Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 41

Thread: Arming my woman dilemma...

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Off the road system,AK
    Posts
    372

    Default Arming my woman dilemma...

    Hey all,
    My soon to be wife and I are going to move up and take the plunge this year. I have quite a bit of knowledge in the firearm realm and we shoot regularly and just started reloading. I'm 33 and she is 28. That being said...
    I'm fine with my Redhawk as a sidearm up in Ak but we are running into some issues getting sweetie a comfortable sidearm. She has some serious arthritis in her wrists and shoulders and she has a hard time with the weight of some guns. I want her to be able to carry enough gun, yet want to actually carry the thing and hit what she is aiming at. She is really good with her G30 and G19 but I'd like her to move up to a wheel gun. I'd also like to stay in the .44mag/special range as we are streamlining our calibers so I don't have so much crap to move. I was thinking a scandium .44 and handload until we found something that works for her. Any ideas or suggestions? I know I'll open a can of worms on this one but I'd like some more input.
    BTW: we have been living off grid and hauling water for 2 years, so she is a tough gal, just has some physical limitations.

    Thanks,

    Mountaintrekker

  2. #2
    Member RainGull's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    The S.E. of the N.W.
    Posts
    950

    Default

    I don't know that I have much to say aside from welcome!

    It sounds like you really have a handle on things. The only thing I would question is whether a lightweight pistol actually solves the problem? Is the lower carry weight (that could be carried on the hip) a blessing considering the increased recoil to her shoulders and wrists?

    Another question is her intended use. She may be better served by a can of UDAP in the case of bears if she would otherwise be compromised to the point of carrying something somewhat uneffective?

    Just my immediate thoughts.
    Science has a rich history of proving itself wrong.

  3. #3

    Default

    I'd first ask her what bothers her more, recoil or gun weight. The way you go with this is going to be based more on your wife than anything anyone here says. If you do go the reduced recoil direction I would send you the slow, big and heavy route rather than reduced caliber and high velocity. If you handload it's not hard to make low recoil 300 grain loads (700-800fps). They just take a little more time getting there.

    The biggest problem I'm seeing is that if both weight and recoil are an issue it's harder to get what most people consider to be an acceptable cartridge.

  4. #4
    Member RMiller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    1,736

    Default

    Scandium 44 mag with a 250 hardcast at 1200 should be shootable. It would scewer a wild boar so to say. Maybe even down to 1000FPS.

    I like the Taurus Tracker in the 44. Reasonable price and is light enough for easy carry.

    Buffalo bore also makes these: Item No. 45230FMJ/50 230 gr. FMJFN @ 950 fps (461 ft. lbs.) Might stick those in her 45 auto.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  5. #5

    Default

    I agree with Beer: it depends on what bothers your wife more. I think it's safe to say that most people don't enjoy shooting scandium .44 magnum revolvers due to the recoil, but I've handled one and they are easy to hold. They feel as light as plastic. An option to scandium is to go with a snub-barreled .44; they aren't as light, but they're lighter than a full-sized gun and won't kick as sharply as a scandium. Smith has a few 44's in 3" and Ruger has the Alaskan. The Smiths are lighter, but the Alaskan can be lightened up a little by installing a GP100 "compact" grip.

    One nice thing about going with a revolver is your wife will have a wide selection of grips that might make things more comfortable, especially if she sticks with a big brand like Smith & Wesson or Ruger. She might benefit from shooting gloves, too.
    Tsimshian tribe, wolf clan, the house of Walsk.

  6. #6

    Default

    I'd think a 357 mag or maybe a 41 mag for a lady.... or a 10mm if she wants to go auto. The cannons are useless if she can't shoot them without flinching.

    My wife carries a G20 in the sticks... good combination of power and control for her. She HATES my 44 mag... she can shoot it, but only with loads that could easily be attained with hot 357/41/10mm.
    Hunting, camping & shooting goodies. http://www.laksupply.com

  7. #7
    Member Big Al's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Palmer,Alaska
    Posts
    1,737

    Default

    Perhaps if you treated her nicer, she would not feel she needs to be armed around you.

    The other thing you need to consider. She won't be so standoffish once you two are married.

    This has worked for me, but I've been married for about 35 years. So maybe things are different now a days?
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    SwampView AK, Overlooking Mt. Mckinley and Points Beyond.
    Posts
    8,802

    Default

    The advice LAK Supply gave seems to be the Best, and Most Practical.

