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chaseface
04-23-2012, 9:37 PM
Hey guys so I could use some input from the guys who are into the outdoors. I want a gun that I can carry around backpacking in the Sierras or take up to Alaska. I don't think my .45 is the right choice to protect myself from bears. I've heard the saying that if you bring a .45 to protect you from bears you shouldn't forget the lube for when the bear sticks it up your corn hole.

I'm not going to use this for hunting, only personal protection. I also will practice with it but its not a plinking gun or a safe queen. I want something I can trust my life to in the backcountry, and could take a beating if need be. I'm thinking a revolver is the way to go but could really use some input. I realize that the best thing to protect myself from bears is a large caliber rifle but that does not work with my lightweight backpacking trips.

ckprax
04-23-2012, 9:44 PM
I would go with a 3" S&W 629 if you want a revolver, if you want a pistol than glock 20/29 would be my choice. 10mm is a very impressive round.

Do you reload?

S470FM
04-23-2012, 9:44 PM
SW 686+

knowledgedropper
04-23-2012, 9:45 PM
A buddy of mine goes on several camping & backpacking trips a year as you describe. He bought a Glock 20 a few years ago, just for that purpose. Good luck in your search.

RoundEye
04-23-2012, 9:49 PM
Hey guys so I could use some input from the guys who are into the outdoors. I want a gun that I can carry around backpacking in the Sierras or take up to Alaska. I don't think my .45 is the right choice to protect myself from bears. I've heard the saying that if you bring a .45 to protect you from bears you shouldn't forget the lube for when the bear sticks it up your corn hole.

I'm not going to use this for hunting, only personal protection. I also will practice with it but its not a plinking gun or a safe queen. I want something I can trust my life to in the backcountry, and could take a beating if need be. I'm thinking a revolver is the way to go but could really use some input. I realize that the best thing to protect myself from bears is a large caliber rifle but that does not work with my lightweight backpacking trips.

Someone could correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think you'll be able to get a handgun through Canada into Alaska. Might want to look at some kind of rifle.

CaliTheKid
04-23-2012, 9:49 PM
Glock 20 stoked with 15 rounds of good ammo from Double Tap. I like this round.

http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=21_25&products_id=105

.44 Mag, .454 Casull, .500 SW are also good rounds in a revolver format.

.44 Mag is probably the easiest to find ammo locally of all of them.

SoCalSig1911
04-23-2012, 9:50 PM
We are talking about bears right? Really, a revolver with 6 shots when a monster comes running at you going 20MPH you are going to shoot it in the head 6 times and hopefully put it down before it eats or falls on top of you.. I would say get the bear mace or pack a Beowulf 50cal AR and hope you live! lol

yuccales
04-24-2012, 12:15 PM
Draco!:D

Roach_Infinity
04-24-2012, 12:22 PM
I'm planning on carrying a S&W 329PD for out of state backpacking... Most miserable handgun I have ever fired recoil wise, but it is purpose built as a lightweight high power carry gun.

Vanguard
04-24-2012, 12:25 PM
Something 10 mm. Glock 20 or Colt Delta Elite.

Bug Splat
04-24-2012, 12:26 PM
I hear mace is more reliable than any firearm on bears. I'd carry a big can of that and whatever pistol you want for anything else.

brian.243
04-24-2012, 12:29 PM
I say a smith and wesson 329night guard or 357night guard.
Ps the 357ng is a 41very mag

murbatchka
04-24-2012, 12:44 PM
Get the bear spray, a hand gun is useless against a grizzly.

Kanoodler
04-24-2012, 1:09 PM
I would go with ANY handgun over bear spray....It's all about distance. The spray can only reach so far...

Seems like the big bore short BBl revolvers seem to be popular in Alaska. Iv'e heard folks refer to the .44mag is "minimum", with nods to the .454, .500 etc.

Having said that, the 10mm is a hot little package that can be found in quite a few handgun packages.

chaseface
04-24-2012, 1:11 PM
Thanks for all the info guys. I hadn't even considered a 10mm but I will definitely do some looking into it. I agree bear spray is a good idea. I will be traveling with my gf or a friend on most backpacking trips so one of us carrying spray is a good idea however I will still be carrying a handgun as a last resort. Most often I would be in black bear country but I have been drooling over an Alaska trip for a while and I didn't want to by two backpacking guns.

I think I am leaning more towards a revolver. I only have experience with semi-autos - 9mm, .45, .40, etc. so I don't have much knowledge on the ballistics of the higher power revolvers - .357, .44, .454, etc. Would I be sacrificing a lot of stopping power by going with a 2 1/2 inch barrel like the S&W 329 Night Guard in .44 mag over a similar model with a 4 inch barrel? I don't think I would want to go much over 4" for backpacking.

k1dude
04-24-2012, 1:12 PM
This is right up your alley (not corn hole):

http://www.taurususa.com/images/imagesMain/444MULTI_4.jpg

The Taurus Model 444 Ultralight .44 Magnum Revolver. Only 28 ounces, 6 shot, 4" barrel, multi-alloy. They also make a 2-1/4" barrel version that weighs 27 ounces.

Oceanbob
04-24-2012, 1:15 PM
I would go with a 3" S&W 629 if you want a revolver, if you want a pistol than glock 20/29 would be my choice. 10mm is a very impressive round.

Do you reload?

THIS^^^

1. Probably your best bet is proper bear spray.
2. Second would be a friend you shoot in the leg and outrun the bear.
3. A .44 magnum.
4. A Glock 29 with buffalo bore 200 grainers.

stix213
04-24-2012, 1:18 PM
I bought a Glock 29 10mm specifically for backpacking. Pretty light gun for the capabilities. Though I have not done Alaska.

shooting4life
04-24-2012, 1:21 PM
S&W 629 carry comp. It has fixed sights so nothing snags and a power port to keep you on target for faster follow up.
http://i630.photobucket.com/albums/uu30/shooting4life/IMG_2929.jpg

AdiosKali
04-24-2012, 1:39 PM
Another vote for the G20!

IVC
04-24-2012, 5:08 PM
I think I am leaning more towards a revolver. I only have experience with semi-autos - 9mm, .45, .40, etc. so I don't have much knowledge on the ballistics of the higher power revolvers - .357, .44, .454, etc. Would I be sacrificing a lot of stopping power by going with a 2 1/2 inch barrel like the S&W 329 Night Guard in .44 mag over a similar model with a 4 inch barrel? I don't think I would want to go much over 4" for backpacking.

You'll notice much more variance between different types of ammo than the variance between barrel length using the same ammo. Sure you lose some velocity from the shorter barrel, but you can compensate by using hotter ammo. Not to mention that a lot will depend on the type and weight of the bullet you choose.

If you haven't shot higher power revolvers, go out and try a few. An ultra light 329PD handles quite differently than a full steel 629. You hold revolvers differently (cannot do forward thumb) and absorb recoil differently (no slide to dampen the recoil).

Also remember that if you want to protect yourself from an animal, you better learn their anatomy and know where to shoot. A properly placed shot is what will count the most if you want to stop a bear.

lrj812
04-24-2012, 6:08 PM
I've carried a S&W 686 w/ 6" barrel on my backpacking trips since 1987 in California. No Grizzlies but 2 legged and 4 legged bears. I practice a lot with that gun, it is economical and I can load some nice rounds if needed. I feel pretty comfortable with that gun nearby.

bob7122
04-24-2012, 6:11 PM
draco, glock in 10mm, 44 magnum revolver, this in .44 or in a bigger caliber.http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT7Ew2tuA0uNMXp121miE6sYQaAxNiOS ByYhSsmMKGTPCHYXLIsyw

rogervzv
04-24-2012, 6:18 PM
Ruger Alaskan.

Dingotech
04-24-2012, 6:18 PM
I've heard the saying that if you bring a .45 to protect you from bears you shouldn't forget the lube for when the bear sticks it up your corn hole.

Seems like you're looking forward to running into those bears.

gotshotgun?
04-24-2012, 6:37 PM
Glock 20 all the way.

dougtoni
04-24-2012, 7:09 PM
For camping in the sierras, a 686 or a 629 would be perfect. Barrel length is up to you. The nice thing is if you reload you can make some awesome 2 and 4 legged mags and you can also bring some light weight semi waddcutters for survival food(squirrals, rabbbits, etc). The advantage of a revolver outweights the cons not to. Ive been doin this since '88 and have never regretted it.

IrishPirate
04-24-2012, 7:19 PM
GLOCK 20: 10mm
S&W 686+: .357mag
S&W 460V: .45LC, .454casull, .460s&w mag
S&W 629: .44mag

Take a rifle with you to Alaska....my buddy's boss gave him an SKS to carry around when he worked in Alaska. Mostly in case of Moose.

jlbflyboy172
04-24-2012, 9:42 PM
+1 for the S&W .460

k1dude
04-24-2012, 11:14 PM
I personally have the Taurus Total Titanium Tracker (425) in .41 mag that I bought when it first came out. It weighs 24 ounces and packs a respectable punch. It's my bear gun when I'm in Alaska. You can load it to .44 mag levels. It's been nothing but reliable.

http://www.taurususa.com/images/imagesMain/425SH4C.jpg

But if I were to choose today, I would pick the Taurus 444 Ultralight in .44 mag.

saki302
04-25-2012, 12:53 AM
The 329pd is tailor made for this.

If you want a bit more power, the Ruger .454 Alaskan would fit the bill nicely too, but with a weight penalty (and it taked .45 Colt for human defense).

If I were really expecting a bear attack though, I'd pack a .460 or .500. Or a magnum rifle. Or 12 gauge with 3" magnum slugs :D

-Dave

Xingu
04-25-2012, 12:59 AM
A vote for a Glock 20 with 200g double-tap hardcast. That is the gun I carry in the Montana back country.

mls343
04-25-2012, 4:23 AM
Just my opinion, but for the Sierra's, a .45 acp is just fine. I spend a fair amount of time in the high country, and while I see my fair share of bears, they usually run at any loud noise - even when raiding campsites/backpacks due to rookie food mistakes.

With that said, Alaska would be totally different. I would think a rifle is a must, and your back up hand gun, for me, would be in he .44 mag territory. Better yet, I would also bring along someone I could out run... :-)

Just my opinion.

chaseface
04-25-2012, 4:27 PM
Have you shot this gun before? I like the idea of a lightweight gun for backpacking but I worry about the recoil and the quick follow-up.

This is right up your alley (not corn hole):

http://www.taurususa.com/images/imagesMain/444MULTI_4.jpg

The Taurus Model 444 Ultralight .44 Magnum Revolver. Only 28 ounces, 6 shot, 4" barrel, multi-alloy. They also make a 2-1/4" barrel version that weighs 27 ounces.

