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Home/Outdoor Defense Gun

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by WildEMT, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. JonSidneyB
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    JonSidneyB Uber Prepared
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    You are in big animal country. There are other good choices besides mine but if I where carrying in your area I would carry a S&W29 or 629. The Mountain Gun would work but I would rather have a 5 or 6 inch barrel to keep the velocity up. If you were to go Ruger instead I would go with .45 long colt and use the magnumized versions of that classic cartridge. There are more powerful cartridges than these for sidearms but the guns start getting really big. While I would lean towards the M29 like I said there are other good ones out there as well. The Tauras Tracker in 41 magnum might even be a viable alternative.

    As a home defense gun size does not matter until it gets too big for you to handle properly. For the home I would go with either the faster .44 Special loads or some Mild Magnums. Full house .44 magnum might be a bit much for home defense. The Ruger in .45 Long Colt might be a better option. There are loads for the .45 long Colt that are probably a little more effective on larger animals than is available in .44 magnum. These loads are too stout for Smith and Wesson N-Frame guns. Then for the home there are plenty of mild mannered .45 Long Colt rounds that would work well for self defense.
     
  2. Mud

    Mud Loaded Pockets

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    After Re reading all your needs / Location ect

    Id say go wheel gun. Id say like some of these guys, go 44 mag 4 inch tube, Be it Smith 629/ or ruger Redhawk. Get u some 44 SPLs and get some range time. I would personallay lean toward the Ruger if big critters are in line due the stoutness of the firearm


    Other wise get a Gp 100 3 Inch also for the stoutness of the weapon add some 180 Grainers for trail duty and some .38spls for range days.

    The Smith 686 is a great gun i do not however feel it is as stout as the ruger. It is much somoother on the trigger however. Also I do not like the Lock

    Go shoot them all if you can. and most of all :luck:

    Dont forget some pix
     
  3. JonSidneyB
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    JonSidneyB Uber Prepared
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    You might not want to pack this much but you could go both. It is not that rare for people to carry a revolver and an autoloader is some places.
     
  4. Bubba

    Bubba Loaded Pockets

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    I see that this thread has decided on a revolver, that's OK, we all have opinions

    But it is a fallacy to think that you'll require less than "X" rounds in a gunfight 'if you have the skills'
    (that is the subject of another thread / board though, so I will stop there)

    we can all agree it is the brain, and trigger that will determine the winner in any fight though, so whatever you end up with I agree with lots of training with it (that doesn't mean just at the range)
     
  5. JonSidneyB
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    JonSidneyB Uber Prepared
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    The more I think about this the more I might have to say this is a two gun requirement.

    The choices would be broad so there would be more than one right answer.

    If I lived where things where big that could stomp or bite and claw. My picks would be a 5 inch Smith 29 .44 magnum for sight radius and power with a second gun being perhaps either a CZ-75 or CZ-75 compact.

    The .44 would be preferred against the big stuff but can still act as a backup though not ideal to autoloader in its realm. The service auto would not be the best backup for the .44 but service class
    cartridges have taken down large critters but it is not recommended.

    I don't live in big critter country so I can easily go down in power. I frequently carry both a .357 Smith and a CZ-75.
     
  6. jsco25

    jsco25 Empty Pockets

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    I never said you will only need x amount of rounds in a gun fight. My point was that spray and pray doesn't work. These days you can't just go popping off rounds that you can't account for. You better take your time and hit what you are aiming at. Otherwise you just might hit the little old lady living down the street.
     
  7. Exmasonite

    Exmasonite Loaded Pockets

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    just to toss in another $.02...

    what about the Glock 20 or 29 in 10mm? got the capacity/fast reload of the auto with a good caliber
     
  8. WildEMT

    WildEMT Loaded Pockets

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    10mm is a great caliber, no arguments there. However, it lacks the knock-down force that bigger "issues" require.

    But, while we are on the note of calibers, I'm still leaning towards the 357/38. A 44 or 45 would be better for bears, but are getting a bit too large to be manageable for me. The call of cheap 38 ammo for practice is too strong...
     
  9. clutchUSMC

    clutchUSMC Empty Pockets

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    I think you are mistaken about the 10mm. As for performance it falls between the .357 Mag and the .41 Mag.
    You may be thinking of the F.B.I. Load or the .40S&W. 10mm auto will handle all of your "issues". Heres the muzzle energies/velocities.

    .357 Mag: 584 ft·lb for 125 gr @ 1450 ft/s
    10mm: 750 ft·lb for 200 gr @ 1300 ft/s
    .41 Mag: 788 ft·lb for 210 gr @ 1,300 ft/s

    Here is info about hunting with the 10mm. It has been used on black bear. Not that I would want to do that intentionally! But you can.


