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wilderness protection?

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by clarthom, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. clarthom

    clarthom oregon Member

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    just joined the forum, i've been trying to figure what handgun to buy, i will mostly be using it on backpacking trips so it needs to be light and compact but effective enough to be a usefull self deffense item in the woods. also i have a lot of .38 special brass that i would be willing to reload if i can use it in what ever handgun i get. the gun doesn't need to be .38 special but it would be a plus i guess since i have so much brass.

    any thoughts or suggestions are apprecieated
     
  2. Get yourself a Glock. They are lightweight, reliable, and you can beat the crap out of them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2011
  3. 44magyota

    44magyota oregon Member

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    Glocks are reliable ..but only get one if it fits you. Grip angle never worked for me. I would suggest looking at a ruger gp100. Shoot both. 357 and. 38. They are reliable and accurate. Do not look at tuarus....horrible quality control. S&W makes exceptional firearms....but will not hold up to the same beating a ruger would. My 2 cents...hope it helps.
     
  4. clarthom

    clarthom oregon Member

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    is that the consensus on light weight, packable, lowprofile defense weapons?
     
  5. chainsaw

    chainsaw East side of Or. Active Member

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    Although heavier and bulkier than an automatic,I carry a Ruger Redhawk .44 mag when I am in the woods.I like knowing that I can stop anything the lower 48 can dish out.I use handloaded 300 gr XTP/HP bullets from Hornady.Very accurate and lots of punch.
     
  6. clarthom

    clarthom oregon Member

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    i would really like to a nice sturdy revolver but i am hesitant because one of my biggest concerns are the ability to pack it comfortably, the revolvers seem a bit bulky
     
  7. clarthom

    clarthom oregon Member

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    also i'm not a big fan of glocks and most of them appear to be as bulky as any revolver
     
  8. Just out of curiosity, where are you planning on carrying the weapon on your person? When I go hiking with a pack, I carry my Glock in a thigh rig. It's comfortable because it's not on my waist where my pack's waist strap is, and it's accessible because I can draw without having to remove or adjust anything.

    You mentioned the .38 brass. You can pick up a lightweight, relatively small .38 revolver just about anywhere. They aren't very bulky, the cylinder is usually the thickest part of the gun and on a small frame .38 it's not bad. The issue I have with carrying a revolver is that you have essentially cut your ammo in half.

    You could look at the S&W M&P series. They are excellent firearms, a little slimmer than the Glocks, and they are still lightweight.

    Also, there is nothing wrong with Taurus revolvers. They make some excellent weapons and just like anything else you are going to rely on to save your life, you need to test it. Make sure you put several hundred rounds through anything you buy before you consider it reliable. Taurus also has a lifetime warranty.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2011
  9. EZLivin

    EZLivin SW of PDX Well-Known Member

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    Question. Are you an experienced backpacker or just starting out? The reason I ask is that if you are an experienced backpacker then you probably have enough experience to know what the (realistic) threats are where you hike. I don't backpack anymore, but do spend quite a bit of time in the woods. I'm mostly concerned with big cats, or something smaller that might go after one of the dogs. Am not particularly concerned about bears. While I have the option to carry my 44 or 357 Ruger I generally opt for a 9mm because of weight, capacity, and effectiveness against the threats I am concerned with.
     
  10. eriknemily

    eriknemily Tillamook County (Cheese!) Member

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    I agree with the Sarge. I carry an M&P compact and my wife carries a 2" taurus .357. Both have been very reliable and easy to carry. In the woods I would definitely carry .357s over 38s. Find some people who will let you try out there guns and that will help you decide what you are most comfortable with as far as revolver vs. semi-auto.
     
  11. EZLivin

    EZLivin SW of PDX Well-Known Member

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    +1.

    I just sold my PT709 pistol because I have other Glocks and wanted to try a G26. That 709 was really light, compact, and shot well. I like trying different guns, but I would have no problem owning another 709.
     
