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Thread: in need of a pistol

  1. #1

    Default in need of a pistol

    Okay guys educate me please.
    I plan to buy my first hand gun which will be used for camping in colorado and serve as a side arm as well while bowhunting. I have not shot many large bore pistols nor do I have access to try out on the range. I am looking at getting a 44 mag in either the s&w 329PD in 4" barrel(from what I hear it's the same as airlite) or ruger redhawk in 4.2" barrel.
    I would like to know what gain in accuracy I could expect to gain from going from a 2.5 barrel to a 4"? How much more brutal is a hot 44mag in a 4" light gun vs heavier 2"? I simply think a 454 would be too much gun for me.

    I do plan to hunt in Alaska one day, but this gun will be more for cougar, wolf, and black bear protection in the lower 48. Come to think of it, I may try it out on a few hogs as well. Could I get away with a 10MM or some semi- automatic? The desert eagle just seams too big in my hands so that option is out. I know I am asking alot of questions, but I would really like to hear your input.

    My main goal is to have a gun that is very confortable to carry while on backpacking hunts, or camping with my family. Thanks guys

  2. #2
    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis77 View Post
    Okay guys educate me please.
    I plan to buy my first hand gun which will be used for camping in colorado and serve as a side arm as well while bowhunting. I have not shot many large bore pistols nor do I have access to try out on the range. I am looking at getting a 44 mag in either the s&w 329PD in 4" barrel(from what I hear it's the same as airlite) or ruger redhawk in 4.2" barrel.
    I would like to know what gain in accuracy I could expect to gain from going from a 2.5 barrel to a 4"? How much more brutal is a hot 44mag in a 4" light gun vs heavier 2"? I simply think a 454 would be too much gun for me.

    I do plan to hunt in Alaska one day, but this gun will be more for cougar, wolf, and black bear protection in the lower 48. Come to think of it, I may try it out on a few hogs as well. Could I get away with a 10MM or some semi- automatic? The desert eagle just seams too big in my hands so that option is out. I know I am asking alot of questions, but I would really like to hear your input.

    My main goal is to have a gun that is very confortable to carry while on backpacking hunts, or camping with my family. Thanks guys
    A first handgun should almost certainly be a 22LR of some design. I believe that a person buying a 44 Mag for their first handgun is courting difficulty for several reasons. It's better to purchase something you can shoot a lot and become very comfortable using than buy a weapon you think you might need and never really become adept at wielding it. Even if you are extremely proficient with handguns right now, the 22LR is a more versatile firearm and would be my first choice if I were limited to owning just one handgun.

    If you are determined to buy a centerfire handgun then I would recommend you consider a .357 Magnum in lieu of a "big bore." Considering the type of animals you are concerned with encountering I think an all steel .357 (4") would be light enough to carry and yet sufficiently powerful to be a formidable weapon. Among its advantages is the ability to use inexpensive 38 Special ammo for acquiring good shooting skills and then you can select very effective .357 Mag ammo for almost any conceivable defensive situation. You'll have less recoil, cost and weight (in a comparable gun) while having adequate power for the animals that presently concern you.

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    My favorite handgun is my Kimber .45ACP Custom Compact. Its frame is compact enough for me to carry concealed ( I have a concealed carry permit) and as with any Kimber product, it is extremely accurate.

    At 20 yards freehand I can consistently shoot 2" groups. Add in a comfortable strap style holster and it is out of the way yet comfortable to conceal.

    Plenty of knockdown power yet smooth to shoot with little recoil for a big caliber handgun.

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    I personally would go with the S&W in 44 and if recoil is to stiff then use 44 specials as they should be adequate for your needs. I really like the Taurus titanium in 41mag. For Black bear and such a 10mm or 45win mag would keep me happy. For Alaska a heavy handload in 41mag or a 44mag is minimun for me.

  5. #5

    Default

    I realize the need to crawl before ya walk, but the fact is I have shot quite a few pistols. I have not needed a pistol until now. That is the only reason why I do not own one already. I just don't feel the need to purchase several pistols at this point.

