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Thread: Wheelgun

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    I have been reading this site for a couple of weeks and there is some tremendous info around here. It seems there are some really knowledgeable people here and I would like to tap into some of that knowledge.

    I have never open carried, but I intend to start soon with hiking trails. I have CCed my Glock 21, but never OCed anything. My question is about revolvers. I am looking for a trail rig and I want it to be in .44 mag or above. I am set on a revolver, butI am open to single or double action. I have had both and I like both so I am looking for Pros/cons etc. I am also looking for recomendations on brand, barrel length, ammo, etc. I hike and fish in Western Washington, so animal encounters would be anything native to WA. I am generally more concered with crazy people in the woods.

    My final question is about method of carry. I am looking for what other do in the woods and why it works. Thanks in advance for any information.

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    Understand that this is just 'armchair quarterbacking' as I have never been is such a situation, but IMHO if you are concerned about critters in the woods for which you would want to pack a .44 then I would tend to lean toward a DA capable unit (my Colt Python does both SA/DA).

    My reasoning is that a critter large enough to want a .44 will generally have a mass and/or speed advantage over you (bear, cougar, elk, etc....even the two legged kind). Critters generally don't give you time to think about your response (Read: thumb back that hammer for each shot). This means you stand a very good chance of being in a situation where you're hopped up on adrenaline, and you just want to make the durn thing go BANG as many times as possible, as quickly as possible, while keeping it on target. (though I suppose you could practice 'fanning a SA).

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    As for a type, I highly recommend a Colt Python 6" .44 mag. Colt has the absolute best design for modern revolvers. As for method of carry, I personally like hip holsters for most of my carry. It's easy to access when sitting or standing and with practice is just as fast as a leg rig. I wouldn't recommend cross draw as sitting in a vehicle makes it impossible to draw in an emergency due to the seat belt. Small of the back is ok, but sitting gets to be uncomfortable.

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    I have a Ruger Alaskan in .44 mag. I usually hike for several hours off-trail to fish remote lakes. I did a hike last summer to Lake 3995 in the Wonder Mountain Wilderness, it took about nine hours of steep climbing to reach the lake, and the fishing was well worth it. I use a chest rig:



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    Colt Python 6" .44 mag


    No Such critter. Pythons were made in .38 and .357. I would not carry one into the woods only due to the fact they are pretty spendy and getting more spendy every day. Even beaters/shooters command a premium price.

    I will switch off and on with several different S&W revolvers. In less mountainous areas where the wildlife is smaller and thin skinned (coyotes,cougars,people) I will carry my S&W 610 (10mm) loaded with Double Tap ammo. This is also my primary around town OC gun. I will carry it in a OWB holster made by Mike Taurisano of Tauris holsters.



    If I am going into the mountains where there may be bigger, thicker game (moose,bears,people)I will carry my S&W 25-5 in .45 Colt loaded with hard cast bullets. Hollow points may be alright in the city, but in the woods penetration is king, and a hard cast bullet will do that for you.

    Your concern about people is pretty important, it is often the people rather than animals that are out to harm you in the wilderness.



    Any gun (Ruger, Colt,S&W) that has a caliber that starts with a 4 (.41mag,..45 Colt, .44 mag or even .44 special and my personal favorite, 10mm) should fit the bill just fine. If you are loaded down with a pack or other gear that limits access to a belt holster, the chest rig works very well.



    bob







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    .44 mag seems a bit overkill for the Western Washington woods. I think a hot loaded .357 or a good .41 mag is more than enough for what you'll find here. This isn't like the wilds of Alaska...

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    Overkill works for me. (Well, not literally, I carry a .357--with a fairly hot Buffalo Bore hard-cast load--but I'd certainly carry a .44mag if I had one.)

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    kparker wrote:
    Overkill works for me. (Well, not literally, I carry a .357--with a fairly hot Buffalo Bore hard-cast load--but I'd certainly carry a .44mag if I had one.)
    Might as well carry a Barret .50 then...:P

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    I think a 44mag would be a good choice for a person who is just venturing into wheelguns for woods carry. He can find ammo readily, loaded to many different levels. He could get slow and heavy, light and fast, maybe even find something nice and soft shooting like a 44 special.

    I personally like the .41mag, but I already have a couple, and I reload, so it isn't an issue with me. For someone new to wheelguns and who doesn't reload, the 41 mag is pretty expensive and has a limited ammo availability.