    If the choice was between 10mm and .357mag and I had a bear charging me I would go with the 10mm. Bigger bullet and more power makes it easier to stop things. Now if your main threat is Bears we should be talking about something bigger..44mag, .454 casuall and the new xframe smiths come to mind. Have fun concealing that.

    Also I see some debate over Autos vs Revolvers. Revlovers are great guns, and can stand up to higher pressures. However when talking about stock firearms the accuracy is comparable. If you think your glock, sig, 686, colt, 1911, etc is more accurate its because you are more familiar with it. Accuracy comes from the shooter not the gun. As for not needing the 15+ rounds you may get with an auto over a revolver, well IMO that comes from someone who has never been in a gunfight. I have been in several and I never brought too much ammo, or too much gun. As a matter of fact anytime my life is on the line I would much rather have too much as opposed to not enough. Oh and hitting something with those first seven shots is much more difficult when that something is shooting back! I have seen expert marksmen empty entire magazines to hit 1 target and I have see humans soak up several rounds before they are incapacitated. Just my .02
     
  10. WildEMT

    WildEMT Loaded Pockets

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    Again the my lack of knowledge in pistols shows itself again. I had only been acquainted with info on the FBI load... reduced recoil? At any rate, that is an interesting option! Thanks for sharing the detailed information.

    This is all still stirring around in my brain. Haven't shelled out anything yet.

    What I really need is to live in the same town as a few of you guys who seem to own/have owned the entire breadth of pistols. Then you could give me a serious education and stop all this blundering!
     
  11. JonSidneyB
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    Full house 10mm is indeed more potent than .357 but 10mm is a bit on the light side for large targets but not for all the reasons one might expect. As the targets get thicker sectional density becomes a factor. When you look up sectional density you might find a flaw in the calculation method used but I think it is to simplify the calculation. Also for larger creatures you end up using hard cast bullets even with maybe a gas check or something more modern but hollowpoints will probably not be the best choice.

    Since you are in big mammal country it really does sound like two seperate guns to me. Is it possible for you to pack perhaps a .44 magnum mountain gun and a compact version of of a service style weapon at the same time. I can do it easily if I needed to but I don't know how much other gear you need for your area.

    The Mountain Gun gives up a little bit of velocity and sight radius to a longer barreled .44 magnum but will be better than any service class weapon you can find for big critters while still not being as much to pack then the optimum heavy hitter. The compact version of a service sized gun gives up a little bit as well but since I am recommending two guns I think it is justified.

    Bear and Moose are a much different type of target then humans and the ammo choice is different as well. In the urban world over penetration is a factor but in the rural areas it is less so and against the big stuff you are not going to be over penetrating with a handgun. There are many stories of failure due to wrong bullet type for the big stuff. Hollowpoints often just open up too fast to get the penetration needed on the big stuff.

    While the 10mm splits the difference you would want to be carrying 2 different bullets designs and I would not want to have to swap magazines to get the right cartridges for the target. The bullets for the big stuff is also going to likely be long for its weight to get good sectional density. While a big bullet can be good for big stuff I would take a smalled diameter with good SD over a large diameter with poor SD but In my opinion I would say go for both. You will not as often hear SD come into the topic on anti personel cartridges than you do about stuff for the big critters.

    Black Bear are not in the same class of bear as the Brown Bear. The name Kabar came from kill a bear as a man fought and killed a blackie with a knife. Due to sectional density a 180 grain softpoint .357 will actually out penetrate most 10mm loads even though the latter is heavier. Sectional density is also why 6.5 caliber rifles using long bullets seem to drop big game all out of preportion to its diameter. While most will say .44 or heavier for Blackies I would not feel to much under gunned with a long barreled .357 or a 10 mm auto. While .357 has taken moose and very large western bears before it is light for that job.

    There was a news story when I was in high school that did show a ranger take down a large bear with a 4 inch .357 at close range. The charge was from about 10 feet away and he emptied 6 shots fast into it and it did drop hard. I don't think he would want to repeat that stunt.
     
  12. saniterra

    saniterra Loaded Pockets

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    I can't disagree with Jon about two guns, especially if one is a .44 mag. It's a good caliber to be familiar and capable with, but it's not a lot of fun to shoot and certainly not one for inside the house use The noise and compression in inside spaces would render you incapable of hearing a cavalry charge (horse or mechanized) after two rounds or so. I know that perceived loudness is much less in high stress situations, but we're talking physical damage to your ears here.

