Hiker's carry .357...Taurus?


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Zsnark
April 15, 2013, 06:47 PM
Hi there Gunners,

I am a recent transplant to NoAZ (snowbird). I hike all over the place. Got a Taurus 9 shot 3" .22 which doesn't make me feel as secure as a similar sized .357 or .38+P would. I'd like to find a Taurus 605 SS 3". What do you all think about my wish. This little Taurus .22 has impressed me big time re quality and warranty support.

In the current doo-doo storm after those nut jobs blew away a bunch of little citizens and incurred the present anti-gun hysteria, I can't find a 605 anywhere.

First, anybody got comments on the small frame Taurus .357; and second, am I making a good choice? I'd load the first chamber with shot (for snakes) and the rest either .357 HP 125g or .38+P.

Be glad for any comments and/or reactions. Although packing a gun is legal here, I'd just as soon that it was not too obvious.

AAW

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gamestalker
April 15, 2013, 06:56 PM
I like the Taurus, I have a few and they have been reliable and fairly well built. But if you can possibly locate a S&W 19 or 66 snubby, that would probably be my first choice @ about $400 - $450. They are definitely built to handle any ammunition choice, but they are a bit heavy to carry all day long, but depending on the specific model, the Taurus is pretty heavy too though.
GS

rule303
April 15, 2013, 06:58 PM
Taurus threads usually go downhill in a hurry, but IMO their small revolvers like the 85 and 605 are rock solid. Any revolver that size is a handful for practice with full power .357's though.

CSG
April 15, 2013, 07:03 PM
I suppose if you feel you might have to try taking out a bear a .357 would be a good choice. When I was an avid backpacker 30-40 years ago, I preferred a small .45 - the Star PD. These days, there are a lot of other small .45's out there - a Glock 30 or 36 might be good choices. As I'm a day hiker now and don't hike in bear country, I usually carry a Kimber Compact (CDP) 1911 or my Kahr PM9.

BTW, I have a Taurus M94 SS which is a 9 shot .22 revolver. It's great around the house with snake shot rounds for vermin but it's a brick to carry.

Zsnark
April 15, 2013, 07:57 PM
I like the Taurus, I have a few and they have been reliable and fairly well built. But if you can possibly locate a S&W 19 or 66 snubby, that would probably be my first choice @ about $400 - $450. They are definitely built to handle any ammunition choice, but they are a bit heavy to carry all day long, but depending on the specific model, the Taurus is pretty heavy too though.
GS
Got a early 70s M66 2.5". Too big and if they were all that good, why's S&W stop making them. When production ceased the grap vine said that they were not up to the .357 job.

Zsnark
April 15, 2013, 08:01 PM
I suppose if you feel you might have to try taking out a bear a .357 would be a good choice. When I was an avid backpacker 30-40 years ago, I preferred a small .45 - the Star PD. These days, there are a lot of other small .45's out there - a Glock 30 or 36 might be good choices. As I'm a day hiker now and don't hike in bear country, I usually carry a Kimber Compact (CDP) 1911 or my Kahr PM9.

BTW, I have a Taurus M94 SS which is a 9 shot .22 revolver. It's great around the house with snake shot rounds for vermin but it's a brick to carry.
Had a Star PD until about '92. It was nasty to shoot and it would not cycle with a .45 shot load. I wish I still owned it but I had difficulties with my daughters health problems and needed the $$. Incidentally, I am very sorry Star went out of business. I had a lot of them and loved most.

Taroman
April 15, 2013, 08:08 PM
I, too had a Star PD back in the day.
Now, its heir a Colt Lightweight Defender .45 fills that slot.
However, back to the subject.
Back in the 1970s (!) I spent 4 years in the Army in S. Arizona. reasonably dangerous even then.
Bought a S&W Model 60 at Jensen's in Tucson and carried it everywhere on countless treks. A small Taurus loaded with 158 grain 38s should fill the bill.

Zsnark
April 15, 2013, 08:14 PM
Taurus threads usually go downhill in a hurry, but IMO their small revolvers like the 85 and 605 are rock solid. Any revolver that size is a handful for practice with full power .357's though.
By threads, do you mean rifling in the barrel. This would not be a problem for this 72 yr old dude. I don't think I'll live long enough to wear the barrel out.

Thanks,

AAW

slickone
April 15, 2013, 08:19 PM
I bought a Taurus 605 .357 Poly Protector a week ago. I've only fired 15rds from it so far.I can't make a reasonable judgment yet but so far it seems fine. I only shot the Fmj <38's out of it and I think I will stick with .38 Jhp for carry.

Zsnark
April 15, 2013, 08:20 PM
I suppose if you feel you might have to try taking out a bear a .357 would be a good choice. When I was an avid backpacker 30-40 years ago, I preferred a small .45 - the Star PD. These days, there are a lot of other small .45's out there - a Glock 30 or 36 might be good choices. As I'm a day hiker now and don't hike in bear country, I usually carry a Kimber Compact (CDP) 1911 or my Kahr PM9.

BTW, I have a Taurus M94 SS which is a 9 shot .22 revolver. It's great around the house with snake shot rounds for vermin but it's a brick to carry.
That's what I carry a 3" m94. I don't have much experience with snake. Will a .22lr shot cartridge do in a snake?! I could load my Taurus with two shot cartridge and still be able to give something a little bigger severe heartburn. But, it wouldn't put anything nasty down.

AAW

Zsnark
April 15, 2013, 08:23 PM
I bought a Taurus 605 .357 Poly Protector a week ago. I've only fired 15rds from it so far.I can't make a reasonable judgment yet but so far it seems fine. I only shot the Fmj <38's out of it and I think I will stick with .38 Jhp for carry.
Keep me updated about it. I have a negative reaction to plastic guns. But, I can be swayed from my prejudices.

Thanks,

AAW

Ash
April 15, 2013, 08:26 PM
I use a Ruger Police Service Six when on the trail.

slickone
April 15, 2013, 08:29 PM
I will.Go to www.youtube.com and look at some of the reviews and judge for yourself. That's what I did before I bought it. By the way I'm three yrs older than you, and I try to think things out a little more than when I was a young whippersnapper.

Zsnark
April 15, 2013, 08:35 PM
I will.Go to www.youtube.com and look at some of the reviews and judge for yourself. That's what I did before I bought it. By the way I'm three yrs older than you, and I try to think things out a little more than when I was a young whippersnapper.
Hey,

You must be the only dude in the world older than me! I haven't heard the term Whipper Snapper since Gabby Hayes said it in Roy Rogers movies. In fact, I have used it myself and the young'ns have given me odd looks.

Rock N Roll


AAW

Dr. Sandman
April 15, 2013, 08:39 PM
I think that the smallest version of the Judge would be a good choice. Put a combo of cheap birdshot and expensive 45LC hunting ammo in it and it should do what you want.

CSG
April 15, 2013, 09:00 PM
Zsnark, I use that .22 birdshot for packrats, not snakes but I have little doubt they would dispatch a snake easily as long as it was a head shot. Nice thing about a revolver is being able to mix loads. I'd be hesitant to do that in an autoloader.

MedWheeler
April 15, 2013, 09:41 PM
I'm with Ash (post 12) on the Ruger Police Service Six. That affirms that I'd carry a revolver, but it's typically loaded with .38 +P ammo, as that's what it's loaded with at home, and I usually don't bother to switch.

I do have a Taurus in .357 which I'd trust any day of the week on the trail loaded with Magnum stuff, but it's the M66, and is bulkier at the grip and at the sights than the Ruger is. A smaller one like the one you seek might be good for me, too, but would admittedly be a little harder to handle and shoot loaded with full-power fodder.

