Revolver for PA hiking...

Discussion in 'Pennsylvania Glockers Club' started by tat2guy, Nov 8, 2010.

  1. tat2guy

    tat2guy NRA Life Member Silver Member

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    OK, a buddy of mine does a lot of hiking. He asked me the other day about carrying a handgun for self defense against potential wildlife attacks. We had a pretty good discussion on the topic, but I am far from an expert here.

    He has a .38 and a .357. A new gun is not out of the question, but not tops on his list of discretionary spending, either (hence the mention of the Glock 10mm)

    Oh, and he has a License to Carry, as well, so no issue there...

    He sent me a follow up email, which I told him I'd put in front of folks who probably know more than I do.

     
  2. tat2guy

    tat2guy NRA Life Member Silver Member

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    In all reality, the wild dogs pose the biggest threat, and I feel either gun would be fine to handle them. The bears are the less likely threat, but need a LOT more stopping power than a .38, and probably a lot more than a .357, unless you get really good brain shots in...

    What say youse?
     

  3. Bilbo Bagins

    Bilbo Bagins Slacked jawed

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    I hike a lot in PA, mostly the AT, and the big concerns I face are Black Bears and 2 legged creeps.

    Right now I carry a Kel Tec PF9, which should cover 2 legged predators, coyotes, wild dogs, and if you run into one a Cougar. The odds of you running into a Eastern Cougar are really, really slim, but a 9mm should do the job.

    9mm is light for Black Bear, but in a pinch it will do,but I'm less than confident. Black Bears in PA do get big, but they will back off if you make some noise. The problem is the idiots who don't hang their food and keep it in their tent or the camp area and a hungry bear comes into camp when everyone is asleep. You might also do the classic startle a mom bear and her cubs. It rare that you will every have a problem with a Black Bear when hiking but attack do happen every once in a while in PA.

    Another problem with hikers is the about of gear we carry. If you doing something more than just a dayhike, you are going to have a backpack with a waist strap. You can't carry IWB and you can't carry with a shoulder rig. You are usually stuck with Pocket carry, Ankle carry (I would not recommend it), making up a pouch to your shoulder, or waist straps, open carrying with a jury rigged holster on your shoulder or waist strap, or carrying your gun in your backpack, which sucks because if something happens and you need that gun fast, you are screwed. You carry so much weight to begin with when you are hiking and carrying a big +30 ounce handgun on a shoulder or waist strap is a royal PITA. Hiking backpacks are not designed to have holstesr attached to them and to have something heavier than 2lb on the straps. They were made for holding digital cameras, gps, or a first aid kits. Try walking with a 40lb pack, and hiking 10 hours straight with a 2lb pistol flopping back and forth and poking you in the shoulder or the waist. Also your friend probably already knows, the hiking community in general are not very gun friendly, so expect to get hassled if you are open carrying.

    In the end you need something that is pocketable, and in a decent caliber. You can go with a lesser caliber, but I would carry bear spray as a backup, if your hiking in Bear country. The weight of the handgun needs to be less then 24 ounces.

    I'm not happy with my PF9 basically due to rust issues, I might swap out the slide for a hard chrome one, but I think I may go for something different. Here goes some options.

    A J frame in .38, 357, or .44special. Again go lightweight with a short barrel. I like the weight of a S&W 642, the Thump of something like a Charter Arms bulldog in .44Special, a SP101 .357 is pushing it weight wise, but its stainless steel is a nice for rust protection. Remember this gun is going to be in wet, dirty, salty (from your sweat) conditions.

    Bond Arms derringer - I like having something with .45LC or .357 power in such a small package. The stainless also helps, I just don't like that it is only 2 shots.

    A 9mm, .40, or .45 pocket gun. Something like a Kahr or a Kel Tec, maybe a subcompact Glock or XD, but I would test it out first with the pack on before hiking with one.

    Most of the time when I hike in the South Eastern parts of PA, where a bear encounter is less likely, I just carry a P3at or a .32 pocket gun. Something like a NAA .22mag min revolver would be nice and light too, it just if you are hiking in bear country, I would bring bear spray as backup.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2010
  4. jack76590

    jack76590

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    You might take a look at the Chesty Puller rig by simply rugged. Link,

    http://www.simplyrugged.com/the-chesty-puller-conversion-system/
     
  5. Bilbo Bagins

    Bilbo Bagins Slacked jawed

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