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Thread: Handgun for fishing in Alaska?

  1. #1
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    Default Handgun for fishing in Alaska?

    I assume there all already many opinions on this but I'm coming to Alaska to fly fish in July- August. I own a Walther P99 9mm and a S&W Model 15 .357 magnum. Is it worth bringing one with me while fishing or should I just rely on my pesonnality to charm any bears I might encounter
    Bruce D Reinert
    LTC, (Ret) 150 FW, NMANG, (The Tacos!)

  2. #2

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    Yes. Can you shoot the .357 well? Some heavy loaded .357s would be better than nothing. If you don't feel comfortable packing and shooting the 357 I would suggest some bear spray. It's not 100% but neither are firearms.

    A bear awareness course is probably more valuable than either a gun or the spray. It's important to be able to look at a bear and tell what kind of mood it's in. They give you warning signs. If you know how to read them you're way ahead of the curve.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by BDRAK View Post
    I assume there all already many opinions on this but I'm coming to Alaska to fly fish in July- August. I own a Walther P99 9mm and a S&W Model 15 .357 magnum. Is it worth bringing one with me while fishing or should I just rely on my pesonnality to charm any bears I might encounter
    It depends on what type of bears you'll be encountering. When I fish in an area with black bears, I feel pretty comfortable with a .357, although I would much prefer at least a .44 magnum. When fishing in an area with brown bears, I take my .44 magnum (this is the biggest I have), and to be honest, I still feel under armed.

    If you bring one, bring the .357 with hardcast loads.

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    Default Bear awareness course

    BEER:30

    Thanks for the info.

    I've lived over 40 years in Northern New Mexico but have retired to South Carolina - don't ask! Grand child! Any suggestions on bear awareness courses?
    Bruce D Reinert
    LTC, (Ret) 150 FW, NMANG, (The Tacos!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by BDRAK View Post
    BEER:30

    Thanks for the info.

    I've lived over 40 years in Northern New Mexico but have retired to South Carolina - don't ask! Grand child! Any suggestions on bear awareness courses?
    Check your Private Messages for info.

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    Im guessing theres a fence that keeps the black and brown bears from being together at the same creek.................

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by danthedewman1 View Post
    Im guessing theres a fence that keeps the black and brown bears from being together at the same creek.................

    There aren't a lot of brown bears in the creeks I fish in Juneau. If I head out to Admiralty, then that's a different story.

  8. #8
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Wink Not a handgun, but

    the best gun you can carry for fishing!
    Last edited by kingfisherktn; 05-09-2008 at 10:38.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingfisherktn View Post
    the best gun you can carry for fishing!
    Ok, but what IS it? My opinion is that the .480 Ruger is a minimum for any kind of bear ...and it recoils about like a .44 Mag or just a tad more... but has the knock down power nearly as high as a .454 Casull. Why would someone want to round down? It's insurance...

    Most people that live around bears carry a lot more than a .44 Mag, and more than a .480 Ruger. .454 Casull and .500 S&W are more popular for sidearms.

    Brian

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    Member Darreld Walton's Avatar
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    Default I believe the question was...

    what handgun is best for Alaskan fishing? In my own limited personal experience at this craft, I find that the bigger bore and longer heavier bullets, in solid configuration, penetrate to greater depths faster, and if the aim is true, more fish are bagged with the bigger bore guns. Bullet and muzzle blast splash can be a nuisance, but, then, isn't that what they made rain gear for? It may take a bit of experience before the proper lead is developed, and of course, as with bow-fishing, one must aim lower than the image of the fish to score a hit.
    Personally, I prefer a DuPont, Reliant, or Hercules spinner, but they're getting tougher to find these days, and am trying to develop a reliable dry-ice-in-a-pop-bottle device, but I'm not sure that rattle baits are legal....
    As to charm working with the bears, I wouldn't count on it.....take a shoulder-fired 20mm!

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by tananaBrian View Post
    Ok, but what IS it? My opinion is that the .480 Ruger is a minimum for any kind of bear ...and it recoils about like a .44 Mag or just a tad more... but has the knock down power nearly as high as a .454 Casull. Why would someone want to round down? It's insurance...

    Most people that live around bears carry a lot more than a .44 Mag, and more than a .480 Ruger. .454 Casull and .500 S&W are more popular for sidearms.

    Brian
    Best gun to carry is the biggest one you can reliably shoot. There are a bunch of people out there who can't control the big boomers. For those people something smaller would be better.

    I agree with you on the 480. That's what I carry. It's actually got more knockdown than a 454. Momentum is what knocks stuff down, not energy. The two are roughly equal in momentum but the 480 has more frontal area. If you ask Taylor the 480 is a better dangerous game round.

