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Hiker's carry .357...Taurus?

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

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  1. Stainz

    Stainz Member

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    Where legal, I conceal carry either my 642 with it's usual .38 Spcl +P 158gr LHPSWC Remington R38S12 load or my similar but slightly larger 296 with the first-up a 240gr LSWC followed by four GA Arms 200gr Gold Dot JHPs (.44 Special). The latter is for areas with larger critters, up to black bears. As the days march by - and my wrists worsen, that 642 sporting 148gr full LWC's becomes more appealing to carry. Also, in the pocket carry lite weight mode, I have a new contender - a 351PD 7-shot .22WMR that weighs ~11 oz loaded. While there is no recoil, it's muzzle flash would worry Smokey The Bear in the dry woods while it's bark would attract Zombies; ie, it's so loud it would wake the dead! Plus, unless you fear fighting feral ferrets, even the Hornady 45gr FTX 'Critical Defense' rounds have questionable stopping power.

    I never bought a Taurus initially because of the porting - but ultimately from the somewhat poor dependability they have had in my range-mates' hands. The three friends' examples that had problems had each been 'on my list' to buy - 5-shot SS .45 ACP, SS .22 WMR, and a Ti .44 Special. None of them would shoot two cylinders full without problems, while their venerable M85 & M66 proved reliable. It has taken some time to acquire what I have from S&W, but they have all demonstrated they are dependable. As others have said, those who got a 'good' Taurus have been happy.

    Stainz
     
  2. DMZ

    DMZ Member

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    I carried a 3" blue Taurus 605 as a hiking/back pack side arm for many years.

    I took the rubber grips off of it in favor of a pair of old style Taurus walnut grips.

    It was a nice, reliable carry piece. I gave it to my son who carries it when he hunts deer.
     
  3. Godsgunman

    Godsgunman Member

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    I've got a Taurus M65 3" barrel that I carry and trust my life to. Very accuarate and handles any .357 load. My usual being 158s. If you can find them used your talking $250ish. I changed out the grip to a Pachmayer which makes it easier to carry and conceal.
     
  4. bigdaa

    bigdaa member

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    My wife's Taurus 4 inch model 66 is sweet and a straight shooter. It doesn't have but a thousand rounds through it. It's held up well so far and is the only firearm in the safe to be kept fully loaded.

    I would not hesitate to carry it, even though my preferred back country gun is my Redhawk 44.

    The 357 magnum seems to me an excellent choice for your new State. I suspect the most deadly adversary you would come across is man, Mountain Lion second and maybe Black Bear. Given a good heavy load in the +150gr area punctuated with magnum powder backing and a steady and calm head and hand, you have a good deterrent in 357 no matter what manufacturer you choose. Perhaps the solid copper hollow points would be the finest load as they can be driven the hardest.

    I do not recommend anything shorter than a 4 inch barrel as velocity drop off is noticeable.

    You can also carry a couple of snake charmer shot cartridges up front for defense especially given the propensity for CoonTailed Rattlers in your area.

    Shoot em, skin em and BBQ them thoroughly and you will be in for a treat.
     
  5. CajunBass

    CajunBass Member

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    The reasons Smith & Wesson stopped making the Model 19 and 66 have more to do with the collapse of the police revolver market and the mass rush to 9mm and 40 S&W semi-auto's than to any problems with the revolvers themselves. Too detailed for this discussion, but I'll just say you can't go wrong with either of the two.

    Having said that, I've owned a couple of Taurus revolvers over the years, as a matter of fact there is a late 70's Model 80 loaded on my desk right now. In my experience they're good, solid, reliable guns. At least the ones I've owned. Most of them have been 38's but the Model 66 I had was one of the nicest revolvers I've ever owned. I traded it off when I got bit by the concealed carry semi-auto bug, but wouldn't mind having it back.

    I don't know much about a Taurus 605, but it's pretty hard to say a 357 is a bad choice for most anything.
     
  6. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Personally I don't like, or trust Taurus revolvers, due to a lot of bad experiences with them. That's just my take on them, and others will tell you differently.

    I think a .357 would serve you well in northern AZ. The worst critters you have to worry about there are black bear, jaguars (Yes, they wander up from south of the border, but I don't think they venture into the high country much. They mostly stick to the saguaros.), mountain lions, and psychos. A .357 will stop any of those threats.

