Backcountry Forum
Backpacking & Hiking Gear

Backcountry Forum
Our long-time Sponsor - the leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear
 
 
 

Amazon.com
Backpacking Forums
---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store
 
 WINTER CAMPING 

Shelters
Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen

 SNOWSPORTS 

Snowshoes
Avalanche Gear
Skins
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters
Accessories

 ULTRA-LIGHT 

Ultralight Backpacks
Ultralight Bivy Sacks
Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tarps
Ultralight Tents
Ultralight Raingear
Ultralight Stoves & Cookware
Ultralight Down Sleeping Bags
Ultralight Synthetic Sleep Bags
Ultralight Apparel


the Titanium Page
WM Extremelite Sleeping Bags

 CAMPING & HIKING 

Backpacks
Tents
Sleeping Bags
Hydration
Kitchen
Accessories

 CLIMBING 

Ropes & Cordage
Protection & Hardware
Carabiners & Quickdraws
Climbing Packs & Bags
Big Wall
Rescue & Industrial

 MEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 WOMEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 FOOTWEAR 

Men's Footwear
Women's Footwear

 CLEARANCE 

Backpacks
Mens Apparel
Womens Apparel
Climbing
Footwear
Accessories

 BRANDS 

Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva
Osprey
Smartwool

 WAYS TO SHOP 

Sale
Clearance
Top Brands
All Brands

 Backpacking Equipment 

Shelters
BackPacks
Sleeping Bags
Water Treatment
Kitchen
Hydration
Climbing


 Backcountry Gear Clearance

Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#92494 - 03/13/08 08:40 PM Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices.
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
This post is not about whether you support carrying a side arm in the backcountry or not.

Question for those who might know....Kel Tec P-3AT, PF-9, S&W 340PD, and the new Ruger LCP .380.
I'm curious if anyone has explored these ultralight choices?
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

Top
#92495 - 03/13/08 08:59 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Dryer]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

Not to wanna channel Jeff Cooper on ya Dryer, but really, IMO skip the 380 - if you're going to go with one of those social type calibres, just go down to .22LR and you'll save a lot of weight. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

While I'm not normaly a wheelgun fan, the 340PD will at least be reasonably ergonomic and shootable (I've shot someone's 342, which is roughtly same dimensions but heavier) and at least can pack a wallop worth carrying it it. Can't comment on the pf9, other than a hot loaded 9 will do just fine as well. But for "backpacking" type applications where 5 shots should do ya fine, I think save the couple of ounces over the PF9 and go for the smith.
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


Top
#92496 - 03/13/08 09:23 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: phat]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
I'm thinking the same thing. I have a .380 now (colt pony made by FI), and the P-3AT weights HALF as much! The PF9 is interesting because its thinner and lighter than the 340PD and you get three more chances. Both can handle +P's. I've owned one wheelgun out of many automatics but the 340 has merit.
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

Top
#92497 - 03/13/08 09:41 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Dryer]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3967
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Dryer
I have a 5 shot Taurus revolver? from south America in stainless steel with Pachmayr rubber Grips. Its tiny but its 38 special <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />and atleast a wheel gun can handle real slugs <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> not little pointy things that feed nicely in an automatic. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />Its a "fishermans gun" - great for snakeshot.

Unless you're superman <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> its hard to hit anything with a light gun with the stopping power worth carrying, <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />better to carry one you're comfortable shooting or nothing at all. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

Top
#92498 - 03/14/08 02:56 AM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Jimshaw]
Gary_N9ZYE Online   content
member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 48
Loc: Indianapolis, Indiana
I have a S&W 337 AirLite Ti with a 3" barrel. J-frame rated for .38 Plus P loads. Empty, the pistol weighs about 12 oz. I made a chest rig for carrying while backpacking.
_________________________
Gary

Top
#92499 - 03/14/08 06:16 AM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Dryer]
rotifer99 Offline
member

Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 66
I have the Kel Tec P-3AT. Very light. 11 oz loaded (7 rounds). Shoots well at close range. I do not have large hands, and fits well. I put one mag of +P rounds thru it and gave the box of ammo away. It knock the hell out of the gun. I don't even know if you are suppossed to put the +Ps thru it. I don't think that gun was made to shoot 1000s of rounds, so it not a plinker to play with. You can buy a little clip to put on the frame, similar to the clip on a lot of pocket knives these days. It is not my main sidearm, but for a light weight trail gun it does the job well.

Top
#92500 - 03/14/08 06:47 AM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: rotifer99]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
According to Kel Tec, the 3AT is supposed to be rated for "limited use" +P's....which I never understood statements like that. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> What happens? The thing blows up after 20 rnds.? The slide stops fail and you end up testing your safety glasses? I've also heard rumors those are good for about 600 shots, then you hear about folks that have run into the thousands....they must be wearing padded gloves. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> My attitude is that any of these lightweight sidearms are for deep cover concealment and were never intended to be plinkers. It's 'lead based pepper spray' kind of thinking, so I don't have any misconceptions of quality and purpose here. I've got target pieces and plinkers. It's just that my current .380 is built like a mini-1911, weighs accordingly, and is a rust magnet. I even thought about having it parkerized but the little plastic guns literally cut the weight in half and better fit the need, at a comparable cost.
The Ruger LCP is supposed to be a Kel Tec knockoff but with beefier innards...and 2 .oz more weight. It's not available yet and I don't like first run arms anyway.
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

Top
#92501 - 03/14/08 07:18 AM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Dryer]
6brnorma Offline
member

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Arizona
Paul,

I went with the S&W 340PD several years ago and have never regretted it. The 357Mag gives additional stopping power, it's very easy to conceal, extremely lightweight but not a 'plinker' (unless you use 38's). A day at the range to qualify is not for the faint of heart....you WILL have sore wrists....especially 'off hand'.

I also own the Kel Tec...don't much care for it, have shot the PF-9...interesting and have never even handled the new Ruger. My personal choice is the S&W.

Top
#92502 - 03/14/08 08:20 AM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Dryer]
StepChld Offline
member

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 43
Loc: Garland, Texas
This reminds me of the old joke about the two guys going backpacking in bear country. One guy notices that his buddy is packing a .22 cal. pistol. He asks him why take a .22? Why not a bigger gun? Especially if they're being chased by a big Griz! His buddy responds saying, "I don't have to faster than the bear, just faster than you." <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Never moon a werewolf

Top
#92503 - 03/14/08 08:58 AM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Dryer]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
My brother HAD a kel-tech 9mm. I don't recall the actual name of it, it was an automatic that claimed to be the smallest on the market. He sold it because it shot like crap. I would stand 5 feet from the target, and aim and shoot the whole clip, with nothing near center, or even a consistent shot group. Then I would take a .22 revolver, or another 9mm, and shoot a much better group. Basically, it shot everywhere BUT where you aimed. He traded it for a .38 special revolver, and it shoots a lot straighter. If you want accuracy with a small gun, go with a wheel gun. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

Top
#92504 - 03/14/08 09:52 AM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: finallyME]
Pika Online   content
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1813
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
I need a sidearm with fairly light recoil due to painful arthritis in both hands. This limits me to the recoil level of full-sized pistols of 45 ACP octane and less. I can shoot a 38 Special all day unless it is one of the 2" barrel, 5 shot revolvers. The smaller pistols move around in my hand too much and are pretty painful after the first shot.

On those occasions when I choose to carry a sidearm, I now carry an FEG, 380 ACP. This is a Hungarian police and military pistol, has a hammer drop safety, the first shot can be fired double-action and the gun holds eight rounds including one in the chamber. With a nylon holster, full magazine and a round in the chamber, it weighs 15 oz. So far it has been reliable and will feed 88 gr hollow-points with nary a bobble. The sights are typical of those used on light semi-auto pistols; rudimentary. But, the gun will shoot 5" groups at ten yards if I do my part.

The muzzle energy of the 380 (ca 180-190 foot pounds) is about 85% of that of the standard 38 Special and 75% of the plus-P 38 Special. The lighter, faster expanding bullet used in the 380 lacks the penetration potential of the typical 158 grain bullet used in the 38 Special but is similar to that of the 125 grain bullet available in the 38.

For those of you who are sensitive to recoil for whatever reason, the 380 is a nice compromise between power and light recoil and a lightweight firearm. It surely lacks the stopping ability of a 44 Magnum or 357 Magnum or even a +P 38 Special but is definitely better than throwing rocks.

About the only time I carry a gun with me on hikes is when I am traveling in the mountains here in Arizona that are close to the Mexican border. There is a lot of drug smuggling and illegal immigration here and I feel a bit better when I am armed. A lot of the smugglers carry AK-47's or the like and a 380 is clearly outmatched on that score; I try to avoid these groups of free-enterprise pharmaceutical transporters. But, in the past, I have encountered groups of illegals who wanted me to share my food, water and money with them (small groups of young males). When I produced the 380, they lost all interest in sharing and wished me a pleasant journey.
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

Top
#92505 - 03/14/08 10:36 AM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Dryer]
Hector Offline
member

Registered: 12/20/04
Posts: 325
Loc: LA/ARK/TX corner
When I carry, a Para-Ordnance CCW. Not ultralight by any means, but ultra-effective at deterring ill intentioned two-legged varmints who can't be shaken by the simple expedient of walking away. The LDA trigger pull is the next best thing to a 1911's single action. Most sweet (and thanks again, Tom!).

Top
#92506 - 03/14/08 01:32 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Pika]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
Quote:
About the only time I carry a gun with me on hikes is when I am traveling in the mountains here in Arizona that are close to the Mexican border.


Right....same with me but along the Texas Rio Grande. I've had drug planes fly BELOW me and the hill I was camped. It's pretty common knowledge that if 'mules' see you seeing them, you're going to be in deep peanutbutter. So, I only carry when hiking alone, on the border, or when working in my park (ferral dogs are the problem there). I don't really enjoy hauling a chunk of steel/lead at all. The current trend of plastic and alloy ultra-lite CC BUG's makes carrying a bit more comfortable.