This is a beautiful revolver, but I could not find this model on S&W's website. Do you know a place where it is still available? I found a few 629 variants but not the carry comp

S&W 629 carry comp. It has fixed sights so nothing snags and a power port to keep you on target for faster follow up.
http://i630.photobucket.com/albums/uu30/shooting4life/IMG_2929.jpg

I appreciate all the input guys

drdarrin@sbcglobal.net
04-25-2012, 4:34 PM
A 45 ACP will work, if you're cool headed enough to use it effectively. Same applies to any handgun that put as much or more energy on a target. In the lower 48, you're more likely to have to defend yourself from 2 legged predators. I'd want more than a 45 in grizzly country, but if it was all I had, I'd carry it.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/outposts/2010/06/grizzly-bear-shot-killed-denali.html

k1dude
04-25-2012, 6:12 PM
Have you shot this gun before? I like the idea of a lightweight gun for backpacking but I worry about the recoil and the quick follow-up.

No. But like I said, I have it's predecessor in .41 mag that weighs 24 ounces. I've shot hot loads that were the equivalent of .44 mag loads - and my gun weighs a quarter pound less than the 444. I didn't think it was bad at all. But my barrel is ported. I can't tell from the photo or the description on Taurus' website if the 444 is ported or not. If it isn't and the recoil is heavier than you want, I would pay a gunsmith to port it. I'm a gram counter when it comes to the backcountry, so I'll ALWAYS take a 28 ounce .44 over a 45 ounce .44.

The recoil didn't bother my palm, but I noticed my middle finger (under the trigger finger) was getting smacked against the trigger guard due to the recoil. After about 50 rounds, it was getting to me a little. If I had a glove on, it wouldn't have bothered me at all. I wouldn't want to shoot all day without a glove, but it's fine for self defense. I doubt you'll ever have the time to put 50 rounds into a charging kodiak brown.

Also keep in mind, in after action reports of high recoiling handguns, the shooter ALWAYS says they never even noticed the recoil. When your adrenaline is pumping and a bear is in your face, you won't notice the recoil at all.

Bullwhip55
04-25-2012, 7:50 PM
Be a Man....Get a Big Knife...What a story that would be if you won...!!!!

CSACANNONEER
04-25-2012, 8:03 PM
Bear spray first. 12g second. For everything except bear, I'd try to find a Kel Tec .22mag.

DRAB_81
04-25-2012, 8:22 PM
Also keep in mind, in after action reports of high recoiling handguns, the shooter ALWAYS says they never even noticed the recoil. When your adrenaline is pumping and a bear is in your face, you won't notice the recoil at all.

It's not felt recoil that's the problem, it's more about follow up shot speed & whether you can stay on target under stress. I can shoot 200gr WFNGC's out of my G20SF WAY faster than I can shoot a 44MAG. The 10mm isn't the end all be all of woods defense, and shot for shot has nowhere near the power of a 44. That being said, 15rds (or even 10) of 10mm 200gr WFNGC's is much more fast & controllable to shoot than 6rds of heavy 44. Hunting is another story, because it's an ambush, and usually one focused shot from a rest. If a bear charges me, I want to be able to rapid fire as many rounds as I can before it gets to me.

Shoot 6rds of 200gr 10mm through a G20, rapid fire, at a target 15yds away, on a timer.

Then shoot 6rds of 44MAG, through any revolver, the same way.

Note the time, and your accuracy, and see what you think.

Flouncer
04-25-2012, 8:22 PM
The Sierra. No apostrophe. Please don't shoot a black bear if you are back packing. Do a search here or anywhere to validate this. Take some pepper spray.

k1dude
04-25-2012, 8:29 PM
Bear spray first. 12g second. For everything except bear, I'd try to find a Kel Tec .22mag.

There was a recent thread where gov officials in AK (I think) ranked the effectiveness of all calibers against bear, and the 12 ga with slugs was ranked way down at the bottom IIRC. Also, it would TOTALLY suck to lug a 12 ga and shells around while backpacking.

I also read a true account of a grizz attack on a hunter dressing his elk. It was on top of him before he knew what hit him. This was even though he was scanning every minute or so. His rifle was 3 feet out of his reach leaning against a boulder as he was getting mauled. Even if he could get to it, he wouldn't have been able to put enough separation between him and the bear to use it. He survived, but said he wished over and over that he had a handgun on him. He had plenty of opportunity to use it if he had one. That's one lesson that I'll take to heart.

k1dude
04-25-2012, 8:36 PM
It's not felt recoil that's the problem, it's more about follow up shot speed & whether you can stay on target under stress. I can shoot 200gr WFNGC's out of my G20SF WAY faster than I can shoot a 44MAG. The 10mm isn't the end all be all of woods defense, and shot for shot has nowhere near the power of a 44. That being said, 15rds (or even 10) of 10mm 200gr WFNGC's is much more fast & controllable to shoot than 6rds of heavy 44. Hunting is another story, because it's an ambush, and usually one focused shot from a rest. If a bear charges me, I want to be able to rapid fire as many rounds as I can before it gets to me.

Shoot 6rds of 200gr 10mm through a G20, rapid fire, at a target 15yds away, on a timer.

Then shoot 6rds of 44MAG, through any revolver, the same way.

Note the time, and your accuracy, and see what you think.

I don't doubt your logic. I just don't ever recall reading about the effectiveness of 10mm against big bear. It would obviously be better than a stick, but I haven't ever seen it on anyone's list of effective calibers against bear. If that's all you have, then go for it. But the OP is talking about making a new purchase, and people that know better than I say to use a .44 mag minimum (actually I've read .41 mag too).

I've never shot my hot loaded .41 mag rapid-fire. I guess I need to do that to see how quickly I can accurately fire off follow-up shots.

CSACANNONEER
04-25-2012, 8:41 PM
There was a recent thread where gov officials in AK (I think) ranked the effectiveness of all calibers against bear, and the 12 ga with slugs was ranked way down at the bottom IIRC. Also, it would TOTALLY suck to lug a 12 ga and shells around while backpacking.

I also read a true account of a grizz attack on a hunter dressing his elk. It was on top of him before he knew what hit him. This was even though he was scanning every minute or so. His rifle was 3 feet out of his reach leaning against a boulder as he was getting mauled. Even if he could get to it, he wouldn't have been able to put enough separation between him and the bear to use it. He survived, but said he wished over and over that he had a handgun on him. He had plenty of opportunity to use it if he had one. That's one lesson that I'll take to heart.

Uh, there are some pretty small 12g AOWs that are Ca legal. Also, if 12g are so ineffective, why do so many Alaskans carry them soley for bear?

chaseface
04-25-2012, 8:48 PM
The Sierra. No apostrophe. Please don't shoot a black bear if you are back packing. Do a search here or anywhere to validate this. Take some pepper spray.

Lets be clear here... I'm not looking for a gun so that I can shoot bears. I also already advocated that bear spray is a good idea and I plan on bringing some. I am looking for a back country handgun that will protect me from whatever dangers I may face, whether it be two legged, elk, or bear.

k1dude
04-25-2012, 9:03 PM
Uh, there are some pretty small 12g AOWs that are Ca legal. Also, if 12g are so ineffective, why do so many Alaskans carry them soley for bear?

It's still going to be a couple feet long and you need 2 hands to work the pump. Just because people do something doesn't mean it's the right thing. Look how many people voted for Obama.

Zula
04-25-2012, 9:07 PM
Bear spray is the best as a first choice. I saw a vid somewhere of this stuff stopping a bear dead in its tracks; I doubt it was a wild one though. 10mm or .45 would be ok in ca. with the .45 being slightly marginal. In Alaska though, fugeetaboutit. 44 mag or bigger.

CSACANNONEER
04-25-2012, 9:09 PM
It's still going to be a couple feet long and you need 2 hands to work the pump. Just because people do something doesn't mean it's the right thing. Look how many people voted for Obama.

I can't argue with sound logic like that.

cineski
04-26-2012, 5:35 AM
Anyone see the video from Alaska of the charging bear from a boat and the guy shoots at the bear but hits in front of it? Stopped the bear in its tracks. Anyone who doesn't take a gun into the woods is playing Russian Roulette. That's ANYWHERE. My buddy had a full grown mountain lion cross his path in the Verdugo hills (which is surrounded by houses). Heck, there have been huge cougars showing up in Wisconsin of all places. If a bear is charging me, I will take the most lethal means of protection I have which isn't bear spray. Hope to God that never happens as I have no interest in killing anything but I have less interest in getting killed.

aalvidrez
04-26-2012, 5:43 AM
Bear spray in Alaska or Griz country. Anything 357 on up for black bears, and bear spray. But as an Inuit in the Army once told me...

"if your going to carry a handgun for Griz, make sure it's as small a caliber as possible, file down the hammer, remove the grips, and oil it up. That way it doesn't hurt when the bear sticks it up your......"

DRAB_81
04-26-2012, 6:44 AM
I don't doubt your logic. I just don't ever recall reading about the effectiveness of 10mm against big bear. It would obviously be better than a stick, but I haven't ever seen it on anyone's list of effective calibers against bear. If that's all you have, then go for it. But the OP is talking about making a new purchase, and people that know better than I say to use a .44 mag minimum (actually I've read .41 mag too).

I've never shot my hot loaded .41 mag rapid-fire. I guess I need to do that to see how quickly I can accurately fire off follow-up shots.

A .401 200gr WFNGC @ 1200+fps (1360fps in my 6" G20LS, is hotter than a 357MAG, but not quite as hot as a good 41MAG. I have no doubts that it would penetrate well enough into anything I need to defend myself against. The WFNGC's hit like a sledgehammer, penetrates very well, and leaves a nasty wound channel. It's not the best for a one shot stop, but I'm confident it would get the job done in CA.

On the other hand, the point about "gun to belly" makes sense. I haven't thought about it that way.

lawaia
04-26-2012, 12:16 PM
S&W 329PD

http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l144/FF4Fun/329pd.gif

DrewTheBrave
04-26-2012, 1:10 PM
I hear mace is more reliable than any firearm on bears. I'd carry a big can of that and whatever pistol you want for anything else.

Bear mace for bears, and then whatever sidearm you feel comfortable with for smaller or two legged threats.

k1dude
04-26-2012, 6:50 PM
S&W 329PD

http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l144/FF4Fun/329pd.gif

That'll work! But I'd change the grips for some recoil absorbing rubber ones and port the barrel.

Sunday
04-26-2012, 7:05 PM
A 45 acp with ball ammo would work on most bears. Remember it takes a good hit.

k1dude
04-26-2012, 8:05 PM
chaseface, I just checked the roster and the Taurus 444 Ultralight isn't on it. So unless one of your parents lives out of state, you're out of luck.

So your only lightweight .44 mag option would be the S&W 329PD, which IS on the roster.

Spirit 1
04-26-2012, 9:10 PM
Not backpacking, but I've spent a whole bunch of time in the California outdoors. You're likely to be dealing with either humans, mountain lions, bears or rattlesnakes. Overall I've come across way more mean, nasty, ugly rattlers than the others, plus 4 mountain lions and a half dozen bears.

From that I'd want a wheel gun, 8 shot version, so that you could have a shotshell up as the first round, in case a rattler catches you in close quarters which is quite possible. You still have 7 more behind it and possibly it would scare off the other three types of predators with the first round, that seems likely to me. I'd also carry a large can of bear spray. Bears can run at 35-40 mph according to many reports, so consider that. I'd think twice or 3 times before traveling in grizzly country with only a handgun.

