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What's Your Ideal Trail Gun?

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August 31, 2011

What's Your Ideal Trail Gun?

By Phil Bourjaily

This week on The Gun Nuts, Eddie Nickens talks about trail guns, using my two .22 handguns as examples. As Eddie points out, .22's are fun and inexpensive to shoot and can be loaded with a wide range of ammo. Nevertheless, they may not fit the bill as everyone’s trail gun.

http://ak.c.ooyala.com/h4N3EwYzpR0VEXLQy6myP-Z-6EZ32Yst/Ut_HKthATH4eww8X4xMDoxOjA4MTsiGN

For instance, I live where there are no bears, no poisonous snakes and not even many meth cooks anymore. The chances of me needing a trail gun capable of doing anything more than taking a cottontail is slim. Your situation, and your choice of trail gun, may be completely different than Eddie’s and mine.

So, what is your ideal trail gun, and why?

Comments (102)

Top Rated
All Comments
from DSMbirddog wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

I have a 22 Ruger Single Six Convertable and it is still my favorite to take out plinking cans.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jeff Bowers wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

I like a .22 if I know I'm going out to plink. But for hunting, hiking, and so forth where I'm just carrying it 'in case', I like my .38.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntslow wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

I used to have a Savage 24 combo O/U. It was .22 over 20 gauge. A great trail gun but not as much fun as my Rugers = a single-six with adjustable sights and an extra mag cylinder or Mark I with adjustable sights and bull barrel.

+6 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

I'm with DSM on the Single Six. On the trail I use the .22WMR cylinder. About the worst I need to worry about apart from people is mtn lions and coyotes. .22WMR will do for them.

If you're ever going where there's a real bear threat, a handgun is suboptimal anyhow. A short 12ga on a sling is more or less right, but it won't be most folks' choice because it's bulky and visually obtrusive.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from TM wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

12 gauge pump action, like a Remington 870. It's the khaki chinos of guns. Might not be perfect for every occasion, but you can almost always get by with it.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from RJ Arena wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I'm planning to spend a lot of time on the ridges In Utah, and my new Marlin .45/70GS is going with me!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

From bears to meth cooks, you pretty well summed it all up in a nut shell.

STOLE MY THUNDER YOU DID SIR PHIL! LOL!

I'll bet Sir Phil is setting back in his seat with his pipe smiling, I GOT THE COOP ON THIS ONE!

YA' YOU DID!

So!

Since the age of 18, I carry a Ruger Super Blackhawk 44 Mag loaded with 250-255 grain casts (straight wheel weights) with 21.0 grains of 2400. It's a cheap but very accurate load and those who know me call it my power axe and it is handy as a Swiss Army Knife to clear downed tree limbs to occasional coyote.

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from Bernie wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

My .22 Ruger Single-Six Convertible. In bear country, a stainless Colt Python in .357 magnum.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Going in to our remote camp for caribou hunting, my #1 trail gun for camp meat is my Ruger Mark II for grouse is all you need for this dumbest bird on earth! You can get within 7 feet for a perfect head shot.

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from James Card wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

The concept of a "trail gun" is an invention. It's a make-believe idea. I'd like to see the first reference of a "trail gun" in shooting literature and note who coined the phrase.

Maybe "utility gun" or "all-around gun" or better expresses the notion that you need to have a specialized gun while you're on the so-called "trail."

The best gun is whatever is handy at the moment.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Disclaimer: This opinion does not constitute legal advice. Please consult an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. Wear sunscreen, protective eyewear, and hearing protection. Buckle your seatbelt. Call your mother.
-The Armchair Outfitter

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from vasportsman wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

12 gauge pump, lighter the better, I like my mossberg because it can handle any ammo I feed it and is very light and easy to carry, and is useful in any situation I am likely to encounter.

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from ishawooa wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I have used various pistols and revolvers over the years with a preference for .22 LR until I moved to Wyoming 30 years ago. Here I mostly stick with my 4 5/8" Super Blackhawk which is an old 3 screw. I load it with a max of 2400 or 296 and a 265 gr. hard cast bullet. This is adequate for lots of circumstances. Some folks like the 500 S & W or a .475 Linebaugh in a short barreled version. The Smith is fairly easy to shoot and handle but the .475 is a bit rough on my nervous system.

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from Riverrat57 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I live in S. Central Florida, and these days there is absolutely no telling what you may run in to on the trail. Along with my .20 gauge, I carry a SS Rossi .38, trail gun loaded with snake loads for a Mamba or maybe a Cobra, with back-up hollow points in my pocket for a possible Burmese or Rock Python. I ain't lyin!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from PbHead wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Colt Combat Commander in 38 Super.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Oryx wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Ishawooa,

Did you have the transfer bar "upgrade" done by S, R & Co.?

I found an unaltered three-screw .357 the other day and that extra click sure made it sexy.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

It really depends on the circumstances and the mood. Walking a hound on a hot afternoon when snakes might be about, it's either a 5 1/2" Single Six with the .22 mag cylinder in place or a 10" Contender with the .410 barrel. Other times it might be a Super Black Hawk with a couple of rounds of snake shot and the rest 300 grain plated soft points. What can I say, I like handguns.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Oryx wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Hard to argue with the Single-Six convertible. Read the other day that the convertibles were less accurate than a dedicated 22 LR. Took me 20 years to find out about that.

Hope my pistol doesn't hear the news; it's been a good shooter all along.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Proverbs wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

My idea of a 'trail gun' is something you carry while in the woods, but not while hunting. For 20 years I've carried my Browning Buckmark while hiking, stream fishing, or scouting for upcoming deer/elk hunts.

But that will probably change now, for two reasons. First, in the past few years I've run into marijuana plots twice in the Tonto National Forest, and once I came upon some fellows in the Sierra Anchas north of Globe, AZ, loading boxes of something into an unmarked helicopter. The men were armed with military rifles but were not speaking English. I backed away quietly and unseen.

Second, and more happily, last weekend I acquired the new SA XDm 5.25. I know I squawked about SA's XD triggers a couple of weeks ago, but my friend at Shooter's World had me try one, and this trigger is NOT the standard trigger. He said every model of the 5.25 they've tried has a better trigger than the other XDms, even though they are supposed to be the same. He thinks these triggers were massaged, just a little, by SA.

Anyway, the 5.25 shoots really well, especially at competition speeds. My 1911s will group tighter during slow fire, but at speed the 5.25 is similar. And it is super fun to shoot. It's just one of 'those' guns.

It came with 3 hi-capacity mags. It should be fun on the trail, and will offer more defensive capability in this crazy world where the criminals are established in our semi-wild places.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I no longer "hike" for kicks and giggles. I will take an occasional "walk". Don't have the pins anymore. If I ever need a backup in a deer stand, I'll take a .22 of some sort. I have three Rugers. An 8.5" SingleSix, a 4" MkII w/Bull bbl and a stainless scoped M77/22.
Should I ever need to follow up a wounded animal, I keep the 6.8mm Ranch Rifle in the truck. Short, quick with plenty punch. Biggest fear in my neck of the woods would be puma or feral hog.

Bubba

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from RML wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Trail gun for fishing and hunting sidearm is the Ruger GP 100 loaded with .357 hollow points or the Ruger Single Six with .22 Mags, maybe with a couple of snakeshot rounds as No. 1 and 2. For recreational shooting or cutting firewood on public lands near Santa Fe it's the Glock 19 for its higher capacity.

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from Blue Ox wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

PbHead- I love that gun!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sanjuancb wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

To me it depends on the trail...

Woodland trail? Ruger Bearcat

Fishing trail? Taurus Judge?

Bear Country Trail/Illegal Immigrant Trail? Charter Arms Bulldog

I also had a Springfield Armory M6 Scout, 22 Hornet over .410 that was a fun trail gun too.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark-1 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

When I did carry a "trail gun", when they were called a "kit gun", it was a .22 Browning or Ruger auto pistol. However, since I hate wearing a pistol/holster I seems I always left the outfit back in the car/SUV. I gave up on the idea of "trail/kit gun".

