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Old July 21, 2009, 02:28 PM   #1
verti89
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Which sidearm would you bring?

My dad and I are going on our 2nd elk hunt the first week of November in southwest Co. Last year I carried a Ruger semi-auto .45 and my sidearm. This year my choices are between a SA-XD .45c that can hold either 10 or 13 rounds, a SA-XD .40sc that can hold either 9 or 12 rounds, or a .357 revolver 5 rounder. I am ruling out the .40 because I don't think it has enough power. So my question is which of the other 2 would you carry as a defensive sidearm?

As a side note the XD is the black finish and while it is a tool, it is a pretty tool (imho) and I would like to keep it in pretty good condition. If I do go with it I obviously am going to do my best to keep it clean and dry but when hiking up a mountain in snow, things happen. Any ideas how it would affect the gun? The revolver is a stainless finish and revolvers are inherently less prone to weather type issues. But obviously I am going to take the best tool for the job.

And on another side note my dad and I are also beginner reloaders so we are capable of loading specific loads for both guns if that makes any difference. And my dad will be packing the .44 mag also.
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Old July 21, 2009, 02:57 PM   #2
GeauxTide
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Neither on an Elk Hunt

If it's small vermin or human vermin, the 45, else stick with your Dad's 44.
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Old July 21, 2009, 03:15 PM   #3
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I guess any of them will be OK since they probably won't ever get used anyway on an elk hunt. All things considered though if it was me, I'd take the 357. Revolvers just seem more at home when you're hunting big game for some reason.
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Old July 21, 2009, 03:35 PM   #4
verti89
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What we are preparing to defend ourselves against is bear. Obviously using rifles for the elk. But we know there are bears in the area. It sounds like I will be going with the .357 and he obviously bring the big'un
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Old July 21, 2009, 04:58 PM   #5
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If you are carrying a 5 shot .357 it seems it would be a J frame snub nose and not have the effect of a 4 or 6 inch barrel and not be suitable for your use due to lost velocity. Out of a snub nose your .357 is equal to a warm 38spl. JMO
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Old July 21, 2009, 07:08 PM   #6
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10mm jk

If it is full size, the 357 with +P or +P+
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Old July 21, 2009, 07:13 PM   #7
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When I go camping/4-wheeling up in the mountains of Colorado I take my GP100 loaded with Double Tap's 180gr Hardcast. I'm sure it'd take care of anything I'd run into.
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Old July 21, 2009, 07:46 PM   #8
verti89
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I am pretty sure the .357 is a 3". It is my dads so Im not positive. So with that in mind is it still better than the .45.

Also, telling me what you use doesn't really help me choose between the 2 options I have.


Not trying to be a jerk but I just get tired of 'answers' that are little more than a person telling their particular preference regardless of what the actual original question stated.
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Old July 21, 2009, 08:15 PM   #9
ligonierbill
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When I last hunted Colorado, I took a bear tag. We were never concerned with defending against bear; we were looking for the opportunity to shoot one. Most rifles suitable for elk do well on black bear. If you want to take a handgun, take whatever suits you. We did shoot the alarm clock about the fourth day. A .22 proved inadequate, but a .357 did the job.
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Old July 21, 2009, 09:16 PM   #10
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I wouldn't bother carrying a sidearm on an elk hunt. It's just extra weight to carry and something else to clean when you get back.
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Old July 21, 2009, 09:20 PM   #11
MLeake
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Problem is...

... sometimes the answers given as options aren't good answers.

For small black bear, your .45 might work, and so might a 3" .357 or the .40. You'd want heavy bullets in any of those, as bears can be hard to penetrate, so you want high sectional density.

For a 400lb black bear, I'd be pretty unhappy with either.

For a brown bear, I'd be afraid it would just make him mad.

Since you're carrying a rifle, it's probably not a big deal what handgun you carry. Most folks recommend .44mag as minimum for larger bears, though.

Not sure how a 180gr hardcast would perform out of a 3" .357, but that would probably be the load and the gun I'd use out of the options you have listed.
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Old July 21, 2009, 09:35 PM   #12
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If you are going to be actively hunting, use your rifle for bear defense. It's not like you are going to drop it and go to a handgun in the event of a bear encounter.

