Camping compromise gun, animal vs. people


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TexAg
October 8, 2012, 05:35 PM
When out hiking or camping (in a place you can legally carry, openly or concealed) what is your gun of choice? Is it a compromise gun for all occasions whether you expect to meet backwoods pot-growers or a bear? Or do you weigh your likeliness of meeting either one and adjust your preferred gun to meet the more likely encounter?
For instance, if you're very far out and think you're much more likely to enounter a grizzley, do you take your .454, .500, etc?
Or if in another location, you think you're more likely to enounter 3-4 armed dudes that don't want you blabbing about their secret meth lab, so you carry your high capacity semi-auto?
Do you adjust accordingly on your percieved threat or do you have a standard do-all?
Personnally, I've done all three and not necessarily for genuine percieved threats, but more for the fun of it and an excercise in the philosophy behind it.
I've carried a Ruger old Vaquero in .45 Colt, S&W Model 19, 6" GP100, and a Glock 17 while hiking.
I'm not really talking about Taffin's Perfect Packin' Pistol, similar, but with more of an anti-personel role.
I found the Model 19 with 4" barrel a pretty good compromise (in non-brown bear country), easily loaded with heavy, deeper penetrating rounds and more quickly reloaded than a single-action.
I'm sure many would say the Glock 20 or 29 would fit their likes better.
And if in the great north, I'm sure there are more who prefer a .44 Mag.
So what is your do-it-all compromise gun when you're away from civilization?

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David E
October 8, 2012, 05:39 PM
I've always thought that man presents a greater threat than animals. If I had to choose for one threat, it'd be for the two-legged snakes.

But I do have wild hogs and black bear in the woods I frequent, so the Glock Model 20 in 10mm gets the nod. Easily concealable, reasonably powerful, good capacity, easy to carry, easy to shoot and reload.

jmr40
October 8, 2012, 05:56 PM
If in an area where there are no bear, the same gun I'd carry in town. Usually either a G-26 or G-19.

If bear are in the area a G-20 with 200 gr hardcast bullets @ 1300 fps work great. A 2nd mag is with me loaded with lighter HP ammo for human SD which I actually consider to be the far greater threat anyway. A 357 or 44 mag revolver is my 2nd choice and a good one.

I own both 357 and 44 revolvers in 3 and 4" versions and greatly prefer the Glock for several reasons. For one thing it is an inch shorter and 14 oz lighter than my 3" revolver. When backpacking 15 miles a day that is huge. I don't live or hike in grizzy country but would even prefer the Glock if I did. That is what I carried to Yellowstone and would probably do the same if I ever get to Alaska.

On paper the magnum revolvers appear to have a great advantage in power. But those numbers are from 8" test barrels. If you are carrying a handgun that big, then yes, but when fired from 3-4" barrels both 357 and 44 mag revolvers are much closer to the actual numbers you will get with a 10mm. In fact with the best loads a 10mm will beat the best loads in 357 when fired from shorter barrels.

For a hunting handgun I'd much prefer the magnum revolvers with longer barrels and better target type triggers. But for close range SD I prefer the Glock.

scaatylobo
October 8, 2012, 08:19 PM
2 legged,its the Glock 23 or 19,or 30.

4 legged including boar & bear,its a Ruger .44 mag in El Paso chest carry and loaded with Buffalo Bore 300 grainers.

And yes,sometimes its both,the G-23 is hidden.

336A
October 8, 2012, 08:31 PM
On paper the magnum revolvers appear to have a great advantage in power. But those numbers are from 8" test barrels. If you are carrying a handgun that big, then yes, but when fired from 3-4" barrels both 357 and 44 mag revolvers are much closer to the actual numbers you will get with a 10mm.

While I think the 10mm is one heck of cartridge the above is just wrong on so many levels. The 10mm is no where close to a .44 magnum period, even if the .44 mag is fired from a 4" barrel. However the 10mm and the .357 mag are neck and neck in performance. If you look at Rem, Win, and Fed ballistic charts most of they're ammo is fired from a 4" barrel, not 8" test barrels.

I researched a little bit on the 10mm and came up with these real world results. The actual shooting and chrono work can be viewed on youtube. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AjsXvXEryDJjdFhsRUcwSHRUcktCMmhOMTVFa25xa1E#gid=0

On the other hand here are some real world results of various .41mag ammo fired from a 4" revolver. Ammo is from the big three not some boutique ammo supplier with the exception being the corbon entry. However the corbon entry is listed for personal defense on they're web site. The Win 175gr STHP has always been billed as a self defense loading in this caliber despite what is on the box. However the Federal and the Rem loads meet or exceed the manufacturers claims.
http://smith-wessonforum.com/s-w-revolvers-1961-1980/259886-awesome-s-w-41mag-2.html

Even with current loading data there is no sane way your going to get a 200gr bullet close to 1300fps from a 4.6" Glock. Not without bending or splintering something anyway. On the other hand it is no great feat for me to get a 220gr Keith bullet going 1350fps from my 4 5/8" .41 mag Blackhawk. Or I could always cherry pick my ammo from a boutique supplier, in which case the 10mm is left even further behind

https://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=322

https://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=90

https://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=92

https://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=95

http://www.underwoodammo.com/41remingtonmagnum210grainxtpjacketedhollowpointboxof50.aspx

TexAg
October 8, 2012, 08:37 PM
Scaatylobo, Ruger Redhawk or Blackhawk?

22-rimfire
October 8, 2012, 10:19 PM
I go with my gut sense. I am not particularly worried about running onto a meth lab or a pot operation out in the woods. Just act stupid and move on. But if I see a number of people out in the woods "huddled up", I will generally avoid them. It is likely I would see them first unless they are up to no good.

I will often have a revolver with me in the woods; generally a 41 mag or 22LR. It often depends if I want to do any shooting. I don't live my life in fear of what I might encounter out in the woods.

