Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Backpacking pistol suggestion

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

  1. IdahoSkies

    IdahoSkies Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Messages:
    515
    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

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    Messages:
    64
    Ruger LCR. Very light weight and available in .357magnum.
     
  3. waidmann

    waidmann Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    Messages:
    671
    Location:
    Tennessee
    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

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Messages:
    41
    Glock 26, light , tough, reliable. Easy to shoot well. 10 rd capacity in a small auto, hard to beat combination.
     
  5. armoredman

    armoredman Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Messages:
    16,156
    Location:
    proud to be in AZ
    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 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    Messages:
    2,954
    Location:
    california
    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 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2004
    Messages:
    4,185
    Location:
    TEXAS!
    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.

    Deaf
     
  8. Jeb21

    Jeb21 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    Messages:
    346
    Another vote for the Glock, given that weight is a primary concern. Another option would be an Airweight 38 J-Frame.
     
  9. Finprof

    Finprof Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    Messages:
    106
    Location:
    Princeton Junction NJ
    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 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    317
    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 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    466
    Location:
    Madison, AL
    Ruger SP101 in .357 Mag.
     
  12. Elm Creek Smith

    Elm Creek Smith Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Messages:
    952
    Location:
    Outrider
  13. easyg

    easyg Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    2,867
    Location:
    off-line mostly.
    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.
     
  14. Daveboone

    Daveboone Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2009
    Messages:
    147
    Location:
    Tughill NY
    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.
     
  15. amd6547

    amd6547 Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    Messages:
    1,761
    Location:
    North Coast of OHIO
    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.
     
  16. Cemo

    Cemo Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2010
    Messages:
    200
    Location:
    Missouri
    +1 on the Glock 23, plenty of ammo and plenty of power, suggest 180 gr. load for max penetration.
     
  17. Mainsail

    Mainsail Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2005
    Messages:
    3,042
    Location:
    Washington
    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).

    [​IMG]
     
  18. 788Ham

    788Ham Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2010
    Messages:
    3,206
    Location:
    Hills west of Denver
    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.
     
  19. Old Shooter
    • Contributing Member

    Old Shooter Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Messages:
    1,023
    Location:
    Virginia
    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?
     
  20. rich e

    rich e New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2003
    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    PA
    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...
     
  21. IdahoSkies

    IdahoSkies Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Messages:
    515
    That has been my feeling for years but with the increasing population and increasing run ins between pets and livestock and the predators I am increasingly worried, especially since I often hiking/camp and backpack with my kids (who are under 10 years of age). This has changed my assessment of my threat level.

    I have not considered the 10mm but will do some research on it and try and shoot some. I've liked Glocks in the hand but been uneasy with them in anything over 9mm due to the feed ramp problem, and with the 10mm being the 40s big brother, does the 10mm's feed ramp have the same problem?

    Thanks for the suggestion.

    A .357 LCR was also on my list but capacity and sight radius are a bit wanting on it.
     
  22. easyg

    easyg Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    2,867
    Location:
    off-line mostly.
    I dunno...

    That Ruger SP101 is 27 oz. empty, and only gives you 5 shots.

    But you can get the Glock 33 in .357 Sig that is 26.63 oz. loaded, and gives you 9 rounds.
     
  23. Mainsail

    Mainsail Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2005
    Messages:
    3,042
    Location:
    Washington
    I'm not sure what you mean by feed ramp problems. Both my G200SF and G29SF have been 100%. I have a LWD barrel in the G20, but the G29 was so accurate right out of the box I left it stock.

    I have never heard of a 10mm Glock blowing up, the guns were designed for that round.

    [​IMG]
     
  24. IdahoSkies

    IdahoSkies Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Messages:
    515
    I've seen and heard of the .40 glocks having problems with an unsupported chamber and case failure (ie. the brass would rupture where it was unsupported). I guess I misstated my concern as it was not a feed ramp problem but a chamber concern.
     
  25. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2005
    Messages:
    3,753
    Location:
    North Central Ohio
    I'll suggest one of my favorite pistols that I take on Boundary Waters canoe trips: a Smith & Wesson Model 6906. Chambered in 9mm Luger, the pistol is fairly light-weight and compact, is corrosion resistant, holds thirteen rounds and is reliable in the extreme.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011

Share This Page