    The only thing I'd add is to stay from short barrels in a revolver. You don't need to lose velocity, and longer barreled handguns are more pleasant to shoot, as in easier to hang onto and less muzzle blast. A bad choice, in either could cause her to lose interest real quick.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Northern Rockies
    Posts
    97

    Default

    OK, I'll be the odd man out.

    A .357 with proper loads will work, at least according to Phil Shoemaker and Elmer Keith (and LAK). Her Glock 19 with FMJ bullets will have good penetration also, but little shock. At contact distance, that may not be a huge issue, a brain or spine shot will work. 15 chances to make a good shot may cut the advantage of a larger gun somewhat. If you are stuck on larger caliber rounds, velocity isnt necesary to achive penetration. A 250 gr bullet @ about 1000 fps seems to penetrate very well from Linebaughs tests, and those that have shot game with them.


    I'm not a small bore fan by any means, but being realistic, and going on peoples experience that have actually shot bears with various rounds, shot placement and penetration are the most important considerations, and a high velocity, hard kicking gun/round isnt needed to achieve that. The larger guns will give more margin for error, but not if your gal won't shoot it well enough to shoot well with them.

  10. #10

    Default

    I have a 41 Redhawk, 5 1/2 inch barrel and it doesn't kick all that bad and with good technique the kick can be easily overcome. Shooting lighter loads for practice and carrying heavier loads for business would be the way to go. I have some Fed 250 Castcores with a vel of 1250 and energy of 865 which is as much or more than some 44 loads.

    Having said that, I think her best option is bear spray. Game wardens and YNP park rangers around here carry both a side arm and bear spray in Grizzly country and bear spray is what they go to first. Considering that most folks consider a 300 mag rifle barely enough gun for a griz or brownie and that a 300 is way more powerful than any handgun bear spray is the way to go. I do know a guy here who dropped a griz at his feet with a handgun but more folks who fire at a griz or brownie with a hangun in a defenseive situation end up getting killed than bears. You need to be real calm and steady (and lucky) to put a handgun bullet in the right spot. A lot of bears around here have been chased off with bear spray which has proven to be almost 100% effective. If I had a wife in bear country, she would be carrying bear spray. In fact I have a gal friend or two I sometimes hike and fish with and I have them carry spray in griz country. And for protection against two legged critters I would recommend bear spray also, unless they are armed. Having a sidearm as backup would be good. If she ever had to defend herself she would probably be a lot better off not having to deal with the mental trauma (and possible legal issues) of having killed or mamed another human being if possible.

    My thoughts.

  11. #11
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,431

    Default

    WoWW! I wish I had a 5 1/2" Redhawk in 41 mag. I'm coveting.

    I'm going to go along wiht the minority here and suggest the K frame S&W 357 with a four inch barrel. It isn't too heavy and it doesn't have much kick but it can be shot with comfort and it can be very effective meidicine with the right bullet. The scanium frame guns kick like a mule, the Redhawk is heavy, the 357 is still alive and well. I have taken many deer with the caliber and one medium sized black bear at 20 feet with one shot and a 170 grain Keith at max from a four inch Ruger security six.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Here and There, AK
    Posts
    72

    Default

    I suggest the new Ruger Redhawk .45LC with the 4" barrel (they make an identical .44mag version also). I just prefer the .45LC because my reloading is all .45 right now and when you push the .45LC out of a Redhawk or Blackhawk it ballistically out-performs the .44mag.

    I used to carry a .45LC Blackhawk when out in the bush until the new Redhawk came out a few months back. The double action is much better for getting into action in a hurry and you don't have to worry about short-stroking the hammer under stress.

    I reload for the .45LC and you can work up handloads that have recoil like a 9mm or less for just plinking or practice, all the way up to bruisers that rival the power of a hot .44mag. My current bush load is a 325gr hardcast lead moving at around 1250 fps out of this gun. I think that gives an energy rating of around 1200 ME. I copied this load from a commercial Buffalo Bore loading. Hits like a freight train. I was out cutting wood this spring and found a big white spruce well over 2' in diameter. Took a shot at it, dead center, and it went completely thru and kept on going like no body's business. Going to try to test it on a black bear this spring to get some "real" results.

