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  #1  
Old 08-20-2020, 9:00 PM
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Default Preferred trail gun?

Hey folks. As part of my fitness plan I've been going on more long hikes out in the hills out here and such.

Since April I've seen 5 coyotes, 2 mountain lions, and 3 rattlesnakes. No telling what's seen ME.

I don't go out in really remote areas or at evening - yet. I'd like to start working on some bigger/longer trails but I'd like to have a last-ditch defense option if my situational awareness fails to pick something up.

The only other person I know of that carries a trail gun prefers a Glock 21 as his trail gun and normally opts for a Shield for EDC.

I was thinking a medium-sized revolver loaded with .357 JHP or snake shot (depending on the trail) might do well, or a durable semi-auto in 9mm or 45ACP.

Anyone else regularly hiking/camping have a sidearm they prefer?
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Old 08-20-2020, 9:11 PM
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For years I carried a four-inch stainless Ruger 357 Security-Six---reasonably powerful---totally reliable...
In Alaska, I carried a Freedom Arms Model 83 454 Casull revolver with 4 3/4" barrel---really powerful, but Alaskan critters are BIG!
These days, if I'm on the trail, I'm usually good with my HK P2000 (DA/SA) 9mm---very lightweight---13 rds...
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Old 08-20-2020, 9:23 PM
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I'm concerned most about human predators on trails, so for me it's a CCW semi-auto handgun with a round in the chamber, a freedom magazine in the well and a spare freedom magazine. Coyotes generally run off, I watch for rattlesnakes and I'm hoping 9mm would work to scare off or defend against an aggressive mountain lion.

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Old 08-20-2020, 9:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by safinsd View Post
I'm concerned most about human predators on trails, so for me it's a CCW semi-auto handgun with a round in the chamber, a freedom magazine in the well and a spare freedom magazine. Coyotes generally run off, I watch for rattlesnakes and I'm hoping 9mm would work to scare off or defend against an aggressive mountain lion.

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That's true... human predators can be an issue as well. Black Star canyon isn't far from me and there's a lot of stories about unsavory humans out there at night. Not that I'm out there at night but it's worth considering.

MOST of the coyotes I've seen are already running away by the time I see them. Someone did get bit by one in Mission Viejo a few weeks ago in broad daylight. Not sure what the story is behind that one.

I haven't researched what's effective on the mountain lions. I'm assuming if I got into it with one I'd need more capacity that a revolver would have. But again - that's why I'm doing the homework 1st.
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Old 08-20-2020, 9:35 PM
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For me I carry a Glock 20 , 29 or Ruger Alaskan in 44 mag.
Generally carry the Glocks 15 rounds of Underwood 180 grain or Extreme Penetrators.

Last edited by dozer wright; 08-21-2020 at 5:21 AM..
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Old 08-20-2020, 9:49 PM
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Originally Posted by B2D View Post
That's true... human predators can be an issue as well.
As a woman's her 60s who lives on a ranch and enjoys hiking, landscape photography and astrophotography, I'm particularly concerned about large predators. We've had coyotes take chickens, but they run from me and a 10/22. I think my old Savage HMR17 would have been better for coyotes, but I just want them to drop the chicken and get scared off. We've had mountain lion predation locally, so I am concerned about them too. I've heard that 9mm is effective against mountain lions. I sure wouldn't want to hurt one, but I don't want to be dinner either.



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  #7  
Old 08-20-2020, 9:55 PM
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Glock 29SF and 10mm FTW!
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Old 08-20-2020, 9:58 PM
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I keep my 29SF with 15 rounders of Buffalo Bore 220gr hard cast. Ain't cheap, but my life is definitely worth at least 2 bucks a round.
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Old 08-20-2020, 10:05 PM
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Right now my favorite CCW setup is a P365 installed on an XL grip with freedom magazines and the BlackPoint Tactical IWB holster that has the Sig Strut (aka claw.)