    If only hunting in the midwest would most of you guys carry a semi auto? I realize they are great to carry/conceal, but lack the knock down.

    Any comments on the original post in regards to barrel length?

  6. #6
    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis77 View Post
    If only hunting in the midwest would most of you guys carry a semi auto? I realize they are great to carry/conceal, but lack the knock down.

    Any comments on the original post in regards to barrel length?
    Where you hit them matters a lot more than what you hit them with. I would select the style you have the most experience with and the most confidence in using. The difference between pistols and revolvers is largely a matter of personal preference though each design has its advantages. Having someone else tell you which one you prefer is not going to make your selection a better choice for you. There are sensible chamberings for either style of handgun so the decision is entirely a matter of personal preference. I prefer double action revolvers and consider it the best choice YMMV.

    Longer barrels are more cumbersome to carry, but they are much easier to shoot, i.e. less recoil, less muzzle blast and the increased sighting plane makes for more accurate shooting (however it does not effect the gun's intrinsic accuracy). I have no desire for a sub 4" 44 mag, but to each his own.

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    Dont get to carried away with the "mag" syndrome. For what you are doing a .357 or a .40 would work fine. I have some loads for my .40 that would make me well equipped for Black Bear and such. Also having 15rnds does not hurt anything either! i love my Smith and Wesson M&P40! i carry it all the time here in MN. When am in Big Bear country when i am in AK i carry a .454

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    JMHO but a 357 or 10mm should serve your purpose just fine

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    After owning and carrying wheel guns and semi autos from.22 cal .38's 357's 44 mags, 9mm, .40 Cal, .45 cal, 10mm I feel it all boils down to what you feel most comfortable with, what round you use and how well you shoot. I like my Glock 23 (.40 cal) to carry and Glock 20 (10mm) to carry when hunting. Glock makes a longer hunting barrel for the 10mm for increase accuracy, and nothing like having 15 rounds with quick reload than 5 or 6 in a wheel gun. The ammo that make nowdays for a pistols in general should cover most of what you want. The big 454's and 500 are nice and pack a big punch, but not my cup of tea. I also like the plastic in wet weather conditions. Never had a problem in the cold with them either. Add a set of trigicon sights for low lights and it makes a confident weapon for me.

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    Default Light enough to carry

    The 329 PD has a tremendous advantage over most other powerfull handguns - it is very lightweight. Being lightweight the odds of having it with you when you need it is grealy increased - a gun back in camp is useless on the trail. I drop mine in my pocket without too much thought where I would have to stop and strap on a larger and heavier gun. The 329 PD is also highly corrision resistant so it is no big deal to get it wet. Stainless has the same advantage but weights a lot more.

    I wish S&W would make a PD style on the K or L frame - a six shot .357 or a 5 shot .41 Mag. or 10 MM would be great. The J titanium lightweights frames are just too small for a serious outdoor gun in bear country - they are great for a city gun.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  11. #11
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    JMHO but a 357 or 10mm should serve your purpose just fine
    I completely agree. Unless you plan to hunt with it or venture into brown bear country on a regular basis 357 or 10mm are your best options.
    Andy
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  12. #12

    Default S&w 329pd

    The 329 PD is my first owned pistol (shot a Beretta 9mm for 14 of my 20 years in the Marine Corps), and I have been extremely pleased with it for a number of reasons: 1. It does recoil strongly with 44 mag ammo, but recoil from a 44 special is quite comfortable. My 120 lb. wife has shot my 329 with 44 special in it without a problem. 2. Its light enough to carry all the time - carried it for 10 days, sunrise to sunset, on this year's moose hunt without really knowing it is there. As some on this site have said; a pistol doesn't provide great protection unless it is with you. 3. And some people will take issue with this - a revolver is more dependable than an autoloader. More than likely, even with snow, mud, dirt, whatever, you pull the trigger on a revolver and there's going to be a boom.

    I would recommend a 329PD. I'm no pistol expert, but I am pleased with my S&W. Start with 44 specials and work your way up. And buy a Lewis Lead Remover to remove the lead build up from the specials before shooting magnums.

    WhiteFish

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