Quantcast

Calling all mountain men: Best Sidearm for remote hiking or backpacking

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by trueblue1776, Dec 17, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. carebear

    carebear Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2004
    Messages:
    4,373
    Location:
    Anchorage, AK
    First off, if you are in the lower 48 and not in Grizzly country you are as well served with a stout .357/10mm or .45 as anything larger. Most animals will be running from you anyway.

    I find the really big Magnums (.454/.50 etc) to fall into the law of diminishing returns. They aren't necessarily pleasant to shoot and most folks can shoot smaller and lighter weapons faster and more accurately with no real effective loss in protective ability. These aren't tanks, they're thin-skinned animals in the 300 pound range. Think of them as big, tough people.

    As far as the Appalachian Conservancy recommendations, they are all wet. Remember most hiking groups fall into the "hunting bad"/"guns evil" group. Most of them have no clue of the applicable state laws. Think of them as Handgun Control Inc. / Brady Campaign dressed in Polarfleece.

    Look at the actual State laws for each area and figure out what kind of Federal land you'll be on. Make sure you can effectively shoot the weapon you have and don't worry so much about caliber/power. All the mega-Magnum power in the world is useless if you can't hit what you aim at under stress and quickly.
     
  2. AStone

    AStone Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Messages:
    24,176
    Location:
    Far N, E coast
    <chuckles>

    IMO, CB hit the nail squarely on the head.

    For those in AK and MT, worried about large bears, carry 12 ga with slugs or a .45/70.

    For those in most of the lower 48, especially back east, where human predators are a greater danger than black bears, carry something reasonable like a .357 or (if weight is a concern as it is for me) a SW 642 in .38.

    Keeping food out of the tent and making lots of noise as you walk (to let mom bear know you're coming) offers enough protection.

    Sometimes you just gotta say "good enough".
     
  3. Jhaislet

    Jhaislet Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2003
    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    Texas
  4. dragongoddess

    dragongoddess member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Messages:
    557
    Location:
    Way Way out in West Texas
    "These aren't tanks, they're thin-skinned animals in the 300 pound range. Think of them as big, tough people."



    But they have such big teeth and they haven't had a manicure since they were born. them nails are sharp you know
     
  5. AStone

    AStone Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Messages:
    24,176
    Location:
    Far N, E coast
    And yet I can virtually guarantee that there are none (=0, zip, nada) in west Tejas.
     
  6. slicknickns

    slicknickns Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Messages:
    118
    A Glock 20 might be your best pick. For alot of issues, recoil, power, mag size.

    i've never shot a 10mm, so all i can recommend is the .357 (which is what i would carry, that thing isn't going to surivive 6 shots of .357, it will either die immediatley, or bleed to death).

    Second, have you though about carrying more bullets. If by some chance, you unload on the thing, and your running around and it's still chasing you a glock 20, is way, way easier to load than any .357, save the desert eagle. Remember you're not limited to either 6 or 15 rounds, but keep running and shifting around, use your feet to circle the thing and think of a boxer boxing circles around an oppenent, merely drop your ammo and pop in some more and continue to unload.
     
  7. carebear

    carebear Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2004
    Messages:
    4,373
    Location:
    Anchorage, AK
    "The thing", even the smaller black ones, can run down a racehorse and can climb trees and crash through brush you can't even see through.

    If you are shooting to stop a charge, (the only reason you should fire at a bear, if it's just standing there, draw your camera) you will have what's in the gun and that's it. Given they can cover 20 yds faster than most people can clear leather and get off an aimed shot, if you even have a chance to reload, you probably won't need it.

    You'll have stopped it or it'll be on top of you, you won't be dancing with it.
     
  8. capitolpeak

    capitolpeak Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    64
    Location:
    colorado
    ok,, im new here but have researched this endlessly. A 10mm glock 29 is the best combo in the lower 48. Think about this..... the 29 is a sub compact, holds 10 rounds, and weighs in at a lil over 24 ounces. The 10mm cartridge is bigger and more powerful than the .357magnum, Im not lying,,check it out= http://www.dakotaammo.net/products/corbon/hunter.htm


    Plus you get twice the rounds!!! And for you skeptics about to flame about how you cant get the right round for it......drumroll.... there is a company called www.doubletapammo.com that offers both a 200 and a 230 grain hardcast in 10mm!!!

