shotgun hunting and backup handgun question.

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by Taykaim, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. Taykaim

    Taykaim NRA Member

    So, I'm going hunting for small game this weekend. Just for fun with some friends who do some hunting. I do a lot of competition pistol shooting and the occasional HPR match, but shotguns have always been a tactical tool for me rather than a hunting weapon.

    That said, I will be using my Remington 870 express with bird shot for the squirrels and rabbits we are after, and a few slugs for the feral pigs we aren't after, but will consider taking opportunistically should we run across one.

    They warned me to bring a backup pistol (which I would have anyway, given that my carry permit allows it regardless of hunting season, and its just a habit at this point).

    My main choices are:
    my carry gun, G17, with my normal 147 jhp's 1050 fps
    my Taurus 357 7 shot revolver, 158 JHP's never chronoed it.

    The dilemma is this:
    I shoot a whole lot with my 17, and use it at the range or competition 3-4 times a week.

    I shoot with the revolver perhaps 3 times a year.

    The 357 JHP's are surely more powerful than the 9mm bullets, of that there is no need to discuss. We are *not* handgun hunting, so I consider it a given that the main reason my carry gun would see any use is if an aggressive hog or even more unlikely black bear tries to bag his limit in humans. That said, I am seeking opinions on whether or not the higher per-bullet power/penetration, but lower training, and ammo capacity make it worth bringing the more powerful handgun on this hunt?

    I consider myself pretty ignorant when it comes to what I think is referred to as terminal performance of handgun ammo on animals. So while my comfort level says bring the G17, if those 9mms will be wholly ineffective, then it seems I should bring the wheelgun despite the drawbacks.

    Advice is appreciated, personal experience appreciated more.

    Wanna kill these ads? We can help!
    #1 Taykaim, Sep 10, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2009
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  3. Self defense for hogs I'd take the .357 mag over the 9MM any day.

  4. Can you carry the 357 comfortably without it getting in the way? If so I'd take that.
  5. If you take the 357 Magnum switch out the 158 grain JHP loads with a 158 grain JSP for the better penetration. However it looks like you are highly skilled with the Glock. Switch out the 147 grain JHP loads with the same weight FMJ's for the extra penetration and take the Glock.
  6. DJ Niner


    Given equal skill with both, I'd have to agree.

    But I think this is the best answer in this particular situation. Especially if it ever came down to one-hand defensive-type shooting, the skill set he has mantained with his very familiar autoloader trumps the per-shot power of the much-harder-to-shoot-DA-effectively revolver.
  7. You are bird hunting. Which means you are likely hunting with dogs, but definteley hunting fields or open areas.

    And you are protecting yourself from what spefically that requires a handgun?
  8. DJ Niner


    Did you READ his entire post? It explains the situation rather well.
  9. Hunt pigs much?

    They are either hunted by dogs or from a blind and usually over bait to make them come in so you can get a shot.

    Hogs don't attack unless cornered or you seperate a mother from her young. And a bunch of guys yacking and walking around shooting shotguns is going to send every hog in the area running in the opposite direction.

    If you hunted hogs much, or at all, you would know that.

    But if you need to rationalize a reason to carry I guess hogs can be it. Heck, carry something big so you can protect yourself from rampaging elephants too.
  10. Folks carry handguns while in the field for many reasons. In the area I live in quite a few do for protection from animals. I have had to run moose off several times when hiking. Once I had to cover three unarmed men that were up in a tree on a popular hiking trail in the fall. They had been chased up the tree by a pissed off bull moose. One of the first things they said to me when I came down the trail was I see you have a gun. Can you cover us while we climb out of the tree. If I was in the field in an area with wild hogs I too would want a lightweight handgun on my hip just in case. If you feel like taking a back up handgun and it is legal in your area than by all means do so.
  11. AK, I totally agree. and in your neck of the woods it is a necessity. if they were up there I would understand.

    These guys are already carrying shotguns while bird hunting. Their concern was a feral pig attacking them while they hunted. That is unnecessary.

    You don't need an excuse to carry a handgun in the field, just carry it. You don't need to envision scenarios of feral pigs attacking shotgun toting hunters to justify it. Those just don't make sense.

    I've deer hunted with guys during rifle season that carried a handgun. It never made sense to me, but what the hey. I've even hunted with a guy that was afraid of the dark. Serioulsy! and lit himself up like a farmstead when he walked to and from his stand. Again never made sense to me because you are carrying a loaded long gun.
  12. I have to agree with Jonesee, carry the gun if you must and whatever one you need and feel safe with. Some of you act like your going into war at Iraq

    Most of the time when hunting in small game armed with only a 12ga and #6 steel, I have no fear of that from animals hog or not. If one if brave enough to charge me, he will get a face full of whatever I have chamber. I do carry 1-3 rounds of buck in a front pocket, since hogs are allowed in most of my areas during small game.

    fwiw, I hardley carry a pistol any more for backup from furry animals, but for carry aganist 2 legs upright animals.
  13. DJ Niner


    So, there's two ways, and ONLY two ways, to hunt hogs. Check. I'm sure that will surprise the folks that have taken them in other ways, but hey, the expert has spoken.

    Got it. Again, only two possibilities to chose from. Good thing we don't have to worry about "attacks" from wounded animals anymore, or critters running away from one hunter but toward another. Thanks for clearing that up.

    You're right, I don't hunt hogs, but from the quality of your pronouncements, I wonder if you do, either.

    The original poster did not ask for a self-appointed expert to pass judgment on his reasons for carrying a backup gun; he asked for reasons why one of his options might be better than the other. If you can't respond to a thread on-topic, move on to the next one or start your own.

