Hunting sidearm


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CApighunter
August 18, 2013, 02:21 AM
I'm looking at getting my first handgun for a hunting sidearm/backup but where I hunt, there is the ever-present risk of running into a marijuana grow site. I have found them on several occasions, and with just my -06, I felt a pretty nervous as many of these grows are operated by cartels. I want something that is adequate at dispatching a hog or deer at close range, but with enough capacity if, god forbid, I surprised a group of angry growers. I'm going back at forth between a Rock Island Tactical 1911 in .45 acp and a ruger revolver in 357 or 45LC. I'm familiar with both semi autos and revolvers, and generally prefer revolvers for their accuracy and feel. The 1911 on the other hand has more holster options and lots of aftermarket parts. I'm in CA, so high cap magazines for a glock or similar handgun are not an option. What are your thoughts? I'm on a budget, but I do want a quality firearm that will last a lifetime.

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critter
August 18, 2013, 06:55 AM
Ruger Blackhawk Hunter in .44 mag or a S&W 25 in .45 Colt make good hunting guns. Horsepower aplenty and not too much under maximum number of rounds available given your magazine limits. Learn to shoot them well and you should be just fine.

farm23
August 18, 2013, 08:01 AM
I would go with a 44. I have carried and dispatched most of NA big came with either a 44 or a 454. You might check as most states have rules on what can be carried for hunting. In many states a 45acp is not allowed [my son was stopped and given a warning by the game warden when he was carrying a 1911]. Second choice would be a 357.

farm23
August 18, 2013, 08:39 AM
Another thought on a hunting sidearm. If you are hunting in cold weather and put a coat over the sidearm you need to check what CA says.

tarosean
August 18, 2013, 08:40 AM
S&W 19.. pick em up cheap and pretty darn rugged.

JShirley
August 18, 2013, 08:46 AM
I have carried 3 and 4" N frames, 3" K frames, and compact Glocks for hunting sidearms. I find I am fast and accurate with autoloaders, and I like tough finishes (Glock, S&W M&P) on working handguns. At close range, a good 9x19mm or .40 will put a wounded deer down just fine. A 3 or 4" .357 might work well, too, but I personally am much faster on multiple targets with an automatic.

John

mhankins
August 18, 2013, 09:01 AM
I would go with the auto,for faster reloads if nothing else.
It is also easier to carry flat magazines than round speedloaders for me.

osteodoc08
August 18, 2013, 12:04 PM
There are 2 different scenarios at play here.

1. Hunting handgun- I prefer a smith N frame in 41 or up or a ruger blackhawk.

2. Defensive handgun if SHTF while hunting and stumbling across a grow site. First of all, get the heck out of dodge. Chances are you will be out numbered and outgunned. This is one of the main reasons I prefer private land and clubs. While public land has great hunting opportunity, gotta be really careful. Other than that, any handgun with 9mm or larger and high cap with multiple magazines

Be safe. Hunt smart.

jrdolall
August 18, 2013, 12:13 PM
I have never hunted on public land so I can't empathize.
Can you hunt with an AR? Given the choice of a sidearm or a full sized rifle for SD I would go with the rifle. Of course laws are different everywhere but in Alabama you could hunt deer with an AR-15, dispatch varmints with the same gun AND have enough fire power to give you a chance against drug folks. If you can't hunt with the .223 then maybe an AR-10?
I have no knowledge of CA laws but I imagine the evil rifles are frowned upon.

jmr40
August 18, 2013, 12:56 PM
If you are actually hunting game, a 6" or longer revolver chambered in 357, 41, 44, or 45. If you are more concerned about 2 legged predators a hi cap semi of you choice. Some of the areas I hunt require parking in pretty remote areas with encounters with questionable other users. I often carry my G-19. It is comforting when leaving, and arriving back at my truck in the dark.

My G-20 in 10mm is a good compromise, and the gun I carry if bear are in the area. Loaded with 200 gr ammo @ 1300 fps it gives up nothing to a 357 mag, and very little to a 44 mag. With 16 rounds available in a gun an inch shorter and 3/4 lb lighter than my 3" magnum revolvers it makes a formidable SD weapon for 2 legged threats.