    You have a lot of bullet weight range (200gr to 350gr if you push it) and power range to work with out of this gun to find something that your wife can shoot effectively. My wife is rather recoil sensitive too and and when she carries it I load it up with 300gr hardcasts going around 900-950 fps. Just a nice big push type of recoil, which she says is less than a 1911 .45ACP. I have not reloaded for .44 mag but I am sure you can get a similar range of bullet weights and power levels in that gun also.

    I would not recommend the alloy framed S&W .44mag. Those things have some wicked recoil due to the low weight. They are nice to carry but I personally would rather carry something heavier than I can actually control when trying to get off a number of quick aimed shots.

    I prefer the Rugers over the S&Ws as you have a larger range of loads to work with (in both .44mag and .45LC) due to the Rugers being built much stronger.

    I never have and never will carry bear spray. The statement that most people would be better off carrying spray over a firearm is true, but it really boils down to the fact that most people do not train or practice enough to be proficient in a defensive situation in which they had to use it on a bear. There are a lot of variables when using spray that I am not willing to bet my life on. Wind is a big one. I can't say that spray would be too effective when spraying into a headwind or crosswind. I tested a can once in a moderate breezy day last fall and the results were pretty poor. The one time I did have a "close encounter" it would have been useless. I woke one night out in the bush in my small tent with something (probably a blackie) snorting inches outside my tent. When it started to push on the side of the tent a bit I let out a big yell (with the Ruger cocked and aimed in at this point) which scared it off. I can't imagine letting loose with a can of spray inside a closed tent would have been a good move on my part. However, the yelling was 100% effective, much like spray often is. Maybe I will ditch the Redhawk in favor of harsh words - not a chance

    Where did you guys decide to move to up here?

  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaRifleman View Post
    ....Considering that most folks consider a 300 mag rifle barely enough gun for a griz or brownie and that a 300 is way more powerful than any handgun bear spray is the way to go.
    If you like Taylor and his TKO more than KE then the 44 has got more "power" than a 300 but that is a different thread.

    Bear spray is easy to use with almost no training. In national parks you can bet your backside that I'm packing a can. I usually pack a can where bears are habituated as well. Bad bear, no salmon, squirt. It's easy to pack. It can be used on aggressive combat fisherman who haven't had any luck and are eyeballing your unusually large and fresh looking catch. Bad tourist, no salmon, squirt. Anyway, it's an option worth considering.

  14. #14
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    297

    Default

    Went through the same algorithm a year ago, getting a side arm for my wife to carry while horseback riding and to have on her gorgeous hip while in camp and tent.

    .357
    Stainless
    4" barrel
    Buffalo Bore Ammo.

    Got her an older Ruger Security Six. The grips fit her nicely. If'n it were mine, I'd slap Hogue's on it.

  15. #15

    Default

    There are a lot of variables when using spray that I am not willing to bet my life on.
    The professionals who work in bear country bet their life on it. Occasionally an area in the Park is closed down due to bear activity and before it can be reopened a ranger has to go check it out. I know of a ranger who has stopped several bear charges doing this very duty. These guys and gals pack sidearms too, but they use the spray.

    It's true there are variables with spray, but there are also variables with a charging bear moving at the speed of a quarter horse. I would much rather be trying to hit that target with a blast of spray than a bullet. The spray will stand up to a stout breeze at close qurters, and one can quickly adjust for windage. In the tent scenario, I have to agree, a handgun would be best. However, in the Park, handguns are a no no, and campers and backpackers carry spray. I haven't heard of one person yet mauled by a bear that had the time to unsheath and discharge their spray. Maybe it has happened. But I have heard of a lot of folks mauled and killed by a bear after firing their gun in defense.

    To each his own.

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    505

    Default No one mentioned:

    Quote Originally Posted by Mountaintrekker View Post
    Hey all,
    My soon to be wife and I are going to move ... Ak. She has some serious arthritis in her wrists and shoulders and she has a hard time with the weight of some guns. I'd also like to stay in the .44mag/special range as we are streamlining our calibers so I don't have so much crap to move.
    Thanks,

    (edited for brevity)

    Mountaintrekker
    Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials and welcome to Alaska and to this forum.

    I realize the value of sharing calibers, not only for reducing inventory, but in the field, interchangeability of ammunition. That said, you have set yourself a task to obtain adequate stopping power in a low-recoiling cartridge/gun combination that is also easy to carry and suitable for both of you.

