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Thread: gun for backpacking

  1. #81
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Based on what those that know have said, I think I'd go with the bear spray. Even if the wind were blowing straight at me and the spray came back in my face, that would be okay. At least one of us won't have to watch what's about to happen.
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  2. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by trax View Post
    OK, follow these instructions:

    1. Clutch big round part, depressing small side handle
    2. Pull ring
    3. Release grip on small side handle
    4. Maintain firm grip on big round part, throw ring.
    lol. Glad I never spent any time in a foxhole with you.
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  3. #83
    Worst case scenerio man kx250kev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    Carefull, traderran. This trail cuts across Yellowstone National Park and other BLM land. While the BLM recognizes state law on weapons, the National Park Service does not (for now). While your experience may be fine for Alaska it is not okay to tote, concealed or otherwise) on National Park land.

    "Neither hunting nor firearms are allowed in Yellowstone's backcountry."

    Source: http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisi...ntryhiking.htm
    Update: Looks like that's changed.
    http://www.doi.gov/news/08_News_Releases/120508.html
    Last edited by kx250kev; 12-10-2008 at 12:36 AM.
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  4. #84
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    This is my answer to the original question, nothing else.


    I think you would be perfectly suited to a full-sized (4"-5" barrel) pistol in .45ACP.

    First of all, find one legal to carry and own in your own state (I will never live in CA)

    Then, make sure it is legal to carry everywhere else you are going.

    Including the park itself.

    Then, and only then;

    Get a .45ACP you can comfortably hold, that naturally fixates at your point of aim when raised.

    Get a comfortable holster, that will not make you want to leave it somewhere or in your pack.

    Load it and your spare magazine(s) with some Magsafe ammo.

    Carry it.

  5. #85
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    The best thing to do in bear country is make noice so you don't seprice the bear bells on packs work well.I hunted Admiralty inland in alaska and noice is the best thing to let the bears know you are there they will leave you alone because most times if they hear you will not see them.Admiralty inland has the second bigest grizzlys first is Kodiak.
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  6. #86
    reclinite automaton canid's Avatar
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    there is a world of difference between a supprize encounter, which can be easily avoided and a predatory or investigative one. the first is considerably more common, but when a bear is actually engaging you in a stalk, even if it is out of curiosity, the best thing you can do is to deter the bear as quickly as possible. with black bears, this can be as simple as yelling and throwing rocks. that has worked for me in the past. it will probably be all that is needed.

    i advocate both firearms and bear spray, but i trust the spray to be a first choice the more i think about it, and the more i learn.

    if you mace a bear as soon as it's in range, it probably won't come closer. if you shoot a bear as soon as it comes in range, you are probably committing a crime, and as klk mentioned, if it isn't killed and it dosen't charge you, or continue charging you, you still have a wounded and much more dangerous bear roaming around. gunshot bears maul people, and it's not always the person who fired.

    a maced bear might enrage, but generally will just retreat. in either event, it can no longer see or smell you which has to be an advantage.

    i should point out that if it does enrage, you still have the potential for the bear to stumble on other people or camps in the area, but the rage will not last as long as a bullet wound.

    i know this is not an easy subject, and i'm thrilled that there are so many here with enough bear experience to give sound testimony and advice.
    Last edited by canid; 12-10-2008 at 01:25 PM.
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  7. #87

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    I would say a .45 pistol would be perfectly fine for protection against large game. But really from experience bears will not mess with you unless they are cornered or cubs are around. So really if you just use avoidance then it should be no problem.

    Also with all of the talk about pepper spray, the bear spray that I have seen is a gel, not an actually traditional pepper spray, that is developed to be wind resistant up to a pretty high mph wind.

  8. #88
    Senior Member SARKY's Avatar
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    If you can find one, get your hands on a Taurus Total Titanium Tracker in .41 Magnum. I love the caliber and stoked with Federal Dangerous Game loads it will handle any dangerous game in North America provided you do your part. Be forewarned it is only a 5 shot revolver and with it's light weight kicks like a mule, but when the adrenaline is flowing you will never feel it.

  9. #89
    reclinite automaton canid's Avatar
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    and still be forewarned [as also mentioned above]that if you can't get a kill shot off after the animal engaged you it's worthless. otherwise, a worthy round i'm sure, and pistols are certainly more manuverable in close quarters than longarms.

    for pistols, i like my .45acp, but that is because it's the only reasonable cartridge pistol i happen to own. i would try to defend myself against an attack [if it came to that] by any animal with whatever i had handy, but i somehow doubt that my 2 shot .22 would help.
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  10. #90

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    Yeah .22 wouldn't do a thing. I think the .45 acp round could handle a large bear probably if you shot off 3-4 rounds into it. I also heard a story about a guy who was attacked by a grizzly and shot at it with a 9mm and the two shots he got off before it got to him didn't even penetrate but just bounced off the skull.

  11. #91
    Last edited by jbone; 12-17-2008 at 08:09 PM.

  12. #92
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    Nice.......
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  13. #93

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    Haha Jbone thats hilarious. I think I have seen that somewhere before but it really does apply to this thread perfectly.

  14. #94

    Cool back packing bear gun

    Since you will be backpacking I would reccomend a .44 magnum handgun or a .357 magnum. You really don't want to compromise your safety with small caliber firearms when it come to bears. In my opinion the best choice would be the .44 magnum. Hope this helps.

  15. #95
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    There are some reviews on youtube about topics like this by Nutnfancy where he says you have to weigh mobility vs firepower deppending on the situation seems like good advice.
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  16. #96
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    I searched Google for "backpacking with guns" and found this thread. I enjoy reading posts from knowledgeable people, and this thread seems to have a bunch, so I joined.

    Assuming I am in bear country and I wish to carry both spray and my Sig 226 .357, does anyone have suggestions on holsters, either concealed or open? Of course, that pesky backpack waist strap would be in the way. I am thinking that some custom sewing or rigging on the pack might provide an answer, or possibly a pocket on the front of the waist strap similar to the Bianchi 4410. Any other ideas? (Yes, I have a concealed carry endorsement in MO, and therefore about 35 other states.)

    And here's some fodder for the "should I carry a gun or not" argument. Bears are not the only safety concern. I have run into a pack of wild dogs on county park land here in Kansas City, and I have run into feral hogs on the Buffalo River in Arkansas. I also ran into a guy once (whose parents had to have been closely related) who was walking around a crowded campsite with a pit bull that was trying desperately to get free from his log chain leash.

    I seek enlightenment from those who have more experience or knowledge than I do. Thanks.
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  17. #97
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    For concealed carry while backpacking I prefer a small fanny pack worn in front. (wonder why it's not called a front pack) For open carry while wearing a pack I prefer a holster (either sewn or separate rig) that is worn across the chest.
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  18. #98
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    This thread could be moved to the "Guns and Ammo" page.
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    2. If you can't reach your kit when you need it....Its useless.

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  19. #99

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    Not trying to pick nits here but, I had a few thoughts...

    Quote Originally Posted by kx250kev View Post
    ...I've been trying to find that perfect lightweight backpacking defense gun also, but it's not easy. I've settled on a .40 cal polymer pistol with double action fire capability and no safety(or maybe a backstrap/trigger safety) and ideally a decocker for hammer down open carry. A double action trigger allows you to try to fire a second time if the round doesn't fire.
    I'm not a big fan of the 40 S&W but, otherwise I don't see too much wrong with this logic. Personally, I prefer to have a manual safety on my auto pistols - just as an extra safety measure for the kids and I tend to prefer DA/SA mechanisms. The long, relatively heavy DA stroke for the first shot provides added safety and, if you have the time, the SA option allows for greater accuracy (all other things being equal).

    What specific DAO auto are you planning on using?

    Quote Originally Posted by kx250kev View Post
    A revolver is a more dependable gun, but 5 or 6 shots is not enough in my opinion. If you are defending yourself from a large animal, you want to throw a lot of lead quickly, and I'm sure your shots won't be well placed.
    I watched an interesting dash-cam video of a traffic stop turned gun fight not too long ago. Perp got off the first shot after which the cop unloaded his entire 15+1 from what looked to be a S&W 5906 (a very accurate duty weapon, BTW) as fast as he could pull the trigger and at a range of under 5 yards. Wanna guess how many of those rounds struck the perp? That's right; ZERO! Not one. Luckily he wasn't a good shot either and the cop survived unscathed as well.

    Read much about such shootings and you will find that a large percentage of them involve a whole lot of missing. I can't help wonder if that's partially due to the mentality of "throw a lot of lead quickly" that wasn't available when you had only six shots and thus had to make them count.

    Accurate shooting is EVERYTHING. No matter how many bullets you have and no matter how powerful they are, if you don't hit the charging beastie, they won't do you any good. You want a clean, solid hit on the brain or CNS. A single shot will do, if the bullet strikes where it's (supposed to be) aimed. If you are shooting as fast as you can pull the trigger, you aren't aiming.

    If you prefer an auto over a revolver, that's fine. But whatever gun you choose, learn to control your adrenaline and shoot for accuracy first, speed second.

    Quote Originally Posted by kx250kev View Post
    I also like to attach a light to the light rail and sleep with it "ready to roll" incase something goes BUMP in the night.
    Of course, the danger here is that such lights put you in the position of violating one of the cardinal rules of safe gun handling: "never aim a gun at anything you aren't willing to destroy."

    So you're awakened in the middle of the night by some unknown sound, you are unaware of what you really heard, perhaps juiced on adrenaline a bit, and using your gun to illuminate the darkness for an unknown "threat." What happens if something/someone startles you?

    You're much better off with a flashlight in your non-dominant hand scanning the area while your gun is held at "low-ready" in your dominant hand, ready to be brought into action should an actual, real threat present itself.

    If you just simply insist upon having a weapon-mounted light, make sure you have another non-mounted flashlight as your primary illumination and search tool and activate/use the gun-light only after you have properly assessed the threat and have determined that shooting must now commence.

    Quote Originally Posted by kx250kev View Post
    I've done some penetration testing with .40 cal FMJ ammo, and I'm pretty satisfied that it would penetrate the skull of a bear at 50 ft.
    FMJ ammo is not generally a good choice for stopping raging beasties. It's cheap. It can punch paper targets with aplomb. It is however, not a good fight-stopper. Just ask soldiers who are required by binding international treaty to use only FMJ ammo in all their small arms.



    Addendum: I just noticed how old this thread was. Sorry, wasn't trying to drudge up old material.

    Oh, and as for bears, I'm in full agreement that bear spray is the best primary option and the one most likely to turn an enraged animal before any injuries, lawsuits, criminal charges, etc. occur, but I still also carry a gun whenever I'm in the wilderness.
    Last edited by lucznik; 04-17-2009 at 01:17 PM.

  20. #100
    Proud Okie! MatthewnOK's Avatar
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    I prefer one of these
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    My grandpa and I both have larger than normal hands so we can both comfortably hold one.
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