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I plan on getting my handgun permit within the next few months and wanted some rec's from you guys. In the county I live in, is is practically impossible to get a full carry. So I'm going for the sportsman license, whic includes, hunting, competition shooting, target shooting, hiking and camping. These would be the only time I would be allowed to have the firearm on me. I would definately take it hunting with me, but most likely will not be my go-to gun. More or less a back-up.
At first I was thinking maybe a 9mm because it's the cheapest to shoot. But if I go hiking and come in contact with a hungry black bear....all that 9mm is going to do is piss him off.
So, what would you guys recommend? I like revolvers, but will go with whatever is best.

Thanks
Adam
 

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Well I'm very partial to Ruger guns. They make some of the finest revolvers available. They have the SP101 chambered for the .327 Federal. That caliber is excellent for personal defense and would work as a BUG for many animals. Of course they also offer a whole realm of larger calibers should you want more oomph.

Also I see Taurus has a new monster. This thing shoots 3" 410 shotgun shells or .45 caliber. Model 4510
 

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Go for the SIG, I love my SP2022. I've shot Glocks, Berrettas, Taurus and the Hi-Point at the range when I was looking. I bought the SIG, very reliable IMO.

Are you simply using it to ward off errant bears? Or general self defense? You don't need a crane to swat a fly, different guns for different purposes. I saw a SICK, MASSIVE revolver at the last gun show, it was a bear gun, the rounds were huge, I can't remember what caliber they were.
 

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S&W Model 29 - .41 Magnum, .44 Magnum, etc.
 

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.327 is a cool cartridge, but is so new that is likely going to be pretty pricey to purchase if you plan on training alot, which is a good idea for a carry gun or HD/PD wheelgun. There are alot of options like the obvious glock and XDs. Sounds like you plan on using it for a varity of uses while out in the woodlands. If there's ANY chance of bear, you best be packin a heavy hitter or have a rifle/slug gun slung over your shoulder. They havn't become an apex hunter because they steal pic-a-nik baskets. This is something that will take ALOT of thought and should be approached with care.
 

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Taurus makes some affordable revolvers that might fit in with what you want. They have a .44, and they have a five shot model that takes both .45LC or .410
 

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a .357mag would be a great gun for you. lots of companies make them so you have a great choice of options, configurations, and prices. but what really sets the .357mag apart is there are a lot of ammo types so you can match the round to the activity be it personal defense, hunting, taking out that unhappy black bear, silhouette targets, or wad cutter paper targets. Add in the ability to use .38 special as well for a low recoil plinker/trainer and you have a hand gun that will do just about any thing you can ask with out breaking the bank. S&W, Ruger,Taurus and many others all make fine .357mags. good luck and let us know what you go with.
 

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If you want a 357, may I HIGHLY recommend the Taurus Tracker. It is a 7 shot wheelgun that has 8 ports in the 4" barrel taming down a 357Mag round to what feels like a 38special. And obviously you can shoot 38sp for plinking, that, by the way , feels like a 9mm out of that ported barrel. Very little muzzle flip, and the "ribber" grips are a wonderful grip that I wish I could get on all my firearms. Check them out.

4" Tracker
http://www.taurususa.com/products/product-details.cfm?id=265&category=Revolver

Tracker Family:
http://www.taurususa.com/products/gunselector-results.cfm?series=TS2



By the way, my wife will shoot 357mags out of it no problem, but prefers the 38specials



 

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Get a Taurus Raging Bull in 454casull. You will have the big bore for bear yet you can shoot 45LC for economy plinking.

I don't care all that much for the Judge though, the 410 shot is pretty much only good for about 5 feet max before the spread gets too much. Rifled barrels and 410 shot don't mix all that well. Makes a good snake gun though.
 
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357 MAG for what you want would be hard to pass up! You can shoot both 38s and 357 out of it. If you reload you can make some real nice bear loads. When I used to backpack I would carry a 4 inch 357 with a 200gr bullet loaded hot. It was a handful to shoot.
 

