Alaska Hiking Gun

This is a discussion on Alaska Hiking Gun within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Howdy, just PCSed up to Ft. Wainwright and will definitely be taking advantage of the great outdoors up here. What would yall recommend for a ...

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Thread: Alaska Hiking Gun

  1. #1
    Member Array samskara's Avatar
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    Alaska Hiking Gun

    Howdy, just PCSed up to Ft. Wainwright and will definitely be taking advantage of the great outdoors up here. What would yall recommend for a carry pistol and caliber for hiking and such for lions, tigers, and bears etc....

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    Ruger Redhawk .44mag...
    I lived in AK for 7 years.

    Also, when hiking, always hike with a partner you can definitely run much faster than...
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    Member Array Vladimirx01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    Ruger Redhawk .44mag...
    I lived in AK for 7 years.
    Yep, .44 mag running the 300 grain hard cast for a handgun.

    If you're open to another option, I'd recommend the Marlin 45-70 18" Guide Gun. I know, it's not a pistol, but it is a shot swinging, lever action rifle, and as such, works pretty well. My solitary run in with a bear (pretty good sized brown) ended well due to this gun. I was running Remington 300 grain IIRC, but it's been almost 9 years since then, so my memory may be faulty.

    JMHO

    Also, those bear bells, and bear repellent spray aren't as effective as shown. The bear bells can be duplicated by talking loudly with your hiking buddy, yelling random "NO BEAR!"s into the woods, and the bear repellant sprays, well, everything I've seen says that will just make the bear even angrier! And a bear is enough trouble, but an angry bear... not cool!
    Last edited by Vladimirx01; April 2nd, 2010 at 07:11 PM. Reason: I can't spell!
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    Ruger Redhawk .44mag...
    I lived in AK for 7 years.
    +1, or the Ruger Alaskan in .454...

    Also, when hiking, always hike with a partner you can definitely run much faster than...
    If you can't outrun your partner, shoot 'em in the leg...
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    Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan 454/45 with an Alaskan Chest Holster. You can always identify bear crap by the bells and pepper spray smell!



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    Don't forget the mosquito spray (or maybe a 410 for them)

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    Ruger Redhawk or a S&W 629 Mountain Gun, both with a 4 inch barrel and in .44 magnum of course! Several ammunition companies manufacture 300 grain hardcast bullet loads such as Buffalo Bore and Garrett Cartridge, and that is what I would have in my handgun for bear protection.
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    Member Array Ice Man's Avatar
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    One thing is for sure, bigger is better! I have some friends that moved up there, they say a .38 will just make a bear even more angry.
    My GLOCK goes BANG every time!

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    Member Array samskara's Avatar
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    On another note if anyone in the Fairbanks area would be willing to let me try their 44 mag or 454 casull I would greatly appreciate it as I have never fired anything other than the normal self-defense pistol rounds, 9mm, 357, 40s&w, etc and would like to feel the difference before purchasing something. I'd be willing to compensate you for ammo and range fees.

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    Member Array LeChuck's Avatar
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    I've never been to AK sadly, but if they have ranges similar to the lower 48 there are probably ranges that rent them. I would assume the .44 and .454 would be popular test models up there.

    My recommendation would be the .454, I don't find the recoil to be unmanageable and I'm of the opinion that bigger is better in a bear situation. My only in person bear experience with bears was back in Vermont, and they're tiny in comparison to the beasts up in AK.

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    A 40S&W, 45 Colt & a 454 Casull; keep in mind cost of ammo when making your choice.


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    Distinguished Member Array Chaplain Scott's Avatar
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    Samskara:

    I was stationed at Ft Rich '86-'90 and Ft Wainwright '91-'96: If you go with a handgun, the Ruger Alaskan in .454. HOWEVER: I agree fully with the Marlin lever gun in .45-70 or .450 Marlin; Get an Uncle Mike's Safari sling and you can bring the lever gun to bear faster than you can draw and the .45-70 has LOTS of more impact energy than any pistol...........
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    Senior Member Array Sportsterguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    Ruger Redhawk .44mag...
    I lived in AK for 7 years.

    Also, when hiking, always hike with a partner you can definitely run much faster than...
    I agree with the Redhawk. A 5.5" loaded with Buffalo Bores will do a number on a bear IF you can hit it in full charge. I carried a S&W. 41 mag loaded with hot hard cast bullets that would shoot from stem to stern on a deer and felt good with it as my BUG when hunting, fishing, hiking or camping. Usually had my .338 Win Mag for hunting or carried an 870 riot loaded with OO buck for leisurely activities with the .41 as back up.

    You'll love Ak! I lived on Kodiak Island and Sitka for 7 years with the Coast Guard. Used to fly the old HH-3F's up your way a few times from Kodiak.
    If your not hunting make lots of noise and your chances of being attacked are minimal. Some will advise you to use pepper spray. I don't. Talk to a State Trooper or a Fish & Game officer (same people, different uniforms) and ask their opinions on a SD weapon. They are the ones called in to take out bad and wounded bears and will set you on the right course as they are pros.

    Have fun and don't worry too much about the bears. Hope you enjoy your tour. Were going back to Kodiak next summer to visit old friends. Loved living there. Everyones packing a weapon so the crime level is very low.
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    Senior Member Array Divebum47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    Ruger Redhawk .44mag...
    I lived in AK for 7 years.

    Also, when hiking, always hike with a partner you can definitely run much faster than...
    Yup. In the diving world there's an adage about swimming around sharks - the best defense against a shark attack is to dive with a buddy who swims slower than you do.

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    Hey, you're in the enviable position of needing to buy a huge gun! You get to go all manly and get something that will stop a bear.

    Love the .454 idea; maybe even a .500 S&W? Even better is the .45-70 Nitro, though carrying a rifle out hiking isn't necessarily a basket of fruit. I would really recommend carrying something that you can stop a bear with, because what you'll find up there is that .357 will make a bear really upset with you.
    "...whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one." (Luke 22:36)
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