Would you carry 357mag or 45acp as outdoor gun?

Would you carry 357mag or 45acp as outdoor gun?

This is a discussion on Would you carry 357mag or 45acp as outdoor gun? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have enough concealed carry guns for daily use, I want to get a gun for outdoor hiking and backpacking. I have narrowed it down ...

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Thread: Would you carry 357mag or 45acp as outdoor gun?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array MichSteve's Avatar
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    Would you carry 357mag or 45acp as outdoor gun?

    I have enough concealed carry guns for daily use, I want to get a gun for outdoor hiking and backpacking.

    I have narrowed it down to 357mag Ruger SP-101 or a 45acp. What do you use for this purpose and why. If you say 45acp please give what gun you carry and why you chose that make and model. And do you use either for CCW.


  2. #2
    Member Array afcarpenter's Avatar
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    What are you trying to protect yourself from in the outdoors? While stationed in AK I was worried about bears and moose so I carried a 44 mag with +P loads but I wouldn't choose that if I were in CO hunting. So, the first step is to define what you are defending against. I do carry a 45acp for EDC but that's because I'm a fan of big bores and pretty much no other reason.

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    jyo
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    I have carried both---either would be fine, if a little heavy---my current outdoor pistol is a HK P2000 9mm---lightweight, slim and carries plenty of ammo---when I was in Alaska, I carried my 6" FA .454 Casull revolver---heavy but so were the local animals. Of the guns you already own, the Glock 19 would do a fine job!

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    Senior Member Array MichSteve's Avatar
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    I live in Michigan, I have never seen a black in the woods, so I would have to say two legged predators, wild dogs and rabid animals. However, sometime in the next few years I would like to go to Glacier Park and hike and take pictures so this would be a consideration but not if means a big 44mag, I would make a special purchase for that.

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    For that purpose, I carry a GP100, 3" with BB 180's.

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    Ditto - I live in Michigan too, and when in the woods, not as concerned (if at all) about concealing my sidearm, I carry a Ruger GP100 .357. More concerned about feral hogs, humans, and dogs than bears. (Any bear in Michigan worth its salt will be long gone before I lay eyes on it.)
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    I would go with the revolver. I love my Kimbers, but that Ruger can take some abuse and and still function to perfection. It is also more versatile in the ammo department, and easier to handle different loads in the same gun (that that may not be an advantage for you).

    Alaska is home for me, and IMO a .44 is pretty small for bear. A .454 Casull is pretty small. In fact, a .300 Win Mag can be just pretty small. I've shot two blackies with my .44, and I would never ever do it again if I had the choice! I like a .45-70 lever gun or a 12 gauge for close, and a .458 mag. for further away. Mostly, I like to leave them alone, and they seem to share that philosophy as a rule.

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    I'd go with a .45ACP....in a SIG P220...I have a P226 in .40S&W....
    Magazine <> clip - know the difference

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    Distinguished Member Array skysoldier29's Avatar
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    I'm currently on leave in Michigan. My cousin 2 days ago while bow hunting saw his first black bear out in the woods in Lake County. He estimated the weight to be about 350 or so. I'm assuming both .357 Mag and .45 ACP FMJs would stop a bear if you put a few rounds through its head. If I where choosing a .45 for a woods gun, I would probably go with a Glock 21 simply because I carry a Glock 23 and 27 as my carry weapons and I wouldn't have to really re learn the action of the gun because they are both the same. My preferred weapon weapon for a Michigan black bear would be the 30mm gun off of an A-10 Thunderbolt but since that is a little big I would opt for a .44 mag just to ensure you got plenty of fire power to stop the biggest thing in the woods. Never know when you might get between momma and booboo black bear.

  10. #10
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichSteve View Post
    I have enough concealed carry guns for daily use, I want to get a gun for outdoor hiking and backpacking.

    I have narrowed it down to 357mag Ruger SP-101 or a 45acp. What do you use for this purpose and why. If you say 45acp please give what gun you carry and why you chose that make and model. And do you use either for CCW.
    What exactly is your reasoning for wanting an "outdoor 'gun'" as opposed to what you currently have for carry?
    IMO......a 357mag means a revolver, and if I were to carry one into the woods for any specific purpose, it wouldn't be a snub. 4" barrel minimum I would say. A 45ACP could be a revolver or semi-auto. As far as a 357mag vs 45ACP debate on ballistics, don't let the FPS and penetration of ballistic gelatin fool you. Look more at the FT. Lbs of energy on impact and expansion. Most pistols are still considered close range weapons. If you hunt game with a pistol, it turns into a different story. Choose your pistol and cartridge accordingly. 44MAG sounds nice there with a Red Dot sight over a 5 or 6" barrel. Frozen tundra of Michigan in the outback? Ease of packing it around and dependability? You could go either way on the revolver or semi-auto. If I personally had to have a deep woods pistol other than any of my carry pistols, I'd probably get back into a G21 again with 13+1 rounds of 45ACP over a revolver in .357mag only because I'm more familiar with it. When I get into the outback, one of my carry pistols goes with me just like always although I might choose one with greater magazine capacity. If I'm hunting, I have at least two weapons available, so my pistol is my back-up, and it's one of my typically carried CC pistols.
    If I were looking into a specific "hiking/backpacking" pistol AND thinking of just about anything nature or the wilderness could throw at me and feel ultimately prepared for that...........I'd just throw the 357mag vs 45ACP ordeal out the window and go with a full size 10mm. I'll mention the G20 here just as others have somehow mentioned black bear.
    Answering your question more specifically and according to your choices........I'd take either one of YOUR choices.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array MichSteve's Avatar
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    I am familiar with Glocks, the 10mm is one caliber I have not investigated so I will look into that. I really am not that concerned about bear in Michigan, however, two legged BG with heavy clothing is sure a possibility. I would be looking at the 45acp in an auto loader, Glock, M&P, Sig, Kimber ect.

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    New Member Array brizbane's Avatar
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    I know that you are considering either .45 ACP or .357 but I would like to offer a different opinion. I think the perfect gun for your situation is the Ruger Alaskan. I got me one several months ago and it is excellent for hiking/backpacking and has potential as a carry gun also. It is not all that big and can shoot both .454 Casull and .45LC.

  13. #13
    Distinguished Member Array jumpwing's Avatar
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    An outdoor activity pistol is generally a SHTF tool of last resort; in other words, the animal is presenting itself as a very near and direct threat to you.

    If your only choices are .357mag or .45ACP, go with the .357mag, and get it in a revolver. Worst case scenario, you may find yourself jamming the muzzle into the animal's neck during it's attack, and that's a bad time to discover you've just shoved your slide out of battery.

    If you ARE open to other calibers, I concur with the recommendations for .454Cas. Adrenalin has a tendency to reduce felt recoil.
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    Senior Member Array MichSteve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brizbane View Post
    I know that you are considering either .45 ACP or .357 but I would like to offer a different opinion. I think the perfect gun for your situation is the Ruger Alaskan. I got me one several months ago and it is excellent for hiking/backpacking and has potential as a carry gun also. It is not all that big and can shoot both .454 Casull and .45LC.
    Wow, not that is a lot of gun, I had a Ruger Super Redhawk in .454 Casull and it was punishing, I used it one season to hunt deer, the gun was to big for anything but a outside the coat shoulder harness. Not sure I want to go that Big.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array MichSteve's Avatar
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    If your only choices are .357mag or .45ACP, go with the .357mag, and get it in a revolver. Worst case scenario, you may find yourself jamming the muzzle into the animal's neck during it's attack, and that's a bad time to discover you've just shoved your slide out of battery.

    I see your point with the up close and personal attack, the revolver does have an advantage in that situation.

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