  12. PBinWA

    PBinWA Clark County Well-Known Member

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    Glock G20/G29
     
  13. Will_Power

    Will_Power OR via OK Active Member

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    Around Oregon, your biggest worries are going to be the wrong sorts of folks out in the sticks (aka worst case scenario being "oh, I'm sorry Mexican gangsters, I didn't mean to stumble into your weed growing operation!") or getting jumped by a mountain lion.

    For myself, a black bear attack isn't something I'm worried about enough to stock up on firepower for. I just don't think it's very likely; the overwhelming majority of black bears will high tail it away when they catch your scent. Just keep your food locked up tight and high if you're camping.

    A 9mm upwards will handle the two legged varmints and any cougars. So, if you've got plenty of .38 brass, a .357 sounds like the natural choice.

    If you don't want the big and bulky full size revolver, go with a Ruger SP101. Nice small size and still can send the .357 down range.
     
  14. pyromancer

    pyromancer Portland Freelance Graphic Designer Bronze Supporter

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    If you have the .38 brass my vote is on a .357 that can shoot both, mostly just because I like .357.

    As for worries about capacity, your stating you want this as wilderness protection, most animals will be scared by the noise from the first shot. Any situation where I think about encountering armed hostiles in the woods, I've either been shot before I see them, have time to go the other way, or they have tried to jump me and are close enough that I only need a couple rounds.

    My grandfather has carried a .22lr revolver for years and has scared away a couple bears while on hikes. He swears you just need something to make a loud enough noise. I carry my 9mm because its what I have, but if I where really worried about an animal attack instead of just scaring something away I'd go with bear mace.
     
  15. clarthom

    clarthom oregon Member

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    i wouldn't say i'm an expert backpacker but i have been on 15ish good trips, i was thinking about carrying on my side(under arm) but wanted to try it with my back pack to be sure nothing would be in the way. also i'm mostly worried about cats, i have run into just about anything that is a threat in the Oregon wilderness and find they pose the largest threat. bears usually run off before you can get close to them. have not encountered any of the mexicanos farming the funnky cabage yet but i'm sure they're out there. an auto would be nice because they can be pretty slim and there is the ammunition capacity. i know the 1911 is pretty slim but how is it on weight compared to the m&p?
     
  16. clarthom

    clarthom oregon Member

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    i just looked up the ruger sp101, looks nice and compact and it comes in .38 and .357, 5 rounds is the limit with it though, i would hope i wouldn't need more than that.
     
  17. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    To the OP,
    From what you state about wanting a gun for protection and hopefully one that can utilize some of the 38 Special brass that you have, I too, would lean towards a .357 revolver. Can plink with 38s and handle most situations with .357. I've owned a few Smith and Wesson revolvers and if you want a small one, get one of the J frames. I had a 649 that had the shrouded hammer and was chambered in 357. Boy, that was one SOB to shoot with full on 357 loads, but I could empty the cylinder quickly enough and it was a nice, small package.
    Staying fairly small, I also agree with Will_Power on the SP101. I'd look for a 3" .357. Wouldn't be too big. The Rugers are a bit heavier than the Smith and Wessons, but if you're pulling the trigger on 357 loads I think the weight would be a nice thing to have.
    In the woods I carry either my 1911 .45 (Dan Wesson CBOB) or my Ruger .41 mag. I'm not too concerned with bears, but the cats do cause me some worry. As far as the cats go, I'm very comfortable with my typical personal protection loads.
    With the .41 I'd actually go HUNTING bears.:D
     
  18. pyromancer

    pyromancer Portland Freelance Graphic Designer Bronze Supporter

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    The sp101 would treat you well.

    If you really want 1911 styling but lighter and more compact look at the CZ's and CZ clones. I have an Tangfolio Witness P (CZ clone) I love it light 15 rounds of 9mm I'm not big on glocks or the m&p, just dont feel right in my hand.

    Consider finding a range and renting before you make a decision.
     
  19. clarthom

    clarthom oregon Member

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    thanks for all the input everyone, i think i will be looking into a .357 revolvoer so i can practice with my .38 loads and carry .357 i appreciate all of the input, if there is anything else i should keep in mind please don't hesitate to let me know.

    thanks
     
  20. clarthom

    clarthom oregon Member

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    how are the cz 1911 clones for durability? do they hold up in the long term?