TreeDoc
April 15, 2013, 10:02 PM
Security six for me , 2 and 5/8" barrel, good holster and belt. Carries very well.

2zulu1
April 15, 2013, 11:17 PM
Hey,

You must be the only dude in the world older than me! I haven't heard the term Whipper Snapper since Gabby Hayes said it in Roy Rogers movies. In fact, I have used it myself and the young'ns have given me odd looks.

Rock N Roll


AAW
And let's not forget Nellie Bell. :)

Don't know what part of the Grand Canyon state you retired to, but we're seeing some increased hog activity in the SE part.

I'm a big fan of the .357mag, but with heavier bullets in rural areas, heavy hardcast depending on recent sign - tracks, rooting, scat et al.

I no longer carry snake shot, this Diamondback survived three very close snake shot hits from a 686P;

http://i1103.photobucket.com/albums/g474/aztrekker511/Ambush007.jpg

This was a late October encounter, DB bit a Basset in the ear and the neck and I finally dispatched the DB with a single 125gr SJHP hit behind its head.

What I've learned living at my place is to carry a platform that points naturally without the use of sights. If you are in a rural area and enjoy spending a lot of time outdoors, you will be shooting your carry to protect yourself, family member or pet. I can go outside thousands of times without incident, then a string of encounters will happen within a short period of time and I'll need to dispatch rattlers or 4 legged vermin.

After the Basset recovered from her rattler bites, about a month later, we were charged by a feral dog that came out of mesquite at a full run. There was no time for a two handed grip or sight picture, a head shot from a 1911 38 Super immediately ended the threat.

I've recovered from an extended illness that also caused extreme fatigue, with a significant strength reduction I appreciated .357mag performance with the recoil of a G17 out of a fast handling 1911. But then again, I've had extensive training with the mag and 1911, qualified and carried both in past years.

Lots of wild critter encounters over the years at very close ranges, single hand grip and without the use of sights. Whatever you choose, it should be a pointer capable of rapid follow up shots single handed.

35 Whelen
April 15, 2013, 11:23 PM
I don't have much experience with snake. Will a .22lr shot cartridge do in a snake?!

I've lived in rattlesnake hell since 2005 and the short answer is NO. The discontinued Remington shot load work SOMEtimes, but I totally gave up on 22 LR shot loads. I have a Rossi 3" .38 Special, It and my home-rolled shot loads will shred a rattler 100% of the time. Bang. Dead. Period.

35W

MountainBear
April 15, 2013, 11:50 PM
I've had several Taurus. The only one that hasn't needed its lifetime warranty was a 17 mach2. Bad triggers, failure to bore out a cylinder, cracked frame. The reason Taurus threads go downhill quickly is that there are a lot of lemons out there. When they work, great, but after years of owning guns, selling guns, and fixing guns (all for a living at some time or another), too many have crossed my wake broken (a significantly higher percentage than almost any other major brand) to ever trust my life to one again.

S&W 19, 66, 586, 686, 27, 28, etc. Ruger Security Six, Police Six, Service Six, SP101, GP100. All good options. Some even reasonably priced...

gamestalker
April 16, 2013, 12:30 AM
I take offense to someone bad mouthing a S&W 19 / 66, as would most who own one. I have a 66-2 that has been fed nothing but full tilt H110 / 296 loads since I bought it in the 1980's, it is still as tight and accurate as the day I bought it. My other, a 66-5, has had the same exclusive and steady diet of full tilt loads fed though it, and it is also still in pristine working condition. I'll pit a 66 against anything out there for reliability and longevity, knowing it will withstand, proper care and maintenance provided, as with any fine handgun.

If they were junk, why would S&W have manufactured them for so many decades!

GS

Sergei Mosin
April 16, 2013, 05:41 AM
The .357 Magnum revolver is a fine choice for an all-purpose hiking gun. I don't think the 3-inch 605 is currently in production, so you're limited to the used market if you are committed to that particular gun. However, Taurus quality is hit and miss. My recommendation for a current production .357 of that size is the Ruger SP101.

Now I may be in a minority, but does anybody else carry two revolvers when hiking? In those circumstances my LCR is loaded with shotshells for snakes and my GP100 is loaded with hardcast for everything else.

MedWheeler
April 16, 2013, 06:52 AM
Gamestalker

I take offense to someone bad mouthing a S&W 19 / 66, as would most who own one.

Unless the guns were your creations, why would you take offense? Offense, by its nature, comes from a personal attack.

wheelyfun66
April 16, 2013, 07:33 AM
By threads, do you mean rifling in the barrel. This would not be a problem for this 72 yr old dude. I don't think I'll live long enough to wear the barrel out.

Thanks,

AAW
This had me laughing out loud!
By "threads", he meant topics or subjects that are responded and added to on a forum.

That is because Taurus has many detractors and a Taurus "thread" can turn ugly fast!

Stainz
April 16, 2013, 08:32 AM
Where legal, I conceal carry either my 642 with it's usual .38 Spcl +P 158gr LHPSWC Remington R38S12 load or my similar but slightly larger 296 with the first-up a 240gr LSWC followed by four GA Arms 200gr Gold Dot JHPs (.44 Special). The latter is for areas with larger critters, up to black bears. As the days march by - and my wrists worsen, that 642 sporting 148gr full LWC's becomes more appealing to carry. Also, in the pocket carry lite weight mode, I have a new contender - a 351PD 7-shot .22WMR that weighs ~11 oz loaded. While there is no recoil, it's muzzle flash would worry Smokey The Bear in the dry woods while it's bark would attract Zombies; ie, it's so loud it would wake the dead! Plus, unless you fear fighting feral ferrets, even the Hornady 45gr FTX 'Critical Defense' rounds have questionable stopping power.

I never bought a Taurus initially because of the porting - but ultimately from the somewhat poor dependability they have had in my range-mates' hands. The three friends' examples that had problems had each been 'on my list' to buy - 5-shot SS .45 ACP, SS .22 WMR, and a Ti .44 Special. None of them would shoot two cylinders full without problems, while their venerable M85 & M66 proved reliable. It has taken some time to acquire what I have from S&W, but they have all demonstrated they are dependable. As others have said, those who got a 'good' Taurus have been happy.

Stainz

DMZ
April 16, 2013, 10:30 AM
I carried a 3" blue Taurus 605 as a hiking/back pack side arm for many years.

I took the rubber grips off of it in favor of a pair of old style Taurus walnut grips.

It was a nice, reliable carry piece. I gave it to my son who carries it when he hunts deer.

Godsgunman
April 16, 2013, 10:47 AM
I've got a Taurus M65 3" barrel that I carry and trust my life to. Very accuarate and handles any .357 load. My usual being 158s. If you can find them used your talking $250ish. I changed out the grip to a Pachmayer which makes it easier to carry and conceal.

bigdaa
April 16, 2013, 10:57 AM
My wife's Taurus 4 inch model 66 is sweet and a straight shooter. It doesn't have but a thousand rounds through it. It's held up well so far and is the only firearm in the safe to be kept fully loaded.

I would not hesitate to carry it, even though my preferred back country gun is my Redhawk 44.

The 357 magnum seems to me an excellent choice for your new State. I suspect the most deadly adversary you would come across is man, Mountain Lion second and maybe Black Bear. Given a good heavy load in the +150gr area punctuated with magnum powder backing and a steady and calm head and hand, you have a good deterrent in 357 no matter what manufacturer you choose. Perhaps the solid copper hollow points would be the finest load as they can be driven the hardest.

