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Hiker's carry .357...Taurus?

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

  1. bigdaa

    bigdaa member

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    Careful there, shooting brother!
     
  2. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Senior Member

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    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.
     
  3. Zsnark

    Zsnark New Member

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    MC,

    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.

    AAW
     
  4. Zsnark

    Zsnark New Member

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    Bro,

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

    AAW
     
  5. Zsnark

    Zsnark New Member

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    big,

    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.

    AAW
     
  6. Zsnark

    Zsnark New Member

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    2Zulu,

    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.

    AAW

    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.
     
  7. Stainz

    Stainz Senior Member

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    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    Stainz

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

    blindhari Member

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    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.

    blindhari
     
  9. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    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.

    GS
     
  10. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    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.
    GS
     
  11. Zsnark

    Zsnark New Member

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    Big,

    I don't know how I gave the impression that I ain't got any wheel guns. Got a 1873 Bisley clone in .357, a 6" M629, a 4" Python, a 6" M19, a 2 1/2" M66, and a Taurus 3" 94. The last one is the one I carry on my admittedly wuz hikes.

    But, there is a good chance of a rattler, a lesser chance of a feral dog , and a remote chance of a cougar.

    I like auto loaders best but they are too finicky for tasks where I'd like a snake round up first and either .357 or .38+P next.

    P.S. Don't brag about your youth, Son; it ain't nice to remind guys like me. When I was 57 I thought I was ancient. But, I still could do almost everything I likes. The high 60s started to tell me the Grim Reaper was closing in.
     
  12. grimjaw

    grimjaw Senior Member

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    Zsnark, I started feeling my age just before 40 and I don't like carrying that much weight on a hike now. I'm also trying my hand and ultralite backpacking, so anywhere I can shave weight is great. Few revolvers pack as much firepower as efficiently as an alloy-framed snub. I've got a S&W J-frame airweight, but I wouldn't recommend against one of the Taurus line. However, I limit it to .38 Special, which is enough recoil without adding .357 into the mix. Still gives me the option of a scattershot or blank in the cylinder for snakes or signalling, respectively.

    Good luck with your search.

    jm
     
  13. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Senior Member

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    I understand what you are saying. While I haven't had a bear encounter, I've heard them huffing and I know of situations when they've been put down. One was a 150# blackie that had been hit by a car and it took all six shots of 357mag JHPs to put it out of its misery. Another was a young man hiking with his dog, dog was attacked by a blackie and that encounter took six hits of 41mag JHPs to save his dog.

    Just a couple of months ago a rancher was working cattle when black bear cub spooked his horse, he ended up on his butt and in the process of standing noticed mama bear charging, fortunately his cow dog ended the charge as the cub ran in a different direction.

    Large black bears here are the same size as you have on the Rim, 370-400#s, and they get hit on I-10 in SE Arizona every once in awhile.

    I live in high density mountain lion (big cat) country, a few years ago 16 were captured nearby for relocation to other states and other parts of Arizona. In daylight, one only gets a fleeting glimpse of these elegant creatures. At night time, they are reluctant to back off. I had one move diagonally move toward me, from about 125 yards to ~85 yards. Its BIG yellow eyes reflected from a 130 lumens flashlight plus a laser-light on a G20, loaded with 200gr WFNGCs. It finally backed off after being lasered. The next morning I went out near the barn where it had been standing and the range grass measured 32 inches tall, big cat. :)

    I'm a big fan of the 38 Super for feral dogs, coyotes and snakes et al, but when the big cats are on the property I elect for heavy 357mag, 10mm or a M29 Mountain. The M29 Mountain, 686P/4", loaded G20 and 1911 Government all weigh about the same and are comfortable carries. With a recent increase in hog activity, I'm carrying the M29 Mountain, but I'm having 1911 Commander, 10mm with rail being built for carry. It will conceal very well IWB and I won't have to change carry on those infrequent trips to town.
     