Hiking, it will depend mostly on black bears in terms of which choice I make and whether it's over night. Most of my hikes are day hikes. I feel perfectly fine armed with a 22 if I encounter a 2 legged threat. But I enjoy carrying my 4" M57 a good bit. Sometimes I will just take my carry gun (M442 38spl) if I don't want anyone to know I have a gun with me. If I am actually worried about encounters in a particular area, I don't go or go somewhere else.

ArchAngelCD
October 8, 2012, 10:26 PM
I carry a .357 Magnum in most cases. If the possibility of meeting something very large that can eat you is present I carry a .45 Colt as a sidearm.

David White
October 8, 2012, 10:39 PM
Any thoughts on the .40. Cal under the same topic?

David E
October 8, 2012, 11:19 PM
.40 would be fine in most casual outdoor situations.

TexAg
October 8, 2012, 11:20 PM
In what platform do you carry those calibers ArchAngelCD?

R.W.Dale
October 8, 2012, 11:40 PM
My compromise is part gun and part ammo.

The gun is a glock 36 that's the single stack 45acp. 3.8" barrel carried with a plus one grip/mag extension giving me a capacity of 7+1 (sound familiar?) In the gun.

As to the ammunition. I've researched this very subject extensively and its become my opinion that modern jhp loads are in terms of penatration dumbed down to a minimum that makes them wholly unsuitable for anything but defense against 2 leggers not hiding behind "stuff"

But when loaded with hardball I still retain a fairly good track record of effectiveness against 2legged critters albeit not the best. Yet I get the penatration required for defense against Dixielands four leggers or to take targets of oppurtunity in the back country




posted via that mobile app with the sig lines everyone complaints about

TexAg
October 9, 2012, 12:11 AM
R. W. I've got a Glock 36 myself that I failed to mention that I too carry with FMJ occasionally, though it is Doubletap hot FMJ.

montanaoffroader
October 9, 2012, 01:06 AM
When I lived in Northern California I usually carried a Colt SAA in .357 Magnum, plenty of gun for anything I was likely to encounter there.

Where I live now there are a few grizzlies roaming around, so these days it's a Ruger SBH in .44 Magnum.

fastest45ever
October 9, 2012, 06:16 AM
.45 Colt. Not much 260 grains of flat point at 950 fps won't solve.

1911 honorable mention with heavy, FP bullets, or 255 grain HP's.

Other approach is any .475 Linebaugh or bigger caliber, in BFR or FA 83, with light for caliber bullets, say 275 grain to 350 grains. It's pretty amazing the velocity you can get in a packable barrel, when your bullets weigh that much, or more.

wlewisiii
October 9, 2012, 08:21 AM
I'm paying off my solution - a S&W 625 .45 Colt Mountain Gun. Like a service revolver on steroids, with 9 grains of Unique behind 250 grains of LSWC, I'd be happy with either problem. The only difference is how many reloads on my belt.

scaatylobo
October 9, 2012, 10:33 AM
Its a customized SuperBlackhawk.

Grip was changed to stainless blackhawk,and barrel cut to 4 3/4".

I would rather a Redhawk,just not seen one recently in the barrel length or price I want.

mdauben
October 9, 2012, 11:24 AM
In the areas I fequent, feral dogs and feral humans are probably the greatest threat. For protection from both I'd probably pick a .357 with a 3-4 inch barrel.

TrueTexan
October 9, 2012, 11:24 AM
For the woods I carry a S&W 686 357 mag ether a 6 inch or a 3 inch

Mosbyranger
October 9, 2012, 11:36 AM
Usually, when out in the woods of Colorado, I carry a Ruger Vaquero in .45 colt. Plenty of oomph for anything I'm going to run into. If I'm in really rugged country and the .45 is too heavy (hey toss the thing on, with a belt, holster and extra ammo it's about 5 lbs) for uphill and downhill all day, I'll take the SP101 in .38.
MR

David E
October 9, 2012, 01:15 PM
the .45 is too heavy. for uphill and downhill all day, I'll take the SP101 in .38.
MR

That logic should bring you to the S&W Model 317 Airlight.

Usually, carrying an item that will do the job you're carrying it for is worth the extra weight. Carrying something that will NOT do the job you're carrying it for is worthless weight, no matter how light.

Mainsail
October 9, 2012, 02:25 PM
Any thread where the word 'bear' is used should specify about what kind of bear you're referring. Lower 48 black bears are by no means the same as Alaska's brown bears, so you end up with a thread that diverges in two different directions, and all to often becomes a pointless argument about the merits of this or that cartridge and its effectiveness.

Second, you need to identify the type of hiking you intend to do. If you're talking about real hiking; long distances and severe elevation gain/loss where the gear you carry is limited by its weight and volume, then you will get different answers than if your idea of hiking is to stroll down some trail for a mile or two.

TexAg
October 9, 2012, 03:09 PM
Actually that's the point of me not specifying which bear or if there are bears at all. I pointed out that carrying guns will differ on location and perceived threat. I'm just curious what folks are using for their perceived threat and how they balance it with what they carry. I've also asked not only caliber, but platform.

rjinaz85308
October 9, 2012, 03:10 PM
Hot 10mm. 200 grn Underwood


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

460Kodiak
October 9, 2012, 03:45 PM
no bears = .357 or .45 acp depending on how I feel that day.

Bears involved = .460 magnum

Skribs
October 9, 2012, 04:00 PM
As a "modern cave dweller" (i.e. I'm not quite an agorophobe, but I rarely leave the house unless I have to and rarely do things outside if I can help it), I don't have to worry about this.

If I did, penetration is the most important thing after placement, so I'd want to go with something that has the extra penetration for animals if needed. It will work better on humans than the personal defense rounds will on big animals.

Alaska444
October 9, 2012, 04:36 PM
Anything that works on bears will absolutely work on two legged predators as well. Black bear, .357 magnum or 10 mm and up. For Grizzly/brown bear, .44 magnum and up.

Now if you are running into pot growers run by illegals, take your AR-15 or AK-47 of choice and a bunch of friends armed likewise. Buffalo attack, better be a high powered rifle of your choice.