About S&W 340pd....dang they're pricey! That just seems wrong for a compact snubby wheel gun. Anything above it's 12 oz. and I'm back to what I already own.
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

Top
#92507 - 03/14/08 01:57 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Dryer]
ShadowAngel Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 14
I'd personally recommend either a S&W 642 Airlite or a Taurus M85 of the Ultralite persuasion. Can get a pretty compact .38special that takes +P ammo and weighs under a pound.

Weighs a bit more...but my hiking gun is a Ruger SP101 with a 4" barrel in .357. Thing is built like a tank... I have no doubt I could toss it off a cliff and retrieve it later without any non-cosmetic damage. Plus it gives me access to a more powerful defensive round, and higher velocity snake shot.

Top
#92508 - 03/14/08 06:32 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Dryer]
Pika Online   content
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1813
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
Quote:
It's pretty common knowledge that if 'mules' see you seeing them, you're going to be in deep peanutbutter.

That's pretty much the story around here too. I was hiking a lightly traveled trail in the Santa Rita Mountains and encountered a "pack train" of about 20 mules and bales. Fortunately, I saw them first and was able to get off the trail into a thicket. The guy in front and the guy in back were both carrying AK-47's. The rest were just carrying weed, from what I could see.

The smugglers will try to steal dope from one another and fire-fights between groups of smugglers are not uncommon along the border. Near Tumacacori, which is close to my home, there were 3 people killed in a recent drug shootout. The dopers are known to shoot first and then ask questions. Most of the illegals are not looking for trouble and will avoid you if at all possible; they are just trying to find work.
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

Top
#92509 - 03/14/08 06:52 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Dryer]
DayStar Offline
member

Registered: 08/26/07
Posts: 15
Loc: Utah
Shoot Dryer, here's what you need, it's light, effective, and can be set from a stunning blow to total annihilation. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Top
#92510 - 03/15/08 12:50 AM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Dryer]
jshannon Offline
member

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 410
Loc: North Texas
_________________________
Ten Essential Groups

Top
#92511 - 03/15/08 09:38 AM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Dryer]
Salish Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 129
Loc: Seattle, Washington
I'm unfamilar with most of the models you've asked about, except for the S&W 340PD. I've never shot one, but a friend has one and I've examined it. It's close enough to mine that I'll comment on it. I rarely carry a handgun anymore, expect when I'm hiking solo and around human activity. When I do it's usually an older S&W Centennial "Bodyguard" snubnose in .38 Special, rated for +P. Mine is the version with the built in hammer shroud, which I prefer over hammerless models. I've owned just about every incarnation of the original J-frame Model 60's and I like the ability to use single action, yet have the safety of the concealed hammer. My Centennial has good recoil absorbing grips, and for heavy loads the bulky frame that conceals the hammer seems to aid in recoil. I do not like shooting +P ammo in this revolver because of recoil and muzzle flash, but I don't regularly shoot it with the +p shells. I may upgrade some day to the more modern S&W super-lightweight handgun in.357mag, but I really don't see the need for it right now. My Centennial fits perfectly in a waist pack, or in my Dana Design wet rib chest pocket.

Cliff

Top
#92512 - 03/15/08 11:38 AM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Salish]
apestate Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/15/08
Posts: 5
Hi guys, first post

I am fond of automatics and a big fan of Glock. Glocks are $450-$600 autos that are really well-shooting, solid, safe, and durable guns. That being said, the typical Glock is a giant chunk of 4140 steel with some features machined into it. Heavy, and they seem altogether wider than they need to be.

Then there's the new, slim Glock 36, single stack 45 ACP subcompact with a 3.78" barrel length. This pistol is 1 1/8" wide. It is all of .050" thinner than a regular Glock!

http://www.remtek.com/arms/glock/model/45/36/index.htm

However, I find the new Para Ordinance Carry GAP more interesting. This is a miniaturized Colt 1911 style pistol, and the .45 GAP is gaining ground in the auto cartridge world. Expensive ammo, and probably will go obsolete like the 10 mm, but still a nice hideout gun.

http://www.paraord.com/product/product.html?id=105

Interestingly, the .22 magnum has as much muzzle energy as some 9mm parabellum rounds. Not that a .45 ACP packs much more.

I have a Glock 38 in .45 GAP. This gun is 1 3/16" wide, and has a 4" barrel. I find it quite bulky and quite heavy.

These aren't really lightweight, since a loaded pistol and holster might weigh up to a kilogram, but I guess if it's worth carrying a firearm, it's worth carrying one that can shoot 50 feet.

How about a discussion of packable rifles?

Top
#92513 - 03/15/08 12:37 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: apestate]
Salish Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 129
Loc: Seattle, Washington
Apestate,

Welcome to TLB. Lot's of interesting questions you have here. I am a huge fan of the .45 Auto and the Colt 1911 in particular. The PA GAP you've mentioned here looks nice for a backpack firearm. As I mentioned earlier in this thread I prefer to carry a small S&W snub nose revolver to anything else, but my second choice is similar to the GAP. I have an older Colt M1911 Lightweight Commander, in .45acp. I think it weighs somewhere around 27 oz, but I'm sure the weight changes dramatically when you add seven rounds of 185gr shells. It's kind of an older and larger version of the GAP, minus the more modern enhancements such as the bobbed hammer and DA action, and it uses an alumnium frame, as opposed to steel. These 1911-style handguns fit perfectly on my waist when using a backpack without a hip belt, and they seem to "nestle" there better than a revolver, at least for me.

I really like Glocks for what they are - an incredibly durable and function free semi-auto, but I've never cared for their larger, wider squared-off slide. I think they are safer than the 1911 design, though. If I carry my 1911 (which is rare these days) I always carry it unchambered. It doesn't make for a fast shot, but it takes less than two seconds to rack the slide and chamber a round.

Packable rifles - always an interesting topic, since I'm a hunter, too. My 1950's Winchester Model 94 30-30 fits perfectly on the side of my conventional packs, and it's 20" barrel doesn't stick out too high from the pack. It carries seven rounds in the tubular magazine so there is no need to carry extra shells or a separate magazine. My trouble is that my eyes aren't what they used to be so I have some difficulty with iron sights. I've been thinking of buying a Ruger Compact in 7mm-08, and topping it with a small Leupold scope. The Ruger weighs in at under 6 lbs without a scope, with a 16.5" barrel. You lose some velocity with the shorter barrel, but unless you're hunting at long distances I don't think this is much of a problem. I think there are several higher end custom rfiles that can be built for backpack carry, but for an off the shelf rifle, the Ruger Compact is pretty interesting.

link: http://www.centerfirecentral.com/productreviews/rugercompact.htm

Cliff

Top
#92514 - 03/15/08 01:11 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Salish]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

Packable rifles? easy. Savage 110 (or the stevens synthetic) lightweight. in .308 - they're cheap enough you don't feel bad bobbing the barrel to 19 inches, and drilling holes in the stock to lighten it, and they still shoot well. Whack off the stock kifaru style and top it with a lightweight leupold.

and if you're only hunting deer at moderate ranges with it instead of elk or moose, then load it with 150 gr 30/30 bullets and 7895 at 30/30 velocity and save your shoulder <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


Top
#92515 - 03/15/08 01:17 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Dryer]
12Step Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/08
Posts: 89
Loc: Southwest Ohio
Although I am a beginner in backpacking, I can tell you one of best side arms as far as quality, light weight, and safety.

The S&W Model 642 Titanium. http://www.snubnose.info/docs/m642.htm


It's around $600.00, but it's lightweight, safe to carry. You may find one cheaper if you shop around.

Taurus makes a model about $100.00 cheaper, that's just as good. I believe they make both models in .357 also.


I personally carry off duty (I'm a police officer), a Glock (mini-Glock) Model 27 40cal. It's not the most lightweight, but it's fairly compact and it holds 10 rounds. I may carry it backpacking.


Tom
_________________________
"Let's not miss the beauty of the forest by the ugliness of some of its trees." Bill W.

Top
#92516 - 03/15/08 03:55 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: ShadowAngel]
WyoBob Offline
member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 204
Loc: Buffalo, WY
Quote:

Weighs a bit more...but my hiking gun is a Ruger SP101 with a 4" barrel in .357.


Hmmm. I thought they only came in 2 1/4" and 3" barrel?

Paul, I have the 2 1/4" SP101 Ruger .357 and it's a great, 5 shot gun. I carry it every day on our 4 mile walk. A 3" GP100 Ruger will give you 6 shots in an slightly larger package. Both the SP and GP 3" have fixed sights.

S&W makes some nice revovlers, as well. The lightweight's can hurt to shoot depending what grips are installed and will "shoot loose" if too many stout loads are fired through them. Since firing these can be punishing, you tend not to practice like you should. If you're going to depend on a handgun for protection, you need to practice.

For semi-autos, I'd look at the Smith & Wesson M&P compact or Springfield XD sub compact. These are lightweight poly guns. I own both and neither one has missed a lick in thousands of rounds. These come in 9mm, 40 S&W and 45 ACP.

Ruger makes the new SR9 which looks good on paper but it's new. It's 9mm with 40S&W supposedly to come shortly.

9mm would be my minimum recommendation for caliber and there's a lot of ammo choices and it's probably the lowest cost ammo.

Anyway, just a few more ideas for you to kick around.

WyoBob

Top
#92517 - 03/15/08 04:26 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Dryer]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
Lots of EXCELLENT discussion here.
As I said, I've got handguns now that weight under 24oz. loaded. It's the new conceal carry BUGs (back up guns) that are really interesting because they cut the weight in half of what I now own. As more states (41 now) adopt Conceal Carry License laws, manufactures will more and more meet the demands of lighter weight and more easily carried sidearms, and this works right into the 'ultralight' backing philosophy.