CApighunter
August 18, 2013, 01:07 PM
I would like to get an AR, but funds don't allow it at this time. I'm also of the mentality that while a .223 is a great defensive cartridge and is wonderful on varmints a such, it is less than ideal for big game. But back to handguns... I have thought about the 44 mag and that's an option as well. I do handload so ammo availibilty isn't a huge factor, but still kind of important. I like the .357 because I can shoot 38s at the range with less recoil. It really comes down to what I can find at a good price.

hardluk1
August 18, 2013, 01:13 PM
Hard call not knowing what your price range iss. A used sp101 would make a good backup pistol with federals 180gr HC loads. A used dan Wesson would also do.

Pistols with your 10 round capacity limits ??? I have a RIA and like it. $468 bucks around here for a tactical fs 5" and it shoots any thing tried includeing swc hc loads with a +P rateing. Bump up the recoil spring and firing pin spring and that same pistol and barrel can shoot 450smc and 45 super for limited use.

Check out underwood ammo for the 45 super and double tap for the 450smc ammo. Hot stuff. And a 10mm. Glock does have 10 round cap pistol in the model 29 and 30 if legal there.

If your looking for a handgun to hunt with sometime as a main firearm then as covered by others. 6" plus barrel gp100, model 27s&w, DW 15-2 on up thru the so many 41 and 44 mags. I like a DA/SA revolver over a SA as you don't have to cock that sucker if you need it right now. Just pull the trigger. Holster are not hard to find for ether type. Buy pancake holster for a backup handgun with a retainer strap.

lobo9er
August 18, 2013, 02:01 PM
....

RetiredUSNChief
August 18, 2013, 03:08 PM
I'm looking at getting my first handgun for a hunting sidearm/backup but where I hunt, there is the ever-present risk of running into a marijuana grow site. I have found them on several occasions, and with just my -06, I felt a pretty nervous as many of these grows are operated by cartels. I want something that is adequate at dispatching a hog or deer at close range, but with enough capacity if, god forbid, I surprised a group of angry growers. I'm going back at forth between a Rock Island Tactical 1911 in .45 acp and a ruger revolver in 357 or 45LC. I'm familiar with both semi autos and revolvers, and generally prefer revolvers for their accuracy and feel. The 1911 on the other hand has more holster options and lots of aftermarket parts. I'm in CA, so high cap magazines for a glock or similar handgun are not an option. What are your thoughts? I'm on a budget, but I do want a quality firearm that will last a lifetime.

Let me straighten you out on what you just said here by correcting an error in your posting:

"...with just my -6, any person I encounter should feel pretty nervous that I am fully able to dispatch any living creature at my discretion, be it hog, deer, bad guy in body armor, but..."

:evil:


Given the choice between a rifle and a handgun, the rifle beats the handgun hands down in terms of range and effectiveness. (Let's not get into arguments like "what about a .22 rifle, then?" The OP has stated he's hunting with an -06, let's go with that.)


Now, that said, there is value to having a good handgun whenever hunting, be it for four or two legged critters. For one, It's very difficult to climb a tree with a rifle in your hands when that p*ssed off hog you just wounded on your last rifle shot decides to try gnawing your leg off.

As with all self-defense handgun issues, whatever you choose to carry should be something that fits YOUR hand, is RELIABLE, and has enough power to do what you want it to do...such as take down that angry wounded hog.

Anything that will take down that angry, wounded hog is very likely well suited to taking down an angry two-legged critter, too.

gazpacho
August 18, 2013, 03:27 PM
As funds seem to an issue, what handguns do you currently own?

In general, I would argue that a self defense handgun and a hunting handgun are two different prospects. One can fill the need of the other, but won't be ideal for it.

For hunting, I like the Ruger Super Redhawk in 454.

For self defense, I like the Springfield Armory XD9 Tactical in 9mm.

CApighunter
August 18, 2013, 03:45 PM
This will be my first handgun. I have shot other people's guns plenty of times, but I want to get my own. If I go with a revolver, I want the barrel length to be 4-5 inches. The RIA Tactical would be the full size 5 inch barrel. I'm not opposed to a single action revolvers, and prefer Rugers because they can handle a steady diet of hot loads better than most other revolvers. I'm not a big glock fan, just too much plastic and I think they have the ergonomics of a 2x4. As far as Rugers go, I've looked into the Blackhawks, Security sixs, and gp100s. I like them all and it will come down to what is the best price for me locally.