Not sure that there is a perfect one gun solution for every type of woods encounter in the continental US. For me, my go to woods gun here in Northern Idaho is of course, my Ruger SRH .44 magnum with +P+ 340 gr hardcast.

TexAg
October 9, 2012, 05:14 PM
Skribs, I totally agree, you generally want a heavy penetrator in a hiking/camping gun.
Alaska444, what length barrel on that SRH? That gun would be too heavy for my liking I think. But then again, I've hunted with a 7.5" SuperBlackhawk Hunter in a shoulder holster and it wasn't too bad.

sidheshooter
October 9, 2012, 05:17 PM
Since most of my hiking is in north Idaho as well (land of cougars, occasional drug trade, small bears) and since one of my favorite guns anyways is my 65-3 .357, that's usually the first choice. Bears are my least concern; I admit that the 65 is not the first choice even for very small black bears, but it beats a sharp stick. For fast reaction to something out of nowhere right on top of me (cougars, bipeds, and especially feral dogs-probably the most likely) I'm just as happy with the old wheelie. I've been shooting it a long time, and I know where POI is. Of course, if I thought any shooting was even remotely likely, I'd either not go, or go very carefully with a lot of rifle. I'm pretty sure that my track record of not having to shoot at anything while enjoying nature perfection will continue unabated, so the .357 is essentially a "just in case" fallback-a task for which these guns have been well suited for over 75 years.

Alaska444
October 9, 2012, 05:51 PM
Since most of my hiking is in north Idaho as well (land of cougars, occasional drug trade, small bears) and since one of my favorite guns anyways is my 65-3 .357, that's usually the first choice. Bears are my least concern; I admit that the 65 is not the first choice even for very small black bears, but it beats a sharp stick. For fast reaction to something out of nowhere right on top of me (cougars, bipeds, and especially feral dogs-probably the most likely) I'm just as happy with the old wheelie. I've been shooting it a long time, and I know where POI is. Of course, if I thought any shooting was even remotely likely, I'd either not go, or go very carefully with a lot of rifle. I'm pretty sure that my track record of not having to shoot at anything while enjoying nature perfection will continue unabated, so the .357 is essentially a "just in case" fallback-a task for which these guns have been well suited for over 75 years.
Great statement. Don't go or carry a big rifle. So very true. The only trouble for me is that I am still out of state for hunting in Idaho and I have been told carrying a rifle without a hunting license could get me into an inquiry about poaching. Can't win for lose. For me, I would much rather just shoulder my .444 Marlin.

beag_nut
October 9, 2012, 06:45 PM
Simple:
East of the Mississippi a Ruger SP101 with handloads of 158 gr. JHP at 1200 fps.

West of the Mississippi a Ruger GP100 with handloads of 125 gr. TMJ at 1600 fps.

Mainsail
October 9, 2012, 08:15 PM
I did a ~12 mile hike with a 7000' elevation gain/loss from Ten Mile Shelter to Marmot Pass via the Big Quilcene River Trail this weekend for my 49th Bday. It's a very long hike and every ounce is important. I brought along my G20SF with a ten round magazine. Guess what? I lived! Without the hand cannon, without the full 15 rounds the gun can hold, without the rifle....

http://www.topohiker.com/Hikes/images/BigQ/Scenery02.png

Put these coordinates into Bing Maps, click Birds Eye View. Scroll left (east) down the valley to where you see the FS road. That's where you start.
http://www.topohiker.com/Hikes/images/BigQ/Pass04.png

Didn't attack:
http://www.topohiker.com/Hikes/images/BigQ/Sq01.png

Pistol is a WHOLE 20' away!
http://www.topohiker.com/Hikes/images/BigQ/Pass06.png

Every ounce matters:
http://www.topohiker.com/Hikes/images/BigQ/Profile.png

olafhardtB
October 9, 2012, 09:48 PM
I don't want a big hiking gun, an airweight revolver in a caliber I can get snake loads is fine. I love my kit gun. You guy's can keep those boat ancors.

Alaska444
October 9, 2012, 10:47 PM
Simple:
East of the Mississippi a Ruger SP101 with handloads of 158 gr. JHP at 1200 fps.

West of the Mississippi a Ruger GP100 with handloads of 125 gr. TMJ at 1600 fps.
With all due respect, I am not sure I agree with those recommendations. Some of the largest black bears on record have come from the east coast. Some were nearly 900 pounds in the wild. Every year, they harvest 500, 600 and 700 pound black bears that rival the size of the average grizzly in PA and other eastern states.

In such, I couldn't ever recommend hollow points for woods guns where you could encounter black bears possibly as large as that. Nor do I believe I would want a .357 in 125 gr's either. I use BB .357 180 gr bullets when walking around the edges of town in some of the parks that border the woods in our area. The largest bullets and hard cast to improve penetration is what most folks consider with a dedicated woods gun. I believe that applies throughout the entire country, east and west of the big river.

I could legally open carry my .44 magnum, but the risk of bear in those areas is fortunately still very rare, unlike Anchorage where bears are tolerated in the middle of the city. In the woods, it is my .44 magnum, or my .444 Marlin over my shoulder.

Alaska444
October 9, 2012, 10:48 PM
I did a ~12 mile hike with a 7000' elevation gain/loss from Ten Mile Shelter to Marmot Pass via the Big Quilcene River Trail this weekend for my 49th Bday. It's a very long hike and every ounce is important. I brought along my G20SF with a ten round magazine. Guess what? I lived! Without the hand cannon, without the full 15 rounds the gun can hold, without the rifle....

http://www.topohiker.com/Hikes/images/BigQ/Scenery02.png

Put these coordinates into Bing Maps, click Birds Eye View. Scroll left (east) down the valley to where you see the FS road. That's where you start.
http://www.topohiker.com/Hikes/images/BigQ/Pass04.png

Didn't attack:
http://www.topohiker.com/Hikes/images/BigQ/Sq01.png

Pistol is a WHOLE 20' away!
http://www.topohiker.com/Hikes/images/BigQ/Pass06.png

Every ounce matters:
http://www.topohiker.com/Hikes/images/BigQ/Profile.png
Are you going to climb Everest on your 50th? Great pictures and happy birthday.:D

beag_nut
October 10, 2012, 02:43 PM
An advantage (and there are many) of a revolver is that one can carry it loaded with different rounds in each chamber of the cylinder. Thus, when I am in VA I carry the first two loaded with snake shot, the next two with blanks, and the final two with 158 gr. solids. The blanks are to (hopefully) scare non-cub accompanying bears. Mom bears with cubs are special, in every respect.
Magic markers make great identifying marks on the case rims. Also carry a speed loader or two loaded with heavier stuff. Of course, that's when I have the GP100. The SP101 has one fewer round capacity.

stalkingbear
October 10, 2012, 03:24 PM
Being in Ky I can see no need for anything bigger than my .41 mag Redhawk loaded with hardcast bullets and a couple or 3 speedloaders.

