Help me pick a woods gun, please.


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Triggernosis
September 16, 2011, 04:55 PM
I'm trying to find something that's lightweight and has good sights to carry with me on the farm. I thought I'd settled on a S&W Model 37 airweight revolver, but I can't hit anything with the fixed sights past just a few yards. Considering that the M37 is truly a close-quarters combat revolver, I can't really fault it.
I'm looking for something that I can dispatch wounded game, bag a rabbit, etc, and use for protection that doesn't weigh a damned ton! Bears are not a concern. I know I'd best be suited with at least a 4" barrel heavier revolver, but most of them push 25 oz. minimum. The only thing that has felt really good in my hands lately has been a Sig P232 in .380, but I'm having a hard time convincing myself that it would be suitable as a woods/trail gun.
Any suggestions or opinions?

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dougwx12
September 16, 2011, 06:05 PM
If you're trying for light-weight, with your stated goals, try to track down a s&w 360 3" kit gun. 12 oz, adjustable sights.

Hanshi
September 16, 2011, 06:07 PM
.45acp Kimber Ultra Carry. I love mine.

TexAg
September 16, 2011, 06:19 PM
A K frame S&W! I just hiked around our cabin in NM and carried a model 19 and it was very comfortable. I felt well armed enough against black bear with some 180 grain .357. If I were back in TX where bear aren't a concern at all I might take my model 10 tapered barrel. Those 4" K frames are a breeze to carry.

Vern Humphrey
September 16, 2011, 06:22 PM
These days in the woods I usually carry either my Colt Woodsman (.22 LR) or my Colt New Service in .45 Colt. The latter is not lightweight, but it will handle anything I might run into.

Super Sneaky Steve
September 16, 2011, 06:23 PM
A single action revolvers are generally a little lighter than double action. I"d give the blackhawks a look.

CaliCoastie
September 16, 2011, 06:43 PM
hard to still find but.. i like my pmr-30, 30 rounds of 22 mag. best of luck

PapaG
September 16, 2011, 08:42 PM
I use the following: Kimber conversion on a pro carry, sp101 3.1", security six 2 3/4", Judge, Smith 63, 4 5/8" blackhawk 45 colt, and on days when I'm feeling really nasty, a 624 with Keith 429421 hollowpoints cast of pure lead ahead of a sensible pile of Unique.

scaatylobo
September 16, 2011, 08:42 PM
Look at the S&W 386.

Its a 7 shot .357 with a scandium frame and 3" barrel.

I have one and its LIGHT,and fairly accurate.

Good enough for 'minute of tree rat or rabbit'.

And with a hotter load,good for all predators.

Might even suffice for a small bear,if needed.

Lawdawg45
September 17, 2011, 07:35 AM
Kind of a tough request, wanting deep woods protection with the weight of a J-frame, but how about the .44 Charter Arms Bulldog with a 4 inch barrel? The K frame suggestion is also a good one, but my personal choice would be a single action Vaquero or Blackhawk, but that's just me!:rolleyes:

LD

357 Terms
September 17, 2011, 07:49 AM
Charter Arm also makes a 4in 22 mag that I believe weighs in a under 25 ounces.

ColtPythonElite
September 17, 2011, 07:54 AM
If you use a good belt and holster you can easily carry a heavier gun than a 25 ouncer. That would open the doors up to a whole pile of suitable guns. It sounds like a 3-4" adjustable sighted .38/.357 would do what you want to do.

kbbailey
September 17, 2011, 08:50 AM
I know many will cough and bark, but I carry a 4 5/8" Ruger Single Six .22 around the farm and on scouts. It is accurate, will take small game, dispatch wounded game, ammo is cheap, and not too loud. With a couple of boxes of shells in your pocket, a target of opportunity can turn into a range session. The wife and kids can shoot it and have fun too. If you feel the need....you can pop in the .22 magnum cylinder, and have a potent little eardrum bustin' flamethrower that certainly has earned my respect after carrying one for almost 35yrs.

mbopp
September 17, 2011, 08:59 AM
Another vote for a S&W K-frame. I bought my 4" 19-3 new and 9 times out of 10 it's the one on my hip for a walk in the woods.