  14. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Senior Member

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    It's doubtful you'll run into a mountain lion or bear, but both live in the desert (one "s"). Because you don't see one of the big cats, or rattlesnakes for that matter, doesn't mean they aren't there. What do you actually see, or look for, while on your treks?

    What do you see in this picture?

    [​IMG]

    Left of the t-post there's a yellow retriever, mixed breed feral dog. It led a pack of three other dogs and they had confirmed, multiple kills on pet dogs and goats. When you hear agonizing screams of dogs, goats and sheep that last for about 35-40 seconds, you know they are being killed by feral dogs.

    Feral dogs are as much of a problem in Arizona as they are in other states. When feral dog packs get out of hand, a team of animal control, deputy and USDA hunter are sent to the area. Animal control attempts to capture the dogs alive, deputy is there to keep the peace and the USDA hunter dispatches the dogs that aren't captured. All dogs are tested for rabies and the plague, one such dog tested positive last year for the plague, IIRC, it was located north of the Rim.

    I had so many rattlesnake encounters on this part of the property that I widened the road and named it Rattlesnake Alley. Before the ground hardened, a male mountain lion (5.5" wide foot print) went up the road at a brisk pace, is, four consecutive foot prints were at a distance of 8ft;

    [​IMG]

    At a different time and location on the property I had just finished some grading and was walking where there was thick mesquite. As I was returning, less than 20 minutes later, I noticed 5.5" wide lion prints on the road, this print was over the heel of a size 11 hiking boot.

    [​IMG]

    Other than these tracks, I never saw the lion, yet it was there when I was there.

    Came across another sign last October, lion scat was less than 10ft away,

    [​IMG]

    There are more mountain lion stories that I have, including daylight glimpses and night time encounters, but hopefully you are beginning to understand that just because you don't see a particular animal, doesn't mean it isn't close nearby. :)
     
  15. blindhari

    blindhari Member

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    2zulu1,
    Thanks for the pictures. I have seen blackbear called in when we were looking for coyote. I have seen lion parralell a couple walking down an arroyo in daylight. Lion got abve them and stayed high in brush coming out to look every 25 to 50 yds. These people had ridden part way up the arroyo on a quad and were rockhounds, they had a bolt rifle but left it with the quad as being too heavy. my brother in law and I talked to them later and they had no clue about being stalked until we showed them the tracks.
    For hiking a 357 wheel gun and a 357 rifle cover most things. Four wheel or horse back a shorty shotgun works pretty well.


    blindhari
     
  16. bigdaa

    bigdaa member

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    Well, against the way I feel today, I won't lament at being "old"

    I know your area well like I said before. I think your initial choice on the Taurus is fine based on my experience at least. While my wife prefers to fire the 38 home brews out of the thing, I love the 125gr magnums backed by H110 powder. Like I said, so far so good. Nothing fell off in our hands.

    The cost was the driving force for us at the time and the Taurus fit the bill perfectly at a couple of hundred less than a Smith at least!

    I know the thread went the way of big predators, but I always harken back to the Yellowstone ranger that dumped all six 357 mag rounds down a a grizzly's throat as it had a hold of his shoulders and head. The bear still had to be caught and disposed of.

    That had me carrying the 44 mag Redhawk with full tilt 240 JSP's when visiting the "area"

    The 2 1/2 inch 66..................I think you are covered, aren't you?





    Z, you saw that pic of Our Taurus and the 500 didn't you? If you want, I can take a few more pics of the Taurus if you need them. No problem to do it and post them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2013
  17. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Senior Member

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    While lion attacks are extremely rare, it's very disconcerting when they show no fear of humans. Came across this ~10 month list of lion sightings/ encounters in the Sabino Canyon area of Tucson, including a short distance incident at a middle school.

    http://www.azgfd.gov/w_c/mtn_lion_timeline.shtml
     
  18. Godsgunman

    Godsgunman Member

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    Zsnark-
    The Taurus M66 and M65 are K frame. I have not seen the M66 with a 3", the 4" are most common. You can find the M65 more commonly in the 3". Both excellent guns.
     
