This is a discussion on Did I cover everything? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; You guys are wearing off on me I talked to my brother-in-law this week. He knows I shoot but we have never really discussed it ...
You guys are wearing off on me
I talked to my brother-in-law this week. He knows I shoot but we have never really discussed it much. When he awkwardly brought up the topic of guns, I knew he needed some advice.
He and his wife are outdoor types that like to 4-wheel, ATV, and motorcycle around the Anchorage, Alaska area. He wants to explore some of the more remote parts of the Alaska wilderness soon and is worried about personal protection from wolves, bears, and 2 legged predators. He is looking for a gun to leave by the bedside for home defense, something to plink with in the outback, and a gun that can save them from attacking wild life if needed.
(this is where you guys come in) The first thing I told him was to take a training class. With his limited experience, a safety course or a defense course (preferably both) is the first step. The advice he and his wife will get from the instructors will be a lot better than anything I can give over the phone. I also told him to rent and shoot as many guns as he could afford to find what he was most comfortable with.
Next, I told him that his requirements for 4 and 2 legged predators were difficult to fulfill with just 1 gun. I said that the best home defense gun is a shotgun and a phone next to the bed. Call the police, and don’t let anything through the door. I also explained that the same shotgun with slugs, or a rifle, is a much better defense against bears than a handgun will ever be. Of course, with his requirement for a weapon to take on ATVs and motorcycles, a long gun is not as practical.
I gave him some advice on what to start looking at. I suggested a (Ruger GP-100) .357 revolver first. It would fill his home and wolf defense requirement. They are rugged and reliable, and can be found in good shape if bought used. He and his wife can shoot light .38 specials for practice, and find a full power load for their time in the back country. I also explained that even the most powerful .357 load will only scare or wound a bear or moose (usually not a good strategy). I suggested that .44 magnum or bigger is approaching acceptable power for that situation and emphasized a rifle or shotgun slugs again.
I also restated the importance of safety and defense classes before we ended the call.
So, how did I do? Did I miss anything? I think I covered all the basics and saved them the time of reading about 30 posts from this site. I may have been a bit of information overload at the time, but it emphasized the magnitude of the decision he is starting on.
A real man loves his wife, and places his family as the most important thing in life. Nothing has brought me more peace and content in life than simply being a good husband and father.
LOL... one shot from that beast and he'll resort to rock throwing...
" Refuse to be a victim, make sure there is a round chambered ! "
Just call me a pessimistic optimist !
U.S. Navy vet 1981-1992
You're dead on in your analysis that he probably won't be finding one gun to cover all four duties: bear defense, smaller critter defense, two-legged-predator defense, and home defense.
You're right, the best home defense weapon is a shotgun (in my opinion) and you can't go wrong with a Remington or Mossberg pump in 12ga with an 18-20" barrel. He should be able to find one used around $150 or new for around $250-300, so that shouldn't be a big problem.
I like your suggestion of a revolver for the "out and about gun" as it's rugged, reliable, very easy to use under stress, etc... and although .357 Magnum is one of the all-time best manstopper rounds, I have a feeling it would just make a bear very angry.
I don't know how the laws in Alaska are, but would it be legal for him to keep a short-barreled (18") shotgun on his motorcycle? Shotgun slugs are a pretty good bear deterrent.
A .454 isn't a horrible idea since he could use .45LC for practice, but wielding a revolver that big, with that much recoil, is probably asking too much from a novice.
Anyone know if 10mm will make a bear think twice? I kinda doubt it... In fact, I don't know of any handguns besides .460VX and .500SW that I'd trust to drop a bear.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
- Margaret Mead
"Booger Hook Off the Bang Switch" - unknown
I have no experience with one but I've read alot of other people post about using a 10mm for large animal defense. If that's something he's interested in have him check out the Glock 20. If nothing else it would be a good HD gun or he could get a 29 so he could carry it easier. I don't know. Just a suggestion.
I considered the Judge. By that time in the conversation I could tell that he was overloaded with info.
I think the Judge would fill most of their needs. Light .45 LCs or .410s for the house because he shares a wall with the condo neighbors and lives in a residential area. Not much of a carry gun, but I do not want to rush that issue yet.
I do not want to give false security on the bear issue. Would a hot .45 LC be comparable to a .44mag?
the on.y "hot" .45 LC loads I have seen were only recommended for Rugers...
you still have the option of 410 slugs though
Good advice you gave him.
I lived in Anchorage from 1991-1996. When on foot (hiking, camping, etc) I carried a .44 mag. When I was able to I brought my Remington 870 loaded with 3" slugs. I'm not sure if the current laws allow the carrying of a shotgun on a motorcycle. Maybe in a soft case? A rifle would be a better option IMO. But a shotgun is a good all around weapon for 2 & 4 legged creatures.
For handguns, most people I knew carried .44's. The 10mm was just coming out when I lived there, not too many people carried them. I am no ballistics expert, but I would think that a .44 mag would be a better choice. Much easier for a novice to use a revolver. If he decides on a 10mm, I'd get a Glock 20. Make sure he practices with whatever he decides on getting. A .357 mag is just too small for bears. A big industrial sized can of bear spray might also be a good idea. That's something he could get right away until he decides on what to get.
A .357 in my hand during a bear attack would feel allot better to me than no gun at all. Just don't use hollow points and you could kill a bear with it. It's light for sure, but better than throwing spit balls!
I American and I Ameriwill!
My father and I have taken fishing trips to Alaska's bear country often enough. I carry my 1911 on my hip and a Marlin 45-70 1895 "Guide gun" in a scabard on the backpack. The Marlin has an 18.5 inch barrel and fits perfectly in a small hard plastic scabbard on an ATV or a soft case on a backpack.
Dad carries his S&W 500. Never had to use them thankfully enough but its good to know that their there if needed.
Marlin 1895G 45-70;
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!
Almost forgot...don't use hollow points as stated above. Also, I heard this from many hunters when I lived up there, shoot for the shoulder as this will be more likely to disable them (from running). Especially with the big bears, their skulls are sometimes too thick for some bullets to adequately penetrate.
Oh yeah...and they can out run you, out climb you, and out swim you. Just make sure that whoever you go with is a slower runner than you.
I recommend a .44 magnum loaded with 310 grain Garrett Hammerheads. If you get into the larger calibers your wife will have a hard time handling them. Here is a testimonial from their web site you might find interesting: ""You've made a believer out of me. Last September I was hunting Alaskan grizzly with some natives when one of them wounded a male that took off in the brush. Four of us went in after him, the other 3 had rifles and due to the circumstances of the moment, I was armed with only a S&W 2.5" 44 Magnum loaded with your rounds. I was the fourth guy back, and you guessed it, he circled back around us and did a full charge from the rear at about 15-feet. I turned and shot, hitting him in the upper shoulder, blowing out his lungs and lodging just under the hide on the far side. It knocked him down, giving me enough time to empty my remaining rounds to keep him down. I know these loads were a real life saver!"
- Jeff Newville (Personal Letter) "
Product: Model 629 - 4"
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DEMOCRACY IS TWO WOLVES AND A LAMB VOTING ON WHAT TO HAVE FOR LUNCH. LIBERTY IS A WELL ARMED LAMB CONTESTING THE VOTE.
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