The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: General Handgun Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old January 23, 2013, 08:01 PM   #1
joyrock
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 12, 2008
Location: Greensboro, NC
Posts: 151
Looking for a large bore woods gun?

I'm looking for a gun that I can take into the woods, and not worry about rain/snow/mud, etc.. I'm thinking about a revolver, something big, like a 44 magnum. I'm kinda looking at a Ruger Alaskan. I like snub nose's, so I'm kinda leaning that way (long barrels, are ok, but not really my cut of tea). Thoughts on that? Pro's? Con's? Size has not really been a problem. I can shoot large hand guns no problem. Should I look at a 454? Or the 460 S&W Magnum? With that round I should be able to shoot the 454, and a 45LC? Right? Ideas? Thanks!
__________________
Oleg Volk is my hero!
joyrock is offline  
Old January 23, 2013, 08:19 PM   #2
mete
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 14, 2004
Location: NY State
Posts: 5,450
Make sure you can handle the recoil of the cartridge first .Don't worry about the velocity .A nice 44 mag with good premium bullets will take more than you think !!! Be accurate ,practice.
For a rifle a Marlin 45-70 is another fine cartridge !
__________________
And Watson , bring your revolver !
mete is offline  
Old January 23, 2013, 08:21 PM   #3
Ricklin
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 22, 2008
Location: North Orygun Coast
Posts: 624
Go shoot one!

Go shoot a .44 snubby with full house loads, then decide.
__________________
ricklin
Freedom is not free
Ricklin is offline  
Old January 23, 2013, 09:01 PM   #4
Gdawgs
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 1, 2009
Location: Hutchinson, MN
Posts: 593
The Redhawk Alaskan sounds like it would be perfect for what you want. 44 Mag is plenty unless you are stepping into grizzly country. 454 is a beast(but a great round). I have a Super Redhawk in 454 with a 7.5" barrel, and it pounds you hard. After just 3 or 4 rounds, I can feel my wrist starting to hurt. I have let numerous people run a cylinder of full power loads through it, and no one has requested to try more. One guy said "I was wishing it was over by the 3rd round". But yes you can shoot 45 Colt out of it for light loads.

I also have a 460 (BFR) and yes you can also shoot 454 and 45 Colt out of it, but I have found that accuracy suffers significantly with 454 and 45, so I just stick to 460 rounds now. That gun is really heavy, so recoil isn't as bad as the SRH in 454. It has a bigger push, but not the quick snap of the 454.

Skip the 460. They are massive guns and not nearly as handy as the Alaskan. You really can't go wrong with either the 44 or 454.
Gdawgs is offline  
Old January 23, 2013, 09:14 PM   #5
Niantician
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 4, 2005
Location: Ct.
Posts: 502
I recommend a 4inch barrel. You give up a lot more than you gain going with a snubby big bore.
__________________
There are many things in life that are out of my control. Recoil isn't one of them.
Niantician is offline  
Old January 23, 2013, 09:37 PM   #6
John D
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2000
Location: California
Posts: 256
You're going to need to borrow or rent some revolvers before you make this decision. I've got a S&W Mountain Gun in 44Mag with a 4" barrel; it's a lot to handle with hot loads! Very different from my Super Blackhawk with a 7.5" barrel. It's no use to acquire a firearm you can't shoot well...
John D is offline  
Old January 23, 2013, 10:18 PM   #7
Bob Wright
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 10, 2012
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Posts: 1,921
While my favorite is the .44 Magnum, usually, I'd pick this Ruger in .45 Colt faced with your situation.

While the .44 Magnum can reach out a ways, this .45 loaded with a 350 gr. cast bullet is just the thing for in-you-face danger.



I've no qualms with its finish, you might choose to build up one similar in stainless.

Bob Wright
Bob Wright is offline  
Old January 23, 2013, 10:20 PM   #8
Revolver1
Junior member
 
Join Date: January 21, 2013
Location: NY
Posts: 150
Overkill! I had a 454, expensive to shoot, and you won't shoot it a lot. 44mag while stout, is controllable. Plenty of good loads available and you can shoot 44spl.
Revolver1 is offline  
Old January 23, 2013, 10:24 PM   #9
Deja vu
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 14, 2010
Location: Border of Idaho & Montana
Posts: 2,153
There are lots of options. If you want to go really big then the 460 or the 500 magnum. If it was me I would go 357mag or 44mag or a Ruger in 45LC able to take the hot +p loads.