    #12 DJ Niner, Sep 13, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2009

  14. My comments were not meant to be all encompassing. Just prime examples of the reach some will take to rationalize a need to carry a handgun. And yes I hunt hogs frequently, and in my years of hunting them I have NEVER heard of an unprovoked hog attacking a hunter.

    And from the early posts in the thread it was obvious that some posters including you had never hunted hogs. To someone who does frequently it was actually humorous.

    The rationalization you guys are using is almost funny. If you want to carry a handgun while hunting, carry it. there is no need to make up far out life threatening scenarios to make it OK.
    #13 Jonesee, Sep 13, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2009
  15. Taykaim

    Taykaim NRA Member

    Thanks for the replies folks. The information was helpful. I went with the more familiar G17 with a loadout of +P+ 147 FMJs. As expected, I had no call to use it, and at the same time didn't regret having it. Never fear, for those so inclined I'm sure there will be many more things to pass judgment on in this post as well.

    We had a great time out there. We got a bunch of squirrels but saw no other small game. We were not hunting with dogs (at least, we didn't bring any along). No boars or bear were seen, but we did have a run in with a group of dogs that made us nervous. They seemed like they might have been feral. They didn't attack but their pack behavior and body language toward us was just short of being threatening. They were clearly not especially wary of us. Things got tense when they broke into two groups and tried to flank us. If it had been my land, we'd have put them down. I don't like the idea of packs of wild dogs. However, the WMA land we were on bordered private property, so we couldn't be sure they weren't poorly cared for pets.

    It was a great time though, and while I would have loved to have gotten a chance at a boar, or some rabbits, the squirrels were surprisingly tasty (my first time trying them). It was fun, and in retrospect I wish I had tried hunting years ago. For some reason I grew up with the idea that hunting trips were always highly expensive and involved jumping through many hoops to acquire the licenses and such. It was a fun intro to another way to have fun shooting.
  16. DJ Niner


    Glad you had a good time!

    I carry one of my Glock 9mms on most forays into the field, even if it's just a photography hike. If I'm carrying certain firearms while hunting, the Glock may be replaced by something bigger or smaller, but it's usually a Glock on my hip. They are small and light enough to be there without always being in the way, but able to help in many situations, even if it's just used as a signaling device or to drive away animals acting in a peculiar or threatening manner.

    Speaking of threatening animals, I applaud your restraint on dealing with the dogs; they might not have been so lucky in my area, or around most of my friends. Around here, lacking clear signs of being a current pet (collars/tags, clean groomed fur, well-fed look, etc.) they are usually considered a nuisance (at minimum), a threat to wild animals (which the wildlife management areas are designed to protect and nurture; could be why you didn't see any ground-nesting birds or rabbits), and possibly a threat to people unaware of feral/animal pack behaviors. I'd like to recommend you report the incident to your state Fish and Game department; even thought you let the critters walk, the wildlife area manager may want to address the problem more directly.

    #15 DJ Niner, Sep 14, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2009
  17. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    We used to have around 400 of these on the place. Market went south. Now down to just Four, for "makin bacon." ha.

    These sows and boars aren't wild of course, but will bite the dickens outta ya 'sometimes' just to be doin something. The "late Bud," seen behind the big sow, came in more handy than a gun. Ha. We think a rattler finally got him. He disapeared one day and that was that.

    Shoot, i carry a side arm all the time on the place here, or in the mountains, whatever. But it is not for fear of animal attacks. I never worry about that where ever I am. I/we use it out here for rattlers, and if need be on a lion, or to put down livestock with a broke leg, or such. In the rockies, when there, I still carry a side arm, the same old Ruger Vaquero or Black Hawk with heavy cast bullets. If i need it i got it, but have "never had to use it" in all these years against a raging anything. More concerned now a days about deep forest chemist. (guys who run meth labs or pot fields). ha.

    I do agree, that with guys stomping around hunting birds and such, and armed with shotguns, I truly see no worry about hog attacks, or any attacks. I have personally never had that happen, or known of anyone it has happened to.

    I'd be more concerned about Dick Chaney showing up ! :wow:

    I do not agree, that a man can put a "limit" on just a couple of ways an attack can happen though. Things can happen, 'just cause they do' sometimes.

    Well, I didn't add much, so I'll ride outta here.

    Stay safe everyone.

    #16 CanyonMan, Sep 14, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2009
  18. Taykaim

    Taykaim NRA Member

    It's funny you mention those, (and I like your phrase for them) deep forest chemists. Its a different world here (Georgia) than where I grew up (west of the Rockies). The lack of long range visibility is something I'm still not used to after a decade in the east. The dogs were a potential threat I didn't really anticipate, the slight possibility of running into some hostile two legged animals was on my radar as a slight but possible problem. We didn't see any of that, but from stories I've heard from some friends around town, you go on enough hunting trips in new places and you're almost bound to find a pot farm or meth lab nestled away in some backwoods area.
  19. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle


    Yep. I have lived out west all my life. I got a few realitives in Tennesse (sp), got tons of land there. I hunt with them there from time to time while on a family visit, and in all this stuff that looks a tiny bit like Nam. I don't like it frankly, I like to 'see'. Meth labs abounding. Pot farms, you bet.

    But, so it is in good old West Texas as well.
    You can pretty much chalk it up to this. The times we are in now, and the way things are in these days we are in. You will begin to discover more and more of this going on, becuse folks are making more money with this, than they can with their ranches and livestock etc. Even what I would call, "good folks," sometimes turn to things like this 'out of fear' of losing everything. It's wrong, real wrong, but a sad fact none the less.

    Keep your guns clean boys !


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