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from Oryx wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Proverbs:

I too handled a new 5.25, and at least compared to the old "just xD" line, the trigger was improved as well. Generally, I find that the striker-fire pistols get a bit smoother over time as well.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ishawooa wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Oryx: No transfer bar upgrade, just an action job by John Linebaugh back in the eighties, aftermarket steel ejector rod housing, with barrel cut to 4 5/8", and original factory grip panels. In fact it music when the hammer is thumbed back, although just four notes, immediately prior to the booming bass.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ishawooa wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Mark-1: I share you thoughts on hating to wear a holster of any kind. Out of necessity in the northern Rockies the belt holster is the last thing I add immediately prior to climbing on my foxtrotter. Shoulder holsters bother me even more.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Roderick K. Purcell wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

If it's grouse season, I'll strap on my Ruger .22 Singlesix. But otherwise, a can of Counter Assault on the right hip. Works better against griz than a handgun (at least with me at the trigger), weighs a lot less and costs a lot less. They've loosened the regs at Yellowstone and Glacier and you can carry a sidearm there now, but I think you're still better off with pepper than lead. Anything less than a 44 mag is a joke against a bear and anything less than a brain shot is only going to piss it off more. Counter Assault is NASTY and it works.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from country road wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

The only trails I walk are on my own property and I carry a .38 Colt Cobra with snake shot for the first two loads during snake season. I hardly ever shoot a snake, and never a non-poisonous one, but occasionally I'll find myself in too close proximity to a cottonmouth or timber rattler or find one too close to where I'm living or working, and I'll expend a charge of snake shot.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I thought everyone carried a Ruger MKII .22 with the 5 1/2" barrel. It's what I carry when I am hiking/camping...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Scott Jones wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

"Since the age of 18, I carry a Ruger Super Blackhawk 44 Mag loaded with 250-255 grain casts (straight wheel weights) with 21.0 grains of 2400. It's a cheap but very accurate load and those who know me call it my power axe and it is handy as a Swiss Army Knife to clear downed tree limbs to occasional coyote"

"I have used various pistols and revolvers over the years with a preference for .22 LR until I moved to Wyoming 30 years ago. Here I mostly stick with my 4 5/8" Super Blackhawk which is an old 3 screw. I load it with a max of 2400 or 296 and a 265 gr. hard cast bullet. This is adequate for lots of circumstances. Some folks like the 500 S & W or a .475 Linebaugh in a short barreled version. The Smith is fairly easy to shoot and handle but the .475 is a bit rough on my nervous system."

My "trail gun" a Taurus Tracker in 44Mag. I also sometimes carry a 45ACP. It's better to have too much than not enough.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

My S&W Model 19 .357 Mag.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from focusfront wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I have more fun on the trail when I'm not worried. So while I agree that the hands down most fun gun in the world is a .22, any .22, the world has grown mean since I was a kid. Women are getting raped and murdered, and hikers robbed, on the Appalachian Trail. Lately cougars have been making pests of themselves all over the wild USA. And coyotes should be shot on sight wherever you see them. When in the wild I carry a .40 S&W Kahr concealed, just as if I was taking a walk past a inner city drug house at 3:00 am, and pretend it's not there. Just like I pretend the danger isn't there for my wife and daughters.

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from focusfront wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

And Phil, I apologize. This is a lighthearted subject and shouldn't be brought down. I got into shooting because guns and hunting are fun, as did we all, but I can't help having having lived long enough to see what I've seen. My last couple of gun purchases have been downright humorless.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckstopper wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

a .22 is the most effective pistol for bear. if a big 'ol bruin attacks just shoot your partner in the leg and run...LOL

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

3kidsdad

So whats your point.

Obviously your load,

"I load it with a max of 2400 or 296 and a 265 gr. hard cast bullet."

Hot and heavy loads loosens frame screws wearing the threads and eventually requiring retaping for larger screws and causes flame cutting thus shortens the life of the revolver.

250 grain with 21.0 grains with 2400 was good enough for Sir Elmer Keith, good enough for me!

If you wanted the recoil of the 454 Casull, perhaps you should trade in your 44 dar HOT ROD!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

XD45 acp--with 13 shots it will most any rabid ground squirrel I run into!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

How about a .38 special with #11 bird shot if your concerned about snakes? Although .22's are hard to beat for fun pistols or rifles.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

buckstopper,
Old joke but a goody.

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from ishawooa wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Clay: For what it's worth 3kidsdad's quote came from one of my posts above. Insofar as the hot loads in the old Super Blackhawk it has digested thousands over the last 50 years. There is no flame cutting and all screws are original in holes that have never been retapped. The same goes for my New Model Bisley and my M-29. This might happen to your revolvers but there is no evidence shown by mine. Also this load is not very close to a .454 Casull in weight or velocity.

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from Twopipe20 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I like to pack my .357 GP100 with Federal 158 gr. Hydra-Shoks when hunting or hiking the northwoods of Minnesota. No snakes, just an occasional wolf or bear, but they're pretty shy and have never given anybody I know any trouble. The .41 Ruger Blackhawk comes out of the gun safe during the moose rut. They can be a little aggressive, and apparently don't like you when you're hunting with a dog. Really hate to have to shoot one in self-defense, but it's better than getting stomped. Now if only Ruger could come up with something effective against mosquitoes . . .

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from Oryx wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Clay, Elmer was a lot of things, but easy on his pistolas he was not.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

ishawooa

"I HERBY STAND CORRECTED, BY GOLLY!"

No flame cutting and all screws are original?

NO JOKE?

And your shooting what with what load?

Curious,,,, maybe I need to reevaluate and try it!

I've witnessed allot of revolvers with severe flame cutting on both forcing cone and strap and they were not that old and not that much loads ran through as one would think.

As for 454 Casulls etc. you can have them. As for the L.A.R. Grizzly 45 Win Mag, I have two 44 Mags I will trade for one in good condition without hesitation!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I occasionally tote my S&W 28 .357 loaded with 180 gr cast slugs putting up stands, retrieving game for a partner or other times when a rifle is impractical. I think everywhere I hunt except my goose lease is inhabited by toothy fanged varmints.

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from wp wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

While the .22lr is and probably always will be the "trail gun" of choice, I agree with those who want a little more power to throw at whatever predator comes at them while afield. To fully cover the 2 and 4 legged predator spectrum I prefer a .44 mag. Ruger's 4in redhawk is not the lightest carry piece, but it is capable of handling anything in North America with the right load. When a more discreet option is called for, a small .357 revolver is hard to beat. When in areas where the most likely threat is from wild dogs or the less pure intentioned of our society, I'm willing to give up a little horsepower for a bigger gas tank. A glock 26 W/ a 12 rounder and a spare 17rd mag is light enough to carry all day almost unnoticed and is easily concealed.

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from jmshackelfo@aol.com wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

My favorit gun to take out is my ruger 10-22. Perfect for small game, and if all I'm doing is a quick hike or can plinking thats what I take. But if I'm hunting or going for a week camping trip I like having the old 30-30. If I'm in town I carry a Glock 23, only because thats what the department issues. My granddad use to tell me "If your going someplace you think you need to take a gun, maybe you shouldn't go there".

