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Backpacking with a "Thunder Five"?

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by Agrippa, Jul 14, 2002.

  1. Agrippa

    Agrippa Get Agrippa

    I was looking for a good all-around pistol for protection during my forays into the hills, and figured that as much as i like my G19, a revolver would be my best bet for protection from those pesky two and four legged varmints out there. I figured i would be stuck getting a .44 with a 4" bbl, but i found a wheelgun called the Thunder Five. This is a 5 shot, 2" bbl revolver that accepts .410 shotshells, or .45LC in it's looong cylinder. It's supposed to be accurate out to 10 yds, which is fine, 'caude i'm not gonna hunt with it, andit's about 48 oz., whick is fine, too.
    I was wondering if any of you has had any expierience with it pistol, be it good or bad, and would appreciate any and all feedback on this pistol, or another good choice. I am not too knowledgeable on six-shooters(uhh, five in this case), and it just seems like the multi-tool of revolvers. Slugs, Buckshot, Birdshot, .45LC, and dont they make flare ammo in .410? Man, i hope it's a good gun, cause it looks awesome, like a .38 snub on crack...
  2. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

    Jul 23, 2001
    Cochise County, AZ
    check out the taurus tracker in .41mag. with hot corbon hunting loads you are looking at energy similar to .44mag. and it has a 4" bbl which helps in the accuracy department. the best part is the steel version only weighs 35oz. the titanium weighs a scant 24.7oz, but can't shoot the hotter loads. but a 175gr silvertip out of a 4" bbl is still a thumper.

  3. riverrat

    riverrat Millennium Member

    Dec 20, 1999
    IMHO they are well built and versatile. Just too heavy for me for backpacking where every ounce winds up being so crucial. A nice used "&" mountain gun would probably serve you every bit as nicely and not weigh you down so much.
  4. Pseudochron

    Pseudochron Computer Nerd

    Mar 14, 2001
    Pittsburgh, Pa
    For backpacking I think a Glock 29 would serve you pretty well. You can find some pretty hefty 10mm hunting rounds out there and having 10 shots with a semi-auto is a pretty substantial defense against any critter. Besides, it's a Glock ;f

    Failing that, I would think a Ruger in .44 mag with a 4" or 5" barrel would be nice, harder hitting, but with less rounds and I would imagine a good bit more weight (evil thing when backpacking).
  5. Kilgor

    Kilgor American Millennium Member

    Oct 1, 1999
    The .410 is very weak when fired from a 20"+ barrel. When fired from a 2" barrel it will not be worth much.

    Get a Glock 29.

    Or a revolver .357 and up with a 4"+ barrel.

  6. calzoom


    Dec 26, 2000
    Shoreline, WA, USA
    A few years back the Thunderer five came out and I thought I had to have one. Then I saw and handled one at my local Gun show. Man! The thing weighed a ton. So I wound up with a S&W backpacker in 44 Mag. That became too heavy as well after a few all day jaunts in the hills. Finaly I wound up with a Glock 29. Best choice I've made. Pack it all day in a Fobus paddle, now problem. Stoked with 180 gr FMJ for critter control.

    The thunderer Made a big splash in a couple of gun magazines then disappeared. I like your description of it. I would imagine you can get a pretty good buy on one but I feel you'll soon tire of it.
    Then again if you need a weapon for close range you could just thro the thing at the problem.;f ;f ;f
  7. TScottW99

    TScottW99 NRA Life Member

    Jul 15, 2002
    Roanoke, VA
    i've never played with that gun but always recommend a nice wheel gun for backpacking protection. (i'm a glock lover through and through but...) If you do get attacked by an animal and you have to fire, a wheel gun is usally your best bet. Say the animal knocks ya' on the ground and gets on top of ya'. Your going to be pushing your gun pretty much into the rib cage of a bear/cougar/bobcat,etc..... As much as I love my Glocks, in this scenerio they have a good chance of not going off. If the slide is pushed into the animals belly/ribcage/slide etc... it will not fire if pushed back just a hair. A wheel gun doesn't matter, you can push the thing into the animal and fire away. The Taurus tracker mentioned above is a great gun and comes in some great calibers, i.e... .45LC (which you can get +P loads for), .41mag, .375mag, .44mag. All of which would make great rounds for two or four legged beasts. (of course hopefully if your being charged you can fire before hand where a Glock would be great but you know old Mr. Murphy... animals can be awful quite and sneaky ;) )
  8. calzoom