My personal encounters and stories from others all say that mountain lions prefer to stalk from behind and pounce from a higher point, and come down on the neck. When I used to hike I'd stop every couple of hundred feet and turn around, checking behind me, and throw some rocks around, make noise. So far that has kept cats off me, though one stalked me from behind for 14 hours up in Pine Flats.

chaseface
04-26-2012, 9:19 PM
chaseface, I just checked the roster and the Taurus 444 Ultralight isn't on it. So unless one of your parents lives out of state, you're out of luck.

So your only lightweight .44 mag option would be the S&W 329PD, which IS on the roster.

I do have a dad who lives in Reno just 3 1/2 hrs away from me but I don't see how that helps :confused:

k1dude
04-26-2012, 9:49 PM
I do have a dad who lives in Reno just 3 1/2 hrs away from me but I don't see how that helps :confused:

Perfect! He can buy it in Reno as a "gift" for you and send it to your California FFL! You now legally own an off-roster pistol. Happy birthday!

chaseface
04-26-2012, 10:05 PM
Perfect! He can buy it in Reno as a "gift" for you and send it to your California FFL! You now legally own an off-roster pistol. Happy birthday!

Yeah I'm pretty sure it doesn't work like that. You can't do the intra-familiar thing when your in different states if I understand the law correctly. I think the only way it would work is if he brought it into the California and altered it into a single action configuration so that it would be exempt from the roster and we did a PPT. The only other way would be if he bought it, changed residency to California, and then we could do an intra-family transfer. I may be wrong but this is how I understand it. Otherwise I and many other people would have a whole bunch of non-roster handguns.

chaseface
04-26-2012, 10:31 PM
S&W 329PD

http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l144/FF4Fun/329pd.gif

Thats a nice gun. I see they have a 2 1/2 inch version of the 329PD called the Alaska Backpacker and its $200 cheaper but unfortunately I can't find it on the roster.

k1dude
04-26-2012, 11:46 PM
Yeah I'm pretty sure it doesn't work like that. You can't do the intra-familiar thing when your in different states if I understand the law correctly. I think the only way it would work is if he brought it into the California and altered it into a single action configuration so that it would be exempt from the roster and we did a PPT. The only other way would be if he bought it, changed residency to California, and then we could do an intra-family transfer. I may be wrong but this is how I understand it. Otherwise I and many other people would have a whole bunch of non-roster handguns.

Guess what? Many other people DO have a whole bunch of non-roster handguns.

You're confusing a whole bunch of laws and regulations and mixing them all up.

Your father buys the handgun in Reno or online. After taking possession, your father then sends the gun through an FFL in Nevada to your FFL in California (who knows how and is willing to do an intra-familial transfer) along with a letter stating the gun is a gift from father to son and contains all the pertinent details of the gun. You DROS the weapon and pick it up after 10 days.

m98
04-27-2012, 6:02 AM
In a semiauto platform i'd say minimum .45 for blk bears, 10mm 200gr+ hardcast loaded hot or 460 rowland 900-1k ft lbs. Guns will be from g20, eaa witness for 45/10mm. Or for the 460 rowland: 1911's ur choice, springfield xd/xdm, glock 21- the rowland is a conversion kit available for these type of handguns.

In wheelgun, anything 44 mag and above. First you'll have to try em out urself. Its really a handfull to carry n shoot well so it depends on the persons ability. Most people would fare better with the auto pistols above. Imo the 50 cal loaded with 5-6 shots is useless if none hits the target especially the first rd-which is just about all u might be able to squeeze out of the handcannon.

chaseface
04-27-2012, 1:21 PM
Perfect! He can buy it in Reno as a "gift" for you and send it to your California FFL! You now legally own an off-roster pistol. Happy birthday!

Guess what? Many other people DO have a whole bunch of non-roster handguns.

You're confusing a whole bunch of laws and regulations and mixing them all up.

Your father buys the handgun in Reno or online. After taking possession, your father then sends the gun through an FFL in Nevada to your FFL in California (who knows how and is willing to do an intra-familial transfer) along with a letter stating the gun is a gift from father to son and contains all the pertinent details of the gun. You DROS the weapon and pick it up after 10 days.

Well if that's the case then I should have been buying more guns all along.

billetmann
04-27-2012, 4:08 PM
i hunt alaska every year - have taken grizzlies. had a friend that put 6 shots into a charging grizz from a 45 acp that kept coming --if it wasn't for another friend with a 454
casull that 45 might have ended up in his corn hole.

i always carry 454 casull --taurus raging bull 2.25 in barrel.

billetmann
04-27-2012, 4:19 PM
BTW that's just for back up. no matter where or what i do when in the woods. --when hunting i always have a rifle with me too.

k1dude
04-28-2012, 1:18 PM
I just got off the phone with Wild West Guns in Anchorage. I'll be fishing the Kenai later this summer, so I decided to give them a call. I asked which sidearm seem to be the favorite of guides and locals. I was told it varied from 10mm to .500 S&W and everything in between. It totally depended on what the guide was comfortable with. Traditionally it was .41 mag on up, but many have begun carrying 10mm Glock 20's in the past 5 to 10 years.

He made the point that when you pull your handgun, you'll likely already be on your back being chewed on. All of them will do the job up-close-and-personal. When you're pressing the muzzle to the flesh of the bear, they will all do damage. Pick your poison. Is 16 rounds of 10mm better or 5 rounds of .500?

Patermagnus
04-28-2012, 4:49 PM
.44 mag used to be standard carry on Kodiak Island.

Juice5610
04-28-2012, 5:32 PM
10mm G lock

Oneaudiopro
04-28-2012, 6:32 PM
This is right up your alley (not corn hole):

http://www.taurususa.com/images/imagesMain/444MULTI_4.jpg

The Taurus Model 444 Ultralight .44 Magnum Revolver. Only 28 ounces, 6 shot, 4" barrel, multi-alloy. They also make a 2-1/4" barrel version that weighs 27 ounces.

Hmmmm.....................I wouldn't trust my life to a Taurus......sorry.

lowend65
04-28-2012, 9:20 PM
Good old Ruger Super Blackhawk is pretty hard to argue with
44 Mag
Dependable as hell
Accurate as hell

http://www.ruger.com/products/newModelSuperBlackhawk/index.html

although I'll echo the Bear Spray. No handgun is gonna do a lot of good vs an angry bear

Lead Waster
04-28-2012, 9:41 PM
I would go with ANY handgun over bear spray....It's all about distance. The spray can only reach so far...

Seems like the big bore short BBl revolvers seem to be popular in Alaska. Iv'e heard folks refer to the .44mag is "minimum", with nods to the .454, .500 etc.

Having said that, the 10mm is a hot little package that can be found in quite a few handgun packages.

Obviously, bring both.

Lead Waster
04-28-2012, 9:45 PM
What's the minumum round for mountain lions? Carry bear spray for bears and what for mountain lions?

CAglock20c
04-29-2012, 1:13 AM
glock 20...15+1 rounds of 10mm (loaded to 41 magnum). enough said

k1dude
04-29-2012, 10:00 AM
glock 20...15+1 rounds of 10mm (loaded to 41 magnum). enough said

The .41 mag hot rounds are much hotter than the hottest 10mm rounds. .41 mag is closest to .44 mag when it comes to power. 10mm is the equivalent of the .357 mag.

chaseface
04-29-2012, 10:55 AM
Do they make a glock 20 conversion so I could shoot 9mm and 10mm? Like by just changing out the slides?

k1dude
04-29-2012, 11:03 AM
Do they make a glock 20 conversion so I could shoot 9mm and 10mm? Like by just changing out the slides?

I don't believe so. The 10mm is built on their largest frame which is much bigger than the 9mm frame.

chaseface
04-29-2012, 11:20 AM
Do they make any other conversions? to shoot .40? I know the .40 S&W has a diameter close to the 10mm

k1dude
04-29-2012, 11:48 AM
Do they make any other conversions? to shoot .40? I know the .40 S&W has a diameter close to the 10mm

There is no conversion kit from Glock. The .40 uses the same frame as the 9mm. I believe the 10mm uses the same frame as the .45. So it might be possible to find a .45 conversion kit from Glock - as long as it isn't an SF model. That will be expensive though since it's a complete top end change. I think you can actually convert a G21 to 10mm with just a barrel swap, but not visa-versa. I've heard of some reliability problems with that swap though. That's why LW isn't making those anymore. I believe there are some aftermarket kits that convert the G20 to a .40 (like from KKM which is just a barrel change for around $165). I think you can also convert a G20 to .22LR, but those are expensive because of the new slide, springs, and magazines. You might want to take this question over to some of the Glock forums like Glocktalk.

I know you can get conversion kits for stuff like the .50GI, but those rounds cost even more than the 10mm.

CAglock20c
04-29-2012, 5:15 PM
The .41 mag hot rounds are much hotter than the hottest 10mm rounds. .41 mag is closest to .44 mag when it comes to power. 10mm is the equivalent of the .357 mag.

actually, you've been mis-informed. a fully loaded 10mm is just as powerful as a low-mid power load 41 magnum. even if it is equal to a .357 magnum, do you see any 357 magnum semi-auto pistols with 15+1 capacity? nope, didnt think so. my point is, the glock 20 is the most versatile backpacking gun as it packs a punch and you can carry a lot of ammo/reload quickly if need be. i have no doubt a 10mm loaded hot could get a grizzly bear off your tail, muchless anything smaller

rgs1975
04-29-2012, 5:26 PM
This 629 would be an excellent option. The carry comp posted above would be just about perfect though.

http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/1518/17013501md.jpg

CAglock20c
04-29-2012, 5:42 PM
there's this: http://www.tombstonetactical.com/catalog/smith-wesson/329-alaska-backpacker-revolver-44mag-2.5in-6rd-black-talo/

and the ruger version here: https://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/39998

both about the same price at high $700's to $800

chrometip78
04-29-2012, 5:43 PM
Actually, he's right on. 357 even has a hair more when fully loaded, check buffalo bore. Having said that the 10mm is an amazing round and I wouldn't feel bad about it except in grizzly country. I sold my 357 and went for the 4" 44mag Ruger Redhawk. Short, wide grip doesn't hang on stuff when sitting down, 4" barrel still gives good velocity on heavy ammo, and stout enough to shoot the heaviest ammo. Wouldn't go bear hunting with any handgun cartridge but feel comfortable using it for backup, backpacking and tent sleeping companion.

Sent from my MB860 using Tapatalk

Red Devil
04-29-2012, 5:57 PM
Lets be clear here... I'm not looking for a gun so that I can shoot bears. I also already advocated that bear spray is a good idea and I plan on bringing some. I am looking for a back country handgun that will protect me from whatever dangers I may face, whether it be two legged, elk, or bear.

Well...

A Glock 23 w/ a clip full of 180 grain HST's for the Goblins, and a clip full of 180 grain truncated FMJ's for the big stuff, should answer nicely.

