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Thread: Alaska Handgun....

  1. #1
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    Default Alaska Handgun....

    This is the Alaska Handgun forum. What would be your ideal Alaska Handgun? Consider all endeavors with which you would need and use a handgun....you have only one. If you don't hunt bears or need a handgun for bear protection, don't consider that purpose. This is to be your personal choice, one gun...different loads if need be, but only one handgun for every thing you do in the great state of Alaska. Now tells us why you would select that particular gun.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Talking

    Gee Murph, I can only pick one???????????
    Ok, your question was a fair one. My choice would be my S&W 500 with the 4 inch barrel shooting some form of hardcast bullet in the size range of 400-440 grains.
    My reasons are:
    I love big calibers
    I can shoot the heavy recoiling big boys accurate enough to hit a moose in the head (been there and done that)
    I feel more comfortable knowing it is on my hip when I am in grizz country IF I do not have a rifle with me.
    Since I never hunt small game with a handgun I would not feel handicapped. But couldnt I at least slip in my S&W 617 .22 LR just for plinking?
    Tennessee

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    Default Interesting question

    That's easy...my .454 Casull because I spend alot of time in the field hunting, and I do hunt bears. I do sleep so much better in the tent knowing that my pistol is in that carefully planned, easy to reach place...which I always practice reaching at least five times after getting into my sleeping bag.

    Well...not so fast...I also conceal carry as often as I can when not in the field...and I'd really miss my SIG if I had to conceal carry the Casull...I'm not even sure that I could pull off concealing the Casull...no that doesn't sound good at all...

    ...I'll have to get back with you on my decision...this is too hard.

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    Default Compromise.......

    .........which means everyone is unhappy. Here's my best shot; a 1911 in .460 rowland with a .22lr conversion. Not quite a .44 mag, but close, good defense when loaded down(or not) and a .22 as well!

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    S&W 329 (44 magnum)

    Light weight -- if it is too heavy, like my S&W 629, it gets left at home a lot. The 329 does not drag my pants down.

    Powerful -- 44 magnum. More powerful calibers are heavier, see above. Brown Bears are the only critter I do not have full faith in my 329 in stopping. But it is a good compromise. I have taken deer, wild hogs, and black bear with my 44.

    Concealable -- It seems I am always wearing some type of rain coat, jacket or parka. The 4" model 329 is easily concealed in a IWB (Inside the Waist Band) holster.

    Ammo availablability -- check any store that sells ammo. Try that in St Paul or Yakutat and the 500 S&W or 460.

    Efficient killer -- Decent range and good killing power for "putting meat in the pot" if required.

  6. #6

    Default That's easy,

    My 454. I carry it all the time and I shoot it very well.
    RIDE TALL, SHOOT STRAIGHT AND ALWAYS TELL THE TRUTH

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    I gotta say the 454 casull as well. You got full house loads for hunting, light loads for practice, shotshells for small game, but I havent tried them personally, so Im not sure how well they work.

    I like the 460 as well, its just a tad too big for carry all week in the field, the 5 inch version is okay for that, but then you lost some velocity, so you might as well stick with the 7 inch casull.

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    Is a TC contender cheating?

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    I'd have to say a .44 mag with 6-8" barrel: it's good enough for a last-ditch defense against most critters and is useable as a deer hunting gun. Argueably, it's also useable as a home defense gun if you stoke it with .44 spl. It's also fun round to take to the range.

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    My S&W 500 in 4inch....450gr Hardcast bullets. I can shoot it well and fast if the need arises.

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    Have to agree with bustedknee.

    The limiting factor for me in the choice of a woods-carry handgun has always been that , beyond a moderate weight, a handgun that couldn't be carried virtually without notice, would not be worn all the time....but would be left in the house or on the truck seat. And if you don't carry it, what use is it. My S&W M29...6.5"...blued...was like that...47 ounces loaded. Then I bought a M629 Mountain Gun...43 ounces loaded. Same story...on the truck seat, or in the sled bag. My current 10 year favorite is an M396 Mountain Light in 44 Special...weighs 21 oz. loaded, with 250 gr hardcasts @ 970 FPS. It has had an S&W Custom Shop action job and Trijicon tritium night sights. I realize that some may dismiss the 44 Spec as under powered for Alaska, but remember that Elmer Keith was running virtually 44 mag velocities in his Specials for years before the introduction of the magnum. Further, I consider a handgun to be backup to a rifle, not a substitute.

    For those who who choose the 3#to 4.5# hand cannons, a question. Would you wear your behemoth when cutting firewood or doing any other every day work or chore in the woods? I wouldn't. To me, they would be an annoyance, not a comfort.

    Were I to buy a new pistol for my use today, it would be a S&W M329 - 4", and I'd load it with the same 250 gr. hardcast, but at 1200 FPS. I do love my M396, though, and have shot it enough to become proficient in both single and double action. And am reliable in carrying it. It will be there for me, when the 454 or 500S&W would still be in the truck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    Have to agree with bustedknee.
    The limiting factor for me in the choice of a woods-carry handgun has always been that , beyond a moderate weight, a handgun that couldn't be carried virtually without notice, would not be worn all the time....but would be left in the house or on the truck seat. And if you don't carry it, what use is it.
    For me and a few others I know of, as well as the previous posters we can carry a full size pistol in the woods with no bother. If you take the time to select a proper holster and wear it while out and about you will get used to it and then gradually just ignore it.

