011, 03:46 PM
I ordered one these for when I go hiking or hunting. Is there a drawback to using a leg holster in these scenarios? I'll be carrying an FNP 45.

Mainsail
August 8, 2011, 04:32 PM
Is there a drawback to using a leg holster in these scenarios?

Without knowing how you define hiking, it's hard to say. If hiking is strolling around in the forest for a mile or so, other than looking like you're playing soldier, it might be ok. If you're talking about six miles or more on a day hike, then I don't think you'll find that holster very comfortable.

Sam Cade
August 8, 2011, 05:13 PM
I ordered one these for when I go hiking or hunting. Is there a drawback to using a leg holster in these scenarios? I'll be carrying an FNP 45.

It would work you to death.

People spend a lot of money shaving every little bit of weight from their boots since you have to lift that weight every time that you take a step.

A thigh holster like that would end of adding over 3 pounds to one leg that would would have to lift ten thousand times or so on a 10 mile hike.

Maple_City_Woodsman
August 8, 2011, 05:31 PM
I was about to suggest a Charter Arms 4" 'Pathfinder' in 22 magnum...

But I see that your actually looking for a combat pistol rather than a traditional packing/camping/hiking type weapon. In that case, just carry whatever you would for normal defense. 10mm is as good as a dozen others in this case.

Backpacker33
August 8, 2011, 10:32 PM
There are so many personal issues involved it becomes a matter of "like," or, "because I have one."

I've 'packed for 50 years. In the '70s, my handgun of choice for Colorado, Montana and Idaho Backcountry was a S&W 29 with 4" barrel, loaned to me by a retired USAF Chief Master Sergeant. Will a little thought and research about how to shoot one, it isn't so bad. After the Dirty Harry craze abated a bit, used ones littered the market.

THEN I was able to afford an Anaconda and it would still be my fave except that it is heavy and as I aged I had to lighten the load. Today I carry a modified S&W 329PD. I had it MagNaPorted, added Hog Hunter Lasergrips, Cylinder & Slide Extreme Duty sights with tritium inserts (sighted in for me by C&S) and use CorBon or Hornady 225-gr cartridges, or my handloads (305-gr bullets at about 900fps). Again, with a little study of the techniques of people like John Taffin, one can shoot it without damaging oneself.

In between I've carried a LAR Grizzly .458 Winny Mag; S&W Mountain Guns; and a Hamilton Bowen-modified Redhawk in .500 Linebaugh. Yes, that gun will hurt you.

I have one holster mounted cross draw on my pack frame, and another on a utility belt that also carries the spare ammo, flares, and pepper spray. Both have a thumb break.

Having seen a cougar in full run I prefer shorter barrels so I can draw and swing faster. Bears are more likely to pose, at least for a moment. I've never had to even draw on either.

For the druggies, avoid; or take the M1A or SOCOM and some grenades. If that's where you have to go, live with the weight . . ..

BTW, last year there was a drug bust in the Chippewa flowage here in Wisconsin. I fly into that area to fish, from time to time. After, I asked the rangers if they knew about the bastards, and if they would have warned me of them. They said "No," and "No." Greaaaat.

Anarchocapitalist
August 10, 2011, 02:19 PM
+1 on the 10 MM Glocks. Granted 10 MM is not a "mainstream" cartridge, however I honestly don't think you can beat a G20 or G29 for firepower and weight. They also handle the cartridge extremely well. There's not much you'd have to worry about with that combination.

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