The Firing Line Forums

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old February 21, 2021, 11:28 PM   #1
HWS
Member
 
Join Date: July 1, 2018
Posts: 37
About to Buy a Heavy Duty Handgun

I have an AR15 so the natural tactical choice for a handgun is a 1911 or Glock. But I live in the country and many days I am in the forest. I have been doing this for 30 years and never had a problem but if I am going to get a handgun I want it to handle and potential problems.

There is always a lot of talk about handguns that will stop a grizzly. This is not a pleasant thought for me. We don't have grizzly bears here, only black bears but we do have mountain lions.

So if I get a handgun I want it to have a chance of stopping the aforementioned creatures. If it will do that, a human should be no problem. I really don't care if it is a revolver or semi-auto.

What would you recommend?

Last edited by JohnKSa; February 21, 2021 at 11:38 PM. Reason: .
HWS is offline  
Old February 21, 2021, 11:43 PM   #2
raimius
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 27, 2008
Posts: 2,124
There is no perfect answer. Handguns lack the power of rifle rounds. That said, .44mag would be a logical starting point for further debate.
raimius is offline  
Old February 21, 2021, 11:44 PM   #3
SIGSHR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 13, 2005
Posts: 4,544
Not a hunter nor do I play one the Web, recall Jeff Cooper answering a reader :
"As much as I favor the .45, I wear a .44 in bear country".
SIGSHR is offline  
Old February 21, 2021, 11:48 PM   #4
stephen426
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 11, 2005
Posts: 3,819
If you don’t have grizzly bears, a 10mm should work for you. Glocks are not fancy, but they are incredibly reliable and corrosion resistant. 15+1 rounds of 10mm is a lot of firepower. If you prefer a wheel gun, a 4” .357 should work for you. You only get 6 shots compared to Glock’s 15+1. I think semi-autos are easier to carry so I’d go with the Glock.
__________________
The ATF should be a convenience store instead of a government agency!
stephen426 is offline  
Old February 21, 2021, 11:57 PM   #5
Hawg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 15,566
Pretty much anything will take care of a mountain lion but even with a black bear I'd want a .357 or .44 mag.
Hawg is offline  
Old February 22, 2021, 01:40 AM   #6
Pathfinder45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 7, 2008
Posts: 2,987
Quote:
But I live in the country and many days I am in the forest.
The answer is simple: Ruger Blackhawk or Super-Blackhawk; caliber would have to be 357 Magnum, or 45 Colt, or 44 Magnum. Any of those will do fine, but the 357 is probably the best choice for most. Me? I'm a 45 Colt guy, myself, but it ain't for everybody; neither is the 44 Magnum.
Pathfinder45 is offline  
Old February 22, 2021, 03:40 AM   #7
Alan0354
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 15, 2021
Posts: 237
I would definitely get a magnum, not for anything, they are LOUD, more likely to scare off the animal even if you miss.

Last edited by Alan0354; February 22, 2021 at 04:42 AM.
Alan0354 is offline  
Old February 22, 2021, 06:18 AM   #8
Carl the Floor Walker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 3, 2017
Posts: 927
I spend a lot of time hunting, and a lot time scouting all year round. A lot of swampy areas. I have run into dozens of Black Bears. But never a problem and they always take off like a rabbit once they get my presence. One thing about a lot of time walking/hiking is weight. Things get heavy. Especially a firearm. I just carry a LCR9mm. And I do not carry for the bears, but for any Bad Humans I may encounter.

Sometimes, I will spend the night if I am going really far in and I will carry a water tight container with three moon clips. (I get wet a lot in that mess). Probably not necessary, but just gives me peace of mind.

Last edited by Carl the Floor Walker; February 22, 2021 at 06:54 PM.
Carl the Floor Walker is offline  
Old February 22, 2021, 07:22 AM   #9
shurshot
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 25, 2006
Posts: 1,685
What you chose, should also be accompanied by ammo. Not much out there right now. An Empty gun is useless.

I bought a Glock 20 10mm last year and was able to purchase all the ammo I wanted online at a reasonable price. That was last year... everything's gone up since.

A Glock 10mm will also function with .40 SW in a pinch. A .357 is also a great choice (and also shoots .38's)... IF you already have ammo. If you don't have ammo, the gun, no matter how well made, is just a paperweight.

Just something to consider, as the ammunition shelves may not replenish anytime soon.