    The good news is that there are offerings out there, and good ones.

    Here is what I do.

    My primary bear defense when hiking was and is bear spray. If the spray does not work, my 44 Magnum Redhawk or Super Redhawk with 265 grain Barnes Solids (for penetration) was my backup. Then I got a .454 Casull Super Redhawk 7.5". I haven't picked out a load yet.

    However, recoil of the .454 Casull, to put it mildly, is fierce. Strangely, bullets out of the 500 S&W recoil milder, even at the same weight and power levels. I can attest to this first hand, as I have been shooting with my friend and his 500 almost every weekend since Christmas. I have not figured out the physics behind this seeming anomaly, but my experience says it is true. I mention this because it also applies to the 480 Ruger cartridge.

    The 500 is probably too much gun to meet her needs. The possibility of you switching to the 454 Casull, 480 Ruger or 500 S&W while your fiance inherits your .44 is a possibility, though.

    However, here is my advice.

    If you want the same caliber, think about the 480 Ruger. With two different power levels loaded up for you and for her.

    The 480 Ruger cartridge energy levels are about 60% more than the 44 Magnum, so you have room to download for gentler recoil. Even so, terminal ballistics will be better. With 23% more frontal area and 36% more bullet mass, penetration on Brown Bear (Grizzlies) is more assured than in the smaller, lighter .44 bullets. The Super Redhawk has a post for a handle, rather than the grip frame of the standard Redhawk, so smaller grips with better cushioning are available for the Super Redhawk.

    Imagine the two of you with a pair of 480 Rugers, one in 7.5" barrel length and one in the short barrelled "Alaskan" model (easier to holster and carry).

    I have a lot more I could write, but I could not figure out where to stop.

    For carry, many folks up here go for a chest holster. Easy on the body to carry (much more comfortable than on a belt), not so restrictive as a shoulder holster and easier to don and doff.

    Lost Sheep (Larry)

  17. #17
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Off the road system,AK
    Posts
    372

    Default

    I just have to say that you folks are probably the most helpful and nice bunch of misfits I have ever had the pleasure of corresponding with. Special thanks to Lost Sheep on our upcoming nuptials and all. (THANKS!)
    That being said... I'm going to have her use her G30 and bear spray for now. When we get up there I think the .480 Ruger warrants further study.
    More gun stuff to buy! I'm blaming all of you, at least she is as in to this as I am.


    Kindest Regards,

    Mountaintrekker

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Kenai
    Posts
    1,888

    Default

    Just to expound on what someone else said (even though your decision is made) I would look hard at the Glock 20 (I believe that's the 10mm). With Double Tap or Buffalo bore ammo, it should spit a 200 gr slug at around 1300fps, or a 220 gr slug out at around 1200fps. Sounds like she's already familiar with the Glock platform so it should be an easy switch.
    There are aftermarket barrels available if she wants to shoot a steady diet of cast bullets.

    Might want to check out this website http://www.10mmtalk.com/

    I have a Witness 10mm and have really come to like the versatility of the cartridge, I can shoot it better than my 44 revolvers in a quick & upclose situation (read better chance of 1st & 2nd rounds hits on target), & the 15 rounds doesn't hurt my feelings :-)
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

  19. #19

    Default

    A man after my own heart....

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance in AK View Post
    Just to expound on what someone else said (even though your decision is made) I would look hard at the Glock 20 (I believe that's the 10mm). With Double Tap or Buffalo bore ammo, it should spit a 200 gr slug at around 1300fps, or a 220 gr slug out at around 1200fps. Sounds like she's already familiar with the Glock platform so it should be an easy switch.
    There are aftermarket barrels available if she wants to shoot a steady diet of cast bullets.

    Might want to check out this website http://www.10mmtalk.com/

    I have a Witness 10mm and have really come to like the versatility of the cartridge, I can shoot it better than my 44 revolvers in a quick & upclose situation (read better chance of 1st & 2nd rounds hits on target), & the 15 rounds doesn't hurt my feelings :-)
    Hunting, camping & shooting goodies. http://www.laksupply.com

  20. #20
    Member fshgde's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    alaska
    Posts
    260

    Default like the 10mm

    love the glock with 2 15 round clips perfect for float trips hiking etc.
    I do have adjustable sights and an afertmarket trigger both worth the extra money. good luck

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •