Wilderness Defense

Wilderness Defense

This is a discussion on Wilderness Defense within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm interested in some opinions on a handgun for personal defense out in the wild. I'm planning a backpacking trip. An extremely long trip at ...

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 56

Thread: Wilderness Defense

  1. #1
    New Member Array BigCountry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    8

    Wilderness Defense

    I'm interested in some opinions on a handgun for personal defense out in the wild.

    I'm planning a backpacking trip. An extremely long trip at that. I plan on backpacking along the great Appalachian trail. A 2,100 mile trek stretching from Georgia to Maine and this trail holds its dangers from man and beast alike and I have no intentions of being ill-prepared.

    I plan on taking along a Henry AR-7 for small game, but when it comes to protection.. I'm not sure where to begin. I'm a fan of the H&K USP .45 but that's a steep price tag and I've never owned a handgun. (Plenty of rifles though.) Any suggestions? I'm open to all criticism.

    (Also.. any tips for a durable knife? I've got a few old reliables.. but I'm curious to what I can find.)


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array shooterX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    2,848
    A Ruger Alaskan comes to mind, as well as the Smith & Wesson model 500 with 4" barrel, and if that's too big, you could go with a S&W N-frame model 629 4" .44 magnum. Or are you thinking something more compact?

  3. #3
    New Member Array BigCountry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    8
    Nothing compact.. I have rather large hands and small handguns tend to feels awkward in them.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array cwblanco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Amarillo, Texas
    Posts
    835
    I don't know what type of small game that you have in mind. However, if the estimated distance for the small game is not all that far, have you considered the Taurus Judge which holds both the 45 long colt and a 3" 410 shotgun shell? With such an arrangement, you might could eliminate one firearm to carry. I done a lot of backpacking in the rockies in my lifetime, and therefore am considering the weight factor only from my own experiences, and certainly not from the perspective of 2,100 miles on the Appalachian trail.
    Live every day so that you can, with a clear conscience, look all men in their eyes and tell them to go to hell.

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array shooterX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    2,848
    Quote Originally Posted by BigCountry View Post
    Nothing compact.. I have rather large hands and small handguns tend to feels awkward in them.
    Then the N-frame smith's would be what I would shop for, or the Ruger as mentioned. Good Luck.

  6. #6
    New Member Array BigCountry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    8
    I don't mind carrying two firearms. The Henry AR-7 is only 2.5lbs which barely registers in my mind. I prefer the accuracy it provides and I'd rather not pick shot out of my meat, haha. The pistol would simply be quick protection from man or beast.

    Thank you for the idea though. I've mulled the judge over in my mind and couldn't justify it.

  7. #7
    New Member Array BigCountry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    8
    Thanks, shooterX. Any reasoning behind a revolver over a 'typical' or 'tactical' pistol? I never really considered them before. (I'm not sure why.)

  8. #8
    Member Array CommonMan101's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Dallas
    Posts
    128
    Glock 20 or 29 will hold 15 rounds per mag and is enough for whatever you run into in those necks of the woods. If 30 - 45 rounds of 10mm can't kill it or drive it off you shouldn't be there in the first place. All these awesome, huge revolvers are more powerful for the first 5-6 shots - after that the G20/G29 outperforms them all for another 10 trigger pulls of 357magnum-like performance and then a quick mag change can give you another 15 rounds to go.

    If you're talking Brown Bears and taking down Moose I would leave the 10mm at home and take the bigger revolvers and maybe a .338 rifle at a minimum.... and make sure my will was in order...

  9. #9
    New Member Array crasha51pan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    7
    I live in N/W Montana and like to hike the back trails. My long gun is the Marlin 1895M 450 cal.. Its a brush gun, not so much long range but thats what I bought it for. My handgun, I settled on the Ruger Redhawk 444, 44 mag. 4" barrel. I picked a wheel gun because they rarely if ever cause problems with dirt and such (things you might encounter in the back country). More important is the round I shoot in the 444, because I live in Grizzly country I bought a box of Garrett 330 gr. Hammerhead, hard cast rounds. I believe there are only 4 revolvers that can handle that particular round. These are for "penetration" only. Said to be able to pass through the skull of a Griz, and continue on, breaking bones as far as the hips......
    Hope I never have to find out, but that rig gives me as much comfort as I can expect, for my situation....It's for da bears !!!!
    Last edited by crasha51pan; December 12th, 2009 at 10:26 PM.

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array shooterX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    2,848
    Quote Originally Posted by BigCountry View Post
    Thanks, shooterX. Any reasoning behind a revolver over a 'typical' or 'tactical' pistol? I never really considered them before. (I'm not sure why.)
    I guess I was thinking of the caliber more than firearm type. And for some reason or another, I have always associated being in the woods and carrying a revovler as my sidearm, not sure why.
    If your more interested in an auto, something in .45 ACP, .40S&W , and maybe .357 sig, would be the only calibers I would consider. A Glock or a Sig would be good choices, or if your inclined, a m1911 of some kind.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array boscobeans's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    upstate new york
    Posts
    1,179
    For that kind of wilderness adventure my choice for protection and to fill the pot would be to sling an 18 inch 20 gauge pump over my shoulder. Easier to cook up a rabbit or a game bird than messing with a bunch of tree rats. If a dangerous occasion should arise a 20 gauge slug or load of buckshot can stop a threat as well as, if not better than most handguns.

    A .22 survival rifle(+ ammo) and a .44magnum pistol(+ammo) would add up to about the same in the weight department.

    You could even carry a flare or two in case of an emergency.

    OMO

    bosco

  12. #12
    Member Array G27owner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Rowan County, North Carolina
    Posts
    71
    Personally, I would go for the Ruger Alaskan or anything chambered for a .50 or a .44 magnum. But a 10mm glock also wouldn't be a bad choice because of the ammo capacity. You said you've never owned a handgun before? Make sure you get a lot of practice then. Especially with these high power rounds.
    "Shotgun bullets are bad for your health"
    -Ice Cube

  13. #13
    Moderator
    Array RETSUPT99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    45,313
    On the trip you propose, I believe that you will have more problems with state and park carry than you will with 'critters'...OMO...study individual state gun laws well.

    On that note, I'd suggest a Ruger Redhawk with at least 5 inches of barrel...the choice of those in the Alaska wilderness. OMOYMV
    The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.

    ***********************************
    Certified Glock Armorer
    NRA Life Member[/B]

  14. #14
    VIP Member
    Array Saber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Yuma, Arizona
    Posts
    2,591
    I believe 'shooterX' recommendations were very good although not very economical. Still, I'm not sure you would want to compromise.
    “Monsters are real and so are ghosts. They live inside of us, and sometimes they win.”
    ~ Stephen King

  15. #15
    Member Array CommonMan101's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Dallas
    Posts
    128
    Quote Originally Posted by shooterX View Post
    I guess I was thinking of the caliber more than firearm type. And for some reason or another, I have always associated being in the woods and carrying a revovler as my sidearm, not sure why.
    If your more interested in an auto, something in .45 ACP, .40S&W , and maybe .357 sig, would be the only calibers I would consider. A Glock or a Sig would be good choices, or if your inclined, a m1911 of some kind.
    I think you associate a woods gun to be a revolver for good reason. A woods gun should be simple and reliable AND powerful enough. Semi-Autos powerful enough to do that are more of a recent thing and still the revolvers far out strip them in what can be shot out of them. Revolvers are still King of Caliber in a sidearm for the woods and I believe semi-autos will never seriously challenge that.

    That said...
    None of those you suggested are good to hunt a 300 lb hog with and that's what I measure a woods gun by! A .357magnum with hunting loads - read not 125Gr HP or 147Gr HP - would be the lowest bar - a measuring stick if you will - for woods use. The .45 has only one or two loads out there that would do the job and most .45s would be damaged from regular use of them. A 40s&w would have to be loaded to 10mm speeds to get meaningful, reliable penetration through bone, cape, etc. and the 357Sig only emulates a small range of what 357Mag is capable of and that's those two loads - 125gr HP and 147gr HP - those should never be recommended as "best" for woods protection/hunting.

    So actually, no, those three suggestions are not adequate if you are trying to find something you don't have already. If you already own those you will be better off with them than not but if you are seeking an adequate tool for this particular mission - hiking from Ga to Ma along the Appalachians - Don't choose any of those three!

    Either:
    A revolver with at least .357Mag power loaded with deep penetrating hunting rounds. ALL revolvers stronger than .357 will be that much better!
    Or:
    An autoloader with that much power or more. 10mm is the bottom floor in that category. The three mentioned above don't cut the muster for everything you may encounter on that hike. 10mm will do the deed - so will Desert Eagle's .357Mag, .44Mag and .50. But they seem extreme and heavy and expensive to me.

    A Glock20 is rugged, dependable and powerful enough for your safe travel in those woods and it can take the potential abuse! This I inadvertantly test every time I'm in the woods. It's rough out there even when you're careful. It's capacity and ruggedness are what appeal to me in your situation and seals the deal on why I recommend it. You can get aftermarket barrels @ $120 each and start shooting 40sw and 357Sig anytime you want, also. No other change is needed other than the new barrel. Can you say "Multi-gun" lol

    I would recommend 200gr SWC loaded to the max as a minimum carry on that hike. I would also put an aftermarket 6 inch 10mm barrel in it so I got more power out of the load and so I won't be shooting lead bullets out of a factory Glock barrell - a no no.

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast

Sponsored Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Similar Threads

  1. Wilderness belt
    By jtmo3 in forum Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: July 19th, 2007, 05:19 PM
  2. Wilderness Safepacker - who has one and why?
    By lowflyer in forum Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: March 3rd, 2007, 06:28 PM
  3. Wilderness Tac Belt
    By jwkimber45 in forum Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: October 25th, 2006, 11:44 PM
  4. Wilderness Zip Slide
    By tarrigoni in forum Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: May 17th, 2005, 10:40 AM

Search tags for this page

best gun for wilderness protection
,

best handgun for protection in the wilderness

,

best handgun for wilderness protection

,
best pistol for wilderness protection
,

best wilderness gun

,

best wilderness handgun

,
best wilderness pistol
,
best wilderness sidearm
,
handgun for wilderness protection
,

handguns for wilderness protection

,
wilderness defense
,
wilderness handgun
Click on a term to search for related topics.