It is what I carry in both hog and Tweaker woods.


As stated, Bears and Hogs require accurate shot placement combined w/ deep penetration.

The G23 w/ 180 grain sub-sonics is not too difficult to master as far as tea-cup accuracy is concerned, and it is light and small, which makes it easy to carry. It will also leave you w/ functioning ear-drums when you invariably shoot it unprotected.

A baker's-dozen of FMJ's gives you plenty of penetration and a bunch of misses, and the same number of HST's will easily ruin a quartette of forest hop-heads given the need.

And a Glock doesn't care about wet or cold... only sand.


Advice valued at slightly less than the installed cost. :D

Oceanbob
04-29-2012, 6:09 PM
Do they make any other conversions? to shoot .40? I know the .40 S&W has a diameter close to the 10mm

In fact they are identical. The 10MM case is identical except for the length. Same primers, same boolet..etc.

Think of the .40 as a 10MM short. :D

You can buy conversion barrels for $100 from LoneWolf that are .40 caliber and drop into the GLOCK 20 (10MM) slide. The weapon uses the same magazines (same cartridge, only shorter). As a matter of fact, the GLOCK 20/29 series weapons can be converted without problems to:

1. .40 caliber
2. .357SIG (again, same .40 shell case that's necked down in front to 9MM)
3. 9X25 (a dillon wildcat)

You can't swap .45 barrels with the 10MM barrels mainly because of the HOOD clearance problems. Other than that they would work. (the .45 barrel hood is a bit wider than the 10mm hood) The hood is the top of the barrel all the way back. A square notch of sorts.

I convert my Glock 20 and Glock 29 10MMs to .40 all the time. I reload so ammo costs are not a factor; the .40 and 10MM have the largest selection of auto pistol boolets around. An incredible array of bullet weights are available. For plinking at 1350 FPS I prefer 155 grains on the 10MM. For the .40 I often run 165 and 180 grains. Of course I have several boxes of Silvertip (175 grain) and plenty of XTP of various weights.

I run a extra long .40 barrel and and extra long 9X25 barrel in one of my GLOCK 20s. This is a fun plinker, running at 2000 FPS I have a red dot zeroed in at 150 yards. But in reality, if I can see it, I can hit it. The bullet drop at that speed is only a few inches. I run my preban 15 round Glock 20 Mags with the Arrendondo extension on them. (adds 5 rounds).

On the GLOCK 29s I also run a stainless 10MM barrel and a stainless .40 barrel (lonewolf and Stormlake in this case, but I also run a stainless KKM on another G20)


This THREAD needs some more photos..!

Here's the GLOCK 20 with the 9X25 barrel, red dot and 20 round mag.

http://i55.tinypic.com/1z37xo6.jpg

My travel GLOCK 20 with magazine pouches. The stainless Lonewolf barrel gives me some higher speeds. This is a SHTF package that travels in a locked case on the move.

http://i51.tinypic.com/25ivv49.jpg

But for Backpacking or hiking I prefer a GLOCK 29 with lonewolf ported barrel, Tru-Glow tritium (sp) sights and a Glock 20 magazine with a sleeve. 15+1.
I currently run Buffalo Bore 200 hardcast. Will punch thru a car, don't know about an angry bear....I also take Bear Spray.

http://i55.tinypic.com/2r7aw5d.jpg

Red Devil
04-29-2012, 6:30 PM
I don't doubt your logic. I just don't ever recall reading about the effectiveness of 10mm against big bear. It would obviously be better than a stick, but I haven't ever seen it on anyone's list of effective calibers against bear. If that's all you have, then go for it. But the OP is talking about making a new purchase, and people that know better than I say to use a .44 mag minimum (actually I've read .41 mag too).

I've never shot my hot loaded .41 mag rapid-fire. I guess I need to do that to see how quickly I can accurately fire off follow-up shots.

Well...

Like any other assaulting armored assailant, you would aim for the brain-stem via the nasal triangle... or the Palate behind the upper teeth if things got bad.

(or the base of the throat if they are charging and put their head up.)

Both slow and rapid-fire shot placement is important so you need to be able to shoot it well, and it's not a good time to be reloadin', either... :D

k1dude
04-29-2012, 6:35 PM
actually, you've been mis-informed. a fully loaded 10mm is just as powerful as a low-mid power load 41 magnum. even if it is equal to a .357 magnum, do you see any 357 magnum semi-auto pistols with 15+1 capacity? nope, didnt think so. my point is, the glock 20 is the most versatile backpacking gun as it packs a punch and you can carry a lot of ammo/reload quickly if need be. i have no doubt a 10mm loaded hot could get a grizzly bear off your tail, muchless anything smaller

Please re-read my post.

ElvenSoul
04-29-2012, 6:47 PM
You should ask a bunch of backpackers

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=53459

k1dude
04-29-2012, 6:51 PM
Nice photos Oceanbob. I imagine you're using your pre-ban 15 round mags with the G29. Is the sleeve an aftermarket piece you purchased? Or did you make it? And how does it feel compared to your full size G20 grip?

Also, did the G29 conversion barrel come with the built-in comp? Or did you pay a gunsmith to machine it?

I'm asking because I can't decide if I should buy the G20 or the G29.

Red Devil
04-29-2012, 7:01 PM
You should ask a bunch of backpackers...

...and the Fish and Wildlife Service... :D

ElvenSoul
04-29-2012, 7:08 PM
Yogi trying to get a snack!

http://youtu.be/sn7oayAaf4k

Oceanbob
04-29-2012, 7:44 PM
Nice photos Oceanbob. I imagine you're using your pre-ban 15 round mags with the G29. Is the sleeve an aftermarket piece you purchased? Or did you make it? And how does it feel compared to your full size G20 grip?

Also, did the G29 conversion barrel come with the built-in comp? Or did you pay a gunsmith to machine it?

I'm asking because I can't decide if I should buy the G20 or the G29.

Thank you my friend...Yes, I own and have owned more than 30 Glocks..have 20 now.since 1987 ish. Got my first Glock 20 in 1993.

The sleeve is available from several sources; I get mine at GLOCKSTORE.COM

http://glockstore.com/pgroup_descrip/3_Mags+%26amp%3B+Extensions/6759_Magazine+Sleeve+for+Glock/?return=%3ftpl%3Dindex%26category_id%3D3%26_Mags%2 B%26amp%3B%2BExtensions%2F

They work fine, however they are a little slippery so I add some tape to some of them. Actually the Glock 29 works fine without the sleeve..just looks weird. Here's one with the stormlake extended barrel in 10MM. No sleeve.
(on the right)

http://i52.tinypic.com/1zn7jfq.jpg

The G29 with the ported barrel is from Lonewolf and I bought it that way. Don't really think the ports help however, I had planned to buy a normal length barrel from Lonewolf but they were out of stock so I bought the extended ported barrel with every intention of just cutting off the end..never got around to it. :D

On those Mag extensions.some of them are slippery and you can see what I did on this GLOCK 26 with a GLOCK 19 (15 round) magazine and the sleeve. I applied some TAPE to the sleeve. Works fine now.

http://i55.tinypic.com/2rcsrkg.jpg

If you get the GLOCK 20 get the SF model. Much better grip. For me, owning both models, If I had to choose one, the G29 will do it. (for hunting the G20SF for the better sight radius however) I have a LONGSLIDE G20SF I built for that job. :D

sd_shooter
04-29-2012, 8:21 PM
http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/images/D11/14/14313.jpg

It's always OOS, however:
http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/14313

pyromensch
04-29-2012, 8:43 PM
ruger vaquero, (original) 45 LC, w/buffalo bore 300gr, and a 22lr revolver

k1dude
04-29-2012, 8:51 PM
Thanks Oceanbob. I'll look for a G29SF as my first choice, and a G20SF as my second choice. Too bad they aren't making Gen 4 in either model yet. Do you know if those sleeve's work on the SF model? I noticed they aren't compatible with Gen. 4 Glocks.

Oceanbob
04-29-2012, 9:08 PM
Thanks Oceanbob. I'll look for a G29SF as my first choice, and a G20SF as my second choice. Too bad they aren't making Gen 4 in either model yet. Do you know if those sleeve's work on the SF model? I noticed they aren't compatible with Gen. 4 Glocks.

I think GLOCK is coming out with the GEN4s in 10MM very soon. Some say in 60 days. At least that's the opinion over at GLOCK TALK and the 10 RING

http://glocktalk.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=38

I am waiting. :D

Red Devil
04-29-2012, 9:14 PM
Yogi trying to get a snack!

http://youtu.be/sn7oayAaf4k

Yogi Pick-a-nic basket fail... (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3L83csLRn-E) :D

Squid
04-29-2012, 9:18 PM
I've been told you don't need anything but pepperspray for any FOUR LEGGED savage beasts in CA.


Now, dope growing drug cartel field operators? Whole different animal.

chaseface
04-29-2012, 9:41 PM
what are the major differences with the Gen 4's to the 10mm models that they make now?

k1dude
04-29-2012, 10:02 PM
I know they have a very aggressive grip surface, interchangeable grip backstraps, and a much nicer mag release button (bigger). Supposedly they will have slightly better barrel support. I think it also has a redesigned recoil guide rod assembly. I have no idea what other changes it might have.

grommit666
05-02-2012, 10:17 AM
I haven't seen this posted yet and it seems relevant.
http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/pubs/pnw_gtr152.pdf

chaseface
05-02-2012, 12:32 PM
I haven't seen this posted yet and it seems relevant.
http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/pubs/pnw_gtr152.pdf

Thanks Grommit there's some really good info in there. Looks like the .44 mag is the only way to go. Although they didn't test the 10mm, but they didn't test anything with that small of a diameter, and probly for good reason. I'm sure the 10mm could handle anything in California but those brown bears are some mean mofos and in their test the .44 mag was dramatically better suited than any other caliber (.357, .41mag). They didn't test any larger rounds either though like the .454 cassull but if the .44mag is plenty of power I don't see the need to go larger and deal with the huge increase in recoil.

k1dude
05-02-2012, 1:23 PM
I haven't seen this posted yet and it seems relevant.
http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/pubs/pnw_gtr152.pdf

That report is almost worthless. The handgun loadings across the board have changed dramatically since 1983.

A .41 mag with only 423 fpe at 15 yards? Get real. My bulk range loads exceed that. Try 1,000 fpe at 15 yards!!! Yes, that's a common bear load in .41 mag now.

And 10mm is shooting about 725 fpe at 15 yards which is right between the .357 mag and the .44 mag that they tested in 1983.

Yes, those handgun tests are completely worthless.

And no one is taking a handgun into the Alaska backcountry as their primary bear gun, it's a last resort backup. Since I'll have my hands full with my fly rod and line, a rifle on the bank 15 yards away or slung over my back is worthless if I get surprised by a charging bear. And good luck backpacking with a .45-70 or 12 ga. with shells. Not only will you have trouble carrying and maneuvering, but the weight would absolutely suck.