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from AlaskanExile wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

WA Mtn I agree. I love my Highway Patrolman too! It's a great gun and being an N-Frame, it's a pussycat to shoot with the heaviest loads. I have a nice old shoulder rig that's perfect for "trail" work.
Now that I'm back in Alaska I usually carry my 45-70 Guide-Gun stoked with Buffalo Bore 430gr cast loads for a trail gun. Never know what you might meet on the trail!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from white bison wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I pack a Ruger Bisley "Special Edition" ordered by
Accusport at one time. .45 Colt: Diff: 5.5" barrel, adjustable
sights, stainless, roll marked cylinder. I load 300 gr.LBT cast
hardened wheel weigh alloy to about 25 Brinnell with a
max powder load. This is in our Grizzly Country. Not the
optimum, but will work at close range. A guy killed a Griz
that attacked with a .41 Mag once, so the .45 Colt is better than nothing.
If not in Grizzly area, I carry a Colt Huntsman .22.
Best Regards,
Tom

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from vehicle wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

If its bear country, then my 12ga Mossberg 500, if not then my Ruger .357 flattop.

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from Drew McClure wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I have carried my 22 Buck Mark, but I carry some rat shot to more effectively kill snakes, otherwise I carry an 870.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from nc30-06 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I really like my Remington Nylon 66. It is light, easy to carry, and accurate. Works for most situations. I also like my Ruger .22 and if I need some more power, I use my S&W model 66 .357.

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from 007 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Can I ask a similar question? I read an article some time about about handguns for the outdoors, wherein the writer recommended the usual magnum revolvers for bear protection and the like, and a .45 ACP for under your pillow in your tent. If I already have a perfectly adequate .44 magnum, why would I need a .45 to sleep with? I know you can never have too many handguns, but I must have missed something in that article.

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from 007 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Addendum - Not to highjack the thread, but one more curiousity question. Do you carry a handgun when fishing? If so, what and why? I usually do because we frequent a semi-remote area, usually my Charter Arms Bulldog .44 special, in case of predators, either two legged or four legged, or snakes. Best................

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Scott Jones wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Clay,

That wasn't as clear as I had hoped. I am in total agreement with you and ishawooa - It's better to have more than you need than need more than you have.

In my Tracker I normally use a hard cast 200gr over 18gr of 2400 as a general purpose field load at 1150fps (measured) in the 3-1/2" ported barrel. Big enough for anything I'm likely to run into in south Arkansas but still enjoyable to shoot in a 34oz revolver. Come hunting season I'll have the 7-1/2" SBH with either 245gr Keith or 310gr LFNGC over stout loads of 2400.

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from Scott Jones wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

ishawooa -

How is the 296 working for you with cast bullets? I had stayed with jacketed bullets over 296 and 2400 or H110 in cast. I really like 296 but was scared of leading.

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from buriti wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I don't hike, except when hunting, but I walk around the "country block" with my wife in Southern Michigan and she would complain that carried a NAA Black Widow .22 Mag in my pocket.

Then our daughter sighted a cougar about a mile from our home and some neighbour found a deer carcass up a tree.

Now I carry my SIG P225 9x19 mm and she won't go out if I am not packing it.

Thank you, Mr.Cat!

Read my blog at http://awildbeastatheart.blogspot.com/

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from wingshooter54 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Taurus Judge Public defender with 2 rounds of 45 Colt Hornady leverolution, 1 round of Federal 410 000 buck, and 2 rounds of 410 no. 8 shot for mr. no shoulders. The other rounds are for any two legged crackhead varmints. However, a Taurus 941UL .22 magnum (8 shot cylinder)with concealable 2" barrel is on the way and will get carried quite a bit. Maybe I'll carry both at the same time...next month the rattlers are moving around heading for the dens, and the two legged scum seems to get more active also

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from platte river rat wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I prefer to carry one of my 357mag pistols in a Uncle Mikes shoulder holster. Depends which gun I decide to take as to the type of ammo. The Hornady 125 HP/XTP with WIN296 behind it is my favorite defense load for two-legged critters and hard cast 160 gr. wide FN from cast performance with H 110 is my favorite hunting load. The Ruger GP100 or the old Dan Westion for Defense and the Ruger Blackhawk 6 1/2 in barrel for hunting. My Ruger 101 with HORNADY p+ Defense loads is always with me when I'm out and about and not in the woods.

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from tom warner wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I have carried a S&W .22 Kit Gun for over 60 years and love it. Small,light and utterly reliable. I have never felt the need for anything more potent.

Dave: Why do I ALWAYS have to sign in twice? This is a pain in the neck.

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from Mac in Mo wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I always have my 3" 624(44 spec) or Blackhawk 45 convertible. I like both 45 cartridges but usually have the 45 Colt cylinder in place.

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from Oryx wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

3kidsdad,

After the merger of companies a few years ago, it came out that W296 and H110 were exactly the same powders. Differences in load data was probably caused by lot variation or testing inconsistencies.

By memory, there were differently labeled "same powder" variations for W231, W540, and probably some I'm forgetting.

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from fortycal wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I'll pack my Ruger Single Six with the .22 WMR cylinder or my Bodyguard snubbie with JHP + P, and a couple of extra speed loaders.

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from nelsol wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Glock 20, 10mm losded with Double Tap 180gr. JHP's. Spare 10 round mag with Double Tap 200gr. HCFP's.
Southern Arkansas, Russian Hog country.

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from ishawooa wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

3kidsdad: I would stick with 2400 which is what I will go back to for cast bullets at .44 mag velocities. The rounds loaded with 296 have not demonstrated leading as far as I can determine although I expected to see some. I do have fantastic gas checks attached so that might help. What did happen is that I get about 2 of 5 rounds that are tight in the cylinder and a bit hard to eject. I don't like this inconsistency even though the 296 loads should be comparable to the 2400. If I would just stick with the old tired and true this would never be a problem. A big dose of 2400 has worked for decades but I decided to try 296 with cast since it had performed so well with jacketed with no sticking. Oh well...

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from Carney wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Colt Trooper Mk III. 357 magnum. I carry it primarily for defence when in the forest. I did take a grouse with it at 40 feet once.

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from Jere Smith wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I take 2 One of my 870's with 1 Bird shot 1 00 Buck followed by slugs and the S&W 686 Plus with Hollow Points behind 2 snake loads.

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from Storm Hall wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

EAA Bounty Hunter .357mag

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from willie boy wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

remington 870 20 gauge pump!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

3kidsdad

I hear'ya Bro!

Oryx

yes Elmer Kieth did hot rod his revolvers, but for those who shoot them more often than most will find the 44 Mag load with a 250 or 255 with 21.0 grains of 2400 more tolerable with enough mojo for anything around. I've shot even 300 grainers and regardless of what I do, I find myself bale to my old load.

I remember when Bill Ruger pressure tested the Ruger #3, he loaded it so hot it broke the stock in three pieces and the 45-70 casing was melted in the chamber. I rather not try that in a handgun :)

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from dtownley wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Ranch rifle, AR Carbine, M1 Carbine, pick your cal. .223, 5.7 johnson, ,.256 win mag, .30 carbine, 7.62X39,(+ wildcats) if fast hi-cap fills the bill, then if you was good to your grandparents you may have a Model 14, 141, 14 1/2, old 92 win/ marlin, savage pump rifle, h#ll even that Israeli Timberwolf was a nice pump rifle. If I had to pick one it would be a Model 14 carbine in .35 Rem some cartridges loaded with some .357 pistol bullets & shot for small game, light, short, fast to bring to bear.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Speaking of Elmer, if you are ever through Boise, Idaho, be sure and stop at Cabela's on West Franklin and view the Elmer Keith firearms collection and displays. Well worth the detour.

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from chargeaway wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Rossi Ranch Hand in .44 Magnum

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Here in Michigan, I go with my Ruger,GP100,with .38+PHPs. NOW, if I were in more rugged country, it would be a short barrel shotgun.BIGGER protection for BIGGER COUNTRY!

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from 99explorer wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Smith & Wesson Model 15 Combat Masterpiece with 148 gr. .38 Special wadcutters. Ideal for the small stuff, and with a speed-strip of +P Chicago loads (158 gr. lead SWC HP bullets), it will give a good account of itself for defensive purposes.

