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Old February 9, 2013, 08:52 PM   #1
Join Date: February 9, 2013
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horse back trip across America, what guns would you take?

Horse back trip across America, what guns would you take??

Hello i'm a newbie here... I have been planning to ride a horse (and probably will take a pack horse also) from north carolina to New Mexico and then up through the rockies to cananda and then over to seattle. I am crazy enough to do it i already have hitch hiked through every state in the country.. I am curious what guns others would take.. A few things to keep in mind would be legalities, allthough open carry is legal in most states.. and then there is a small weight issue.. if i take a pack horse not so much so but weight would still be a consideration....The guns would be for protection againts people,bears,and possibly some hunting although most my food would be store bought... On a trip like this i like the option of being able to hunt.I currently own..
Ruger #1 in 30-06
Ruger sp101 357 mag 3" barrel
Glock 23
And a ruger mark III hunter 22 lr.

I know most of u all will include a (probably wise) and I know the ruger #1 is not that practical but im fast at reloading it and it is more accurate than i am.(-: and im having a hard time convincing my self not to take it(-:
Ps....Ive met several people who have rode cross country and they took no guns but i want to make more of an adventure of it and take some remote routes and trails. And also be more self sufficient, than they were.. And i just sleep better when i have guns around out in the But at the same time i dont want to look like an overly armed wacko riding down the road(-:
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Old February 9, 2013, 09:05 PM   #2
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Well, geez, I would think it would have to be some sort of lever gun and a single action revolver of some kind. If you're on a horse, I see no other alternatives.

Lever gun in 45-70
Single action revolver in .45 Colt.
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Old February 9, 2013, 09:10 PM   #3
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A new spin on the old "what gun" question, i like it!

Going with strictly what i (and grandad) own.

Pump action Savage 22lr
Ruger super redhawk, 6in bbl, 44 mag
Remington 700 BDL .243

Maybe not a cowboy's load out, but i think it'll do
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Old February 9, 2013, 09:24 PM   #4
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Sounds like fun, and welcome to the forum

I think you're pretty well set with the sp 101 for self defense and the Ruger Mark III for anything else. Those two would be perfect as weight is going to be an issue on such a long trip, and you'll have to pack some feed.

Speaking of horse feed you should seriously check out Purina' s dehydrated hay blocks. They're small enough you can fit a lot in saddlebags, I've used them and they REALLY work (just add water, seriously). Plus horses love it for some reason. Check it out (

Best of luck on your trip!
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Old February 9, 2013, 09:25 PM   #5
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Ya levers fit horse back travel in many ways.. and my only hesitation to bringing the glock would be that it might just look a little out of character as opossed to a single I suppose a 45, or 44 ruger bisely with hot loads would be plenty for bear... and the sp101 is light enough i could cary it as well loaded for normal self defense..
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Old February 9, 2013, 09:32 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advise (Tickling?) I will check it out. Jeffery spivey road acrossed the country in the 80's with no pack horse.. he hunted some by shooting cut down 410 shells out of his 45 colt and his horse just grazed along the way.. but the horse lost 140 lbs and he lost 40 i think i will bring a pack horse(-:
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Old February 9, 2013, 09:34 PM   #7
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Ruger Vaquero 4 3/4 in barrel in .45 Colt. I'd say the Colt SAA, but they are expensive, and only allow for five rounds as you need to keep the hammer on a empty chamber. The Ruger with its modern lockwork and transfer bar safety allows for six rounds.
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Old February 9, 2013, 09:45 PM   #8
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Marlin .44 mag rifle and S&W M29
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Old February 9, 2013, 09:57 PM   #9
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Ive been leaning twards a 45 colt ruger single action lately mostly because it can be loaded extremely hot for bear and still be packable...although bear spray would probably be better i just feel silly carring it in place of a gun.. one thing most people dont think about though is if your gun is loaded really hot for bear protection it doesn't make the best self defense weapon for two legged critters due to recoil... so i think id keep the sp101 on my hip also in bear country.. its light enough i could probably carry the both of them(-:
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Old February 9, 2013, 10:07 PM   #10
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Knowing me il probably start out carrying more guns and ammo than food and grain and then about half way(If the cops haven't confiscated i will end up trading them off for food, grain, and a new pack horse since i will have ruined his back due to the weight of the ammo i probably will never use.(-:
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Old February 9, 2013, 10:46 PM   #11
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I am in love with my ruger #1 30-06 but i know a repeating rifle would be more practicle.. someone on here needs to tell me how ridiculous it would be for me to take that along.(-:
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Old February 9, 2013, 10:46 PM   #12
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Old February 9, 2013, 10:49 PM   #13
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I'll be taking my Savage 1899 30-30
My Ruger 357 Blackhawk
My Winchester 1897 12 ga.
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Old February 9, 2013, 11:04 PM   #14
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If you're planning on going into Canada you can forget about bringing guns with you.

That aside - I'd carry what you're most comfortable using. For me it'd be a 1911 and an AR or two...
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Old February 9, 2013, 11:49 PM   #15
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Originally i was thinking about going all the way to alaska in which case the pistols would need to be left behind and a 45 70 or 12 gauge would be a must and legal. But im pretty sure i will just go to the border and then head west through Idaho avoiding canada.
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Old February 9, 2013, 11:57 PM   #16
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Your Glock 23 is probably a good candidate. You don't really have to worry about it not firing from neglect, and it has a big enough round to hunt with. I think I'd still be worried about bears though, lol. I could definitely see arguments for all your other guns too though, especially if you shoot your Ruger better. I'm just partial to the Glock cause it was my first gun.
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Old February 9, 2013, 11:59 PM   #17
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You're not parachuting into Normandy. You could easily get by with a Colt Clone and with about 3 parts and a screwdriver you could fix any problems you might encounter. For a rifle either a '73 Clone or maybe a '76 clone. If you go with a 'Colt' and '73' then .45 Colt with handle anything I'd think you'd run across. If you want a heavier caliber rifle then the '76' in .45/75 will kill anything in North America. Remember that if you kill nearly anything bigger than a Porky-pine, you'll have trouble keeping the meat edible. If you're going 'Cowboy' you might as well go all the way.
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Old February 10, 2013, 02:42 AM   #18
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I never liked glocks tell i bought one..I actually shoot the glock the best and as far as defense against people i feel more secure with it than any other hand gun ive owned. Problem is it would probably scare people more than a single action and definately more than the sp101... and of course it would'nt quite fit the i hitch hiked all over i did so with out a gun because the cops harassed me constantly.. and i survived some how...on a horse i think they would bother me less but u would still get some people that would call ya in for carring and i guarantee some harrasment from leo's... as far as the 45-70 yes it would make me sleep very well at night in colorado, wyoming, montana and Idaho. My only real qualm with it is 50 bullets weigh over 5 lbs.. and of course the range is much shorter than say my ruger 30-06(-:... as far as hunting (which in this fine free country,would be near impossible to do legally) 30-06 and a 22 pistol would be best in my opinion. And yes i would hunt some, legal or not but mostly just small game and of course fish.... I understand hunting regulations but they do make it impossible for someone to live nomadicaly?? And survive off the land... to legally survive off the land u pretty much need to own land and plant gardens unless u live in alaska and can obtain a subsistance hunting permit..
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Old February 10, 2013, 03:08 AM   #19
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Where i live now in the national forest the only gun a person can carry is a 22 with a barrel shorter than 7 inches.... just an example of how it will be tough crossing multiple state lines and doing things legal hunting or no I think if i unload all guns and maybe put trigger locks on em in areas like that the cops couldn't complain toooo much.(-:
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Old February 10, 2013, 03:12 AM   #20
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Why not to reconsider your inventory, and make investement to purchase something else.
I am speaking of black powder.

First, if you take black powder rifle / revolver you are more like to hystoric trip which you are planning to undertake.

Secondly, in many states you will have longer hunting season, if you are looking for possibilities to hunt while "on the road".

Thirdly, less legal problems with authorities if you have black powder fire arms.

Black powder guns have great stopping power (if speaking for SD), and they have been succesfuly used in hunting. BP decimated buffalos, for example.

Which BP guns to take?

For self defense: Take Percusion Remington 1858, cal 44, with at least two spare cylinders.
The reason for this, the cylinders are easy to change if you carry a spare one loaded. Much more handy then colt percussion.

Rifles for hunting: Sharps 1859, Sharps 1863 sporting, or Sharps carbine.
Or, Hawken Mountain rifle, muzzleloader - the one Jeremiah Johnson had in a movie with Robert redford. And, of course some double barreled BP shotgun for small game.

Or take some of more modern in-line BP guns. But if I were you I would go fully traditional in a style: "My rifle, my pony and me".
I envy you for the trip.
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Old February 10, 2013, 11:34 AM   #21
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Ruger Vaquero in 45LC
Long Gun in 45LC (Hunting to 100 yards)

One ammo required

I might add a 22LR rifle though. If your hunting it will be mostly small game so you won't need any permits. (45LC will explode your rabbit.)
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Old February 10, 2013, 11:36 AM   #22
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If you're not hunting, and just planning on the Horse Back trip, based on what you have I'd take the Ruger 357. Its all you need.

I do a lot of horse back riding and all I normaly carry (unless I'm hunting) is my 642. But if I was planning a "cross country trip" I take my 4 in Model 28 and not feel a bit under gunned. It worked for my in my 20 years in LE, I've killed just about everything from rabbits to moose and buffalo.

My wife carries a Judge w/410 shells for snakes. She's got more then a couple with that set up from her horse.
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Old February 10, 2013, 02:26 PM   #23
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If you're planning to enter Canada, you'll need to stick with long guns. Personally, I'd go with a Marlin Guide Gun in .45-70 or .450 Marlin. If you're concerned with in-camp protection, a Remington 870 (or Winchester 1897) riot gun in 12-Ga with buckshot and slugs would be the most versatile.
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Old February 10, 2013, 04:17 PM   #24
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I would pick up a lever action in .357 mag, like a Marlin or Rossi. Very handy.
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Old February 10, 2013, 05:27 PM   #25
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Well, since you're planning on buying most of your food at the store, and killing an entire deer for one meal would be a wanton waste, I'd suggest taking that glock 23 and small 22 for rabbits and squirrels.

Although, since I imagine this is a spring to fall trip, that limits your choices for hunting. There's not much in season from spring to fall. That is if you follow laws on such things.
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