Looking to get a pistol

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by TheKingsOutlaw, Dec 10, 2007.

  1. TheKingsOutlaw

    TheKingsOutlaw New Member

    Nov 26, 2007
    Western Wisconsin
    Hi all,

    In the last several years the public lands that I hunt (bow and rifle) have become host to lots of wolves. I don't have much of a concern when hunting with a rifle. But when I am bowhunting I am beginning to get a bit nervous in the woods. If I were to drop a deer, the resulting pile of entrails would create quite an alluring bouquet to the olfactory systems of the local Canis Lupus population. I'm wondering what recommendations would be made regarding the best handgun for defense against wolves or black bears who take a shine to the fresh meat I may be dragging behind me.

    Thanks for your consideration!

  2. Smith & Wesson Model 29 OR 629 (Stainless) .44 Mangum.

    You never once saw fear in Dirty Harry's eyes.......:eek:......did ya ?.......:D

    A pic of mine...


  3. TheKingsOutlaw

    TheKingsOutlaw New Member

    Nov 26, 2007
    Western Wisconsin
    Thanks for the input! The .44 Mag was actually my first thought. But...if I were to encounter a pack of wolves I'm thinking reloading that thing would be a real B*tch. I've been doing a bit of looking online and the Glock G20 10mm autoloader seems to be a pretty popular tool. And reloading a new 15 round clip is pretty quick and easy. The lower weight is a big plus too.

    I was fortunate enough to carry a S&W model 629 .44 Mag for a portion of the Wisconsin deer season one year. Very nice! But it was a HEAVY son of father of a gun (pun fully intended)!

    I appreciate your input and will keep this gun on the table when it comes to making a final decision.

    Thanks again,

  4. Chuck B

    Chuck B New Member

    Nov 25, 2007
    A couple of thoughts...

    The key is to kill or wound one...this will cause the rest to rethink if it's worth it or not. Though possibly impractical, the best weapon might be a .410 shotgun. There are revolvers and even the Bond derringer comes in .410. These critters will be running fast and hard to hit.

    If reloading was a concern, I would be perfectly comfortable in my area with 200 gr .45 +p in my trusty 1911 (even with black bear). I'm not concerned about reloading so I carry a Ruger Blackhawk .357 while in the woods.

    Personally, I would think through how to best use 6 .44 magnum shots...if you have to reload, you have not used them wisely (IMHO). The fight is already over by the time you need to reload. If you kill a wolf and win the fight, drag the dead wolf with you. And this isn't to say you shouldn't have a few extra shells in your pocket for the hike out!

    Be sure to check your state regulations about carrying a firearm during non-rifle bow season. You can't carry a firearm during bow season were I live (we have black bear, too). I'm hoping to remedy that by obtaining a conceal carry license for my state though I'm in the process of verifying if even this would be legal.

    Right now, I carry a big a$$ knife during bow season...it's a part of the hunt...it's a part of the mystique.

    BTW...I miss hunting in WI. I used to hunt the St Croix river valley in the west central part of the state...God's Country!!

    Best regards,

    Chuck B
  5. bmac1911

    bmac1911 New Member

    Dec 6, 2007
    I'd have to go with the 44 mag as well, even though its a bit "overkill", LOL. Although the question of the Glock, as far as follow up shots are concerned, is a good one. I had issues in MT with coyote - not the same, I know - but the few times I just let a round fly with my blackhawk 44, they just ran - of course, with only 6 shots, I hope they would, LOL.

    In the end though, the Big A$$ knife just sounds cool...y'might not be able to beat that, hehe.
  6. TheKingsOutlaw

    TheKingsOutlaw New Member

    Nov 26, 2007
    Western Wisconsin
    Hmmmm....Big Ass Knife! I like the sound of that. It sort of reminds me of Crocodile Dundee! If I survived the attack, I would certainly be regarded as one Bad Ass Dude.

    Watching video of wolves, they seem to move in then retreat and stand for a few seconds. I'm wondering if a .22 would be good enough. It seems that I would have a decent opportunity for a head shot at just a couple of yards.

    Thanks for the replies. As always, I will keep all recommendations of the table (I might as well, it will be a while until I can save up enough $$$$).

  7. Note key word here.....:eek:

    If I wuz Danny Boone's great,g,g,g,g grandson...... I'd still carry a .44....:D

    The "mystique", mite be figgerin out how to get yer butt out a bears jaws.....:D
  8. TheKingsOutlaw

    TheKingsOutlaw New Member

    Nov 26, 2007
    Western Wisconsin
    Hehehe! I hear you loud and clear! Yep, a black bear can do a lot of damage in a hurry. I've had a few encounters with bears in my area (Eau Claire), but in every case so far the bears have been more afraid of me. The couple of times I've been in the woods and seen bear cubs I have turned around and gone home (and that's a 45 minute drive)! I was out at Gander Mountain and Scheels last night and looked at a few pistols. Unfortunately, the sales people were busy with other customers and I wasn't able to handle any of them. So far, I'm between the stainless .44 Mag and the 10mm Glock (I never really considered the Big Ass Knife). I have also considered the .40, but for the slight difference in cost I'd take the 10mm over the .40. But I like the sound of "The Dirty Harry of the Hardwoods," so the .44 Mag is still strong in the running.