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from azduane wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Ruger Redhawk 5.5in with 24 gr 2400 and 240 gr cast lead bullet. A little stout but I like it.

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from Del in KS wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Mine is an old 3 screw (no transfer bar thank you)Ruger single six in 357 mag with 6 inch barrel and adjustable sights. It was my father in laws old pistol and is still in very good condition.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

For you 1911 shooters, check out "The .460 Rowland cartridge delivers .44 magnum power with easier handling and greater accuracy, making it the choice for large game hunting, tactical defense and if needed, removing trees and concrete walls."

http://460rowland.com/

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from micko77 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Well, it's good to see I'm not the only one who carries a Model 15 now and then, first 2 snake loads I've never needed (I just go the other way), the rest 125 gr. standard velocity for dogs--have used--or coyotes, once. FBI load back-ups. Folks dump dogs that breed with the coyotes around here if not eaten first. If hunting birds I'll holster either a Mark II or my old L-frame with 140-gr. warm loads of Blue Dot for the occasional 50-75 yard coyote; surprised myself as much as him on the run at 75 yds with the L-frame! I live and hunt about 3 miles from an ammonia plant that draws meth cooks like poo draws flies, and am an hour from law enforcement, so 2-3 speed strips of .357's I hope to never use.

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from jcarlin wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I fall into the "whatever gun you're most likely to carry" category. I have options, but the gun that generally gets to go for a walk when not actually hunting, or during archery season, is my 2.5" Taurus 605 Stainless. Lightweight, handy, and with a combination of .357 magnum rounds for a life threatening situation, combined with .38 shot shell rounds for less threatening encounters it's pretty versatile. I'm sure there are better guns out there, but I'm content with this one. My only complaint is that I think years of putting .357 rounds through it has widened the gap slightly between cylinders and barrel.

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from jcarlin wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

wingshooter54,
I've considered the Judge, but haven't had an opportunity to fire one. How manageable is that with the .410s?

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from ChevJames wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

My "trail gun" is a Glock 29 in 10mm. It's lighter than most .22s, and it packs enough of a wallop to down a deer or even--in a pinch--a bear. It's accurate, easy to shoot, and dead reliable. It's also more comforting to have with you than a .22 if you run into a marijuana "food plot"!

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from crowman wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I carry a S&W 4 inch Ti in .44 mag. It can handle about anything that I cross trails with. If I'm in bear country it's 300 grain Keith hardcast, in mountain lion areas I use a 285 grain hunting hollowpoints. I carry it in a Bianchi military holster with a flap cover to protect it from running through brushy areas. Extremely light to carry all day. [ Yes it kicks a little but I am a plumber and I twist iron for a living so it's fun to shoot even with stiff loads.]

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from jmshackelfo@aol.com wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

007;
To answer your question, I always have my glock 23 on me, mostly because Im a cop and I always have it for two legged problems. But when I go fishing I do take it and bear spray. (I know I'm going to make some people upset here) but I have seen studys where Bear spray was more effective in replealing a bear then the gun. Where I fish its too cold for snakes so I don't have to worry about them. I have heard in Alaska bears don't care about the spray, but in Colorado we don't have the massive 1000 lbs bears and they are quick to run from the spray. I have to admit my first instinct would probobly be to draw the pistol though, in fact I'm sure it would be.

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from wingshooter54 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

jcarlin:
recoil with the 2 1/2" 410 is more than the Hornady .45, but is not unmanageable. The Public Defender is built on the Taurus 85 frame, which is a little smaller than the regular Judge, making it an easily concealable gun if necessary. It will absolutely kill a rattler very dead from 10-15 feet with birdshot. Since the average hospital treatment for snakebite will run $50,000-$150,000, the Judge or Defender and a pair of snake proof boots are CHEAP.

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from jbird wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I usually carry a Browning Buckmark if it's warm enough for the rattle snakes to be out.

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from jughead481 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I have a older charter bulldog in nickle that the hammer has been bobbed, 1st two are snakeshot. I also take a charter explorer 22lr in my pack or on the boat.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I have a

Carl Gustaf Stads Gevarsfaktori 6.5x55 Swedish Naval Rifle with 16" barrel I'm going to start carrying while ATVing this winter

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from Zermoid wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Best choice a 44 mag revolver.
Can kill anything from a rat to a Grizzly with the proper ammo. More packable than a 12 GA, which also can kill anything from a rat to a Grizzly, but is more cumbersome to tote a shotgun.

Second choice for me is a 45ACP as it's what I carry 24/7 anyway. And when in the woods I usually have both on me, the 45 and 44.

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from jandemason wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

If im going far enuff into the woods to realy feel like i need a gun i carry my 30-30 if not i just carry a small pistol for snakes.

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from RangerDansDrink... wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Was fly fishing a local stream one evening last year, not too far from a Pennsylvania city. It was starting to get dark and I thought i was alone, I glance downstream and on a gravel bar in the middle of the flow, 4 large guys with no fishing gear and no waders, it looked an awful lot like a drug deal was taking place. I guess all that rushing water is supposed to cancel microphones, in case your customer happened to be the law. So I am up to my chest in water and no where to go should they take an interest in me. So I just focus on my fly and pretended not to see the businessmen doing business. From then on my 1911 is my fishing trail gun. What happened to us, when there are drug deals on a trout stream?

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from 007 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

RangerDan, I fully understand. A few years back there were several meth labs found in our little rural community so I'd rather carry a firearm a zillion miles and never need it than to need it once and not have it.

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from Don Chlebowski wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Uberti cattleman in .45 Long Colt....carry the snake load too. Add the Gerber LMF knife and you are ready to go.

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from TLF Nevada wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I have a Class III 870 with a 12" barrel. It seems handy.

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from scratchgolf72 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

if im not in grizzly country it would be a .44 mag....if im in grizzly country, i want a .375 strapped over my shoulder.

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from madmike98 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

i pack my 4 inch bareled taurus in .357 mag. I bring some cheap .38 specials for plinking and keep the big boys loaded when I'm in the brush.

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from OutdoorEnvy wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

For a real adventure in the woods I would take my leveraction 30-30. For anything else a .22 pistol

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from dasmith wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I usually carry at least my old S&W model 10 with the skinny 4" barrel. Some 158gr roundnose or swc for general use and SWCHP+P for bigger problems. If size and weight are a major concern, then its an old S&W snubnose .32 long that my father carried when he was a "trailman" for the state and his job was to walk the hiking trails in the Catskill Mountains.

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from lesley jones wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

ar-7 henry riflr .22 mossy oak break-up it really does float

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from Jacob Svetz wrote 2 years 8 weeks ago

i

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from coosabass2012 wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

Kinda tough question for Illinois where damn near everything's illegal unless you're hunting specific game at a specific time. A good knife is about all you can carry "anywhere". I prefer a 12 gauge pump with a smoothbore slug barrel as a great all around gun. My favorite sidearm is a Ruger Single Six with the .22WMR cylinder locked in.

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from Hastings Lamb wrote 1 year 4 weeks ago

I'm an old poot and have been hunting in places where just one gun may not be the best idea. Considering I live in Montana and have done most of my hunting, fishing, camping and ridge running all over an area of about 100 mie radius with Great Falls at the center, I have hunted everything legal in that area except Moose, Big Horn Sheep and Mountain Lion. In my opinion, the .308 is capable of putting any of those animals down and I have used the Savage to put most everything else down with a single shot. I did use &mm Rem Mag and a .338 Win Mag in a turn bolt but that was when I was younger and foolish enough to think I really needed a thumper. Just my opinion. Now, I carry a Ruger .22-45 with 2 extra magazines and 2 boxes of CCI mini mags HPs. My other gun is a trusty Savage 99F in .308 Winchester. It has an internal rotary magazine and I carry an additional 10 rounds with me. My faorite round is a Hornady in 165 grain or Nosler in the same bullet weight. When fishing, that is a different story and I usually pack just the Ruger.