Triggernosis
September 17, 2011, 09:59 AM
Kind of a tough request, wanting deep woods protection with the weight of a J-frame, but how about the .44 Charter Arms Bulldog with a 4 inch barrel?
Yes, I know I'm probably asking for something that doesn't really exist.
I took a look at the Bulldog and found that Charter makes a 4" in .357 also that's under 25 oz.. Loading that with .38 Spec. might just be right on the money. Thanks for the suggestion.

Lawdawg45
September 17, 2011, 10:10 AM
"Yes, I know I'm probably asking for something that doesn't really exist.
I took a look at the Bulldog and found that Charter makes a 4" in .357 also that's under 25 oz.. Loading that with .38 Spec. might just be right on the money. Thanks for the suggestion. "

Glad to help. I might also suggest that rather than finding a gun to meet your comfort needs, you find the appropriate weapon and re-adjust your comfort level. You'll find that with the proper belt and holster, a larger weapon is no challenge at all, and this comes from an old cop who carried a S&W Highway Patrolman for years!;) Take a good look at a SA Sheriff's model in .44 or .45 Colt.

LD

ATBackPackin
September 17, 2011, 11:43 AM
What about a Ruger SP101 in .327 FedMag (http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/49_76/products_id/53400). It has a three inch barrel, adjustable rear sight, and weighs 28 ounces.

Or there is the Charter Arms .327 FedMag (http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/203/products_id/54616). That one has a four inch barrel, adjustable sights, and weighs on 23 ounces.


These can fire S&W.32, S&W.32L, .32 H&R Mag, and .327 FedMag which makes it a really versatile gun.

ms6852
September 17, 2011, 12:06 PM
This is what you need.

http://www.keltecweapons.com/our-guns/pistols/pmr-30/

amprecon
September 17, 2011, 12:33 PM
I think a Glock 19 would be worth looking at, it weighs 21 oz. empty and is accurate and compact and 9mm is effective for your purposes.

TonyT
September 17, 2011, 12:44 PM
I would suggest one of the S&W small framed revolvers such as the older 22/32 Kit Gun and it's successors in blue Model 34 and in Stainless Model 63. I prefer the 4 inch barreled versions.

BCRider
September 17, 2011, 02:01 PM
As much as I want to also suggest a K frame S&W I suspect that one of the plastic 9mm semis would suit you. The S&W M&P and Ruger SR9 are marginally more compact and not as "boney" as a Glock. By "boney" I mean less square corners to dig in when you bend the wrong way.

But really the key to comfy carry is always going to be the belt and holster and how/where you carry the gun. If the holster is a poor fit for you or sits in a spot on your body that you're always bumping it or that it digs into your side you'll be constantly thinking about it. But if it's a good fit that is held securely on a stiff but not overly tightly done up belt you'll soon forget that it's even there. It's like any other item of clothing you wear, it's got to fit well.

The weight of the gun is just one factor. And truly it's not the most important factor either. If you get the other fit and location factors dialed in you'd find that you can easily carry a few extra ounces and soon won't even know it's there until needed.

Rexster
September 17, 2011, 03:45 PM
With a good, stiff belt, and a holster which does not wobble on the belt, and fits the weapon well, I can pack a 4" S&W Model 19 all day, in comfort, and by comfort, I mean that if I stop to see if I can feel the weight of the weapon, without touching it, or turning to look downward, I cannot tell if it is there. An SP101, which is just a bit smaller, allows me to sit more comfortably in some situations, as the smaller grip is less likely to get against things, which can result in the weapon or rig putting pressure on me. I use Milt Sparks PMK holsters for these revolvers.

On the autoloader side, I can have the same level of comfort with a SIG P229, except that the fat grip can tend to bear against some things while I sit. This is with a Josh Bulman FDS holster.