David E
October 10, 2012, 05:25 PM
Blanks??? 1/3 to 40% of your capacity is committed to blanks??

If you're in the woods, a safe backstop is easy to find in case you simply want to make noise with real ammo. The difference here is, you can shoot a bullet into a tree and make noise, but you can't shoot a threat with a blank.

EVIL
October 10, 2012, 09:32 PM
For me, it's my EDC which is comfortable to carry while hiking or backpacking for most of the day: my Ruger SP101 3" .357. I think it is an excellent compromise for weight/size/power. I train with it frequently and shoot it well. When I travel via air in CONUS, and plan on hitting the outdoors I usually take my 9MM Ruger SR9C because I care about it less than my .357s ... I think the likelihood of an attack by man or beast in a remote area is well, remote. But I follow the Boy scout motto of "be prepared." I think the threat of exposure or dehydration are much more likely.

481
October 10, 2012, 09:57 PM
oh, baloney. there's no grizzlies in PA, or anywhere but Alaska, yellowstone and MT, man. The biggest black bears are 600 lbs, and that's VERY rare, being a huge male, fattened up for hibernation. Most black bears, being juvenile or female, most of the year, are 200 lbs or so. They don't require any more penetration than a big, fat biker on speed.

twinny, that is perhaps the funniest perspective I've ever read, Gotta file that one away for reference!

:evil:

k_dawg
October 10, 2012, 09:59 PM
If I were going any place where I had serious qualms about a good .45acp, I would not be thinking about another pistol.

When the world was younger, and I did quite a few trips to Alaska/Yukon/British Columbia, I carried a rifle. Usually a 45-70 lever action.

ritepath
October 10, 2012, 10:18 PM
I switched over from a 9mm or 45 to carrying my new SR22 this summer. Our first hunt out this year we had a bear come in on us. No real sweat it run off when I made it aware we were there, but the first thing I thought was....22LR now we've went and done it. I switched over to get a little more distance and accuracy for coyotes.

Alaska444
October 10, 2012, 10:43 PM
oh, baloney. there's no grizzlies in PA, or anywhere but Alaska, yellowstone and MT, man. The biggest black bears are 600 lbs, and that's VERY rare, being a huge male, fattened up for hibernation. Most black bears, being juvenile or female, most of the year, are 200 lbs or so. They don't require any more penetration than a big, fat biker on speed.
Hey, you forgot IDAHO. We have a bunch of grizzly and even more packs of wild wolves. PA does actually produce huge black bears for some reason. One was nearly 900 pounds a couple of years ago:

The heaviest black bear ever recorded in Pennsylvania was shot and killed by a bow hunter just north of Fernwood Resort in Pike County on Monday.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission confirmed that David Price of Barrett Township killed the 17-year-old bruin, which had an estimated live weight of 879 pounds. The bear had a field-dressed weight of 744 pounds.

Commission says record-breaking bear kill was OK
Price's bear was 15 pounds heavier than the state's previous record holder, a 864-pound bear killed by Doug Kristiansen of Dingman Township in 2003. That bear was also shot in Pike County.

http://www.poconorecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101119/NEWS/11190341/-1/NEWS01

That was not a fluke, they routinely harvest 500 pound and larger bears in PA very frequently.

“Pennsylvania has become one of America’s top black bear hunting states, both for the incredible size some of our black bears attain and for their increasing availability here. Today, bears are taken in 50 or more counties annually,” said Vern Ross, executive director of the PGC.

Although other states have produced large bears, none have done so as consistently as Pennsylvania. The 700- and 800-pound bruins shot in the past three seasons are truly exceptional, yet they consistently show up at bear check stations each season. We couldn’t even include the 500- and 600-pound class for lack of space!

Read more: http://www.gameandfishmag.com/2010/10/05/hunting_big-game-hunting_pa_1005_02/#ixzz28xF3Z279

That is bigger than the average grizzly.:what:

Certaindeaf
October 11, 2012, 12:01 AM
The corn there must be like crack.. Winnie crack corn and I don't care.. sing it!

Ak.Hiker
October 11, 2012, 01:19 AM
What I carried today works for me. Ruger 4 5/8 inch Super Blackhawk 44 Magnum carried in a Simply Rugged Cattleman holster. A good holster combined with a thick leather belt make all the difference in the world as far as carry comfort goes. Plus the Cattleman is designed for quick access. I like to load the first 2 rounds with 300 grain XTP's or 320 grain LBT's followed by 4 305 grain CorBon Penetrators. The gun is super accurate with the XTP as well as the 320's. But for the last 4 shots I prefer those Penetrators. They are one super tough bullet. In the middle of winter any of my Glocks or 357's may get carried. I usually carry 2 expanding bullets [ XTP's or Gold Dots or Speer Unicore SP] followed by hard cast or flat point FMJ's. One exception is that on Fathers day I always go for a hike and carry my fathers 6 inch Colt Python loaded with 200 grain CorBon hard cast loads. I carry it in a Kramer pancake holster.

easyg
October 11, 2012, 02:28 AM
No big bears in my neck of the woods.
So, the XD45 will do just fine....

http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n165/allenXdog/2012-09-22013512_zps1e3e303d.jpg

TexAg
October 11, 2012, 01:22 PM
Ak.Hiker, how's the recoil, flash and bang on that 4&5/8" 44? I've thought about getting one.

beatledog7
October 11, 2012, 02:28 PM
Why compromise? Granted, a person might be able (practically or legally) to carry only a handgun, but there could be times when big hunks of lead at rifle velocities are the ticket.