    IMHO .357's are outdated and overrated cause a gun half its size can be more powerful and hold twice the ammo. dont buy a gp100 if all you want is protection,,,,I love ruger revolvers but if you get a wheel gun dont get a .357 cause its not even close to worth its weight. Oh and by the way.. that scandium superlight smith and wesson is over $1000. Nearly twice what the glock costs. happy shopping,,,, just my .02
     
  9. capitolpeak

    capitolpeak Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    64
    Location:
    colorado
    And I dont know if it helps but these are my three narrowed down choices:

    #1 glock 29 (10mm)

    #2 ruger redhawk with the 4" barrel (44mag)

    #3 ruger super redhawk alaskan (454 casull/45lc)

    the glock for ultimate practicality (e.g. weight,size,power,price).

    the redhawk 4" for aesthetics and plenty of power

    the alaskan cause well,, why not. It weighs the same and is smaller than most .44 mags and c'mon,,, its a 454 with the option of a range round.;)
     
  10. wuchak

    wuchak Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    596
    Location:
    Shawnee, KS
    I like the 10mm for this purpose but why the 29 and not the 20? With hot loads the 20 would be more controllable and you get 5 more rounds (33% more) for an additional 3 ounces in firearm weight.

    I like the Safepacker for a backpack/woods holster. It allows fast draw, protects the firearm, and doesn't look like a holster so you don't scare any crunchy people you run into.
    http://store.thewilderness.com/index.php?cPath=51&osCsid=a60996d852dd2e350948674a672d1edb

    I think the 20 with a laser and a light, in a safepacker, with an extra 15 round mag and a .22 conversion kit would be the bees-knees as a backpack/woods gun in the lower 48.

    http://glockstore.com/pgroup_descrip/349_.22+Conversion+Kit/2560_.22+LR+Conversion+Kit/?return=%3ftpl%3Dindex%26category_id%3D349%26_.22%2BConversion%2BKit%2F
     
  11. Houston Tom

    Houston Tom Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    Messages:
    194
    Location:
    Texas
    My vote is a 4" 357, I have an Ruger security 6 357, great gun easy to carry on the belt. Gives you ammo options 38 snake/rat shot etc. If you are hiking in the back woods of Alaska, I strongly suggest as will locals take a rifle. Beware of ill tempered Moose, they can be much meaner then a griz.
     
  12. Jhaislet

    Jhaislet Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2003
    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    Texas
    I went through this debate awhile back and selected two guns.

    1) Lower 48 (minus parts of Wyoming & Idaho) Glock 21SF in .45ACP.
    The Glock 21 with a steel Wolff guide rod & 24-pound Wolff recoil spring will handle the .45 Super load according to a number of folks on Glocktalk. I currently have a 22-pound spring in my 21SF and it shoots regular .45 ACP fine as well.

    BuffaloBore .45 Super - 230 gr. FMJFN @ 1100 fps (618 ft. lbs.).
    BuffaloBore 10MM - 200 gr. F.M.J. - FN. (1,200fps/M.E. 639 ft.lbs.).

    The above two loads for .45 Super & 10MM are the heaviest made by BB. The 230gr .45 Super load is far more superior than the BB 10MM load.
    100fps loss yields a .45 caliber bullet & 30 more grains of weight is much appreciated when you could cross paths with dangerous game.

    2) I picked the Ruger Alaskan in .454 Casull. While this is a huge revolver by any standards (regardless of the 2.5" barrel), it's the only handgun that approaches sufficent firepower, yet remains small & light enough to comfortably have with you all the time. Overkill for the lower 48, the Alaskan would be a must in parts of Idaho, Wyoming, and of course anywhere in Alaska where Brownies roam.

    While there is much debate between using handguns and long guns for critter protection, my take is this. Yes, a rifle or shotgun will be exponentially more powerful, but you've also doubled the weight of the firearm your carrying and added additional bulk. For all practical purposes, a long gun will not be carried around at low-ready 24/7. Most folks get tired of carrying around a rifle and strap it to their pack or lean it against a tree while in camp. A strong handgun, attached to the body, is a necessity. Period. During a real charge, you won't have time to grab or lower a rifle and you probably won't have time to draw a handgun. However, I'd much rather take my chances with a shorter barreled handgun than a long gun any day if I'm at bad-breath distances from a grizzly.
     
  13. Guitargod1985

    Guitargod1985 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,322
    Location:
    Florida
    Watch out -- he's got a gun!!! (In thick Australian accent) That's no gun. This here's a gun: sw500-4inch.jpg :what:
     
  14. Mr Jody Hudson

    Mr Jody Hudson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    409
    Location:
    Slower, Lower Delaware
    Glock 20 with BearTooth is a FINE Choice!

    I strongly prefer the DoubleTap BearTooth for the Glock 20

    200gr WFN Beartooth = 1300fps/ 750 ft./lbs. - Glock 20 and exceptionally accurate!

    At $30; This is the load that you have been hearing about! This hardcast Wide Flat Nose gas - checked bullet will not deform on impact, and will create a large deep wound channel. Excellent for hunting or woods protection!
    :eek:

    The 20, as said before gives more rounds, which I would use; and that barrel gives some valuable added velocity. DoubleTap also sells the 6" Hunting Barrel for the Glock 20 This will push up the velocity of the BearTooth to about 1365 - 1370
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2007
  15. Jhaislet

    Jhaislet Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2003
    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    Texas
    That DoubleTap load is NICE!