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  #10  
Old 08-20-2020, 10:13 PM
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S&W .44 mag 5" Mountain Revolver. Why, it has a the tapered barrel and is not much heavier than a .357 magnum, (3) snake shot, (3) 240gr hard cast at high- end .44spl velocity, good balance, 5" sight plane.
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  #11  
Old 08-20-2020, 10:18 PM
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In CA? 9mm or 40. We killed off anything dangerous 100 years ago. I'm far more concerned with humans than anything roaming in CA.
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Old 08-20-2020, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Californio View Post
S&W .44 mag 5" Mountain Revolver. Why, it has a the tapered barrel and is not much heavier than a .357 magnum, (3) snake shot, (3) 240gr hard cast at high- end .44spl velocity, good balance, 5" sight plane.
You beat me to it. I was going to mention my S&W 4" stainless Mountain Gun in 45 Colt. They came out after the Mountain Revolver. It has the tapered barrel and black rubber Hogue Monogrips that are very comfortable.

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Old 08-20-2020, 11:49 PM
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Like the ole saying goes, 9mm for the hood and 10mm for the woods.
In actuality penetration is key and I've found it's hard to beat hard cast SWC bullets. If you reload Hodgdon has data for a .45 ACP 200grn SWC hard cast 5.4grns of tite group chronoing close to 1,000 fps with no mods to your gun that could affect reliability. A lot of people that play in the woods found the sharp edges of a hard cast SWC make big gaping bone breaking holes through bears, hogs, deer etc, so I'm sure it could handle anything in CA.
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  #14  
Old 08-21-2020, 12:03 AM
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For me it’s an XDS-45. It’s exactly the same size as my PPS but in .45.

Never come across scary humans in Black Star but I’ve seen Mt Lion tracks.
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Old 08-21-2020, 12:20 AM
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Where have you seen mountain lions in socal?
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  #16  
Old 08-21-2020, 12:27 AM
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Quote:
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Where have you seen mountain lions in socal?
The last time I saw one was in May. It was up near Whiting Ranch.
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  #17  
Old 08-21-2020, 1:52 AM
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Where have you seen mountain lions in socal?
Within the last few years, in SoCal, I have seen mountain lions near Seven Oaks, Pinezanita, Angelus Oaks, Mountain Home Village, and Forest Falls.
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  #18  
Old 08-21-2020, 5:04 AM
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Spotted on in the hills of San Clemente a couple years back. Shoot, we had a women get killed by a shark around the same time. Plenty left to kill you. My co-worker was mauled hiking in LA county 15-years ago hiking with her boy friend and another full grown man.
OP, I hike the hills a lot. Usually with my dog. I have a hillpeople chest rig and just put my EDC in it. Only the cats are a real threat and they have thin skin. I’d feel fine with a .380 but usually carry a 9mm semi. The ability to get to the gun and make hits is probably the most important part. Personally, I think the shield is a good choice, because weight matters when going for distance.
Having a knife is probably equally important. If you look at the encounters that end up in injury they either involve stocking or ambush. A gun won’t do a ton of good of the cats got you by the neck or head, which is how they usually attack. If you really are worried about it make sure you carry first aid as well.
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Old 08-21-2020, 5:08 AM
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Back in the day in old California my trail gun was an M6 with a 410 in the tube and the selector button set for the .22 barrel as a safety. These days I'd carry my SW 686 4" with the first round as snake shot if I was still there and allowed to carry. There is more danger from weirdos than critters in the forests.
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Old 08-21-2020, 5:16 AM
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A Beretta PX4 in 40S&W will do fine with all critters (large, small and bipedal) you might come across in California.
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  #21  
Old 08-21-2020, 5:20 AM
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Many years ago I had a small ranch in SLO County and I saw tons of lion and bear sign. Back then I carried my 4" S&W M29 with the first two rounds being snake shot and the following four were 240 grain hollowpoints.

