Which handgun for Alaska trip?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Balrog, Mar 19, 2022.

  1. Balrog

    Balrog Member

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    Disclaimer: I would rather this thread not degenerate into the old "which caliber is best for grizzly bear" argument.

    All things considered, if you were flying to Alaska and then taking a driving trip to tour the state, not camping, but some time in national and state parks, with day hiking, but not in back country, what gun would you want to have with you.

    I think risk of an animal attack in such a scenario would be lower than risk of attack by a dangerous person. Never been to Alaska.

    Your choice of sidearm to bring would be Glock 9mm (probably 43X), Ruger GP100 with 3" barrel, Glock 20, or Glock 29.

    I am leaning towards the 9mm because I am perceiving the need for self defense against another person is more likely than against an animal, and the Glock 9mm is easier to carry all day.
     
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  2. Good Ol' Boy

    Good Ol' Boy Member

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    12g shotgun first and foremost. Loaded with quality slugs.

    As far as a sidearm, something you're confident with, but the bigger the better.

    Out of what I currently own it would be a 10mm.
     
  3. Bazoo

    Bazoo Member

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    Will there be any recreational shooting? Or the possibility of it? Ammo availability would be my top concern. If 9mm is available there but 38/357 isn’t, or isn’t at any reasonable price. If that’s not an issue cause of friends there that reload, I’d go gp100 because of the versatility, it is 357 magnum I assume.
     
  4. ECVMatt
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    ECVMatt Contributing Member

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    When I went to AK we were on a raft/float hunt. I took a Glock 20 and did not feel undergunned. What I did not like was my partner not being comfortable with the Glock and having to use it at night from the inside of a tent. Next time I go back I will bring a .44 or .45 revolver for simplicity.

    For your trip I would think any of the above choices are good. I would lean towards the 10MM in the Glocks with the 29 being a great compromise between CC and decent power for other things. Even in the remote village of Aniak they had 10mm ammo. I also found it in every store we visited up there. There was no ammo shortage at the time so that might affect availability.

    Have fun up there; it is beautiful!
     
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  5. needmorecowbell

    needmorecowbell Member

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    No brainer for me. My Glock 29 isn’t much harder to carry than my Hellcat. I’d have the 10mm with me in case more oomph needed.
     
  6. Blue Jays

    Blue Jays Member

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    What is the duration for this trip?
    If it is a week with just a few occasional day hikes I'd opt for Glock 29 in 10mm and call it good.
     
  7. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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    My one trip to Alaska was driving from L A. Quite a bit of camping along the way. Firearms were S&W model 29 and Remington 12 ga 870.

    Both would still be just as good today. Only I’m pretty sure you can take sidearms into Canada these days.

    But if you’re flying there and then driving those would work very well.
     
  8. WrongHanded
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    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    I've been carrying a G20 regularly this winter. SD ammo isn't typically full throttle so it's pretty controllable in the larger frame. Maybe a magazine of something stronger for the wilder potions of the trip. I'd go with that if I were in your position.
     
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  9. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Glock 20. Can't have too much gun, and OC is allowed in Alaska. You will likely be wearing a jacket anyway.
     
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  10. cdahl383

    cdahl383 Member

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    Alaska is beautiful. Not highly populated either. I’d bring the Ruger.
     
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  11. Roverguy

    Roverguy Member

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    Counting on only needing a 9mm is not good planning.

    As per above, a quality pump gun in 12 ga with a load of three slugs ahead of whatever room you have left for 00 buck would be best. If restricted to a sidearm, a quality revolver in 44 mag, one capable of 23kpsi 45 Colt, or a 10mm would best. All of them will work on people and all of them are better than 9mm on bigger-than-people.
     
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  12. Obturation

    Obturation Member

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    Of the choices , g20 for sure. Hostile human is most likely issue but you want to have some zap if it turns out it's angry moose instead (I didn't say bear! I thought it though). 10mm is marginal on big critters but 16 shots helps. My personal choice would be something that starts with super and ends in redhawk but seems you haven't got one listed. We all know a long gun is best but it's not likely you'll have one slung on your back constantly the entire time.

