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Posted: 10/29/2001 12:17:00 PM EDT
What are your recommendations? I have a s&w Trail boss .44 mag that I'm trying to sell. It's just too heavy and bulky. Want something smaller, lighter, yet have the firepower for bears.
Link Posted: 10/29/2001 12:30:14 PM EDT
Your going to get a lot of pavement monkeys who have never seen 500 yards of open space spouting whatever info they read in the gun rags about "what is the best trail gun".

Pay no mind to them.

I've done "10 Miles In" bare hikes into the Ocala Nat. Forest with nothing but a High Standard .22 and a Claymore bag filled with a tiny bit of bare essentials. The perfect trailgun is a tough call, and depends a lot on where you are.

The man in Alaska that may encounter brown Bear is best suited with a .44 Mag or better (And if I were him, i'd go at LEAST .454 in a sidearm)

If you want a gun that will double as a hunting arm, a 6" .357 is about minimum for deer sized game (My primary trail gun is a 6" .357}

If you would see yourself shooting mainly small game, a good .22 is a must (Although, a lightly loaded .38 Spec gives you more punch, and can still cleanly take small game if you can make the head shots)

If you live in an area with snakes, a revolver is best, since they eat shot loads with impunity....


Really, the best trail gun is completley, entirely dependant on your locale, and your ability with the arm. I am so confident with my High Standard, I was willing to pack 10 miles in, carrying only a wee litle .22 pistol- facing the possibility of Dope Growers, Hogs, Florida Cats, - not to mention I had to feed myself with it.
Figure out what your needs as an outdoorsman are, and THEN choose the best all around chambering.
Link Posted: 10/29/2001 1:19:25 PM EDT
I used to just take a Ruger single six 22.
I hunt a lot in the winter and started using my S&W 686 6" instead. It's SS and it's big and heavy.
Not a plus but when the hounds wade into a lion on the ground a 22 wont stop the action.
I'm confident the 357 will.
Link Posted: 10/29/2001 1:21:29 PM EDT
S&W makes a Mountain Gun series, with a different caliber each year. They rotate .357mag, .41mag, .44mag and .45ACP. They take the N frame (except the .357 which is a 686+) and make it a half lug with a smaller outside diameter barrel. This lessens the weight but keeps the rest of the structural integrity. It's not something that you'd fire 20,000 rounds through, but is designed for backpacking.
Link Posted: 10/29/2001 3:45:47 PM EDT
Like McUzi said - opinions will vary widely. Me? I live in OR - Momma bear isn't gonna eat you, but will get pissed if you get near her cubs. And those big cats (Mt. Lion) yes they are a concern. Although the biggest concern is of the two legged variety.

I like my HK .45F with either ball ammo or .45 Super.

Some will contend that you should carry something larger and more powerful. To that I say - if it is that bad, you best have a shotgun. The biggest concern will be from 2 legged animals.

The next question is to conceal or not to conceal.

IMHO
Link Posted: 10/29/2001 3:47:07 PM EDT
When my son and I go hiking, I take my Bianchi T6205 Endurance Tactical pack with a nylon holster I keep attached to the belt. In it I carry a Taurus model 666 which is a stainless, full underlug, 6"bbl, .357mag.

It's definitely overkill for anything we might encounter on our treks, but I mainly use it because there's alot of rattlesnakes in our area and I always keep it loaded with snakeshot.

I do keep a speedloader with 125 grain XTP's at the ready for the local tweakers and meth lab operators we may encounter.
Link Posted: 10/29/2001 4:26:57 PM EDT
i'mlooking at geting a new trail gun as well. i'm leaning toward a Taurus titainium tracker with a 4" barrel in .41 mag. have been carrying a ruger 22/45 or a smith 629 3", magna ported, unfluted cylinder, with a full under lug but it's just to damn heavy. I think a .41 with the right load should just about dispatch any four or two legged animals you will encounter off the beaten path.
Link Posted: 10/29/2001 4:50:31 PM EDT
Look here: www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?id=56862 there's about 3 pages on a very similar topic