    I do, however, disagree about the Smith over the Ruger. The Redhawks are cable of shooting the Garrett's 44 MAG Hammerhead ammo which is a 330-Gr super hard cast flat nose bullet moving at 1400 fps. This load will take down any large game found in the western hemisphere if necessary, but it will be brutal to shoot. It is too long to fit the cylinders of Smith's and most other production revolvers (excepting the above referenced Redhawk and Super Redhawk). The Redhawk is the smaller, lighter and cheaper of the two and is available in 4" and 5.5" barrels, both of which are fine for non-hunting related hiking or backpacking.

    I suppose any .44 mag could make a good home defense gun loaded with .44 specials and a fair - but expensive - range gun with normal .44 mags (maybe not so expensive if you can't fire off more than a box of 50 cartridges). Anyway, good luck trying to find one gun to meet home and field needs.
     
  13. Dirty Bob

    Dirty Bob Loaded Pockets

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    I think JonSidneyB has given sound advice, here. I'd go with a double action Ruger or Smith, in .45 Colt or .44 Magnum, with the idea of using one of the good hard cast loads (like from Buffalo Bore) for big critters. In this application, I think I'd favor the .45, although both could do the job. I think the 10mm is too light. It would be a great choice against cats and other threats down here in TX, but not against moose or really big bears.

    If you're going to get two, I'd go for a 5" gun, first. Although it's a compromise, a heavy caliber 5" revolver can "do it all" better than most guns. In HD, it's a bit bulky, but a lot smaller than the shotgun so many people recommend! If your HD plans center around forting up in the bedroom with a cell phone and gun and letting them come to you, barrel length is no disadvantage.

    The biggest thing you'll need is proficiency, and that means a lot of practice. Quick, accurate double action work only happens after a lot of trigger time, preferably with some good instruction, at least to get you started. In .44 or .45, you'll find that reloading with cast bullets will greatly reduce your ammo costs for practice. A simple setup is not that expensive if you just start with the basics, and it will pay for itself over time. You may not actually save money, but rather be able to afford more ammo for the same money, and more ammo equals more practice.

    All my best,
    Dirty Bob
    (who's just getting into reloading .45 Colt...Woo hoo!)
     
  14. Dirty Bob

    Dirty Bob Loaded Pockets

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    One more thing: you can start reading up on this, and John Taffin is the guy I'd start with. His site is sixguns.com, IIRC. Mr. Taffin has probably put enough lead downrange through big-bore revolvers to sink a ship. He favors single actions, but he's a smart guy and sees the benefits of a good double action, as well. I find his articles enjoyable and informative. His website has a lot of information.

    Best wishes,
    Dirty Bob
     
  15. JonSidneyB
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    I will give my reasons for preferring the Smith over the Ruger but they are not reasons to not consider the Ruger.

    The N-Frame Smiths are at about the limit for a gun that I enjoy carrying. N-Frames are not problem for me to carry and do not feel like a burden to me but I still prefer something a little lighter. The Ruger can be carried also without excessive burden but for me is still a little more than I want to carry. I feel that a better trigger job can be done on the Smith but the Ruger is not bad at all. I have a slight preference for what can be done on the Smith but this is not enough I think to alone sway a choice.

    In .44 magnum the Ruger is a stronger built gun but not by much as some would think. The Ruger is stronger by virtue of thicker metal. Ruger uses cast metals as much as they can and Ruger does a very good job of casting. Castings are not as strong per ounce as good milled forgings but the Ruger does still have more strength because of a greater volume of metal. For myself I would rather have the slight reduction is size and weight but this alone would not be a deal killer on the Ruger. Both are more than strong enough to contain .44 magnum pressures. It is true that there are some loads made for the Ruger that are too long for the S&W cylinder but it is only a handfull. There are still plenty of good loads for the Smith but I will concede that the long loads are a nice thing.

    In .45 Long Colt things change. The holes in .45 Long Colt start forcing the metal to be thinner. It is getting to be where the metal on the Smith makes in not suitable for magnum level .45 Long Colt loads. The lower mass makes it a more violent propostion a strength of the cylinder is not as great. I actually would prefer magnumized .45 Long Colt to .44 magnum for big stuff but only be a small margin. If I were going to go .45 Long Colt it would be Ruger over the Smith with no argument at all.

    On Recoil the Ruger does kick less that the Smith.

    One of the reasons I prefer the Smith that in no way reflects on the Ruger in any capacity is familiarity. I have had Smith revolvers since grade school age. I have shot other revolvers and the Colt Python almost made me think about changing. Reasons I didn't change to the Python where I don't like the way Colts cylinder release works. Smith has a large variety of different revolvers that other than size, caliber, and barrel are almost identical. If you move up and down the frame sizes nothing is unfamiliar. They all work the same except that the Centinials are DAO.

    I really can't fault the Ruger, I just prefer the Smith in .44 magnum only for a little bit of bulk and weight reduction and since it works the same as the J-Frames, K-Frames, and L-Frames.
     
  16. grayelky

    grayelky Empty Pockets

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    My $.02:
    A lot depends on your ability w/ a handgun. It is hard to beat a good single action revolver, and Ruger is one of the best, not to mention my personal favorite. I would not feel at a huge disadvantage using a single action for self defense, but it is not my first choice. How adept are you w/ a single action?

    Someone mentioned the Taurus Tracker .41 mag. This may be one of the best options mentioned. It will recoil a lot, but it will be easy to carry. It has more power than the the .357, but it is not cheap to feed. It will serve quite adequately for all you have asked so far. S&W makes some light weight .357 and .44 mag guns. You might look into them.

    For someone who does not reload, the .357 magnum revolver is about the most versatile caliber available.

    Not knowing you and your skills, mind set, etc., I would suggest you locate a used S&W mod. 66 (Stainless version of the model 19) or a Ruger Security Six. With either gun, stay away from the magnum loads for regular practice. Keep it to a box (or a little less) per range session, and use a lot of .38 spl. Either gun will give you a life time of service for what you are looking for. The S&W 686 and the Ruger GP100 are stronger built guns, but they are also heavier. This will become a factor towards the end of the day. Go with the lighter guns when carrying is a large factor. When your car or nightstand is holding the weight, go with the heavier gun. I like the 6" barrels, but if my distances are 10-15 yards, I'd opt for the 2 1/2". Best comprise is the 4". I don't know about Moose. Never been near one. Most critters will not hold up well to HEAVY 180 grain .357 magnum loads.

    I really like your choice of the Glock 32 in .357 Sig. As much as I like the cartridge, I don't think it will have what you may need for some of the threats you may face when not in the city.

    Like so many other things in life, when choosing a gun, compromises must be made. There have been a lot of good suggestions and a good bit of solid advice and information given. Only you can weigh the pros and cons to determine what is best for you. Let us know what you choose.
     
  17. dovk0802

    dovk0802 Loaded Pockets

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    For the outdoors there's another reason to favor the wheel gun; small critters & plinking. When I first lived in Idaho, I only owned two handguns: a S&W K-22 w/ 8 3/8" & a S&W Highway patrolman w/ 6", which I often carried for extended periods (it's amazing what you can adapt to, when you're young, dumb, & don't have any other options). For practice & mainly harassing jackrabbits, I loaded cast bullets (148gr wadcutters made with a borrowed pot & mould) over about 3 or 4 grains of Bullseye, if memory serves. Using the pennies I saved from reloading (I started with a used Lee Loader Kit I bought for $5), I bought shotshells for rattlesnakes & when strolling about the High Sierra carried them as my first two rounds (besides fending off a charging field mouse I never had occasion to use one until moving to CA years later). The same principal; light loads & snakeshot, could be applied to .44 Spec/Maj or .45 LC/.454 Casull. Happy trails.
     
  18. WildEMT

    WildEMT Loaded Pockets

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    Well, the purchase has been made! It is a bit different than I expected, but should be great for the time being. I found an awesome deal on a NIB Ruger GP100, stainless, 3" barrel. The 3" barrel is the unexpected part. It is a bit shorter than I was planning on buying (4" was my desired length), but the price convinced me that I could make it work. The gun is coming to me with three sets of grips, two speedloaders, and a holster.

    In a year or so, I will be thinking about a second pistol... probably a SA 44 of some nature, for extended trips up into the wilderness. However, for now, I'm sure this little DA will keep home safe and do some damage if I need it out in the woods.

    Thanks for all of your recommendations and advice! I took it all quite seriously and learned a GREAT deal.
     
  19. Dirty Bob

    Dirty Bob Loaded Pockets

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    Good choice! The .357 is a very versatile cartridge, and much cheaper to shoot with .38 than the other magnums. The GP100 is an awesome revolver: very well made and quite solid. You may want to get into reloading now. The .38/.357 is easy to learn with, and it will save you a lot with a big bore revolver.

    All my best,
    Dirty Bob
     
  20. h8mtv

    h8mtv Empty Pockets

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    Taurus Judge 45lc/410 shotshell.