In my region, I'd go with a .357 Magnum revolver and, if I'm gonna be out there a while, I'll find a way to pack a .357 rifle. Both with full house 180-gr flatnose rounds. Where critters are bigger and tougher, a .44 Magnum revolver with 240gr flatnose and a 45-70 rifle with 405gr flatnose.

I really can't see going into the wild for any length of time without a rifle.

A passable alternate for the rifles would be the same 12ga one uses for HD, but loaded with a couple 00 buck followed by a slug or two.

Scipio Africanus
October 11, 2012, 10:49 PM
Im live in the great north and my "one handgun to do it all" is a 4' 629 with 240 grain JHPs or 255-265 grain Kieth bullets. Fine for most animals and fine for anti-personel use. If I am fishing in brown bear habitat, I pack the .500, but for almost every other use the .44 is my constant companion.

Ak.Hiker
October 12, 2012, 01:10 AM
The gun has enough weight to make even heavy 320 grain loads fairly easy to control. The gun is stock except for a set of Pachmeyr grips and a Belt Mountain locking base pin. It is a very nice packing gun. Heavy enough to help with the recoil of heavy loads but light enough for easy packing.

iblong
October 12, 2012, 08:11 AM
Where I live,hunt ,hike a big bear is 300lbs,with mabe a 4-500 on a verry
rare occation,other than that coyotes and wolves.Most of which if you see them when out and about is the azz end doing 30mph in the opposite direction.I use to carry my 357,these days its my 1911 with a spare mag.
I do switch to hot hand loaded hard cast when in the woods and a mag of
hollow points in the my pocket.

481
October 12, 2012, 10:59 AM
Im live in the great north and my "one handgun to do it all" is a 4' 629 with 240 grain JHPs or 255-265 grain Kieth bullets. Fine for most animals and fine for anti-personel use. If I am fishing in brown bear habitat, I pack the .500, but for almost every other use the .44 is my constant companion.

Yeah, the 629 with those loads is pretty much a "do-it-all" gun- very versatile.

David White
October 12, 2012, 12:46 PM
173332
I think this says it best...

Scipio Africanus
October 13, 2012, 12:36 AM
the full power . 44 aint worth a hoot vs men

Unless you hit them with it...;)

the repeat hit speed is much too slow- not the .40 second of the .44.

I dunno, two full house .44 slugs in less than a second sounds ok to me. :)

Scipio Africanus
October 13, 2012, 12:45 AM
If two guys are shooting 5 shots a second at me, I am probably going to die no matter what I am carrying.:uhoh:

However, for a "one gun for just about everything whilst in the woods" I will stick with my .44 and I respect your decision to carry what ever you carry.

David E
October 13, 2012, 09:23 PM
the full power .44 aint worth a hoot vs men, the repeat hit speed is much too slow.

Practice and load choice matter.

body hits don't stop animal charges.

I wasn't charged by them, but breaking shoulders and severing spines dropped several deer instantly. Body hits can and do work, if you're hitting them with enough power.

With cut down .460 Rowland brass and 70 gr, tubular bullets, at 2200 fps, the Commander has amazing penetration in flesh and it tends to "grab" at the sloping surface of the snout-skull,

Sounds interesting. How many animals have you shot with this load? Of those, how many were charging? Of those, how many dropped instantly? What was the average penetration depth?

IdahoSkies
October 13, 2012, 09:29 PM
Glock 29sf in 10mm was the right combination of power, capacity, and portability for me. A Glock 20 I felt was to much weight, a revolver (my original choice) did not have the capacity I felt I needed If I ran into trouble out the woods. And with me hiking with my kids, (who are small) and cougars, increased marijuana grows on public lands, and the proliferation of wolves in the Idaho back country, 6 shots with a slow reload just wasn't enough to feel comfortable.

Alaska444
October 13, 2012, 09:33 PM
Glock 29sf in 10mm was the right combination of power, capacity, and portability for me. A Glock 20 I felt was to much weight, a revolver (my original choice) did not have the capacity I felt I needed If I ran into trouble out the woods. And with me hiking with my kids, (who are small) and cougars, increased marijuana grows on public lands, and the proliferation of wolves in the Idaho back country, 6 shots with a slow reload just wasn't enough to feel comfortable.
I carry a whole lot more ammo now than I did in the past here in Idaho because of the wolf problem. A friend of mine got a moose a few days ago and the wolves were howling nearby. Not so much an issue of power and penetration with a wolf, but having enough for all of them is a different story.

I still go with revolvers in .357 and .44 magnum. For SA, 10 mm gives great woods protection with the right ammo choices.

David E
October 16, 2012, 10:52 AM
How much ammo did you carry then? And now?

TexAg
October 16, 2012, 11:20 AM
I'm interested to know as well. Mainsail posted he only carried his Glock 20 with a ten round mag as a compromise to save weight. He was definitely covering more ground than I do on average these days. If I'm carrying a revolver I often don't carry a reload, so even with a ten round mag you've got more on board than me.

David E
October 16, 2012, 11:37 AM
Mainsail posted he only carried his Glock 20 with a ten round mag as a compromise to save weight..

Yeah, that baffles me. I thought he had a 15 rd mag but only loaded ten. A single round of 10mm Silvertip weighs 260 grains, which is real close to 3 ounces for 5 rds. 3 OUNCES! If the weight is that critical, shave it off elsewhere.

Me, I'm loading that magazine up.

Malamute
October 16, 2012, 12:23 PM
I carry a 4" Smith 29 or a 4 5/8" Ruger 45 most. Generally have a rifle along also, a scoped bolt gun or a 348 or 45-70 lever. We have both kinds of bears, the grizzlies seem to be in great profusion at this point and have expanded their range quite a lot in recent years, as well as a variety of other predators.