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Right on with a Taurus, Taurus. I have a stainless model 605 in .357 mag. When it comes to a BUG, it really fills the bill. Though only a 5 shot weapon with a 2" barrel, it still packs a punch at the muzzle without killing your hand. Also, in case of TEOTWAWKI, a revolver is much more likely to last over a semi-auto.

Another great gun at a good price is the Ruger GP100/101 series. A little heavier, but built tank tough and can take firing the Mag round all day without a burp.

Just some suggestions.
 

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Adam,
First of all which type of firearm are YOU more comfortable shooting , a pistol or a revolver? Which have you handled the most and is the easiest for you to control? Once you determine that then you can decide on a caliber that works for you. THe guys here have all listed some very fine weapons, but none of them are any good if you don't feel comfortable with them. Also what is your budget, perhaps a used gun is a good buy for you. Have you gone to a range and rented some of there handguns? That's a good way to determine what you prefer. Also remember when your out walking around in the woods and you have to use that weapon you hearing is going to hurt like hell or shut down after the first round. Get used to shooting what ever gun you buy with full power rounds to get used to the recoil. Having a 357 mag and shooting 38 specials out of it won't condition you for a full house round, more so with a 44 mag or 454 casul. Although you can shoot hot 45lc rds with the casul and still have good stopping power.
Any way you go, try the different types and calibers before grabbing one. There is no point in having a gun for outdoor protection if you don't like shooting it and don't practice alot with it.
Of course this is just my opinion, your mileage may vary depending on your driving conditions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Adam,
First of all which type of firearm are YOU more comfortable shooting , a pistol or a revolver? Which have you handled the most and is the easiest for you to control? Once you determine that then you can decide on a caliber that works for you. THe guys here have all listed some very fine weapons, but none of them are any good if you don't feel comfortable with them. Also what is your budget, perhaps a used gun is a good buy for you. Have you gone to a range and rented some of there handguns? That's a good way to determine what you prefer. Also remember when your out walking around in the woods and you have to use that weapon you hearing is going to hurt like hell or shut down after the first round. Get used to shooting what ever gun you buy with full power rounds to get used to the recoil. Having a 357 mag and shooting 38 specials out of it won't condition you for a full house round, more so with a 44 mag or 454 casul. Although you can shoot hot 45lc rds with the casul and still have good stopping power.
Any way you go, try the different types and calibers before grabbing one. There is no point in having a gun for outdoor protection if you don't like shooting it and don't practice alot with it.
Of course this is just my opinion, your mileage may vary depending on your driving conditions.
Thats the problem. I have shot a .38 revolver and a S&W 9mm. They were my friends guns. I shot a couple of rounds out of each.....and thats really the only experience I have with handguns.
There are no ranges that rent out handguns around here to try anyhting out. I was leaning more toward the .357 and .44. It sounds like the .357 will fit the bill nicely.

Thanks
 

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So, what would you guys recommend? I like revolvers, but will go with whatever is best.
This is why the crew here has been recommending revolvers. For a backup gun, a good double-action revolver is simply the best choice. If you have to go to it, the situation is already high stress and adrenalin pumping. All you have to do to get it into action is grab the handle, point it at the target and pull the trigger. If a round fails to fire, another pull of the trigger puts a fresh round in line and ready.

Whether it holds five, six or seven rounds doesn't matter. However, the caliber does for bear. Most auto pistol rounds don't have what it takes for the job short of the .44 or .50 Desert Eagle. With the .357 and .44 magnums revolvers, you can shoot .38 or .44 Specials for training, switching to the full power loads when carrying for hunting. When I'm out in the woods, my Smith & Wesson model 27-2 is stoked with .357 Magnum rounds. :D
 

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Thats the problem. I have shot a .38 revolver and a S&W 9mm. They were my friends guns. I shot a couple of rounds out of each.....and thats really the only experience I have with handguns.
There are no ranges that rent out handguns around here to try anyhting out. I was leaning more toward the .357 and .44. It sounds like the .357 will fit the bill nicely.

Thanks
Don't live in NC, or close to, by any chance do you? If you're anywhere near by I'd be more then happy to pull out the full gammet of firearms for you to try out.
 

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Let me hear from you if you're in Montana. We'll set up some range time with the handguns. :D :D :D :D :D
 
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