Triggernosis
September 17, 2011, 05:49 PM
Or there is the Charter Arms .327 FedMag (http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/203/products_id/54616). That one has a four inch barrel, adjustable sights, and weighs on 23 ounces.
Ooooh, I like the looks of that one! I'm not crazy about Charter Arms, but I may just take a look at that one. Thanks ATBackPackn!

langenc
September 17, 2011, 05:55 PM
If a 22 is adequate, get a Ruger Mark II or Mark III.. There are some real nice holsters out there for them now.

wlewisiii
September 18, 2011, 01:39 AM
Since you seem to want compact, a 3" barrel K frame would be your best bet. For your uses, I'd suggest a .38 rather than a .357. I doubt you'd even need +P. I like the 64 with fixed sights but if you want adjustable a 3" barrel on a model 67 will do you just fine.

Me, I like my 4" Model 64 for this role with 158 gr. LRN loaded in it.

ArchAngelCD
September 18, 2011, 01:57 AM
How about a S&W M386 Night Guard (http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product4_750001_750051_765949_-1_757773_757767_757751_ProductDisplayErrorView_Y)? It's a full size L frame revolver with a 2.5" barrel that holds 7 rounds of .357 Magnum. It's easy to carry but powerful. At only 3oz heavier you can move up to the N frame M327 Night Guard (http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product4_750001_750051_765947_-1_757773_757767_757751_ProductDisplayErrorView_Y) that holds 8 rounds of .357 Magnum. I'm betting that will solve almost any problem you will come across.

ATBackPackin
September 18, 2011, 09:43 AM
Ooooh, I like the looks of that one! I'm not crazy about Charter Arms, but I may just take a look at that one. Thanks ATBackPackn!
Anytime. Most people pooh pooh the .327, but I seriously doubt most have ever fired one. Everybody who has fired mine loves it and with the load versatility makes it a well rounded gun.

Triggernosis
September 18, 2011, 09:47 AM
AT, how "low" can you load for .32? Can you load something softer than a .38 but more than a .22LR or Mag?

CraigC
September 18, 2011, 02:31 PM
If I couldn't pack more than 25oz, I'd just stay home. You have to decide, do you want it to weigh nothing, or do you want it to actually serve its purpose? Because to serve its purpose, it will have to weigh more. For it to weigh nothing, it will be virtually uselss and be a waste of space on your hip anyway.

Vern Humphrey
September 18, 2011, 02:54 PM
If I couldn't pack more than 25oz, I'd just stay home. You have to decide, do you want it to weigh nothing, or do you want it to actually serve its purpose? Because to serve its purpose, it will have to weigh more. For it to weigh nothing, it will be virtually uselss and be a waste of space on your hip anyway.
When you're actually backpacking, every ounce counts. So I wouldn't knock someone for wanting the lightest gun, stove, tent, sleeping bag, whatever.

But normally, I carry either a Colt Woodsman or a Colt New Service in .45 Colt. For serious backpacking, the New Service stays home and the Woodsman rides on my belt

ATBackPackin
September 18, 2011, 06:55 PM
AT, how "low" can you load for .32? Can you load something softer than a .38 but more than a .22LR or Mag?
With the .327 you can fire loads ranging from about 90 ft/lbs all way up to over 500 ft/lbs. Like I said it is very versatile and great for teaching on as well. Plus you get six rounds in the smaller guns.

Shawn

22-rimfire
September 18, 2011, 08:09 PM
I would look for a used S&W Model 10 or 15 in 38spl. It will do all of what you require without a lot of recoil. They aren't real heavy and are comfortable to shoot.

My woods guns are: S&W Model 57 Mountain Gun (41 mag), S&W Model 17 or 18-22LR (used to be a 4" Colt Diamondback 22), or my newish S&W M63 5" 22LR. Occasionally I will take a Ruger GP-100 (357 mag) or Glock M23 (40 S&W), but mostly it is either a 22LR or the 41 mag. I do not "fear" bears where I might usually go, but black bears are not uncommon.

RatDrall
September 18, 2011, 08:14 PM
Ruger SP101, or a Glock 17.

Justin Holder
September 18, 2011, 09:03 PM
how "low" can you load for .32? Can you load something softer than a .38 but more than a .22LR or Mag?

You can shoot .32 S&W, .32 S&W Long and .32 H&R mag. in a .327 mag., no need to down load the .327 mag. itself.

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