    A 44mag with a 4 or 5 inch barrel carried in a bianchi cyclone (crossdraw) holster would make a great woods gun, IMO. Especially if a person was just getting into wheelguns for woods carry.



    bob





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    any reason why people don't use autos while in the woods? Cartridge size?



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    I think a lot of people use semi-autos in the woods. A very popular woods gun is a Glock 20, lots of 10mm goodness there.



    For me it is a different story. I want a gun that will reliably fire when the trigger is pulled, and won't malfunction if I don't have a good grip on it, like some semi's are prone to do.



    I think worst case scenario is if something or someone has you on the ground and you can only get one hand to your gun. You may or may not have a good grip on it or you may have to contort to bring the weapon to bear. With a semi, you may experience a malfunction that you need two hands to clear, while with a revolver, all you need to do is pull the trigger again.

    Just an observation on my part, YMMV.



    bob

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    When I hike and camp, it is usually a G29 that rides with me. Loaded with Double Tap 200grn hardcast. 1240fps, and 700+Ft lbs. Kicks like a peeved off mule, but hits like a wrecking ball through a plate glass window.

    For something lighter in the caliber arena, I go with a S&W 686 no-dash custom .357 mag loaded with Buffalo bore or Double tap, hardcast at 675 ft lbs.



    I have learned that when you hike the outdoors, make sure of few things.

    1. keep the gun ON YOU. No attaching it to your pack straps

    2. Don't Bury it on you. make sure that you can draw it if you need it.

    3. carry a amount of spare ammo, in a spare watertight container, although in an attack ou will probablly not have time to reload, but if you land in a river or creek or swamp and soak your carry ammo, then you have some spares.

    All of the above I have learned myself, personally.


    And it usually the two legged creatures you run into that itend you harm rather then the four legged ones.

    g29 is nice cause I can have hardcast and SD silvertips with a mag change. I also usually, carry a .40S&W barrel and box or two of ammo to plink with. Or a lightwieght .22 if weight permits.

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    Some good information here. I'll answer a few questions. I have a Glock 21 and I really like it, but I have always liked revolvers. Maybe too many Westerns and Dirty Harry movies. I do like the simplicity of a revolver though andtheir ability to handle large calibers and heavy rounds if so desired. Nothing wrong with autos, just a personal preference for a woods gun I guess.

    I know a .44 Mag is overkill for Western Washington, but I hope to fish Alaska someday and I want something that I could pack there. I know .44 is at the baseline up there, but it seems like the best option for being able to load really heavy or really light (in .44 Special). It is a sort of compromise for someone who doesn't have unlimited funds for a full armory. A .44 seems like it would be very flexible.

    Mainsail, that is one of the revolvers I am looking at. I really like the Ruger Redhawk in stainless and with the 4" barrel. The Alaskan is definitely on the radar though. Who makes the carry rig you have on there? I have no experience with Colt. I like some of the Smith offerings too. From whatI have read, it seems Rugers are the most able to handle the heavy loads shouldI venture north. I have been looking at Garrett Cartridges and they carry some really heavy .44 rounds. I have yet to see a comfortable holster for the Barrett .50, but if I find one I'd love to carry it.

    As far as carry method, it seems like on the hip would be the best. I just want to make sure I investigate all options. When I hike, I carry a small backpack (Camelback type) with some emergency stuff in it. It seems like shoulder carry might get in the way there. I have seen a chest holster from Simply Rugged that looks interesting, but I would like to talk to someone that has used it before. I generally hike in shorts, so I would be tempted to just put it in the pack, but that really defeats the purpose of carrying it. I make the assumption that should I need it, it will be with very little or no warning.

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    Forgot to add,

    The reason I favor the G29 is a compact ~41 magnum class gun that can pack 15 - 20rnds of 10mm in a magazine.

    Utilzing a Mag extension on a G20 Magazine you can have 15 +2 (Scherer), or 15 +5 (Arredondo or Taylor Freelance extensions)

    at 700+ ft lbs of energy a shot X 15+ shots that is a lot of firepower in a relatively lightweight package perfect for the NW.


    Add that Glocks don't jam would be stupid. In real life every gun can jam usually when you least expect it to. Even revolvers, from your most basic to you most exotic, a rock or dirt gets in there and your holding a paperweight.

    My choice of the Glock also depends on durability, and ease of cleaning. I can completely strip it down in front od a campfire after a day of dragging it through the swamp and silt filled creeks.

    I also tend to apply a little wax around the bullet and primer, just a light coating to keep out the water. I have neve had an issue, even after My 23 spent a week on the bottom of puget sound. Everything worked and fired fine ofter drying.