    If it were me and I was hiking there and open carrying, I'd want a 7 shot S&W 686+ wit a minimum 3" bbl. Probably 4 or 5" prefered. If you want to conceal, the 3" Ruger SP101 packs real nice as well, especially in a Simply Rugged holster. I have also been carrying my XDs loaded with 230 gr +p's in a hybrid holster. It's nice and light, and for medium sized critters it is enough. A round of snake shot is probably a good idea. Mountain lions are the biggest predator here. We have prairie rattlers too, but they are pretty docile most of the time. Not all of the time though.

    I hike a lot too. Funny, I hiked all over there and in southern UT, and never saw a single snake.
     
  7. texas chase

    texas chase Member

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    Oooo... I've been thinking about shotshell revolver rounds. If you don't mind me asking, how do you roll your own?

    Anybody else do this at home? Please share.
     
  8. huntershooter

    huntershooter Member

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    Consider a S&W "Mountain Gun" in a suitable caliber (beginning with .4X...).
    They were designed to be a "Packin' Gun".
    If a concern is Blackbear, I would prefer a cal. of .4X over a .357. Additionally, the shot cartridges work quite well.


    [​IMG]
     
  9. bigdaa

    bigdaa member

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    So very nice.
     
  10. bigdaa

    bigdaa member

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    For BIG COUNTRY, use the top one. 500 S&W


    For big country, use the Taurus 66 .357 bottom.




    [​IMG]
     
  11. 788Ham

    788Ham Member

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    I never have been impressed with Taurus firearms, just seemed to be a cheap intro type of revolver, couldn't come close to S&W or Ruger in quality or precision machining. For your high country needs, or desert climes, I might suggest the Ruger SP 101 3" variety in .357. Get a quality holster, you won't even realize its on your hip.
     
  12. bigdaa

    bigdaa member

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    How much time have you spent with the Taurus guns?
    I was hesitant to go that way in suggesting a SD piece for my wife but was quite pleased when we took delivery. Like I said in an earlier post, it is a straight shooter and has not given so much as a wisp of trouble.

    I have shot quite a few Smiths and Rugers.....even had a Security Six. I love the crisp feeling of the Smiths, something the Rugers and the Taurus were lacking, but that never bothered me.

    Anyway, if you can expand on your conclusion, please do so.


    Dave.
     
  13. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    This is also a good suggestion.

    I know you didn't ask me, but out of four Taurus revolvers between three different owners that I know, all four have been bad. 100% bad guns from my experience. I have no doubt I'm on the far end of the spectrum though.

    Two of them had gouged up roters on teh extracter stars. One had totally inconsistant lock up, the other was so bad one of the chambers wouldn't fire.

    Another had a timing and alignment issue, so it spit lead all over your face.

    The last...... well, the cylinder fell right off the gun while loading it.

    All four were new from the factory. Like I said, many people sing the praises of Taurus. Based on my experience, I'll never buy one.
     
  14. bigdaa

    bigdaa member

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    Thanks for adding those experiences.
    That is saying a ton right there.

    I'd have to say handle it with a keen eye before any sales. Mine I ordered straight off without ever looking at it (my wife did, actually)
     
  15. kBob

    kBob Member

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    Texas Chase,

    Many moons ago a bud and I made .45 Colt shot shells by seating a gas check cup side up seated down on the powder in the case, filled the case with #7 1/2 shot and seated a gas check cup side down over the shot and inside the case and crimped the case to the gas check. We had weighed the gas checks separately and then weighed the shot necessary to fill to where we needed the crimp on the case and treated it like a solid bullet and went with a very mild load.

    I would not however do this and suggest you do not without better load data than what I just gave. You are on your own whatever you do.

    We became very concerned with barrel obstruction and possible bridging issues driving up pressures and quit.

    The load was used in a S&W 25 and a Ruger Black Hawk Pervertable
    that were used by each of us as car guns.

    Naturally, when needed, the rattler was between us, the cars, and both revolvers!

    -kBob
     
  16. kBob

    kBob Member

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    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.

    -kBob
     
  17. g_one

    g_one Member

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    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.
     
  18. 4season

    4season Member

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    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.
     
  19. Zsnark

    Zsnark Member

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    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.

    AAW

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

    MCgunner Member

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

    [​IMG]

    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.
     
  21. 4season

    4season Member

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    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.
     
  22. EVIL

    EVIL Member

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    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!
     
  23. Manny

    Manny Member

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    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.
     
  24. bigdaa

    bigdaa member

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    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)
     
  25. kBob

    kBob Member

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    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.

    -kBob
     
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