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Thread: Which Pistol???

  1. #1

    Default Which Pistol???

    Hello All-

    I'm looking at getting me a pistol as bear protection/hunting/plinking on the range.

    I'm currently looking at:

    1. S&W .44 snub nosed Alaskan Backpacker (realize this won't do much for hunting that's why I've almost eliminated it
    2. Glock 20
    3. S&W .460 (have found a used one in a 5 in barrel. Can you mount a scope to that length or is it just the 8+in barrels?)
    4. S&W .500 (not very good for plinking, but I found a used 8.5 barrel for sale so I figured I would put it on the list)

    Which do you'll recommend. I really don't want a .500, but figured I would just add it to the list just to see.

    Thanks in advance,
    Kevin

  2. #2

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    None are very cheap to shoot but I`m partial to 10mm for everyday work so the the G20 gets my vote.


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  3. #3
    Member AKsoldier's Avatar
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    I've shot all but the Glock, and I own a 5" 460. I believe you'd have to have it drilled and tapped to mount a scope, but it can fire 460, 454 Casull and 45 Colt with no modifications or cylinder change needed. I only use 460, but then I handload so I can load them light for low-recoil target loads so there's no need for the other calibers. In my opinion, 10 mil is borderline too light for big bear protection. The .44 mag is considered by most to be the minimum for bear protection. Both the 460 and the 500 will adequately stop the biggest bear on earth, but it doesn't matter whether you shoot a .22 or a 600 NE - you still have to put the bullet in the right place, so PRACTICE.

    My 460V is so much fun to shoot it should be illegal. Everyone I've ever allowed to try it now wants one.

    Of all your choices, the 460V is obviously my pick. I will freely admit a strong bias though. Because of it's caliber interchangeability, it's probably the cheapest to shoot often if you don't hand-load. That long barrel 500 will obviously pack more punch up close, but it's a bit more unwieldy to carry. That said, I have a friend with one who carries his every time we're out in the woods and he never complains. He and I have the same holster - the guide's choice chest holster from Diamond D. I highly recommend one if you choose either of the X-frame S&W's. They are both big, heavy pigs though, so if you are sensitive to carrying bulky, heavy revolvers you would probably be better off with a light-weight 44. Or even the Glock. If it's so heavy that you find yourself leaving it at home or in the truck, it's not going to be very effective against bears.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

    Noone has a more intimate understanding of, or deeper appreciation for freedom, than a soldier who has fought for it in a country where it does not exist.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKsoldier View Post
    I've shot all but the Glock, and I own a 5" 460. I believe you'd have to have it drilled and tapped to mount a scope, but it can fire 460, 454 Casull and 45 Colt with no modifications or cylinder change needed. I only use 460, but then I handload so I can load them light for low-recoil target loads so there's no need for the other calibers. In my opinion, 10 mil is borderline too light for big bear protection. The .44 mag is considered by most to be the minimum for bear protection. Both the 460 and the 500 will adequately stop the biggest bear on earth, but it doesn't matter whether you shoot a .22 or a 600 NE - you still have to put the bullet in the right place, so PRACTICE.

    My 460V is so much fun to shoot it should be illegal. Everyone I've ever allowed to try it now wants one.

    Of all your choices, the 460V is obviously my pick. I will freely admit a strong bias though. Because of it's caliber interchangeability, it's probably the cheapest to shoot often if you don't hand-load. That long barrel 500 will obviously pack more punch up close, but it's a bit more unwieldy to carry. That said, I have a friend with one who carries his every time we're out in the woods and he never complains. He and I have the same holster - the guide's choice chest holster from Diamond D. I highly recommend one if you choose either of the X-frame S&W's. They are both big, heavy pigs though, so if you are sensitive to carrying bulky, heavy revolvers you would probably be better off with a light-weight 44. Or even the Glock. If it's so heavy that you find yourself leaving it at home or in the truck, it's not going to be very effective against bears.
    This is exactly what I was looking for, I have found a 460 that has been shot 15 times for $900. Do you believe that this is a good deal?

    Kevin

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    Well I am not really sure what your question is but I'll try.

    For me I would not trust a 10 mm for any big game protection or a 45 acp or 40 S&W I have own both and they would not give me a warm fuzzy feeling in bear country. At the mall or around town for other types of predetors those are fine maybe even the best choice also most of those come in automatics and for me that is another choice I would not make in bear country. S&W does make a revolver in 10mm and 45 acp but it is as big as a 44mag revolver so why not just carry the 44mag.
    As for the x frame smith revolvers I am not a big fan of those. A 338 wm or 375 H&H in a bolt rifle for me is more accurate and more powerful plus easier to carry, for me anyway... Or my puma in 454 casull, 10 rounds of 360 grs. going 1800 FPS good medicine.
    I would stick with tried and true,( 44mag, 45 colt with proper ammo,) and a 480 ruger or 454 casull in a revolver.

