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Thread: Semi-Auto Woods Handgun - thoughts

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    Default Semi-Auto Woods Handgun - thoughts

    Before I ask the question, I'll just lay my ducks in a row:

    I have a couple owheel guns that I use for woods at present, but I have come to the stark realisation that I am far better (shooting wise) with semi's. I have always shot semi's (20 years military) and am just better. Don't get me wrong, I can put a wheel gun where it counts, just never as effectively as a semi.
    2nd I don't concur with the 'revolvers are more reliable' theory. I have seen more/as many failures with wheel guns as I have semi's. A modern, quality semi can be 100% reliable, they have saved my life and put many in the grave for me to be happy there.

    So I want to get a semi for the woods. Gotta be a 10mm or 460 Rowland or 38 Super at a push. Desert Eagle (50) is just to big.
    It will normally be a back-up to my 45-70 or s primary in "low-risk" bear areas.

    the only 10mm I have had the opp to fire is a Glock 20. Shot well, but those darn grips are huge - also I am not a huge fan of the Glock platform.

    So any other personal experience/recomendations for big-bore sems? I like the looks/features of the EAA Polys, anyone used one?

    P.S. I reload so ammo not a huge issue.

    Thanks

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    EAA/CZ 10mm or S&W 10mm or Dan Wesson/CZ 10mm
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Premium Member MarineHawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nbh40 View Post
    ...the only 10mm I have had the opp to fire is a Glock 20. Shot well, but those darn grips are huge ...
    I'm not discounting other options, but after buying and then selling two Glocks, and owning over a dozen full-sized semi-autos, my favorite semi-auto pistol now is the Glock 20SF. That's the SF version in case there is any doubt.

    The short frame (SF) G20 feels far different from the conventional G20 IMO. Much smaller grip. Feels almost like a Browning Hi-Power to me. Other options are good too. But, if you don't like the G20 grip, that has nothing to do with the feel of the G20 SF IMO.

    http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2...new-10mm-auto/

    Nicer feel, nicer trigger, and less recoil than I expected.

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    Member tyrex13's Avatar
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    I just sold my .44 and got a G20SF with night sights for many of the same reasons you listed. What little energy I gave up I think I gain more in accuracy, rounds count and rate of fire.

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    I have the EAA Witness (CZ75B clone) and it is a pretty slick pistol. If money wasn't an issue I would have the STI Perfect 10, I don't think there is a better 10mm out there.

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    I have a Kimber 10MM that has been delivering 2 5/8" groups at 55 yards off a rest. I find that very impressive, and I assure you it is the kimber and NOT Me, that is getting the job done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    EAA/CZ 10mm or S&W 10mm or Dan Wesson/CZ 10mm
    Yup, The Razor is sweet.
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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Since the specific query is about a "woods" gun, let's cut through the haze a bit. Comfort, group size, range, etc are all completley irrelevant. Unlike the street, the mere presence of the gun doesn't stop the encounter. So, the "woods" gun must be able to function in a knock-down, drag out "hand-to-paw" fight to the death. You don't take 55-yard shots with a "woods" defensive handgun. What you do is drag the thing out while a bear is chewing on your head, do your best to press it into the bear's chest and fire every scrap of lead that you can get the gun to put out. Anyone who tells you that's not how it's going to go down hasn't talked to anyone who's actually been in a life or death struggle with a bear in the woods. Thankfully I've never been there either, but I've certainly talked to people who have including a friend who got chewed up pretty badly and managed to save his life by getting his revolver out and emptying the entire cylinder worth into the bear while he was lying under it and having his scalp violently ripped off. It wasn't pretty.

    So, when you press the muzzle of your revolver into something and pull the trigger, it goes bang. Pull the trigger again; bang. Repeat 5 or 6 times and you get a bang every time. What can go wrong is getting something caught between the hammer and the frame. Moving the gun and pulling the trigger again will usually fix that problem and can still be done with one hand.

    Now think of a semi-auto. When you press a semi-auto into something and pull the trigger, you get... nothing. No click, no bang, nothing. Why? Because pressing the muzzle of a semi-auto pushes the slide out of battery. You can fix this problem by using your thumb to press the back of the slide forward, holding it in battery while pulling the trigger. Then you get a bang. But you prevent the slide from functioning and the only way to get another bang is to manually cycle the slide. This can be done with one hand if you are practiced, but is best done with both hands. While lying under a bear, you may not have both hands to work with. So if your one shot didn't do the trick, your game is up. If you can get your other hand over to the gun, you can use that hand to both cycle the action and hold it in battery while shooting. It can be very effective if you can get that other hand to the gun. It's just a huge toss up as to whether you'll be able to do that.