As far as packable rifles go, I can speak about two.....Win. model 94 30-30, and Ruger 10/22. Off all the rifles I've owned I keep coming back to those two. Both easily packable (on slings), light, rugged, and they just plain work. The 30-30 round is a pig ballistically, but I've not found anything it won't drop in 100m. In Texas it, or the Marlin version, is the standard "brush gun". I like iron sights.

The Ruger 10/22 is lightweight and modeled after the M-1 carbine (which is my second choice over the 30-30). For small game or just plinking around, they run all day and can go a lifetime without cleaning.

Shotguns...the Rem 870LT, 20ga. Built in a .410 frame, with mahagony stock and forend. It's almost too light.
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

Top
#92518 - 03/15/08 04:39 PM packable rifle, sidearm [Re: phat]
Wolfeye Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/07
Posts: 413
Loc: Seattle, WA
Packable rifles are fun. My dad recently bought a Marlin 70PSS, though he almost bought the Henry AR-7 instead. The idea behind both guns is that they can be taken apart of easy packing and can be used for hunting small game. They're only .22 long rifle, so they're not big enough for protection but are still a fun way to hunt. For bear protection I've had my eyes on a Marlin 1894SS, which takes .44 magnum to a whole new level of power over revolvers. It's only good out to 100-150 yards or so due to the relatively low bullet velocity, but sounds like it would make a good gun for the brush.

When it comes to handguns I've always been partial to revolvers; they can pack a lot more wollup per ounce than automatics and can have more ergonomic grips. People talk about the S&W model 329 as the end-all, be-all for lightweight protection, but it sounds like the recoil is downright punishing. I'm waiting for them to do a rerun of their model 629 Mountain Gun, which is a .44 magnum that only weighs 39.7 oz. That's very light for such a large caliber, yet it's more pleasant to shoot than the 329. It used to be very popular with archers.

Top
#92519 - 03/15/08 04:44 PM ruger sp101... carry style? [Re: WyoBob]
Wolfeye Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/07
Posts: 413
Loc: Seattle, WA
How do you guys carry your SP101's? I too have one in .357, and opted for a pocket holster. I've carried it (with a permit) that way, but it's only comfortable to do so for one day before my leg gets sore from its weight bumping my thigh with every step. Any other concealed method of carry seems to get in the way of my backpack straps.

Top
#92520 - 03/15/08 07:38 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Salish]
ShadowAngel Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 14
Quote:

I really like Glocks for what they are - an incredibly durable and function free semi-auto, but I've never cared for their larger, wider squared-off slide. I think they are safer than the 1911 design, though. If I carry my 1911 (which is rare these days) I always carry it unchambered. It doesn't make for a fast shot, but it takes less than two seconds to rack the slide and chamber a round.


The 1911's design is extremely safe. Even cocked and locked, you've still got both the manual safety and the grip safety. Glocks don't even have that, just a safety that's integrated into the trigger, where your finger shouldn't be if you're not shooting something anyway. The 1911 was designed to be carried by cavalry soldiers, so the design is about as safe as you can get.

Quote:
Hmmm. I thought they only came in 2 1/4" and 3" barrel?


You're right sorry. I typoed and hit 3 instead of 4.

Quote:
How do you guys carry your SP101's? I too have one in .357, and opted for a pocket holster. I've carried it (with a permit) that way, but it's only comfortable to do so for one day before my leg gets sore from its weight bumping my thigh with every step. Any other concealed method of carry seems to get in the way of my backpack straps.


Yeah, I had a problem with finding a spot, too. I usually carry it in the chest pocket of my jacket, or in a shoulder holster.

Top
#92521 - 03/15/08 08:16 PM Re: ruger sp101... carry style? [Re: Wolfeye]
WyoBob Offline
member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 204
Loc: Buffalo, WY
Quote:
How do you guys carry your SP101's? I too have one in .357, and opted for a pocket holster. I've carried it (with a permit) that way, but it's only comfortable to do so for one day before my leg gets sore from its weight bumping my thigh with every step. Any other concealed method of carry seems to get in the way of my backpack straps.


I carry my SP daily using a "Clip Draw" but this wouldn't work with a hip belt on the pack.

I have yet to come up with a solution for carry with a pack. I would prefer to have the weapon remain concealed so as to not upset people we might meet on the trail. Still, the handgun should be readily accessable in case you meet some of the "wrong" people on the trail.

WyoBob

Top
#92522 - 03/15/08 09:35 PM Re: ruger sp101... carry style? [Re: WyoBob]
apestate Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/15/08
Posts: 5
well, there needs to be a pack on your chest too, I think. this both helps balance your gravity and provides you easy access to handy items like a pistol, map, stuff to clean your sunglasses with, binoculars.... gorp....

get a bag with a chest section and put a holster in it.

Top
#92523 - 03/15/08 09:42 PM Re: packable rifle, sidearm [Re: Wolfeye]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Quote:
Packable rifles are fun. My dad recently bought a Marlin 70PSS, though he almost bought the Henry AR-7 instead. The idea behind both guns is that they can be taken apart of easy packing and can be used for hunting small game. They're only .22 long rifle, so they're not big enough for protection but are still a fun way to hunt. For bear protection I've had my eyes on a Marlin 1894SS, which takes .44 magnum to a whole new level of power over revolvers. It's only good out to 100-150 yards or so due to the relatively low bullet velocity, but sounds like it would make a good gun for the brush.


If I want to pack a .22 rifle I have one of the "original" takedowns - A Winchester 62.
although a browning and the cooey single shot rank right up there with small and light.

Still when I backpack with a rifle, it's usually hunting season, which means if I'm really backpacking and not working on day trips out of a spike camp, I'm partial to the lightened .308 - because I handload. So while I can carry nice 165 gr noslers for elk and moose, I also typically take a half dozen or a dozen very light loads - 22 long rifle style. I have hard cast .311 diameter round balls that seat into the case neck, and cover with lee alox bullet lube. I push em behind a powder puff of 4 grains of 700x and a large pistol primer in the case. they'll still cloverleaf off the bench at 20M - which is good enough for shooting grouse and rabbits.
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


Top
#92524 - 03/15/08 09:53 PM Re: packable rifle, sidearm [Re: phat]
apestate Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/15/08
Posts: 5
hey are you talking about light loads for shooting small game in a high power rifle?

I'm not real clear on gunsmithing but that has been a favorite idea of mine for a while. Look. I don't know if this is going off the deep end or not, but let's say you wanted to carry a rifle capable of dropping a deer or dissuading a bear, but yet able to harvest squirrels and turkeys and junk (in case you are a survivalist or something.)

Could you load accurate 5.56 rounds in an AR that would fire at ~1000 fps speeds and high power loads in the same rifle through hand-loading alone?

You'd have to cycle the action yourself, right?

Would it be somehow better to carry both the AR and a .22 LR conversion kit?

Top
#92525 - 03/15/08 10:18 PM Re: packable rifle, sidearm [Re: apestate]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Quote:
hey are you talking about light loads for shooting small game in a high power rifle?


Yep. I do it all the time. Lighter than carrying two guns, and shoots more accurately than
nasty .22 conversion goo or a handgun.

Quote:

I'm not real clear on gunsmithing but that has been a favorite idea of mine for a while. Look. I don't know if this is going off the deep end or not, but let's say you wanted to carry a rifle capable of dropping a deer or dissuading a bear, but yet able to harvest squirrels and turkeys and junk (in case you are a survivalist or something.)

Could you load accurate 5.56 rounds in an AR that would fire at ~1000 fps speeds and high power loads in the same rifle through hand-loading alone?

You'd have to cycle the action yourself, right?

Would it be somehow better to carry both the AR and a .22 LR conversion kit?


In an AR yeah, but I've never tried it with 5.56. It's easier to do with 30 cal rounds in the manner I've mentioned. With that little hardcast lead roundball I can body shoot grouse and not mess them up. There are lots of other good loads with a bit more zip, but still usable for small game that you can use regular bullets instead of the round ball - 30/30 bullets work great, up to about .30/30 velocities - you just can't go as slow and light as with the cast round ball for fear of sticking them in the gun.

but for varied loads like that, I prefer a bolt gun. I wouldn't try to feed an AR reduced loads, they're finickey enough about powder residue and crap in them, not to mention the fact that, heck, it's 5.56 - it's just a glorified .22 already - you don't need to load it down, just shoot 55 grain fmj - rabbits aren't thick enough for the round to fragment.
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


Top
#92526 - 03/15/08 10:54 PM Re: packable rifle, sidearm [Re: Wolfeye]
Narf Offline
member

Registered: 12/25/06
Posts: 76
Loc: Missouri
I believe he'll be much better off with the Marlin than the Henry AR-7. I did a little research here and there on takedown .22's a few nights ago. From what I gathered from owners and reviews is that the AR-7 is almost a novelty firearm. Yea it's neat and gadgety that it can all break down and ift in its own stock, however I read that its fairly awkward to shoot and the quality (as well as the accuracy) is not there.

I was also looking at the Springfield M6 . It really caught my eye due to its unusual(yet somehow intriguing to me) look and that its an over-under in various configurations .22hornet, magnum or LR and also .410 shotgun. Single shots in each so not the best for defense but looks to be a nice small game gun. It hinges a full 180 at the reciever for loading and transport, can also be dismantled into 2 halves. Stock has a built in rack for additional ammo underneath the cheekplate. How the guy has the paracord wrap on his config is pretty cool. Just not sure where you would find one of these "pilot survival" guns at, nor price.

Top
#92527 - 03/16/08 05:27 AM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Dryer]
12Step Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/08
Posts: 89
Loc: Southwest Ohio
Be very careful with small semi-auto pistols. .380's are known for jamming and most of the .380, 25's small compact semi-auto's don't have the best safety's. If you are interested in carrying a small caliber semi-auto, make sure you look for quality dependability, and SAFETY. I've seen what happens when a cheap semi-auto "goes off" when it wasn't supposed to.

