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Need help selecting handgun.

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Need help selecting handgun.

Old 01-03-2006, 02:41 PM
  #1  
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Default Need help selecting handgun.


I know this topic has been addressed before, but I tried to seach and didn't find quite what I was looking for. I am very familiar with rifles, shotguns, muzzleloaders, and bows, but I've caught the handgun bug and I'm ignorant in this field. I figured it was only a matter of time and my options for other weapons was growing small. I have a really great friend who is a gun freak and former gunsmith, but I wanted to make my own opinion before asking him because he is stubborn and I know he will try to persuade me to purchase what he thinks is best for me. He is older (about my dads age) and he is kinda like my second dad and I know he has my best interests, I simply want to educate myself and to form an unbiased opinion and then get his opinion to see if we agree.

My pistol will mostly be used in the back country during hunting and hiking and my main concerns are crossing paths, very closly, with the wrong person(s) or the wrong animal at the wrong time. Simply put, I want to be able to lay "it" down, whatever "it" may happen to be. I will probably try to get my CWP in the not to distant future, so if possible, I don't want a Dirty Harry.

I know different models among the same caliber are usually a preference among shooters. My main concern is selecting the right caliber and load, but feel free to suggest a particular model.

Also, I have carried a handgun on a couple occasions, and I favor the shoulder holster....if that even matters.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-03-2006, 04:23 PM
  #2  
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Default RE: Need help selecting handgun.

http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10001&catalogId=11101&a mp;langId=-1&productId=14709&tabselected=tech&isF irearm=Y&parent_category_rn=15712

check this out, 45 acp.....7 1/4" oal perfect conceal carry gun.
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Old 01-03-2006, 05:03 PM
  #3  
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Default RE: Need help selecting handgun.

What kind of critters would you be running into?

For non-bear related encounters you can't go wrong with the Springfield XD line of pistols. They have a very good aftermarket, so its a gun you can build on in the future, and they are very reasonably priced.

http://www.springfield-armory.com/prod-xdpstl.shtml
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Old 01-03-2006, 05:20 PM
  #4  
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Default RE: Need help selecting handgun.

My buddy has 2 desert eagles and they are awesome shooting guns.
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Old 01-03-2006, 08:23 PM
  #5  
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Default RE: Need help selecting handgun.

I am partial to Ruger single action revolvers where the concerns are critters. Several calibers, safe,strong build, various barrel lengths. I find the single action the most fun to shoot, even in the44 mag, which is good critter medicine. For antipersonnel I would still want a 45 auto.More rounds, large wound, fast reload. One malfunction in 26 military years. Personally I like shoulder holsters unless they interfere with really needed things.... coats, flak jackets, back packs, it depends on what you see yourself carrying. They do keep your piece out of the junk!
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Old 01-04-2006, 07:59 AM
  #6  
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Default RE: Need help selecting handgun.

ORIGINAL: Rammer

What kind of critters would you be running into?

For non-bear related encounters you can't go wrong with the Springfield XD line of pistols.

My concerns are, in no particular order:
1) Running into someone in the back country, with bad intentions,who doesn't really care if I'm left for dead or not. Humans have more brain power to conjure up crazy ideas than any other animal. I know a extremely small percentage of violent crimes take place in the back country, but there are an extremely small percentage of people in the back country too.
2) Hiking across a bear or mtn. lion with cubs or with some other reason to view me as a threat.
I had a buddy who killed and quartered and elk. He packed out what he could, hung the rest in a tree, and made a return trip for it. When he returned, he had a bear standing up on its hind legs underneath his hang site. He took a couple pictures of the unaware bear. He sat with his rifle ready. He didn't know if the bear was somehow spooked by him or something else, but it ran off hurriedly without ever looking in his direction. I, however, will be doing a lot of my hunting during muzzleload season and although I'm a good shot with my current weapons, I don't like the security of a single shot black powder rifle. I wouldn't want to return to the same situation, only to have a bear/lion with young around, or starving for a good meal and not so eager to run. Most of my back country hunting trips will be in areas with mtn. lions and black bears, but nothing larger. Actually, all my hunting takes place in areas with these animals, but most of them in very limited populations. I did a little reseach, with price a factor of course, and this is the list that I'm planning on researching a little more.
.45 ACP
.40 S&W
.357 Mag/.38 Revolver
Models I've chosen to look at are the Springfield XD and some Glocks, namely the 23.
In response to the quoted comment, would these not be effective on black bears?
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Old 01-04-2006, 02:46 PM
  #7  
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Default RE: Need help selecting handgun.