I do not recommend anything shorter than a 4 inch barrel as velocity drop off is noticeable.

You can also carry a couple of snake charmer shot cartridges up front for defense especially given the propensity for CoonTailed Rattlers in your area.

Shoot em, skin em and BBQ them thoroughly and you will be in for a treat.

CajunBass
April 17, 2013, 04:41 AM
The reasons Smith & Wesson stopped making the Model 19 and 66 have more to do with the collapse of the police revolver market and the mass rush to 9mm and 40 S&W semi-auto's than to any problems with the revolvers themselves. Too detailed for this discussion, but I'll just say you can't go wrong with either of the two.

Having said that, I've owned a couple of Taurus revolvers over the years, as a matter of fact there is a late 70's Model 80 loaded on my desk right now. In my experience they're good, solid, reliable guns. At least the ones I've owned. Most of them have been 38's but the Model 66 I had was one of the nicest revolvers I've ever owned. I traded it off when I got bit by the concealed carry semi-auto bug, but wouldn't mind having it back.

I don't know much about a Taurus 605, but it's pretty hard to say a 357 is a bad choice for most anything.

460Kodiak
April 17, 2013, 09:32 AM
Personally I don't like, or trust Taurus revolvers, due to a lot of bad experiences with them. That's just my take on them, and others will tell you differently.

I think a .357 would serve you well in northern AZ. The worst critters you have to worry about there are black bear, jaguars (Yes, they wander up from south of the border, but I don't think they venture into the high country much. They mostly stick to the saguaros.), mountain lions, and psychos. A .357 will stop any of those threats.

If it were me and I was hiking there and open carrying, I'd want a 7 shot S&W 686+ wit a minimum 3" bbl. Probably 4 or 5" prefered. If you want to conceal, the 3" Ruger SP101 packs real nice as well, especially in a Simply Rugged holster. I have also been carrying my XDs loaded with 230 gr +p's in a hybrid holster. It's nice and light, and for medium sized critters it is enough. A round of snake shot is probably a good idea. Mountain lions are the biggest predator here. We have prairie rattlers too, but they are pretty docile most of the time. Not all of the time though.

I hike a lot too. Funny, I hiked all over there and in southern UT, and never saw a single snake.

texas chase
April 17, 2013, 10:43 AM
I've lived in rattlesnake hell since 2005 and the short answer is NO. The discontinued Remington shot load work SOMEtimes, but I totally gave up on 22 LR shot loads. I have a Rossi 3" .38 Special, It and my home-rolled shot loads will shred a rattler 100% of the time. Bang. Dead. Period.

35W
Oooo... I've been thinking about shotshell revolver rounds. If you don't mind me asking, how do you roll your own?

Anybody else do this at home? Please share.

huntershooter
April 17, 2013, 10:56 AM
Consider a S&W "Mountain Gun" in a suitable caliber (beginning with .4X...).
They were designed to be a "Packin' Gun".
If a concern is Blackbear, I would prefer a cal. of .4X over a .357. Additionally, the shot cartridges work quite well.

http://i1043.photobucket.com/albums/b434/huntershooter/MGs/Mountain%20Guns/HogGunsMG004.jpg

bigdaa
April 17, 2013, 11:03 AM
Consider a S&W "Mountain Gun" in a suitable caliber (beginning with .4X...).
They were designed to be a "Packin' Gun".
If a concern is Blackbear, I would prefer a cal. of .4X over a .357. Additionally, the shot cartridges work quite well.

http://i1043.photobucket.com/albums/b434/huntershooter/MGs/Mountain%20Guns/HogGunsMG004.jpg
So very nice.

bigdaa
April 17, 2013, 11:08 AM
For BIG COUNTRY, use the top one. 500 S&W


For big country, use the Taurus 66 .357 bottom.




http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b207/Bigdaa/BigCountry015_zps614f80cb.jpg (http://s20.photobucket.com/user/Bigdaa/media/BigCountry015_zps614f80cb.jpg.html)

788Ham
April 17, 2013, 12:02 PM
I never have been impressed with Taurus firearms, just seemed to be a cheap intro type of revolver, couldn't come close to S&W or Ruger in quality or precision machining. For your high country needs, or desert climes, I might suggest the Ruger SP 101 3" variety in .357. Get a quality holster, you won't even realize its on your hip.

bigdaa
April 17, 2013, 01:13 PM
I never have been impressed with Taurus firearms, just seemed to be a cheap intro type of revolver, couldn't come close to S&W or Ruger in quality or precision machining. For your high country needs, or desert climes, I might suggest the Ruger SP 101 3" variety in .357. Get a quality holster, you won't even realize its on your hip.
How much time have you spent with the Taurus guns?
I was hesitant to go that way in suggesting a SD piece for my wife but was quite pleased when we took delivery. Like I said in an earlier post, it is a straight shooter and has not given so much as a wisp of trouble.

I have shot quite a few Smiths and Rugers.....even had a Security Six. I love the crisp feeling of the Smiths, something the Rugers and the Taurus were lacking, but that never bothered me.

Anyway, if you can expand on your conclusion, please do so.


Dave.

460Kodiak
April 17, 2013, 06:26 PM
Consider a S&W "Mountain Gun" in a suitable caliber (beginning with .4X...).
They were designed to be a "Packin' Gun".
If a concern is Blackbear, I would prefer a cal. of .4X over a .357. Additionally, the shot cartridges work quite well.



This is also a good suggestion.

How much time have you spent with the Taurus guns?


I know you didn't ask me, but out of four Taurus revolvers between three different owners that I know, all four have been bad. 100% bad guns from my experience. I have no doubt I'm on the far end of the spectrum though.

Two of them had gouged up roters on teh extracter stars. One had totally inconsistant lock up, the other was so bad one of the chambers wouldn't fire.

Another had a timing and alignment issue, so it spit lead all over your face.

The last...... well, the cylinder fell right off the gun while loading it.

All four were new from the factory. Like I said, many people sing the praises of Taurus. Based on my experience, I'll never buy one.

bigdaa
April 18, 2013, 08:50 AM
This is also a good suggestion.



I know you didn't ask me, but out of four Taurus revolvers between three different owners that I know, all four have been bad. 100% bad guns from my experience. I have no doubt I'm on the far end of the spectrum though.

Two of them had gouged up roters on teh extracter stars. One had totally inconsistant lock up, the other was so bad one of the chambers wouldn't fire.

Another had a timing and alignment issue, so it spit lead all over your face.

The last...... well, the cylinder fell right off the gun while loading it.

All four were new from the factory. Like I said, many people sing the praises of Taurus. Based on my experience, I'll never buy one.


Thanks for adding those experiences.
That is saying a ton right there.

I'd have to say handle it with a keen eye before any sales. Mine I ordered straight off without ever looking at it (my wife did, actually)

kBob
April 18, 2013, 04:09 PM
Texas Chase,

Many moons ago a bud and I made .45 Colt shot shells by seating a gas check cup side up seated down on the powder in the case, filled the case with #7 1/2 shot and seated a gas check cup side down over the shot and inside the case and crimped the case to the gas check. We had weighed the gas checks separately and then weighed the shot necessary to fill to where we needed the crimp on the case and treated it like a solid bullet and went with a very mild load.

I would not however do this and suggest you do not without better load data than what I just gave. You are on your own whatever you do.

We became very concerned with barrel obstruction and possible bridging issues driving up pressures and quit.

The load was used in a S&W 25 and a Ruger Black Hawk Pervertable
that were used by each of us as car guns.

