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Appropriate firearm?

Posted: Oct 27 2003 11:42 am
by Wiz
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?

Re: Appropriate firearm?

Posted: Nov 01 2005 8:28 pm
by hddan
I personally carry a S&W Stainless Model 60 .38 special. Lately I've been loading it with Cor-Bon 110 grain JHP +P while hiking. I love the reliabilty but am having issues with the weight of the stainless steel. I'm almost to the point of not packing it due to the weight. With my new GG Vapor Trail pack my base weight is down to 12 lbs. without water and the 3 pounds of a stainless piece really weighs in.

If I was filthy rich, I would pack the S&W Model 342 PD 5-shot .357. It retails for around $600, is made of scandium and titanium, and consquently extremely light. Actually shooting it with a hot .357 load is nothing short of painful, however. I'm sure it is worse at the receiving end, though. My buddy packs this pistol and is extremely happy with it. Anyway, my $.02.

-Danny

Re: Appropriate firearm?

Posted: Nov 23 2005 3:40 pm
by kylemorgan
DoFear wrote:In response to Wiz's reply:

I carry a HK USP Compact .40.

I carry the same. Small, light, but still a nice sized round.

Re: Appropriate firearm?

Posted: Jan 04 2008 10:05 pm
by Kachina
I carry a small frame 9mm - a Taurus PT111 Millenium Pro. The benefit of a smaller firearm is just that - it's smaller.

Re: Appropriate firearm?

Posted: Jan 06 2008 9:24 am
by azbackpackr
S & W Ladysmith .38 revolver. Won't jam. Pretty small.

Re: Appropriate firearm?

Posted: Mar 08 2008 2:23 am
by BAD BOY
Baby Glock (G26) 9mm. It's also my daily CCW carry that never leaves my possession. Very light and simple.

Re: Appropriate firearm?

Posted: Mar 08 2008 4:17 am
by te_wa
Im looking for a Sig p226 in .40 cal.
the HK that Kyle has looks nice too.

Re: Appropriate firearm?

Posted: Mar 08 2008 6:05 pm
by AZLOT69
Glock G26 light weight-high capacity-indestructable.

Re: Appropriate firearm?

Posted: Mar 12 2008 1:51 pm
by Jeffshadows
Well, I'll chime-in I guess. I usually carry a compact (Commander model or smaller) 1911...

Jeff

Re:

Posted: Mar 12 2008 1:56 pm
by Jeffshadows
Turkish wrote:It doesn`t matter if i'm hiking in the "wilderness" or i'm walking in the "urban wilderness" I always carry my Glock 27. It is chambered in .40 S&W. The .40 S&W is a cross between the 9mm and the .45 ACP. You have the stopping power of the .45 but the round is about the same size as a 9mm; thus you can carry more rounds. The firearm itself is tiny enough to tuck away under your shirt without showing or to keep hidden in your glove compartment while your traveling too and fro. Even though it has a small barrel; with a bit of training you can hit a man sized target from the hip at between 10-15 meters. HOWEVER I would like to point out that if one is going to carry a firearm then one needs to have proper training in the use a firearm. I don`t care if you carry a Desert Eagle .50 with you; if you don`t know how to properly and safely use it, chances are your going to hurt or kill someone other than your intended target. [/b]
Not to be cantankerous, but anyone packing a .50 Desert Eagle is most likely an accident waiting to happen...

Re: Appropriate firearm?

Posted: Mar 12 2008 2:10 pm
by te_wa
.40 Smith/Wesson is 10mm
good round regardless. Much more stopping power than 9mm, which is a toy if you ask me. might as well carry .380

Re: Appropriate firearm?

Posted: Mar 12 2008 3:17 pm
by chumley
te-wa wrote:.40 Smith/Wesson is 10mm
good round regardless. Much more stopping power than 9mm, which is a toy if you ask me. might as well carry .380
No question that a .40 has significantly more stopping power, but I do believe a 9mm would handle most situations you might encounter while hiking in Arizona. :pray: Especially if you have two clips.

And for the record, my friend carries the HK USP Compact .40 -- which I think is an outstanding weapon. I carry a CZ 75 compact because it's the most comfortable gun I've ever held. It just fits my hand perfectly ... and when I bought it, they only made the compact in 9mm. Now there's a .40 of the compact, and I might upgrade.

So far, however, the 9mm has stopped every single forward advance of the ever-growing army of bud-light cans that have organized an offensive against me and my fellow campers. :gun:

Re: Appropriate firearm?

Posted: Mar 12 2008 10:42 pm
by PaleoRob
chumley wrote:the 9mm has stopped every single forward advance of the ever-growing army of bud-light cans that have organized an offensive against me and my fellow campers. :gun:
Those cans are merciless. Here in NAZ they've called in reinforcments, and the heavy artillery of Negra Modelo bottles has recently appeared on the frontlines.

Re: Appropriate firearm?

Posted: Mar 13 2008 8:08 am
by Jeffshadows
PageRob wrote:
chumley wrote:the 9mm has stopped every single forward advance of the ever-growing army of bud-light cans that have organized an offensive against me and my fellow campers. :gun:
Those cans are merciless. Here in NAZ they've called in reinforcments, and the heavy artillery of Negra Modelo bottles has recently appeared on the frontlines.
Watch out for those great-big Foster's cans; despite their size they're quite stealth, and all it takes is for one to get its hands on you!! :D

Re: Appropriate firearm?