ORIGINAL: AppleOnMyHead

ORIGINAL: Rammer

What kind of critters would you be running into?

For non-bear related encounters you can't go wrong with the Springfield XD line of pistols.

My concerns are, in no particular order:
1) Running into someone in the back country, with bad intentions, who doesn't really care if I'm left for dead or not. Humans have more brain power to conjure up crazy ideas than any other animal. I know a extremely small percentage of violent crimes take place in the back country, but there are an extremely small percentage of people in the back country too.
2) Hiking across a bear or mtn. lion with cubs or with some other reason to view me as a threat.
I had a buddy who killed and quartered and elk. He packed out what he could, hung the rest in a tree, and made a return trip for it. When he returned, he had a bear standing up on its hind legs underneath his hang site. He took a couple pictures of the unaware bear. He sat with his rifle ready. He didn't know if the bear was somehow spooked by him or something else, but it ran off hurriedly without ever looking in his direction. I, however, will be doing a lot of my hunting during muzzleload season and although I'm a good shot with my current weapons, I don't like the security of a single shot black powder rifle. I wouldn't want to return to the same situation, only to have a bear/lion with young around, or starving for a good meal and not so eager to run. Most of my back country hunting trips will be in areas with mtn. lions and black bears, but nothing larger. Actually, all my hunting takes place in areas with these animals, but most of them in very limited populations. I did a little reseach, with price a factor of course, and this is the list that I'm planning on researching a little more.
.45 ACP
.40 S&W
.357 Mag/.38 Revolver
Models I've chosen to look at are the Springfield XD and some Glocks, namely the 23.
In response to the quoted comment, would these not be effective on black bears?
You also might consider some of the Ruger autos or a double action revolver, any of the above mentioned calibers would be a good choice.
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Old 01-04-2006, 03:14 PM
  #8  
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Default RE: Need help selecting handgun.

My choice would be the 357 revolver in single action or double action in a 6" barrel. You would have to decide on the single or the double. A 357 with fullhouse loads has pretty good stopping power. you can also use 38 specials for plinking and practice or reduced 357 loads. The revolver is simple to use also. I own one auto but prefer my revolvers for out in the field. Zeak
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Old 01-04-2006, 06:19 PM
  #9  
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Default RE: Need help selecting handgun.

Im partial to a good 1911 45acp. I prefer springfields. Its a good hard hitter. You may also consider something chambered in 357 sig. its a good hard hitter its basiclly a 357mag. in auto form. My main carry gun is a Sig Sauer P226 in 357 sig.
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Old 01-04-2006, 07:26 PM
  #10  
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Default RE: Need help selecting handgun.

You are wanting a single gun to perform two different duties. It is hard to find a single handgun that will serve well as a concealed carry weapon and also serve as a good bear defense weapon. So rather than just tell you what gun my buddy shoots I am going to give you something to think about.

The concealed carry weapon is going to be relatively small and chambered in a round suitable for killing humans not bears. A 45acp, 40s&w are by no means good bear defense rounds. A .357 magnum would be a minimum choice to defend off bear attacks. Preferably a 44 mag, 480 Ruger, 454 Cassul, etc... These are very powerful rounds capable of delivering a large payload of lead that will be able to break down large and thick bones and still get into the chest cavity of a bear. Rounds that are made for auto handguns generally are not loaded with bullets suitable to fending off a bear attack.

On the flip side a gun that is a good bear defense gun is going to relatively heavy and somewhat large thus not being very concealable and uncomfortable to wear under your clothes. The chamberings will also be waaaay more power than needed or wanted to effectively stop a human attacker. In this type of situation you want a low recoiling gun firing relatively light weight bullets that expand rapidly and transmit maximum shock in only about 6 - 7 inches but not ever penetrate the body.

If you must use a single gun for both concealed carry and bear defense then the only choice IMO is a double action revolver chambered in .357 magnum with a barrel length of 3-4 inches. Bullet choice for carry would be Federal 130 grain hydra shock, Remington 125 grain golden saber, Corbon power ball ammo, Winchester 145 grain silver tip HP, or others like these. For bear defense I would use Federals 180 grain cast core, Corbons 200 grain hard cast, Buffalo Bore 180 grain hard cast, or othres like these.
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