Naturally, when needed, the rattler was between us, the cars, and both revolvers!

-kBob

kBob
April 18, 2013, 04:16 PM
oh yeah we also did some .357 mag loads used in an M28, M19 and Ruger 9.357 BH Pervertable using the Speer shot capsules. I used #9 shot and he used a single round buckshot and filled the space with #9s as well. Mine worked better in real life but the .32 cal hole looked good on paper until you noticed it was never the same place twice and there was way to little shot. He also played with #6 but there were too many holes in the already donut shaped pattern.

I liked the Ruger Convertables and letting the 9/.357 go was a major stupid move on my part, even if 9mm accuracy was a bit less sterling than the .357 cylinder.

-kBob

g_one
April 18, 2013, 05:00 PM
I didn't own my Taurus revolver (Model 65) for very long, but I wish I'd kept it. First gun I ever bought, didn't even shoot it, didn't even know anything about guns at the time. I ended up selling it cheap to a friend who had his guns stolen when his house was broken into. I've read nothing but either good reviews, or some unreliable bad reviews, about Taurus. A Taurus 608 (8 shot .357 ported large frame) is on my short wish list if I can ever find one.

4season
April 18, 2013, 07:32 PM
I have never understood this fascination with "snake shot." If you see a snake and have time to draw and shot is with an underpowered shot shell in a revolver, you can walk around it, avoid it altogether or take a careful aimed shot and kill it with a real round. I have killed tons of snakes with an ax, pick, stick, even a pocket knife, but never needed to shoot one. Now I admit I am in Tennessee where the snakes aren't particularly dangerous, but snakes are ambush predictors. If you see one the ambush element is gone and you can easily avoid it or get a big stick to whack it with.

But back to topic, if you need protection from bear, I would consider 357 minimum, and only in a 4 inch+ barrel. While it wouldn't be my first choice to stop a bear attack it would certainly be better than a .22. Much more of consideration is human predators which is back in the realm of anything is better than nothing. All that said, if you are out hiking, are you really worried about concealing? Why then carry a small 357? Take a bigger 44 or 45. Now if this is a dual purpose gun sure, the Taurus 605 is a good lightweight EDC gun that can handle full power 357 loads. But it is far from the best hiking gun out there.

Zsnark
April 19, 2013, 11:20 PM
Hey Gunners,

Firstly, I like S&W M19/66 but I remember when they went from K to L frames for their "carry .357". All the experts (?!) in the media declared it as a reaction to the M19/66 being a little light for a steady diet of full tilt boogie .357s.

Secondly, I'm getting responses that are recommending remedies for monster bears, etc. I trek acrosst hill and dale around my unfinished development in NoAZ. Really, I have yet to see a varmint of any kind. Locals say there a prevalent Javelinas. I saw a road runner in the old downtown segment of my trek. I am not worried about bears, not even rabid bunnies. But, this is rattler country; hence, my interest in snake shot on my first round. I usually go through the old downtown area. It's a really quiet, little town and although I am totally in my rights to be packing, I'd just as soon not let on that I am. My 2 1/2'" M66 is a little bulkie for my usual hiking attire which is a sweat or T shirt and shorts.

Thirdly, I've has eight S&Ws over my 72 years; all bought in the between '75 and '93. My first M66 was in 1975. It came brand new, out of timing. S&W's repair station told me to shoot it until it gave me bigger problems. I took it to a guy I trusted and had him work it over. Next, a pair of 19s; both I had worked on by a local guy who knew his stuff. They were not right when I got'em. Every Smith I've owned has been a pain in my kiester until I took it to somebody outside S&W to put it right. Oh, I forgot another S&W I owned, a M59. That performed flawlessly but I hated the ergonomics. I was used to the Brng HP and it was simply clunky.

Fourthly, my only experience with Taurus was M94 .22lr I got in the late 80s. It was and is slick. Recently, it stopped popping rimfires consistently and I sent it back to them with my lament. It came back working 100%. I'm impressed. Someone on this thread has suggested Charter Arms. Boy, do I have a story on their so-called firearms. When I mentioned that I was looking for a Taurus on the net to the local FFL he gave it a thumbs up.

And finally, I am very leary about S&W. Among other things they are expensive and living on their legend. I've had several Colts but wouldn't buy anything with their name on because they are milking the buyers with their heritage.

I certainly appreciate all your feedback; but, I gotta' say, some of the responses seem less than objective.

AAW

P.S. I ain't the dead eyed dick I used to be, hence the first round being a shot cartridge.

MCgunner
April 19, 2013, 11:25 PM
My 4" Taurus 66 is superbly accurate with magnum loads OR .38. it's a favorite hiking gun of mine.

http://i50.tinypic.com/igc6ld.jpg

I own a 3" blued 66 that's a carry option that is quite accurate and a little M85SSUL, all good guns. I've sold a S&W 19 and traded off a Ruger Security Six that were not as accurate. The Taurus is a very tight gun, well made. Nuf said.

4season
April 20, 2013, 08:54 AM
Secondly, I'm getting responses that are recommending remedies for monster bears, etc. I trek acrosst hill and dale around my unfinished development in NoAZ. Really, I have yet to see a varmint of any kind. Locals say there a prevalent Javelinas. I saw a road runner in the old downtown segment of my trek. I am not worried about bears, not even rabid bunnies. But, this is rattler country; hence, my interest in snake shot on my first round. I usually go through the old downtown area. It's a really quiet, little town and although I am totally in my rights to be packing, I'd just as soon not let on that I am. My 2 1/2'" M66 is a little bulkie for my usual hiking attire which is a sweat or T shirt and shorts.
I think this is what has lead to the confusion. When you say hike, most of us think deep woods, (at least I do) and that is why you get responses about bears. What you are talking about is more about concealment in an suburban environment more than what we consider hiking.

Please reread my post above about snake shot. I think if you think about for a while and get rid of the idea that you need snake shot as a first round it opens up a whole lot more options as to what you can carry.

EVIL
April 20, 2013, 09:29 AM
Most of my experience hiking is carrying concealed.

As others have stated above, I have also had a positive experience hiking with my 3" Ruger Sp101 .357. Unlike some J-frames that I have shot I find it reasonably controllable with my .357 MAG loads (I stick to .38 SPLs in J-frames. It is also very comfortable to carry for miles on a belt holster. Long enough barrel for a nice, natural, sight alignment, but short enough to allow you to sit down comfortably with a belt holster. The 5 round cylinder tucks nicely if you plan to carry IWB. I think choice of belt and holster is just as important for hikers as the pistol.

I do sometimes open carry my 6" 586 (because it is my favorite.) However, I wear a dedicated duty belt and robust OWB holster rig. Really, the Sp 101 is more practical and comes along for most hikes.

Sure, the Sp 101 .357 not perfect for all threats, but it is a reasonable comprimise for most.

The guy who posted the 8" S&W 500 ... you must be a mastodon to hike more than a few miles with that!

Manny
April 20, 2013, 09:54 AM
I have a Ruger KLCR .357 that is my CCW that would be my first pick. Very light, as corrosion resistant as a gun can be and the nicest DA trigger I've ever stroked. Mine wears Crimson Trace grips and is incredibly easy to shoot well despite the short barrel. I plan to add a tritium front sight, but otherwise all I need is a cylinder full of ammo to be good to go. The LCR's are very reasonably priced and the best compact carry option going IMHO.

bigdaa
April 20, 2013, 10:12 AM
No on the Charter Arms, Zsnark.

If there is a bottom-of-the-barrel, you'll find them down there.