Edit: I really can't afford to spend more than $600 on this gun. Under $500 would be better.

AKElroy
August 18, 2013, 04:48 PM
I have another thread going with essentially the same goal, but I am looking for a 6" 10mm. It looks like the EAA witness hunter may be my choice. Plenty of power and speed for bipeds or quadrupeds in my neck of the woods.

pps
August 18, 2013, 05:26 PM
I hunt here in California, too. In addition to the ban on normal capacity magazines, AB711 will eliminate lead core bullets for all of the state, when it comes to hunting.

I have opted for the Ruger Bisley Blackhawk in 45 Colt(I had lead in it this past weekend) that can use Buffalo Bore Barnes bullets 225 grains at 1500fps. That's some pretty good stopping power. 6 shots, only.

https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/601392_177967889052737_1663462106_n.jpg

If I had to switch to a sidearm for both 2 legged and 4 legged vermin I'd opt for a G20 and keep some Double Tap Lead Flat Nosed bullets in it.

doc2rn
August 18, 2013, 05:40 PM
I gotta go with a good ole GP100 given your criteria, .357 is a viable hunting round.

Vern Humphrey
August 18, 2013, 06:38 PM
In a situation such as you describe, I'd go with a rifle, either an M1A or an M1 Garand.

MrDig
August 18, 2013, 09:33 PM
I gotta go with a good ole GP100 given your criteria, .357 is a viable hunting round.
Hard to argue with that choice it's what I started with for a hunting revolver.

chuwee81
August 19, 2013, 01:11 AM
met a gentleman who carried his rossi .38 spl as his hunting sidearm. He also hunts with his rem 30.06. That lil gun has dispatched some of the still-breathing hogs after he shot them with his rifle. One shot to the head he said.
edit: he carried 2 speedloaders with it though

Scrumbag
August 19, 2013, 06:09 AM
How about this? (Not sure what this is like for Price though)

http://www.para-usa.com/firearms/elite/hunter.php

10mm, 1911, 9 round magazine.... carry a couple of spare mags and I should think enough to handgun hunt with should you choose.

ATB,

Scrummy

Arkansas Paul
August 19, 2013, 12:53 PM
If I were in your situation I think a Glock 20 SF would be the ticket.
15 rounds of near .41 Mag performance should cover a lot of bases.

SimplyChad
August 19, 2013, 08:38 PM
SRH in 454 in my CC but I wouldn't feel bad about one In 44 mag

BP Hunter
August 20, 2013, 01:18 PM
I have always carried a Glock 22 Gen 4 whenever I go hunting for big game of varmints. The GLock will take rain, snow and mud.

X-Rap
August 20, 2013, 02:43 PM
Carry the extra weight that would be your handgun in extra ammo and maybe take a look at a rifle with a detachable mag. I have carried a handgun during archery season but have always felt that I am in a far superior position with a high powered rifle should I come across an unsocial situation while hunting during the general season.
If blessed with a hunting area that had plentiful game and little pressure I would probably be more inclined to carry a large bore handgun since I do subscribe to what Elmer Kieth I think described as a weapon of opportunity and if a BG animal was in effective range I might take it with the handgun just to do it.
Remember that you might run afoul of game laws by "dispatching" a BG animal with a caliber that is not considered legal for hunting. I think most hogs are considered feral so I doubt it maters but having a warden dig a 9mm out of you elk might cause some problems

Deaf Smith
August 20, 2013, 06:26 PM
I'm looking at getting my first handgun for a hunting sidearm/backup but where I hunt, there is the ever-present risk of running into a marijuana grow site. I have found them on several occasions, and with just my -06, I felt a pretty nervous as many of these grows are operated by cartels. I want something that is adequate at dispatching a hog or deer at close range, but with enough capacity if, god forbid, I surprised a group of angry growers. I'm going back at forth between a Rock Island Tactical 1911 in .45 acp and a ruger revolver in 357 or 45LC. I'm familiar with both semi autos and revolvers, and generally prefer revolvers for their accuracy and feel. The 1911 on the other hand has more holster options and lots of aftermarket parts. I'm in CA, so high cap magazines for a glock or similar handgun are not an option. What are your thoughts? I'm on a budget, but I do want a quality firearm that will last a lifetime.