Last edited by shurshot; February 22, 2021 at 07:28 AM.
shurshot is offline  
Old February 22, 2021, 07:56 AM   #10
Willie Lowman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 5, 2009
Location: Uh-Hi-O
Posts: 2,742
I am going to agree with the 10mm Glock recommendation. They are weather resistant. They can shoot .40 ammo. With full power ammo they are good enough for large animals.
__________________
"9mm has a very long history of being a pointy little bullet moving quickly" --Sevens
Willie Lowman is offline  
Old February 22, 2021, 09:17 AM   #11
IKE
Member
 
Join Date: November 21, 1999
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 48
5 1/2" stainless .44 Mag Ruger Redhawk.
__________________
NRA Range Safety Officer.
Vietnam veteran.
IHMSA # 48226.
2B1Ask1.
IKE is offline  
Old February 22, 2021, 09:38 AM   #12
wild cat mccane
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 22, 2011
Posts: 2,136
Best option, Amazon or Walmart flavor.

https://www.amazon.com/SABRE-Frontie...ef=sr_1_1_sspa
__________________
My wife is a pulmonologist (respiratory Dr) and epidemiologist. If you have any questions on COVID, please reach out to me in PM.
wild cat mccane is offline  
Old February 22, 2021, 09:47 AM   #13
Pistoler0
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 15, 2019
Location: Conifer, CO
Posts: 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by wild cat mccane View Post
Best option, Amazon or Walmart flavor.

https://www.amazon.com/SABRE-Frontie...ef=sr_1_1_sspa
^^^ This

+ the 10mm pistol that can also shoot 40 s&w and can do double duty as every day conceal carry if you ever wish to do so. Glock 20 (full size) or Glock 29 (compact).

If you prefer DA/SA with safety, Witness polymer compact also has a 10mm model and in addition you can purchase conversion slides for other calibers.
__________________
Life is simply an inter-temporal problem of constrained optimization.
Pistoler0 is offline  
Old February 22, 2021, 10:01 AM   #14
ghbucky
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 12, 2020
Posts: 698
3rd the spray option.

Effective against both black bear and mtn lion (assuming you know the kitty is there first).
ghbucky is offline  
Old February 22, 2021, 12:53 PM   #15
pete2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 15, 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 2,417
The .44 Mag. would be my choice. The 240 gr mag load is pretty stout and a 629 ain't too heavy to carry in a holster.
pete2 is offline  
Old February 22, 2021, 01:19 PM   #16
mk70ss
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 12, 2008
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 1,308
Bear spray and/or a good .357 mag with heavy bullets or a .44, either Special or mag. These should get any problem solved if you don’t have brown bears or grizzlys.
__________________
Say when.....
mk70ss is offline  
Old February 22, 2021, 01:55 PM   #17
CDW4ME
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 18, 2009
Posts: 1,230
Under stress making good hits might be a challenge on a moving target.
Sure would suck to fire off all 6 rounds in a revolver and the threat (attack) not be stopped.
10mm Glock 20SF or 29SF if under a 10 round mag limit.
A 10mm 1911 wouldn't be bad either.
Even with the 1911 you get 50% more capacity than a 6 shot revolver.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 10mm.jpg (86.9 KB, 324 views)
__________________
Strive to carry the handgun you would want anywhere, everywhere; forget that good area bullcrap.
"Wouldn't want to / Nobody volunteer to" get shot by _____ is not indicative of quickly incapacitating.
CDW4ME is offline  
Old February 22, 2021, 05:28 PM   #18
Carmady
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 26, 2013
Location: on the lam
Posts: 1,610
Here's a good video on the .45 acp where he tries some different brands/loads on an animal sized "meat target" in order to get an idea of the rounds' effectiveness on the big critters.

For the tl;dr version, start watching at 20:00.

"You be the judge."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gtTEEm1-1A
__________________
"Try to be less white." Coca-Cola
"Try to hold your breath until I drink another Coke." Me
Carmady is offline  
Old February 22, 2021, 05:49 PM   #19
BourbonCowboy
Member
 
Join Date: April 6, 2019
Posts: 72
If I'm planning to be in the woods, I usually carry my Judge, loaded with .45 Colt or with slugs. I've been wanting to pick up a .357 Henry rifle, but the idea of a Henry in .45 Colt is starting to appeal to me as a nice match for the Judge.
BourbonCowboy is offline  
Old February 22, 2021, 06:40 PM   #20
stinkeypete
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 22, 2010
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 751
Since statistics recorded, about one person is killed in the USA per year by a black bear.