  9. I suggest that shooting a wolf is much the same, in terms of bullet characteristics and ballistics, as shooting a human, in terms of mass and physical structure, and there's been lots of research on that. And the long and short of it is that if you can handle the gun you've got well enough to put a bullet someplace that really counts, then caliber is secondary. So I'd go with a .38 special +p, a nine millimeter, or a .357. My preference would be for a .357 revolver, such as a Ruger GP100 or a Smith and Wesson 686. You can load 'em up with .38's if you want to, and they're on the heavy side, but not hard to handle. Alternatively a SigSauer P226 DAK will go "bang" every time you pull the 6.5 pound trigger, and you can have one round in the chamber and 17 rounds in a MecGar magazine and potentially take out the whole pack of wolves in under ten seconds. The smaller P229 won't hold as many rounds, but will be easier to carry and if you've got a smaller grip, will fit your hand better. In theory, you could use a Beretta Bobcat w/10 .22LR rounds, but you'd probably have to use at least half of the magazine on one wolf. But it would fit in your pocket. (I'm pretty sure that Concealed carry without a permit is legal in Virginia if you're actually engaged in hunting and have the proper license and landowner's authorization to hunt.)
  10. Chuck B

    Chuck B New Member

    Nov 25, 2007
    I found an old WI hunting reg book and at the time it was illegal to: (1) conceal a handgun and (2) possess a deer shot by a firearm during bow season (1995, p. 21 & 29 respectively). So it looks like you can "open carry" during bow season (unless they have changed the laws).

    I believe there are a couple of choices in 8 shot .357's that might be worth looking at, like the S&W 627 and 327.

    Unless I want to break the law, it looks like I will need to continue carrying my Big A$$ knife in Arkansas. The zone I hunt in used to have a 200 bear quota. They have become so plentiful that they have dropped the quota all together for the last two years.

    One thing that some folks carry out in the woods as a bear repellent is pepper spray. At least one of the guys I bow hunt with carries it.

  11. TheJakster2

    TheJakster2 New Member

    May 6, 2007
    Unless I've got something that going to spray pepper spray 50 yards that a whole lot closer than I want to be to a breathing bear:eek:
    In Florida it's illegal to possess a modern firearm during bow or muzzle loading season. My answer is a .44 colt reproduction, down where we hunt in Naples the black bear population is on the rise and it's now common to run across them. Even though it's six shots that 44 carries quite a whallop and after a couple of shots your can always retreat behind the smoke screen:D

    During turkey season it's usually a .40 semi. With three high cap mags what it lack in power it makes up for in volume.
  12. Chuck B

    Chuck B New Member

    Nov 25, 2007
    In my opinion, the only thing to carry to defend oneself against a bear is a (modern) 12 ga. pump shotgun w/slugs. In Alaska, where my brother lives, they recommend that visitors file off the front site of whatever handgun they're carrying so it won't hurt so much when the bear shoves it up their a$$.

    In Alaska, they understand the threat and allow you to carry accordingly. In the lower 48 it's probably a bit different in most places. So, one of the questions would be: how many hunters have been killed by black bear or wolves in the state I'm hunting in?

    A second question would be: how much is a gut pile or even a deer worth to me if confronted by wolves or bear? Are you willing to leave it behind or is it worth losing your life over?

    In Arkansas, about the only thing that will get you into trouble with the bear population is if you get between a sow and her cub...that's what we watch for here. The only other threat is if you should happen to corner a Razorback.

    Chuck B
  13. Luke

    Luke New Member

    Mar 20, 2007
    basically all i think you would need is something with a big bang :) it probably wont be nessicary to shoot the animal because once you put a .44 in their direction i bet they'll all go running so it may not even be nessicary to shoot the thing.
  14. TheKingsOutlaw

    TheKingsOutlaw New Member

    Nov 26, 2007
    Western Wisconsin
    Thanks for the replies. .357 is on the table as well. I will probably carry pepper spray next year as it will take me a while to save up the money for whatever firearm I decide on.

    "A second question would be: how much is a gut pile or even a deer worth to me if confronted by wolves or bear? Are you willing to leave it behind or is it worth losing your life over?"

    There's not a deer in the world worth losing my life over. But...If I have the ability to "deter" any critter from either taking my deer or my life, that would be optimal.

    I'm not too concerned about the bears. I've hunted around them enough to feel not too concerned. The wolves are a bit more of a recent development (say, the last 5 years). Numbers are getting to be significant enough to raise my concern. My son saw one this past Sunday when we were on a late herd-control gun hunt (does only). As soon as the lone wolf saw my son move to get the binoculars on the critter (at 150 yards) it made itself scarce in a hurry. I guess that I'm not concerned enough to quit hunting in this area, but a little "piece" of mind would be nice to have.

    I would hope that one "bang" would scatter the critters, but you never know with predators.

    Thanks again for the input.

  15. KJHB

    KJHB New Member

    Jul 7, 2007
    I would consider this, if you are bow hunting and have a .44 mag and need to use it the considerable BANG that you are going to hear might just have an affect on being able to get off a second shot if needed. Then you might just be in the position of having to toss it at the bear. I always use a 9mm with the Ranger round (formally the black tallon by Winchester). I have 16 rounds in the mag, plus on already loaded and if need be can fire off rounds with out going deaf.

    Just a thought to condiser
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