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from lavellm wrote 1 week 1 day ago

I have a question for trail guns; do you require some sort of a CCW permit or hunting license when carrying while fishing/hiking? Your comments and answers would help me to decide how to proceed should I decide to "carry a trail gun".

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from huntslow wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

I used to have a Savage 24 combo O/U. It was .22 over 20 gauge. A great trail gun but not as much fun as my Rugers = a single-six with adjustable sights and an extra mag cylinder or Mark I with adjustable sights and bull barrel.

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from DSMbirddog wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

I have a 22 Ruger Single Six Convertable and it is still my favorite to take out plinking cans.

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from Jeff Bowers wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

I like a .22 if I know I'm going out to plink. But for hunting, hiking, and so forth where I'm just carrying it 'in case', I like my .38.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 2 years 33 weeks ago

I'm with DSM on the Single Six. On the trail I use the .22WMR cylinder. About the worst I need to worry about apart from people is mtn lions and coyotes. .22WMR will do for them.

If you're ever going where there's a real bear threat, a handgun is suboptimal anyhow. A short 12ga on a sling is more or less right, but it won't be most folks' choice because it's bulky and visually obtrusive.

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from TM wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

12 gauge pump action, like a Remington 870. It's the khaki chinos of guns. Might not be perfect for every occasion, but you can almost always get by with it.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Disclaimer: This opinion does not constitute legal advice. Please consult an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. Wear sunscreen, protective eyewear, and hearing protection. Buckle your seatbelt. Call your mother.
-The Armchair Outfitter

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from Riverrat57 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I live in S. Central Florida, and these days there is absolutely no telling what you may run in to on the trail. Along with my .20 gauge, I carry a SS Rossi .38, trail gun loaded with snake loads for a Mamba or maybe a Cobra, with back-up hollow points in my pocket for a possible Burmese or Rock Python. I ain't lyin!

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from Twopipe20 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I like to pack my .357 GP100 with Federal 158 gr. Hydra-Shoks when hunting or hiking the northwoods of Minnesota. No snakes, just an occasional wolf or bear, but they're pretty shy and have never given anybody I know any trouble. The .41 Ruger Blackhawk comes out of the gun safe during the moose rut. They can be a little aggressive, and apparently don't like you when you're hunting with a dog. Really hate to have to shoot one in self-defense, but it's better than getting stomped. Now if only Ruger could come up with something effective against mosquitoes . . .

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from white bison wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I pack a Ruger Bisley "Special Edition" ordered by
Accusport at one time. .45 Colt: Diff: 5.5" barrel, adjustable
sights, stainless, roll marked cylinder. I load 300 gr.LBT cast
hardened wheel weigh alloy to about 25 Brinnell with a
max powder load. This is in our Grizzly Country. Not the
optimum, but will work at close range. A guy killed a Griz
that attacked with a .41 Mag once, so the .45 Colt is better than nothing.
If not in Grizzly area, I carry a Colt Huntsman .22.
Best Regards,
Tom

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from nc30-06 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I really like my Remington Nylon 66. It is light, easy to carry, and accurate. Works for most situations. I also like my Ruger .22 and if I need some more power, I use my S&W model 66 .357.

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from 007 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Can I ask a similar question? I read an article some time about about handguns for the outdoors, wherein the writer recommended the usual magnum revolvers for bear protection and the like, and a .45 ACP for under your pillow in your tent. If I already have a perfectly adequate .44 magnum, why would I need a .45 to sleep with? I know you can never have too many handguns, but I must have missed something in that article.

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from 007 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Addendum - Not to highjack the thread, but one more curiousity question. Do you carry a handgun when fishing? If so, what and why? I usually do because we frequent a semi-remote area, usually my Charter Arms Bulldog .44 special, in case of predators, either two legged or four legged, or snakes. Best................

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from RJ Arena wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I'm planning to spend a lot of time on the ridges In Utah, and my new Marlin .45/70GS is going with me!

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from Bernie wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

My .22 Ruger Single-Six Convertible. In bear country, a stainless Colt Python in .357 magnum.

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from 007 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

It really depends on the circumstances and the mood. Walking a hound on a hot afternoon when snakes might be about, it's either a 5 1/2" Single Six with the .22 mag cylinder in place or a 10" Contender with the .410 barrel. Other times it might be a Super Black Hawk with a couple of rounds of snake shot and the rest 300 grain plated soft points. What can I say, I like handguns.

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from Scott Jones wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

"Since the age of 18, I carry a Ruger Super Blackhawk 44 Mag loaded with 250-255 grain casts (straight wheel weights) with 21.0 grains of 2400. It's a cheap but very accurate load and those who know me call it my power axe and it is handy as a Swiss Army Knife to clear downed tree limbs to occasional coyote"

"I have used various pistols and revolvers over the years with a preference for .22 LR until I moved to Wyoming 30 years ago. Here I mostly stick with my 4 5/8" Super Blackhawk which is an old 3 screw. I load it with a max of 2400 or 296 and a 265 gr. hard cast bullet. This is adequate for lots of circumstances. Some folks like the 500 S & W or a .475 Linebaugh in a short barreled version. The Smith is fairly easy to shoot and handle but the .475 is a bit rough on my nervous system."

My "trail gun" a Taurus Tracker in 44Mag. I also sometimes carry a 45ACP. It's better to have too much than not enough.

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from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

My S&W Model 19 .357 Mag.

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from focusfront wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I have more fun on the trail when I'm not worried. So while I agree that the hands down most fun gun in the world is a .22, any .22, the world has grown mean since I was a kid. Women are getting raped and murdered, and hikers robbed, on the Appalachian Trail. Lately cougars have been making pests of themselves all over the wild USA. And coyotes should be shot on sight wherever you see them. When in the wild I carry a .40 S&W Kahr concealed, just as if I was taking a walk past a inner city drug house at 3:00 am, and pretend it's not there. Just like I pretend the danger isn't there for my wife and daughters.

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from focusfront wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

And Phil, I apologize. This is a lighthearted subject and shouldn't be brought down. I got into shooting because guns and hunting are fun, as did we all, but I can't help having having lived long enough to see what I've seen. My last couple of gun purchases have been downright humorless.

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from buckstopper wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

a .22 is the most effective pistol for bear. if a big 'ol bruin attacks just shoot your partner in the leg and run...LOL

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from ishawooa wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Clay: For what it's worth 3kidsdad's quote came from one of my posts above. Insofar as the hot loads in the old Super Blackhawk it has digested thousands over the last 50 years. There is no flame cutting and all screws are original in holes that have never been retapped. The same goes for my New Model Bisley and my M-29. This might happen to your revolvers but there is no evidence shown by mine. Also this load is not very close to a .454 Casull in weight or velocity.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

ishawooa

"I HERBY STAND CORRECTED, BY GOLLY!"

No flame cutting and all screws are original?

NO JOKE?

And your shooting what with what load?

Curious,,,, maybe I need to reevaluate and try it!

I've witnessed allot of revolvers with severe flame cutting on both forcing cone and strap and they were not that old and not that much loads ran through as one would think.

As for 454 Casulls etc. you can have them. As for the L.A.R. Grizzly 45 Win Mag, I have two 44 Mags I will trade for one in good condition without hesitation!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I occasionally tote my S&W 28 .357 loaded with 180 gr cast slugs putting up stands, retrieving game for a partner or other times when a rifle is impractical. I think everywhere I hunt except my goose lease is inhabited by toothy fanged varmints.

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from jmshackelfo@aol.com wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

My favorit gun to take out is my ruger 10-22. Perfect for small game, and if all I'm doing is a quick hike or can plinking thats what I take. But if I'm hunting or going for a week camping trip I like having the old 30-30. If I'm in town I carry a Glock 23, only because thats what the department issues. My granddad use to tell me "If your going someplace you think you need to take a gun, maybe you shouldn't go there".

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from buriti wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I don't hike, except when hunting, but I walk around the "country block" with my wife in Southern Michigan and she would complain that carried a NAA Black Widow .22 Mag in my pocket.

Then our daughter sighted a cougar about a mile from our home and some neighbour found a deer carcass up a tree.

Now I carry my SIG P225 9x19 mm and she won't go out if I am not packing it.

Thank you, Mr.Cat!

Read my blog at http://awildbeastatheart.blogspot.com/

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from fortycal wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I'll pack my Ruger Single Six with the .22 WMR cylinder or my Bodyguard snubbie with JHP + P, and a couple of extra speed loaders.

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from Carney wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Colt Trooper Mk III. 357 magnum. I carry it primarily for defence when in the forest. I did take a grouse with it at 40 feet once.

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from RangerDansDrink... wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Was fly fishing a local stream one evening last year, not too far from a Pennsylvania city. It was starting to get dark and I thought i was alone, I glance downstream and on a gravel bar in the middle of the flow, 4 large guys with no fishing gear and no waders, it looked an awful lot like a drug deal was taking place. I guess all that rushing water is supposed to cancel microphones, in case your customer happened to be the law. So I am up to my chest in water and no where to go should they take an interest in me. So I just focus on my fly and pretended not to see the businessmen doing business. From then on my 1911 is my fishing trail gun. What happened to us, when there are drug deals on a trout stream?

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from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

From bears to meth cooks, you pretty well summed it all up in a nut shell.

STOLE MY THUNDER YOU DID SIR PHIL! LOL!

I'll bet Sir Phil is setting back in his seat with his pipe smiling, I GOT THE COOP ON THIS ONE!

YA' YOU DID!

So!

Since the age of 18, I carry a Ruger Super Blackhawk 44 Mag loaded with 250-255 grain casts (straight wheel weights) with 21.0 grains of 2400. It's a cheap but very accurate load and those who know me call it my power axe and it is handy as a Swiss Army Knife to clear downed tree limbs to occasional coyote.

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from James Card wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

The concept of a "trail gun" is an invention. It's a make-believe idea. I'd like to see the first reference of a "trail gun" in shooting literature and note who coined the phrase.

Maybe "utility gun" or "all-around gun" or better expresses the notion that you need to have a specialized gun while you're on the so-called "trail."

The best gun is whatever is handy at the moment.

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from vasportsman wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

12 gauge pump, lighter the better, I like my mossberg because it can handle any ammo I feed it and is very light and easy to carry, and is useful in any situation I am likely to encounter.

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from ishawooa wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I have used various pistols and revolvers over the years with a preference for .22 LR until I moved to Wyoming 30 years ago. Here I mostly stick with my 4 5/8" Super Blackhawk which is an old 3 screw. I load it with a max of 2400 or 296 and a 265 gr. hard cast bullet. This is adequate for lots of circumstances. Some folks like the 500 S & W or a .475 Linebaugh in a short barreled version. The Smith is fairly easy to shoot and handle but the .475 is a bit rough on my nervous system.

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from PbHead wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Colt Combat Commander in 38 Super.

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from Oryx wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Ishawooa,

Did you have the transfer bar "upgrade" done by S, R & Co.?

I found an unaltered three-screw .357 the other day and that extra click sure made it sexy.

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from Oryx wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Hard to argue with the Single-Six convertible. Read the other day that the convertibles were less accurate than a dedicated 22 LR. Took me 20 years to find out about that.

Hope my pistol doesn't hear the news; it's been a good shooter all along.

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from Proverbs wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

My idea of a 'trail gun' is something you carry while in the woods, but not while hunting. For 20 years I've carried my Browning Buckmark while hiking, stream fishing, or scouting for upcoming deer/elk hunts.

But that will probably change now, for two reasons. First, in the past few years I've run into marijuana plots twice in the Tonto National Forest, and once I came upon some fellows in the Sierra Anchas north of Globe, AZ, loading boxes of something into an unmarked helicopter. The men were armed with military rifles but were not speaking English. I backed away quietly and unseen.

Second, and more happily, last weekend I acquired the new SA XDm 5.25. I know I squawked about SA's XD triggers a couple of weeks ago, but my friend at Shooter's World had me try one, and this trigger is NOT the standard trigger. He said every model of the 5.25 they've tried has a better trigger than the other XDms, even though they are supposed to be the same. He thinks these triggers were massaged, just a little, by SA.

Anyway, the 5.25 shoots really well, especially at competition speeds. My 1911s will group tighter during slow fire, but at speed the 5.25 is similar. And it is super fun to shoot. It's just one of 'those' guns.

It came with 3 hi-capacity mags. It should be fun on the trail, and will offer more defensive capability in this crazy world where the criminals are established in our semi-wild places.

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from FirstBubba wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I no longer "hike" for kicks and giggles. I will take an occasional "walk". Don't have the pins anymore. If I ever need a backup in a deer stand, I'll take a .22 of some sort. I have three Rugers. An 8.5" SingleSix, a 4" MkII w/Bull bbl and a stainless scoped M77/22.
Should I ever need to follow up a wounded animal, I keep the 6.8mm Ranch Rifle in the truck. Short, quick with plenty punch. Biggest fear in my neck of the woods would be puma or feral hog.

Bubba

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from RML wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Trail gun for fishing and hunting sidearm is the Ruger GP 100 loaded with .357 hollow points or the Ruger Single Six with .22 Mags, maybe with a couple of snakeshot rounds as No. 1 and 2. For recreational shooting or cutting firewood on public lands near Santa Fe it's the Glock 19 for its higher capacity.

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from Blue Ox wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

PbHead- I love that gun!!

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from Sanjuancb wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

To me it depends on the trail...

Woodland trail? Ruger Bearcat

Fishing trail? Taurus Judge?

Bear Country Trail/Illegal Immigrant Trail? Charter Arms Bulldog

I also had a Springfield Armory M6 Scout, 22 Hornet over .410 that was a fun trail gun too.

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from Mark-1 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

When I did carry a "trail gun", when they were called a "kit gun", it was a .22 Browning or Ruger auto pistol. However, since I hate wearing a pistol/holster I seems I always left the outfit back in the car/SUV. I gave up on the idea of "trail/kit gun".

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from Oryx wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Proverbs:

I too handled a new 5.25, and at least compared to the old "just xD" line, the trigger was improved as well. Generally, I find that the striker-fire pistols get a bit smoother over time as well.

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from ishawooa wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Oryx: No transfer bar upgrade, just an action job by John Linebaugh back in the eighties, aftermarket steel ejector rod housing, with barrel cut to 4 5/8", and original factory grip panels. In fact it music when the hammer is thumbed back, although just four notes, immediately prior to the booming bass.

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from ishawooa wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Mark-1: I share you thoughts on hating to wear a holster of any kind. Out of necessity in the northern Rockies the belt holster is the last thing I add immediately prior to climbing on my foxtrotter. Shoulder holsters bother me even more.

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from Roderick K. Purcell wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

If it's grouse season, I'll strap on my Ruger .22 Singlesix. But otherwise, a can of Counter Assault on the right hip. Works better against griz than a handgun (at least with me at the trigger), weighs a lot less and costs a lot less. They've loosened the regs at Yellowstone and Glacier and you can carry a sidearm there now, but I think you're still better off with pepper than lead. Anything less than a 44 mag is a joke against a bear and anything less than a brain shot is only going to piss it off more. Counter Assault is NASTY and it works.

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from country road wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

The only trails I walk are on my own property and I carry a .38 Colt Cobra with snake shot for the first two loads during snake season. I hardly ever shoot a snake, and never a non-poisonous one, but occasionally I'll find myself in too close proximity to a cottonmouth or timber rattler or find one too close to where I'm living or working, and I'll expend a charge of snake shot.