A unholstered gun is a unsafe gun, so if your going to carry while backpacking, make sure you have it holstered.

That mini Glock I carry, I always have it in a holster. It has about a 6 pound trigger pull, and as many of you know it doesent really have a safety, (unless you count that little piece on the trigger itself a safety.)

A lightweight revolver usually has a 8 pound trigger pull or more. My father owns one of those Titanium .357 snub revolvers "Chiefs special". One of these days I may convince him to sell it to me. A good heavy trigger pull helps to prevent accidental discharges. (But then again so does practice, education, and responsibility.)


Sorry I don't mean to sound like a public service message. With firearms, you get what you pay for. Cheap guns are unsafe guns. Most of the guns I have pulled off of suspects, were crap and dangerous. There's a lot of cheap gun manufactures out there that made pistols that have no business being sold to the public.


Tom
_________________________
"Let's not miss the beauty of the forest by the ugliness of some of its trees." Bill W.

Top
#92528 - 03/16/08 07:42 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Dryer]
WyoBob Offline
member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 204
Loc: Buffalo, WY
Is anyone else getting a pop up window with: "enter user name and passord for "Section Name" at http://www.cranesable.org" over and over again when looking at this thread?

WyoBob

Top
#92529 - 03/16/08 08:03 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: WyoBob]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
yeah, it's something to do with that NNA 22. mag graphic a few posts back.
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

Top
#92530 - 03/16/08 08:30 PM Re: ruger sp101... carry style? [Re: apestate]
Wolfeye Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/07
Posts: 413
Loc: Seattle, WA
The chest pack idea does sound interesting... belt pouch holsters for concealed carry often have a velcro opening tab for quick access to the holster. With a little work with a sewing machine and a cheap nylon holster, I could see making it work for a chest pouch.

Top
#92531 - 03/16/08 08:53 PM Re: packable rifle, sidearm [Re: apestate]
Wolfeye Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/07
Posts: 413
Loc: Seattle, WA
I think one alternative to loading down high-powered rounds is to choose a gun that can easily be converted. I have a friend who has his eye on the Thompson Contender, which he claims can easily change calibers just by switching the barrel. I don't know if this is true or if it even requires a gunsmith. He wants to buy one with both .44 mag & .22 lr barrels.

Another way is to pick a gun that can fire multiple calibers. It may not as drastic as going from bear protection to squirrel hunting, but a lever-action chambered in .357 magnum would be pretty diverse: you could load it up with high velocity magnums for deer, then load it down with powderpuff .38 spl for smaller stuff.

Whatever the way of going about it, I agree with Phat that an automatic like an AR would be too finicky with widely varied rounds. Something bolt-action or single shot would probably work best.

Top
#92532 - 03/16/08 09:00 PM Re: ruger sp101... carry style? [Re: Wolfeye]
Salish Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 129
Loc: Seattle, Washington
[quote]The chest pack idea does sound interesting...

When I take my little S&W snubby I use a Dana Design Wet Rib. The chest pack works very well for small frame handguns, and it's generally pretty handy to have for map, compass, and other items. I drink from a Platypus so I use the water bottle holder of the chest pack for other gear.


Top
#92533 - 03/17/08 06:29 AM Re: ruger sp101... carry style? [Re: Salish]
Paddy_Crow Offline
member

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 2285
Loc: Michigan
Quote:
I think one alternative to loading down high-powered rounds is to choose a gun that can easily be converted. I have a friend who has his eye on the Thompson Contender, which he claims can easily change calibers just by switching the barrel. I don't know if this is true or if it even requires a gunsmith. He wants to buy one with both .44 mag & .22 lr barrels.


Thompson has been making guns with interchangeable barrels for a long time (I can remember first seeing them in the 1970's). The down side is that they tend to be single shot target guns.

Top
#92534 - 03/17/08 06:56 AM Re: packable rifle, sidearm [Re: Wolfeye]
Hector Offline
member

Registered: 12/20/04
Posts: 325
Loc: LA/ARK/TX corner
> Thompson Contender, which he claims can easily change calibers just by
> switching the barrel. I don't know if this is true

Definitely true; I have one myself. Not a self-defense gun, though, despite what you might see in some John Woo movie, as it's a single-shot. Good for target shooting and hunting (in appropriate calibers). Great fun. You can set it up as a nice light rifle or big pistol. For larger calibers they have a Thompson Encore now, I believe.

Top
#92535 - 03/17/08 09:45 AM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Dryer]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Sorry, I guess that is my fault. I deleted my picture that (i didn't realize) required a password. It should pop anything up anymore. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

Top
#92536 - 03/17/08 09:58 AM Re: ruger sp101... carry style? [Re: Paddy_Crow]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
I shoot NRA silhouette and Thompson's are common big pistols there. Very heavy, single shot, lots of options, mods, etc., but not something I'd want to haul in the boonies. Might as well bring a S&W 500. What you are hunting and how far you are going dictates what you haul. I can't see backpacking far for elk unless you have a plan for "what if you shoot one". <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
Most small game can be taken with a .22 and a pistol would be fine. Heck, I've seen folks blowgun fish before! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

Top
#92537 - 03/17/08 02:18 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Dryer]
hootyhoo Offline
member

Registered: 12/14/06
Posts: 686
Loc: Cyberspace
Not sure about those guns, but I dod support guns in the bc.
For some reason I thought we had a constitutional right to keep and bear arms - not sure where I got that, but I must be wrong.

Top
#92538 - 03/17/08 03:13 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: hootyhoo]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
Quote:
For some reason I thought we had a constitutional right to keep and bear arms - not sure where I got that, but I must be wrong.




You have it backwards. "The rights of the citizen to keep and arm bears shall not be infringed". <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

Top
#92539 - 03/17/08 06:31 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Dryer]
Eltex Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/21/07
Posts: 4
Loc: near Austin Texas
Paul,

I don't have any experience with those you listed, but do have a few thoughts.
Depending on how you plan to carry, the thickness and shape may be more of an issue than a few ounces.

I put in 14 miles yesterday with an old Kimber Stainless Covert, with a Milt Sparks IWB holster. For any 1911 fans out there, it's a commander length slide on an officer's frame.
Some thin grips also help. I've heard that the "super-shorty" 45s are pickier about ammo.


You could probably get a similar but lighter package with the old Kimber Compact aluminum. I only say "old" because I hate those Series 2s that screwed up Browning's wonderful trigger...

Doug

Top
#92540 - 03/18/08 09:00 AM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Eltex]
wld_rthr_b_ridng Offline
member

Registered: 01/09/08
Posts: 18
Loc: WV
My husband carries the Kimber Ultracarry II .45; so far so good, I haven't heard any complaints. Its very compact but weighs 1.8lbs. His biggest obstacle is figuring out the most comfortable and practical way to carry it while we're backpacking. He has the fanny pack but didn't really like it. I think he's considering a thigh holster and just carrying unconcealed but we'll need to think about that more first.

Top
#92541 - 03/18/08 09:14 AM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: wld_rthr_b_ridng]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
Quote:
His biggest obstacle is figuring out the most comfortable and practical way to carry it while we're backpacking.


That's always the problem...after a while, the thing might as well be a brick. That's what was attractive about the arms I referenced at the beginning of the post. They weigh half as much as anything I currently own, like caliber, and change the entire "should I bother carrying" dynamic.
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

Top
#92542 - 03/18/08 12:03 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Dryer]
CCH Offline
member

Registered: 01/27/04
Posts: 124
Loc: Colorado
I've found the Wilderness Safepacker to be an excellent, discrete way of carrying a handgun while backpacking. It doesn't allow a superfast draw but isn't as bad as you might think by looking at it. Your gun is also protected and it makes even a fairly heavy gun comfortable. Mine straps over my pack belt easily and quickly although that could vary with your pack. I packed a G29 for some time in it with great satisfaction.

Out in the woods is one place where I believe you might run into a need for a self-defense handgun that can handle longer distances than the theoretical "combat range" at which pocket guns are adequate. I would really not want to depend on a pocket .380 if I needed to shoot at 25 yards or so for whatever reason. I also like the ability to take small game in season or desperation but that is a separate requirement and discussion.

Top
#92543 - 03/18/08 07:17 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: wld_rthr_b_ridng]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3967
Loc: Bend, Oregon
I generally carry my little 5 shot revolver in an Uncle Mikes belt clip holster. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />My large frame .44 I carry in a shoulder holster rig <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />over my coat so its legal, <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> but its the only way to carry a big iron <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" /> unless you wear a western setup. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" /> My western gunbelt sits kinda low and straps to my leg <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />- its a gunslinger holster <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />- a quick draw model with room for 50 bullets around the back... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> no I do not wear it backpacking. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />But the .44 in the dirty harry rig sure excites some people. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />
Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

Top
#92544 - 03/20/08 11:59 AM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: hootyhoo]
sabre11004 Offline
member

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 513
Loc: Tennessee


Let's see....Maybe in the Constitution of The United States????? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
The first step that you take will be one of those that get you there 1!!!!!

Top
#92545 - 03/20/08 04:19 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: wld_rthr_b_ridng]
12Step Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/08
Posts: 89
Loc: Southwest Ohio
That is probably one of the hardest decisions to make. How it the heck am I gonna carry it? I personally may fabricate a pouch around a holster that would attach to the belt of my pack. Make it look like a regular nylon type pouch that is actually the holster, (inside of it).

Who knows, perhaps it is a future project for me to tinker with.

Tom
_________________________
"Let's not miss the beauty of the forest by the ugliness of some of its trees." Bill W.

Top
#92546 - 03/20/08 05:19 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: 12Step]
Wolfeye Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/07
Posts: 413
Loc: Seattle, WA
12step,

I think Uncle Mike's makes a holster like that. It just attaches onto a belt. I've thought of buying one to rig onto a pack waistbelt, but I'm not sure my pack's straps are strong enough.

