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Thread: Camping Defense

  1. #1
    rkschultz is offline Junior Member
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    Camping Defense

    Brand new to the forum, I'm a newbie in Colorado.
    I have limited handgun experience....just a 22 revolver I've plinked around with since I was a kid. I have a shotgun at my house for those things that go bump in the night.
    I'll be doing a bit of camping out in the wilderness this summer, and I think I'd like to have a handgun that I can carry with me for some extra protection(shotgun is a bit bulky to lug around hiking). We're not talking grizzlies here, but mostly you hear about black bears, coyotes and mtn lions.
    Any advice on caliber? I've been looking a little bit at 38 revolvers, but maybe a 45 is more appropriate?
    I'm open to any advice/suggestions.
    Thanks everybody.

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  3. #2
    PhilR. is offline Member
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    Hello,

    Sorry, but a .38 would be out of the question for 4-legged critters. As for 45 - it depends on which one. A .45 long colt loaded very hotly can suffice, but a .45acp would not.

    If you want a semi-auto, then the only one I would consider would be a 10mm with loads at the high end of the range for that caliber (check Buffalo Bore and see if they have any). There are more powerful semi's, but I would not want to lug a Desert Eagle around.

    A more suitable handgun would be a revolver. A .357 mag might be ok, but if I were needing defense from blacks or cougars, then I would want something that started with a four. A .44 mag would suffice, as would a .45 long colt. Even a .450 revo from S&W would do fine, but it would be harder to find ammo, and might also be a more expensive to shoot. You can find used .44mags all day long on Gunbroker.com, or over at the Colt and S&W forums. I think a 4" S&W 29 or 629 would fit the bill.....

  4. #3
    bruce333's Avatar
    bruce333 is offline HGF Forum Moderator
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    Welcome!

    Quote Originally Posted by rkschultz View Post
    I'll be doing a bit of camping out in the wilderness this summer, and I think I'd like to have a handgun that I can carry with me for some extra protection.
    Is it really wilderness or is it a State or National Forest/Park? Need to make sure as there would be restrictions on what you could take if the later.
    Bruce, Life Member: NRA, NCRPA, GRNC, GOA

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  5. #4
    DevilsJohnson is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruce333 View Post
    Welcome!

    Is it really wilderness or is it a State or National Forest/Park? Need to make sure as there would be restrictions on what you could take if the later.
    That's a very valid point.

    A fun time can get bad quick just by not knowing what you are and not allowed to do in certain areas.

    As to what you would need not knowing the wildlife possibilities in the area you intend on being at makes it hard to give any useful advise. If it was me I'd really not like the idea of being underpowered if the time come that I needed what I brought to the camp site. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. But be realistic. you don't need some huge cannon if you are not really going to encounter anything needing it. .357 can be quite handy in these type situations. Not too much to carry and it has that handy "stopping power" I hear is really important these days.

  6. #5
    TOF's Avatar
    TOF
    TOF is offline Senior Member
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    Ruger GP100 4" or longer with fulll power .357 Mag loads of 158 to 180 Grain.

    A cougar is not hard to kill nor is a Black Bear when hit where you need to hit. If you don't hit the right spot none are any good.

    You are far more likely to need it for 2 legged animals than 4.

  7. #6
    rkschultz is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruce333 View Post
    Welcome!

    Is it really wilderness or is it a State or National Forest/Park? Need to make sure as there would be restrictions on what you could take if the later.
    GREAT point. I know it's not state park land, but I'll definitely check the national forest boundaries.
    I certainly don't want to turn a potentially bad situation into something worse. I'm taking a hunter safety course in May, so maybe that will clear up some of the legal issues.
    I appreciate all the input, though.

  8. #7
    jeb21 is offline Member
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    I agree with the recommendation with the Ruger GP-100. That is my camp gun. Black bears, rabid animals, snakes, 2 legged predators are my only realistic concerns here in Florida

    A 44 magnum is more powerful, but is much harder to learn to shoot well. But if you go for a 44 magnum, I am partial to Rugers, the Blackhawk is a very good weapon, although it is single action. The Ruger Redhawk is a very well respected 44 magnum.

    If you could carry a long gun such as a 12 ga with slug you would have even better protection.

  9. #8
    PhilR. is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeb21 View Post
    A 44 magnum is more powerful, but is much harder to learn to shoot well.
    Actually, it's as easy to learn to shoot a .44 mag as it is to shoot a .357. One only has to use .44 special loads for learning/range/target use, and then work up to full-house loads over time. IOW, learn the same way one would do for the .357. In this manner, any healthy adult male, and a good many adult females can learn to shoot .44mag.

    My wife and I will often borrow my brother's S&W 629 w/2x Leupold for deer and feral hogs. Works well.....

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