Sounds like you know a whole lot more than you initially let on there "Dad" (I'm 57)

I know the country you are talking about. I have friends in Phoenix and Tucson and have shot a few rattlers out there, even eating them, so that's why I threw the "snake charmer" round idea in the first two cylinders out to you.

I'm just surprised that in your time you haven't held on to at least one wheelgun. Jeepers, but I have my Redhawk 44 that I bought in the mid 80's, and I pulled that one down on what I thought was a Grizzly up Montana way while on a hike (turned out to be Murph the slow Buffalo)

kBob
April 20, 2013, 10:27 AM
One of the reasons I do like snake shot is the small size of the shot means it has less of a danger area than a solid full caliber bullet. I have also killed snakes with hoes, sticks, and boots, and simply picked up snakes with my hands and moved them.....including a diamond back about four feet long, but mostly garter snakes and corn or rat snakes. My big issue with the diamond back in hand was how to let go of it!

I have also shot two snakes drawing from the holster and firing solid rounds, in a very brief period of time between seeing the snake and the shot taking place, both .22LR one about two feet from my right foot and one that was about fifteen feet from me, but within two feet of that same buddy's right foot. Yeah I know that was too close to someone else, but the risk seemed less than having him snake bit out where we were and no he did not have time to move before the snake no longer could and when we noted it the beastie was coiled and cocked. Interestingly had I been carrying a snake load for that one he would almost certainly been peppered with shot at that range and the snake may have been unharmed in the center of a shot donut.

-kBob

bigdaa
April 20, 2013, 10:34 AM
Careful there, shooting brother!

2zulu1
April 20, 2013, 02:20 PM
I guess I don't understand the reason for the thread. Are we talking about hiking (trail, with a hydration pack) or walking around town. A hiking stick is all that's needed for rattlers, snake gaiters come highly recommended.

A two finger grip, 25oz revolver in 357mag seems like a disaster waiting to happen when fast follow-up shots are required.

FWIW, feral dogs in Arizona are tested for plague and one tested positive last year, believe it was located above the Rim.

Zsnark
April 20, 2013, 07:27 PM
My 4" Taurus 66 is superbly accurate with magnum loads OR .38. it's a favorite hiking gun of mine.

http://i50.tinypic.com/igc6ld.jpg

I own a 3" blued 66 that's a carry option that is quite accurate and a little M85SSUL, all good guns. I've sold a S&W 19 and traded off a Ruger Security Six that were not as accurate. The Taurus is a very tight gun, well made. Nuf said.
MC,

Speaking in S&W sizes, is the Taurus 66 about K size; and, is it in available as a "3?

Many thanks for your response which is on point. I have been very impressed with Taurus's offerings; and, I can't see popping for a S&W which is equal or less in quality.

AAW

Zsnark
April 20, 2013, 07:34 PM
Careful there, shooting brother!
Bro,

What do you mean? I am stepping on S&W toes?

AAW

Zsnark
April 20, 2013, 07:38 PM
big,

I'm glad someone recognizes my feeling about Charter Arms. I can't believe they are still in business. In '73, I got a Bulldog .44. Following experiences were with guys who succumbed to their ad hype.

AAW

Zsnark
April 20, 2013, 07:56 PM
I guess I don't understand the reason for the thread. Are we talking about hiking (trail, with a hydration pack) or walking around town. A hiking stick is all that's needed for rattlers, snake gaiters come highly recommended.

A two finger grip, 25oz revolver in 357mag seems like a disaster waiting to happen when fast follow-up shots are required.

FWIW, feral dogs in Arizona are tested for plague and one tested positive last year, believe it was located above the Rim.
2Zulu,

There ain't any forests where I live; but, it's not suburbs either. Mostly chapparal and other assorted dessert stuff. While I am smart enough to not mess with a rattler, Id like to be able to send him to his maker w/o getting real close and personal.

Actually since I left NYC a very long time ago I've never been in bear country. Maybe, a cougar, but I've never run into one.

Man, I'm too old for the wild outdoors! But, I try to stay in some kind of shape.

AAW

P.S. Not too long ago, I hiked in the mountains outside L.A. We were high up and ran into this gnarly looking dude who gave my buddy images of the movie "Deliverance". I was not worried 'cause I has my S&W snubby M66 in my pack.

Stainz
April 21, 2013, 08:16 AM
If you want to dispatch non-two-legged snakes at a distance, why not use 2.5" .410 shot shells? My S&W Governor, top below - sporting Hogue/S&W .500 Magnum grips, may just be ideal. I bought it as a bedside gun - with moonclipped .45 ACPs loaded. Of course, you can use the two slot 'clips and load a pair of .410 shot shells, .45 ACPs, and .45 Colts - I prefer the Speer 250gr Gold Dots there. Even though it's frame is Al/Sc, that large SS cylinder bumps it up to 29.6 oz empty - nearly twice my 642, below it for scale, weight. In the SE USA, with our forest land, scents tend to linger - and rattlers smell like rotten flesh and can be avoided. Copperheads have to be stepped on - good leggings and boots are what you need for them. Cotton mouths worry me - and avoiding still water helps there.

http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u307/Stainz_2007/006.jpg

Two-legged snakes worry me the most, so the 642 is my carry choice in the woods, arboreal and urban alike - with +P 158gr LHPSW's loaded.

Stainz

PS S&W still makes fine products.

blindhari
April 21, 2013, 10:13 AM
I live in central Az on high desert plateau. I also do a lot of varmint and all big game hunting up on the Mogollon rim area. As a senior citizen, over 65, I have been known to carry CCW J frame. When I am out in the woods on foot I prefer a 357 Win trapper along with a 357 SP 101 in a Mitch Rosen cross draw holster. Sp 101 is loaded with 38 special and is also comfortable when driving using the same holster. If the day is going to be spent four wheeling in the Jeep I have a cut down H&R 20ga with a side saddle holding 2 buckhammer, 2 #6chill shot and 2 # 2 shot riding in the back seat. 20 ga weighs less than 4 lbs.
One last thing, up on the rim where I hunt I am on private ranch land, feral dogs released by city folk to starve are shot on sight.

blindhari

gamestalker
April 21, 2013, 05:43 PM
How about a "608"? If you can't kill it with 8 rounds, you could surely beat it too death using it as a crow bar! Fully loaded they probably weigh some where around 10 lbs.

GS

gamestalker
April 21, 2013, 06:02 PM
Northern Arizona can be a dangerous place, I know from experience. I've lived and hunted the Rim country for a long time. In all honesty, I have had numerous unsettling encounters with bears and cats (mountain lions). I've had bears fall out of trees right in front of me, I've had them come into varmint calls, and turkey calls. As for cats, I've only had 2 uncomfortable encounters, but both were such that I was pleased to have a 44 mag as my primary line of defense. So my personal carry gun while recreating in this country has been a 44 magnum, a Super Black Hawk. I'm sure a .357 mag will offer some line of defense, but bears are very difficult to stop when charging and can often times only be further infuriated by a wounding shot to the lungs, shoulder, or brisket.

While hunting bear, I once saw a 400 lb. black bear my buddy took with his .270 win in Sycamore canyon (N. Arizona) that had a 12 ga. slug in it's hip that had broken it, and then healed back up, and it also had a high powered rifle slug that had passed through the shoulder into the lung cavity and then stopped on the opposite shoulder blade. Both wounds were quite old, which may explain why this big old bruin was in such a terrible mood the day he dispatched it. My point being, bears are not easy to kill, so regardless of which cartridge you use as a defense, your still facing a predator that is vary difficult to stop with anything when they are charging.
GS

Zsnark
April 21, 2013, 06:50 PM
No on the Charter Arms, Zsnark.

