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Old September 12, 2012, 09:10 PM   #1
Shep
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What If...

My "better half" and I often work in the "field", a mile or more from our trucks in the Missouri River Breaks and Badlands; areas where there have been over 116 Mt. Lion sightings in the last year (39 Verified by F & G). We 've both seen fresh tracks and came across fresh track and blood on the brush, but didn't see the lion or what it killed.

Here's my question / concern: She recognizes the need to be armed but has proven to be recoil-sensitive. She can't handle the Marlin .30-30 I asked her to carry - which may be just as well. So, I bought her a Ranch Rifle in .223/5.56 which she's learning to shoot well.

Assuming she can bring it to bear and fires til a threat stops - IF it stops - will this rifle /round do the job of adequately protecting her?

We know that more/bigger is better. That's why I carry a Redhawk but, as I said, she can't hit anything with a higher recoiling arm and I can't always be with her. (Though we're working on her flinch)

Anyone here have firsthand knowledge of the efficacy of 5.56 64 gr HP or similar on this threat?

Many thanks!
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Old September 12, 2012, 09:33 PM   #2
big al hunter
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Use the heaviest soft point bullets that it shoots accurately. Any cat will be devastated. They are built for agility and stealth, not brute force. The 223 will be more than just enough.
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Old September 12, 2012, 09:38 PM   #3
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I would think a 9mm handgun would be much faster to use and easier to carry. It should do the job on a cougar.
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Old September 12, 2012, 11:47 PM   #4
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Mountain lions are not particularly tough, when I lived in NV about 25 years ago most guides shot them with a 38 Special or similar revolver, nowadays it would not surprise me to see a guide packing a 9mm. 223 will be plenty, a 30-30 would level one.
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Old September 13, 2012, 08:09 PM   #5
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I've read stories in Field and Stream where they shot treed cats with .22s so I would say yes.
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Old September 13, 2012, 08:15 PM   #6
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The problem with any long gun is that she will likely not have it when she needs it. You carry a long gun, and wear a pistol.

Put the pistol on in the morning, take it off at night.
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Old September 13, 2012, 08:19 PM   #7
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I would rather have pepper spray and a J Frame or a long knife at the ready. I believe California is the place most likely to be attacked by a Mountain Lion and they attack from behind, at least in the fatalities I've read about.
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Old September 14, 2012, 08:15 AM   #8
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That's the problem with em. If you see em, they probably won't attack. If you don't see em, and they're super hungry...good luck. The caliber choice is fine, though.
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Old September 14, 2012, 10:25 AM   #9
Shep
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Thanks for all your replies.

As some mentioned, the caliber will work -which was my main concern - but the difficulty of getting the rifle "on target" quickly is also an issue. Plus, I know that she won't want to carry a 7 lb rifle around all day; slinging it will just make it harder to use if needed.

I guess we're back to having her carry a revolver. Now, I have to find a caliber / weight that has enough energy to do the job at very short range without the recoil making it impractical for her. Maybe a .38/357 with SWC in a SP101 or similar.

I realize this isn't really a "hunting" question anymore, so thanks very much for your patience.

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Old September 14, 2012, 10:29 AM   #10
Scorch
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Quote:
they attack from behind, at least in the fatalities I've read about
That is correct, mountain lions usually attack from above or behind in order to get a clear path to the base of the skull, where they bite in order to kill their prey quickly. Mountain lions are not particularly rugged, and can get injured in a fight, so they will break off the attack if it looks like the prey will struggle for very long. We had a mountain lion attack near here a few years ago, the cat attacked a school kid from behind, knocked him down, and bit the backpack he was wearing when it flipped up over his head. Fortunately, when the child kept screaming and thrashing about, the lion left. That kid may never know how lucky he is . . .
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Old September 14, 2012, 10:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Maybe a .38/357 with SWC in a SP101 or similar.

If she is comfortable with it, that sounds like a good choice.
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Old September 14, 2012, 06:15 PM   #12
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I would agree that a .357 would be a much better choice than a long gun for a quick SD shot.
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Old September 14, 2012, 07:42 PM   #13
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I'd try to get her a fat little dog. Either the dog will bark and scare the cat off or the cat will focus on the dog. Not fool proof but helps the odds.
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Old September 14, 2012, 08:36 PM   #14
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I'd Be very cautios when comming up on fresh tracks & blood, Cats burry their kill with brush,sticks, ect. keep a good look out for em & Stay Safe ; )
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Old September 15, 2012, 10:09 PM   #15
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I shoot our heavy ND mulies with my 223 using 55Gr Nosler Ballistic Tips. I have actually been out calling for cats with the same gun/round. As long as she can shoot accuratley under pressure she should be fine. When Im out riding I have a Puma m92 in 357 mag. I like it cause it fits in the boot and it isnt too heavy in both weight and recoil.
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Old September 18, 2012, 10:51 AM   #16
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.223 is fine.
I carry a .40 pistol in the woods, my friend carries a 9mm. We think we are well-enough prepared for cats.
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Old September 18, 2012, 08:55 PM   #17
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The issue, really, is less about the cartridge than it is about the length of time needed to go into action if attacked or threatened with attack.

I live in mountain lion country. While not particularly worried about them, I operate on the basis of a slung rifle in wide-open areas, in-hand in "possible" or rather close-cover areas and in canyons.

When quail hunting, I've often carried a Redhawk in a cross-draw rig. Not that I'm recommending a .44 Maggie, but the holster's location seemed convenient.
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Old September 21, 2012, 11:24 AM   #18
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Art,

I agree with the cross draw convience especially when carrying a longun.
Shoulder holster is convient too as I discovered carry a 4" S&W 66 in a Bianchi X-15 holster a while back.
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Old September 21, 2012, 06:59 PM   #19
Shep
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+1 on crossdraw or a chest rig, which is somewhat similar.
That's how I carry my Redhawk. Unfortunately, the .44 mag is too much gun for her.

My gal has the problem of a (comparatively) weak wrist and a flinch that we're working on, but which makes her shooting of "enough" of a handgun problematic. I have a 6" S&W 617 22LR which she shoots pretty well.

On the theory that 10 rounds of something she can hit with is a little better than nothing, she started carrying the 617 in a cheapie holster as a crossdraw at 11 o.c., Her new Ranch Rifle is consigned to truck gun duty for now.

Thanks to all of you who commented, we've got some better ideas about how to protect her in cat country. I really appreciate it!

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Old September 21, 2012, 07:04 PM   #20
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When deer hunting on land the owner of which has warned me about seeing a cougar, I keep a .357 on my hunting belt in a crossdraw holster.
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Old September 21, 2012, 07:27 PM   #21
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Behold, sir...

The AR pistol is your friend...

http://www.rockriverarms.com/index.c...ategory_id=231

Load it with some good 55 grain softpoints, and give it to her to carry with two, 30 round magazines.

You could even put a good reflex optic on it (I'd prefer an Aimpoint) for super fast target acquisition and engagement.
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