  12. #12
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingfisherktn View Post
    the best gun you can carry for fishing!
    Just what kind of fishing do you do with this gun?
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

  13. #13
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Wink

    It worked great in the flooded rice paddies and streams.

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    Default Alaska pistols, again

    First of all, a S&W Model 15 is a medium framed 4" barreled .38Special firing d.a. revolver, not a .357. A Model 19 is the .357 in the line most similar to the 15. If you aren't sure of what gun you have now, perhaps some research, of which writing in here is part, might be in order. But, no matter where you go, isn't it logical to carry a potent sidearm for dangerous furry beasts? Even a 300 pound blackbear can take a little killing.
    As far as killing power goes, a .44 magnum works just fine with a heavy hard cast bullet at the too **** close ranges you'd need it at for bear defense while fishing. What does it take to know that the biggest **** handgun you can handle well is what to carry. When you start bickering (yes, bickering) about what specific big bore is better then some other big bore works best, it is a moot point in my book. A .41 magnum is still considered just fine for areas that have normal sized black bear, meaning 175 to 300 pounds or for feral hogs, so anything bigger then that needs more power to reliably put down. I still don't think the .357 has enough to be a decent stopping round. Killing? sure, but that's not what you want. You want something strong enough to turn an animal or slow it down enough to get another shot in, and another, and...

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    Quote Originally Posted by mauserboy View Post
    First of all, a S&W Model 15 is a medium framed 4" barreled .38Special firing d.a. revolver, not a .357. A Model 19 is the .357 in the line most similar to the 15. If you aren't sure of what gun you have now, perhaps some research, of which writing in here is part, might be in order. But, no matter where you go, isn't it logical to carry a potent sidearm for dangerous furry beasts? Even a 300 pound blackbear can take a little killing.
    As far as killing power goes, a .44 magnum works just fine with a heavy hard cast bullet at the too **** close ranges you'd need it at for bear defense while fishing. What does it take to know that the biggest **** handgun you can handle well is what to carry. When you start bickering (yes, bickering) about what specific big bore is better then some other big bore works best, it is a moot point in my book. A .41 magnum is still considered just fine for areas that have normal sized black bear, meaning 175 to 300 pounds or for feral hogs, so anything bigger then that needs more power to reliably put down. I still don't think the .357 has enough to be a decent stopping round. Killing? sure, but that's not what you want. You want something strong enough to turn an animal or slow it down enough to get another shot in, and another, and...
    Sorry - typo, my S&W is a Model 13
    Bruce D Reinert
    LTC, (Ret) 150 FW, NMANG, (The Tacos!)

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    Breath in through the nose and out through the mouth. Calm thoughts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BDRAK View Post
    I assume there all already many opinions on this but I'm coming to Alaska to fly fish in July- August. I own a Walther P99 9mm and a S&W Model 15 .357 magnum. Is it worth bringing one with me while fishing or should I just rely on my pesonnality to charm any bears I might encounter
    BDRAK:
    Here is what I would do in your situation. Bring the 357 that you already own, but I would probably make sure I had the best ammunition for your intended need.

    If you don't load your own cartridges, I believe that CorBon sells 180 grain WFN Hard Cast bullet loads.

    I suspect that the chances of your 357 being inadequate, is less than the other things that can go wrong that you have control of.

    As for practice, you probably do that anyway, you might not even see a bear, and you've probably got Insurance too, so you've got it covered.
    Smitty of the North
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    You can't out-give God.

  18. #18

    Default Loads for your .357

    Try these on for size in your 357. I use McNett's ammo in my 44 mag, 10mm and 9mm guns with great success.

    200 gr hardcast gas-checked WFN @ 1350 fps out of a 6" barrel:

    http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/cat...87e8f29d9c026c
    Hunting, camping & shooting goodies. http://www.laksupply.com

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    Member gunrman's Avatar
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    Default more bang for the buck

    personally, both are inadaquate for stopping a big bear that has designs on making a meal out of you. I carry a 454 but usually carry a 12 guage, pistol gripped, shotgun stoked with slugs, also. I can tell you from experiance that this combo will stop a determined bear in its tracks. practice until proficiant with shooting fast and at point blank ranges.

  20. #20

    Default pressures?

    I really have to wonder about the pressures of a .44 mag 300gr. hard cast bullet to enable it to achieve 1500 fps when a stout load with that bullet weight usually nets about 1300-1375 fps. Do they run within SAAMI specs or ? If not, I ain't going to be using it!

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