.380 on a ultralight backpacking/camping trip?

This is a discussion on .380 on a ultralight backpacking/camping trip? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; i would carry anything smaller then a 9mm for people.. i hike in PA, with black bears... for that i use 40sw with 180gr hard ...

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Thread: .380 on a ultralight backpacking/camping trip?

  1. #16
    Senior Member Array Ring's Avatar
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    i would carry anything smaller then a 9mm for people.. i hike in PA, with black bears... for that i use 40sw with 180gr hard cast lead

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  3. #17
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    Just remember re. the caliber thing: .380 is a SHORT 9mm and MIGHT be O.K. , with a good spray, and give you a chance to beat a hasty retreat. Just make sure you can use WHATEVER you decide to take with you! And it is wise NEVER to hike alone in bear country.
    Chicken Little? Who the heck is Chicken Little? And what does she know, anyway?!

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  4. #18
    Member Array CaptSmith's Avatar
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    check out the capzacin content in "bear" spray...you may find while a bigger dispenser it is very diluted ...compared to 2 legged "non-lethal" pepper spray made for human targets...great time to be walking in the woods Sagline ( in New England ?)..good luck

  5. #19
    Ex Member Array Yankeejib's Avatar
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    Two Appalachian Trail hikes (GA to ME...roughly 2160 miles X 2), 292 nights in the woods in 16 states, 48 close encounters with black bears, no shots fired. Bears are the biggest wimps. I sleep with my food bag as a pillow. I've never met a bear that had the slightest inclination to engage me. 47 times all I heard was crashing through the underbrush as Bobo (most of them were collared and RD tagged) hauled ass. Only one ever held his ground, and I allowed him that. You don't need a gun.

    Having said that, I'd never trust any SD situation to a .380. When every ounce counts, I'd suck up to a big service caliber weapon.

  6. #20
    VIP Member Array zonker1986's Avatar
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    All these threads about hiking in the wilderness are just making me tired.

    I'd carry a minimum of my Glock 23 .40 with 180gr or G32 .357SIG with 147gr for decent penetration (bears are thick) if I ever work up the energy to go walking around where they play. Don't own a 10mm or that would definitely be be my first choice and is probably the minimum caliber to have any chance of dropping a bear.

    In answer to your question.....carrying the .380 would be a waste of extra ounces, and I'd carry the 9mm with a heavy bullet (147gr) for good penetration if that is your only other option. Might considered carrying alternating JHP's and FMJ's in your mag as the FMJ's would penetrate much deeper and you might have a chance at hitting something vital to the bear.
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  7. #21
    VIP Member Array zonker1986's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yankeejib View Post
    Two Appalachian Trail hikes (GA to ME...roughly 2160 miles X 2), 292 nights in the woods in 16 states, 48 close encounters with black bears, no shots fired. Bears are the biggest wimps. I sleep with my food bag as a pillow. I've never met a bear that had the slightest inclination to engage me. 47 times all I heard was crashing through the underbrush as Bobo (most of them were collared and RD tagged) hauled ass. Only one ever held his ground, and I allowed him that. You don't need a gun.

    Having said that, I'd never trust any SD situation to a .380. When every ounce counts, I'd suck up to a big service caliber weapon.
    did you at least get a Boy Scout Merit Badge for that little stroll? Hike 2100 miles??? No comprende'....I don't like to drive that far, much less foot it.
    Kimbers are the guns you show your friends....Glocks are the ones you show your enemies.

  8. #22
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    You did not mention where you were headed or which bear species you might run into. My take, don't bother with a .380 for bear. I've had many black bear encounters, both while hunting, and while hiking. Two of the enounters were surpise encounters. In all cases, the bears ran away.

    I have slept out in the woods more nights than I can count, in the open, or under a tarp. Never, ever had a problem with bears. Just don't cook or eat in camp before sleeping for the night. Stop earlier, cook and eat, then move on to a camp site further down the trail to spend the night.

    Also not sure where you would discharge the handgun, but if caught or reported, you would likely face some charges. Bear spray is a much better option if you are that concerned about it.

    Now, if you are concerned about 2 legged critters, than a .380 makes a very nice lightweight backpacking option.

  9. #23
    VIP Member Array Doghandler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saglines View Post
    ... I would need something lighter. The Ruger KLCR is a nice compromise, still a little heavy, but right between the weight of my .380 and my 9mm with much more power. ...
    Uhmmm.... Those .357s out of the KLCR sub 2 inch barrel will not have much more power than 9 mm out of a 3 or 4 inch barrel. Maybe somewhat more I'd guess.

    Sorry but I don't have a crony to back up my statement. It's on my list though.
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  10. #24
    Senior Member Array tclance's Avatar
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    IDK If I could not pack whats necessary to protect myself or friends and family I would not go. Im not talking pistols, Im talking 45/70. A good backpack already has a spot for a rifle. Whats a few pounds between friends and bears. I personally would also carry a 4'' 44mag as backup just in case. IDC what kind of bear it is. If it threatened myself or party, fresh steaks for dinner!!

  11. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by tclance View Post
    IDK If I could not pack whats necessary to protect myself or friends and family I would not go. Im not talking pistols, Im talking 45/70. A good backpack already has a spot for a rifle. Whats a few pounds between friends and bears. I personally would also carry a 4'' 44mag as backup just in case. IDC what kind of bear it is. If it threatened myself or party, fresh steaks for dinner!!
    This really is where I am as well. Of all the things to cut corners on while hiking in the wilderness, I wouldn't skimp on gun.

    Pepper spray, bells and other bear-gifts would stay home to leave room for ammo.
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  12. #26
    New Member Array Saglines's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone! I appreciate all the thoughtful discussion. I'm leaning heavily towards the .380. I don't expect to have a likely problem with bears; however they are where I am going. My real concern is with crazy humans. I have come across some real nut jobs in my treks. The real reason is for some sort of peace of mind. I have been camping/hiking my whole life and ultra light for the last @ 10 years and I have always carried a large Buck knife for my only protection. Thankfully, I have never had to use it. There has been a few times where I thought I might need it because of nuts in the woods, but luckily I didn’t. There was one time when I encountered someone and my knife never left my hand. I figured the .380 at only 3 oz more than my Buck knife was a good trade off. So the real question should have been .380 vs. Buck Nighthawk for protection. The 9mm @ 30 oz is very heavy for ULTRA LIGHT backpacking across heavy terrain, where every oz really does count.

  13. #27
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    Have a safe trip. Be sure to check back in and let us know how it went!

    'Best,

    whec
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  14. #28
    Senior Member Array VBVAGUY's Avatar
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    Yes good luck and be safe. Since you will be bringing your .380, you might want to load it with the strongest ammo you can load in it. If your .380 can take the Buffalo Bore ammo, I would recommend loading it with that and maybe bring an extra box of it. God Bless
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  15. #29
    New Member Array revolvergeek's Avatar
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    If you decide to go with the .380 it might well be worth trying out some of the Buffalo Bore 380 Auto +P Ammo - 100 gr. Hardcast F.N. (1150fps/ M.E. 294 ft. lbs.). It should give you just about all the thump and penetration that a .380 is ever going to have.

    I personally would go with something higher caliber. Black Bear are generally a non-issue around here, but feral dogs and various large cats can be a problem, and I would not want to tangle with them with a .380.

  16. #30
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    That would not be my first choice, or second for that matter, but if you are OK carrying a .380, then go with it. I don't mind carrying more weight. I find it rather comforting.
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