Here in N. Nevada, I just hike and explore with my G19 and a couple of spare mags loaded with Hornady Critical Defense ammo. Like others have said, I don't worry too much about four legged critters as I worry those on two legs defending their meth labs or grow patches.
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  #22  
Old 08-21-2020, 5:33 AM
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Anything that can unload multiple rounds into a bear, definitely use serious defensive ammo. People will tell you that bear won’t go down with a single 9mm but same can be said about a human. You pop enough hollow points into something you’re going to jack it up. I’ve been way up in the Sierras past the normal camping spots and well into bear country, under stress I want an automatic and not a revolver.
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  #23  
Old 08-21-2020, 5:38 AM
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G20 -- 16 rounds of 10mm
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  #24  
Old 08-21-2020, 5:47 AM
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Ak47 pistol
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  #25  
Old 08-21-2020, 5:53 AM
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In the pass. I carry different firearms Depending on where I was Hiking.

S&W 442 with snake shot n FBI load

Glock 23 with snake shot n fmj

Glock 20 with fmj

But now it’s G29 with fmj
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Old 08-21-2020, 6:30 AM
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I came within 100 feet of a bear while hiking alone on private property. I acted tough and mean and he simply took a step back and kept staring at me. It wasn’t until I gave a warning shot with my 1911 that he took off. I’m glad I wasn’t carrying my 9mm that day. Go big AND go home.
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Old 08-21-2020, 6:48 AM
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Mountain lions and humans are the only real threat as both will actually hunt you down. Humans are food to lions. 9mm will take care of a mountain lion. Trouble is, you wont see or hear them until they are on your back going for your neck. Never run in lion country. Mountain lions stalk prey that is running.

I take a Glock21 when I go camping. If I were to carry on the trail it would be a Glock 19, 26, or Shield.
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Old 08-21-2020, 7:07 AM
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In the past I used a Ruger Single Six with a .22mag cylinder or a 4" .357 mag revolver.

Now when I'm hiking I carry a Glock 27 loaded with 180gr flat nosed fmj rounds in a factory mag with a +1 plate. Can't beat 10 .40sw rounds in that small package imho
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Old 08-21-2020, 7:16 AM
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Ruger 357 with the first three rounds #4 snake shot and the next three 357 jhp
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Old 08-21-2020, 7:24 AM
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I'm old school....S&W model 66 with both .38 snake shot and .357 158gr soft points in So. California



Ill carry a S&W model 629 "mountain gun" in 44 magnum when in the Sierra's or Sequoia mountains on horseback (to go with the Model 92 lever carbine in .44 mag)



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Old 08-21-2020, 7:31 AM
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I've never seen a bear in SoCal, but I did get really creepy feeling late in the day in Skunk Cabbage Meadow. It seemed too quiet suddenly and I got a sensation of being stalked. Didn't see anything, but headed back pronto.

Another time 2 younger men went by me and after they went around a bend I heard them stop, talking. Something told me to take cover in chaparral. They came back and forth a couple times and I jogged back out the trail when they finally went on with their hike.

Another time I was jogging at night in a neighborhood and a car full of guys stopped after it passed me and just sat there. I hightailed it up an incline and into a housing complex. I learned to listen to my intuition and am more concerned about human predators in SoCal. I think all women should be automatically granted a CCW permit.

I'm always thinking of mountain lions on a hike though, especially when there's overhang or my line of sight is short. I think it would be best to hike/run with another person, both armed, so if one is attacked the another can shoot the lion. I was up in a desert canyon one time and saw some bighorn sheep. I thought "photos!" Now I'd think "lions!" On the way back a gigantic rattler started screaming at us when we went by the bush it was under. Taught me to pay better attention.

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  #32  
Old 08-21-2020, 7:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dozer wright View Post
For me I carry a Glock 20 , 29 or Ruger Alaskan in 44 mag.
Generally carry the Glocks 15 rounds of Underwood 180 grain or Extreme Penetrators.

