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Hiker's carry .357...Taurus?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Zsnark, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. kBob

    kBob Well-Known Member

    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.

  2. g_one

    g_one Well-Known Member

    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.
  3. 4season

    4season Well-Known Member

    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.
  4. Zsnark

    Zsnark Well-Known Member

    I am the Culprit who started this thread...read on.....

    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.


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

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    My 4" Taurus 66 is superbly accurate with magnum loads OR .38. it's a favorite hiking gun of mine.


    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.
  6. 4season

    4season Well-Known Member

    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.
  7. EVIL

    EVIL Well-Known Member

    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!
  8. Manny

    Manny Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. bigdaa

    bigdaa member

    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)
  10. kBob

    kBob Well-Known Member

    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.

  11. bigdaa

    bigdaa member

    Careful there, shooting brother!
  12. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Well-Known Member

    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.
  13. Zsnark

    Zsnark Well-Known Member


    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.

  14. Zsnark

    Zsnark Well-Known Member


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

  15. Zsnark

    Zsnark Well-Known Member


    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.

  16. Zsnark

    Zsnark Well-Known Member


    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.


    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.
  17. Stainz

    Stainz Well-Known Member

    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.


    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.


    PS S&W still makes fine products.
  18. blindhari

    blindhari Well-Known Member

    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.

  19. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    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.

  20. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    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.

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