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Every gun I buy is for "carrying around in the woods." (Very pic heavy)

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Macchina, May 17, 2014.

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  1. Macchina

    Macchina Member

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    A long, wandering post. Bear with me:

    Almost every gun I've purchased has gone through the "how will I carry this while hiking/fishing/hunting" question. My first .357 was the 4.2" SP101 (the "kit gun" of 357s), my 22 handguns are all sized for putting in my backpack during hiking and their holsters reflect that use (full coverage with magazine storage). Most of my rifles are compact bolts (or especially lever guns) because the thin and svelte format just works so well for packing into the woods. The tube mag on lever action guns is so streamlined that I find them MUCH more practical than any high-capacity rifle with a large magazine breaking up its pack-able shape. Though I don't spend near enough time in the woods to warrant all my pack-able guns, I do spend a decent amount of time away from civilization (I go to my cabin every weekend), however I am by no means a full-time woodsman. I hike a few weeks each year, and the irony here is that I am a pretty lightweight backpacker except for the fact that I love to carry a well-designed woods gun even when I know I won't need one.

    This revelation just came to me that I will not buy a gun that I cannot carry easily when out-of-doors. I don't have any large handguns, powerful (heavy) rifles, modern sporting rifles, etc. because they are not practical to carry in the field. I was wondering why I am not attracted to AR-15s or other bulky guns and I found out is why.

    Once a year, some buddies and I try to get out for a long weekend where we don't bring food and must hunt, fish, and forage for what we eat. This trip has caused me to purchase many compact firearms (Henry 22 Youth, H&R 12ga that I cut down, a few 22 handguns, etc...) that will pack into a backpack.

    I have a soft spot for guns like the new 22/45 LITE and I will be trading away my prized 442 No-Lock for one because it's so much more practical to carry for small game hunting (I was in the process of developing a .38 Special load for small game hunting with the snub, even though that is ludicrously impractical)...

    I am selling my bull barreled .22 magnum (Pre-Remington Marlin 882SSV) so I can buy a carbine-length walking varmint gun.

    I won't buy a shotgun that doesn't break-down into two pieces for packing. I won't buy a regular sized rifle if is also offered in a carbine length.

    Do you find yourself doing the same? Please share...

    H&R Breakdown:
    DSC_0031_zpseba95ab6.jpg
    DSC_0029_zpsf7297132.jpg

    An underground shot with the Henry Youth (I love this gun):
    2011-09-11_18-41-52_186.gif

    My very handy Marlin 1894 in .44 Mag:
    IMG_4665329097153_zps56839ea9.gif

    My 3 last Ruger Purchases (Ruger 77/357, Ruger 357 SP101 4.2", and Ruger KLCR 357):
    IMG_20140315_114335328_zps8d3de8d9.gif

    Out for Rabbit the first gun I ever bought (870 Supermag Express) and my first real carry gun (Sig P239 .40):
    2012-12-15_11-48-20_5081_zps1d3316ff.gif

    Where I fish (I always have a 357 on me after more than a few run ins with wild dogs):
    2012-09-29_09-19-34_1192_zps72af1ca4.gif


    What I catch:
    Brown Trout:
    IMG_20140510_1935485601_zps0daed369.gif

    Salmon:
    2012-10-13_16-29-28_4101_zpse73e93e4.gif

    Salmon running:
    2013-09-02_11-21-31_4351_zps9a828687.gif


    My favorite place to hike (a week-long trip around a local uninhabited island):
    DSCN0157_zpsc9c50f72.gif
    DSCN0104_zps256a3abd.gif

    Enjoying some fire-cooked squirrel on one of our eat-what-you-catch trips:
    2013-09-21_19-04-34_8981_zpsb02a16e5.gif

    How I camp:
    DSCN0173_zps473d64ea.gif

    And for Two:
    DSCN0150_zps50ae502f.gif
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
  2. Macchina

    Macchina Member

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    Some places are very worth going, even if firearms (or large knives) are not allowed (Havasu Falls, AZ):
    DSC01567.jpg
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    DSC01517-1.jpg
    DSC01332.jpg
     
  3. 9mmfan

    9mmfan Member

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    Location:
    Weatherford, The Great State of Texas
    You, sir, are living the life. Huzzah!
     
  4. Macchina

    Macchina Member

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    I have been very blessed in life so far and I know it. I am not rich, but I do put a lot of thought into the way I spend my time, with as much of it as possible being in the outdoors exploring this beautiful state and country. I am still quite young (under 30) and the biggest blessing I believe I have is the state of mind my wife and I have to get outdoors and use what we have to spend time in nature.

    My guns really are toys (in the way that a brand new tent or backpacking stove is), because I would perfectly set with 2 or 3 of them. Every gun I have purchased since my shotgun could be considered a duplicate.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2014
  5. blarby

    blarby Member

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    Interesting.

    I actually converted my .223 AR to a 458 socom AR specifically because it was much easier and lighter to carry through the woods than any of my other hunting rifles.

    Maybe its just me !
     