People problems are extremely rare, especially in the mountains. I figure whatever would work for critters would work for people if the need arose.

I generally have 30 or so rounds for the pistol carried in a belt, and 20-30 rds for the rifle on me.

I dont often do real long hikes, but when I've done longish ones, I just deal with the weight. It ain't the end of the world, and next time it wont seem as heavy.

It doesn't require a superpowered gun to kill bears, nor a big bulky chunky one. 44's/45's seem to work fine when loaded right and used well. The 4" Smiths and 4 5/8" Rugers are a joy to carry in a decent rig.

Alaska444
October 16, 2012, 12:32 PM
I carry a 4" Smith 29 or a 4 5/8" Ruger 45 most. Generally have a rifle along also, a scoped bolt gun or a 348 or 45-70 lever. We have both kinds of bears, the grizzlies seem to be in great profusion at this point and have expanded their range quite a lot in recent years, as well as a variety of other predators.

People problems are extremely rare, especially in the mountains. I figure whatever would work for critters would work for people if the need arose.

I generally have 30 or so rounds for the pistol carried in a belt, and 20-30 rds for the rifle on me.

I dont often do real long hikes, but when I've done longish ones, I just deal with the weight. It ain't the end of the world, and next time it wont seem as heavy.

It doesn't require a superpowered gun to kill bears, nor a big bulky chunky one. 44's/45's seem to work fine when loaded right and used well. The 4" Smiths and 4 5/8" Rugers are a joy to carry in a decent rig.
+1, I don't worry about the weight of my revolver (54 oz) or the weight of my rifle (9.5 lbs) at all. I don't do 10 mile hikes any longer, but the weight is not at all bothersome to me for the distance I go. Weight dampens recoil which allows me to comfortably shoot high powered, large weight bullets. Worrying about 3 oz seems silly to me.

2zulu1
October 16, 2012, 03:27 PM
Camping in areas near the international border in Arizona are complicated given the violence history.

I like the 10mm, but if in the mountains I've evolved to carrying a M29 Mountain for a number of reasons. It weighs approximately the same as a 1911 or loaded G20, numerous bullet choices for the handloader and it's a true 100yd + caliber.

I'm presently experimenting and testing the 200gr XTP loaded with N105 powder and what I've witnessed thus far is promising. N105 dampens the muzzle blast and felt recoil is very manageable compared to heavy W296 loads. While Hornady ammunition publishes muzzle velocity at 1500fps/7.5" barrel, I'm getting 1471fps from the 4" Mountain and 1606fps through a M629/6.5".

This is a very explosive option for both social miscreants or thin skinned predators.

While I've carried 300gr WFNs/JSPs for potential bruin threats, I'm dropping down in weight to Cast Performance 255gr WFNs. The larger bruins in this part of Arizona are in the 400# range and a couple of them have been hit on I-10. Bruin attacks on humans are extremely rare, however, attacks on dogs aren't and since many families bring their pets camping, it's a good idea to carry a sidearm with sufficient bone crushing capabilities IMO. :)

I realize threat potentials here are different than most other areas, it's common for people here to go from campfire to campfire in order to prepare for worst case scenarios and keep their loved ones safe from harm.

murf
October 17, 2012, 02:02 AM
my "gun of choice" is a ruger blackhawk in 45 long colt. i shoot a 265 grain hard lead semi-wadcutter bullet at 1000 fps. barrel length is 4.625". it rides in an uncle mike's belt holster (strong side). it will take care of any critter i encounter in the back country whether i am hiking, camping, or quad riding.

so, i don't compromise.

murf

FMF Doc
October 17, 2012, 08:27 AM
I like that you state upfront that this is a compromise. I prefer either a 10.. semiauto or a 4"bbl .357mag revolver.

MachIVshooter
October 17, 2012, 10:58 AM
My backcountry sidearm is almost always the G20. But the only animal I really worry about would be another camper's aggressive dog. Bear and cat attacks are so rare anywhere on this continent that I don't even factor them in; I just carry it with the same ammo I do in the city, which is a 180 gr. GSHP @ 1,400.

With cut down .460 Rowland brass and 70 gr, tubular bullets, at 2200 fps, the Commander has amazing penetration in flesh and it tends to "grab" at the sloping surface of the snout-skull

Sounds interesting. How many animals have you shot with this load? Of those, how many were charging? Of those, how many dropped instantly? What was the average penetration depth?

Twinny has an obsession with ultra-light, super-fast handgun loads, and doesn't understand/won't listen to admonishments that they do not work well.

farm23
October 17, 2012, 11:48 AM
I live where there are black bears but they really are not much of a problem. Coyotes, rabid animals, Ferrel dogs are another matter. At this point I carry a S&W 44 3" 629 and a NAA Black Widow for fun. I usually carry 44 special loads.

As I said in another post I am looking for a light weight 44 special but haven't made a decision yet.

David E
October 17, 2012, 12:08 PM
Twinny has an obsession with ultra-light, super-fast handgun loads, and doesn't understand/won't listen to admonishments that they do not work well.

I knew he wouldn't/couldn't answer my questions.

Now all his posts and threads seem to have disappeared......

wperez
October 17, 2012, 09:30 PM
Where I live I can carry concealed when out in the woods so I carry either a Ruger Security six in .357 with 3 speed loaders or a Beretta px4 .40 cal and two extra magazines loaded with Winchester Ranger 180 gr T series

captain awesome
October 17, 2012, 11:42 PM
I carry a 4" 629 in the woods usually. Pretty confident with it that I can get any job done that comes my way .

BigShep85
October 17, 2012, 11:45 PM
If I am in the woods I carry on the hip a Ruger vaquero birdshead in 45lc, for the power but I always carry my s&w m&p 40 compact just in case. Even in the woods it is never far from my grasp. Animals dont care that you are carrying a weapon and criminals will rarely assume you are carrying an unseen backup gun.

griz1
October 18, 2012, 06:47 AM
I like carrying my Ruger 3 inch SP-101, or S&W 3 inch 65 or 4 inch 19. I will be spending the winter in AZ and will probably carry the Ruger. In Alaska I like to pack my Bowen Bisley in 45 Long Colt. I feel comfortable carrying any of these four handguns in the outdoors.