    Glocks are by far the best option for a woods gun as there are no buttons, levers, and gizmos to mess with. Pull the gun out and pull the trigger. It's as simple and reliable as you can get. I'd stay way clear of any 1911 style gun for woods carry. Way too much stuff to go wrong.

    If you decide to go semi-auto, make sure you practice the muzzle contact shooting method at the range. It is an invaluable skill to have.
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    Very well put JOAT!

    The only semi-auto that I have ever owned that never had a hick-up was one of my Glocks. Simple is better and that is what the Glock platform is all about. The grips on their 10mm offering aren't to big for my hands but even if they were, in a me or the bear situation I doubt that it would be noticed!

    It's kind of ironic but for several years I refused to own a Glock because they sounded like a dart gun when dry fired. Silly me!

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    Premium Member MarineHawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    Since the specific query is about a "woods" gun, let's cut through the haze a bit. Comfort, group size, range, etc are all completley irrelevant. Unlike the street, the mere presence of the gun doesn't stop the encounter. So, the "woods" gun must be able to function in a knock-down, drag out "hand-to-paw" fight to the death. You don't take 55-yard shots with a "woods" defensive handgun. What you do is drag the thing out while a bear is chewing on your head, do your best to press it into the bear's chest and fire every scrap of lead that you can get the gun to put out. Anyone who tells you that's not how it's going to go down hasn't talked to anyone who's actually been in a life or death struggle with a bear in the woods...
    I agree with a lot of things you said in your post JOAT, but isn't all that a little too absolute?

    This guy never pressed anything into anything else: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMbnmLLnsfw

    Of course, he missed the shot, which in my opinion (that has been mocked before) might suggest quick follow-up shots are a nice capability to have in that circumstance.

    This guy also never pressed anything into anything else: http://current.com/news/92502592_gri...-filmmaker.htm

    Before I worried too much about it, I'd like to know: Are there any reported incidents ever where a person failed to stop a bear charge because of a semi-auto jamming while connected to the living bear's hide? That would not be dispositive to me, as I would rely on common sense too, but I'd like to know the answer to that. Not saying it never happens, but it also doesn't always happen. One forum member shot a brown bear with a 10mm, but didn't press anything into anything.

    I chose my revolver for my recent float bear hunt, fishing trip, partly was because I was considering hunting other things with it after I got my bear, instead of my G20SF. But it was a close call to me.

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    Premium Member MarineHawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    It's kind of ironic but for several years I refused to own a Glock because they sounded like a dart gun when dry fired. Silly me!
    That's actually why I bought mine. I love the dart-gun sound.

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    Nothing is absolute. Ever. All you can do is try to think of the worst possible situation and plan for dealing with that. Perhaps you'll be standing and have time to aim and shoot. That would be the best scenario. But if you don't plan for the worst case (e.g. being trapped under several hundred pounds of muscle that is actively eating you alive) and you find yourself in that worst case, then what's the point of going through the planning phase that the OP is currently engaged in?

    I can't speak specifically to any bear incidents, but the FBI's LE shooting files have a number of cases of semi-autos failing to fire while the muzzle is in direct contact with the assailant. It's not absolute, it is just another one of many things that can go wrong during a life or death, on the ground struggle.

    What I have witnessed many times with my own eyes, while practicing close quarters shooting drills, the close proximity of loose clothing or jackets easily gets caught up in slides and malfunctions the semi-auto. The shooting position can cause the slide to hit the shooter, not cycling all the way, resulting in type 2 or 3 malfunctions. Now, when practicing the same things with a revolver, these show-stopping malfunctions just don't seem to occur. I'm sure that if you run enough thousands of evolutions of close quarters shooting with a revolver you could find a way to stop one. But the frequency of failing semi-autos is considerably higher. It's just something you need to consider very carefully before choosing the weapon for the job.
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    A 1911 type will not fire if pushed hard enough into something but it will if pulled back an inch or so. One shouldn't hold the gun against anything when firing. Some autos are as reliable as anything else. The problem I see with autos is finding one with a large enough cartridge and a small enough grip and frame size. Grip length is getting long on the 10mms and the 10mm is a bit light for my liking. My choice in an auto would be the 45Grizzly, but it also has a rather large grip. I prefer a 44 or 41 mag in a 4" revolver with heavy bullets. 454s and bigger are even better for stopping a bear but most are getting into very large frames. This kind of stuff will be argued for ever, but in the end it's a compromise and you are the only one that can make the decision for you. Having good equiptment and becoming very good with what you choose will probably be more important than the specific gun or caliber you choose.