  6. shafter

    shafter Member

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    Nice post with some nice pics. Not all of my guns are woods-specific. Some like my Security Six 357 were pretty much bought for carrying around in the back country. The same with my Rossi levergun. You say how easy they are to carry, and streamlined, which I agree with 100%. Then I see a scoped carbine in one of your pics which completely un-streamlines it.
     
  7. Pilot

    Pilot Member

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    Beautiful photos! Nice job!
     
  8. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    Real nice post Macchina. Prior to age 30, all of my firearms were geared toward woods use. For one thing, I viewed them as really expensive and I needed to somehow justify the cost with a purpose.

    Never got hung up with take down models and in fact don't own a long gun that you can easily "take down" to a packable size. I always thought if I feel that I need the firearm in the outdoors, what good is it stuck inside a pack?

    As far as foraging for food goes, anyone that has hunted (or fished much for that matter) often finds that you need to be ready for a shot of opportunity and seldom are shots planned out in advance unless you are just plain hunting or sitting at/on a stand or something.

    Handguns and 22's are generally my dominant choice but I have never been particularly concerned about bears. I do like 41 mag revolvers however. You just need to practice and get comfortable with your abilities. That Henry is a good choice. Have a mare's leg 22LR that I keep procrastonating about putting a red dot on it. Never seem to get around to it and yeah, cost and the amount of use I have for it is a factor. It really is more of a toy for me. I always felt the CZ boys model with a 4x scope on it would be an excellent choice for "just carrying" in the woods. You don't know how many times I have picked one up and almost bought one in a store. Now they seem to be as uncommon as hens teeth in stores.

    Anyway, looks like you really enjoy the outdoors and have a varied purpose to your outdoor adventures. Keep it up. There is so much to learn and enjoy outdoors if you have the interest.
     
  9. Uncle Richard

    Uncle Richard Member

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    The river pics reminds me of my yearly trip to Michigan for the salmon run.
     
  10. GP Henry

    GP Henry Member

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    Nice!!!
     
  11. Starship1st

    Starship1st Member

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    You reminded everyone they should get outdoors this spring and summer.:cool:
     
  12. allin

    allin Member

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    Ohio
    Wow
    Great pics and great story. Thank you. Wish more people would post things like this.
     
  13. Macchina

    Macchina Member

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    Ah! Notice the Quick-Detach rings on that scope? The scope is only mounted when I'm sitting or still hunting around my cabin, if I had to pack it, I'd lose the scope and use the XS Halo sights.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2014
  14. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Macchina

    You are definitely living the good life! Sort of reminds me of when I was that age and most everything I had was geared to being outdoors; hunting, fishing, hiking through the backwoods.
     
  15. il.bill

    il.bill Member

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    Thanks for sharing!
     
  16. Malamute

    Malamute Member

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    I feel much the same, though my neighborhood encourages me to choose guns with higher levels of horsepower. I've had various self loaders and concluded they were a real pain in the behind to actually carry around much compared to a lever action or decent sporter bolt action. I don't quite get the long barreled heavy pistols for carry use. I ended up trading off or cutting down a couple longer pistols. A 4" Smith 29 or a 4 5/8" Ruger SA is very easy and comfortable to pack all day long with a good belt rig. In camp, hiking distance, in and out of vehicles, I can forget I have it on by the end of the day.

    A day out grouse hunting with the Winchester 71. Great grouse gun with the right loads, with a little something extra for surprises.

    IMG_5663_zps9c450fb8.gif
     
  17. twofifty

    twofifty Member

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    Yes. That trout stream reminds me of the UP or next door on the upper St. Croix.
     
  18. twofifty

    twofifty Member

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    I too like simple backpacking: tarp + bivvy sack.
    Cool pix.
     
  19. burk

    burk Member

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    The first set of pics looked very much like N Mi. If I could consistently catch Brown Trout like that on the fly rod I'd be there more often. I carry a lot Fly fishing, my gun of choice in the MW is a Glock 30SF. I feel comfortable with a 45 on MI black bears, and like the OP said feral dogs are more of a danger. Out west in Grizz country the S&W 29-4 with 300 gr, Buffalo bores goes in the holster.
     
  20. Macchina

    Macchina Member

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    Yes, those pictures are from wonderful Northern Michigan. I fish on a spinning reel but use flies about half of the time: not for any challenge but because sometimes a fly works so much better!
     
  21. Blue Thunder

    Blue Thunder Member

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    Outstanding and thanks for sharing.
     
  22. Uncle Richard

    Uncle Richard Member

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    I knew it! I fish the L.P, near Minister. What a beautiful state. For the last 30 years we have meet some very nice people that live in the area. Only one time did some become biligerant, glad I had my cow. Never had to get it thankfully, because we were in the middle of no where.
     
  23. ADKWOODSMAN

    ADKWOODSMAN Member

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    Brings back many memories from my 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60's. Still going strong.

    Enjoyed those pics.
     
  24. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Member

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    I certainly appreciate firearms that are compacy, light, and handy for those that will be carried in the field. It certainly influences a lot but not all of my choices. I do have some firearms that serve other purposes that wouldn't be handy to take on long outings. Just depends on the need.
     
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