.380 on a ultralight backpacking/camping trip?

.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; So, I am going on a long backpacking/camping trip. I am hoping to cover about 35 miles through rugged terrain, so every ounce matters. I ...

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    New Member Array Saglines's Avatar
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    .380 on a ultralight backpacking/camping trip?

    So, I am going on a long backpacking/camping trip. I am hoping to cover about 35 miles through rugged terrain, so every ounce matters. I was considering bringing my .380 for protection which weighs only 14 oz with a full magazine. My other option would be my 9mm which weighs 30 oz with a full magazine. (more weight than I like) Mind you, I used to take a buck knife as my only protection. I understand that the .380 will not stop a bear or other large animal, but neither will my 9mm. My hope is that a couple of warning shots into the ground will scare a bear off. (likely to only encounter black bears if at all) Because if it comes charging I know the 9mm, .380 and the Buck knife aren't going to stop it. I would also have the gun for protection against any undesirables or crazies (scarier than any animals) that I may encounter. Thoughts?


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    If you end up needing a firearm, I'm betting you'll prefer to have the 9mm over the .380. You'll be glad you carried the extra 16 oz.
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    Distinguished Member Array Brady's Avatar
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    Agreed with WHEC724. Skimp on something else, not the weight of your gun.
    If you're worried about bad encounters I would consider a new purchase. There are many options in larger calibers at the 30oz weight range.
    ...he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. Luke 22:36
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    How about a heavier gun in a shoulder holster?

    How about a large can of bear spray? I have a large full can, it is 13.5 oz including the nylon belt case/holster.

    How about if everybody carries the spray? Plus guns.
    Last edited by cammo; September 19th, 2011 at 12:17 PM.

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    New Member Array Saglines's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brady View Post
    Agreed with WHEC724. Skimp on something else, not the weight of your gun.
    If you're worried about bad encounters I would consider a new purchase. There are many options in larger calibers at the 30oz weight range.
    Thanks but the point is that 30 oz is a lot. 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. Too bad I don't have the spare cash to get one right now.

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    consider charter arms bulldog stainless 44 spl..5 shot, 2.5" ..older tapered barrels 3"....24oz loaded with 200gr copper hp/solids

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    Ex Member Array RugerRon's Avatar
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    An avid hiker friend of mine, who frequents Glacier National Park and Yellowstone, says that bear experts agree that bear spray is more effective at stopping an attack than ANY gun caliber. You’re fooling yourself if you pretend that you can reliably pull off a clean kill shot on a charging grizzly.

    I saw the video of this incident: Grizzly Bear attacks trainer. After being sprayed, the bear jumped up and down in one spot huffing and puffing, but was clearly unable to continue with any type of attack.

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    Distinguished Member Array BadgerJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saglines View Post
    So, I am going on a long backpacking/camping trip. I am hoping to cover about 35 miles through rugged terrain, so every ounce matters. I was considering bringing my .380 for protection which weighs only 14 oz with a full magazine. My other option would be my 9mm which weighs 30 oz with a full magazine. (more weight than I like) Mind you, I used to take a buck knife as my only protection. I understand that the .380 will not stop a bear or other large animal, but neither will my 9mm. My hope is that a couple of warning shots into the ground will scare a bear off.
    OK, you should analyze the situation better.

    1. Are you going on this trip in an area where there has been black bear attacks?
    2. Is it mating season or are mother bears out and about with young cubs?
    3. What is the bear density in that area?
    4. Cases of odd bear behavior, rabies, etc. (check with Ranger)
    5. Research black bear response to noises (incl. gunshots) - most say make 'noise' when on the trail like having a metal pan and a spoon hitting it so the bear is not startled by you - many bears, hearing humans will run off.
    6. Effectiveness of bear spray on Black bears - recommendations of Ranger for your hiking area

    I think you're worried about a very rare 'threat' and you should think of the reason to carry being the two-legged variety of threat. If you're camping and worried, take a perimeter alarm (wires that trigger if someone crosses your perimeter at night). Be careful with whom you associate. If you meet up with a good person, pair up - two pairs eyes better than one, safety in numbers. So, be prepared with research and don't obsess about trying to use a small caliber handgun to 'scare off' a black bear - the one to worry about is the one you meet up around the bend in a trail standing there with cubs - you won't have time to draw and fire.

    HTH - just some thoughts. :)

    ========
    To the poster above mine:
    A grizzly is not a black bear and their behaviors are quite different, as I'm sure you know. Bear spray is good but you need to be upwind - wind not blowing at you, and you need time to deploy and you need to practice with it. Having a can inside your backpack and startling a bear means you won't have time to deploy. If you don't practice with it you might end up not knowing how to open and arm it and might spray yourself. In a highly concentrated bear habitat during mating or calving season, I'd carry the can in my hand, with a velcro over-strap for retention. But, again, it's not the four-legged predators you typically have to worry about (depending on the area).

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    Ex Member Array RugerRon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadgerJ View Post
    A grizzly is not a black bear and their behaviors are quite different.
    It doesn't matter if it's a panda bear, spray it in the face!

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    Distinguished Member Array BadgerJ's Avatar
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    Um, I was addressing this comment.
    You’re fooling yourself if you pretend that you can reliably pull off a clean kill shot on a charging grizzly.
    The OP never said he thought he could pull off a clean shot on a charging grizzly. But, whatever. :)
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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    Get a small can of bear spray, to augment your .380 and arrange appropriate carry methods. Minimal investment, minimal added weight and will give you some capability against both humans and critters.
    RugerRon and Saglines like this.
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    Ex Member Array RugerRon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadgerJ View Post
    Um, I was addressing this comment.


    The OP never said he thought he could pull off a clean shot on a charging grizzly. But, whatever. :)
    No, but he's contemplating the use of various calibers for what?

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    New Member Array Saglines's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RugerRon View Post
    You’re fooling yourself if you pretend that you can reliably pull off a clean kill shot on a charging grizzly.
    First off, no one is talking about grizzly bears. As I stated the most would be a black bear, and I also stated that I knew neither of these calibers would stop even a black bear. What I would use it for would be to scare off a bear with a couple shots in the ground, or to protect against humans. I realize that if a bear, grizzly or black, was to charge me i would be screwed.

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    Ex Member Array RugerRon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saglines View Post
    I realize that if a bear, grizzly or black, was to charge me i would be screwed.
    That's not true. If you have bear spray handy you could stop either in their tracks.

    And... My bad on the GRIZZLY talk. But, the use of spray has been proven effective on all species of bear.

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    Member Array localgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RugerRon View Post
    That's not true. If you have bear spray handy you could stop either in their tracks.

    And... My bad on the GRIZZLY talk. But, the use of spray has been proven effective on all species of bear.
    Well, it's kinda true. Where I grew up we had a LOT of bears. And a determined one, not even angry, just determined, was not stopped by even the largest calibers we had on hand. I was very young, but I remember it being something like .30-06 or .308; however, it was enough for it to change its mind and go a different direction. Bears are very hard to kill, especially face-on, regardless of caliber. So really, either the gun or the spray are going to work the same way--as an effort to get the bear to change his mind. Though if a bear does start gnawing on you, even a .380 to the eyeball can make him rethink things.

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