Unless you are in Alaska or the Rocky Mountains (grizzly areas) then a 357 magnum or a 10mm would probably be a good choice. The 41 mag if you reload is a good choice as well.

I like to carry a pistol and a carbine in the same round. For me its 357 magnum but there are more powerful options out there.
__________________
Shot placement is everything! I would rather take a round of 50BMG to the foot than a 22short to the base of the skull.

all 25 of my guns are 45/70 govt, 357 mag, 22 or 12 ga... I believe in keeping it simple
Deja vu is offline  
Old January 23, 2013, 10:51 PM   #10
Hook686
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 22, 2005
Location: USA The Great State of California
Posts: 1,971
Having a .44 magnum revolver does not mean you have to shoot .44 magnum cartridges. It will shoot .44 Special just fine. I have a S&W 329PD for my hiking/fishing carry. It is light weight and not a burden. I carry it with Buffalo Bore Heavy 185 grain .44 Special loads. I reload .44 magnum cases with 200 grain Gold Dots at the .44 Special ballistics for practice. .44 magnum rounds out of this light weight revolver are a bear, and I only shoot them occasionally simply because I load 5 .44 Specials and the 6th is a .44 magnum. I know when it is time to reload without counting.
__________________
Hook686

When the number of people in institutions reaches 51%, we change sides.
Hook686 is offline  
Old January 23, 2013, 11:17 PM   #11
Dragline45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 30, 2010
Posts: 2,652
If you can find one the Ruger Redhawk in .45 Colt is a great woods gun.
Dragline45 is offline  
Old January 23, 2013, 11:38 PM   #12
kutz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 24, 2012
Location: New Mexico USA
Posts: 340
My .44 Mag Ruger Alaskanis so cool to look at & so cool to shoot.
kutz is offline  
Old January 23, 2013, 11:44 PM   #13
481
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 18, 2011
Posts: 475
For serious "woods use", a .44 Mag is a good 'all-around' caliber. Kind of partial to my stainless 7.5" SBH for that task.
__________________
My favorite "gun" book -

QUANTITATIVE AMMUNITION SELECTION
481 is offline  
Old January 24, 2013, 01:06 AM   #14
Buzzcook
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 29, 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 5,641
Unless you're teasing grizzlys a .357 is all you need.

That being said the .45 Colt is just about my favorite round. If you roll your own it will give you all sorts of fun.

.44 mag will be a bit less expensive if you're buying over the counter.

The Ruger Blackhawk is probably the less expensive choice.

Try some on for size as far as barrel length is concerned.
Buzzcook is offline  
Old January 24, 2013, 01:18 AM   #15
Pathfinder45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 7, 2008
Posts: 1,033
Longer Barrel, Man......

I say at least a 4" barrel and preferably longer. If you prefer a double action, get a .44 magnum. If you like single actions it's a toss-up between .44 mag and .45 Colt. Don't get anything more powerful than a .44 magnum. Heck, most people can't shoot a .44 Magnum worth a darn even when they own it because it too much gun for them. If you master it and still want more then OK, go ahead. I like the single action Ruger Vaquero with 4-5/8" barrel myself. I've had the Blackhawk with 7-1/2 barrel. The longer barrel is easier to shoot well but for holster use it's a bit less handy. A 5" to 6" barrel is probably ideal. Forget the 2" barrel. You'll get used to a longer one in a short time and will be much better served when it's time to use it. You said, "woods gun", remember?
Pathfinder45 is offline  
Old January 24, 2013, 01:47 AM   #16
Doc TH
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 15, 2005
Posts: 511
A big bore w. a snub barrel doesn't make a lot of sense to me. You will lose velocity and gain a lot of muzzle blast with that combo.
Doc TH is offline  
Old January 24, 2013, 07:57 AM   #17
joyrock
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 12, 2008
Location: Greensboro, NC
Posts: 151
Thanks! The funny thing is, that I will be looking at a double action. I broke both of my hands years ago. I can use a single action, but I'm not that good with a single. I was kinda looking at the 44 mag, and play with the 44 spl. I do reload, and cast my own bullets. So no real problem there. Thanks, again. I will let you guys know what I find, and get!
__________________
Oleg Volk is my hero!
joyrock is offline  
Old January 24, 2013, 09:33 AM   #18
jmortimer
Junior member
 
Join Date: January 24, 2010
Location: South West Riverside County California
Posts: 2,763
4.62" Ruger Blackhawk in .45 Colt. At 39 ounces not too heavy, and can smoke anything on earth.