If there is a bottom-of-the-barrel, you'll find them down there.

Sounds like you know a whole lot more than you initially let on there "Dad" (I'm 57)

I know the country you are talking about. I have friends in Phoenix and Tucson and have shot a few rattlers out there, even eating them, so that's why I threw the "snake charmer" round idea in the first two cylinders out to you.

I'm just surprised that in your time you haven't held on to at least one wheelgun. Jeepers, but I have my Redhawk 44 that I bought in the mid 80's, and I pulled that one down on what I thought was a Grizzly up Montana way while on a hike (turned out to be Murph the slow Buffalo)
Big,

I don't know how I gave the impression that I ain't got any wheel guns. Got a 1873 Bisley clone in .357, a 6" M629, a 4" Python, a 6" M19, a 2 1/2" M66, and a Taurus 3" 94. The last one is the one I carry on my admittedly wuz hikes.

But, there is a good chance of a rattler, a lesser chance of a feral dog , and a remote chance of a cougar.

I like auto loaders best but they are too finicky for tasks where I'd like a snake round up first and either .357 or .38+P next.

P.S. Don't brag about your youth, Son; it ain't nice to remind guys like me. When I was 57 I thought I was ancient. But, I still could do almost everything I likes. The high 60s started to tell me the Grim Reaper was closing in.

grimjaw
April 22, 2013, 02:36 PM
Zsnark, I started feeling my age just before 40 and I don't like carrying that much weight on a hike now. I'm also trying my hand and ultralite backpacking, so anywhere I can shave weight is great. Few revolvers pack as much firepower as efficiently as an alloy-framed snub. I've got a S&W J-frame airweight, but I wouldn't recommend against one of the Taurus line. However, I limit it to .38 Special, which is enough recoil without adding .357 into the mix. Still gives me the option of a scattershot or blank in the cylinder for snakes or signalling, respectively.

Good luck with your search.

jm

2zulu1
April 22, 2013, 03:58 PM
Northern Arizona can be a dangerous place, I know from experience. I've lived and hunted the Rim country for a long time. In all honesty, I have had numerous unsettling encounters with bears and cats (mountain lions). I've had bears fall out of trees right in front of me, I've had them come into varmint calls, and turkey calls. As for cats, I've only had 2 uncomfortable encounters, but both were such that I was pleased to have a 44 mag as my primary line of defense. So my personal carry gun while recreating in this country has been a 44 magnum, a Super Black Hawk. I'm sure a .357 mag will offer some line of defense, but bears are very difficult to stop when charging and can often times only be further infuriated by a wounding shot to the lungs, shoulder, or brisket.

While hunting bear, I once saw a 400 lb. black bear my buddy took with his .270 win in Sycamore canyon (N. Arizona) that had a 12 ga. slug in it's hip that had broken it, and then healed back up, and it also had a high powered rifle slug that had passed through the shoulder into the lung cavity and then stopped on the opposite shoulder blade. Both wounds were quite old, which may explain why this big old bruin was in such a terrible mood the day he dispatched it. My point being, bears are not easy to kill, so regardless of which cartridge you use as a defense, your still facing a predator that is vary difficult to stop with anything when they are charging.
GS
I understand what you are saying. While I haven't had a bear encounter, I've heard them huffing and I know of situations when they've been put down. One was a 150# blackie that had been hit by a car and it took all six shots of 357mag JHPs to put it out of its misery. Another was a young man hiking with his dog, dog was attacked by a blackie and that encounter took six hits of 41mag JHPs to save his dog.

Just a couple of months ago a rancher was working cattle when black bear cub spooked his horse, he ended up on his butt and in the process of standing noticed mama bear charging, fortunately his cow dog ended the charge as the cub ran in a different direction.

Large black bears here are the same size as you have on the Rim, 370-400#s, and they get hit on I-10 in SE Arizona every once in awhile.

I live in high density mountain lion (big cat) country, a few years ago 16 were captured nearby for relocation to other states and other parts of Arizona. In daylight, one only gets a fleeting glimpse of these elegant creatures. At night time, they are reluctant to back off. I had one move diagonally move toward me, from about 125 yards to ~85 yards. Its BIG yellow eyes reflected from a 130 lumens flashlight plus a laser-light on a G20, loaded with 200gr WFNGCs. It finally backed off after being lasered. The next morning I went out near the barn where it had been standing and the range grass measured 32 inches tall, big cat. :)

I'm a big fan of the 38 Super for feral dogs, coyotes and snakes et al, but when the big cats are on the property I elect for heavy 357mag, 10mm or a M29 Mountain. The M29 Mountain, 686P/4", loaded G20 and 1911 Government all weigh about the same and are comfortable carries. With a recent increase in hog activity, I'm carrying the M29 Mountain, but I'm having 1911 Commander, 10mm with rail being built for carry. It will conceal very well IWB and I won't have to change carry on those infrequent trips to town.

2zulu1
April 22, 2013, 05:39 PM
2Zulu,

There ain't any forests where I live; but, it's not suburbs either. Mostly chapparal and other assorted dessert stuff. While I am smart enough to not mess with a rattler, Id like to be able to send him to his maker w/o getting real close and personal.

Actually since I left NYC a very long time ago I've never been in bear country. Maybe, a cougar, but I've never run into one.

Man, I'm too old for the wild outdoors! But, I try to stay in some kind of shape.

AAW

P.S. Not too long ago, I hiked in the mountains outside L.A. We were high up and ran into this gnarly looking dude who gave my buddy images of the movie "Deliverance". I was not worried 'cause I has my S&W snubby M66 in my pack.
It's doubtful you'll run into a mountain lion or bear, but both live in the desert (one "s"). Because you don't see one of the big cats, or rattlesnakes for that matter, doesn't mean they aren't there. What do you actually see, or look for, while on your treks?

What do you see in this picture?

http://i1103.photobucket.com/albums/g474/aztrekker511/Yellowdog026.jpg

Left of the t-post there's a yellow retriever, mixed breed feral dog. It led a pack of three other dogs and they had confirmed, multiple kills on pet dogs and goats. When you hear agonizing screams of dogs, goats and sheep that last for about 35-40 seconds, you know they are being killed by feral dogs.

Feral dogs are as much of a problem in Arizona as they are in other states. When feral dog packs get out of hand, a team of animal control, deputy and USDA hunter are sent to the area. Animal control attempts to capture the dogs alive, deputy is there to keep the peace and the USDA hunter dispatches the dogs that aren't captured. All dogs are tested for rabies and the plague, one such dog tested positive last year for the plague, IIRC, it was located north of the Rim.

I had so many rattlesnake encounters on this part of the property that I widened the road and named it Rattlesnake Alley. Before the ground hardened, a male mountain lion (5.5" wide foot print) went up the road at a brisk pace, is, four consecutive foot prints were at a distance of 8ft;

http://i1103.photobucket.com/albums/g474/aztrekker511/Liontracks009.jpg

At a different time and location on the property I had just finished some grading and was walking where there was thick mesquite. As I was returning, less than 20 minutes later, I noticed 5.5" wide lion prints on the road, this print was over the heel of a size 11 hiking boot.

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

Other than these tracks, I never saw the lion, yet it was there when I was there.

