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Thread: New sidearm suggestions

  1. #1
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    Default New sidearm suggestions

    Yes, I am being kinda lazy, and y'all have been giving some great advice since I moved here a couple years ago. I will be purchasing a new sidearm next week. This will be a chest carry(Diamond D? holster) for all around bear protection. As of now I have a pump 12 gauge, pistol gripped and short barrel that I was going to put a single point harness on it.

    I have been thinking a .454 Casull but not sure which maker. Fishing, hunting, and hiking are the purposes.

    If possible caliber, maker, and pro/con.

    Once again thank you in advance!

  2. #2
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Have you shot that pistol gripped shotgun with magnum slug loads in a defensive scenario yet? If you haven't you should. Remember, in order to successfully use a firearm for bear protection (or any defensive situation) you need to be able to aim it. To aim a firearm you need front and rear sights. You also need to be able to hold it at eye level to use the sights. I've really enjoyed watching guys shoot 3" slug loads in their pistol grip shotguns. The tears. The weapons dropped in the dirt. The unmarked targets just 20 feet away. The inability to rack the second round into the chamber due to the numb hands. All good fun from the side lines.

    For pistols I like the stainless redhawks in what ever caliber you can accurately shoot fast. diamond D is the bomb for field carry of a large revolver.

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    Member GrassLakeRon's Avatar
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    I like my gp100 6" by ruger.

    one day closer to alaska.
    "Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure science"

    Edwin Hubble

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    MY walk-a-bout hand gun is my G20sf, 10mm with BB 220 hard cast loads.

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    I really like the smith and wesson frame and grip

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Bearcat View Post
    MY walk-a-bout hand gun is my G20sf, 10mm with BB 220 hard cast loads.
    Ditto....other than the "sf" part
    Back in AK

  7. #7

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    Lots of good and wide variety of options. It's just my opinion, but I think any platform that can reliably send 180+ grains of hardcast is a viable sidearm, and the choice should depend more on personal preference. You must have confidence in it's ability, but with such a low chance of needing it, you should take enjoyment in carrying it with you outdoors and shooting it for fun.

    How much weight are you willing to carry?
    What grip do you prefer (s&w vs ruger, etc)?
    Single or double action preference?
    Would you consider a semi auto?

    One preference I'd encourage: at least a 4" barrel. Ruger Redhawk instead of the Super Redhawk Alaskan, for example. You won't tell a difference carrying either but the extra 2" inches of barrel will improve everything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKMtnRunner View Post
    Lots of good and wide variety of options. It's just my opinion, but I think any platform that can reliably send 180+ grains of hardcast is a viable sidearm, and the choice should depend more on personal preference. You must have confidence in it's ability, but with such a low chance of needing it, you should take enjoyment in carrying it with you outdoors and shooting it for fun.

    How much weight are you willing to carry?
    What grip do you prefer (s&w vs ruger, etc)?
    Single or double action preference?
    Would you consider a semi auto?

    One preference I'd encourage: at least a 4" barrel. Ruger Redhawk instead of the Super Redhawk Alaskan, for example. You won't tell a difference carrying either but the extra 2" inches of barrel will improve everything.
    Does the extra barrel length really make a difference? I know you get a little better accuracy and range but as a bear defense, it should all go down quick and close. Reason I ask is I own a 2 1/2" S&W 629 performance center and a 4" RedHawk. Both in 44 mag. The RedHawk is much more pleasant to shoot, but the smith is much more pleasant to carry. The velocity is different, but not enough to where I wouldn't trust the smith. The smith also has a much better feel. Trigger, weight, grip. Just isn't nearly as fun to shoot.

    One thing for me, is that I'm new to revolvers. I'm much more comfortable with an auto, than a revolver, but I'm sticking with the 44 mag over a 10mm simply because of math. However I'm still wanting another 10mm simply because I shoot autos much better. Especially follow up shots. I even thought about carrying my 40 cal with some 200 grain flat nose bear rounds.

    The he purpose of a bear handgun is to be able to put the bear down, or shoot yourself while being mauled. We all need to make sure we train with our carry gun. Strapped to our body with our normal work load. Put a timer on. Draw and shoot. Move while
    shooting. If you can get your target to move do that as well.

  9. #9
    Member GrassLakeRon's Avatar
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    My wife says that you can't go wrong with an extra 2 inches. For her, the extra means barrel jump on the next round. For me the extra means it sits better and points easier.

    I agree with the statement about 180 grain or larger Hardcast bullets.

    one day closer to alaska.
    "Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure science"

    Edwin Hubble

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    Ak Reaper,

    I carry and have carried the .454 Casull (Taurus) when in the woods and absolutely love it. I am not a Taurus fan in general but this revolver is pretty awesome. The down side is the weight but the thing is a tack driver. You can shoot .44 longs out of it too and save some cash. I have shot gophers with mine almost 100 yards out, it is one of those pistols where if I miss I know it wasn't the pistols fault.

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    I have a Ruger SRH Toklat in the same holster. I love it. The 5" barrel's not to short and not as cumbersome as the 7.5"
    barrel. You can still mount a scope if you want to for hunting. You can also throw 45 Colt's through it for plinking. However, Taurus has recently came out with a pistol that Not only shoots both 454 & 45 Colt ,but also the 410. I haven't shot it so I don't know how it handles, but I would like to have some 410 rounds when I wander across some grouse while hiking. What ever You choose, That Diamond D holster is the way to go. I don't even notice my gun & holster with a pack on. Keep us posted. I'm curious on your choice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gibbs2120 View Post
    Ak Reaper,

    I carry and have carried the .454 Casull (Taurus) when in the woods and absolutely love it. I am not a Taurus fan in general but this revolver is pretty awesome. The down side is the weight but the thing is a tack driver. You can shoot .44 longs out of it too and save some cash. I have shot gophers with mine almost 100 yards out, it is one of those pistols where if I miss I know it wasn't the pistols fault.
    I think you ment to say 45LC, not 44.

