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10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/18/2005 8:03:40 AM EDT
My brother and friend and I are planning a canoe trip in the Boundary Waters for next summer. We were talking supplies and routes and packs and portages and other miscellaneous details when firearms came up. My brother is going to bring his Smith & Wesson Mountain Gun (4" .44 magnum, stainless). My buddy Mike is bringing his Glock 21 (45 ACP) in a Fobus belt holster. He says even if it gets wet, who cares? So, what should I bring? Things to consider:

Weight: I am going to be carrying a 40-50 lbs pack for a couple of long portages. It would be nice to have a lighter pistol (but not really a make it or break it point).

Water: Chances are this gun is going to get at least a little wet. Between canoes and possible rain, everything gets damp at a minimum. Rust resistance would be nice.

Power: This is the Boundary Waters. Who knows what we might have to shoot? A moose? A black bear? A sasquatch? I would like something bigger than a .22, just in case!


Current options:

Kimber Custom II. It's my daily carry, and reliable as an old whore. I don't really care if I bang her around, or if we lose some bluing. It's already got a lot of character; more won't hurt. 45 ACP is, of course, a fine caliber, although any handgun round from a semiauto is a bit anemic for use against wildlife. Kramer cowhide vertical scabbard.

Smith & Wesson Model 28. 4" .357 magnum. I like my .357; it's a good woods round. She's accurate and reliable and while it wouldn't be my first choice for shooting a black bear or a moose in an emergency, I wouldn't feel totally undergunned, either. However, this pistol is the closest thing I have to a safe queen. I mean, I use it, but this pistol is absolutely gorgeous. No scratches, immaculate blueing, beautiful custom rosewood grips. If we dumped the canoe, I might shed a tear over rust on this pistol. El Paso Saddlery Threepersons holster.

Or one of a couple of 9mms. I've also got a SIG P226 and a Glock 26, but 9mm just doesn't give me much confidence unless I'm facing a human target. I think I want more punch on this trip. I"m leaning against these two. I do have kydex belt holsters for both.

So, what's your vote? Or, do I need to buy something else altogether? A S&W 629 with a 5" barrel? A Glock 20 in 10mm? (I want both of these, but money is an issue!) Share your thoughts.
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 8:05:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/18/2005 8:05:46 AM EDT by mousehunter]
so planning on having your canoe "accident"?

Always wanted to paddle there, someday maybe.

It's a federal park, what are the laws?
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 8:05:38 AM EDT
One word: ZINC!
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 8:06:39 AM EDT
Take the .45 in really secure holster.
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 8:07:38 AM EDT
357 for better penetration through a black bear skull. Hell, take two... kimber and the smith if one goes down get 'em with the other.
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 8:09:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/18/2005 8:16:45 AM EDT by NewbHunter]

Originally Posted By mousehunter:
so planning on having your canoe "accident"?

Always wanted to paddle there, someday maybe.

It's a federal park, what are the laws?



When I was there in June and talking to some of the park rangers they seemed to indicate that there was no problem carrying in the BWCA. Just don't cross into Quetico and you should be fine.

Personally, I don't think you'll need more than a 9mm. If anything the biggest threat you'd face would be a human target (and even that is doubtful). Black bears are not known to be agressive and usually aren't that big. You can scare them away easily just by banging pots and pans or yelling. It's very doubtful one would attack you unless it was a mother with her cubs, which is unlikely this time of year.

I don't forsee you having any problems with moose either. They generally try and avoid humans and aren't agressive uless you're dumb enough to chase one or walk up behind it (in which case you stand a good chance of getting launched into orbit).

That's just MHO.
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 8:09:56 AM EDT
I think any reason to buy a new gun is a good one. Have you looked at the Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan. I think one chambered in .480 Ruger would be adequate.
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 8:11:23 AM EDT
Your brother is heading in the right direction, .44 mag for is decent for black bears. Good luck with the moose.
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 8:14:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Cavu:
I think any reason to buy a new gun is a good one. Have you looked at the Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan. I think one chambered in .480 Ruger would be adequate.



I like how this guy thinks.
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 8:15:32 AM EDT
I would take a G-20, but I already have one. In reality it's the perfect backpack/camping gun. It is powerful enough for just about any altercation you may run into, it is very light weight for its power level, it can take a dunk in the water and still function, can get covered in mud and grime and still function, holds 15 rounds so you can carry all of you're ammo for the trip in one magazine.