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    All interesting thoughts and indeed I have considered the slide/battery issues. Has anyone any experience with 460 Rowland conversions? Reason I ask is that these can overcome the battery question as the barrels extend past the slide and if using an XD for the conversion the slide rod extends forward of the slide also. This is a specific XD design to prevent front contact failures. Oh for a 10mm XD.
    As it is, for whats out there it looks like pretty close between Glock 20SF and the EAAs.
    JOAT, thanks, I have been running through all of these scenarios and thanks for putting it in perspective. Some would say "but that's unlikely", but if so what is the point of carrying a handgun in the woods? So I really have to consider my next purchase and is it something I just like the idea of or do I need it!!

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    It won't matter if the barrel extends beyond the slide of your semi auto. If it is pressed to the rear, it and the slide will be forced back, thereby activating the disconnector and causing a failure to fire. Many idiots have blown holes through their hands testing this theory with loaded pistols. They didn't know that the gun will go "bang" when the slide/barrel is allowed to go back forward and the trigger is pulled again. Again, I use the descriptive term, "idiots".
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

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    Quote Originally Posted by gunbugs View Post
    It won't matter if the barrel extends beyond the slide of your semi auto. If it is pressed to the rear, it and the slide will be forced back, thereby activating the disconnector and causing a failure to fire. Many idiots have blown holes through their hands testing this theory with loaded pistols. They didn't know that the gun will go "bang" when the slide/barrel is allowed to go back forward and the trigger is pulled again. Again, I use the descriptive term, "idiots".
    Ya know sometimes you sit at your PC and type and forget the basics!! Of course the barrel and slide move together for that furst 1/2 incch before barrel and slide unlock. Thanks for pointing this very basic of locked breach operation and reminding me to think before I type!!

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    You said you have an extensive amount of experience with semis, so I would suggest getting something close to what you already shoot. XDm is able to take the .460 rowland conversion as are select 1911 models (not all though). Ballistically the .460 rowland has a bit more punch than the 10mm and the conversions allow the gun to be used for both "normal" carry (people rounds) and outdoor defese (for lack of better term). Can't recommend a particular gun, but I would go for a .460 Rowland over a 10mm anyday. Hope this helps!
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    Quote Originally Posted by gvsujustin View Post
    You said you have an extensive amount of experience with semis, so I would suggest getting something close to what you already shoot. XDm is able to take the .460 rowland conversion as are select 1911 models (not all though). Ballistically the .460 rowland has a bit more punch than the 10mm and the conversions allow the gun to be used for both "normal" carry (people rounds) and outdoor defese (for lack of better term). Can't recommend a particular gun, but I would go for a .460 Rowland over a 10mm anyday. Hope this helps!
    I do like the thought of XD and M&P 460 conversions. Has anyone out there any first hand experience of either?

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    Member Diesel Nut's Avatar
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    I've got an XD 460. Still a few minor tuning issues to work out for reliability and longevity, but I will say it's easier to shoot than a full-bore 44mag revolver. Of course, the ballistics aren't the same as a full-bore 44mag either.

    Like others have said above, I carry a wheelgun when it absolutely, positively has to go bang at the pull of a trigger. The XD is an interesting experiment that if proven successful will be shot at the range and carried by my wife in the berry patches with other armed folks. Forum member Chriso has a 460 on the S&W M&P...he may be able to comment on how well they work.
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    I'm going to chime in and relate that a GLOCK SF in the 10mm is one of the better autos with regards to 4-legged concerns as well as 2-legged issues.

    For 2-legged I like a .40S&W shoot-ability much better than a full-house load 10mm... yet post was for a 'woods auto' --- so 10mm --- a good cartridge it is --- no conversions needed.

    The GLOCK SF is still glocky-blocky... however it's plain jane simple, easy to operate, cake to maintain, good on the pocket-book, rugged scratch/dent/corrosion resistant as all get out, and champion of reliability. They are better than combat accurate, yet not precise enough to what I'll consider a complete hunting package. It is a sound defense handgun for nastier stuff, and proves to be very dependable for just about any demanding of scenarios in all seasons/conditions.

    The other aspects to keep in mind is how you will carry the "woods auto" -----
    A.) Holstering from chest or shoulder rigs? Tactical set-ups, drops, Serpa retention, etc?
    B.) Lanyard keepsake for tethered security?
    C.) Sights and lights (accessorizing)
    D.) 1 in the pipe or not & capacity

    These are things often overlooked and should be emphasized as part of the package.

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