    I feel it is wrong to go around discouraging people from thinking they cant or wont haul around a pistol that they like or would feel comfortable with its stopping power. Some wont like the weight, but some wont mind it.

    Me for one, I shoot fullsize man guns cause I can score hits better with them. Short guns and me don't go together.

    yes a pistol is not a rifle substitute but it needs to be more than a noisemaker too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    For those who who choose the 3#to 4.5# hand cannons, a question. Would you wear your behemoth when cutting firewood or doing any other every day work or chore in the woods? I wouldn't. To me, they would be an annoyance, not a comfort.
    Shoot, wearing a hat is an anoyance chopping wood. I dont know many people that feel the need to constantly have a firearm strapped to them. I only wear it if I feel like I might need it, like checking a bait station. Weedwhacking at the cabin? Nah, Ill take my chances.

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    Remember, this topic is about what is YOUR best choice. What others choose is there choice and who are we to say there choice is bad.
    Tennessee

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowwolfe View Post
    Remember, this topic is about what is YOUR best choice. What others choose is there choice and who are we to say there choice is bad.
    Your right snowwolfe. This probably wasnt the best thread to bring this up in. But just in case someone digs this up doing research, I dont want them not to try a bigger gun just cause they hear that it will be left at home.

    And yes, for some, a lighter gun would be better.

    Whoever you are researching out there, try them all if you can, listen to all the opinions and think about what you need it for. Then decide.

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    My analysis of the "only one" ideal Alaska handgun is first to decide what my main purposes are for a handgun. When I consider purpose regarding a handgun, I'm really talking about CCW, home defense and range use. Some may hunt with a handgun, but for myself, rifles and shotguns are so much better suited for that purpose. So I would tend to ignore hunting as a commonly-required handgun application.

    Of the applications mentioned above, the most demanding is CCW. Many handguns are adequate for home defense, where size and concealability are not an issue, and almost anything can be challenging and fun to shoot at the range. So I figure if a handgun is good for CCW, it probably is qualified for the other two applications.

    Since the attributes for a good CCW gun include reliability, light weight and reasonable dimensions, significant caliber, good ammo capacity, accuracy, safety, tough finish and simple controls, it would be hard to improve on my Glock.

    I hate to admit it but, I have to choose the Glock over the holy grail of handguns (1911) and any revolvers. Very few have been any more of a "die hard" 1911 person than myself. I still love and revere the 1911 and I also recognize the inherit dependability of a good revolver, but I never carry any of my 1911s or revolvers, the fact is, a Glock is the one that gets carried. My experience has caused me to respect the Glock's dependability the same as a revolver. It has the tuffest finish on any of my handguns, smooth corners, and carries great. When the need comes to perform it can do that also. In conclusion, for my purposes a Glock 23 fully loaded with 11 40 S&W 180 Grain Hydra-Shok Jacketed Hollow Points meets all the criteria and has become my every day handgun.

    Timber out.

    Achems Razor: When faced with a number of complicated variables with which to solve a problem - the correct choice is usually the simplest one.

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    I have a 454 and a S&W 500 4" and perfer the 500 S&W...if thats to heavy for you to carry..... you might have other problems

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    Thumbs up Ruger

    Ruger Super Blackhawk in 44 mag "Predator" by MagNaPort w/ 4 5/8"
    Alaska

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    Default Alaska Handgun

    Bear Buster, rimfirematt, and others who dismiss lightweight handguns miss the central point of this exercise.

    You have to decide on the basis of your experience, abilities and intended uses what cartridge/pistol suites your needs. Not everyone has the same requirements. If you don't intend to CCW or not to carry it as a matter of personal policy in the woods, a pistol of the hand-cannon category may suit your needs.

    In the woods, I wear my pistol all the time. It's light to the point of blending in with the other pieces of gear I always wear....for instance, my Multi-Tool and my Dozier knife. I've already been through a M29(47 oz loaded), and a Mountain Gun(43 oz loaded). My current M396(18 oz unloaded...21 oz loaded) suits me to a tee. With Buffalo Bore's Heavy 44 Special 250 grain loads, it has some authority...for the unprepared or the less able, the recoil is fierce and requires a revised definition of "heavy recoil." I'm more than competent with it, but it took some getting use to. Wouldn't recommend either the M329 or the M396 to the inexperienced, unless they are forewarned and understand they need to become expert with it.

    I carry my light pistol all the time; I doubt that a hand-cannon of the S&W M500-4"(56 oz unloaded) variety would be suitable for many...certainly not for me.

    For me , the S&W M329 is the top choice...a tool for daily carry, not a playtoy. In Alaska, no handgun is a adequate substitute for a rifle. If I need more firepower than a 44, my choice is a rifle.

    That's what I would choose. And that's the point of this thread.

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    Default One handgun?

    For me, it has to be my M63 Smith & Wesson. I've put more meat in the pot with my lowly .22 than just about anything else I have...besides, why in the world would you want to carry a hand cannon when the little .22 will do 90% of everything you want; it's handy, accurate, unobtrusive and a great little handgun...I'll carry it across Alaska.



    Along with my .375 H&H

  20. #20
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    You know SE Mike your choice actually makes alot of sense.

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