Hike/Camp Pistol

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Hike/Camp Pistol

#1

Post by WonderMonkey » Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:57 am

I'm selling a T/C Pro Hunter Encore and will have enough to get myself a proper hike & camp pistol.

My needs are, in order:
- Snake
- Human
- Black Bear

The pistol has to be compact and light enough that I'll actually carry it. A weapon does no good if I leave it in the vehicle or at home.

In Ohio I almost don't have a concern at all though I know "you can never know". I also hike and camp in Kentucky where we have already came across copperheads. Usually we can just avoid them but occasionally we have killed them. I carry a semi-auto which is terrible with snake loads because they don't have enough powder to cycle rounds reliably. You run the risk of stove-piping if you know that that is.

So enter a pistol. I usually borrow one from my brother (and still carry my semi-auto) but I need one of my own. It is difficult finding a pistol that compact and light enough to carry and still have a prayer against a bear (rhyme). The standard compact .357 is there which can shoot .38's for snake and then alternate for bear is what most go with. The issue is that thought the snake load is "ok" that's it. And certainly whatever you put in there for bear may just piss a bear off. Good for human though.

What CAN you have that can work for snake and bear (far ends of my requirements) and still be carryable?

I'm looking at the Taurus Public Defender. You have probably viewed them. Basically an elongated cylinder with supporting structure to handle it. The snake load is certainly superior and does a good job against humans. Still has trouble with bear and of course it's a bigger pistol. The image I've linked at the end is their conceal carry version. I wouldn't EDC this one but for a pack/camp gun it's the one I'd choose if I got this model.

My concern with the Taurus is the size. Again if it's too big I won't carry it. I can open carry on trails around here but I want the option to conceal on my pack belt, even if it is not a tiny carry option.

Thoughts? Do you carry on the trail or in camp?

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Re: Hike/Camp Pistol

#2

Post by Baby Huey » Tue Aug 18, 2015 12:47 pm

Black bears here are not an issue yet, but if they were, I would consider more than a handgun. Possibly a Taurus/Rossi Circuit Judge with stock and carry it on the outside of my pack where I can reach it if needed. That is if you are ok with a pistol caliber carbine. The Judge gives you the option of .410 for rat shot for snakes, or slugs for something larger, as well as the option for the .45 Long Colt. I would personally want at least a .45 if I were going with a handgun. There are tons of compact .45ACP handguns on the market. Your best bet would be to go to a gun range that has rentals so you can hold them and see which is the most comfortable for you. If you are using it for self defense you want it to feel as natural as possible to point and shoot.
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Re: Hike/Camp Pistol

#3

Post by Scuba » Tue Aug 18, 2015 1:21 pm

on the trail I carry a SigSauer Mk25 loaded with Speer GoldDot ammo. Here in Texas i worry about snakes, feral pigs, coyotes and large cats.
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Re: Hike/Camp Pistol

#4

Post by ClovisMan » Tue Aug 18, 2015 1:27 pm

I break down my AR and carry plenty of loaded mags...never know when the Zombie Apocalypse will start! :)
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Re: Hike/Camp Pistol

#5

Post by V_Allen » Tue Aug 18, 2015 2:51 pm

Here in Wyoming we have anything from rattle snakes to bear and bison, so the wife and I carry for serious situations. She daily carries my (uh, hers) old P-35 9mm. Although I carried serious weaponry in the military for 25 yrs, I now like to carry a modified Ruger .45LC single action using custom ammo and one of the first (and better made) Rossi .454 Leverguns everywhere I go. I can share 45lc ammo with the levergun and have put down bison and bears with the .454. My wife takes care of the smaller varmints with with the 9.
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Re: Hike/Camp Pistol

#6

Post by sarge » Tue Aug 18, 2015 4:12 pm

I only carry on private land as I'm not CCL'd. When I do its an SAA in .45LC.
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Re: Hike/Camp Pistol

#7

Post by WonderMonkey » Tue Aug 18, 2015 7:19 pm

I can open carry in most parks and such. On the Kentucky areas if you are out and a ranger or other official comes across you he would EXPECT you to be carrying.

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Re: Hike/Camp Pistol

#8

Post by V_Allen » Wed Aug 19, 2015 12:36 pm

WonderMonkey wrote:I can open carry in most parks and such. On the Kentucky areas if you are out and a ranger or other official comes across you he would EXPECT you to be carrying.
Exactly the same here in Wyoming. There's very few I know that don't have a firearm. I have to say it makes for a very polite society.
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Re: Hike/Camp Pistol

#9

Post by gmcpcs » Thu Aug 20, 2015 3:59 pm

I've read numerous places that Bear spray is better for big predators. (See the "Alone" series on History Channel) I wonder how it would work on wild hogs?

I know I've been on the receiving end of pepper spray during training a couple of times, and now I can eat all the hot peppers I want... however, I once nearly broke a guy's arm doing a restraining move after I had been sprayed. It got me pretty hopped up on adrenaline. Another time I just cried like a baby.

Here's a hippy blog with his opinion:
http://www.cheaprvliving.com/blog/self- ... commended/

I tend to agree that the action always beats the reaction (Quoting from somebody) when it comes to drawing and firing a weapon. Only with dedicated training can you hope to be fast and/or accurate enough to matter.

I've personally only had one encounter with a herd of wild hogs, and they turned and ran the other way as soon as they scented me. I was on a dirt road before sun up, and not in tangled bush or unstable footing. I wanted a firearm. I had a stick, and that time they cooperated.