There are many good hunting sidearms from S&W, Ruger, and others that will fill the bill and still be usable for defense.

And yes a good 1911 will bump off a hog or deer with good +P ammo.

Mine is simple:

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=183377&d=1367117863

A good S&W 629-2 4 inch. I load 240s at 1000 fps and feel it's plenty for anything in Texas I need to plug with a sixshooter.

Now there are other guns some of the gents here have listed and they are fine to, but mine is mine!

Happy hunting.

Deaf

mach1.3
August 20, 2013, 06:32 PM
I have several appropriate sidearms for backup when hunting. My G20 and G21 are nice and easy to carry, S&W 686 .357mag and an old Ruger wheelgun in .30 carbine. The revolvers are hefty the Glocks are my comfort carry choice. I always carry a sidearm when hunting hogs or in an area where 'rattlers are common. I haven't hunted in Alaska but a sidearm there might not do a reliable backup job? Might have to sling a Marlin 1895G onto
my back and tote the old .375 H&H as the primary brown bear rifle.

Blue Brick
August 20, 2013, 06:59 PM
I'm on a budget, but I do want a quality firearm that will last a lifetime.

How about a Hi Point JHP 45 ACP? BB makes a 255gr 45 ACP loads that mimic 45 Colt loads.

TarDevil
August 21, 2013, 10:35 AM
Given the circumstances outlined by the OP, my choice would be Glock (ugh, can't believe I said that!) G20.

CMC
August 21, 2013, 10:57 AM
Smith and Wesson model 25 in 45 Colt or a Taurus in the same Caliber .
The Ruger single actions are a good option also in 45 Colt.

BlindJustice
August 21, 2013, 12:14 PM
WIth the California 10 rd mag capacity
I would choose a 1911 in 10mm Auto

A shooting buddy is going on a hiking/camping trip
in the Idaho central panhandle. Last year
he had his G19 but after the F&G warden warned
of bear activity he must have felt a bit
undergunned - this year he has a G20 = 14 td cap.

Bar Sto makes a 1911 variant called the BS40
Calif. Compliant beautiful gun but $2600

Randall

scaatylobo
August 21, 2013, 02:23 PM
I CCW many handguns .

But while hunting with a long gun,I carry a .44 magnum as I believe in having the most bang for the buck as a last resort [ or a coup de grais ].


I just bought a S&W 329 that is STOUT with magnum loads,but still shootable and very accurate [ its a scandium frame ].

Prior to that it was a Ruger superblkhwk that was cut to 4 3/4" barrel with Buffalo Bore 305 grain loads.

I wont try them on the S&W,but will carry a full house magnum for hogs and any critter that needs putting down hard & fast.

dagger dog
August 21, 2013, 04:51 PM
If like the OP suggested, you might run into two legged trouble while handgun hunting.

IMO going into an area that may turn life threatening you need to carry a rifle along with your hand gun.

That being said a Ruger Redhawk, Blackhawk, S&W 25,29, in a large caliber 44-45, along with a light weight 16-20 inch barreled lever carbine, would make sure the hunter would be well armed.

BlindJustice
August 21, 2013, 06:05 PM
Heh, Danger Dog

Last Saturday at the indoor range in Lewiston ID.
my shooting buddy Ralph, had a new but cleaned & lubed
Ruger Blackhawk 4 1/2" in .45 Colt I brought along
a Marlin 1894 20" Barrel .45 Colt 10 rd. Capacity

No heavy loads, in fact the hottest stuff we had was
probably about the same velocity stuff I had shot
while warming up withmy S&W 625 .45 ACP

The Marlin could certainly put out the firepower as there is
little recoil, and a quick recovery. Being lighter the BH had
more muzzle flip than my 625 DA. I'll stick with the
S&W & full moon clips They'd all work for hogs,