    Just my opinion

    north45

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    Quote Originally Posted by KRG View Post
    This is exactly what I was looking for, I have found a 460 that has been shot 15 times for $900. Do you believe that this is a good deal?

    Kevin
    It's not bad. I've seen them for sale new at Wal-Mart for $998. Never seen one cheaper so you're already saving at least $98 for a weapon that's only had 15 rounds through it. I'd say go for it, especially if it comes with any extras.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

    Noone has a more intimate understanding of, or deeper appreciation for freedom, than a soldier who has fought for it in a country where it does not exist.

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    Owned every revolver on your list at one time or another and the only one left is the .500, plus I picked up a 4 inch model as well. For me, they can do anything better than the 460 can do under 100 yards (my shooting limit).
    Still own various .44 magnums but either of the 500's are what I carry. But unless you have very deep pockets reloading is a must as ammo is very expensive.
    Tennessee

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    If you want to...and think you will....carry one of those large frames Smiths. Here's a new 500 5 inch for 1000 bucks. If you're gonna pack around something that big and heavy may as well get a fifty.... Just my 02. The 460 is a hot 454 which is a hot 45 Colt. But the 500 gives you a bigger bore in the same size gun.

    I don't know anything about it but a guy may be able to get it cheaper.

    http://www.907bigboytoys.com/categor...ver-Fired.html

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    Sorry about my last post I had read the wrong post. Nubie mistake.

    north45

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by north45 View Post
    Sorry about my last post I had read the wrong post. Nubie mistake.

    north45
    Believe it or not, you are still on the money. This thread must be very similar to what you were reading.

    Kevin

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK2AZ View Post
    None are very cheap to shoot but I`m partial to 10mm for everyday work so the the G20 gets my vote.
    Hell yeah!
    Quote Originally Posted by north45 View Post
    Well I am not really sure what your question is but I'll try.

    For me I would not trust a 10 mm for any big game protection or a 45 acp or 40 S&W I have own both and they would not give me a warm fuzzy feeling in bear country. At the mall or around town for other types of predetors those are fine maybe even the best choice also most of those come in automatics and for me that is another choice I would not make in bear country. S&W does make a revolver in 10mm and 45 acp but it is as big as a 44mag revolver so why not just carry the 44mag.
    As for the x frame smith revolvers I am not a big fan of those. A 338 wm or 375 H&H in a bolt rifle for me is more accurate and more powerful plus easier to carry, for me anyway... Or my puma in 454 casull, 10 rounds of 360 grs. going 1800 FPS good medicine.
    I would stick with tried and true,( 44mag, 45 colt with proper ammo,) and a 480 ruger or 454 casull in a revolver.

    Just my opinion

    north45
    Good opinion. I on the other hand owned big revolvers. They always sat on the boat or in the pack. My G20 stays with me 100% of the time. So it does give me a warm fuzzy feeling. Having shot a 6'10" black bear with it, using 230gr Hardcast Double Tap, I believe in it. Always have even before I used it to kill. Others on here do as well!

  12. #12
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    I guess I'll be the one naysayer here for now and pipeup to say this. Scratch the 2.5in Smith and get yourself a SS Model 629 with a 4in barrel. 44 magnum is not the most potent caliber around but when loaded properly it is sufficient, it is also easier as well as cheaper to shoot than either of the big X frames. The 10mm as well as the Glock you mentioned would be my last choice on your list but that's just my opinion.

    Find yourself a 4in S&W 629 used for about half what you plan to spend on an X frame, invest the rest in a good holster and a ton of plinking ammo or components for same if you load and shoot shoot shoot. Come spring load it up with some good quality heavy, IE 270-320gr ammo, adjust your sight settings, and go forth to enjoy the outdoors. At least that's what I would and did do.

    Also as a cheaper option you can usually find some darn good deals on Ruger SuperBlackhawks in 44. This is what I brought with me when I moved up here and I still find myself carrying it quite abit.

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    +1 for The Kid. I lost a lengthy post almost identical a couple hours ago. My difference would be a 5" 629 not that 1" would matter that much. With the money you save you could easily buy a loading outfit. Learn to shoot from someone that can really shoot a DA revolver. A 44 has enough power and at that point more accuracy will serve you better than more power.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Kid View Post
    I guess I'll be the one naysayer here for now and pipeup to say this. Scratch the 2.5in Smith and get yourself a SS Model 629 with a 4in barrel. 44 magnum is not the most potent caliber around but when loaded properly it is sufficient, it is also easier as well as cheaper to shoot than either of the big X frames. The 10mm as well as the Glock you mentioned would be my last choice on your list but that's just my opinion.

    Find yourself a 4in S&W 629 used for about half what you plan to spend on an X frame, invest the rest in a good holster and a ton of plinking ammo or components for same if you load and shoot shoot shoot. Come spring load it up with some good quality heavy, IE 270-320gr ammo, adjust your sight settings, and go forth to enjoy the outdoors. At least that's what I would and did do.

    Also as a cheaper option you can usually find some darn good deals on Ruger SuperBlackhawks in 44. This is what I brought with me when I moved up here and I still find myself carrying it quite abit.
    Gotta disagree with ya there Kid. I've seen 45 Colt ammo cheaper than .44 Special or .44 mag, and the 460 will shoot 45 Colt all day long.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

    Noone has a more intimate understanding of, or deeper appreciation for freedom, than a soldier who has fought for it in a country where it does not exist.

  15. #15

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    As for the update. I have found a S&W 44 with a 6" barrel that I can pick up for around $740. Should I get that, or the S&W 460? The 460 is used with 15 rounds through it, the seller had told me he is looking for 900 out of it. I was thinking of offering him $750 since I can get a 44 for that (brand new). What say you?


    You all are are being very helpful, and all I can say is THANK YOU!!!

    Kevin

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKsoldier View Post
    Gotta disagree with ya there Kid. I've seen 45 Colt ammo cheaper than .44 Special or .44 mag, and the 460 will shoot 45 Colt all day long.
    Well that may be true but I would bet you dollars to donuts that it just ain't the case 90% of the time. I've gotten 458winmag ammo that usually sells for about 100$ a box for free but that doesn't make the 458 cheaper to shoot than 06 for the normal dude who doesn't catch the sale. 44 ammo is also much more readily available in most places most of the time.

    I'd say buy that 629 and don't look back. Don't worry about it being underpowered either, if I remember right either JD Jones or Larry Kelly, possibly both of them took an African elephant with a 7.5 inch Redhawk.

  17. #17

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    If you don't reload get a .44, and if you do get a .45.
    My favorite gun to carry is a stainless Tracker because it's light, and I don't care when it ends up in a snow bank or a mud puddle, which for some reason happens more often then I like. Maybe I'm reckless. Make sure you thoroughly inspect any Taurus you buy...

    That having been said, a 629 with a 4" barrel and adjustable sights is hard to beat. It's the best balance of all things good, IMHO.

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    Buy a good used Marlin 1895 (45-70) and a good used RRH in 44, for the same price as a new (or used) 460 or 500!! Sorted!

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    I'm still with The Kid on this one. Although 5" is my favorite ,I would go with 4" over a 6" as I find big handguns to be cumbersome. And I would go a used 629 which you should be able to find for less than $600. If you are expecting to get good enough with any handgun, you are going to need a lot of ammo and practice. This just screams reloading with cast. A couple thousand rounds of factory ammo at $.75 to $1 + per round is a fair piece of change at my income level. Drop that to $.10 ( I cast ) and I can afford to shoot a bit more. Adequate power with good shot placement is the answer, not more power. Even a lowley Black Bear gut shot with a 460Wthby is anything but dead. A properly placed 300gr 44 should take the fight out of even a large Brown Bear. The key is properly placed.

  20. #20

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    Here's my input and it is worth what you paid me for it. If I were choosing from your list, I would buy the Smith & Wesson .460 that is behind door #3 since it is probably the most versatile weapon in your list. However, I wouldn't choose from your list. I would want a revolver for simplicity and for the possibility of contact shots.

    In the event that you find yourself between a bear and her cubs or if you get stalked by a bruin, you likely won't have much time to react and you could find youself literally pressing the muzzle of your gun into the fur and firing from underneath the bruin. This means that the G20 is a no-go. Semiautos are too finicky about limp wristing, going out of battery during contact shots and they need clearance and gravity to eject a spent round and cycle the next round. This would be problematic when firing from a contorted position with the gun held sideways or against the ground.

    If you want bear protection, this means that you want a pistol that you will want to carry most, if not all of the time. The .460 and .500 are too large and bulky to qualify as my full-time carry pieces. The S&W Backpacker or any 29/329/629 would be better since they are lighter and easier to pack. In this case, I would go stainless 629 for better weather resistance.

    Better still, I prefer the 4" Ruger Redhawk. It's a half pound lighter than a 4" X frame S&W and the Ruger will hold six rounds instead of 5. Also, the Ruger will handle the more powerful Buffalo Bore ammo that you will want to carry for bear protection.

    Another good option is the Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan. This gun was specifically designed for the bear protection. The 2.5" barrel model in .454 Casull is a good way to go since it allows you to shoot .45 Colt and .454 Casull. If you really have a need to shoot a bear in self defense, the 2.5" barrel would not be a disadvantage since by definition this should be a close range proposition. If you are hunting, you would already be carrying a rifle anyway.

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