Posted: May 17 2008 3:41 am
by jeremy77777
Nothing says "OUTDOORS" like a single action ruger blackhawk .44 mag! :D

Re: Appropriate firearm?

Posted: May 19 2008 5:44 am
by azbackpackr
I'm looking to go smaller than my .38 Ladysmith, not bigger! I am always looking for something lighter that I can just stick in my pocket--otherwise I am likely not to carry at all. I was carrying a Keltec .32 the other day--nice and light.

Which leads me to comment on the firepower of guys coming up to the White Mtns. for a weekend of camping or turkey hunting (it has been spring turkey season lately.) Talk to guys like that and you would think we have attacking bears up here. They are all a bunch of total wusses and cowards when it comes to the outdoors. Talk to them and you see they don't really spend much time outdoors, but they sure do spend a lot of money on toys--guns, ATVs, trailers, camo clothing, fancy knives, two-way radios, GPS's and the like, and they won't walk more than 100 feet away from any of their stuff. I'm sure their success rate with the turkey hunting is pretty low, too, as they are buzzing around on those ATVs, scaring everything away. (My husband was walking the other day in the woods and saw 7 turkeys moving through the brush, while several ATV hunters whizzed by and never saw a thing!)

And I wouldn't want to have to depend on any of those guys in a real emergency, that's for sure! We don't have the drug traffickers in this area, so if you are toting a gun it would be for a rabid fox or rabid bobcat, most likely. We do have rabies up here.

One thing about these rednecks up here, and also the people who come up for the hunting--they are real sissies when it comes to walking a long way or anything strenuous. Tell them you are hiking 15 miles and they just can't believe it!

Now that I have called these guys all wusses and sissies and cowards, I may as well go whole hog and say they are all a bunch of pusillanimous wimps!

Re: Appropriate firearm?

Posted: May 19 2008 8:22 am
by PaleoRob
azbackpackr wrote:I was carrying a Keltec .32 the other day--nice and light.
My wife has a .32 Keltec (with a pink frame, no less) and I hate that dang thing. No safety and super long, hard trigger pull makes it a pain in the rear to fire a full clip quickly, in my opinion. Don't know if yours is the same model, though.

Re: Appropriate firearm?

Posted: May 19 2008 8:26 am
by Jeffshadows
azbackpackr wrote:I'm looking to go smaller than my .38 Ladysmith, not bigger! I am always looking for something lighter that I can just stick in my pocket--otherwise I am likely not to carry at all. I was carrying a Keltec .32 the other day--nice and light.

Which leads me to comment on the firepower of guys coming up to the White Mtns. for a weekend of camping or turkey hunting (it has been spring turkey season lately.) Talk to guys like that and you would think we have attacking bears up here. They are all a bunch of total wusses and cowards when it comes to the outdoors. Talk to them and you see they don't really spend much time outdoors, but they sure do spend a lot of money on toys--guns, ATVs, trailers, camo clothing, fancy knives, two-way radios, GPS's and the like, and they won't walk more than 100 feet away from any of their stuff. I'm sure their success rate with the turkey hunting is pretty low, too, as they are buzzing around on those ATVs, scaring everything away. (My husband was walking the other day in the woods and saw 7 turkeys moving through the brush, while several ATV hunters whizzed by and never saw a thing!)

And I wouldn't want to have to depend on any of those guys in a real emergency, that's for sure! We don't have the drug traffickers in this area, so if you are toting a gun it would be for a rabid fox or rabid bobcat, most likely. We do have rabies up here.

One thing about these rednecks up here, and also the people who come up for the hunting--they are real sissies when it comes to walking a long way or anything strenuous. Tell them you are hiking 15 miles and they just can't believe it!

Now that I have called these guys all wusses and sissies and cowards, I may as well go whole hog and say they are all a bunch of pusillanimous wimps!
I'm happy to see that ATV riders are finally getting the bad press they have so enthusiastically earned, as well. No offense to safe riders who stay on trails, the whole five or six of you in the state...

Re: Appropriate firearm?

Posted: Oct 31 2008 8:13 pm
by tecdivr
My choice is a .22 magnum. My Ruger is heavy. I looked at a S&W .38 titanium 5 shot, with a 2 inch barrel but the muzzle velocity at around 310 ft isn't that much better than a .22mag at a little over 225. Shot placement is key regardless of caliber.
The tarus 941 .22mag is available with a 2 inch barrel and holds eight rounds. I load two snake shots and six follow up 35 grain hollow points. I feel that it is better to have something if something is needed rather than to have nothing when something is needed. My choice is the result of probability of something and the weight I want to pack on the trail. The .22mag offers a bark a punch and can fit in my pocket.

Re: Appropriate firearm?

Posted: Oct 31 2008 9:35 pm
by JimmyLyding
I never thought that this site would be a haven of gun lovers. I used to carry a .45 caliber M1911A1 that my grandfather liberated from the U.S. Army in World War 2, but that's a heavy weapon. I no longer see a reason to carry a piece because I don't do trails cool enough to warrant a deadly firearm. I have no problems with guns, but I'm more likely to take my Springfield 1903 that weighs a ton and has a flash-suppression tip on a hike than worry about a firearm for protection. I haven't been lucky in the G&F lottery so I haven't had the opportunity to take my .30-06s out for anything.
I'm more of a camera hunter these days anyhoo.

Re: Appropriate firearm?

Posted: Oct 31 2008 9:46 pm
by Jim_H
I go to both ends of the spectrum. For protection I prefer my dillinger, but for sport and hunting I like my elephant gun.