Captains1911
October 18, 2012, 07:24 AM
My hiking and camping in VA consists of 5-15 miles, no more than two nights. I carry the same gun I carry daily, a Glock 23. Black bears aren't even a consideration, I laugh whenever I here people worried about them, people are the biggest threat. When hiking i carry in either a Serpa or fanny pack.

Alaska444
October 18, 2012, 12:08 PM
My hiking and camping in VA consists of 5-15 miles, no more than two nights. I carry the same gun I carry daily, a Glock 23. Black bears aren't even a consideration, I laugh whenever I here people worried about them, people are the biggest threat. When hiking i carry in either a Serpa or fanny pack.
Move to griz country and your opinion I am sure will change quickly.

Captains1911
October 18, 2012, 12:26 PM
Move to griz country and your opinion I am sure will change quickly.
I think I pretty clearly wrote "black bears." We don't have brown bears here. I stated nothing about brown bears, so I have no opinion to change.

Malamute
October 18, 2012, 12:27 PM
Well, to be fair, people are more likely to be a threat in most parts of the country, however, I wouldnt entirely dismess black bears as an issue. Very rare, but still to be considered.


We dont have brown bears here either, but we have grizzlies. I know of more people that have been hurt or killed by grizzlies than by people.

22-rimfire
October 18, 2012, 05:49 PM
I think that being armed when you spend much time in a bear woods whether it be grizzly, brown bear, or black bear is a good idea. If you are willing to carry bear spray, I think you are better off using that as your first line of defense. The gun is a back up. But from a practical point of view, many people won't recognize aggressive behavior exhibited by bears or they only will have time to choose one or the other (bear spray or gun).

I would choose a gun that is reasonable in terms of caliber, but it is unlikely to stop every charge or attack as quickly as you would hope even with good hits. After all, black bears commonly run a 100+ yds when hit with a rifle in the chest (a good shot). I assume brown and grizzly bears are the same when hit.

So everything is a compromise and you use what you have and you just accept the possibility that you could get hurt from a bear attack. But bear attacks are not common by any means. They do seem to be increasing, especially black bears as I understand it. But even if you are spending a lot of time in a woods with a high population of bears, still it is not likely you will have any encounters at all and maybe you will be lucky enough to see a bear in the woods.

MCgunner
October 18, 2012, 06:49 PM
Animal...people...the .357 magnum does it all well. A bit light for Griz, I guess, but I've never actually seen a griz outside of the zoo. O'l Ben Lily kilt 'em all out where I've hiked in bear country. :D

2zulu1
October 19, 2012, 03:29 PM
It's estimated that about 2,500 to 3,000 mountain lions live in Arizona, I live in a high density mountain lion area and there's been increased lion activity on my property this year. While attacks on humans are extremely rare, attacks on dogs aren't and this includes anything from raccoons to large bruins.

If thick brush grows where one hikes or camps, then it would seem prudent to carry a sufficient caliber/ammunition that will penetrate intermediate barriers and whatever threat presents itself.

From earlier this year is a brief account of a rabid mountain lion attack at a campground.

http://www.azfamily.com/news/Mountain-lion-that-attacked-campers-had-rabies-150694995.html

TexAg
October 19, 2012, 03:48 PM
"Rabid mountain lion", that's about the worst thing ever! Well, maybe rabid grizzly...

Alaska444
October 19, 2012, 04:01 PM
It's estimated that about 2,500 to 3,000 mountain lions live in Arizona, I live in a high density mountain lion area and there's been increased lion activity on my property this year. While attacks on humans are extremely rare, attacks on dogs aren't and this includes anything from raccoons to large bruins.

If thick brush grows where one hikes or camps, then it would seem prudent to carry a sufficient caliber/ammunition that will penetrate intermediate barriers and whatever threat presents itself.

From earlier this year is a brief account of a rabid mountain lion attack at a campground.

http://www.azfamily.com/news/Mountain-lion-that-attacked-campers-had-rabies-150694995.html
That is the second story I have heard of a rabid mountain lion attack in the last few years. A young boy was attacked a few years back. One of the people in his group shot the lion if I remember correctly.

Fortunately, another adult — P.J.’s uncle — in the party had brought a handgun along and had left it in a vehicle that was parked nearby. He ran to get the gun, and when the animal started to investigate whether P.J.’s head was bite-sized, Smith told him to shoot the animal, which he did with one extremely well-placed shot.

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/23592238/ns/today-today_news/t/boy-keeps-cool-mountain-lion-tries-eat-him/#.UIGw0Bz8Fqw

I would rather have someone with a handgun that knows how to use it than any frying pan.:what:

22-rimfire
October 19, 2012, 04:01 PM
Good article 2zulu1. It's not just bears.

spider 69
October 19, 2012, 05:23 PM
Where I live the most likely predator encounter would be feral dogs, the largest land animal would be black bear, and the most likely either alligator or water moccasin. All of them, as well as criminals intent on bodily harm, would be well served by my S&W 1076 loaded hot. I'm looking into making snakeshot for the chambered round as the water moccasins are aggressive and, in the case of bears, the first round would most likely be fired to frighten.

A heavy gun, it tames recoil well and carries comfortably in a Diamond D Guides Choice. Having 10 rounds is also a comfort.

If my destination was in Grizzly habitat it would change to either my 45-70 or 12GA with slugs with a S&W 629 as backup.

fastest45ever
October 19, 2012, 05:23 PM
Mountain lions attacks? I think you've got a better chance of being hit by lightning, carrying a rifle then you do being attacked by a ML.

That said, I wouldn't want to be wrestling one with a knife.