As far as the snakes go, I've had a few more encounters, and I usually end up killing them with a stick or a hoe. (I won't suffer a poisonous snake to live on or near my property, and have a pretty nice collection of skins) I have never been bitten, though I was struck at by one, and I stepped on two others. (Leaping four feet horizontal and vertically.) I would be worried about my aim. I doubt pepper spray would work for snakes :)

I'm just throwing my opinion out there. I think the proper firearm would need to be paired with the proper holster, and added to that, quite a bit of lead downrange in various realistic training scenarios before it would be a useful tool for self-defense. I probably would carry pepper spray to use in a self defense situation against 4 legged predators. (The joke about the bells and pepper spray comes to mind...)

For the two legged varmints, and the possible wild hog encounters, I am still mulling over my options. I have been trained to use the Beretta 9mm, and 1911 .45 auto loaders along with .357 revolvers. I currently shoot a .45 para-ordnance double stack/double action. I can't come to a conclusion on a concealed carry option...Perhaps we need another thread on concealed carry while hiking/camping?

YMMV.

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Re: Hike/Camp Pistol

#10

Post by Scuba » Thu Aug 20, 2015 6:34 pm

Concealed carry for me while hiking means I tuck a buff over my holster with my pistol "concealed"
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Re: Hike/Camp Pistol

#11

Post by Foresight » Thu Aug 20, 2015 9:36 pm

I mostly carry a PMR30. 19 ounces when fully loaded with 30 rounds of 22WMR and deadly accurate.

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Re: Hike/Camp Pistol

#12

Post by ken leedy » Sat Aug 22, 2015 3:35 pm

Where I canoe and camp I only have to worry about dogs, coyotes ( 2 & 4 legged ). My Taurus model 85 in .38 works just fine. YMMV

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Re: Hike/Camp Pistol

#13

Post by Shelly » Mon Aug 24, 2015 8:28 pm

For Bear Country I carry a Ruger GP 100 Revolver (.357 Mag)in a Chesty Puller loaded with Buffalo Bore +P Steel core.
For General Carry I like my Glock 30 (.45apc) with a Sig P238(.380) for Backup.

But I just got a SIg 10mm for my birthday...stand by....

*edit* I am CCL in TX and open carry on Private Land.

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Re: Hike/Camp Pistol

#14

Post by WonderMonkey » Wed Aug 26, 2015 8:28 am

I have also heard that spray is superior on bears. In the areas that I go I would say that bear is far enough down on the needs list that I would not carry it with me. A friend of mine is in Alaska and of course her needs a bit different.

As for snakes the majority have been disposed of by a stick like yours. Given the option I'd use a stick and not a gun due to potential ricochet and such but I'd like to have the insurance of the revolver to use "as needed".

For the two legged critters there have been some uneasy moments and I would prefer my pistol over my revolver but I won't carry both so I'm going to have to go with my greatest need and work my down to my most unlikely need.

As for the spray again I have been through it in basic training, though it was a diluted dose from what I hear. I've had full strength tear gas waft over me and I can't imagine what it would have been like at the center of it all.

Part of what I am looking at is conceal carry. Very difficult to serve the masters of being small enough to conceal carry and still pack enough to be multi-use. You are right, possibly another thread.
gmcpcs wrote:I've read numerous places that Bear spray is better for big predators. (See the "Alone" series on History Channel) I wonder how it would work on wild hogs?

I know I've been on the receiving end of pepper spray during training a couple of times, and now I can eat all the hot peppers I want... however, I once nearly broke a guy's arm doing a restraining move after I had been sprayed. It got me pretty hopped up on adrenaline. Another time I just cried like a baby.

Here's a hippy blog with his opinion:
http://www.cheaprvliving.com/blog/self- ... commended/

I tend to agree that the action always beats the reaction (Quoting from somebody) when it comes to drawing and firing a weapon. Only with dedicated training can you hope to be fast and/or accurate enough to matter.

I've personally only had one encounter with a herd of wild hogs, and they turned and ran the other way as soon as they scented me. I was on a dirt road before sun up, and not in tangled bush or unstable footing. I wanted a firearm. I had a stick, and that time they cooperated.

As far as the snakes go, I've had a few more encounters, and I usually end up killing them with a stick or a hoe. (I won't suffer a poisonous snake to live on or near my property, and have a pretty nice collection of skins) I have never been bitten, though I was struck at by one, and I stepped on two others. (Leaping four feet horizontal and vertically.) I would be worried about my aim. I doubt pepper spray would work for snakes :)

I'm just throwing my opinion out there. I think the proper firearm would need to be paired with the proper holster, and added to that, quite a bit of lead downrange in various realistic training scenarios before it would be a useful tool for self-defense. I probably would carry pepper spray to use in a self defense situation against 4 legged predators. (The joke about the bells and pepper spray comes to mind...)

For the two legged varmints, and the possible wild hog encounters, I am still mulling over my options. I have been trained to use the Beretta 9mm, and 1911 .45 auto loaders along with .357 revolvers. I currently shoot a .45 para-ordnance double stack/double action. I can't come to a conclusion on a concealed carry option...Perhaps we need another thread on concealed carry while hiking/camping?

YMMV.

Take it easy,
gmcpcs

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Re: Hike/Camp Pistol

#15

Post by Idaho Hanger » Fri Jan 08, 2016 6:17 pm

sarge wrote:I only carry on private land as I'm not CCL'd. When I do its an SAA in .45LC.
Here in Idaho you only need a CWL to carry concealed "within the confines of a city". It is not required for anyone involved in lawful behavior outside of city limits.
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