Clinth
Link Posted: 10/29/2001 7:35:41 PM EDT
I carry my Glock 29 in 10mm. It's light-weight and will handle most encounters out here in CA. I use it backpacking and as a hunting side arm. Loaded with Silvertips, it suits me fine. I got it because weight was an initial concern for backpacking. As said before, if you know you are going into some tough areas, take a shotgun with buckshot and slugs.
Link Posted: 10/30/2001 10:08:05 AM EDT
PLEASE! FORGET ABOUT SHOOTING BEARS! Unless you're hunting them, it's not going to be a real issue for the majority of folks out in the bush. I really think TOO many people are worried about bears. YES, there are attacks and sometimes people do die from them. But I would classify these as RARE! If there is a recent bear attack in the area you plan on going to, and the bear has not been caught/killed don't go there, or carry a shotgun, be careful where you walk (thick brushy areas vs open forest, etc.), make human noises. Don't bring a dog unless you are 99% certain the dog won't run after a bear only to turn tail and come back WITH the bear in tow. Take a look at the page ClintH put up. You really have more worries with people than animals as far as I'm concerned. If you are planning on hunting food with it, figure out where you will be going and what animals you can realistically count on for food, then choose a caliber. Pay attention to game laws, et cetera. Go find a biologist in your proposed travel area who deals with bears and ask what you should expect as far as: bear behavior, high population areas, precautions etc.
I take my survival class out for a weekend trip at the end of each course. We are out Friday through Sunday. I also travel alone in the bush either for my pleasure or when looking for a new class site. In four years at this University, I have NEVER had a bear problem even when I have been awaken by black bears at night checking out the perimeter of our site. I hang our smelly stuff, the students sleep in the shelters they make, no one carries a weapon larger than the knife they use for daily tasks (well, almost no one, after all, I AM responsible for them ). When I lived in Alaska, I travelled some in the bush there too. I canoed 721 miles down the Yukon river solo, and again - NEVER had a problem with bears - in Five years there! I've spent eight days in the King's Canyon area of California - problem bear country - and never had a bear do more than nose through my empty backpack (watched it from the safety of my nylon tent!). There are people I've met with WAY more experience with bears than I and they show more concern about people than bears.

Travel smart, camp smart, relax (that's why you're out there right?), and enjoy being away from the crush & rush of humanity.
WSmac
Link Posted: 10/30/2001 4:08:48 PM EDT
WSmac, I understand from my relatives who lived up there in the 70's that the MOOSE up in AK/Yukon/BC/AB area kill more people then bears each year.

Susan Butcher had her dog team wiped out in the middle of a Ididarod by a angry cow moose one year in the 1980's. She stopped for a feeding break, but left the dogs harnessed. Dogs barked at a cow moose with a calf and the moose went NUTS. Charged them and started kicking and stomping on the dogs who couldnt get away. She had foolishly left her .44 behind to save weight. Another competator following her was more careful and brought a 12ga, he managed to save all but 3 or 4 of her dogs with a 12ga rifled slug.

But what you really need is something that is as good (or better) on PEOPLE but can do the job in a pinch on animals. Glock 20 with high caps. If you cant get one, a 1911 in .45 Super will suffice. Would a .454 do better on animals, yeah, but you are looking at a case where the gun is carried lots and fired seldom. Do you want to lug a 3-4 pound gun around? And if you dont mind weight wouldnt a shotgun be a better choice? Glock 20 with 15+1 10mm heavy bullet full power loads has decent power and makes up what it lacks with sheer volume of fire. We are talking protection here not hunting, "humane harvesting" is not required.
Link Posted: 10/30/2001 4:13:41 PM EDT
Here weemer, this is what you have to watch out for the most:
www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?id=63189
Link Posted: 10/30/2001 5:01:00 PM EDT
Get yourself a taurus 5 shot-3inch bbl 41 magnum titanium..........
Link Posted: 10/30/2001 5:07:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/30/2001 5:01:58 PM EDT by cc48510]
I carry a Confederate Navy 1851 Revolver. Here in Florida you have to be 21 to get a Non-Antique Sidearm. Interesting that they trust me with an AK-47, but not a .38 Revolver or 9mm Pistol.

BTW, Carrots/McUzi how'd you get your account unlocked ?
Link Posted: 10/30/2001 5:23:46 PM EDT
I would take my .454 Casull Taurus Raging Bull so if I miss the damn bear 5 times I can beat him to death with that big old piece of iron!
Link Posted: 10/30/2001 5:28:50 PM EDT
What kind of bears do they have in Florida anyway
Link Posted: 10/30/2001 5:33:28 PM EDT
If it truly is more dangerous country (bear, wolves, cougars, moose, boar, etc.) I would definitely agree on a 454 Casull. The .44mag and .45LC aren't bad choices either.

Personally, I would have a single action revolver...but that's me. Nothing wrong with a DA revolver.

Also, that 10mm mentioned earlier (Glock) is a hottie too. But I would prefer a bit bigger diameter. Saw the difference on video between what a .44mag and 454 Casull do to a 1/4" boiler plate...MAN, that 454 Casull is powerful! Not only did it go through, there wasn't even much of a crater around the hole...zipped through.