Came across another sign last October, lion scat was less than 10ft away,

http://i1103.photobucket.com/albums/g474/aztrekker511/2012-10-23_12-46-34_378.jpg

There are more mountain lion stories that I have, including daylight glimpses and night time encounters, but hopefully you are beginning to understand that just because you don't see a particular animal, doesn't mean it isn't close nearby. :)

blindhari
April 23, 2013, 02:21 AM
2zulu1,
Thanks for the pictures. I have seen blackbear called in when we were looking for coyote. I have seen lion parralell a couple walking down an arroyo in daylight. Lion got abve them and stayed high in brush coming out to look every 25 to 50 yds. These people had ridden part way up the arroyo on a quad and were rockhounds, they had a bolt rifle but left it with the quad as being too heavy. my brother in law and I talked to them later and they had no clue about being stalked until we showed them the tracks.
For hiking a 357 wheel gun and a 357 rifle cover most things. Four wheel or horse back a shorty shotgun works pretty well.


blindhari

bigdaa
April 23, 2013, 10:28 AM
Big,

I don't know how I gave the impression that I ain't got any wheel guns. Got a 1873 Bisley clone in .357, a 6" M629, a 4" Python, a 6" M19, a 2 1/2" M66, and a Taurus 3" 94. The last one is the one I carry on my admittedly wuz hikes.

But, there is a good chance of a rattler, a lesser chance of a feral dog , and a remote chance of a cougar.

I like auto loaders best but they are too finicky for tasks where I'd like a snake round up first and either .357 or .38+P next.

P.S. Don't brag about your youth, Son; it ain't nice to remind guys like me. When I was 57 I thought I was ancient. But, I still could do almost everything I likes. The high 60s started to tell me the Grim Reaper was closing in.
Well, against the way I feel today, I won't lament at being "old"

I know your area well like I said before. I think your initial choice on the Taurus is fine based on my experience at least. While my wife prefers to fire the 38 home brews out of the thing, I love the 125gr magnums backed by H110 powder. Like I said, so far so good. Nothing fell off in our hands.

The cost was the driving force for us at the time and the Taurus fit the bill perfectly at a couple of hundred less than a Smith at least!

I know the thread went the way of big predators, but I always harken back to the Yellowstone ranger that dumped all six 357 mag rounds down a a grizzly's throat as it had a hold of his shoulders and head. The bear still had to be caught and disposed of.

That had me carrying the 44 mag Redhawk with full tilt 240 JSP's when visiting the "area"

The 2 1/2 inch 66..................I think you are covered, aren't you?





Z, you saw that pic of Our Taurus and the 500 didn't you? If you want, I can take a few more pics of the Taurus if you need them. No problem to do it and post them.

2zulu1
April 23, 2013, 01:20 PM
2zulu1,
Thanks for the pictures. I have seen blackbear called in when we were looking for coyote. I have seen lion parralell a couple walking down an arroyo in daylight. Lion got abve them and stayed high in brush coming out to look every 25 to 50 yds. These people had ridden part way up the arroyo on a quad and were rockhounds, they had a bolt rifle but left it with the quad as being too heavy. my brother in law and I talked to them later and they had no clue about being stalked until we showed them the tracks.
For hiking a 357 wheel gun and a 357 rifle cover most things. Four wheel or horse back a shorty shotgun works pretty well.


blindhari

While lion attacks are extremely rare, it's very disconcerting when they show no fear of humans. Came across this ~10 month list of lion sightings/ encounters in the Sabino Canyon area of Tucson, including a short distance incident at a middle school.

http://www.azgfd.gov/w_c/mtn_lion_timeline.shtml

Godsgunman
April 24, 2013, 10:20 AM
Zsnark-
The Taurus M66 and M65 are K frame. I have not seen the M66 with a 3", the 4" are most common. You can find the M65 more commonly in the 3". Both excellent guns.

Ed Ames
April 24, 2013, 12:19 PM
I've spent a lot of time hiking around in "snake country". Mojave desert in California, Arizona, etc.

One word for you: boots.

Buy 'em. Wear 'em. If you have a revolver-sized pile of cash burning a hole in your pocket try these on: http://www.russellmoccasin.com/boots_snakeproof/snakeproof_bullhide.html

Unless you are hungry there is no good excuse for killing a rattlesnake while on a hike. They don't stalk you, they don't learn to associate humans with food and become a danger to the public. They aren't going to grab your pets and drag them into the brush for a meal. They pretty much don't do anything to hikers except help control the rodent population...unless you step on them, which isn't something you should be doing anyway. They just are like your average concealed carry gun owner...harmless, unless you start something. And, like concealed carry gun owners, the world is a better place if you leave 'em be.

Now that I've got that off my chest... I've only owned one Taurus, a semi-auto .45, and it wasn't reliable. I don't know if their revolvers would have the same sorts of problems but if given the choice between a Taurus 66 and S&W 10 for the same price, I'd probably take the 10. I have a Ruger Alaskan for that sort of use (hiking and general field carry) but it's heavy and 99% overkill.

If I was going for a Taurus revolver for the use you described I would try to find a 445. 22 ounces, 5 shots of 44 special (which would be better for shot capsule loads than .357), 2” barrel. That or a judge I guess.

sixgunner455
April 24, 2013, 12:39 PM
I'd just carry that 66 with 145gr Silvertips or the like. I carry a 3" 13-3 loaded with 160gr hardcast, most of the time, when I'm hiking.

It's not really that heavy.

The reason that S&W stopped making Kframe .357 revolvers after all the decades and millions of sales was that they stopped selling enough of them to be worth continuing to make them. Lost market share = no more incentive to build the product. Lost the market share to auto pistols on the police front, and (typically) larger/heavier guns on the hunter front, leaving the hiker who wants something controllable but not huge kind of out in the cold.

Except that you already have that 66. No warts on it at all, if you have a good holster/belt combo.

eta: Taurus 605 - a friend has one, has fired several hundred .38 Specials through it, and probably 50 or so magnum loads. It works great. Dad has an 85, firing pin spring broke, had to be replaced. A friend had a .22 semi, would not feed reliably. Other trouble stories, but if you insist on a pocket .357 from Taurus, the 605 will probably work. I'd look at a Ruger or S&W first, though.

2zulu1
April 24, 2013, 06:35 PM
I've spent a lot of time hiking around in "snake country". Mojave desert in California, Arizona, etc.

One word for you: boots.

Buy 'em. Wear 'em. If you have a revolver-sized pile of cash burning a hole in your pocket try these on: http://www.russellmoccasin.com/boots_snakeproof/snakeproof_bullhide.html

Unless you are hungry there is no good excuse for killing a rattlesnake while on a hike. They don't stalk you, they don't learn to associate humans with food and become a danger to the public. They aren't going to grab your pets and drag them into the brush for a meal. They pretty much don't do anything to hikers except help control the rodent population...unless you step on them, which isn't something you should be doing anyway. They just are like your average concealed carry gun owner...harmless, unless you start something. And, like concealed carry gun owners, the world is a better place if you leave 'em be.

Now that I've got that off my chest... I've only owned one Taurus, a semi-auto .45, and it wasn't reliable. I don't know if their revolvers would have the same sorts of problems but if given the choice between a Taurus 66 and S&W 10 for the same price, I'd probably take the 10. I have a Ruger Alaskan for that sort of use (hiking and general field carry) but it's heavy and 99% overkill.

If I was going for a Taurus revolver for the use you described I would try to find a 445. 22 ounces, 5 shots of 44 special (which would be better for shot capsule loads than .357), 2” barrel. That or a judge I guess.
I'll make the distinction between hiking in venomous snake areas and living in areas where there's dense rattler populations, like Arizona. I've been hiking for over five decades and have yet to kill a rattler, those I've seen were simply moved well off the trail by using a hiking stick.

