Hiking Handgun - What Should I Try? - Page 2

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    1. #21
      Senior Member dondavis3's Avatar
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      After you decide on which gun to get.

      Your next most important decision will be how & what to carry it in.

      My only advise is do not be cheap.

      Good leather - whether in shoulder holster or belt & holster - will make the difference in an enjoyable outdoor trip vs a very uncomfortable trip.

      Very important IMHO


    2. #22
      Member DanP_from_AZ's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by EliWolfe View Post
      IMHO I don't think the tragedy in AZ proved anything about the effectiveness of the 9mm on a bear! . . .
      Retiring here 13 years ago, my first trail gun was a Beretta FS 92. With a spare mag to boot.
      Why ? It was the gun I had.

      I changed. From 31 9mm "good people rounds" to five "big animal rounds" of .454 Casull.
      I will leave it "to the student" to figure out why I thought and still think this is a better tradeoff.
      A good place to start is "how lion attacks work" from the "Stalked By A Mountain Lion" book.

      9mm and .38 Special are still my "house guns". Backed by an eight-shot Mossberg 500 by my bed.
      I don't expect any home invasions. Rare here, but they have happened. Around two a year.
      But, if a home invasion does happen to me, it most likely won't be a bear or cougar.

    3. #23
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      I would probably go with something pretty conservative for someone new to handguns. Perhaps a 4 inch revolver: S&W or Ruger would make good choices. You could use .38 Special ammo for practice.

    4. #24
      Member Scorpion8's Avatar
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      Let me offer some experience from Bear Country....

      Yup, we have black and brown bears up here. Most of the replies have offered suggestions more based on the owners preference for a gun, and not the end-point answer. If you're going to carry in the woods, you do so only because you will use it and then it's not what you like, it's what will work against the intended target. Bears generally do not run at the sound of a shot, nor do they heed a "warning shot" (other than to snarl and tell you that you just wasted one round), so you carry expecting to use it. In that case, the minimum I would suggest is a 357 Mag with hard-cast lead bullets. 357 Mag, 41 Mag, or 44 Mag are all acceptable against 4 legged-critters. Get what you can shoot best. If you're not familiar with a stout single-action revolver, then get a nice double action revolver: Colt Anaconda, Ruger GP-100, Taurus.

      If you're more concerned with two-legged critters, then the 9mms and semi-autos are fine.

    5. #25
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      really?

      Wow, I was curious about what new pistol to carry in the backwoods (I currently carry a 2" Ruger .357, but think its a bit weak; I live in black bear, cougar country) and stumbled upon this site. I was looking for a consensus handgun capable of stopping a beast which might find me a legit food source or threat. I assumed a .44 at least. But, I registered because some of the answers, in terms of close combat, were impossibly off and close to dangerous. To wit, I heard a buncha recommedations for semi-autos. Consider one thing before choosing a semi-auto; 1/2 inch of pressure against the barrel tip/slide will render a semi auto "out of battery" and it will NOT fire. So, if the bear, cougar, ect lands on your chest or pins you to the deck and you have to execute a contact shot, your gun won't fire. However, if you think there's zero chance that a 100,000 year predator will not be able to stalk you, I would like to subscribe to your newsletter. In any event, you're a special man and will surely shoot it long before it attacks. Conversely, revolvers don't suffer from battery issues in the same manner. I wish for a shrouded hammer .44 but there doesnt seem there's one out there. Anyone with knowledge of such a gun? 4" barrel, .44 cal? I want to apologize for the tenor of my first post, but can't. Beyond the aforementioned concerns, I thank the board for the knowledge I've gained.

    6. #26
      Member kg333's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
      Consider one thing before choosing a semi-auto; 1/2 inch of pressure against the barrel tip/slide will render a semi auto "out of battery" and it will NOT fire. So, if the bear, cougar, ect lands on your chest or pins you to the deck and you have to execute a contact shot, your gun won't fire.
      Personally, I would not be carrying a modern semi auto without a round in the chamber. You'll get at least one shot.

      KG

      EDIT: Realize you may have meant with a round in the chamber, the gun will not fire if the slide is forced back to that degree...I can't say I've ever heard of that particular issue, so I wouldn't know.

    7. #27
      Member rgrundy's Avatar
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      I remember the day when the 357 Magnum was the most powerful handgun on earth and many of us carried it for years daily for protection. It and lesser calibers seemed to work when we were a mostly rural society and I believe it will still protect you nicely. The main problem is learning to hit something scooting at you low and fast. I carry a SIG P220 in 45 ACP loaded with 230 grain FMJs and shoot it well.

      ‪Shoot the charging bear‬‏ - YouTube

    8. #28
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      Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
      Wow, I was curious about what new pistol to carry in the backwoods (I currently carry a 2" Ruger .357, but think its a bit weak; I live in black bear, cougar country) and stumbled upon this site. I was looking for a consensus handgun capable of stopping a beast which might find me a legit food source or threat. I assumed a .44 at least. But, I registered because some of the answers, in terms of close combat, were impossibly off and close to dangerous. To wit, I heard a buncha recommedations for semi-autos. Consider one thing before choosing a semi-auto; 1/2 inch of pressure against the barrel tip/slide will render a semi auto "out of battery" and it will NOT fire. So, if the bear, cougar, ect lands on your chest or pins you to the deck and you have to execute a contact shot, your gun won't fire. However, if you think there's zero chance that a 100,000 year predator will not be able to stalk you, I would like to subscribe to your newsletter. In any event, you're a special man and will surely shoot it long before it attacks. Conversely, revolvers don't suffer from battery issues in the same manner. I wish for a shrouded hammer .44 but there doesnt seem there's one out there. Anyone with knowledge of such a gun? 4" barrel, .44 cal? I want to apologize for the tenor of my first post, but can't. Beyond the aforementioned concerns, I thank the board for the knowledge I've gained.
      S & W made a .44 special with a shroud (#296??). It is a modern gun but out of production.

      In .44 magnum I can't think of one, but a gunsmith can bob the hammer on a .44 magnum and you would have a pocketable weapon.

    9. #29
      Senior Member denner's Avatar
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      Well, I believe the original poster is trying to find a trail gun(i.e. sidearm) to fit too many criteria. I would not venture into bear/cougar country, especially after stumbling upon elk carcasses w/o anything less than a 44 magnum revolver loaded with hardcast bullets, especially if bear are in the picture. I would keep far away, especially with children, from an area with fresh remnants of animal carcasses. I would just assume to shoulder at least a 30/06 rifle with a well made 180 grain bullets. This is coming from a hunters perspective.

    10. #30
      Member ozzy's Avatar
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      Different pistols for different purposes. In the wild I would go 3 digits. .454 Casull, .460 S&W, .480 Ruger, .500 S&W. Personal defense stay with number 4. .40 S&W, 10MM, 44 Mag, .45 Auto. I personally carry a .40 S&W, 11 round of 165 gr. Hornady Critical Defense. For the woods the same and my AR-15. But that's just me.

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