Link Posted: 10/31/2001 3:30:13 AM EDT
ArmdLbrl, I think Doug Swingley (at least it was someone in the race) also killed a moose once with his axe one night on the Yukon Quest trail, early to mid '90s. Now there's an equally hard (some would say harder) dogsled race in comparison with the Iditarod. I believe Clinth has me beat on Alaska experience, as I was only "passing through" unfortunately. He could probably relate more bear/moose incidents than I.
Link Posted: 10/31/2001 6:21:35 AM EDT

Don't bring a dog unless you are 99% certain the dog won't run after a bear only to turn tail and come back WITH the bear in tow.

If that happened, wouldn't the bear be too busy chasing the dog to bother you?
Link Posted: 10/31/2001 6:40:24 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/31/2001 6:42:52 AM EDT by Zoub]
Over the years, and in all parts of the country, I have had more "unscheduled" encounters with drug dealers, dope growers and shotgun toting locals than bears and large predators. Both in the woods and in my boats.

I am starting to think a suppressed Ruger MKII with optional scope would be good.

Look at the new Glock 36 in .45. That may be my new "tackle box and pack gun". I love my Glock 21. I also like my Mustang pocketlite, but I want the baby Glock because I like .45 and it is thinner than a revolver.

I have had a Ruger MKII with a Bsquare mount for 18 years, great for small game. You can carry the gun and pack the scope, use as needed for longer shots. For protection, it is better than nothing and is really the most versatile gun I have.
Link Posted: 10/31/2001 8:12:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Renamed:

Don't bring a dog unless you are 99% certain the dog won't run after a bear only to turn tail and come back WITH the bear in tow.

If that happened, wouldn't the bear be too busy chasing the dog to bother you?



Every dog I've ever had could run faster than me.
Link Posted: 10/31/2001 9:41:24 AM EDT
Stick to a gun style that you know very well such as your daily carry pistol. If you normal carry a glock get a glock.if you carry a 1911 get use it. Your Not hunting bear so you don't need a hand cannon. You need a pistol that your completely familiarize with and can use. Keep in mind you are more likely need it against a 2 legged critter then 4.

For those who are delusional about killing a charging bear with a pistol. keep in mind a charging bear will take multiple rifle hits and keep coming. while the same bear would fall to a .223 if you were hunting him(tree stand) for example my hunting partner and I shoot a charging grizzle 9 time with riffles(30-06 and 375H&H) when we got to skinning it we found 2-broken shoulder and no recognizable organs. This bear ran for a good distance so if you think your pistols can unleash that kind of power then have at it.

here a drill you could try to see how your chosen gun/setup will treaty you. get all dressed in your hiking gear with the unloaded gun in its usually location. go out to unused road mark out a 100yd section, have a friend get a car up to 30mph when he crosses the first mark of your 100yds draw and snap a shoot see how many you can get off. More then likely it wont be a whole lot. This is going to bee the very best you will be able to do. in real world you will probably me 50 yds or less.

So if you are truly worried about bears use your brain camp smart use bear bells there are a lot of good articles written on bear encounters and avoidance .

What do I carry 45 acp combat commander which is also my daily carry weapon. when I'm out hiking in bear country I general carry a copilot rifle in 457 magnum.

Clint

Sorry if this doesn't read to well just getting off an 18hr shift heading to bed.
Link Posted: 11/1/2001 11:46:15 AM EDT
clinth, GREAT DRILL!! I am stilll laughing. I see a lot of guys getting run over by their wives while trying this one. They would of course claim it was an accident.

You verge on being irresponsible by even posting it.

I hear bears like pepper spray, kind of gives hikers that cajun taste? Is that true?
Link Posted: 11/1/2001 3:52:02 PM EDT
How about a Taurus ultra light in .41 mag?
Link Posted: 11/1/2001 4:21:41 PM EDT
Zoub-
This is a variant on the "Tueller Drill" to give you an idea of were your "safe distance" threshold is. If you can't figure out how to do it in a safe manner re-think using a gun. my rough outline was just that an outline use your own judgment on how the best way to set it up.

Clinth
Link Posted: 11/1/2001 4:42:12 PM EDT
.22 Pistol. I always carried either my High Standard or Ruger. Can carry mucho ammo, can have fun plinking, less noise and good small game round. I am originally from Montana, no matter what I hunted, the .22 was my sidearm.
Link Posted: 11/1/2001 11:59:44 PM EDT
Any guy who lets his wife drive a car at him while he's shooting a pistol would probably ask his wife to shoot him while he's wearing a bullet proof vest just to check it out .
Here's what you do:
Have your wife drive a Yugo towards you.IF it hits 30mph it'll probably bounce off your leg when she tries to run you over. Plus, you won't mind shooting at the car to see if you can stop it before it reaches you. (much more realistic, except the bear probably weighs more)
WSmac

PS - I'm taking some College students out to the woods for a survival trip this weekend. What kind of gun should I carry and how effective do you think it would be for keeping them out of MY shelter while their's fall apart in the rain?
LOL
WSmac
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