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Ideal gun for working on land?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Norton, Jul 17, 2005.

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  1. Norton

    Norton Member

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    For you folks fortunate to have some remote land to work....what would be your ideal handgun for having around while working?

    I'm not talking SHTF, zombies, or hunting.....just as a tool for the possible snake, critter, or two-legged jerk who wants to take advantage of a lone person working way out in the woods. From what I understand, there are plenty of bears and bobcats around too.....but haven't seen any as of yet.

    To my way of thinking, the gun needs to be reliable, rugged and not too expensive so that it's not a big issue if it gets a little dinged up.

    I've been carrying my HK USP9 and it definitely meets the first two criteria but I find myself "worrying" about it so that I don't scratch it. I'm also a little concerned that the 9mm would be woefully inadequate for anything of the bruin variety should that need arise.

    Should also mention I've been taking the Mossberg 500 with first round of birdshot (snakes), couple of rounds of buckshot, followed by slugs. Feel like I'm pretty well covered there, but it gets to be a pain to carry shotgun around in addition to tools when moving to different parts of the property.

    I may try something in a revolver....I have a Taurus .38 spl that I could do a couple of shotshells with followed by +p ammo. Still not too hot to trot on the .38 for anything larger than the occasional critter.

    I'm wondering if I should be looking for something in .45 Colt.....good for larger things like bears (well, would maybe give me enough time to get to the Mossberg). That Taurus 4410 caught my eye.....45 Colt or .410 shotshells.....

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Derek Zeanah

    Derek Zeanah System Administrator Staff Member

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    I'd probably go with something like a S&W 629 -- it's hard to beat a .44 magnum for most roles, and it meets all your criteria except maybe price/it's-too-pretty.

    Maybe an older S&W in .45 Colt instead? A quick check of the S&W website suggests they're only available in carbon steel now, and I'd think stainless would be a better choice.
     
  3. logical

    logical Member

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    I'd look for a used Ruger Security Six, 4 inch in .357. Should be able to find a nice stainless one for $250-300, maybe less if it is nice and scratched up. It will give you the option of full magnums, lighter .38 loads and shot shells. Rugged, corrosion resistent, not too heavy.
     
  4. XLMiguel

    XLMiguel Member

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    Taurus Tracker in .45 Colt would do. Not expensive, I believe you can get shotshells for Charlie Noshoulders, and load up some stouter stuff for Yogi & Boo-boo. Might want to say away from the alloy framed version if you're going to load-up hot.
     
  5. garyk/nm

    garyk/nm Member

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    Get more guns! :D
    I don't think there is a one gun solution. How about a 45-70 BFR on one hip and a .38 loaded with snake shot on the other? Works for me!
    Unless the bear brings his snake buddies along for the attack :eek:
     
  6. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    S&W 686
     
  7. tg_26101

    tg_26101 Member

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    S&W 686
    __________________
    Best Wishes,
    Ala Dan, The Gun Man
    N.R.A. Life Member


    Or 681, the fixed sight version (less chance of snagging or scratching your forarm on the rear sight while working). 357 Magnum, stainless steel, reasonable cost (buy a mechanically sound used one - not available new any longer) - it don't get any better.
     
  8. dolanp

    dolanp Member

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    I dunno, I'd want more than six personally because there may not be just one and you may not put them down on the first shot. I think a 9mm would be alright, but I'd prefer good defense loads over standard 115gr FMJ ammo.
     
  9. tg_26101

    tg_26101 Member

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    Last edited: Jul 18, 2005
  10. Sharps Shooter

    Sharps Shooter Member

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    I'll second the S&W 629 .44 Magnum or .45 Colt idea. But for a .45 Colt I'd go with either a Ruger stainless 5 !/2" Redhawk or a Ruger Stainless 4 5/8" Blackhawk.
    I too am fortunate to be in kind of the same situation as you. I spend a lot of time working on the back of our place here and that's several hundred yards from the house. However, the back of our place is not that far from a major highway and there's a lot of trash driving up and down that road. Several times a year we have jerks wander up to our house wanting gas or to use our phone. We've had to have a couple of abandoned cars towed away. I carry a little Taurus .32 H&R Magnum while out back. I'm sure it would be marginal if I ever come up against anything bigger than a large dog, but it's light and doesn't get in my way. Besides, there aren't any bears around here and my shovel beats anything less than a shotgun for snakes.
     