Top
#92547 - 03/21/08 04:55 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Wolfeye]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3967
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Wolfeye
Yeh Uncle Mikes makes a wide variety of clip on style holsters <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" /> ,not too sure what else they got now. Attaching a holster to a pack harness is not easy, <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" /> then you may also want another holster (or a removeable one) so you can carry in camp. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" /> depends on where ya are. NOw if I was in the Everglades I'd want my .44 and hydro shock loads for gators, but then I've never run into one, but bears and lions I've delt with unarmed - so go figure.

Gun shows are great places for inovative holsters. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

Top
#92548 - 03/22/08 10:01 AM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Jimshaw]
Wolfeye Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/07
Posts: 413
Loc: Seattle, WA
Here's a thought: what about rigging up a pouch carrier on a pack belt so it could hold a regular holster inside? Then you could take out the holster when you remove the pack and just transfer it to a belt. The pouch would provide concealment (if that's needed) and could be designed to rip open quickly with a velcro tab. The holster inside would keep the gun from shifting around, which is one concern I've had about the typical concealment pouch holsters I've seen.

I've heard the best way to avoid an animal is to get a hunting permit for it. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Top
#92549 - 03/22/08 06:40 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Dryer]
Dimitri Offline
member

Registered: 09/03/07
Posts: 85
Don't own pistols and can't legally carry a handgun anyways, but a shotgun is a fine firearm especially on public land in bear country.

I am not too sure a 38special or similar will do much more then piss off the one animal carrying a firearm while camping would be used for at least where I camp.

Dimitri

Top
#92550 - 03/23/08 06:10 AM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Jimshaw]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
And there lies the problem....where to put the artillery when not in use, but well concealed and easily accessible. The whole reason behind starting this thread. Your .44 mag. is like my 1911 .38 Super....big, heavy, gun and not something I want to haul around. My .380 is around 20 oz. with is still heavy but the size is manageable as a conceal carry piece in the backcountry.

I've got Uncle Mike's "sidekick" holsters that have metal belt clips but those do nothing for concealment. My current idea is to mount the holster inside a small fanny pack (or use a paddle holster), and replace the zipper with velcro for speed. That would provide support, concealment (the law here...no "print through") and speedy access.

Thinking further, the ONLY critter I've ever had a problem with in the backcountry is dogs. Humans might come in second as a concern on the border. Cats and bears are simply not considered threats in my mind. Your likelihood of getting tagged by a raccoon is a 1000% higher....I see those every trip. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
So, in the "reduce pack weight" thinking, I'm looking at .22 mag and even possibly .17 HMR. Reading some of the data on those two rounds suggests a couple of things. Jacketed hollow-points in .22 mag have a good track record for stopping power and shot placement (accuracy...the most important factor) goes up with reduced recoil.
The North American Arms Black Widow in 22. mag weighs 8.8 oz.! Some of the Taurus .17 revolvers weight in the 11 oz. range. And, of course, the S&W 340pd weights 11oz. at $750.....(I'm a cheapskate <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />)

The 9mm Kel Tec PF-9 at 11 oz. is attractive but shot placement probably drops to 1-2 foot groups at 20 yards, making the bigger round moot, unless you are lucky and 'steely eyed' under pressure.

Another thing I've always noticed in these firearm/caliber discussions....
We all get hung up on "one shot stopping power", etc. A 'one shot kill' is very important in hunting. And a war zone. In the back country, or the city street, a 'back up gun' is a last resort 'equalizer' and it's mere presence can turn the tide without firing a shot.
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

Top
#92551 - 03/23/08 08:23 AM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Dryer]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Quote:

So, in the "reduce pack weight" thinking, I'm looking at .22 mag and even possibly .17 HMR. Reading some of the data on those two rounds suggests a couple of things. Jacketed hollow-points in .22 mag have a good track record for stopping power and shot placement (accuracy...the most important factor) goes up with reduced recoil.
The North American Arms Black Widow in 22. mag weighs 8.8 oz.! Some of the Taurus .17 revolvers weight in the 11 oz. range. And, of course, the S&W 340pd weights 11oz. at $750.....(I'm a cheapskate <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />)


I wasn't kidding when I said .22lr in my original post dryer. CCI stingers have a very good track record too, and both the ammo and guns are cheaper. I think in your position I'd take
a hot .22lr. Lighter, cheaper, and just fine for feral dogs.
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


Top
#92552 - 03/23/08 10:27 AM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Dryer]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3967
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Dryer
I believe an FBI statistic says there are 1.3 shots fired in the average shootout. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />That means in one out of three instances, a return shot is fired - says a lot for single shot weapons, <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" /> unless you miss, but if the other guy fires first, at least you saved a lot of weight by not carrying a better gun... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

I have found that the mere presence of a legally displayed .45 or .44 <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> is more than adequate to deter anyone who may have considered me a good target. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" /> Stainless steel can be seen from further away, but the Dirty Harry large frame revolver in shoulder holster kicks me into a different mode that I have to be sensitive to. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" /> I am extremely polite to anyone I meet. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> The men are extremely polite back <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> and the women will not catch my eye. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

Frankly I think a "starters gun" wold be as good of deterent as most anything. Did I mention that I have never fired the .44 in the wilderness except to shoot grouse with snake shot. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" /> I have only "grabbed" it 3 times, once for a lion, once for a dog, and once when I rappelled into a lions den unknowingly. Yep sometimes I pack when climbing. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

Oh the super blackhawk weighs 48 ounces unloaded and .44 rounds are not UL. However I relly only need 2 rounds I guess, one snake shot, one magnum.

Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />

P.S. If I was hiking in areas where I might run into illegals I would carry a Walther P38 in a German army leather holster. You have to decide what the probability is of needing an accurate side arm and your "firepower" and if the other guys have AK47s, you better have a good long range load. Frankly though I never intend to be in a shootout, I would prefer my Ruger bull barrel .22 lr, or my superblackhawk .44. A good .44 can send a large chunk of lead at very highspeed into a very tiny target. I have frankly never used a gun as easy to shoot accurately as the .44, except for the target pistol. But it takes very strong hands and a steady eye... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

P.P.S.
The best way to start a fire with a large handgun is to discharge it inside a tent and then use the burning tent as kindling...
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

Top
#92553 - 03/23/08 01:21 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Dryer]
Arizona Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/02
Posts: 122
Loc: The Southwestern Deserts
Edward Abbey's choice of backpacking caliber is just fine with me, .357 magnum. I do like a bit of heft in a powerful pocket revolver though so I go with the all steel but lighter weight J frame that S&W offers. I have hefted the diminutive scandium models but I'll pack the 21 oz of the steel. They tuck away nicely.



We do a lot of hiking down around the Arizona/Mexico border, one of the most active smuggling routes in America. It is obvious when you are there. There are some beautiful mountain ranges, austere bajadas and canyons, one that runs right down to the border fence that we travel often.

I do like the Kahr Mini K-9 as well, a flat compact 9mm that has about the same heft as my S&W 60-14. So for me, compact, somewhat light but not ultra-light. I find this class the most shootable for the small size and easily concealable.



I have a good solid S&W .22 mag in a J frame the mod 650 that makes a decent trail weapon but prefer the larger calibers in most cases when hiking with girlfriend.

Top
#92554 - 03/23/08 03:43 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Arizona]
6brnorma Offline
member

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Arizona
Quote:
I have a good solid S&W .22 mag in a J frame the mod 650 that makes a decent trail weapon but prefer the larger calibers in most cases when hiking with girlfriend.


???????? Boy....is that because you have a mean a$$ed girl friend or are you married? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Top
#92555 - 03/23/08 03:48 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: 6brnorma]
Arizona Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/02
Posts: 122
Loc: The Southwestern Deserts
Quote:
Quote:
I have a good solid S&W .22 mag in a J frame the mod 650 that makes a decent trail weapon but prefer the larger calibers in most cases when hiking with girlfriend.


???????? Boy....is that because you have a mean a$$ed girl friend or are you married? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />


Son, that is because I take care of my girlfriend out there. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Top
#92556 - 03/23/08 06:45 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Wolfeye]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Quote:

I've heard the best way to avoid an animal is to get a hunting permit for it. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />


Ain't that the truth ! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

Top
#92557 - 03/23/08 08:59 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: phat]
Wolfeye Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/07
Posts: 413
Loc: Seattle, WA
It's interesting to hear people mention wild dogs. I think I mentioned this in a post months ago, but they're the only animal I've encountered that I have a real fear for; they may or may not have a fearful respect for humans the way other animals do, and they can get an unhealthy gangster-pack mentality when they're too wild.

I have been thinking of backing down from carrying a full-powered .44 magnum or even .357 magnum when hiking, at least in the lower 48. I think hot .38 +p would be enough for most likely threats. I'm very curious about the S&W Airweight 442 or 642, or possibly their Airlight M&P 340. An Airweight 317 sounds like it would be fun for small game hunting, too, but I don't know if I'd depend on .22 lr for protection.

Edit: If anybody's interested, it looks like the hottest .38 +p loads out there are made by Buffalo Bore and Double Tap. They almost have the same muzzle energy as light .357 magnums, which is impressive.


Edited by Wolfeye (03/23/08 09:09 PM)

Top
#92558 - 03/23/08 10:00 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Wolfeye]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3967
Loc: Bend, Oregon
FOLKS. IF YOU DON'T ALREADY OWN A GUN, AND IF YOU ARE NOT ALREADY AN EXPERT MARKSMAN, DON'T BUY ONE THINKING YOU CAN USE IT ADEQUATELY FOR SELF DEFENCE.
<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />
Wolfeye,

re: wild dogs. Since I am now a dog person I do not fear them as I did. I've seen my dad walk up to really dangerous dogs and be nice to them and they're all good dogs underneath. I have squared off with wild dogs before and I kept a stick between us and they sensed that this wasn't really the right guy to bite. I ws attacked by a huge feral dog in Alaska except I pointed a 94 winchester at him as he lept for me and it was apparent that he realised the rapid change in status quo and turned midair and was gone as soon as he came. Dogs know. One night I was jumped by about 8 dogs on a dark farm road when I realised one of them was my dog, so I kicked her and yelled at her and suddenly after she yelped, all the dogs became real friendly and walked down the road with me just as nice as could be <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

I like hot loads, <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> but every time I fire one I rub my hand over my face to see if its covered with blood. The tiny bits of lead dust and powder that hit you in the face are not happy makers. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> The pressure behind some of those hot loads is very near the failing point of the metal in the reciever. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> Besides wasting power, magnum loads really push the metals of the slug, caseing, and breach to their limits. I cannot eject some hot loads from my .44 without a hammer and a ram rod because the brass flows under the load pressure. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" /> I'm firing .44 P++magnums and brown bear loads. Now a brown bear load has a 480 grain slug (square ends and it just fills the entire chmber) and the powder is backed off to 19 grains, and its still a compressed powder load, which means the bullet is so large that there isn't enough room for the powder, and extreme initial pressure and burn rate result. Big loads like these leave a ball of fire about 6 feet from the muzzle when they go off. If you don't flinch you se the fireball and hit the target, no fireball, no direct hit. It takes guts to follow through with something that big exploding in your hand. I've given some big loads to friends who politely return them after shooting one. I love one handed shooting of magnums, just be careful not to hit yourself in the face <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> when it goes off and keep a good grip or it will get you in the thumb with the hammer as it flips back. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

Frankly I do not understand non-gun people feeling a need to carry one when "out of doors" when they feel safe without one in the big city.


Jim YMMV

P.S. there are many reasons to file the front sight off a big handgun... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/ooo.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> many stated here before, but not cutting your face with the sight is as good a reason as protecting your hind sides from the bears retribution... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

Top
#92559 - 03/23/08 10:30 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: finallyME]
6brnorma Offline
member

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Arizona
Quote:
Quote:

I've heard the best way to avoid an animal is to get a hunting permit for it. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />


Ain't that the truth ! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />


Better not be the case for the guy that got the 'Commissioners Elk Tag' last night....he paid $195,000.00 for it. (1 Arizona tag) <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />

Top
#92560 - 03/24/08 06:21 AM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Jimshaw]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
Quote:
FOLKS. IF YOU DON'T ALREADY OWN A GUN, AND IF YOU ARE NOT ALREADY AN EXPERT MARKSMAN, DON'T BUY ONE THINKING YOU CAN USE IT ADEQUATELY FOR SELF DEFENCE.


Abslolutly!


Regarding wild (or not wild) dogs. Dogs are the ONLY critter I've been bitten and threatened by. I had an out-of-control great dane bite me in the ribs. I have a scar on my upper lip from a dog biting me in the face as a kid. Twice, while working in my nature preserve, I had a pit bull lunge at me only to be tackled and restrained by it's owner, and a loose rottweiler I had to hold off with a pair of pruning lopers. Can't tell you how many dogs have chased me on my bike. I don't know about other cities, but here in Dallas it's now cool for young adults to have personal attack/fighting dogs tugging at the leash for no more than the terror factor. Our little town of 47,000 has passed a "pit-bull" law because of our animal control officer's dealings.
There is nothing more unnerving than trying to mow/trim trails and being blindsided by an unleashed dog, or being passed by a "hiker" with a mean dog snarling at me. I see/hear/smell humans long before they see me because they tend to keep to the trails. Dogs cut through the brush and pop out anywhere.
I've had two loose/lost pit-bulls wander out of my park with no owners behind. I don't dislike well behaved, pet dogs, in fact I sometimes work with a local SAR dog group. However, I do not know you or your dog. If said dog appears aggressive or threatening, I'll be aggressive and threatening back! Lead based pepper spray is certainly one clear option.


Hot loads= FUN! Jim, I use to make up "accuracy loads" for .25x06 and other varmint rounds. You can push a rifle round to mid-air dissentigration. .38 Super is a good round to push but as you say, it's possible to accede the pressure limits of the chamber....i.e., it's hard on the weapon. Gun metal 'work hardens' just like a scuba tank with use, and that's when cracks, bulges, and shaved lead (your .44 mag sounds like it's cylinder timing is off... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />) happens.
When I started shooting air pistol contests, I backed off all my powder ammunition velocities for accuracy. Instead of hot loads, shot placement has taken front burner. The result is more shooting and less hand hurting.... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" /> Guess I'm getting old and soft.
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

Top
#92561 - 03/24/08 06:35 AM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: 6brnorma]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:

I've heard the best way to avoid an animal is to get a hunting permit for it. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />


Ain't that the truth ! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />


Better not be the case for the guy that got the 'Commissioners Elk Tag' last night....he paid $195,000.00 for it. (1 Arizona tag) <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />


Just think how many WM bags that would buy. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

Top
#92562 - 03/30/08 11:37 PM Lightweight sidearms...Tarus .357 Total Titanium [Re: Dryer]
300winmag Offline
member

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: Nevada, USA
The Tarus Total Titanium is about as light as they come.

But I like the Tarus Tracker in .44 Magnum with the ported 4" barrel.

Eric
_________________________
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."

Top
#92563 - 03/31/08 03:34 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms...Tarus .357 Total Titanium [Re: 300winmag]
12Step Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/08
Posts: 89
Loc: Southwest Ohio
My dad FINALLY sold me his Taurs Titanium M651TI 357. It is light, about a pound and some slight change.


Tom
_________________________
"Let's not miss the beauty of the forest by the ugliness of some of its trees." Bill W.

Top
#92564 - 04/02/08 10:22 AM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Arizona]
Paddy_Crow Offline
member

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 2285
Loc: Michigan
I've been following this thread, I haven't seen much comment on the Kahr PM9 polymer frame. Anyone shot one? Not sure whether DA only trigger pull will be comfortable.

I've kind of settled on 9mm and this version weighs just 16 oz empty. Still might consider a .380, but that means adding another cartridge to the collection.

Top
#92565 - 04/02/08 11:02 AM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Paddy_Crow]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
I've dry fired the Kahr. Good handgun, good reviews, but pricey. The DA only triggers/actions are where I'm headed, for safety. It's no different than a revolver and you get used to it.
I'm considering a Sccy CPX-1 for grins. It's a 9mm, stainless and plastic at 17 oz. for a 10-1 pistol. It's also got a 'second strike' hammer which I wanted. It's a newish design but most of the bugs have been worked out and it's priced right.
I too have decided on either 9mm or .45 as caliber of choice but more for economic reasons. 9mm ammo is half the price of .380.
I've stopped shooting .38 Super at $22 a box.
Ruger and Sccy have started competing seriously against Kel Tec. I saw one of the first Ruger LCP .380s at the range last week. 9 oz. .380 and better fit and finish than the Kel Tec version of the same pistol.
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

Top
#92566 - 04/02/08 11:11 AM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Dryer]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Quote:
I
I've stopped shooting .38 Super at $22 a box.


Geez - roll your own man! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

I'd run off a few thousand for you in the Dillon, but I suspect that both canada post and customs would frown upon a thousand rounds of pistol ammo in the Earthling box <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


Top
#92567 - 04/02/08 11:19 AM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Dryer]
Paddy_Crow Offline
member

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 2285
Loc: Michigan
I already have a .40 S&W compact, but it's not quite as small as I'd like for concealed carry. It now occupies my night stand.

I've seen a few Kahr PM9's for sale used, not terribly high priced. I'll have to check out the Sccy CPX-1.

Top
#92568 - 04/02/08 11:32 AM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Paddy_Crow]
6brnorma Offline
member

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Arizona
Quote:
I've been following this thread, I haven't seen much comment on the Kahr PM9 polymer frame. Anyone shot one? Not sure whether DA only trigger pull will be comfortable.

I've kind of settled on 9mm and this version weighs just 16 oz empty. Still might consider a .380, but that means adding another cartridge to the collection.


PC,
The Kahr PM9 has become my favorite (everyday) CCW firearm. It is a solid round, ammo is common with lots of bullet selection and easy to roll your own, the Kahr is very flat and easy to conceal in a number of different carries and it is a very nice and comfortable shooter. It does have a little more heft than the titanium models so I carry the S&W titanium when hiking. Personally, if I could only afford one....it would be the Kahr.

Top
#92569 - 04/02/08 11:36 AM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Paddy_Crow]
6brnorma Offline
member

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Arizona
Quote:
I already have a .40 S&W compact, but it's not quite as small as I'd like for concealed carry. It now occupies my night stand.


I'm the same way...I've got the H&K compact in S&W .40 but it just doesn't carry well.

Top
#92570 - 04/02/08 02:26 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Paddy_Crow]
Arizona Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/02
Posts: 122
Loc: The Southwestern Deserts
Quote:
I've been following this thread, I haven't seen much comment on the Kahr PM9 polymer frame. Anyone shot one? Not sure whether DA only trigger pull will be comfortable.



Kahr makes a very smooth double action combat trigger. I have not shot the PM9 but the MK9, its steel body sister, shoots very accurately.

Top
#92571 - 04/02/08 04:23 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Dryer]
sabre11004 Offline
member

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 513
Loc: Tennessee


Yes I have several of those hand guns and all are sort of six of one and half a dozen of the other if you know what I mean. They are all very effective and none of the differences as far as weight will make that much difference. Hell I carry a Berreta 92FS with me...Hope this helps...Happy Trekking...sabre11004... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
The first step that you take will be one of those that get you there 1!!!!!

Top
#92572 - 04/02/08 07:44 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: phat]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
Quote:
Geez - roll your own man!

I do roll my own!! The price of 9mm and 45 factory is cheaper than home brew! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> I've got a few hundred reloads made up but still, it's the principle of the whole thing!