    No caliber war stuff intended but I'd bring just about anything before I considered a 9mm for wilderness defense . maybe you can borrow a 44, 45 /454, 480 or 500 from a buddy , either way consider the possibility of needing to get a little ammo while you're there just in case it comes to it.

    Have a nice trip, I'll get up there some day and can't wait.
     
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  13. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    I am assuming the GP100 is a .357 Magnum. That’s what I would take with some heavy hitting ammo for the hikes.
     
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  14. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    When my brother lived in Alaska, whenever he went hiking in the backwoods, he always carried a Ruger Redhawk in .44 Magnum. I found an old British WWII canvas holster that was for the Webley Mk.VI with a 6" barrel. His Redhawk with a 5.5" barrel fit perfectly in the holster.

    As to my choice for a handgun for Alaska I would go with either a G20 SF or a G29 SF, depending on which one felt more ergonomic to me. I would also be packing spare15 round magazines with the G29 if I went with that one
     
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  15. JR24

    JR24 Member

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    The couple bear attacks I heard about when I lived in AK were on the common hiking trails and I think black bears all, so still stay on your guard and pay attention. But bells and spray would likely be enough if you aren’t going in the deep woods, and don’t do something stupid like chase a black bear into a thicker to get a closer picture (which was one of the incidents I recall).

    Even so, I’d probably go with the 20 or 29 myself, at least while hiking. The 9mm is probably all you’ll need (and you won’t need it anyway almost certainly) but I like to hedge a little.
     
  16. rperyam

    rperyam Member

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    We lived in Anchorage for 3 years in the early 70s before the pipeline chased us out. I always carried my S&W 19 loaded with JHP. My neighbor was a reloader and made some stiff loads for me. Much preferred. 38s when at the range or plinking in the woods.
     
  17. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    I'm expecting to take a very similar Alaskan trip in the next few years, so I'm watching this thread with interest.
    At this point I'm planning to take my normal ccw or maybe my favorite defensive pistol, a 45acp 1911.
     
  18. DR505

    DR505 Member

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    Take the Glock 20 or 29. I do not care much for Glocks, but I do like 10mm. Gives you roughly .357 magnum performance with more ammo.
     
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  19. Bazoo

    Bazoo Member

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    Bring me back a neat beach rock and have fun!
     
  20. denster

    denster Member

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    Glock 40 longslide 10mm and forget about the unimportant stuff.
     
  21. defjon

    defjon Member

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    The Ruger with hardcast 357s would be plenty
     
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  22. Nasty Canasta

    Nasty Canasta Member

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    The Alaskan of course!
    PDMqQ17l.jpg
     
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  23. JeeperCreeper

    JeeperCreeper Member

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    Alaskan here, I've posted before and my opinion is generally different to many.

    But I'm a fan of autos and mid-grade power.

    I carry 9mm, 45 super (similar to 10mm), and 357.

    I think ask your choices are valid.

    I'm assuming it's a summer trip. So you're most likely to have issues with humans and black bear. Moose are tame in the summer. Brownies don't frequent tourist spots as often and lots of time are distracted by fish depending on time/location.

    Bear spray is a great option. Being loud helps the most.

    But of your options, the 29 is a good all arounder.

    Finding 10mm isn't too hard to here right now. 357 is hard to find.

    If you're going to be in Anchorage or Fairbanks and need ammo, Alaska Ammo (10mm below) has live inventory of ammo on their website. Some locals aren't huge fans of them, but it's whatever.
     
  24. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    My usual, Commander in .45 ACP. If you're a Glock'vidian of the 9mm persuasion, carry that.

    The only change I'd make for the trip you describe is leaving my pocket carry at home, because I'd be free to wear a cover garment on vacation.
     
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  25. JeeperCreeper

    JeeperCreeper Member

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    Oh and as far as carrying, Alaska open carry is very normal outside of Anchorage
     
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