Bingo..^^^^we have a winner.
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Old 08-21-2020, 7:38 AM
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Originally Posted by d33pt View Post
Where have you seen mountain lions in socal?

Ventura County has a very healthy population of mountain lions. Thousand Oaks/ Westlake Village and Simi Valley to mention a few places.

Click on the link for just one example


https://www.vcstar.com/story/news/lo...ow/4357817002/

Last edited by 003; 08-21-2020 at 7:50 AM..
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  #34  
Old 08-21-2020, 7:42 AM
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These make a person think.
http://tchester.org/sgm/lists/lion_attacks_ca.html

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Last edited by safinsd; 08-21-2020 at 7:45 AM..
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  #35  
Old 08-21-2020, 7:55 AM
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For me my Glock 23 has plenty of penetrating power with 180 grain FMJ, or my soon to be favorite Lehigh 115 grain Xtreme Defender
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Old 08-21-2020, 8:10 AM
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If I had a private Ranch, I would carry a 12 ga shotgun loaded with buck shot for mountain lion , bear defense

HD / riot gun type
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Old 08-21-2020, 8:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by safinsd View Post
As a woman's her 60s who lives on a ranch and enjoys hiking, landscape photography and astrophotography, I'm particularly concerned about large predators. We've had coyotes take chickens, but they run from me and a 10/22. I think my old Savage HMR17 would have been better for coyotes, but I just want them to drop the chicken and get scared off. We've had mountain lion predation locally, so I am concerned about them too. I've heard that 9mm is effective against mountain lions. I sure wouldn't want to hurt one, but I don't want to be dinner either.
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Those bullets aren't heavy enough to routinely humanely kill a coyote - it can be done. However if I was planning on dispatching a coyote I would choose something different. What depends on if I was looking to be hunting or defending and the anticipated range.

From Omega
"If I had a private Ranch, I would carry a 12 ga shotgun loaded with buck shot for mountain lion , bear defense
HD / riot gun type"

This is what I carry at the ranch - purely defensive. Although it might be a bit hard on the chicken the coyote is carrying!

Last edited by Winchester47; 08-21-2020 at 8:16 AM..
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  #38  
Old 08-21-2020, 8:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Winchester47 View Post
Those bullets aren't heavy enough to routinely humanely kill a coyote - it can be done. However if I was planning on dispatching a coyote I would choose something different. What depends on if I was looking to be hunting or defending and the anticipated range.

From Omega
"If I had a private Ranch, I would carry a 12 ga shotgun loaded with buck shot for mountain lion , bear defense
HD / riot gun type"

My thought also -although it might be a bit hard on the chicken the coyote is carrying!
Thanks much for the info. I don't kill coyotes, I chase them off. I do kill gophers and ground squirrels with a 10/22 though. I have buckshot and birdshot for my 870.

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Old 08-21-2020, 8:20 AM
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I have told this story before so I will just throw in a bits here. Some years ago on the ridge line going into the Middle Fork of the Mokolumne River in Calaveras county I sensed someting watching me as I went thru a thicket midway down on the eastern slope of the ridge. Then I saw four chewed off fawn deer legs on a old tree stump. It was obvious where I was, in a old female mtn lion's ambush zone.My Garand had the safety off for sure. Security Six .357 on my right hip. she ran out and dropped down to the road and she looked like a big dog, but when she jumped into the canyon the big dog had a four foot long tail.

Some few years later my brother in law killed her when she was stalking him further out on the ridgeline. He heard a SNAP and turned around and she had her butt in the air and was doing the sneak when he busted her with a rem auto 30-06 in the chest. Scared the feces outa him etc.

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Old 08-21-2020, 8:21 AM
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Mountain lion took an Alpaca not that long ago in SD County. A sighting close by more recently.

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Last edited by safinsd; 08-21-2020 at 8:29 AM..
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