    Dec 26, 2000
    Shoreline, WA, USA
    ;a In closing I'll promise to be more brief and carefull with this over sensitive laptop. But having wildlife encounters and physical encounter with a bear my belief is to be careful out there and if you are in ANY area that there is any possibility of and encounter with a critter be it two or four legged your weapon of choice is not so important as the ability to circumnavigate the threat. Personally I have more fear of stumbling into someones private dope patch that is well monitered than any critter in the woods.

    Thanx for listening and may the debate rage on!

    ;m ;a ;w ;w ;R ;I ;I
  9. WFR


    Dec 2, 2001
    When backpacking in non-bear areas I carry G27.
    When in bear areas I carry the G29.
    Give the bears some room, don't attract them by being careless with your food and you won't need the weapon at all. I have had several bear encounters that all ended without a shot fired or a weapon drawn.
    I'm more concerned with rabid dogs,coons and no account humans!
  10. Pseudochron

    Pseudochron Computer Nerd

    Mar 14, 2001
    Pittsburgh, Pa
    I'll just add that going along with what calzoom was saying, generally speaking if you just make some noise while hiking, the four legged critters will do everything they can to get out of your way. I've stumbled across a few bears before, every time but one they took off away from me the second they sensed me. The only exception to this I've ever had was hiking with a group on a trail that hadn't been used in years. We had stopped to cook lunch and had a bear wander up to about 50 yards of the camp. It circled around, staying always about 50 yards out, sniffing around, seeing what we were (probably had never seen a human before in this area). After it got the smell of everything it just wandering off back into the woods.

    While your hiking, talk to people around you, and intentionally step on sticks now and then to make noise. So long as most critters know your coming ahead of time, it's no problem. Just try not to suprise them. If something is camped in the middle of a trail, just pass around it giving it a wide margin of comfort, and stay with your group if your with one.
  11. IPSC-1

    IPSC-1 Insta-Gator

    Apr 10, 2002
    On the subject of bears....
    Your much more likley to be accosted by a two legged
    "animal" than you are by a bear. When hiking I carry
    my Gp-100 but its soon to be replaced with a Taurus
    41 mag Tracker.
    Be alert and be prepared, thats my motto.
  12. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

    Jul 23, 2001
    Cochise County, AZ
    bears don't really worry me. mountain lions... those guys freak me out. bears will do what they can to stay out of your way, mountain lions will actually hunt you. scary stuff.
  13. Ten


    Sep 12, 2001
    Camas, WA
    The last several posts have started to add some great information to this post. Several mention carrying G29s for bear. The 10mm is a minimal round for black bear only. A 12 guage shotgun is better but you are not going to carry that from the sounds of things. The 10mm would me worthless for Grizzly. Black bears will generally get out of your way before you know they are there. They still do have the potential to really mess you up. The tendons that control their claws are as thick as your finger. The muscles are even bigger. You do not want to get between a momma bear and her cubs. You also do not want to eat all of a bear's huckleberries. This last week I was in Idaho near Deadwood reservior. My wife, mother in law, and I were picking huckleberries in a very remote patch. My wife and I heard an odd sound that I thought was two trees bumping together with the wind. I dismissed it as that and we went on picking. As we were getting ready to leave we heard what we thought was an elk above us moving through the trees. It sounded like branches snapping but moreso than you would normally hear. I looked closely for the elk to appear over the crest of the hill. We then heard the growl that a bear makes when it swings its head from side to side. It was clear as can be. I did not actually see the bear but I could not mistake the growl. I found out later that the popping was the bear chomping its teeth together. I had my G20 with me and I put myself between the bear and the ladies and we quickly left the area. The bear did not want to approach us but also did not want us in its huckleberry patch. We were glad to comply when we knew it was there. I think that normally that bear would have cleared out quickly hearing us talking but it wanted to protect its dinner and so let us know that it was not pleased. I felt that the G20 would help in the situation but would have preferred my brother in law's 450 Marlin that we had shot earlier. Sorry about the length of this post.
  14. carebear