    I also wouldn't subject my 686 to the abuse that my G29 shrugs off.

    Given the choice between a 44 Mag Auto and a 44 mag revolver the revolver wins hands down. Given the Choice of a 41 Mag revolver vs a Glock 10mm at simular levels, the Glock wins hands down for me.


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    Taurus Tracker if you can stand the recoil and still shoot well, Houge grips help a lot. I carry mine in a hip holster while Elk hunting the light weight is much appriciated. I will switch to something different just as soon as I start hunting Elk at sea level.



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    For all the reasons listed above (reliability, usability, abuse-a-bility, easy of cleaning, toughness, easy of carry, etc...) in the Pacific NW, a GLOCK in 10mm is a hard package to beat. Make sure you load it correctly and it will easily handle anything you will come into contact with in WA state.

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    44hiker wrote:
    I know a .44 Mag is overkill for Western Washington,

    Why do you say that? If you have to kill a wildanimal, (bear, cougar) who is attacking you on the trail, you want something that will do the job quickly.

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    I only say that because I'm sure you can stop/kill an attacking animal or person with a smaller caliber weapon. Having said that, in a life threatening situation, overkill is what most (including me) would want. I'm pretty sure I'm going with a .44, I just have to figure out which one and how best to carry it.

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    I have cougar, bear and bobcats on my property and I carry my Ruger Redhawk .44 magnum on my hip in cross carry. Cross carry, especially with longer barrels became my method of choice since I basically lived with the gun on my hip for the last six months inside and out and found that a non cross carry resulted in a lot of extra hassle when trying to do anything but walking.(i.e. sitting up or down, working with tools) This could just be the nature of me, but that is what I learned. The Ruger used to be my cousins who was a fishing guide in Alaska. I was told that the 44mag is probably the smallest round you would want in case of a bear encounter due to their thick skulls and that you should shoot then up through the bottom of the neck if possible, into the skull. I also was told that Revolvers are preferred simply for the above stated reason that they are the most reliable.

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    .44 mag is definitely not over kill for Western Washington. I was down south of Mt. St. Helens on the Lewis River trail (#31 if I remember). Well, I used to spend a lot of time up there in the Dark divide area during the Summer months while in High School. Anyway I'll get to the point, I was followed for almost a mile by a cougar up there. It's really cool the first time you see one in the wild, it's not when you see the same cat a 3/8 mile down the trail and your by yourself. I kept chugging on back to where I parked my truck. Through a ravine and around another bend and I could hear the damn thing above me to the left up the hill. I didn't like this game so I fired my .22 boom stick into a tree a couple times to make some big noise. Went back to Middle falls and got in my old pickup. I went home and the next week I put a sling on my Winchester 94 and started carring it instead. I wasn't old enough at the time to have a pistol. Now I have a Colt 1991 A1 Combat Commander W/adj. rear sight and Hogue grips that I use for everything, it's just the right size for me and has never jammed on me. Love it.

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    Agreed, the Smith 29 is the Best. 44 Special for city or wife, 44 Mag mid loads for when you get good, Heavy bullets for hunting or Bear. Reliable, accurate and very fast.

    The best of all worlds.

    10mm is the best of the Autopistols. 200gr TCFMJ for Woods, 175gr Silvertips for everyday and light (40 S&W) for the wife. Make sure all ammo will function properly.





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    BobR wrote:
    Colt Python 6" .44 mag


    No Such critter. Pythons were made in .38 and .357. I would not carry one into the woods only due to the fact they are pretty spendy and getting more spendy every day. Even beaters/shooters command a premium price.
    Then call it the Anaconda. :P It's still the same SS Colt revolver. Best design ever on a wheel gun. I have a King Cobra. I've wanted the Python but they are more expensive.

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    While the King Cobra and the Anaconda are both very nice pistols, the worksmanship and finish don't quite rise to the level of a Python.

    One of the guns I am always on the lookout for is an Anaconda in 45 Colt. Someday when I least expect it (and probably broke) I will stumble across one.

    In the meantime, I take this Python out shooting a few times a year just to experience the smoothness that is the hallmark of Pythons.







    bob



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    I have never really liked Colt products, but I always had a secret lust for a Python. Before the Unions killed Colt, the management went out of their way to make it both beautiful and smooth. Lovely finish, beautiful barrel, sigh.....

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    Wheelgunner, how do you carry your Smith? Do you spend much time hiking or fishing?

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