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Pistol caliber?

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by seamaster, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. seamaster


    Feb 19, 2003
    hi guys, I'd appreciat your advice regarding caliber selection.

    My reason for having a pistol is mostly for fun and I'm looking for a polymer framed gun in 9mm or 40 S&W.

    I'm an outdoors guy who hunts with a rifle and occasionally go fishing. I don't think I need pistol if I'm rifle hunting but I might take it along if I'm fishing.

    The most dangerous animals I can encounter are cougars and black bears. I can deal with a black bear but not sure about cougars. I think they are too good at stalking to even know you are being hunted in which case if you had to shoot a cougar I'm guessing it's on top of it's victim before you know what happened. In this case is there much difference in having a 9mm vs. 40 S&W.

    Comparing a 9mm with 4" barrel to a 357 mag revolver with 3" barrel, is there much difference in stopping power.

    I'm trying to detemine if I should have some bigger than a 9mm if my primary purpose is just for fun.

  2. {I think they are too good at stalking to even know you are being hunted in which case if you had to shoot a cougar I'm guessing it's on top of it's victim before you know what happened. In this case is there much difference in having a 9mm vs. 40 S&W.

    will in that case, neither would make that much difference imho.

    The animals have been posted in the past and debated to death on calibers, and has been brought up numerous times for blk bears and mountain lion/cougar. You can search in this forum for the previous posts. IMHO: You would be best served with a magnum level of a handgun if you think a possibility of being attack by a big cat or bear exist.

  3. seamaster


    Feb 19, 2003
    The possibility exists but it's very small. This is why I ask the question, is more power really neccessary?

    Two of my close friends are also buying pistols. My outdoor friend is getting the 9mm and my city slicker friend is gettng the it naive to think a 9 mm is enough or could fear be a reason why some one chooses a larger caliber?

    I need some expert wisdom!

  4. IV Troop

    IV Troop

    Jun 19, 2004
    I grew up in the mountains of the rural West where their are lots of bears and cats and other more common nasty animals. At least once a week on my off time I am in the hills hunting or hiking or something. One question you have to ask yourself is this: How badly do I want to survive? 9s and 40s are fine for in the city but I have run into some nasty animals in the remote areas of the west. A 45/10mm would be a much more prudent choice. A 44 mag in your hands is much more comforting than a 9mm when the pissed off badger or blackie is between you and the truck.

    Lots of choices. I have seen some big animals get hit with some big rounds and barely even react. Sometimes animals just don't go down like in "Outdoor Life".

    Happy Hunting.
  5. gatorfish


    May 16, 2003
    Yes, I would prefer a marlin lever in 45/70 or a 44mag for full time big game protection, but thats not what your asking...for you intentions, fun/target shooting first and a little security while in the woods second, the 9 is just fine.
  6. akbound


    Mar 31, 2004
    For the purposes you're stating there is not a huge difference between the 9x19 and the .40S&W. As the 9x19 is about a third less expensive to shoot and practice with I'd probably select the 9x19. If you're like most (on a budget) you'll shoot more with it, shoot better because of the more often practice, and in general enjoy it more as a plinker.

    Cougars aren't terribly difficult to kill, houndsmen and hunters have been killing them with mid-bore handguns for a long time. And typical blacks aren't that large, (though they tend to take more "killing" than a cougar for certain). There is always the possibility of running into a really heavy black, but the odds get proportionally longer.

    In truth I wouldn't feel much better one way or the other when it comes to the difference between the 9x19 and the .40S&W when used for the purposes you've stated. Six of one, half a dozen of the other; a 15-17 shot 9x19 or a 12-13 shot .40S&W. Find the one the you like the best and go with it.

    Good luck!

  7. seamaster


    Feb 19, 2003
    Does anybody know what caliber pistol is issued to air force pilots?

    Thanks for your replies,
  8. lazarus

    lazarus Hard to Kill

    May 30, 2001
    I don't know for sure, but I'm fairly sure it isn't .40 S&W. The default within the military seems to be the M9, chambered in 9x19.

    Certain units with special applications have various .45 ACP guns, but I've never heard of anyone in the armed forces using a .40. Many complain the the 9mm is inadequate, but this is moslty anecodtal, and keep in mind that the military is required by the Geneva Conventions to use only ball ammo.

    That said, my normal street carry gun is a G23 in .40. I have a G19, but it is mostly for training people and IDPA. In the woods I usually carry a S&W 629 in .44 Magnum.

    This is really just personal preference. I bought the .44 for a trip to Alaska in serious Brown Bear country.

    Shot placement is everything, and if you are only going to have one gun, a G19, in 9mm, in a rock solid choice.
  9. Eagles1181

    Eagles1181 Flying High

    May 25, 2000
    The Great State of Texas
    I believe the air force is issues the standard 9mm. However, there are rumors that they are looking at changing handguns and possibly changing calibers. If you are worried about bear and big cats I would thing about getting a Glock in .357 sig. Has the same balistics as the .357 mag. Then get a conversion barrel to shoot either .40 or 9mm. If you go to .40 all you need is the barrel, if you go to 9mm you will also need new mags, but those are eay to find and fairly cheap. Also if you go with 9mm get an aftermarket conversion barrel as the outside diameter is slightly different on the stock guns. If you go to .40 just buy a factory barrel and drop it in, it works fine.