Edited by Dryer (04/02/08 07:52 PM)
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

Top
#92573 - 04/02/08 08:05 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Arizona]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
We had a Kahr 9 for a couple years and it was my first carry gun. Only thing was wow...it had kick back. It was a well built piece and quite affordable though.

I don't cut weight though in this area. The extra weight makes it easier to shoot for my hands. I use a Kimber 45 officer carry or a Springfield XD9 nowdays.
_________________________
Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
www.trailcooking.com

Top
#92574 - 04/03/08 07:52 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms (For bears or people?). [Re: Dryer]
300winmag Offline
member

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: Nevada, USA
People keep talking about minor caliber (9mm or less) caliber weapons. These minor caliber weapons are OK for people but just piss bears off even more.

If yer gonna get a backpacking carry gun then get one that covers all bases.
As Robert Ruark, the great African Safari writer titled his book, "Use Enough Gun".

And Lord help you if you don't.

Eric
_________________________
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."

Top
#92575 - 04/03/08 08:02 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms (For bears or people?). [Re: 300winmag]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
Never carried for a bear. Don't plan on it either. I have respect but not fear for them out here. I carry for the two legged creatures....
_________________________
Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
www.trailcooking.com

Top
#92576 - 04/03/08 09:24 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms (For bears or people?). [Re: 300winmag]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
I started this thread to discuss some of the newer concealed carry type, ultralight, weapons (S&W 340pd, kel tec, Sccy CPX-1, Ruger LCP, Glock 26/36, Kahr, ect.) I don't carry for bears or cats, and usually not at all, mostly because of weight. The new trend for bigger calibers in little plastic/metal frames has the weight coming right on down.
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

Top
#92577 - 04/04/08 03:17 AM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Dryer]
12Step Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/08
Posts: 89
Loc: Southwest Ohio
I live in an area where there are no bears. But from what I've read about both black and grizzlies, the most dangerous bear is an injured bear. Most handguns are going to do nothing but injure them, and the only bears I might run into are black bears, and from what I've read they usually just run from you.

If I carry, it's more for people.

I've got a choice to either carry a mini Glock model 27 (40 cal) or the .357 Taurus Titanium. Both are about the same size. The Glock is a little wider and heavier, but holds 10 rounds. The Taurus only holds 5 rounds, but is a little more than half of weight of the Glock.

Either way I don't really have to carry any of them, it's more of a preference thing. If you do decide to carry, it is obviously important to have knowledge (the law), common sense, and responsibility. You never just start shooting at a bear to be on the safe side. You got to remember not only is carrying a firearm is extra weight no matter how light it is, but also extra responsibility or hassle depending on how you look at it.


Tom
_________________________
"Let's not miss the beauty of the forest by the ugliness of some of its trees." Bill W.

Top
#92578 - 04/05/08 09:47 AM Re: Lightweight sidearms (For bears or people?). [Re: sarbar]
Wolfeye Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/07
Posts: 413
Loc: Seattle, WA
Ah, so it's not about 4-legged muggers. The 340 PD in the original post is one gun I've handled in a shop but never shot. I own a Ruger SP101, which is a steel sherman tank version of that gun but of another make. The 340 weighs less than half as much, and I can't see shooting the same .357 magnums out of both guns; they're already at the edge of controllability when fired from the 25.5 oz. Ruger. I think I'd only fire .38 spl or .38+p out of the 340. I think I'd prefer the Smith 642 in that case; it weighs 2 or 3 ounces more, but costs a lot less and would be more pleasant to shoot. You'd have to ask how much those extra ounces of lightness are worth.

Has anyone fired a American derringer? They strike me as cheap, but they're very minimalist as they only hold a shot or two. I'm sure they're very light.

Top
#92579 - 04/06/08 04:18 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms... Great 'links to read! [Re: Dryer]
longhair29 Offline
member

Registered: 06/11/03
Posts: 1328
Loc: Floridad
I've been reading this unique firearm's website alot recently and I LOVE the name.

www.mouseguns.com

But what I really like about this site is Thee extremely detailed info presented and the owner reviews of these firearms. There is something here for everyone short of needing one of new .500 Hand artillery cannons. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Pocket Guns - http://www.mouseguns.com/pocksize.htm

Ruger's new LCP (Light-weight Concealed Pistol) review - http://www.gunblast.com/Ruger-LCP.htm

Light weight Revolvers - http://www.mouseguns.com/revs.htm

.32 Magnum UL Taurus Revolver - http://gunblast.com/Taurus_UltraLite32.htm

Light weight Semi-Automatic Pistols most under 16-ounces http://www.mouseguns.com/semis.htm

Small Light Weight Rifles and Carbines - http://www.mouseguns.com/smallrif.htm

Check out the SUB 2000 folding 9mm/.40cal Carbine by Kel-Tec, sweet and sick. Looks like it'd be a fun to shoot.

http://www.mouseguns.com/sub2000/sub2000.htm

RATGUNS - "Ratgun" definition -- A ratgun is a small semi-auto gun, almost pocket-sized, that chambers a round more powerful than a 9mm. (The line must be drawn somewhere, so I'm classifying 9mm pistols that weigh less than 16 ounces as mouseguns. I also consider revolvers to be too fat to be in the ratgun category.) A ratgun is a mousegun on steroids!"

http://www.mouseguns.com/ratguns/ratguns.htm

Enjoy www.mouseguns.com a wealth of info and numerous excellent fun to read 'links'

Top
#92580 - 04/06/08 04:24 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms... Great 'links to read! [Re: longhair29]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3967
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Hey Longhair
what happened to you?
Nice to hear frm you again.
Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

Top
#92581 - 04/06/08 04:49 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms... Great 'links to read! [Re: Jimshaw]
longhair29 Offline
member

Registered: 06/11/03
Posts: 1328
Loc: Floridad
Yeah, it's been a LONG time indeed since I posted on this forum. Several reasons come to mind........... boredom and rehashing over and over Thee same old topics that are just re-posted by new people.

I've got a subscription with bkpackinglight which expires this year and even that has become rather dull.

This gun thread has been really fascinating to read since I'm in the market. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> Mostly for open carry in Bear country. I'm going to enroll in some firearm's training courses this Summer.

What's up with you?

Top
#92582 - 04/06/08 05:51 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms... Great 'links to read! [Re: longhair29]
Wolfeye Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/07
Posts: 413
Loc: Seattle, WA
Longhair, where are you planning on taking the firearms course? I also live in WA and am thinking of taking a defensive handgun course from Insights.

Top
#92583 - 04/08/08 07:25 PM Re: Great 'links to read! Wolfeye [Re: Wolfeye]
longhair29 Offline
member

Registered: 06/11/03
Posts: 1328
Loc: Floridad
Wolfeye,

I haven't decided yet, but most likely at Wade's shooting range in Belluvue because it's just across the pond from me.

To my knowledge no other 'local' gun range offers such a WIDE range of handguns to train with included in a package this affordable. See 2nd course below.

http://www.wadesguns.com/

"Basic Handgun Safety Class
4 hours - 1 night - $80
If you are considering the purchase of a handgun, or perhaps have one and are not yet confident in your gun handling skills, this class will provide you with the information and hands on experience to safely operate pistols. In this 4 hour format, students will spend half of their time in the classroom and half on the range. On the range, students learn the details of marksmanship and will fire both revolvers and semi-automatics in various calibers.

Evenings, 6pm - 10pm

All equipment is provided for this class. Children 13-17 years old are welcome to attend the Basic Handgun Safety Class if a parent or guardian is present.

Introductory Handgun
9 hours - 3 nights - $150
This course covers all the handgun safety, operation and marksmanship material from the Basic Class and expands into more detail. Handgun legalities are also covered in lecture regarding purchase, transportation and storage. Concealed pistol licenses and use of force considerations in Washington State will also be addressed. Other topics include personal awareness/security at home and in public, types of handguns and ammunition, i.e. styles, manufacturers, calibers and bullet types.

On the range students will be able to fire revolvers, and semi-autos in .22, .38 Spl., .357 mag, 9mm, .40 SW, .45 ACP & .44 Mag as well as particular models of interest in our range rental counter.

The following run from 6:30-9:30pm

Top
#92584 - 04/17/08 11:45 AM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Dryer]
SloHiker Offline
member

Registered: 09/13/03
Posts: 46
Loc: NC
Dryer,

Of the models you've mentioned - there's certainly a bit of disparity between caliber and quality. I don't think much of KelTec's - and even though I have seen a few PF-9's give reasonable service, I couldn't recommend them. The Ruger LCP is too new to have a track record, but it's a .380, so your limited by the cartridge itself. The S&W 340PD is a dandy little revolver, though it's a bit pricey.

Another alternative, since you've included the .380 cartridge in the mix, would be one of S&W's other J-Frame revolvers chambered in .38 Special .... i.e. Mod 442/642/638 - or even the slightly lower priced .357 chambered Mod M&P340 would be a good choice.

Having said all that - I'd rather have a KelTec .380 than nothing at all, if that were the choice. After all, the FIRST rule of NEED is ..... HAVE A GUN!

When the need arises (whatever circumstance that happens to be), having the "wrong" gun can have tragic consequences - But, having NO gun is almost always tragic!

The opinions expressed are based on the following: Former LEO (25 yrs), SWAT Commander & Team Member, Firearms Instructor (25 yrs), Agency Training Coordinator, Factory Trained Armorer, Officer Survival Instructor, CCW Instructor, (2) GUNSITE "E" Tickets ......blah, blah, blah .......


Edited by SloHiker (04/17/08 12:13 PM)

Top
#92585 - 04/17/08 01:52 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: SloHiker]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
Thanks, SloHiker, I respect a LEO's opinion above all others.

So.....

the winner is.....

Glock 26!