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    I have several Redhawks. all calibers. Find myself packing the 4" barrel .45 Colt with some very souped up loads most of the time. It used to be my 5 1/2" .44 mag that got the nod. I own a Freedom Arms .454 but hardly ever carry it. I like the swing out cylinder on the Redhawk, and the option of using it in d.a. mode.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeRoss View Post
    I have several Redhawks. all calibers. Find myself packing the 4" barrel .45 Colt with some very souped up loads most of the time. It used to be my 5 1/2" .44 mag that got the nod. I own a Freedom Arms .454 but hardly ever carry it. I like the swing out cylinder on the Redhawk, and the option of using it in d.a. mode.
    You probably remember that we have the same 45lc. Did you, or have you had any work done to it? I've been thinking about some trigger work....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  15. #15

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    I have come to back away from the super (Energy) hand cannons, feeling that the recoil recovery time for one shot does not equal the quality of three fired shots from a lesser (Energy) hand cannon in the same time lapse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ASUS-DAG View Post
    I have a Ruger SRH Toklat in the same holster. I love it. The 5" barrel's not to short and not as cumbersome as the 7.5"
    barrel. You can still mount a scope if you want to for hunting. You can also throw 45 Colt's through it for plinking. However, Taurus has recently came out with a pistol that Not only shoots both 454 & 45 Colt ,but also the 410. I haven't shot it so I don't know how it handles, but I would like to have some 410 rounds when I wander across some grouse while hiking. What ever You choose, That Diamond D holster is the way to go. I don't even notice my gun & holster with a pack on. Keep us posted. I'm curious on your choice.
    So a friend and I took a judge out on a grouse hunt this past fall. I have video of how bad those bird shot 410s perform. My friend missed numerous grouse up close with it. He wasn't a bad shot. He transitioned to his 22 revolver and hit every grouse he shot at then.
    We found a shooting pit on our hunt and placed a coffee cup on the ground. We then shot at it. You could see the shot hitting all around the cup but not one single hole in it.
    Eventually we learned that shooting shot shells through a rifled barrel is not the best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yukon Cornelius View Post
    So a friend and I took a judge out on a grouse hunt this past fall. I have video of how bad those bird shot 410s perform. My friend missed numerous grouse up close with it. He wasn't a bad shot. He transitioned to his 22 revolver and hit every grouse he shot at then.
    We found a shooting pit on our hunt and placed a coffee cup on the ground. We then shot at it. You could see the shot hitting all around the cup but not one single hole in it.
    Eventually we learned that shooting shot shells through a rifled barrel is not the best.
    I remember similar results with my 44mag shot shells. Real close shot and feathers went everywhere and I imagine the bird flew off somewhere and died....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    I remember similar results with my 44mag shot shells. Real close shot and feathers went everywhere and I imagine the bird flew off somewhere and died....
    We chased one after seeing feathers fly. He was booking it pretty strong. Never did find him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    You probably remember that we have the same 45lc. Did you, or have you had any work done to it? I've been thinking about some trigger work....
    This one is all stock, but I did have my .44 tuned up right after I bought it in the mid 80's.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yukon Cornelius View Post
    Does the extra barrel length really make a difference? I know you get a little better accuracy and range but as a bear defense, it should all go down quick and close. Reason I ask is I own a 2 1/2" S&W 629 performance center and a 4" RedHawk. Both in 44 mag. The RedHawk is much more pleasant to shoot, but the smith is much more pleasant to carry. The velocity is different, but not enough to where I wouldn't trust the smith. The smith also has a much better feel. Trigger, weight, grip. Just isn't nearly as fun to shoot.

    One thing for me, is that I'm new to revolvers. I'm much more comfortable with an auto, than a revolver, but I'm sticking with the 44 mag over a 10mm simply because of math. However I'm still wanting another 10mm simply because I shoot autos much better. Especially follow up shots. I even thought about carrying my 40 cal with some 200 grain flat nose bear rounds.

    The he purpose of a bear handgun is to be able to put the bear down, or shoot yourself while being mauled. We all need to make sure we train with our carry gun. Strapped to our body with our normal work load. Put a timer on. Draw and shoot. Move while
    shooting. If you can get your target to move do that as well.
    All things being equal, I believe the return on investment is greater with the 4" than the 2.x". The frame of the 629 is probably already a bit slimmer than the redhawk so the total size difference would be quite a bit more significant. I bet you'd really enjoy a 4 or 5" barrel on a 629.

    The scenarios are all hypothetical and we can discuss them ad nauseum, but it's safe to say bullet placement is still important and you may take the only shot with yards still in between so anything to help accuracy is a plus.

    I also like a 10mm semi auto, but I've discovered there's one other disadvantage of a semi auto: a smaller meplat on the bullet that is required for reliable feeding. Of the few factors folks can agree on, it's that a wide meplat on a hardcast bullet helps; but those don't play well in a semi, and especially in aftermarket barrels with tighter chambers. Results may vary, plenty of testing is required.

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