If someone like Benelli or Mossberg would make a semi-auto version of the Kel-Tec KSG, I'd change my mind. That would be the perfect carry weapon for bear protection in Alaska. Give me 15 rounds of 12 ga. Brenneke slugs in a small 6.9 pound bullpup semi-auto anyday!!! Unfortunately, it doesn't exist yet. Even then I'd probably still carry a sidearm as backup.

CAglock20c
05-02-2012, 1:26 PM
lets just leave it that the glock 20 with a 15+1 capacity in the 10mm cartridge is gonna be your best all around gun. if you want something smaller, opt for the glock 29 w/G20 mags...case closed :)

CAglock20c
05-02-2012, 1:27 PM
what are the major differences with the Gen 4's to the 10mm models that they make now?

they dont make either 10mm models in the gen 4 yet

BigBamBoo
05-02-2012, 1:52 PM
Here is some good incite and advice for a "bear gun". Taken from another forum:

http://snipershide.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=3238946&page=1



The firearm / caliber is not important for a bear in attack mode hell bent on knocking you down as a threat. In every case, the person who was attacked / mauled never saw or the heard the bear until it knocked them down. A bear in attack mode is swift and silent from very close range, all I saw at my 3 o'clock was dark fur as it breached head high grass. I could have had a 155mm, it would have done me no good, there is just not enough time when a bear attacks.

Not to be rude, but its silly for those who do not know to try to give advice unless they know what an actual bear attack is like. It is NOT a bear giving you warning it is in the area and pissed, this is an aggressive bear. An aggressive bear stomping the ground, popping it teeth, bluffing its threat by stopping short after and few steps IS NOT A CHARGE, this is a bluff to scare you out of the bears AO.

An actual charge is a very silent and very quick and a very viscous attack that you will NOT know its coming until the bear hits you.

Here are two bear encounters of mine of the many:

I had just left open terrain by a river confluence with a rolling creek crossed by a dead fall over the creek. I hit some brush and then head high grass. I heard camp raiders, my mind clicked but too late, from the head high grass parting, a big dark animal hitting my right side, all I saw was a dark blur from 3 feet and he kept right on running, jumping up on a huge rock a few feet away. I had no time to react to draw a weapon and fire, did not matter if I was packing a 22rimfire single shot or a 155mm, there was absolutely no time. On the ground with hands over my neck and head, I laid there for sometime until I realize ole booboo was not on top of me. I got up slowly and unheeled as Mr Bear sniffed the air, popped and stomped around 25 feet away as I backed out of his area. This about the time I smelled his cache and assumed he was laying on it in the afternoon sun when I happened by. I was lucky he knocked me down to stop what he thought was a threat to his cache and then observed me. Bear was 400-500 pound dark phase. The raiders hovered an area about 30-35 yards from where I encountered mr bear, he came though an alder thicket, its was small but right through it and the head grass in less time than it took me to process a single thought about the raiders warning and without sound.

Just a little ways away a year or two before, I guy I know through someone was mauled real bad, he never saw or heard the bear until it knocked him down and mauled at his head and neck. In a park along the Seward, two runners ran right into old booboo cache and same thing, not a sound or sight until booboo was mauling.

In another encounter similar to a couple dozen or so, my two boys and I were in a coastal forest. All of a sudden, a very very large boo boo appeared out of no where about 20' in front of us, I think we surprised him about as much as he surprised us. He whipped around, "bluff" charged about 5', stopped, sniffed, stomped, clacked a couple times. The boys and I backed up being careful not to run. After we opened a distance he thought we were no longer a threat, he slithered off into the dark forest. We did not draw and fill the air with hard cast thinking we were being charged, this would have put us in a very dangerous encounter unless we DRT ole booboo. We did not have spray.

But, when it does come to carrying a firearm in bear country, there are less things to go south with a revolver and when being mauled, a short barreled revolver that will have less chance to not go out of battery and can be maneuvered to pop a round or two off in close contact with ole booboo may be best to tap a few into the bear if you still have it and can think about it. A 10mm Glock would be silly to carry even though the Motor City Mad Man and others say its a stopper, rolling on the ground in silt and wet, less to go wrong with a wheel gun.

But who cares about a weapon now, its survival time and you should roll onto your stomach and into a tight ball drawing legs up to protect your core, and protect your head, neck and face with your hands and arms and play dead. Mr Bear will hopefully think he has stopped your threat and go back doing what bears do. If you try to draw, Mr Bear may think you are still a threat and continue to maul. I do not think or cannot think of a single time a brown bear ate a human, just attack to stop the threat and left. I try to wear a backpack all the time in bear land to have some extra protection on my back and neck just in case ever again.

Black bears have stalked, attacked and actually ate humans on a few occasions. Blackies have been known to attack brownies and run them off. Blackies have less fear of humans and can hang out in my yard, camp and such being a nuisance. Banging a pan most times scares them off and sometimes not. Warning shots have little effect if mr backie is use to being around humans. A good smack of bear spray has %100 run them off for me and my family. When meeting blackies in the backcountry, stand your ground, puff up, place your hands and arms above your head to look as large as you can, if you have a backpack on, try to raise it above your head. The idea is to look as large and threatening to blackie so he thinks twice. But also understand, ole blackie may not be threatened by you.

In another encounter, a so called friend and I hunting moose in 15. Night one in camp relaxing by our fire, a noise in the brush, we heard some water splash, a low growl, teeth popping, the sound moved in a semi circle. We placed the fire between us and the bear but this would not allow us much vision into the night thicket. My friend says he saw some thicket move but I did not. I grabbed my 340wby, friend unheeled his revolver, we strained to hear and see as the sounds went back and forth. My bud triggered off a couple rounds thinking this would scare him off, nothing but now our ears are ringing. I picked up a frying pan and clanked it with a spoon, listen, banged it, listen, he was gone. But, in the tent all night we sat awake with firearms ready.

I come out of the house to go to work and blackie can be sniffing around the trash can, a good yell and they leave. My 120# Mal was kicking it up by the fence next to the swamp, small brownie was there, looking for food I guess. My Mal had it dug in but it soon left as we banged pans, 12ga in hand though.

#1 rule and the only thing with good advice in that essay is, not all bear encounters are the same.

A drill we do to get certified here in Alaska is, tires with pulleys and ropes pulled by wheelers to simulate a bear encounter. You have to locate, draw and fire. For those without this system, have someone roll a tire down a hill released by a rope at an unknown position about 25 yards away. When the tire is released, you have to locate the tire by sight or sound, it maybe behind you, then draw and fire, just see how much time it takes. Consider that you are in a drill and not in head high grass, tangles or alders and the tire rolls around 5mph, not 30mph. 5 rounds or 15, 44mag or 500SW or even 20mm, its doubtful you will have time to locate, draw and fire a single round and if you do, did you actually score a fatal stop of a 500 to 1000 pound raging beast with a very small cross section of the fatal area hell bent to stop you blur of fur. A tire is a good indicator of a bear, the cross section is about what the kill zone is of a bear and just about the same height of an attacking bear, they come head down....no standing up, growling, swinging their arms like Hollywood portrays....its quick and silent.

And for those who know, moose are way more dangerous to encounter than bears. Moose do not slither off, they stand their ground. When a moose decides to go its go like a freight train, they stop over you and stomp. Every year I get charged by a moose, find tree if you can.

Jack L
05-02-2012, 3:04 PM
A mountain/woods handgun = revolver.

Remember, barrel length is important to get full energy of the round. Research caliber and barrel length.

hill billy
05-03-2012, 9:29 AM
A .401 200gr WFNGC @ 1200+fps (1360fps in my 6" G20LS
I'd be very interested in seeing what powder is getting you to that number and I would bet you are in excess of 60,000 PSI while doing it. Not safe at all.

DRAB_81
05-03-2012, 10:25 AM
I'd be very interested in seeing what powder is getting you to that number and I would bet you are in excess of 60,000 PSI while doing it. Not safe at all.

I'm using individually hand weighed charges of 800X with that load. Case head expansion is not abnormal (less than DT factory ammo in my barrel), primers look fine, and no "Glock Smiles" in the brass. I highly doubt I can even sniff 40k psi without atleast blowing primers out and/or getting smiles in the brass, much less 60k psi. Max SAAMI pressure for 10mm is 37.5k psi.

I actually got those 200gr WFNGC's to average 1416fps with 800X, but every piece of brass had just a beginning of a tiny scratch of a smile line developing. The 1360fps load had a better ES/SD, and like I said earlier, no signs of excess pressure.

If you're using Quickloads as a reference, I believe that program is designed solely for necked rifle calculations. It will give you some crazy numbers with certain loads in straight walled pistol cartridges.

hill billy
05-03-2012, 10:28 AM
If you're using Quickloads as a reference, I believe that program is designed solely for necked rifle calculations. It will give you some crazy numbers with certain loads in straight walled pistol cartridges.

I'm using real world experience. I have some 800x that I have been meaning to give a whirl, I am more comfortable shooting test loads in my Blackhawk and will have to wait till the gripframe comes back to me. I would still bet that is in excess of 50k PSI. The original Norma load of a 200 at 1250 was 42k.

DRAB_81
05-03-2012, 10:43 AM
I'm using real world experience. I have some 800x that I have been meaning to give a whirl, I am more comfortable shooting test loads in my Blackhawk and will have to wait till the gripframe comes back to me. I would still bet that is in excess of 50k PSI. The original Norma load of a 200 at 1250 was 42k.

In your real world experience, have you actually loaded 10mm? Do you really think I'm still 12,500psi+ over SAAMI max given my results listed above? You also have to realize that the Norma 200/1250 load was tested in a 5" gun, probably the S&W 1076. Getting 1250fps out if a 5" barrel, usually equates to 1350fps in a 6" barrel (consistent with my results). It's common to see about a 100fps gain per inch of barrel in 10mm, given the same gun & load. That load also used a JHP, I'm using a 200gr WFNGC (hard cast lead) which is about the same length as a 180gr XTP.


.

hill billy
05-03-2012, 10:44 AM
In your real world experience, have you actually loaded 10mm? Do you really think I'm still 12,500psi+ over SAAMI max given my results listed above? You also have to realize that the Norma 200/1250 load was tested in a 5" gun, probably the S&W 1066. Getting 1250fps out if a 5" barrel, usually equates to 1350fps in a 6" barrel (consistent with my results). It's common to see about a 100fps gain per inch of barrel in 10mm, given the same gun & load. That load also used a JHP, I'm using a 200gr WFNGC (hard cast lead) which is about the same length as a 180gr XTP.

No, I have never loaded any kind of ammo.

DRAB_81
05-03-2012, 10:50 AM
No, I have never loaded any kind of ammo.

That's mature. Why can't you just address what I've posted, instead of dancing around it? I'm not trying to pick a fight, I'm always interested in learning more about reloading. I'm assuming we're both adults.

Gladdis.45
05-03-2012, 10:53 AM
500 S&W. Be a man. Might feel like carrying a Sherman tank, but you"ll sleep well.

hill billy
05-03-2012, 10:58 AM
That's mature. Why can't you just address what I've posted, instead of dancing around it? I'm not trying to pick a fight, I'm always interested in learning more about reloading. I'm assuming we're both adults.

You're a little agitated, so yeah, I assumed you were picking a fight.

I have loaded a lot of ammo, on the order of a million and change rounds. My barrel of 100,000 brass from Starline is about done, so that's how much 10mm I have loaded.

Shooting a 200 gr out of a Glock 20 with a 6" barrel produces enough pressure signs to make me stop at 1300FPS, even with an aftermarket barrel. The same round in a 7.5" Blackhawk, goes only 20-40 fps faster and has fewer pressure signs. Having done a lot of testing of various rounds in similar guns with different barrels lengths, I have never seen 100fps per inch, generally closer to 35-50 FPS.

This, of course, is only based on my experience and there is legions of stuff I don't know, so you may be right.

chaseface
05-03-2012, 11:56 AM
Whatever hand loads may be capable of definitely doesn't effect my choice of firearm because I don't reload. I will be sticking to factory loaded ammo for the time being (unfortunately)

DRAB_81
05-03-2012, 12:23 PM
You're a little agitated, so yeah, I assumed you were picking a fight.

I have loaded a lot of ammo, on the order of a million and change rounds. My barrel of 100,000 brass from Starline is about done, so that's how much 10mm I have loaded.

Shooting a 200 gr out of a Glock 20 with a 6" barrel produces enough pressure signs to make me stop at 1300FPS, even with an aftermarket barrel. The same round in a 7.5" Blackhawk, goes only 20-40 fps faster and has fewer pressure signs. Having done a lot of testing of various rounds in similar guns with different barrels lengths, I have never seen 100fps per inch, generally closer to 35-50 FPS.

This, of course, is only based on my experience and there is legions of stuff I don't know, so you may be right.

1. Just because I disagree with you, or my testing doesn't match yours, does not mean I'm agitated.
2. You're not using the same 200gr bullets, so your results will not be the same.
3. Every barrel is different, your barrel may be "slower" than mine.
4. You have admittedly not tried 800X, so you may be surprised.


OP, sorry for the thread jack.
.

k1dude
05-03-2012, 12:32 PM
Whatever hand loads may be capable of definitely doesn't effect my choice of firearm because I don't reload. I will be sticking to factory loaded ammo for the time being (unfortunately)

Buffalo Bore, Double Tap, and others have good solid hot loads that duplicate the velocity and energy that handloaders concoct. You don't need to be a reloader to get the most out of your bear backup weapon.

chaseface
05-03-2012, 12:57 PM
OP, sorry for the thread jack.

Not a problem I also enjoy learning new things and do care what the rounds are capable of. Just wanted to keep it in perspective.

BigBamboo - wow that sounds like a crazy situation I'm glad for your luck that the bear just ran you over and did not decide to take a bite at you. I do agree that a handgun against a bear is a little bit like carrying around your blankie, just gives you piece of mind. But we are gun guys, so we bring guns. And if I'm gunna bring one I might as well bring one that gives me the best piece of mind.

I do agree that less could go wrong with a revolver and if you were laying on your back looking up at the jaws of the beast you don't have to worry about limpwristing and causing a malfunction. Even though you hope that never happens.

k1dude
05-03-2012, 2:04 PM
BigBamboo - wow that sounds like a crazy situation I'm glad for your luck that the bear just ran you over and did not decide to take a bite at you. I do agree that a handgun against a bear is a little bit like carrying around your blankie, just gives you piece of mind. But we are gun guys, so we bring guns. And if I'm gunna bring one I might as well bring one that gives me the best piece of mind.

I do agree that less could go wrong with a revolver and if you were laying on your back looking up at the jaws of the beast you don't have to worry about limpwristing and causing a malfunction. Even though you hope that never happens.

I don't think that was BigBamboos experience. I think he was relating someone else's experience that he had read.

I also agree a 3" or 4" revolver is probably better for the increased power as well as reliability over a semi-auto. That's why my .41 mag has always been my bear backup. It also gets loaded at .44 mag levels. But, a hi-cap semi-auto has its place as a bear backup too. 16 shots at 750 fpe is probably equivalently persuasive compared to 5 shots at 1,000 fpe. That's if you aren't rolling in the mud with the bruin.

I've run into lots of bears and have only been scared twice. In both of those instances I would have felt a lot more comfortable with a semi-auto.

The first was when I was a teenager fishing in Washington state. I was WAY out in the middle of nowhere hiking an overgrown path to a small creek on a dark drizzly day. Suddenly I heard all this crashing and branches breaking. The noise and commotion shocked the hell out of me. Whatever it was it was HUGE! The problem was the underbrush was so thick I had no idea which direction the sound was coming from. I had no weapon at all, not even a pocket knife. All I had was my fishing rod and vest. I immediately crouched down hoping to hide from whatever was headed my way. I finally figured out which direction it was coming from and spun around to face it. I could see the small trees and shrubs flying around as it barreled towards me. At the last possible second, it screeched to a stop and woofed. A few seconds later it crashed AWAY from me the same direction it came. I never saw it. If it hadn't woofed, I wouldn't have even known it was a bear. I originally thought it might be a moose or elk. A nice hot loaded semi-auto with 16 rounds pointed in the right direction would've made me feel a helluva lot more comfortable than pointing my fishing rod.

The second time I was in the middle of nowhere rafting in Alaska. We pulled over onto a sandbar to set camp for the night. My wife and I were scouting for the best spot to pitch our tent. We walked around the bend on the sandbar to see what was around the corner. We looked up and saw a big brown standing about 200 yards away checking us out. He then lowered himself and came charging at us full gallop. We began backing up as he was covering ground incredibly fast. I realized my .41 mag was in my drybag packed away on the raft (stupid). We began yelling to the rest of our party (2 more rafts) to come quick. The rest of our party came running around the bend just in time to see the bear about 30 yards away coming full bore. The bear came to a flying halt seeing the large group that suddenly appeared. He reared and stood up again checking us all out. After a few seconds he decided he was outnumbered and turned around and sauntered off. I about crapped my pants. I learned to ALWAYS wear the gun. And seeing that guy coming at me even from a distance made me wonder if I could accurately place my measily 5 shots into it when it got close enough. It would've taken balls of titanium. 16 in a semi-auto would have improved my chances with my shaky hands. It would've been better to have a rifle or shotgun.

In both situations, a semi-auto or long gun would have worked. But for bear wrestling, a revolver is obviously better. And not all bear attacks are a total surprise. I saw or heard both of mine coming and could have been ready if I were properly armed.

FrankG
05-03-2012, 7:29 PM
GUIDE GUN 45-70
Marlin 1895 G .45-70 Guide Gun 18" Walnut 45

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRvCC8ugCAw

boundandfretted
05-05-2012, 8:30 PM
I strongly suggest reading "Bear Attacks--their causes and avoidance". Don't have author info in front of me @ moment; not to mention the fact that this is such a late reply.
Being a Forest Service Ranger having much experience with Brown and Black Bears, his advice on dealing with such critters is enlightening. Commented on effectiveness of all of the weapons mentioned in the above responses.
He thought Pepper Spray worked better on "Brown's" than "Blacks", and his "stopper" of choice was a 12 gauge, firing rifled slugs, although I do believe 44 mags got honorable mention.
I'm thinking those lightweight 44 mags would literally be "a handful" to actually aim accurately...
The G20 / 29 idea is worth trying. I'll let you know how well it works, if I ever get the chance to "field-test" mine. Would really rather not, so I'm very proactive about avoiding such confrontations through better situation-awareness...

Boundandfretted

stevet
05-09-2012, 6:32 AM
I agree with Flouncer on the pepper spray. Why are so many guys just looking to kill something. The bears live there and you're just visiting. Respect them and use some common sense. Most bears will run away from you if they see you.

kayaker
05-09-2012, 6:45 AM
A 45 acp with ball ammo would work on most bears. Remember it takes a good hit.

I don't know where you got your info or experience but a .45 would not be my 1st choice for any bear.

DRAB_81
05-09-2012, 6:55 AM
I agree with Flouncer on the pepper spray. Why are so many guys just looking to kill something. The bears live there and you're just visiting. Respect them and use some common sense. Most bears will run away from you if they see you.

I can't disagree, because I don't know anything about the effectiveness of bear spray. However, here's something to think about. How close does a bear need to be, for bear spray to be effective? A lot closer than I'd probably be comfortable with I'm sure. Nobody here is advocating to take a hand cannon into the woods to pick a fight, but if I perceive it to be a life & death situation, my opinion is that the lives of me and my family/friends are more important than the bear's.


.

Oceanbob
05-09-2012, 7:24 AM
I don't know where you got your info or experience but a .45 would not be my 1st choice for any bear.

Yeah...a 230 grain hardball traveling at 700 FPS will just make the bear mad. I don't want a Mad Bear anywhere around me. :D opps...

kayaker
05-09-2012, 7:31 AM
Last summer my wife and I were hiking in Glacier N.P. we were talking loudly but walking into a 20 mph wind. We came around a bend in the trail and there was a Grizzly bear about 15 yards away on the trail. We took a second to check each other out then he took off the other direction.
The bear spray that I had would have had limited usefulness do to the wind.
The .357 Mag I was wearing was WAY TOO SMALL! Seeing a full grown Griz live and in person, they are BIG animals.
My cheap Uncle Mike's holster would have taken too long to draw from, he was REALLY FAST, I'd have been trying to defend myself while he was chewing on me.
I've since purchased a 4" S&W 629 and a good Galco holster for it. I know a long gun would be better but hiking with one in a N.P. would not be cool, I'm not sure if it's legal but I don't think so.
In black bear country I'll continue to carry my Ruger SP101 .357 Mag.

chrometip78
05-09-2012, 7:48 AM
Last summer my wife and I were hiking in Glacier N.P. we were talking loudly but walking into a 20 mph wind. We came around a bend in the trail and there was a Grizzly bear about 15 yards away on the trail. We took a second to check each other out then he took off the other direction.
The bear spray that I had would have had limited usefulness do to the wind.
The .357 Mag I was wearing was WAY TOO SMALL! Seeing a full grown Griz live and in person, they are BIG animals.
My cheap Uncle Mike's holster would have taken too long to draw from, he was REALLY FAST, I'd have been trying to defend myself while he was chewing on me.
I've since purchased a 4" S&W 629 and a good Galco holster for it. I know a long gun would be better but hiking with one in a N.P. would not be cool, I'm not sure if it's legal but I don't think so.
In black bear country I'll continue to carry my Ruger SP101 .357 Mag.

Great info there! Most people don't realize how quick these animals are.

Sent from my MB860 using Tapatalk 2

Neptune
05-09-2012, 10:43 AM
After being actively stalked by a mountain lion and having a face to face standoff, I decided to stop screwing around and start taking this issue seriously. I'd already had a half dozen bear run ins, but the mountain lion incident was enough.