  19. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Senior Member

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    I've spent a lot of time hiking around in "snake country". Mojave desert in California, Arizona, etc.

    One word for you: boots.

    Buy 'em. Wear 'em. If you have a revolver-sized pile of cash burning a hole in your pocket try these on: http://www.russellmoccasin.com/boots_snakeproof/snakeproof_bullhide.html

    Unless you are hungry there is no good excuse for killing a rattlesnake while on a hike. They don't stalk you, they don't learn to associate humans with food and become a danger to the public. They aren't going to grab your pets and drag them into the brush for a meal. They pretty much don't do anything to hikers except help control the rodent population...unless you step on them, which isn't something you should be doing anyway. They just are like your average concealed carry gun owner...harmless, unless you start something. And, like concealed carry gun owners, the world is a better place if you leave 'em be.

    Now that I've got that off my chest... I've only owned one Taurus, a semi-auto .45, and it wasn't reliable. I don't know if their revolvers would have the same sorts of problems but if given the choice between a Taurus 66 and S&W 10 for the same price, I'd probably take the 10. I have a Ruger Alaskan for that sort of use (hiking and general field carry) but it's heavy and 99% overkill.

    If I was going for a Taurus revolver for the use you described I would try to find a 445. 22 ounces, 5 shots of 44 special (which would be better for shot capsule loads than .357), 2” barrel. That or a judge I guess.
     
  20. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Senior Member

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    I'd just carry that 66 with 145gr Silvertips or the like. I carry a 3" 13-3 loaded with 160gr hardcast, most of the time, when I'm hiking.

    It's not really that heavy.

    The reason that S&W stopped making Kframe .357 revolvers after all the decades and millions of sales was that they stopped selling enough of them to be worth continuing to make them. Lost market share = no more incentive to build the product. Lost the market share to auto pistols on the police front, and (typically) larger/heavier guns on the hunter front, leaving the hiker who wants something controllable but not huge kind of out in the cold.

    Except that you already have that 66. No warts on it at all, if you have a good holster/belt combo.

    eta: Taurus 605 - a friend has one, has fired several hundred .38 Specials through it, and probably 50 or so magnum loads. It works great. Dad has an 85, firing pin spring broke, had to be replaced. A friend had a .22 semi, would not feed reliably. Other trouble stories, but if you insist on a pocket .357 from Taurus, the 605 will probably work. I'd look at a Ruger or S&W first, though.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2013
  21. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Senior Member

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    I'll make the distinction between hiking in venomous snake areas and living in areas where there's dense rattler populations, like Arizona. I've been hiking for over five decades and have yet to kill a rattler, those I've seen were simply moved well off the trail by using a hiking stick.

    I've known a number of dog and cat owners who have had their pets bitten by rattlers, depending on where bitten, many survive if they live through the first 72 hours. I know of three people who lost horses last year as they were grazing. Marketing surveys for companies that manufacture anti venom put sales at 250,000/year.


    http://rattlesnakeantivenom.com/

    Think of the thousands of times one goes out and in their front door, this Mohave rattler was at my front door. After a trip to town, I was bringing in groceries, headed back out and the Mohave coiled for a strike;

    [​IMG]

    John Browning was a genius at designing natural pointing ergonomics, first time I needed to use a Hi Power and at less than three feet, the HST was lethal.

    [​IMG]

    The sun had set and I only had a partial view of the target, guesstimating where its head was as it coiled.
    About ten days later there was another Mohave at the garage door, on the concrete under the grand kids plastic picnic table. After moving the pit viper onto dirt, it was dispatched by a G20 loaded with 200gr WFNs. I was carrying heavy because of hog activity.

    Talk to ADOT workers and they are constantly being tagged while working along highways. See one rattler and look for a second. Snake gaiters are excellent protection from snake bites, mine are from Cabela's and they cost about $40. Justin makes excellent snake boots for considerably less than the boots you linked to.