    carebear Da Bear is back

    Jun 23, 2001
    Anchorage, AK
    The Thunder 5 is overly heavy and bulky and has NO advantages over a standard .44, .41 or .45C. It is inaccurate at even short ranges with both calibers, the .410 out of a 2" bbl is not a significantly better "scattergun" round than shotshells. The 2" bbl is too short for any decent velocities or accuracy with the .45 plus it's noisy and massive flash to boot.

    You won't find many gunsmiths who will work on it and finding a quality holster is gonna be a search.

    It's a novelty and a solution in search of a problem. Take the alternative solutions offered above.
  15. Guest

    of course you could always get the 45-70 conversion fot the t-5 and have a serious asskicking(on both ends) pocket revolver... ;f
  16. duncan

    duncan Millennium Member Lifetime Member

    Feb 15, 1999
  17. Sulaco

    Sulaco Guest

    I carry a .38 snubby in the woods. If a bear comes after me, I am screwed no matter what I have. Bear are not just meat eaters, this is what makes them so dangerous. A mountain lion cannot afford even the slightest injury since he cannot hunt with a bullet wound in his abdomen. A bear on the other hand, can take the wound, still track you down, kill you and eat berries and insects for the next month or so while he heals. If you see a bear in the woods, don't try to shoot it, try to move slowly and quietly away from it. If it spots you, just stand there like an idiot because running will spark the instinct to chase. If it does charge, I have no good advice, maybe laying in the fetal position crying for your mom will make him sympathize with your defenseless situation ;)

    Full blown meat eating predators will not risk great injury to eat. They would rather give up and try again another day. Usually, just the sound of a gunshot will send most critters hightailing it into the woods.

    Of course, this is just my opinion and if you try any of this and it doesnt work, tell your surviving relatives not to sue me.
  18. NoVAlooker

    NoVAlooker What Me Worry

    Oct 23, 2001
    Northern Virginia
    I'd recommend something in .44 Mag or larger for protection, weight be damned.

    Too many people start counting every single gram when backpacking. y general feeling is go with one less shirt, pairof shoes, book, camera, etc. Its worth the slightly extra weight to carry around a weapon that does its job. If you get a hoslter or pack to carry it well, you won't even notice it. I've got a great atachment to my Dana Designs Alpine (pre buyout days) that straps across your chest. It holds a water bottle (ie: Bike bottle) on the outside and has a zippered compartment that is easily accessed and good for maps, granola bars, and the aformentioend .44 mag (Depening on your size and the size of the bag, its big enough to fit up to a full 7inch barrell redhawk)

    Pretty sure Dana still markets them. I'll post a picture when I get home.
  19. Mud


    Feb 18, 2002
    Marlin Guide gun in 45-70 stoaked with some garette loads is my choice in bear country, i usuallay have my buddy bring an 870 stoaked with brenkes.

    but for pistols i like the RUGER redhawk with a 4" bbl
    and i can see where the 10mm glock would be sweet too

    anything is better than nothing good luck
  20. Aimless


    Jan 30, 2002
    Forget the thunder 5- .410 is a crappy round out of a shotgun, out of a pistol it's a joke.

    I've never had a black bear act aggresively enough that I felt the need to fire at one in self protection, so you could probably just carry whatever pistol you would normally carry. However if you are worried about bear trouble and are comfortable shooting a 44 get one (i.e. the biggest gun you can comfortably shoot).

    I suppose you could kill a bear with a 10mm Glock, better you than me (not that I want to have to plug away at an angry bear with any handgun).

    Seems like it's gotten tougher to get the hot 10mm rounds that are good for hunting. Maybe Norma still makes them? I've heard that a lot of 10 is down loaded to 40 levels, but I haven't shot much 10 lately