Now if you are asking about a tent/sleeping bag gun when you are tucked in all snug where you can't manuever a long gun quickly, I would suggest the revolver hands down. I would also suggest keeping it in the sleeping bag with you.
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Old July 21, 2009, 10:35 PM   #13
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why not both?
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Old July 21, 2009, 11:25 PM   #14
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I carry a Ruger Mk. II when I hunt. Well mostly I leave it at camp in the car.
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Old July 22, 2009, 01:30 AM   #15
verti89
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hmm so several suggestions of not bothering with it at all...interesting

usually when we are hiking up the mountain to our designated spots, our rifles are on our backs in a pack so it wouldn't be a matter of dropping the rifle for the handgun but having the handgun ready while hiking, and easier to get to.

and yes sometimes the options aren't the BEST options, but when they are the only options offering something outside of it is pointless
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Old July 22, 2009, 01:40 AM   #16
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I would say none of the above. It's just going to be extra weight. You have your rifle. I would stick with that. It would be better defense than any pistol your going to take. Especially if your dad is going to carry a pistol. I really wouldn't consider taking another pistol if that's the case. After a few days of hiking in Colorado, you will be glad you have less weight to lug around.
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Old July 22, 2009, 03:19 AM   #17
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i agree with trooper. stick with the rifle.......
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Old July 22, 2009, 07:41 AM   #18
MLeake
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There are also the options...

... of buying or borrowing something more tailored to the task at hand.

It's the age of thinking outside the box, remember?
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Old July 22, 2009, 09:04 AM   #19
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Out of the options listed the 357 is the Best choice...By all means bring the pistol. You can have the pistol on you at all times......

Never know when a shot opportunitee may present itself. I can't tell you how many times a hunter has leaned his rifle agaisnt a tree, walked a few yards and pulled his pant down...elk, and even ducks, just seem to be called by this one simple act, cause they always seem to run right up on top of you when you have your pants around your ankles.

357mag to the ribs at close range will easily kill elk....even with you pants around your ankles

The bears you speak of have learned that gunfire means food during hunting season. So the pistol is very comforting when you lean your rifle against a tree to gut an animal you just havested.

And besides you can never have too much amorment
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Old July 22, 2009, 09:05 AM   #20
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Another vote for your rifle being your best friend. :-)

But I would take the .357 along too. If your rifle is too difficult to get to quickly then that .357 will give you some peace of mind.
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Old July 22, 2009, 09:41 AM   #21
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If a handgun is needed for some sort of self-defense in the boonies--whether bear or bad guy--I figure that speed and accuracy in use are the most important. I'd therefore go with whatever I knew I could best hit with and do it fast.

If for a bear, offhand I figure I'd rather use hardball that would penetrate than hollow-points that might not. Hardcast lead in a revolver.

Aren't bears tending to den up by elk season? (I dunno.) Maybe the odds are lower about actually seeing one.
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Old July 22, 2009, 10:19 AM   #22
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Bears are usually out and active during most of the Elk season. But...

Quote:
If you are going to be actively hunting, use your rifle for bear defense. It's not like you are going to drop it and go to a handgun in the event of a bear encounter.

Now if you are asking about a tent/sleeping bag gun when you are tucked in all snug where you can't manuever a long gun quickly, I would suggest the revolver hands down. I would also suggest keeping it in the sleeping bag with you.
I agree with all of this. And, I think it's not a bad Idea to have the pistola handy around camp and when backpacking with th rifle slung. Leave said 45 or .357 mag in camp because the rifle will be handy while you are out pokin' around for Elk. At this time the handgun would just be extra weight to lug around.

To the original question, Colorado only has black bears, .357 mag is plenty. But if Dad is already bringing a .44 mag, why not just let him bring the handgun? One camp gun should be plenty for two people.
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Old July 22, 2009, 10:20 AM   #23
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Take the .357 loaded with some heavy rounds. If you have to use it, you might as well have the magnum.
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Old July 22, 2009, 10:47 AM   #24
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In the Blue Ridge...

... National Park rangers actually recommend bear spray and a big stick over any handgun for dealing with black bears. They swear by a whack on the nose with a hiking stick.

Not sure I'd want to let a bear get that close, personally.
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Old July 22, 2009, 02:07 PM   #25
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I wanna watch the guy hit that bear on the nose!!
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