  10. lomfs24


    Apr 19, 2003
    Have you considered the .357 Sig. It is a 9mm bullet sitting on a 40 S&W case. (Pretty close to that anyway). I do the same type shooting that you do, for the most part, and feel completely comfortable in the woods with a .357 Sig. They have slightly better penetration than a 40 S&W but are still a 9MM sized frame gun. Ammo is easy enough to get and you can buy bulk ammo (range fodder) for about the same price as 40 S&W ammo.

    I love my sig. I have a Glock 33 that I carry CCW and I have a Sig Sauer P229 that I carry in the woods. Seems to be a pretty good round.
  11. paccw

    paccw ARE YOU READY !

    Aug 18, 2004
    Are you allowed to carry a semi auto when hunting or fishing on state land?
    Here in PA we can't so I carry a 357 mag or 45 Colt +P.
    You can get a used Ruger Black Hawk 45 Colt for around $250.00 to $300.00 and then you can stop anything up to 800 LBS with a 300 GR Colt +P load.
  12. Dogbite

    Dogbite DNT TREAD ON ME

    May 20, 2000
    If it comes to "shooting something off of you",i would take the most powerfull caliber you can handle.I was born and raised in Alaska,and spent alot of time in the bush,a 44 mag was always on my hip--always.We also had bigger weapons with us in case we ran into a large bear.If i were worried about cougars,i would go with a 357 mag revolver,or a 10mm glock.If you cant shoot them well,and totally limit me to 9 or 40,ill take the 40.
  13. ECVMatt


    Apr 13, 2003
    So Cal
    a .357 sig bbl. Look into Double Tap ammo for the .40 and .357 Sig.

    While not my fist choice, it is better to have a gun with you then back in the truck becuase it is too heavy to carry.

  14. BillK@tcmhmrs.o


    May 13, 2004
    I'd like to suggest a Ruger Coverible Blackhawk in 357/9mm. It will fill the need for a plinking gun with 9mm and also allow the use of good hunting loads in 357 magnum. The Blackhawk is a rugged single action revolver, and the convertible ones come with two cylinders. The 357 cylinder allows the rounds to seat on the rims, whereas the 9mm has a ring inside the cylinder where the rounds seat on the case mouth. You don't need moon clips. Each expended round is ejected using an ejector rod affixed to the barrel. I have one of these beauties in 45ACP/ 45 Colt and it will shoot all kinds of rounds, including very stout 300 grain Buffalo Bore rounds at 1300FPS that will suffice for most dangerous animals in the Contimental USA. I took a feral hog last November with a 200gr Speer JHP 45ACP round.
  15. Edge

    Edge Millennium Member

    Jan 4, 1999
    Seamaster: FWIW: Since you are an outdoorsman and you didn't mention (that I noticed anyway) concern about two legged predators or CCW, I'd be really tempted to get a .44 mag revolver. That may be overkill for most things, but they are very pleasant to shoot with .44 specials and you can use it for hunting deer and such later with .44 magnums if you get into hunting. I'd handle a variety of makes to get a feel for them, but I'd look most closely towards one of the lighter weight guns with a 4 to 6 inch barrel. Jeff
  16. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    Jul 26, 2002

    I might add, the 44mag, with the 44 specials, (loaded properly), will kill the deer deader than a hammer, and has done so on hogs, and bear, with cast bullets.

    This suggestion, from Jeff, and also the .45colt, is my personal choice, and what i carry 99% of the time on the ranch, or in the rockies.

    Good luck to ya!

  17. Adirondack 47

    Adirondack 47

    Dec 30, 2004
    Look into a Glock 20 as others have stated. Its tough to argue with 15+1 round of 10mm on your hip. Its what i carry when we hike up here in the adriondacks in NY. I use 175 grain Winchester Super X STHP pushing 1300 FPS and 650 FT/Lbs of energy. Thats better than the 357 mag, 41 rem mag, and 44 mag in that bullet weight. CHeck 10mm out
  18. fishshooter


    Feb 21, 2005
    For the .44 mag--
    Remington 180 gr. JSP 1610 fps for 1036 ft-lbs
    Hornady 180 gr. XTP's 1550 fps for 960 ft-lbs.
    I'd go with something heavier.
    Federal 300 gr. CastCore 1250 fps for 1040 ft-lbs and way better penetration.
    Garrett makes some badboys, but I don't have the numbers right here.
    But since you asked about the 9 vs. 40. I'd go with the 40. Heavier bullets, better energy. You only get a very marginal increase in energy by going with a 357 sig. This is at the expense of bullet mass though. The upper end .40 are about on par with the .357 sig in regard to energy, with a heavier slug. 9mm doesn't compare to either.
  19. Adirondack 47

    Adirondack 47

    Dec 30, 2004
    Im a huge fan of shot placement but 15 rounds of 10mm makes me feel a lot better than 6 rounds of 44 mag. UNless of course your carry a 10 lb Desert eagle in which case you can have 8 rounds of 44 mag ;Q :cool: