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Lightweight trail pistol for bear country

Discussion in 'Gadgets & Gear' started by Cackmandu, Oct 8, 2015.

  1. Shotgun

    Shotgun Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 3, 2006
    For a charging black bear a 44 is minimum.

    OP: Tell him to practice safe bear prevention measures. Bears should be way down the list of things to worry about. The money would be better spent elsewhere. If he just wants a new gun get a 9 or 45 because everywhere is "people country." ;)
  2. jasonp


    Oct 7, 2002
    Interesting thread. My daughter is in dental school now and plans on a stint in Alaska when she gets out. Alaska has a program to pay back your college loans if she practices her dentistry there for a bit. I bought her a Ruger LCR .38 for college but I told her I'm upgrading her to two malamutes and a Ruger .357 Mag for Alaska. Of course, as soon as I can retire, I'll be up there with her unless she objects :) Dad's gotta protect his little girl (and do some serious fishing)
  3. Converge


    Oct 4, 2014
    You could always rig up a holster or sling and carry one of these chopped lever actions in 44mag ;)


    If I lived in any area with bears I'd definitely need to have me a lever gun in 44mag. Probably an actual rifle, not a mares leg like above. They are certainly cool though :)
  4. Arredondo


    Jun 22, 2013
    "Do as I do, not as I say." Used SS S&W .357 mag.(4" 681 in my case) Buffalo Bore 180 gr. cast lead 1400 fps. $450-600 depending on condition & how hard you shop & dicker.
    You can also carry .38 snake shot which in my opinion are a heck of a bigger threat than bears; also .38 loads make practice enjoyable & if he's serious he will need practice.

  5. tang1510


    Feb 24, 2015
    Lightweight? No, but the Ruger Blackhawk or Super Blackhawk give the best bang for your buck in bear country.
  6. lessismore

    lessismore Enjoy Every Sandwich Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 29, 2010
    Blackhawk really is the best for the op's price range. .41M or .45Colt. My .41 goes with me weak side/butt forward.
  7. bdmicarta

    bdmicarta Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 16, 2012
    A young lightweight female friend of mine LOVES to shoot the big bores. We go to informal shooting events and the people with the big stuff all the way up to the 475 and 500 Linebaughs like to see her shoot them, and she shoots them accurately. She does well with the standard Ruger Blackhawk in .45 Colt loaded to levels well above the .44 magnum. As for .44 magnum itself she likes the S&W Scandium 329 which only weighs 25 ounces. You definitely know when you touch off that one. Put 4 loaded rounds and 2 empty cases in the gun and not let her know it, then watch how she never flinches when the hammer falls on the empty case. I have another female friend that I've seen do the same thing with the original 500S&W.
  8. DocT


    Mar 25, 2012
    Smith and Wesson make a small 3" barreled J-Frame .357 Magnum. It is small and light but can also fire lower powered rounds and snake shot. A .357 is more than enough for a black bear.
  9. glockman99

    glockman99 Super Moderator Super Mod

    Jun 12, 2000
    I'll still take .45 +P against bear...Not HUGE bear, but "normal" sized bear.

  10. leghog


    Aug 10, 2013
  11. leghog


    Aug 10, 2013
    We're talking black bear. You don't need .44
  12. lessismore

    lessismore Enjoy Every Sandwich Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 29, 2010
    No, I'm talking about a vertical 9 o'clock position, a crossdraw rig is completely different.

    aka Twist Draw.
  13. leghog


    Aug 10, 2013
    Crossdraw is defined by the draw not the holster. It's still a crossdraw position with handgun on weak side and butt forward because the draw/presentation is crossdraw as you reach you reach across your body with your strong side hand to draw/present.

    Reaching with your weak side hand twisted backwards (thumb pointed back, palm out) and presenting/shooting with weak side hand is not a practice I'd recommend as being any man's standard practice because many problems then present themselves not the least of which is a more likely chance of having to adjust your grip after presentation from the holster, much greater potential of crossing yourself with the handgun's muzzle as you draw/present (particularly if from weak side), speed, accuracy, rapid sight acquisition (with strong side being determined by eye dominance), slower follow ups, etc. There are quite valid reasons the twist draw is rarely used today. So rarely used many have never heard of it.

    Twist draw is an old relic from the horse cavalry days, excepting twist draw was on strong side because saber was on weak side for cross draw. It should be noted too that the revolvers were then single action with an empty chamber under the hammer while holstered and being drawn. Also keep in mind that if the trooper had his saber drawn the presented his revolver, the revolver was drawn with weak hand cross draw.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2015
  14. lessismore

    lessismore Enjoy Every Sandwich Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 29, 2010
    Weak side twist draw allows the draw to be done with either hand, very easily. This relic of cavalry days allows a crossdraw with the strong hand and a twist with the weak. Ever try to draw from the strong side with your weak hand with the butt to the rear? That is more than adjusting your grip.
  15. leghog


    Aug 10, 2013
    If you draw with the hand opposite the holster's side with the handgun holstered butt forward it is then a crossdraw which bring us full circle. Crossdraw isn't the problem. Twist draw is.

    Again, twist draw is a relic on the horse cavalry days, and there are valid reason it is really used and never recommend today. Today, twist draw qualifies as a solution in search of a problem. Not only does twist draw not solve a problem today, it causes unintended problems.
  16. lessismore

    lessismore Enjoy Every Sandwich Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 29, 2010
    That is lovely, and your opinion. Twist Draw allows me to draw with both hands, comfortably. Crossdraw is not comfortable with the weak hand, and having a gunbutt in my midsection makes things awkward.
    Now, can this thread continue on with its original intent?
  17. Mountainman38


    Dec 4, 2005
    I thought a great deal about the Glock in 10mm, for both outdoors, home defense, and use in an urban environment.

    I thought so much about it that I bought one 10 years ago, and have been very glad I did. Every time I've needed to use it to shoot a mountain lion, black bear, home invader, or rabid dog, it has worked perfectly.

    I've never actually done any of those things, but from all the research and studying I've done, I feel confident my gun would do what I needed for it to.

    Carrying a gun this size isn't the easiest thing, though. I have a kydex holster and a riggers belt that work reasonably well for belt carry, but the gun is heavy, digs into my side, pulls on my pants, and is obtrusive. The advantage of carrying on the belt is that the draw (especially from the stiff kydex) is VERY fast.

    For mountain biking or riding my dual sport motorcycle, I carry in a Hill People Gear Recon Kit Bag, and it works really well. The draw is not very fast, but the gun is secure and readily accessible in any situation.
  18. Mountainman38


    Dec 4, 2005
    There is a great deal of actual field research and evidence to indicate that bear spray is definitely a better choice for defense against bears, small or large. I would use a firearm as backup, so if the bear doesn't go away it can be dispatched -- after the initial shocking charge has been deflected by a fire extinguisher sized blast of blazing pepper spray hits the bruins sensitive nose and eyes.
  19. Mountainman38


    Dec 4, 2005
    Where are you getting 18 rounds mags for the Glock 20? Mine only has 15.
  20. sodak


    Mar 26, 2004
    You should give serious consideration to marrying her. I'm going to be ordering a .475 soon (I hope) and can't wait to try it. I shoot a .454 Casull regularly pretty well, but want to step up my game.

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