Handguns for Alaska

Handguns for Alaska

This is a discussion on Handguns for Alaska within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hi Guys, I am planning a trip to Alaska in two years and want to hike the Tongass National Forest. The largest caliber of handguns ...

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Thread: Handguns for Alaska

  1. #1
    Member Array cbp210's Avatar
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    Handguns for Alaska

    Hi Guys,

    I am planning a trip to Alaska in two years and want to hike the Tongass National Forest. The largest caliber of handguns which I own is a 357 mag Smith&Wesson. I might have to purchase another handgun of a bigger caliber and want some ideas before I spend good money. Does anyone have any suggestions or recommendations based on their experience.


  2. #2
    Member Array DWill's Avatar
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    Get a 454 Casull. I believe the 44 Mag is marginal for Alaska.

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    I would try to get a S&Ws 500 mag or the 460 cal revolver for polar bear and big game if something should arise. richgp100z

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    Smith & Wesson’s .460 XVR Magnum Revolver

    http://www.gunblast.com/SW460XVR.htm

    I want one of these. I know it's overkill unless you're headed to the OP's destination, but...

    OH MY DEAR LORD THAT'S AN AWESOME GUN!!!!!!!
    That which does not kill us leaves us broken and bleeding...

    Donít mess with the guy who can barely stand up. His remaining options for self-defense don't include your survival.

    Convenire Volui Spectatus

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    Member Array charlie1826's Avatar
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    My friend that lives in Alaska carries a glock20 10mm. It packs a lot of punch and has more than twice the capacity of a revolver and faster reloads. Not to knock revolvers, I just like the idea of having more firepower, and a 10mm is still a beast.

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    Quote Originally Posted by charlie1826 View Post
    My friend that lives in Alaska carries a glock20 10mm. It packs a lot of punch and has more than twice the capacity of a revolver and faster reloads. Not to knock revolvers, I just like the idea of having more firepower, and a 10mm is still a beast.
    Simple solution then is to carry your G20 as a back-up to the .454 Casull you need to keep Ursus Horribilis from laughing at you...
    Smitty
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    I'm not so sure. Read the following account of the rangers that followed up on the Treadwell bear attack incident at Katmai killing an agressive( but modestly sized) bear:

    "Ranger Ellis, armed with a 40 cal. handgun begins to fire at about the same time rangers Gilliland and Dalrymple, who were each armed with 12 gauge shotguns loaded with slugs also begin to shoot at the bear.
    Ranger Ellis fires 11 times while rangers Gilliland and Dalrymple each fire 5 times, dropping the bear 12 feet away. "

    This was in the early 90's, since then I think everyone knows 40S&W won't cut it in this situation. But the fact that it took( in addition to the pistol rounds) 10 slugs to bring down a bear less than 400 lbs. is pretty scary.

    A heavy duty round is necessary, but whatever firearm is used, the shooter better be darn sure he can manipulate it and and also hit whatever he is shooting at. Think of all the stories of LEO's firing dozens of rounds, under stress, and never getting a single clean, center of mass hit on a BG.

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    VIP Member Array jwhite75's Avatar
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    Get a big revolver....any of the big boys, 454 Casull, .460 S&W, .475 Linebaugh, .500 S&W. That is where you should be looking. Here's a start.

    http://www.freedomarms.com/
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    Forget the handgun if you're really concerned about a big griz jumping out of the bush and using you for a meal. Get a shotgun, shortened stock, you can sling. While several large caliber handguns are suitable for "hunting" bears, it's a whole different story when they are hunting you. The odds of you hitting something immediately disabiling in a pissed-off momma grizzly, who appears out of the bush 20 yards away, with a handgun (even in the .454) are not what you want to bet your life on. Besides, the shotgun will be cheaper and more useful.


    I lived in central AK and any handgun was considered marginal at best. The old joke was to save the last round for yourself. The oldtimers all carried shotguns loaded with buck, slugs, or a combo. While I was there, a guy attacked by a griz fired six .357 mag rds into its mouth while it was gnawing on his head. The bear shook its head and wandered off. Rangers never found a sign of it. Yeah, the guy lived, but he wasn't a pretty sight afterwards.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    Forget the handgun if you're really concerned about a big griz jumping out of the bush and using you for a meal. Get a shotgun, shortened stock, you can sling. While several large caliber handguns are suitable for "hunting" bears, it's a whole different story when they are hunting you. The odds of you hitting something immediately disabiling in a pissed-off momma grizzly, who appears out of the bush 20 yards away, with a handgun (even in the .454) are not what you want to bet your life on. Besides, the shotgun will be cheaper and more useful.


    I lived in central AK and any handgun was considered marginal at best. The old joke was to save the last round for yourself. The oldtimers all carried shotguns loaded with buck, slugs, or a combo. While I was there, a guy attacked by a griz fired six .357 mag rds into its mouth while it was gnawing on his head. The bear shook its head and wandered off. Rangers never found a sign of it. Yeah, the guy lived, but he wasn't a pretty sight afterwards.
    'Sounds like good advice from OldVet. Along these lines, does anybody have opinions on the Mossberg JIC series? http://www.mossberg.com/products/def...ction=products
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  11. #11
    VIP Member Array jwhite75's Avatar
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    I agree with a long gun such as a good 12 gauge...but the OP asked about handguns...
    Friends don't let friends be MALL NINJAS.


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    VIP Member Array SpencerB's Avatar
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    Why not invest in a 12 gauge and a new handgun, might as well have two guns when hiking in Alaska!

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    Maybe we can work on Orvis to come out with an "Alaskan" model fly rod that's combined with a pretty, short-barrel 12 ga side by side double.
    Smitty
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    OD*
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    Quote Originally Posted by lprmcnit View Post
    I'm not so sure. Read the following account of the rangers that followed up on the Treadwell bear attack incident at Katmai killing an agressive( but modestly sized) bear:

    "Ranger Ellis, armed with a 40 cal. handgun begins to fire at about the same time rangers Gilliland and Dalrymple, who were each armed with 12 gauge shotguns loaded with slugs also begin to shoot at the bear.
    Ranger Ellis fires 11 times while rangers Gilliland and Dalrymple each fire 5 times, dropping the bear 12 feet away. "

    This was in the early 90's, since then I think everyone knows 40S&W won't cut it in this situation. But the fact that it took( in addition to the pistol rounds) 10 slugs to bring down a bear less than 400 lbs. is pretty scary.

    A heavy duty round is necessary, but whatever firearm is used, the shooter better be darn sure he can manipulate it and and also hit whatever he is shooting at. Think of all the stories of LEO's firing dozens of rounds, under stress, and never getting a single clean, center of mass hit on a BG.
    IIRC, Timothy Treadwell and Amie Huguenard were killed in 2003.
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

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    VIP Member Array SpencerB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OD* View Post
    IIRC, Timothy Treadwell and Amie Huguenard were killed in 2003.
    Agreed, according to Wikipedia anyways....

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