Last edited by jmortimer; January 24, 2013 at 11:04 AM.
jmortimer is offline  
Old January 24, 2013, 11:03 AM   #19
Panfisher
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 30, 2010
Location: Missouri
Posts: 677
Personally I would be choosier about the platform than I would the cartridge. First find one you like that just feels right. I love the Single action Rugers unfortunately for whatever reason I can't shoot them worth a dang. The double action Redhawk I can shoot great. Find a model, style, barrell length that speaks to you then pick a caliber, .41 Mag to .454 that is personal choice. I loved my old Ruger RH foolishly sold it. I would buy a 5.5 Stainless Redhawk in .44 Mag, but I reload and already have the dies and still some bullets so I am a little biased. Easy to load cast plunkers or load us some LBT WFN's or even Hornady XTP's. For me its a great balance between portability and power. But each of the rounds has it good points and less good points from ammo availability, to cost of ammo, power, increased recoil, etc.
Panfisher is offline  
Old January 24, 2013, 01:13 PM   #20
tlm225
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 21, 2004
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 666
My big bore woods gun is a 4 5/8" Blackhawk .45 colt. Easy to pack, more than enough thump on the receiving end.
__________________
All that is neccessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.
Edmund Burke
tlm225 is offline  
Old January 24, 2013, 01:21 PM   #21
kahrguy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 1, 2012
Posts: 561
joyrock If your not going to alaska Why not get a 10mm glock. The ruger alaskian take out hunting. There is nothing short of grizzly in the lower 48 that a handloaded 10mm can't handle with 180 or 200gr HC. You could get more rounds on a target quicker and do more damage than what a harder recoiling heavier revolver would do for a general woods gun. Add a 6" barrel for hunting and its still lighter , thinner and more rounds avalible before reloading than any revolver even with the compact model.

A handloaded 357 mag is more than capible to do the same in a lighter package. 170gr sp or 180 to 200gr hc will take on all but grizzly also. I have handloaded 170gr and 180gr at 1400fps+. Not a 44 mag or larger buy easier to haul around and can be had in a 8 shot revolver.

Maybe a 10mm or 357mag is not as cool as a 460 but maybe more practical for the needs.
kahrguy is offline  
Old January 24, 2013, 03:45 PM   #22
Mike Irwin
Staff
 
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 36,242
Desert Eagle .50.

If you don't connect with the bullet, you'll still roast your target with the fireball that comes out the front.
__________________
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Old January 24, 2013, 03:57 PM   #23
treg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 26, 2006
Posts: 1,031
Any pistol can suffer reliability issues due to mud, dirt or debris. Best thing is to protect whatever you decide on with a flap holster. They are surprisingly convenient for unholstering and reholstering. I have a couple of leather / nylon flap holsters from Idaho Leather http://idaho-leather.com that have been very durable and didn't break the bank. Ben will make one up for any gun you decide on.

I'd advise that the .44 mag or .45 colt are at the top end of what you want. Carrying the unnecessary weight and bulk of a .454 or larger revo gets to be a PITA fast. Don't rule out the autoloaders either, plenty of power in a convenient package. Heck, my SR40c gets lots of woods time, even though larger guns are available. My fave is the Lipsey's BH .44 Special, - enough power for anything around here in a reliable, convenient package.
__________________
"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - John Wayne

.44 Special: For those who get it, no explanation is necessary. For those who don't, no explanation is possible.
treg is offline  
Old January 24, 2013, 04:04 PM   #24
spacecoast
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 14, 2009
Location: Sunshine and Keystone States
Posts: 4,152
Quote:
While my favorite is the .44 Magnum, usually, I'd pick this Ruger in .45 Colt faced with your situation.
Bob, with all due respect, and casting no aspersions on SA revolvers, I would much rather have a DA revolver in a stressful situation. JMHO.
spacecoast is offline  
Old January 24, 2013, 04:17 PM   #25
giaquir
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2006
Location: Deerfield,New Hampshire
Posts: 450
I know absolutely nothing about bears
and bear country.In fact I've never seen a bear
in the woods in all my 50yrs of hunting.
I would imagine tho a nice 4 inch bbl 44mag
in double action would suit one's needs.
I'd hate to be hurting during a bear attack and trying
to ear back a single action.
giaquir is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:32 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13012 seconds with 9 queries