Appropriate firearm?

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Wiz
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Appropriate firearm?

Post by Wiz » Oct 27 2003 11:42 am

This thread is strictly for people who have determined that it's appropriate to carry a firearm when hiking or camping. I'm not looking to restart the pro-gun/anti-gun debate. If you're someone who has decided, for any number of very valid reasons, that guns are not for you, then this is not meant for you.
Joe, if this turns into the same old gun debate again, please yank this thread. We've already beaten that topic to death!

What I wanted to discuss is: what is the most appropriate gun to carry when hiking/backpacking in remote areas? Let's consider the possible scenarios:
- Nothing happens and you don't need the gun. Obviously the best of all scenarios, but we don't prepare for the best-case.
- You are scared by a snake. I say, leave it alone.
- You are threatened or attacked by hostile people. Here we go. In this case, a small caliber gun (e.g., a .22) would not be your best choice. A larger gun, maybe 9mm or larger, would be better. This is an argument for high-capacity automatics. But, statistics say that the overwhelming majority of gunfights are over after only two or three shots. Unless you plan on missing a lot, or you are attacked by a large party of people simultaneously and are a crack shot, the automatic may not be appropriate.
- You are attacked by a large predator. A bear or mountain lion. Here, your 9mm will only piss them off, unless you're incredibly lucky. A large caliber is what you need. Since one round from a .44 magnum will do the work of any number of 9mm rounds, you don't need the high capacity.

A Ruger .22 single six revolver weighs nearly as much as my .44 magnum, so weight isn't a real determining factor. A large pistol will stop anything a small one will, but the reverse is definitely not true. You hopefully will never need the weapon. But if you do, a .44 should make your point very quickly. Also, I feel it is only prudent to carry some spare ammunition.
So my conclusion is: the most practical, appropriate gun to carry for all-around protection in the wild (in Arizona at least) is a good, reliable .44 magnum revolver, with at least 12 extra rounds. This represents a good balance between utilityand weight.

Dissenting opinions?
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Jim_H
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Re: Appropriate firearm?

Post by Jim_H » Jan 24 2009 10:42 am

zags wrote: the only predator that worries me (is) the armed idiot. If they can't get there by ATV, they would be straying too far from beer.
I understand there are more attacks by this predator than by bears in AZ every year.
Nothing more enjoyable than a good hike out of town.

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Jeffshadows
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Re: Appropriate firearm?

Post by Jeffshadows » Jan 24 2009 11:20 am

zags wrote: I don't carry while backpacking in wilderness areas because I feel pretty confident that I won't run in to the only preditor that worries me, the armed idiot. If they can't get there by ATV, they would be straying too far from beer.
That's the only reason I carry, as well...
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dysfunction
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Re: Appropriate firearm?

Post by dysfunction » Jan 24 2009 11:26 am

yea, I'm not sure that I'd trust any handgun to stop a bear.. I normally prefer at least a 30 caliber rifle for that sort of thing.
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Jeffshadows
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Re: Appropriate firearm?

Post by Jeffshadows » Jan 24 2009 11:44 am

Many times a handgun won't stop a human, either...but I got your joke. :D
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Thoreau
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Re: Appropriate firearm?

Post by Thoreau » Jan 26 2009 5:44 pm

Been carrying a Springfield XDm-40 (16+1) on my hikes for a while now, and have never encountered any issues. The only snag with it is if I were to decide to carry my full load of camera gear, I'd have to switch from my paddle holster (Blackhawk Serpa... LOVE the retention mechanism and knowing that my boom boom stick isn't gonna fall out while scrambling up rocks/boulders) to the thigh-mount version. Guess I'll see how that works on some upcoming trips where I will indeed be packing in the 73 metric tons of camera gear. =)

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Strand
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Re: Appropriate firearm?

Post by Strand » Jan 26 2009 6:32 pm

Look at Blackhawk's Omega series for a standard thigh rig, it has a snap thumb break, easy to adjust size, and will allow you to leave a weapon light on the rail if you care to do so. Not as nice as the serpa panel style thigh rigs, but probably a lot more comfortable.

Or try their Special Ops holster, it's a half thigh rig (rides lower than a paddle but higher than a normal thigh holster - only has one thigh strap), has a thumb break, is easy to adjust for size, and has an external flap that can be held open with velcro, or closed with a polymer buckle. Your gun is then double retained, and even covered.

They can both be found under the nylon category on Blackhawk's website. I own both, and they fit my Sig P226, 250, 220, and my full sized and commander size 1911s easily. I really like the Spec Ops because of the extra flap and the comfort as it doesn't flop around as much as most thigh holsters.
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Jeffshadows
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Re: Appropriate firearm?

Post by Jeffshadows » Jan 26 2009 7:18 pm

I think they're having a sale right now, too...
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