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Backpacking pistol suggestion

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by IdahoSkies, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. IdahoSkies

    IdahoSkies Member

    I have reviewed prior posts and threads and I'm not totally satisfied so I'll ask my own question, though it may have been dealt with somewhere. Its a spend my money question.

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

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

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

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

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

    Exeter New Member

    Ruger LCR. Very light weight and available in .357magnum.
  3. waidmann

    waidmann New Member

    Walk-around revolver

    I favor a 3" J-frame .357. Carrying a limited mixed bag of snake shot, wadcutters and the magnums for the dangerous critters especially of the 2 legged variety
  4. agent89

    agent89 New Member

    Glock 26, light , tough, reliable. Easy to shoot well. 10 rd capacity in a small auto, hard to beat combination.
  5. armoredman

    armoredman Active Member

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

    gbran Active Member

    G20 Glock. Not too heavy. 15 rounds of 10mm. If it's too big, get the G29 in 10mm. Lots of firepower for your worst nightmare.
  7. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Active Member

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

    Just use Doubletap or Buffalo Bore 10mm ammo.

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

  8. Jeb21

    Jeb21 New Member

    Another vote for the Glock, given that weight is a primary concern. Another option would be an Airweight 38 J-Frame.
  9. Finprof

    Finprof New Member

    Backpacking pistol

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

    pintler New Member

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

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

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

    soloban New Member

    Ruger SP101 in .357 Mag.
  12. easyg

    easyg New Member

    An excellent suggestion!

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

    Daveboone New Member

    I will be going against the grain here, but...
    Being an avid backpacker myself, I know it is impossible to carry accessibly a handgun where we normally would (waist or shoulder carry), which means mostly carrying it on or in the pack. Stumbliing along on the trail, we make plenty of noise to warn off any critters anyway. Hoods dont normally want to work hard enough to get to where we are. Just the same, I agree with the principle of carrying something (even though in 40 years of backwoods camping and backpacking, I have never had a reason for it).
    I carry alternately either a .22 small frame revolver or a J frame S&W .38. The .22 will be enough to bugger off any critters ( dont even worry about the wolfs), although my philosophy is that anything short of a 12 gauge with slugs is a moot point against a charging female bear protecting cubs...see my initial opinion of that threat above.
  14. amd6547

    amd6547 Active Member

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

    Cemo Member

    +1 on the Glock 23, plenty of ammo and plenty of power, suggest 180 gr. load for max penetration.
  16. Mainsail

    Mainsail Active Member

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

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

  17. 788Ham

    788Ham New Member

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

    Old Shooter Active Member

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

    rich e New Member

    Another vote for the Glock 29SF....I just picked one up a couple months ago and added the pinky extensions on all 5 mags....Thats what I carry when hiking with the family in bear country...

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

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

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