Pretty much any excuse to carry a gun, hmmm?;)

2zulu1
October 19, 2012, 05:44 PM
That is the second story I have heard of a rabid mountain lion attack in the last few years. A young boy was attacked a few years back. One of the people in his group shot the lion if I remember correctly.



http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/23592238/ns/today-today_news/t/boy-keeps-cool-mountain-lion-tries-eat-him/#.UIGw0Bz8Fqw

I would rather have someone with a handgun that knows how to use it than any frying pan.:what:
Lion attacks were both in the Tonto National Forest and both lions were rabid.

I don't know how feral dog problems are handled in other jurisdictions, but here dogs that aren't captured are put down by Dept of Ag hunters and not only are they tested for rabies, they are also tested for plague. IIRC, earlier this year a feral dog tested positive for the plague in the central part of the state.

About a month or so ago a neighbor, who lives over a mile away, had a racoon climb a 5ft wire fence and attack a small group of pet dogs. Three dogs received bite and scratch marks and they killed the racoon in about 30 seconds. Animal control tested the racoon and the results came back negative for rabies. When it comes to pet dogs, wild animals are very unpredictable in their actions and that may be part of the reason why 357/44mags are very popular in this ag/beef area.

It's important to recognize signs of the different predators that inhabit areas where one is hiking/camping in. I've been hiking with friends and on one occasion a lady remarked about how irresponsible it was for dog owners to let their pets poop on the trail and not pick it up. In actuality it was black bear scat that wasless than an hour old.

This 5.5" wide mountain lion footprint on top of my size 11 boot print also happened in a very short time frame, and it's not the only time that's happened.

http://i1103.photobucket.com/albums/g474/aztrekker511/Mountainlionprintoverhikingboot10-2.jpg

Just because one doesn't see wildlife along a trail doesn't mean wildlife hasn't seen you. Anyone who has been on a good mountain horse will see a lot more wildlife than a hiker simply by keying off what the horse is looking at.

One of the 'harriest' encounters I've experienced was when I came across a young bull moose grazing along a trail, I don't worry much about bears and mountain lions, but moose can be very unpredictable with humans.

murf
October 19, 2012, 08:10 PM
a couple weeks ago a neighbor had a mountain lion come into their yard and take one of their goats. don't know why the cats are getting fearless. we have plenty of mule deer around here for food.

we have mountain lions all around, but this is the first time i have heard of one coming into town and taking an animal. small dogs will disappear, but we blame coyotes.

hope this rabies thing isn't going to turn into a problem.

murf

Certaindeaf
October 19, 2012, 08:20 PM
Around here, years ago, they banned the use of dogs for hunting them. Guess what.. you need dogs to hunt them pretty much. lots of cats now

22-rimfire
October 19, 2012, 10:12 PM
Sounds about right Certaindeaf. No dogs and you success rate drops dramatically.

lefteyedom
October 20, 2012, 03:39 AM
I hiked the Appalachian Trail from GA to Ma and carried a Kel-Tec 380. Never shot the thing in over 2000 miles on the trail.

There were hikers that carried, most Glocks (all sizes), Sig, even a couple of 1911s. All where carried in the backpacks. Mine was carried in a hip belt pocket with a empty chamber.


The truth is that if you are hiking, with a partner, there is every little to fear. The biggest problem were non-hiking humans in areas where the trail was close to towns. Being smart, and aware of ones surrounding was for the most part enough. That said there were more than a few times when it was reassuring to have a pistol in my sleeping bag.



As for dangerous wild life
I saw 4 bears, dozens of snakes, scores of moose and the only animal that caused me any problem were the shelter mice. The bears in Georgia were very good at stealing food that was not hung up.


If I were really concern about bear attacks the pistol I would take would be a Remington 870 Short barreled with a pistol grip & a folding stock, loaded with slugs. On my waist would be a very large can of bear spray. Bear Spray works very well on people....

David E
October 20, 2012, 04:54 PM
I hiked the Appalachian Trail from GA to Ma and carried a Kel-Tec 380 (in my) belt pocket with a empty chamber.

Since they are perfectly safe to carry chamber loaded, I presume you carried chamber empty to save weight?

:D

The biggest problem were non-hiking humans in areas where the trail was close to towns.

Bingo.

Rexster
October 21, 2012, 09:05 PM
When out hiking or camping (in a place you can legally carry, openly or concealed) what is your gun of choice? Is it a compromise gun for all occasions whether you expect to meet backwoods pot-growers or a bear? Or do you weigh your likeliness of meeting either one and adjust your preferred gun to meet the more likely encounter?
For instance, if you're very far out and think you're much more likely to enounter a grizzley, do you take your .454, .500, etc?
Or if in another location, you think you're more likely to enounter 3-4 armed dudes that don't want you blabbing about their secret meth lab, so you carry your high capacity semi-auto?
Do you adjust accordingly on your percieved threat or do you have a standard do-all?
Personnally, I've done all three and not necessarily for genuine percieved threats, but more for the fun of it and an excercise in the philosophy behind it.
I've carried a Ruger old Vaquero in .45 Colt, S&W Model 19, 6" GP100, and a Glock 17 while hiking.
I'm not really talking about Taffin's Perfect Packin' Pistol, similar, but with more of an anti-personel role.
I found the Model 19 with 4" barrel a pretty good compromise (in non-brown bear country), easily loaded with heavy, deeper penetrating rounds and more quickly reloaded than a single-action.
I'm sure many would say the Glock 20 or 29 would fit their likes better.
And if in the great north, I'm sure there are more who prefer a .44 Mag.
So what is your do-it-all compromise gun when you're away from civilization?
Anywhere outside of brown/grizzly/polar bear country, I reckon my S&W Model 19 and GP100 sixguns are my comfort guns. I have sometimes carried one .357 revolver with anti-personnel JHPs and another with hard-cast 180s. The second gun is likely to be an SP101, which actually handles the heavy hard-cast loads quite comfortably.

Alternatively, in the future, as a G26 is on my short list, I might load a revolver with the heavy hard-cast stuff and the baby Glock with the JHPs.

What I am doing is obviously not light-weight long-distance hiking; my bad knee has not permitted me to do that for some time. Two handguns are not a burden on a day hike.

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