    Rattlers in Arizona can be active twelve months a year depending on ground temperature, this was a December kill;

    [​IMG]

    Fang marks are noticeable on the swollen area.
     
  22. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Senior Member

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    I don't see the point of that distinction. I said "hiked" because the OP said "hiked" but I lived for years in the mojave and rattlesnakes were common. I don't have a snazzy picture but I once had a young rattlesnake take up residence literally on my doorstep...or under anyway. It was hiding under the steps.

    The difference is that I just moved it away from the house. I never saw it again. Same thing when a California Kingsnake found its way into my bed one night...and no, that's not an entendre of any sort. Was I freaked out? You betcha. Did I kill it? Nope, I took it outside to play with the rattlesnakes.

    None of 'em are my friends, and I don't care if they eat each other, but killing a snake really doesn't make you appreciably safer. The gun blast will do more harm to your hearing than the snake will do. I can see if you want to eat the thing but outside of that what do you gain?

    As for pets, yeah, I had dogs and cats. One of the dogs got bit once. It survived. The only thing I know ever got a cat was a coyote.

    I linked to those snake boots specifically because they were the price of a good revolver. I figured if someone was talking about guns for such a tenuously useful purpose as hiking snake defense it was because they secretly wanted to spend some money on a luxury and were looking for justification. That's usually how it goes. So I figured the OP had maybe $800 burning a hole in his pocket and was looking for the right luxury item. Those boots would count. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2013
  23. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Senior Member

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    I simply, and strongly, disagree with your assessment. Many people I know have had numerous rattlesnake encounters, haven't lost their hearing from gun blasts. Also, common sense dictates that those who have needed to dispatch rattlers are safer, including kids and grandkids, in comparison to giving rattlers the opportunity to strike again.

    In these parts, people choose the bobcat method when dealing with rattler confrontations;

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...gYGIDA&usg=AFQjCNG2S-FP4YuUDxaJOL7Bd-TveJdsVQ

    I relocated the above Mohave to feed the hungry;


    [​IMG]
     
  24. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Senior Member

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    Obviously we disagree. I wouldn't have posted in this thread if I didn't disagree with you.

    I don't agree with you about kids and grandkids being safer either. My brother, as a fairly young child, spent two weeks living with his grandparents. During that time our grandfather spotted a snake and whipped out a pocket pistol and started blazing away. My brother says that his ears started ringing then and never stopped.

    removing a vermin control predator can cause long term health risks too.

    The snake, as far as his recollection goes, was one of these scary bad boys:
    [​IMG]

    I think that snake boots, gators, or just some situational awareness beats shooting a beneficial organism you don't intend to eat.
     
  25. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Senior Member

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    There are a whole lot of lions where I live. I work alone, in the middle of nowhere timber country, and am not allowed to carry a gun. I see there tracks, a lot, but have only seen one cat in 9 years. They are usually skiddish around humans and just want to get away. That being said, I do take them very seriously, and while recreating in the woods, I am always armed for that reason. But I for one would be more concerned about the feral dogs than anything there in AZ.

    Certainly a concern, but remember the saying "Curiosity killed the cat". It applys to all cats, whether they be 5 lbs, or 500. Felines are curious and often they are simply interested in what you are doing. Ears up and facing you means interest. Ears down and facing you means you better draw and aim now.

    A friend of mine was setting up a game camera and showed me some pictures. He set up the camera, and you could see him in one picture. The next picture there was an 80 to 90 lb lion standing in frame. It was time stamped 2 minutes after the last picture of him. It was just taking a look is all. Still though, like I said, I do take them seriously. Most are skiddish should not be confussed with "All" are skiddish. Hell, I've had whitetail bucks charge me. Any animal can be dangerous.

    Just for information: The snake in the above picture is a scarlet king snake and is non venomous. They could give you a nasty bite for sure, but they are generally considered harmless. Actually they eat rodents, so they are very beneficial to have around. They are often confused with coral snakes, which are very poisonous. Remember, "Red on yellow kills a fellow. "Red on black, don't mean jack."
     

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