R-

Sheepdog1968
August 21, 2013, 10:22 PM
Currently I take a 45 semi auto in CA. If I owned a 44 magnum that's what I would ideally bring as i worry about bears and mountain lions. Pot farms worry me as well. My uncle told me 20 years ago when he and friends hunted in Humbolt county that they needed to watch out for fishing line with oops on them being hung at eye level.

lumpylead
August 21, 2013, 10:42 PM
Too bad you can't just move to another state and carry what you want.

montanaoffroader
August 21, 2013, 11:01 PM
I hunted all over Humboldt and Trinity counties when I lived there, usually carried a .30-06 or .30-30 rifle and always carried a Colt SAA .357 as my sidearm. That Colt dispatched a couple of timber rattlers, a feral dog, numerous killer soda cans, and finished a couple of blacktails.

I did have a few encounters with backcountry horticulturalists, but it never came down to shooting. At most a few words were exchanged, all in all I was pretty lucky.

Nowadays, I usually pack a .44 Ruger because I hang out in grizzly territory. If I still lived in CA, I would still be carrying a .357 revolver. Reasonably priced ammo (comparatively speaking), relatively easy to shoot, and plenty of punch for anything in that area.

If I were to carry a semi-auto I would go for a 10mm, even though the ammo can be a bit spendy. The performance is very similar to a .357, and with a 10 round limit capacity is not really an issue.

Just my $.02

InkEd
August 21, 2013, 11:16 PM
Redhawk 5.5" in .44mag!

Al Thompson
August 22, 2013, 12:30 PM
Don't down play a 9mm for the insurance shot. I've found from personal experience that a 124 Gold Dot will blow through even a big hogs head from any angle. :)

USSR
August 22, 2013, 12:53 PM
Have shot deer with both the .357 Magnum and .45 Colt. The .45 Colt has it all over the .357 Magnum as far as a handgun round for big game goes. And, while I have a .45 ACP, I would not even consider using it where large game animals are involved. Just MHO.

Don

Oxidation
August 23, 2013, 11:19 AM
Id use a Glock 20, 15rds of 220grain Hardcast brings a nice piece of mind to any outdoors experience =)

EVIL
August 23, 2013, 09:09 PM
A lot of the suggestions are not CA legal ... 10rds max guys. The gentleman stated around $500 too ... That makes an expensive 1911s and many revolvers out of his price range. I think we would be looking at second-hand S&Ws & Ruger revolvers at that price point --- but CA has some of the highest retail gun prices IIRC, when I was stationed there. Plus, private transfers between Non-FFLs are illegal which drives up the price in the used market.

Personally, a quality, previously owned .357 six-shooter might be attainable at the $500 price point. Ruger Blackhawks often seem to be a bargain most places I check --- and even though I have one --- It wouldn't be my "go-to" sidearm for a defensive pistol (too long to reload, can't shoot double-taps, etc.) However, I often, none-the-less carry it afield as it has many other admirable qualities, and definitely meets the reliability, accuracy & potential lethality tests if it had to be pressed into service. In all reality, I don't feel under armed with a SA revolver as a contingency plan, as I try to avoid any areas that pose a security risk --- while keeping aware of my surroundings.

I didn't own any pistols when I was a CA resident --- so when I went camping, and day hiking I just took old, Mr. 12 GA along. I only had one security situation in the CA wilds, and it was resolved by merely locking myself in my truck cab and laying my shotgun across my lap.

Good luck in your search!

SDGlock23
August 24, 2013, 08:25 PM
I've vote a Glock of some sorts, not the cheapest price wise but not expensive either. A .40 cal would work, as would a 10mm, and I have both. I also have a G21 that I load with .45 Super. I do run my own handloads (long time reloader), and using a KKM 4 port compensated barrel I can run 255gr WFNGC hardcasts at over 1260 fps, or get this, either a 275gr hardcast at almos 1200 fps or a 300gr LFNGC at over 1100 fps. Same setup shoots .45 ACP just fine, although it does feel like a cap gun in comparison to my .45 Super loads. Same setup could not only be a backup hunting gun, but the primary one as well.