It's better to have too much heat, than not enough. When in town and around the outskirts, I carry nothing less than a .45acp. When off the beaten track, I carry the Ruger Super Redhawk revolver in .454 Casull. The Ruger SRH also allows me to carry lower base .45Colt loads for cheaper shooting.

When I have someone going with me, or when going deeper into the woods, I carry the Marlin 1895 SBL in .45-70 Government. It has a nice 6+1 capacity. I don't like taking chances. I also carry a can of bear spray. I'm not looking to shoot anything I don't have to, I'd rather use the bear spray, but some bears like their food with a little cayenne pepper...


http://i167.photobucket.com/albums/u155/whiteshark_01/d4c8e9e8-1-1.jpg




__

kayaker
05-09-2012, 10:57 AM
I can't disagree, because I don't know anything about the effectiveness of bear spray. However, here's something to think about. How close does a bear need to be, for bear spray to be effective? A lot closer than I'd probably be comfortable with I'm sure. Nobody here is advocating to take a hand cannon into the woods to pick a fight, but if I perceive it to be a life & death situation, my opinion is that the lives of me and my family/friends are more important than the bear's.


.

There is no question that bear spray is at least as effective IN THE RIGHT CONDITIONS as a hand gun. When in Grizzly country I'll carry both. With no head wind bear spray reaches to 35 feet. If you shoot a grizzly outside of that range you may have a difficult time claiming self defense. Bluff charges are common, I have no desire to kill one of those magnificent animals, i don't want to be bear **** either.

DRAB_81
05-09-2012, 12:08 PM
There is no question that bear spray is at least as effective IN THE RIGHT CONDITIONS as a hand gun. When in Grizzly country I'll carry both. With no head wind bear spray reaches to 35 feet. If you shoot a grizzly outside of that range you may have a difficult time claiming self defense. Bluff charges are common, I have no desire to kill one of those magnificent animals, i don't want to be bear **** either.

It's hard for me to believe that bear spray is AS effective as 2 or more Hard Cast slugs from an adequate handgun. Either way, I don't think I want to get within 10yds of a Grizzly to find out (hoping that the conditions are absolutely perfect for bear spray). I also don't see how anyone would have a hard time explaining why they killed a Grizzly Bear from 10-15yds. It's not like the bear is ALWAYS just going to stand there and stare at you before running off. Even if it was out at say 20yds, realistically who's going to be there to say it wasn't within 10yds anyway. If I'm afraid for my life, the last thing I want to be thinking about is making sure its within 10yds, because I'll go to jail if it's not. I agree it's probably best to carry both if possible, but if I had to choose one, it will be a handgun.

IVC
05-09-2012, 12:21 PM
... Why are so many guys just looking to kill something. The bears live there and you're just visiting. Respect them and use some common sense. Most bears will run away from you if they see you.

Nobody is "looking to kill something" - taking a bear without a tag is illegal. The thread is about the self defense against bears... the ones that end up NOT running away. I am not sure one can "respect and common-sense" a bear into retreat any more than one can do it when attacked by a gang banger in the streets. Again, the question is what happens when the diplomacy and feel-good approaches fail?

As for the territory, it's ours as much as it's bears. We are all "visiting" and have to find a way to coexist. Just because some of the humans prefer crowded asphalt doesn't mean that we are "visitors in the nature" - we ARE the nature.

kayaker
05-09-2012, 4:07 PM
It's hard for me to believe that bear spray is AS effective as 2 or more Hard Cast slugs from an adequate handgun. Either way, I don't think I want to get within 10yds of a Grizzly to find out (hoping that the conditions are absolutely perfect for bear spray). I also don't see how anyone would have a hard time explaining why they killed a Grizzly Bear from 10-15yds. It's not like the bear is ALWAYS just going to stand there and stare at you before running off. Even if it was out at say 20yds, realistically who's going to be there to say it wasn't within 10yds anyway. If I'm afraid for my life, the last thing I want to be thinking about is making sure its within 10yds, because I'll go to jail if it's not. I agree it's probably best to carry both if possible, but if I had to choose one, it will be a handgun.

I don't know if you have any experience with bear spray. The idea is that if a bear is charging, you should fog the air that he or she will run into. most often (so I've read) that should be enough to turn them. When I got my bear spray I took it out to my back yard and sprayed a very small burst into the air. I waited for almost all of the cloud to disperse, about 20 seconds. Then I walked through the tiny little bit of remaining mist. I would not to be subject to a direct spray, that stuff is brutal. The bear learns not to mess with people and everyone lives another day. A win-win situation.
The problem is, if there is a hard rain or windy then you would have to be close enough to give the bear a direct and heavy dose. I don't really wish to be that close.

milotrain
05-09-2012, 4:21 PM
Most often I would be in black bear country but I have been drooling over an Alaska trip for a while and I didn't want to by two backpacking guns.

Well you don't need a handgun for black bear country. Black bears scare easily, just get big, get loud and pickup a large stick. They back down. More than one experience backing this up. Get mace if you feel you need it and buy a big hand cannon for grizzlys if you feel you need it.

It's hard for me to believe that bear spray is AS effective as 2 or more Hard Cast slugs from an adequate handgun.
They make the stuff for a reason, Forest service folks recommend it for a reason. It's hard for me to believe the stealth fighter could actually fly but that doesn't mean it doesn't.

chaseface
05-09-2012, 4:22 PM
Agreed bear spray is useless in a strong wind. Being pepper sprayed is not fun and can render you useless to do pretty much anything. In my EMT training we had to get pepper sprayed and then attempt packing a patient and loading into an ambulance and you had to do most of it by touch because you could see pretty much nothing.

Socalman
05-09-2012, 5:11 PM
I posted a similar question a few weeks ago. I spend some time in the great outdoors and twice have had black bears in the camp area. Never created a problem as we kept everything cleaned and properly stored. My highest power handgun is a Ruger GP100 in .357 and that is what I will take this summer. I will also carry a good size can of bear spray, the gun will be only a last resort. I will have it loaded with 180grn high velocity ammo. I am more concerned with various large cats and two legged predators.

DRAB_81
05-09-2012, 8:08 PM
They make the stuff for a reason, Forest service folks recommend it for a reason. It's hard for me to believe the stealth fighter could actually fly but that doesn't mean it doesn't.

I didn't say bear spray never works, and the other advocates here have admitted that in PERFECT conditions it's only useful within about 10yds at best. I said that it's hard to believe that bear spray is AS effective as 2+ rounds of heavy Hard Cast from an adequate handgun, and I will stand by that statement.

And of course the Forest Circus recommends it. The ones I've met would rather see me laying mauled to death, than see one of these majestic peaceful animals laying dead from being shot in self defense. People make and recommend all kinds of crap because they say it works & you need it. Do you own a Shake-Weight or a Power Balance bracelet?

Again, I'm not saying its useless. I'm saying if I could only have one or the other, you better believe it will be a handgun. Also, I said earlier that I have absolutely no experience with bear spray, but I don't ever want to get within 10yds of a pi$$ed off bear to test its effectiveness.


.

k1dude
05-09-2012, 9:03 PM
Well you don't need a handgun for black bear country. Black bears scare easily, just get big, get loud and pickup a large stick. They back down. More than one experience backing this up.

Not true. I've had plenty of encounters with (identified) black bear and they all ran away. But it's not always the case. Bear experts agree that black bear is more likely to look at humans as food than browns or grizzly. That's why most fatal attacks have occured at the paws of black bear. They also eat the humans they kill. Yes, the odds are far more in your favor than not. Most will tuck tail and run. But it would be irresponsible to tell people to not consider them a threat. It reminds me of all the shark experts that tell us sharks are harmless. The next thing you know you're reading about the shark expert that just got killed and eaten by those harmless sharks.

k1dude
05-09-2012, 9:13 PM
I didn't say bear spray never works, and the other advocates here have admitted that in PERFECT conditions it's only useful within about 10yds at best. I said that it's hard to believe that bear spray is AS effective as 2+ rounds of heavy Hard Cast from an adequate handgun, and I will stand by that statement.

And of course the Forest Circus recommends it. The ones I've met would rather see me laying mauled to death, than see one of these majestic peaceful animals laying dead from being shot in self defense. People make and recommend all kinds of crap because they say it works & you need it. Do you own a Shake-Weight or a Power Balance bracelet?

Again, I'm not saying its useless. I'm saying if I could only have one or the other, you better believe it will be a handgun. Also, I said earlier that I have absolutely no experience with bear spray, but I don't ever want to get within 10yds of a pi$$ed off bear to test its effectiveness.

I'm with you.

I suspect most of the so-called defensive successes using bear spray were probably proximity defensive situations. The bear was threatening (bluffing) and got too close for comfort, so the human let loose with the spray and the bear ran off. I suspect if it was a REAL charge with intent to kill the human, the spray might not be so effective. It also depends on the element of surprise. If you're surprised (charged), you WILL NOT have the time to react and unholster the bear spray and discharge it. If you see the bear coming from a ways off, you probably have the time to get the spray ready.

If I'm surprised and charged, I will NOT reach for spray. I will be far faster with my sidearm. But if I spot the bear and he's getting too close and I have the time, I'll reach for my bear spray and give him a dose if I feel it's encroaching on my comfort zone. But I'll have my sidearm pointing right at it in my other hand. It'll be ready to let loose a volley if the spray doesn't work.

ECVMatt
05-09-2012, 9:39 PM
Well here is my two cents...I went to Alaska on a moose hunt. I went with a buddy and no guide. We spent about 12 days on a remote river. I hunted with a .338-06 and my buddy had an 06, so we had some good firepower if needed. I also took my Glock 20 so I would be able to be armed at all times. I was somewhat surprised to see how many bush pilots also used the Glock 20. It was so popular that they even stocked ammo in Aniak, the village we left from.

I also hunt pigs with my 20 and have gotten quite a few. This has allowed me to practice and learn the limits of my gun. The down side of the 10mm is ammo cost. You must be committed to practice and it will cost you more with the 10mm. It is worth it for me to get the light weight, lot of rounds, and decent power.

Having said that, I would have felt somewhat under-armed if I did not have my .338-06 with me. The bears up there are a whole different thing from the black bears here in CA. The Glock worked for what I had intended, but for the next trip up there I will have my Ruger Bisley .45 Colt loaded up smartly with some hard cast 325-360 grain bullets. It is super heavy compared to the Glock, but I have started using a Chest rig (Lesson Learned from all the AK pilots) and that had cut down on the weight significantly. It doesn't make the gun weigh less, but it is less burdensome on the all day heft. If I ever did have to use the Glock I would imagine that it would have been more of a distraction to get to my .338-06.

If you are not 100% sure about AK, then go with the 20 and if you end up in AK buy a Mossberg 500 and stoke it with slugs. These were also very common in the village. They are light, cheap, and reliable. If AK is in your plans for sure, then you really want a .44 mag or .45 Colt (with proper ammo).