I've known a number of dog and cat owners who have had their pets bitten by rattlers, depending on where bitten, many survive if they live through the first 72 hours. I know of three people who lost horses last year as they were grazing. Marketing surveys for companies that manufacture anti venom put sales at 250,000/year.


http://rattlesnakeantivenom.com/

Think of the thousands of times one goes out and in their front door, this Mohave rattler was at my front door. After a trip to town, I was bringing in groceries, headed back out and the Mohave coiled for a strike;

http://i1103.photobucket.com/albums/g474/aztrekker511/2012-08-05_18-40-57_741.jpg

John Browning was a genius at designing natural pointing ergonomics, first time I needed to use a Hi Power and at less than three feet, the HST was lethal.

http://i1103.photobucket.com/albums/g474/aztrekker511/2012-08-05_18-42-36_786.jpg

The sun had set and I only had a partial view of the target, guesstimating where its head was as it coiled.
About ten days later there was another Mohave at the garage door, on the concrete under the grand kids plastic picnic table. After moving the pit viper onto dirt, it was dispatched by a G20 loaded with 200gr WFNs. I was carrying heavy because of hog activity.

Talk to ADOT workers and they are constantly being tagged while working along highways. See one rattler and look for a second. Snake gaiters are excellent protection from snake bites, mine are from Cabela's and they cost about $40. Justin makes excellent snake boots for considerably less than the boots you linked to.

Rattlers in Arizona can be active twelve months a year depending on ground temperature, this was a December kill;

http://i1103.photobucket.com/albums/g474/aztrekker511/Wildoutback009.jpg

Fang marks are noticeable on the swollen area.

Ed Ames
April 24, 2013, 09:00 PM
I don't see the point of that distinction. I said "hiked" because the OP said "hiked" but I lived for years in the mojave and rattlesnakes were common. I don't have a snazzy picture but I once had a young rattlesnake take up residence literally on my doorstep...or under anyway. It was hiding under the steps.

The difference is that I just moved it away from the house. I never saw it again. Same thing when a California Kingsnake found its way into my bed one night...and no, that's not an entendre of any sort. Was I freaked out? You betcha. Did I kill it? Nope, I took it outside to play with the rattlesnakes.

None of 'em are my friends, and I don't care if they eat each other, but killing a snake really doesn't make you appreciably safer. The gun blast will do more harm to your hearing than the snake will do. I can see if you want to eat the thing but outside of that what do you gain?

As for pets, yeah, I had dogs and cats. One of the dogs got bit once. It survived. The only thing I know ever got a cat was a coyote.

I linked to those snake boots specifically because they were the price of a good revolver. I figured if someone was talking about guns for such a tenuously useful purpose as hiking snake defense it was because they secretly wanted to spend some money on a luxury and were looking for justification. That's usually how it goes. So I figured the OP had maybe $800 burning a hole in his pocket and was looking for the right luxury item. Those boots would count. :)

2zulu1
April 25, 2013, 01:04 PM
I don't see the point of that distinction. I said "hiked" because the OP said "hiked" but I lived for years in the mojave and rattlesnakes were common. I don't have a snazzy picture but I once had a young rattlesnake take up residence literally on my doorstep...or under anyway. It was hiding under the steps.

The difference is that I just moved it away from the house. I never saw it again. Same thing when a California Kingsnake found its way into my bed one night...and no, that's not an entendre of any sort. Was I freaked out? You betcha. Did I kill it? Nope, I took it outside to play with the rattlesnakes.

None of 'em are my friends, and I don't care if they eat each other, but killing a snake really doesn't make you appreciably safer. The gun blast will do more harm to your hearing than the snake will do. I can see if you want to eat the thing but outside of that what do you gain?

As for pets, yeah, I had dogs and cats. One of the dogs got bit once. It survived. The only thing I know ever got a cat was a coyote.

I linked to those snake boots specifically because they were the price of a good revolver. I figured if someone was talking about guns for such a tenuously useful purpose as hiking snake defense it was because they secretly wanted to spend some money on a luxury and were looking for justification. That's usually how it goes. So I figured the OP had maybe $800 burning a hole in his pocket and was looking for the right luxury item. Those boots would count. :)
I simply, and strongly, disagree with your assessment. Many people I know have had numerous rattlesnake encounters, haven't lost their hearing from gun blasts. Also, common sense dictates that those who have needed to dispatch rattlers are safer, including kids and grandkids, in comparison to giving rattlers the opportunity to strike again.

In these parts, people choose the bobcat method when dealing with rattler confrontations;

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=5&ved=0CEQQtwIwBA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DFPMnZwKHFd4&ei=nVt5UbSiH-OZiAKAgYGIDA&usg=AFQjCNG2S-FP4YuUDxaJOL7Bd-TveJdsVQ

I relocated the above Mohave to feed the hungry;


http://i1103.photobucket.com/albums/g474/aztrekker511/2012-08-06_10-34-47_917.jpg

Ed Ames
April 25, 2013, 01:39 PM
Obviously we disagree. I wouldn't have posted in this thread if I didn't disagree with you.

I don't agree with you about kids and grandkids being safer either. My brother, as a fairly young child, spent two weeks living with his grandparents. During that time our grandfather spotted a snake and whipped out a pocket pistol and started blazing away. My brother says that his ears started ringing then and never stopped.

removing a vermin control predator can cause long term health risks too.

The snake, as far as his recollection goes, was one of these scary bad boys:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/aa/Red_milk_snake.JPG

I think that snake boots, gators, or just some situational awareness beats shooting a beneficial organism you don't intend to eat.

460Kodiak
April 25, 2013, 03:52 PM
While lion attacks are extremely rare, it's very disconcerting when they show no fear of humans.

There are a whole lot of lions where I live. I work alone, in the middle of nowhere timber country, and am not allowed to carry a gun. I see there tracks, a lot, but have only seen one cat in 9 years. They are usually skiddish around humans and just want to get away. That being said, I do take them very seriously, and while recreating in the woods, I am always armed for that reason. But I for one would be more concerned about the feral dogs than anything there in AZ.

they had no clue about being stalked until we showed them the tracks.


Certainly a concern, but remember the saying "Curiosity killed the cat". It applys to all cats, whether they be 5 lbs, or 500. Felines are curious and often they are simply interested in what you are doing. Ears up and facing you means interest. Ears down and facing you means you better draw and aim now.

A friend of mine was setting up a game camera and showed me some pictures. He set up the camera, and you could see him in one picture. The next picture there was an 80 to 90 lb lion standing in frame. It was time stamped 2 minutes after the last picture of him. It was just taking a look is all. Still though, like I said, I do take them seriously. Most are skiddish should not be confussed with "All" are skiddish. Hell, I've had whitetail bucks charge me. Any animal can be dangerous.

Just for information: The snake in the above picture is a scarlet king snake and is non venomous. They could give you a nasty bite for sure, but they are generally considered harmless. Actually they eat rodents, so they are very beneficial to have around. They are often confused with coral snakes, which are very poisonous. Remember, "Red on yellow kills a fellow. "Red on black, don't mean jack."

Ed Ames
April 25, 2013, 04:09 PM
Spoil-sport.

:D

Texan Scott
April 25, 2013, 05:44 PM
I have a 2" 605. Not a target gun, never meant to be. Solid and reliable. Use 38+p in mine (357 is flashy and frightfully inefficient in short barrels) and would not feel underarmed unless I needed a rifle.

Agree that a 38's worth of grain-o-sand shot is NOT enough to reliably stop a large snake. Use the 38 solids or back it up with a Bond 410 with a half ounce of #4 shot (I do).

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