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from Tim Platt wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I thought everyone carried a Ruger MKII .22 with the 5 1/2" barrel. It's what I carry when I am hiking/camping...

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from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

3kidsdad

So whats your point.

Obviously your load,

"I load it with a max of 2400 or 296 and a 265 gr. hard cast bullet."

Hot and heavy loads loosens frame screws wearing the threads and eventually requiring retaping for larger screws and causes flame cutting thus shortens the life of the revolver.

250 grain with 21.0 grains with 2400 was good enough for Sir Elmer Keith, good enough for me!

If you wanted the recoil of the 454 Casull, perhaps you should trade in your 44 dar HOT ROD!

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from Walt Smith wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

XD45 acp--with 13 shots it will most any rabid ground squirrel I run into!

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from Jim in Mo wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

How about a .38 special with #11 bird shot if your concerned about snakes? Although .22's are hard to beat for fun pistols or rifles.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

buckstopper,
Old joke but a goody.

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from Oryx wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Clay, Elmer was a lot of things, but easy on his pistolas he was not.

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from AlaskanExile wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

WA Mtn I agree. I love my Highway Patrolman too! It's a great gun and being an N-Frame, it's a pussycat to shoot with the heaviest loads. I have a nice old shoulder rig that's perfect for "trail" work.
Now that I'm back in Alaska I usually carry my 45-70 Guide-Gun stoked with Buffalo Bore 430gr cast loads for a trail gun. Never know what you might meet on the trail!

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from vehicle wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

If its bear country, then my 12ga Mossberg 500, if not then my Ruger .357 flattop.

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from Drew McClure wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I have carried my 22 Buck Mark, but I carry some rat shot to more effectively kill snakes, otherwise I carry an 870.

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from Scott Jones wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Clay,

That wasn't as clear as I had hoped. I am in total agreement with you and ishawooa - It's better to have more than you need than need more than you have.

In my Tracker I normally use a hard cast 200gr over 18gr of 2400 as a general purpose field load at 1150fps (measured) in the 3-1/2" ported barrel. Big enough for anything I'm likely to run into in south Arkansas but still enjoyable to shoot in a 34oz revolver. Come hunting season I'll have the 7-1/2" SBH with either 245gr Keith or 310gr LFNGC over stout loads of 2400.

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from Scott Jones wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

ishawooa -

How is the 296 working for you with cast bullets? I had stayed with jacketed bullets over 296 and 2400 or H110 in cast. I really like 296 but was scared of leading.

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from wingshooter54 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Taurus Judge Public defender with 2 rounds of 45 Colt Hornady leverolution, 1 round of Federal 410 000 buck, and 2 rounds of 410 no. 8 shot for mr. no shoulders. The other rounds are for any two legged crackhead varmints. However, a Taurus 941UL .22 magnum (8 shot cylinder)with concealable 2" barrel is on the way and will get carried quite a bit. Maybe I'll carry both at the same time...next month the rattlers are moving around heading for the dens, and the two legged scum seems to get more active also

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from platte river rat wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I prefer to carry one of my 357mag pistols in a Uncle Mikes shoulder holster. Depends which gun I decide to take as to the type of ammo. The Hornady 125 HP/XTP with WIN296 behind it is my favorite defense load for two-legged critters and hard cast 160 gr. wide FN from cast performance with H 110 is my favorite hunting load. The Ruger GP100 or the old Dan Westion for Defense and the Ruger Blackhawk 6 1/2 in barrel for hunting. My Ruger 101 with HORNADY p+ Defense loads is always with me when I'm out and about and not in the woods.

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from tom warner wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I have carried a S&W .22 Kit Gun for over 60 years and love it. Small,light and utterly reliable. I have never felt the need for anything more potent.

Dave: Why do I ALWAYS have to sign in twice? This is a pain in the neck.

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from Mac in Mo wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I always have my 3" 624(44 spec) or Blackhawk 45 convertible. I like both 45 cartridges but usually have the 45 Colt cylinder in place.

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from Oryx wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

3kidsdad,

After the merger of companies a few years ago, it came out that W296 and H110 were exactly the same powders. Differences in load data was probably caused by lot variation or testing inconsistencies.

By memory, there were differently labeled "same powder" variations for W231, W540, and probably some I'm forgetting.

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from nelsol wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Glock 20, 10mm losded with Double Tap 180gr. JHP's. Spare 10 round mag with Double Tap 200gr. HCFP's.
Southern Arkansas, Russian Hog country.

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from ishawooa wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

3kidsdad: I would stick with 2400 which is what I will go back to for cast bullets at .44 mag velocities. The rounds loaded with 296 have not demonstrated leading as far as I can determine although I expected to see some. I do have fantastic gas checks attached so that might help. What did happen is that I get about 2 of 5 rounds that are tight in the cylinder and a bit hard to eject. I don't like this inconsistency even though the 296 loads should be comparable to the 2400. If I would just stick with the old tired and true this would never be a problem. A big dose of 2400 has worked for decades but I decided to try 296 with cast since it had performed so well with jacketed with no sticking. Oh well...

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from dtownley wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Ranch rifle, AR Carbine, M1 Carbine, pick your cal. .223, 5.7 johnson, ,.256 win mag, .30 carbine, 7.62X39,(+ wildcats) if fast hi-cap fills the bill, then if you was good to your grandparents you may have a Model 14, 141, 14 1/2, old 92 win/ marlin, savage pump rifle, h#ll even that Israeli Timberwolf was a nice pump rifle. If I had to pick one it would be a Model 14 carbine in .35 Rem some cartridges loaded with some .357 pistol bullets & shot for small game, light, short, fast to bring to bear.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Speaking of Elmer, if you are ever through Boise, Idaho, be sure and stop at Cabela's on West Franklin and view the Elmer Keith firearms collection and displays. Well worth the detour.

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from Del in KS wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Mine is an old 3 screw (no transfer bar thank you)Ruger single six in 357 mag with 6 inch barrel and adjustable sights. It was my father in laws old pistol and is still in very good condition.

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from jmshackelfo@aol.com wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

007;
To answer your question, I always have my glock 23 on me, mostly because Im a cop and I always have it for two legged problems. But when I go fishing I do take it and bear spray. (I know I'm going to make some people upset here) but I have seen studys where Bear spray was more effective in replealing a bear then the gun. Where I fish its too cold for snakes so I don't have to worry about them. I have heard in Alaska bears don't care about the spray, but in Colorado we don't have the massive 1000 lbs bears and they are quick to run from the spray. I have to admit my first instinct would probobly be to draw the pistol though, in fact I'm sure it would be.

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from Don Chlebowski wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Uberti cattleman in .45 Long Colt....carry the snake load too. Add the Gerber LMF knife and you are ready to go.

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from TLF Nevada wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I have a Class III 870 with a 12" barrel. It seems handy.

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from scratchgolf72 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

if im not in grizzly country it would be a .44 mag....if im in grizzly country, i want a .375 strapped over my shoulder.

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from madmike98 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

i pack my 4 inch bareled taurus in .357 mag. I bring some cheap .38 specials for plinking and keep the big boys loaded when I'm in the brush.

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from OutdoorEnvy wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

For a real adventure in the woods I would take my leveraction 30-30. For anything else a .22 pistol

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from dasmith wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I usually carry at least my old S&W model 10 with the skinny 4" barrel. Some 158gr roundnose or swc for general use and SWCHP+P for bigger problems. If size and weight are a major concern, then its an old S&W snubnose .32 long that my father carried when he was a "trailman" for the state and his job was to walk the hiking trails in the Catskill Mountains.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Going in to our remote camp for caribou hunting, my #1 trail gun for camp meat is my Ruger Mark II for grouse is all you need for this dumbest bird on earth! You can get within 7 feet for a perfect head shot.

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from wp wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

While the .22lr is and probably always will be the "trail gun" of choice, I agree with those who want a little more power to throw at whatever predator comes at them while afield. To fully cover the 2 and 4 legged predator spectrum I prefer a .44 mag. Ruger's 4in redhawk is not the lightest carry piece, but it is capable of handling anything in North America with the right load. When a more discreet option is called for, a small .357 revolver is hard to beat. When in areas where the most likely threat is from wild dogs or the less pure intentioned of our society, I'm willing to give up a little horsepower for a bigger gas tank. A glock 26 W/ a 12 rounder and a spare 17rd mag is light enough to carry all day almost unnoticed and is easily concealed.

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from Jere Smith wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I take 2 One of my 870's with 1 Bird shot 1 00 Buck followed by slugs and the S&W 686 Plus with Hollow Points behind 2 snake loads.

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from Storm Hall wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

EAA Bounty Hunter .357mag

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from willie boy wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

remington 870 20 gauge pump!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

3kidsdad

I hear'ya Bro!

Oryx

yes Elmer Kieth did hot rod his revolvers, but for those who shoot them more often than most will find the 44 Mag load with a 250 or 255 with 21.0 grains of 2400 more tolerable with enough mojo for anything around. I've shot even 300 grainers and regardless of what I do, I find myself bale to my old load.

I remember when Bill Ruger pressure tested the Ruger #3, he loaded it so hot it broke the stock in three pieces and the 45-70 casing was melted in the chamber. I rather not try that in a handgun :)

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from chargeaway wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Rossi Ranch Hand in .44 Magnum

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Here in Michigan, I go with my Ruger,GP100,with .38+PHPs. NOW, if I were in more rugged country, it would be a short barrel shotgun.BIGGER protection for BIGGER COUNTRY!

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from 99explorer wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Smith & Wesson Model 15 Combat Masterpiece with 148 gr. .38 Special wadcutters. Ideal for the small stuff, and with a speed-strip of +P Chicago loads (158 gr. lead SWC HP bullets), it will give a good account of itself for defensive purposes.

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from azduane wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Ruger Redhawk 5.5in with 24 gr 2400 and 240 gr cast lead bullet. A little stout but I like it.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

For you 1911 shooters, check out "The .460 Rowland cartridge delivers .44 magnum power with easier handling and greater accuracy, making it the choice for large game hunting, tactical defense and if needed, removing trees and concrete walls."

http://460rowland.com/

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from micko77 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Well, it's good to see I'm not the only one who carries a Model 15 now and then, first 2 snake loads I've never needed (I just go the other way), the rest 125 gr. standard velocity for dogs--have used--or coyotes, once. FBI load back-ups. Folks dump dogs that breed with the coyotes around here if not eaten first. If hunting birds I'll holster either a Mark II or my old L-frame with 140-gr. warm loads of Blue Dot for the occasional 50-75 yard coyote; surprised myself as much as him on the run at 75 yds with the L-frame! I live and hunt about 3 miles from an ammonia plant that draws meth cooks like poo draws flies, and am an hour from law enforcement, so 2-3 speed strips of .357's I hope to never use.

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from jcarlin wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I fall into the "whatever gun you're most likely to carry" category. I have options, but the gun that generally gets to go for a walk when not actually hunting, or during archery season, is my 2.5" Taurus 605 Stainless. Lightweight, handy, and with a combination of .357 magnum rounds for a life threatening situation, combined with .38 shot shell rounds for less threatening encounters it's pretty versatile. I'm sure there are better guns out there, but I'm content with this one. My only complaint is that I think years of putting .357 rounds through it has widened the gap slightly between cylinders and barrel.

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from jcarlin wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

wingshooter54,
I've considered the Judge, but haven't had an opportunity to fire one. How manageable is that with the .410s?

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from ChevJames wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

My "trail gun" is a Glock 29 in 10mm. It's lighter than most .22s, and it packs enough of a wallop to down a deer or even--in a pinch--a bear. It's accurate, easy to shoot, and dead reliable. It's also more comforting to have with you than a .22 if you run into a marijuana "food plot"!

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from crowman wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I carry a S&W 4 inch Ti in .44 mag. It can handle about anything that I cross trails with. If I'm in bear country it's 300 grain Keith hardcast, in mountain lion areas I use a 285 grain hunting hollowpoints. I carry it in a Bianchi military holster with a flap cover to protect it from running through brushy areas. Extremely light to carry all day. [ Yes it kicks a little but I am a plumber and I twist iron for a living so it's fun to shoot even with stiff loads.]

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from wingshooter54 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

jcarlin:
recoil with the 2 1/2" 410 is more than the Hornady .45, but is not unmanageable. The Public Defender is built on the Taurus 85 frame, which is a little smaller than the regular Judge, making it an easily concealable gun if necessary. It will absolutely kill a rattler very dead from 10-15 feet with birdshot. Since the average hospital treatment for snakebite will run $50,000-$150,000, the Judge or Defender and a pair of snake proof boots are CHEAP.

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from jbird wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I usually carry a Browning Buckmark if it's warm enough for the rattle snakes to be out.

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from jughead481 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I have a older charter bulldog in nickle that the hammer has been bobbed, 1st two are snakeshot. I also take a charter explorer 22lr in my pack or on the boat.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I have a

Carl Gustaf Stads Gevarsfaktori 6.5x55 Swedish Naval Rifle with 16" barrel I'm going to start carrying while ATVing this winter

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from Zermoid wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Best choice a 44 mag revolver.
Can kill anything from a rat to a Grizzly with the proper ammo. More packable than a 12 GA, which also can kill anything from a rat to a Grizzly, but is more cumbersome to tote a shotgun.

Second choice for me is a 45ACP as it's what I carry 24/7 anyway. And when in the woods I usually have both on me, the 45 and 44.

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from jandemason wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

If im going far enuff into the woods to realy feel like i need a gun i carry my 30-30 if not i just carry a small pistol for snakes.

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from 007 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

RangerDan, I fully understand. A few years back there were several meth labs found in our little rural community so I'd rather carry a firearm a zillion miles and never need it than to need it once and not have it.

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from lesley jones wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

ar-7 henry riflr .22 mossy oak break-up it really does float

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from Jacob Svetz wrote 2 years 8 weeks ago

i

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from coosabass2012 wrote 1 year 7 weeks ago

Kinda tough question for Illinois where damn near everything's illegal unless you're hunting specific game at a specific time. A good knife is about all you can carry "anywhere". I prefer a 12 gauge pump with a smoothbore slug barrel as a great all around gun. My favorite sidearm is a Ruger Single Six with the .22WMR cylinder locked in.

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from Hastings Lamb wrote 1 year 4 weeks ago

I'm an old poot and have been hunting in places where just one gun may not be the best idea. Considering I live in Montana and have done most of my hunting, fishing, camping and ridge running all over an area of about 100 mie radius with Great Falls at the center, I have hunted everything legal in that area except Moose, Big Horn Sheep and Mountain Lion. In my opinion, the .308 is capable of putting any of those animals down and I have used the Savage to put most everything else down with a single shot. I did use &mm Rem Mag and a .338 Win Mag in a turn bolt but that was when I was younger and foolish enough to think I really needed a thumper. Just my opinion. Now, I carry a Ruger .22-45 with 2 extra magazines and 2 boxes of CCI mini mags HPs. My other gun is a trusty Savage 99F in .308 Winchester. It has an internal rotary magazine and I carry an additional 10 rounds with me. My faorite round is a Hornady in 165 grain or Nosler in the same bullet weight. When fishing, that is a different story and I usually pack just the Ruger.

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from lavellm wrote 1 week 1 day ago

I have a question for trail guns; do you require some sort of a CCW permit or hunting license when carrying while fishing/hiking? Your comments and answers would help me to decide how to proceed should I decide to "carry a trail gun".

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