You’ve been in the woods a long time, ever had a lot of problems with bear or lions? “Yeah, it only takes one” you might say, but you’d be safer losing 10 pounds (or more in my case, eating healthier or for the love of pete quit smoking!

My opinion is that as you walk distances, weight matters. Something like a Glock 19 isn’t a bad field gun. Honestly, if you don’t live in grizzly or polar bear country, bears are simply not as dangerous as driving your car to the supermarket.

On the other hand, a .44 magnum revolver is much heavier but most likely legal for deer hunting if you get the itch. I have a real nice one and great holster and it’s really heavy after 5 miles. You can hunt elk or bear with that cannon.

Me? I carry a Ruger LCRX 3” 5 shot revolver in .38 special which just drops in my jacket pocket. It weighs about the same as a can of cola. You might forget it’s there. Other fellas may have more horsepower, but here I am, still alive.

My pistol is small, light weight, can suffer a swim in a creek without me worrying too much, and is not too much to whack a suicidal rabbit or squirrel. Yum.

My opinion is carry what you love in the woods. For me, light weight wins the day. When grizzly or polar bears... long guns and a buddy are just common sense.
__________________
I hunt, shoot bullseye, plink, reload, and tinker with firearms. I have hung out with the Cowboy Action fellas. I have no interest in carrying firearms in urban areas.
stinkeypete is offline  
Old February 22, 2021, 06:53 PM   #21
Shadow9mm
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2012
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 1,072
Ok, I know I'm going to get flamed here. But as an option a G19, loaded with Lehigh extreme penetrators.

2nd choice would be a 44 wheel gun, probably a super redhawk

3rd choice, Glock 10mm with full power loads (underwood)
__________________
I don't believe in "range fodder" that is why I reload.
Shadow9mm is offline  
Old February 22, 2021, 07:13 PM   #22
FITASC
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 6, 2014
Posts: 5,760
Cats are easily killed with 38s so any 357 and up should meet your needs. That said, finding ammo is pretty hard to do right now so this might be a case of finding the ammo first and then getting the gun.
__________________
"I believe that people have a right to decide their own destinies; people own themselves. I also believe that, in a democracy, government exists because (and only so long as) individual citizens give it a 'temporary license to exist'—in exchange for a promise that it will behave itself. In a democracy, you own the government—it doesn't own you."- Frank Zappa
FITASC is offline  
Old February 22, 2021, 07:41 PM   #23
rc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 28, 2001
Location: CA
Posts: 1,246
I suppose your shooting experience is a relevant question. A 4 inch 44 model 629 might be a good choice or a Kimber Target II 1911 10mm. A 357 mag is also an option and the GP100 would be my suggestion for that caliber. I would avoid 45 ACP, 40 S&W or 9mm for what you want. Even 38 super would be anemic for bear.

10MM ammo is very watered down for most loads so you have to plan on buying a more premium ammo for true 10mm ballistics. Most people should be able to handle a 10mm. An auto can jam if you are in contact with a bear.

357 mag 158gr Soft Points at 1250fps may be the max recoil a newbie can shoot well and you can learn to shoot the gun with cheaper 38 special ammo. A revolver isn't going to jam when the muzzle is in contact with a bear.

The typical 44 mag ammo is going to be plenty powerful but may be too much gun for a novice especially in a lighter 4 inch gun. You can shoot 44 specials out of a 44 mag but they are still expensive so there is no significant cost benefit there like 38 special vs. 357 mag.

So for woods use I think you have 3 good choices. A glock is very light but it would also be pretty snappy with 10mm.
rc is offline  
Old February 23, 2021, 02:21 AM   #24
Urbanrecon
Junior Member
 
Join Date: February 8, 2021
Location: Bullhead Chity, AZ.
Posts: 6
Quote:
An auto can jam if you are in contact with a bear.
Generally speaking only if you are concentrating on the big deposit you're about to make in your pants and you limp-wrist your pistol.
Urbanrecon is offline  
Old February 23, 2021, 03:44 AM   #25
Alan0354
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 15, 2021
Posts: 237
No matter what gun you choose, make sure you go and shoot the gun to get use to it. You don't have time to think when you see a bear, you can only rely on muscle memory and do things automatically. Practice is the only way. If you buy a magnum, make sure you shoot until you are comfortable with the loud pop and the big recoil.

Practice, don't just buy and carry.
Alan0354 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

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 06:55 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2020 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Page generated in 0.09796 seconds with 11 queries