One last thought about light weight handguns: They hurt like hell to shoot. This leads to less practice and then less hits when needed. I would go with a steel frame gun. A 4" Smith or Ruger Redhawk sounds about right or a 4 5/8 Ruger Super Blackhawk. I like the durability of a single action, so that is why I use the Ruger Bisley. I like the 5 1/2 inch barrel, because I also use it to hunt. I don't notice a big difference in the chest rig.

kayaker
05-10-2012, 7:00 AM
From my personal one time encounter as well as other encounters with Grizzly bears that I have heard and read about, it's very common to suddenly find yourself very close to a bear. If you are lucky, such as my wife and I were, the bear will go the other way.

Socalman
05-10-2012, 3:45 PM
Well you don't need a handgun for black bear country. Black bears scare easily, just get big, get loud and pickup a large stick. They back down. More than one experience backing this up. Get mace if you feel you need it and buy a big hand cannon for grizzlys if you feel you need it.


They make the stuff for a reason, Forest service folks recommend it for a reason. It's hard for me to believe the stealth fighter could actually fly but that doesn't mean it doesn't.

Get momma bear around a couple of cubs and she is not backing down, she will look to tear you up to defend her young. From what I understand a Grizzly may just tear you up for kicks if he is in a bad mood.

milotrain
05-10-2012, 5:09 PM
My personal experience and preference. I've never needed one. I won't say that I'll never need one but I haven't and it is unlikely that I'll cary into that area. Having said that my cousins go into the same country and they always carry.

IrishPirate
05-10-2012, 5:33 PM
to all the people who think bears run when they hear loud noises....I was on a fire once up in Shasta and we had an engine mid slope helping pump water to the top of the hill. The hydrostatic pump had been running for a few hours and if you've ever hear those things you know they SCREAM!!! The were there, in the middle of the burn, with the engine and pump running, spraying water and swinging tools.... and all of a sudden a 300ish lb black bear comes bounding out of the trees (it was a dirty burn) and runs right past the engine. It gets about 20' past the engine and stops, turns around, runs back to the front tire which is RIGHT where the pump is, and grabs 4-5 sack lunches from the box that was sitting next to it and takes off...

Bears aren't scared by noise, you're just supposed to make noise so that they hear you coming from a distance and you don't startle them because THAT'S when they are the most dangerous (or if they think you're going to hurt their cubs).

GeetarGoul
05-10-2012, 5:56 PM
If you are in a group, just make sure you are not the slowest runner. The bear can only catch one person at a time. ;)

GeetarGoul
05-10-2012, 6:00 PM
In California, I don't fear bears. I backpack quite a bit in the Emmigrant Wilderness (Zone D6) and I have probably had 5 bear encounters. Every time the bear seemed more scared of me than me him. Brown bears in Montana, Canada, and Alaska would be another story. I bring a gun in the woods with me mostly for fun and to have in the tent.

thomashoward
05-22-2012, 10:09 AM
.44, 454 Casull, .50
Whatever you get Practice until you can hit your target.
save a bullet for yourself
Bring a slow friend you can outrun

TwinStick
05-22-2012, 10:25 AM
FWIW, my Father was a State Park Ranger in AK his whole professional life. He's unfortunately had to dispatch more than a couple bears that were becoming a danger to the campers. He was issued by the State of Alaska, a S&W .357 Magnum, then a Glock .40 S&W in the late 90's for a side arm, as well as remington 870 in the vehicle. He carried bear spray when we went fishing/camping. He used the 12ga for the emergency dispatching of bears. He never fired his sidearm in 20+ years at anything but paper. Growing up in rural AK, I camped and hiked all the time and never once saw a bear. You'll be fine with bear spray or a whistle...unless you're going to Katmai Island, and even then, I don't know that firearms are allowed at the lodges.

Lead Waster
05-22-2012, 4:05 PM
After reading this thread, I will never go into the woods again.

EddieEd
05-22-2012, 6:16 PM
After reading this thread, I will never go into the woods again.

:rofl2: Don't look up anything on Bear attacks like in Yellowstone or other great Big Bear county.

Like one I read about that they found a half eaten man up a tree and no it wasn’t a Chupacabra, it was just your friendly neighborhood Yogi bear, couldn’t find any picnic-basket so he got piss and ate the next thing he could find. :shock:
After that I gave up on the idea about climbing a tree to get away from bears.

You can’t take the woods for granted, just cause it never happen to you in your 100 years of camping don't mean it won’t happen. Just go prepared.
As the saying goes “ it better to have and not need, than to need and not have”.
You never know whos out there in then there woods :taz:

M27
05-22-2012, 6:49 PM
I have seen a 10mm 1911 take down a moose so I would say 10mm if you want to go with an semi auto pistol.

As for a revo, have you looked at the ruger Alaskan in 44mag? I really like it besides I can only shoot 10 shots or so before I want to stop.

I think most in the thread agree with 44mag or 10mm. Do you reload. Both of these calibers are on the expensive side and harder to find factory ammo.

ucsdryder
05-22-2012, 8:47 PM
I love this thread. There is more f'd up information here than at a presidential debate.

Just because you have never had a bear attack you and "every" bear you have seen has run away doesn't mean the next one won't eat your ***.

If a bear charges me I am not going to find out of it is bluffing. I have been huffed at a couple times and that is creepy enough. Last year during deer season one ran close enough I could have touched it with my rifle barrel. If its me versus the "majestic" animal I am going home to my family, screw te animal. Bear spray might work but I would rather take my chances with a gun.

Just a heads up for you fellow 10mm guys. Check out underwood ammo. He is priced VERY competitively and unlike a lot of 10mm his loads are full power. A 200 gr xtp would be a decent round. I personally carry a 200gr WFNGC. Penetration is awesome and that flat nose mashes bones.

Foriegn power
05-22-2012, 9:52 PM
Don't have one but if I could it would be a 10mm Glock pistol. But my only experience my camping pistol is a Glock 26. If I was in highly populated bear country it would be a 10mm on my to buy tool list.

Lead Waster
05-23-2012, 9:58 AM
:rofl2: Don't look up anything on Bear attacks like in Yellowstone or other great Big Bear county.

Like one I read about that they found a half eaten man up a tree and no it wasn’t a Chupacabra, it was just your friendly neighborhood Yogi bear, couldn’t find any picnic-basket so he got piss and ate the next thing he could find. :shock:
After that I gave up on the idea about climbing a tree to get away from bears.

You can’t take the woods for granted, just cause it never happen to you in your 100 years of camping don't mean it won’t happen. Just go prepared.
As the saying goes “ it better to have and not need, than to need and not have”.
You never know whos out there in then there woods :taz:

OK, before anyone tells me to use Google, in a nutshell. Can you legally, without a LTC, carry your pistol (concealed or open) in;

1) State Park?
2) National Park?
3) National Forest?
4) Some other piece of wilderness?

I believe if you are going hunting or fishing and have a proper hunting/fishing license, you can bring the gun TO the campsite? Forgive the FUD.

which, I'm guessing where most people go back-packing.

Again, a quick yes or no to the above please!

weber_2
05-23-2012, 12:14 PM
Ruger Mark III 22 LR, with only one bullet.....................



For me

vta
05-23-2012, 1:56 PM
A 458 Lott pistol.

mxadam579
05-23-2012, 4:12 PM
700 nitrp express aill work

maschronic
05-23-2012, 4:32 PM
When i'm back packing in the sierras, i usually carry my G29. i've also carried my G20. 10mm round is very impressive round!!! i'll be heading up there in a month and half. :)

i used to carry my 357 mag. not anymore.

chaseface
05-24-2012, 3:00 PM
I'm doing a 4 day-er over the second week of June on the west side of the Sierra's. Crossing my fingers there won't be too much snow still at 9500'...

Let us know how it is when you come back. I'm planning a trip into Emmigrant Wilderness not too long after that at a similar elevation. Where are you heading?

RJonesUSC
05-25-2012, 6:41 AM
We are hiking into Graveyard Lakes. The trailhead is at the end of Kaiser Pass on the Lake Edison side. We setup base at 9500' and day hike into some of the higher elevation lakes where the fishing is incredible. Some lakes push 11000' but I doubt they will be accessible this early in the year. I've seen a few bear out that way and even ran into a couple of hunters last year that couldn't believe I wasn't carrying any protection that far out. That's what possessed me to pick up a piece for the trail in time for this season.

Have a great time. I've been backpacking the Sierras since I was 4 with my dad and his dad before him. We love it up there. It's like home away from home. I just took my son on his first backpacking trip only about 2 miles in and had a blast. Sorry to hijack the thread.

HK Chef
05-25-2012, 8:21 AM
.44, 454 Casull, .50
Whatever you get Practice until you can hit your target.
save a bullet for yourself
Bring a slow friend you can outrun

^^ absolutely correct lol nothin less than a .44
This guy was extremely lucky

http://www.adn.com/2010/05/31/1301933/hiker-kills-grizzly-in-denali.html

I'm not sure why the pick didn't show up on the site but this grizz was a monster.

I would never trust a .45 to save my life in bear country. Always carried my 12ga tact with 329pd when doing any hiking or fishing while living there

Bruce
06-11-2012, 9:30 AM
draco, glock in 10mm, 44 magnum revolver, this in .44 or in a bigger caliber.http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT7Ew2tuA0uNMXp121miE6sYQaAxNiOS ByYhSsmMKGTPCHYXLIsyw

Um....no. The "Ranch Hand"/"Mare's Leg" is a plinker, not a serious weapon. The OP would be far better served with a conventional handgun.

k1dude
06-12-2012, 1:09 PM
FYI. This guy should've had a gun instead of a stick.

http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/12/12185917-alaska-man-mauled-by-bear-climbs-tree-to-escape?lite/

Solidux
06-12-2012, 1:32 PM
I would go with ANY handgun over bear spray....It's all about distance. The spray can only reach so far...

Seems like the big bore short BBl revolvers seem to be popular in Alaska. Iv'e heard folks refer to the .44mag is "minimum", with nods to the .454, .500 etc.

Having said that, the 10mm is a hot little package that can be found in quite a few handgun packages.

Bear spray > handgun against bears. A spray is an area effect that INSTANTLY blinds the bear vs a bullet that requires accurate shot placement to even deter the bear in any way.

Youtube/google it. Bear spray will effectively stop a bear charging at you while a handgun will literally change his attitude from "im going to swipe this bro" to "IM GOING TO EAT THIS BRO."

The range on good pepper spray is 35-50 feet too. So its not like you gotta be in boxing distance to get a good jizz.

winnre
06-12-2012, 1:40 PM
I live in the mountains. You never know what is around the next corner. I have a 30-30 hand at all times and when I have only one hand free at night I have my Serbu.


http://www.westernfirearms.com/0/wfc/other/images/03/101.jpg

k1dude
06-12-2012, 3:19 PM
I live in the mountains. You never know what is around the next corner. I have a 30-30 hand at all times and when I have only one hand free at night I have my Serbu.


http://www.westernfirearms.com/0/wfc/other/images/03/101.jpg

That's awesome! Is it an AOW?

EmmaGoldman
06-12-2012, 5:54 PM
460 Rowland if you want an auto.

skyscraper
06-12-2012, 7:34 PM
That's awesome! Is it an AOW?

Yes aow