If I were to take the .357, I would use Federal 180 grain cast-cores. I would not feel undergunned with this load versus a blackie.
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 8:22:53 AM EDT
www.firearms.smith-wesson.com/store/index.php3?cat=293531&sw_activeTab=1

The .500 perfect answer to all outdoor activities.
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 8:24:49 AM EDT
Just bring a damn bug net and lots and lots of DEET. The most vicious and terrible creature in the boundry waters is by far is the mosquito. They are truly horrible there. Keep in mind that it's possible that you could accidentally cross over into the socialist republic of Canada whilst lost, so a firearm would be a real problem if caught by any of the various officialc that roam those areas. If a bear or bears wake you up at night to eat your food, it's probably because you didn't store it properly and hang it from a tree. For Mike's sake, don't shoot 'em. They're like big dumb possums. They won't hurt you. Have fun, I really loved my month paddling the Boundry Waters.
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 8:32:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 2IDdoc:
Just bring a damn bug net and lots and lots of DEET. The most vicious and terrible creature in the boundry waters is by far is the mosquito. They are truly horrible there. Keep in mind that it's possible that you could accidentally cross over into the socialist republic of Canada whilst lost, so a firearm would be a real problem if caught by any of the various officialc that roam those areas. If a bear or bears wake you up at night to eat your food, it's probably because you didn't store it properly and hang it from a tree. For Mike's sake, don't shoot 'em. They're like big dumb possums. They won't hurt you. Have fun, I really loved my month paddling the Boundry Waters.



+1 I havent been up there, but I do know alot of guys who have been in my Boy Scout Troop

They dint encounter any bears just gaint blood sucking mosuitos and big angry fish like Pike or something
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 8:34:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 2IDdoc:
If a bear or bears wake you up at night to eat your food, it's probably because you didn't store it properly and hang it from a tree. For Mike's sake, don't shoot 'em. They're like big dumb possums. They won't hurt you. Have fun, I really loved my month paddling the Boundry Waters.



Yeah, I don't want to shoot a bear. Or a moose. This is more of a "Just in case, rabid moose teamed up with psychotic bear under zombie command" kind of situation. I mean, if I thought I was really going to need my handgun, I'd stay home. But if I do need to shoot a moose because we're lost and starving to death (apparently the fish will have all died in this scenario) or because a black bear is eating all of our food and we're three days from civilization (again, my friends and I have all gone brain-dead and forgot to properly store the food, even though we have back-country camped in Algonquin, the Bighorns, Denali, Yellowstone and Isle Royale) then I want something that will do the job.
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 8:39:46 AM EDT
Take the .45 Kimber and FOR GOD'S SAKE make sure you have a solid holster for retention as well as for your buddy's Glock. Take spare mags and a cleaning kit/oil. It wouldn't hurt to clean or at least dry it out/oil it every night.
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 8:40:44 AM EDT
To get a little professional perspective, here's a quick read:

www.speer-bullets.com/default.asp?s1=6&s2=13
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 9:04:55 AM EDT
I love that park, one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. I wouldn't worry about the black bears, cept when there after your picnic basket, watch the moose, I damn near tripped over one last time I was up there, and that has got to be the scariest thing in the world going nose to chest with a full grown bull. Shouldn’t have any problems, have fun, don’t play Rambo
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 9:15:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/18/2005 9:18:32 AM EDT by blueheeler66]
S&W .500 Magnum; guaranteed to stop Sasquatches (says so in the ad);
5" .44mag would be my choice, but I imagine generally speaking you couldn't go wrong with a .357
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 9:24:30 AM EDT
My mini Glock in 9mm always worked fine. It has been on several trips in the BW with me.

IMHO the only varmints you really need to worry about are the two legged variety.

Black bear, moose and the single wolf I have encounted there were wanting to avoid me more than i was avoiding them. Same for Bigfoot I imagine.
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 10:55:09 AM EDT
just quick bump
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 10:59:17 AM EDT


Super Redhawk 'Alaskan', in .454 Casull.


nd if you get tired of rowing, you can fire it off the stern for propulsion.
Link Posted: 8/18/2005 11:08:02 AM EDT
I would not wear a gun in a holster up there, because it will get in the way. And I don't think round count matters, so a high cap wonder-nine isn't any better than a 5 shot .357.

I've been in the boundary waters several times, and have never brought a gun in (although this is before I got my CCW so today it'd probably be different) but...

A .357 or .44 revolver, in a holster of some sort to cover the trigger guard, in the backpack would be my choice. Stainless of course to prevent rust, cause it will get wet. And I don't really see the need for bringing 3 pistols into the woods, but whatever trips your trigger, you're the one that has to haul all that shit around.

Speaking from experience, the less weight you have to haul around the better. When we pack to go in, anything that's not absolutely necessary stays home.

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