  11. Norton

    Norton Member

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    The .357 is a good suggestion, and even if it is too light for bear stopping in and of itself it should give me time to get to the shotgun.


    I have no problem with a 9mm as a personal defense gun for two legged creatures but isn't it true that for bearish creatures FMJ is pretty much a no-no? :confused: My understanding is that the big critters with heavy hides need penetration more than expansion.....

    .44 magnum sounds good, but even better....how about a .454 Casull loaded with .45lc with the option for the heavier loads? Is that the Ruger Alaskan if I recall right? Defeats the cheap option though.
     
  12. Norton

    Norton Member

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    tg_26101,

    We're just a ways south of you down in Monroe County....

    Your thoughts on the shotshells cycling the semi-autos is exactly what led me to thinking about a revolver.....I know for a fact that the .22lr shells won't cycle my little SW2206.

    I may have to look around for one of those Redhawks or Blackhawks.....i don't know what the romanticism is with the .45lc, but it seems like such an ideal "ranch gun".....must be too much time spent on Westerns ;)
     
  13. tg_26101

    tg_26101 Member

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    Last edited: Jul 18, 2005
  14. turbonatr

    turbonatr Member

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    45 Colt would be my choice (and is, in fact) for such a chore. Loaded in the proper gun, it is more powerful than the 44 magnum. It manages to top the 44 mag. with lower operating pressures and recoil, too. However, even in standard pressure form (for use in Taurus and S&W revolvers) it is an excellent woods gun. There isn't anything in the lower 48 that won't fall to a 255-260gr. Keith slug at 1000fps if placed properly.

    That being the case, a S&W model 25-5 or Taurus Tracker in 45 Colt will do ya just fine.
     
  15. Smoke

    Smoke Member

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    Ruger Single Six .22lr

    Durable, reliable, cheap.

    No bears around here. Cats will not show themselves while I'm working.
    Snakes are the main threat, followed by skunks.

    Smoke
     
  16. ALHunter

    ALHunter Member

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    +1 for S&W 686.
     
  17. Frandy

    Frandy Member

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    Ruger GP-100 or S&W 686. Choose yer length, though I'm partial to 4".
     
  18. chris in va

    chris in va Member

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    Forgive my ignorance, but you can do that in Maryland?
     
  19. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    2, 3 or 4 inch .357 mag.

    Likely the most versatile of calibers for the woods, without the heft of the average .44

    Ruger's SP 101, GP 100, SW model 65, Colt's discontinued King Cobra and Magnum Carry, Taurus Tracker and Ti models...

    A small lightwieght .357 is one of the best choices for a 'backpacking gun' you can find.
     
  20. jc2

    jc2 member

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    Usually a four-inch King Cobra (but sometimes a three-inch M65LS).
     
  21. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    Norton said;
    Holster wear and scratches are just a fact of life with a duty weapon. That said, I used to carry a USP in .45 on duty. After two years of daily carry and getting banged around it's finish still looks good. It has worn better then the Glock or the Kimber Warrior I carry now.

    Perhaps a stainless steel revolver in .357 magnum would fill your needs?

    Jeff
     
  22. revolvergeek

    revolvergeek Member

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    S&W 686 with something heavy (some of the Buffalo Bore stuff maybe) in it if (black) bears might be around. Not many handguns around will do you a lot of good against the bigger bears.

    Personally for around here I like my S&W 67 loaded with Speer 158 TMJ +p ammo (maybe a shotshell or two if I was working around ponds/lakes) and a couple of speedstrips in the pocket full of either 158 LSWHP +P or 135 GCHP +P.
     
  23. epijunkie67

    epijunkie67 Member

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    If you want something cheap you won't mind dinging up why not get a makarov? They're dirt cheap and you could drive railroad spikes with it. It's not a powerhouse but it would take care of most average sized critters, including the two legged kind.

    Barring that I'd go with a used .357 of some kind.
     
  24. Norton

    Norton Member

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    Chris,

    Assuming that was directed to me:

    1) In this particular case, it's referring to our land in WVa (henceforth known as the United States ;) )
    2) If it were in MD, I believe that it is legal to conceal carry within the confine of your own property or at your place of business (if your business, or with your employer's consent) without a permit.
     
  25. tg_26101

    tg_26101 Member

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    Last edited: Jul 18, 2005
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