    I might just pick up a 10MM conversion barrel for my G21SF.

    IMHO, 200GR. 40cal @ 1200fps is just about on par with a 230GR. 45cal @ 1100fps.

    However, pushing a .40cal bullet up to 1300fps might just change my mind!

    Did you see the 230gr 10MM 1120fps load at DoubleTap? I bet it penetrates a lot further than the .45cal loads at the cost of a smaller wound channel.
     
  16. Mr Jody Hudson

    Mr Jody Hudson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    409
    Location:
    Slower, Lower Delaware
    If anyone has or gets a 6" barrel for a G20, I would love to see differences in velocity between the stock barrel with polygonal rifleing and the 6" with lands and grooves, ie standard rifleing.
     
  17. capitolpeak

    capitolpeak Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    64
    Location:
    colorado
    WUCHAK...... I like the 29 because its just smaller and lighter. My main use is for backpacking therefore size and weight mean alot. Plus if your worried about the capacity difference remember that all glock pistols can share mags between the full and sub-compact version.

    So you can get a 15 round G20 mag and throw it in your G29 for woods/open carry but have the option of a concealed carry gun.

    Well i am in the same current decision making process. I bought a SA XD.45 last year and love it to death but I cant stop thinking that it just doesnt have the power to kill a charging black bear in time to save my life.

    Right now its between a mid 20's oz 10mm and a mid 40's oz .44mag or 454 casull. LightWeight and "most likely plenty for what I need" VS Ultimate protection and a seemingly heavy gun.

    Please if anyone has another viewpoint on this help me. I dont need other calibers though. I'v spent many hours going over ballistics and those are the only ones I care about.:confused:
     
  18. BlindJustice

    BlindJustice Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    Messages:
    2,798
    Location:
    Pullman, WA
    S & W 325PD 4" Bbl. 26.5 oz
    .45 Auto RIm - 225 gr. Barnes X in the gun
    .45 ACP in full moon clips 250 gr SWC
    .45 ACP - $7 1/2 SHot SHells

    S & W 317 3" Bbl 11 oz
    8 shot cylinder as a backup/small game getter
     
  19. glockman19

    glockman19 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2007
    Messages:
    3,700
    I'd prefer a .357 or .44 mag.
    A S&W 686 or 629 for me
     
  20. Kilgor

    Kilgor Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    436
    I carried a Glock 20 with 200 grain hardcast WFN bullets at 1,300 fps (DoubleTap Ammo)when I went hiking into remote areas of Montana. Going through an area covered in large bear scat and clawed trees, miles from any help made me glad to have it.

    None of the guns you have are powerful enough. I carried the minimum amount of power I would be comfortable with, but the 16 rounds in the gun made me feel better. My 45/70 would have made me feel even better.
     
  21. normal

    normal Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Illinois
    I carry a 2 1/2" Taurus Tracker .44 mag. when backpacking. It is easy to carry, plenty of power, versatile (can use .44 specials for lighter loads), and reliable. I don't need a long barrell since it is not a hunting gun. If I have to use it, it will be up close and fast and as a last resort.
     
  22. Redneck with a 40

    Redneck with a 40 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Messages:
    2,273
    A buddy of mine is heading up to Alaska this month, for a permanent move. He lives for hunting, he can't wait to bag a Grizzly. Guess what he just bought for a back-up side-arm? S&W 500 magnum 4".:D

    If I had to use it to down a bear in an emergency, I'd feel pretty confident putting 400 grain bullets downrange. Wait till buffalo bore gets their hands on the S&W 500.:eek:
     
  23. frogomatic

    frogomatic Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    522
    I live in denver and go hiking in the mountians semi-regularly. There have been an increase in the number of bears about as of late, so when I go into the mts. I take my Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan in .454 Casull. It's a bit heavy to pack, but I never have to wonder if my sidearm has the power to stop anything I might encounter, even if it's a grizzly bear on PCP in full body armor. LOL
     
  24. cochise

    cochise Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    Messages:
    39
    Location:
    Orlando Fl
    I only saw a bear twice and both occasions the big guy was high tailing away from me. Bear aren't a threat as your dreams make them out to be.

    Now two legged, up right walking critters are the ones to watch. They are cunning, usually drunk or drugged up, down south here. I have been hassled by these animals quite often. Usually a .45 acp or .44 special handles the situation quite well.

    Of course any of the 9mm, .357 and up is a good choice for those hostile human animals.:rolleyes:
     
  25. capitolpeak

    capitolpeak Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    64
    Location:
    colorado
    + 1 frogomatic. The alaskan is my choice too but its too dang expensive. I dunno, I might pick up one of those taurus trackers in 44mag. Its funny about those taurus's...... Some say anything taurus is crap some say their built really strong. Anyone have any non partial fact based info on their quality?:confused:
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice