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Hi everyone. This is my first post on this forum. I have an issue that perhaps you can advise me with. I live in the state of Florida, home to panthers, alligators and the occasional other wandering beast. Recently, the big cats have been showing up a little closer to home than we (my family and I) would like.

I am licensed, and usually carry a ruger lcr (with novak tritium sight and ct laser), and a kahr p380, as well as a small preon 1 flashlight and pocket knife. I also own a S&W M&P .40.

Here is my query: should I buy a powerful gun, such as a .357 magnum, for big cat defense? I'd think even the muzzle flash and blast would likely scare off even a large, prowling feline. If so, I'd like a mid-weight, mid length gun with at least 6 rounds. What should I go with? Ruger GP100? Taurus 65? A Smith & Wesson? (very pricey). What about barrel size? 3"? 4"?

Thanks.
 

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FL cougars aren't tough like the lions of Africa, are seldom seen, and a run-in with one is highly unlikely. Still, I wouldn't care to take that case up with the wildlife department if I had to shoot one. They look dimly upon shooting endangered species.
 

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GP100, or a used Ruger Six Series. S&W will serve you fine as well but avoid Taurus.
 

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For self-defense purposes against cougars and gators, I think anything that you'd use on two-legged predators would work fine on them.

...Unless you're looking to justify the purchase of a .357, then by all means, using anything else could be considered suicide and you absolutely should make it a top priority to get one (or two). :wink:
 

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I think your .40 cal. would be acceptable.

I would shoot as a last resort.
As in, about to eat my kid, spouse or another human being.
In Michigan, you would most likely have to answer a few questions, but I believe the circumstances, and the location of where the shooting took place would ultimately factor in.
 
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Welcome from the PRM!
 

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PA. used to have Cougars, we call them mountain lions up here but that wouldn't work in Florida, no mountains. I wish they were still around but as much as I hate to say it, the forestry dept will never reintroduce them. Too much politics.
 

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Welcome to the forum! :wave:

O think OldVet said it best - unless the cougar is in the act of attacking a human being, you would be in more trouble than you could imagine if you were caught shooting at, or hitting, a Florida cougar. As OldVet says, the authorities take a dim view of shooting an endangered species.

That being said, a 160 gr .40S&W would certainly get the cat's attention; several would be very likely to accomplish what you seem to be after.

As far as gators, if you see one in your yard, your best bet would be to contact the authorities and let them deal with it. Unless you are a VERY good shot, preferably with a 12 gauge slug, I would suggest not confronting a gator unless you are in a boat and it isn't. Except for a small spot in the top back of the head, that gator is a lot like nature's Abrams tank.
 

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Been living in Florida for 9 years now... seen a whole mess of Gators, and a croc. once. I have seen a few cougars, but they are fairly rare and very shy...In my experiences. Looked a cat in the eye... it just looked for a way away from me. far as gators... You can get attacked by a gator. But by time you know it... your already in trouble. Couple a years ago gator had a jogger for supper. She fell asleep on the bank of the canal along SR84. Seen a 8 footer come real close to eating a Canadian in Loxahatchie. The thing is.... gators can run in a strait line about 30 MPH. they can climb a 4ft fence, and can jump up about 4 or 5 foot. Heard stories about them jumping 10 ft. I dont know about a .40 dispatching a gator. Maybe a .357. Shooting a gator is tricky. Ya have to hit the sweet spot rear top of their head. During gator season if you get a permit... you cant even use a rifle or handgun... In Florida you must use a bang stick, like a diver would use.

I think probably the most dangerous thing you will run into is feral hogs. They can be real dangerous in the right circumstance. There are also feral dogs that may pose a bit of a threat. Then there are the snakes. In the glades and swamp the big snakes could be a problem. Then there's the skunk ape. You dont want to run into one of those... Rumor has it there are people living in the swamps in cut out mangrove's. Said to be all inbread, and known to capture tourist women for breeding purposes. If you count all the children what dissapeared in the swamp the statistics would make it a dangerous place. The secret military installations there allways seem to attract strange lights and aliens... Dont know if the missing chirruns is long pig for the swamp folks, or turned into Hybrids by the aliens.

I suggest when travelling in the Florida swamp's you carry a .45 1911, with a Glock .45 as a back up, and a Tarus Judge as a back up to your back up. 11 Extra mags for each pistol. At least a 12 ga pump shotgun loaded with 00 buck's with disgarding sabot's. A minimum of a .308 autoloading game rifle, and a .223 carbine with at least 4 loaded magazines. Just dont step off the buggy, or out of the boat onto the saws or you will never be seen again... for about 20 years till the find your skelital remains floating in some canal in Naples.

Yep the Swamp is a dangerous place. It's best that New Yorkers, and Canadians stays out of the swamps less they prepared.

As for My self, when on my wanderings I carry a Colt Trooper III in .357 and a belt knife, And 6 extry rounds for the wheelgun. I use a tanker style holster for the gun.
 

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Been living in Florida for 9 years now... seen a whole mess of Gators, and a croc. once. I have seen a few cougars, but they are fairly rare and very shy...In my experiences. Looked a cat in the eye... it just looked for a way away from me. far as gators... You can get attacked by a gator. But by time you know it... your already in trouble. Couple a years ago gator had a jogger for supper. She fell asleep on the bank of the canal along SR84. Seen a 8 footer come real close to eating a Canadian in Loxahatchie. The thing is.... gators can run in a strait line about 30 MPH. they can climb a 4ft fence, and can jump up about 4 or 5 foot. Heard stories about them jumping 10 ft. I dont know about a .40 dispatching a gator. Maybe a .357. Shooting a gator is tricky. Ya have to hit the sweet spot rear top of their head. During gator season if you get a permit... you cant even use a rifle or handgun... In Florida you must use a bang stick, like a diver would use.

I think probably the most dangerous thing you will run into is feral hogs. They can be real dangerous in the right circumstance. There are also feral dogs that may pose a bit of a threat. Then there are the snakes. In the glades and swamp the big snakes could be a problem. Then there's the skunk ape. You dont want to run into one of those... Rumor has it there are people living in the swamps in cut out mangrove's. Said to be all inbread, and known to capture tourist women for breeding purposes. If you count all the children what dissapeared in the swamp the statistics would make it a dangerous place. The secret military installations there allways seem to attract strange lights and aliens... Dont know if the missing chirruns is long pig for the swamp folks, or turned into Hybrids by the aliens.

I suggest when travelling in the Florida swamp's you carry a .45 1911, with a Glock .45 as a back up, and a Tarus Judge as a back up to your back up. 11 Extra mags for each pistol. At least a 12 ga pump shotgun loaded with 00 buck's with disgarding sabot's. A minimum of a .308 autoloading game rifle, and a .223 carbine with at least 4 loaded magazines. Just dont step off the buggy, or out of the boat onto the saws or you will never be seen again... for about 20 years till the find your skelital remains floating in some canal in Naples.

Yep the Swamp is a dangerous place. It's best that New Yorkers, and Canadians stays out of the swamps less they prepared.

As for My self, when on my wanderings I carry a Colt Trooper III in .357 and a belt knife, And 6 extry rounds for the wheelgun. I use a tanker style holster for the gun.
Oh yeah... they will put you under the jail for shooting a panther... and possibly for shooting a gator. One thing worse than shooting a gator is feeding one.
 

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PA. used to have Cougars, we call them mountain lions up here but that wouldn't work in Florida, no mountains. I wish they were still around but as much as I hate to say it, the forestry dept will never reintroduce them. Too much politics.
lol WE DO HAVE MOUNTAINS!!! Have you never heard of Mt. Trashmore?
 

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I think probably the most dangerous thing you will run into is feral hogs. They can be real dangerous in the right circumstance. There are also feral dogs that may pose a bit of a threat. Then there are the snakes. In the glades and swamp the big snakes could be a problem. Then there's the skunk ape. You dont want to run into one of those... Rumor has it there are people living in the swamps in cut out mangrove's. Said to be all inbread, and known to capture tourist women for breeding purposes. If you count all the children what dissapeared in the swamp the statistics would make it a dangerous place. The secret military installations there allways seem to attract strange lights and aliens... Dont know if the missing chirruns is long pig for the swamp folks, or turned into Hybrids by the aliens.
I can't remember. Does Florida have the Chupacabra?
 

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They will not only take you before a Judge for killing or even wounding a Panther but the gator is protected up to a certain size.
It has a hunting season but only if you have a tag and the tag is lake specific.
 
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First off, welcome to the forum.

As to your question. Cougar like most North American cats are think skinned. Your .40 will easily penetrate their hide. Now if you have bears in your area, that is a different story. If bear are a problem, I'd go with the 4" .357 loaded with the heaviest hard cast bullets you can get for it. I wouldn't trust a .40 to stop an angry bear.
 
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