I decided a bit more weight is worth the reliability and proven track record. They're fat but small enough to meet hiking needs and eat just about anything they are fed.
ALL the other choices, except the 340PD, were compromises. So I asked myself, why?
I consider the Ruger as another good option...when more become available. But as you said, the jury is still out. Hiccups will start surfacing soon and LCPII will be next.
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

Top
#92586 - 04/18/08 07:31 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Jimshaw]
6brnorma Offline
member

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Arizona
Quote:
I cannot eject some hot loads from my .44 without a hammer and a ram rod because the brass flows under the load pressure. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" /> I'm firing .44 P++magnums and brown bear loads. Now a brown bear load has a 480 grain slug (square ends and it just fills the entire chmber) and the powder is backed off to 19 grains, and its still a compressed powder load, which means the bullet is so large that there isn't enough room for the powder, and extreme initial pressure and burn rate result.


Jim,
Who makes a 480 Gr. in.44?

Top
#92587 - 04/24/08 10:23 PM Re: Glock 26 [Re: Dryer]
Ecrow Offline
member

Registered: 02/02/08
Posts: 85
Loc: N. New Mexico
My Glock 26 (9mm) weighs 19 oz empty and 26 oz with 12 in it.(appx.) Cor Bon hits the hardest and CCI Lawman is good too. Phat is SOOOO right about 22 stingers, they hit as hard as some .38s, and cycle really fast and are very accurate. I sleep with my glock in my bag and will take my chances setting my bag ablaze. And I sleep really good.

Look at nylon camera cases with velcro, noone notices them.
_________________________
Ecrow
Live to tell.

Top
#92588 - 04/25/08 05:00 AM Re: Glock 26 [Re: Ecrow]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
Another interesting thing about carrying the Glock...I took a Glock brand kydex belt holster ($12), trimmed it to fit in a small fanny pack, and sewed it to the back wall with a velcro loop for the stocks (I guess you can call Glock handles 'stocks'). Anyway, the thing is completely secure, makes the pack look and hang empty, and cross draws perfectly. That particular holster covers the trigger and has a retention detent. I usually carry a little belt pack for essentials for side excursions, sans big pack, so this will have good utilitarian value too.
Walmart's "Outdoor Products" smallest fanny pack fits sub-compact weapons like they were custom made. And, if you go at it with seam ripper, you can remove all the useless stuff and lighten them right up! Like I said before, I normally don't carry, but for doing trail work or hiking hot spots like my southern border, this should work out fine.

_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

Top
#92589 - 04/25/08 01:18 PM Re: Glock 26 [Re: Dryer]
6brnorma Offline
member

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Arizona
I like the idea Paul.

I'm wondering though....is that your head or your butt you're trying to hide in the first photo???? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Top
#92590 - 04/25/08 01:28 PM Re: Glock 26 [Re: 6brnorma]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
Hmmmmm.....too much hair to be my head. Could be my butt, I suppose.
Actually I forgot to shave my knees before using them as a backdrop.
Sure makes for an interesting picture, now that I'm looking at it. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

Top
#92591 - 04/25/08 01:53 PM Re: Glock 26 [Re: Dryer]
6brnorma Offline
member

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Arizona
LMAO.....wouldn't have been my guess....but if that's your story and you're sticking to it <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Top
#92592 - 04/25/08 02:25 PM Re: Glock 26 [Re: 6brnorma]
johndavid Offline
member

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 260
Loc: jersey city NJ
I often hike late at night in areas that are popular for backpackers.

Several times as I've passed along, backpackers have awakened in some sort of apparent panic at my approach.

I gather they find my activity inconceivable and assume that I must be a psychotic killer or rabid animal.

At times I wonder -- what if they are drunk and carrying a pistol that they "need" for camping --- due to all the psychotic killers, criminals, and agressive, rabid animal and bears susceptible to handguns that fill the woods.

--

Top
#92593 - 04/28/08 11:37 PM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Dryer]
lv2fsh Offline
member

Registered: 04/27/08
Posts: 111
Loc: socal
I vote for the S&W 340PD. For self defense against any two legged threat, anything less than .357, .45, or .40 cal is just not going to cut it for me. As a Deputy Sheriff, I started with the Ruger .357 GP100 4". My department then started issuing the Glock 17 9mm. It seemed like a no brainer 3 times the bullets, magazine vs. speedloaders. Then I started hearing stories of suspects being hit several times before going down and worse being able to return fire. I started talking to coroners and homicide detective friends and the disparity between 9mm wounds and .45 was dramatic. The choice was clear, go back to my .357 or purchase a .45. I chose the Glock 21 .45 cal. My department has now started issuing the Glock 21. The U.S. Army went to the .45 after the dismal performance of the .38 special against drugged up tribesman in the Philipines. Todays crackheads aren't any easier to stop. I carry my S&W 340PD as a backup onduty and as an offduty. I like my Glock 21 with the laser/tac light for on duty but do not carry it while backpacking. The main reason is it is an AUTO. Semiauto handguns need to be kept clean and properly oiled to function reliably.(oil attracts dirt) During my time shooting on the range and elsewhere, I have seen semiautos jam and fail to cycle numerous times. Usually this was due to gun maintenance or poor quality ammo but could be something as simple as a limp wrist. With the possible exception of bad ammo(usually reloads) I have seen almost no failures of wheelguns. So unless you're going to be religious about keeping your firearm in top shape(which I do every day at work), stick with a wheelgun. I used to carry my heavy Ruger .357 when I went backpacking and always slept good with it by my head. I now carry the 340PD and barely know its there.
My experience with bears has been that with the exception of National Park bears(can't have guns there anyway), they usually run at the sound of your voice. One time I had one return after being ran off and had to fire a warning shot. I think he's still running. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Seriously, if a black bear decides that you are dinner and comes at you, you had better be ready to fight with everything you got. As with street racing, you gotta run what ya brung! I don't want to be trying to stop a hungry bear or a tweaked out crook with a 9mm or worse. One last note on the 340PD. It is a handful to fire with .357 but quite controllable with .38+P ammo. I usually carry four .38+P's and one .357 on duty and 3 and 2 for backpacking. Also use quality .357 ammo with a good crimp on the slug. I was shooting some of that .357 ammo with the aluminum cases and after two shot the slugs started to slide out of the cases from the recoil and locked up the gun. (not good <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />) Sorry for carrying on so long but when your life depends on it daily, you put a lot of thought on it. Now let's go fishing!

Top
#92594 - 04/29/08 06:38 AM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: lv2fsh]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
Our local cop department has gone back to Glock .45 cals for a number of reasons, including economy. Also, the lack of an external safety and 2/3's pre-cocking provides a distinct speed advantage. Parts are cheap and available everywhere.
I boiled my decision down to the .340pd and the Glock 26. I'm not carrying 99.999% of the time but did want something reliable, able to withstand abuse and dirt, and be effective. One big factor that brought me around to 9mm is the huge variety of ammunition choices, some as effective as .45 white box. Glock doesn't limit what goes down the tube, like some manufacturers. Second was economy....9mm ammunition is half the price of everything else, meaning, I'll take the arm to the range much more often. It's available world wide. The Glock 26 is 8 oz. heavier than the 340pd, no doubt, but you get double the chances and the new price of the weapon is now about half of the 340pd (scandium must be like gold!) I've run 200 rounds through the Glock....it's almost boring...the thing just works. It weighs exactly the same as my .380 Colt...which has 6 chances. I considered the Glock 35 (?) which is .45 in a 'baby Glock' frame, but decided 9mm would be more controllable in a small chassis.

One other 'fun' ultralite option is an NAA Blackwidow as a plinker and small game piece....and as a carry option, although down the list a tad. You get serious accuracy with .22lr OR .22 mag in an 8oz. frame. I know a sheriff deputy here who carries one as a BUG. Anybody own one?

Anyway........
I really appreciate all you LEO's offering your input here. It's an important subject and comes up often. Again, this thread is not about IF, it's about WHAT, and you guys dealing with it 24/7 have the best perspective, by far.
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

Top
#92595 - 04/29/08 09:40 AM Re: Lightweight sidearms....interesting choices. [Re: Dryer]
lv2fsh Offline
member

Registered: 04/27/08
Posts: 111
Loc: socal
Dryer, I understand your choice. I'm like slohiker in that I agree that something is better than nothing. If price is an object, S&W makes several light weight revolvers that are only like 3 oz. more than the 340PD like the 442+P or the 637+P. These are about half the price of the 340PD. I guess when I'm out in the woods I have other things on my mind (like fishing) and don't want to worry about making sure that my weapon system is maintained. Also my wife has small hands and wrists and can controll the recoil on the 340PD with 38+P loads. People with small or weak wrists need to consider that before choosing an auto.

Top
Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5 >

Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
 
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
 
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
Very comfortable and lightweight hiking shoes
by walkingnatur
10/25/20 02:48 PM
All the Quechua and Decathlon Hiking Gear we Love
by walkingnatur
10/10/20 02:49 PM
Sleeping Bag Compressed Volume
by Louie
09/23/20 03:00 PM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
The Scariest Encounters Women Have on the....
by BZH
10/16/20 11:06 AM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
Featured Photos
Breakneck Ridge, New York
May 2012 Eclipse, Lassen Park
New Years Eve 2011
Trip Report with Photos
Seven Devils, Idaho
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Who's Online
0 registered (), 98 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
phillipsvic, Phfatcat, Raceyouthere, JimmyWillson, raven93
12925 Registered Users
Forum Links
Disclaimer
Policies
Site Links
Backpacking.net
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

Our long-time Sponsor, BackcountryGear.com - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:

Backcountry Forum
 

Affiliate Disclaimer: This forum is an affiliate of BackcountryGear.com, Amazon.com, R.E.I. and others. The product links herein are linked to their sites. If you follow these links to make a purchase, we may get a small commission. This is our only source of support for these forums. Thanks.!
 
 

Since 1996 - the Original Backcountry Forum
Copyright © The Lightweight Backpacker & BackcountryForum