With the extra barrel it costs more (obviously), but you could shoot "regular" .45 Super from a stock G21 (offered by Underwood and Buffalo Bore and DT). They're not as warm as the loads listed above, but they're still potent. A G20 10mm would probably be my second choice, although for what it's worth a .40 or .45 ACP will dispatch a deer or hog handily and ammo won't break the bank.

Boxhead
August 25, 2013, 05:03 AM
Tough to beat the good ol' 44 Mag, this from one that is a great fan of the 45 Colt and 475 and 500 Linebaugh's. This little porker was quickly dispatched with a mild load throwing the 275 gr WFN at 1100 fps. In and out at 40 yards. As a solid, inexpensive entry I would suggest a 5 1/2" Ruger Super Blackhawk.

http://i1197.photobucket.com/albums/aa437/boxhead61/TonysHunt014.jpg (http://s1197.photobucket.com/user/boxhead61/media/TonysHunt014.jpg.html)

hipoint
August 25, 2013, 06:43 PM
I'd rather have 6 rounds of a magnum than 10 of anything else... .357, .41, or .44

If it weren't for the magazine restriction, a big hi-capacity .40 or 10mm or even a 9mm would do fine, but for me, I'll give up 4 rounds to have a magnum in the chamber.

While I'm a super fan of .41, they can be hard to find, and good luck finding a box in a pinch if you leave the ammo at home.

That would leave .357 or .44 Both are good. Your budget may keep it at the .357 level, but I wouldn't feel bad with a good RUGER .357 with some buffalo bore ammo or at least something pretty warm.

With a 10 round magazine restriction, personally I'd rather have 6 rounds of some real oompf. More folks can shoot a revolver at long range than they can an auto, I'm not too sure revolvers are themselves "more accurate", but they do seem to be easier to accomplish a long range goal with.

I have a security six, which is one you mentioned. 4 inch barrel and I love it. Points well, hits well, can handle some hot loads and is light enough to not be a burden. I don't feel undergunned with a 4 inch .357 magnum.

SDGlock23
August 25, 2013, 09:19 PM
Tough to beat the good ol' 44 Mag, this from one that is a great fan of the 45 Colt and 475 and 500 Linebaugh's. This little porker was quickly dispatched with a mild load throwing the 275 gr WFN at 1100 fps. In and out at 40 yards. As a solid, inexpensive entry I would suggest a 5 1/2" Ruger Super Blackhawk.

Great choice. I have a Ruger Bisley .45 Colt/ACP/Super, and the .44 Mag is a great choice as well. For the price, the Blackhawk lineup is tough to beat, it's a lot of gun and power for a great price.

brownout
August 26, 2013, 04:35 PM
ruger gp 100 in 357 would be a great backup weapon I would load up some 180 xtp's and that should be sufficient for most anything you will run into in the woods and if you are that concerned you could carry some speedloaders as well. OR a sw 686 they have a 7 shot 686+ model you could use as well. Hard to go wrong with either.

I personally carry a 5.5" ruger blackhawk with some 300 gr jsps which will knock about anything down that it hits. I hope I never need more then 6 shots.

both guns are reasonably priced and built to last

Cody

TIMC
August 26, 2013, 09:43 PM
I feel very comfortable in the woods with my Kimber warrior 1911 but if I had to worry about 2 legged critters My sidearm of choice would be my FNP45 with a 15 round mag and a couple of spares.

BigBore44
August 27, 2013, 05:46 AM
And we still aren't reading that he has to stay at 10 rds or under. C'mon guys.

My personal carry weapon in the woods is a 7.5 stainless SBH 44mag. It's more than capable of dispatching anything where you or I live. I believe you stated that you reload. So that's makes the 44 a good choice also for the versatility. BUT, you got 6 rounds. I've never needed more than 1 to do what I needed. But I've also never encountered growers. Personally I'm going to have to go with the other guy who said to get out of Dodge if you stumble on a site. Engaging the cartel with a bolt '06 and any handgun is not a smart idea.

AKMtnRunner
August 27, 2013, 11:16 AM
It all depends on your situation. What animal, terrain and vegetation, how much weight you're willing to carry, etc. Many different needs and many different options :D To each their own.

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