Bear protection handguns?

Orange Dust

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Hello
Next season I plan to hunt deer in Arkansas. I am told that from time to time bears pass through the lease. With this in mind, what is a good, dependable handgun (that won’t break the bank) to carry for protection? I hear that the Glock 20 (10 mm) is a solid choice. Any other guns to consider?
Hunting in Arkansas a good pair of snake boots will give you more protection, especially in early season. However, I always carry a handgun whenever in the woods. A 10MM, .40 or .45 are all good options. Most everyone carries all the time anywhere, anyway. Keeps bad people on their toes, and helps force them to be polite in rural encounters. South Arkansas has bears with a closed season that aren't nearly as afraid of humans as their brothers in the western part of the State. The area is also full of hogs that can be 400lbs and just as mean or meaner than a bear. Good place to take a .44 with heavy cast bullets. I must say you will be about 100 times more likely to run into a mad rattler or cottonmouth than a bear. Bad people out doing bad things are somewhere in between those two.
 

WYO300RUM

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The 454 is a beast. I use a 44, model 83, and hardcast 340gr +P loads from buffalo bore. Excellent round with 1550 ft/lbs. Very managable.
The 460 XVR is a little more beasty my heaver pistol. Not much difference between it and Super Redhawk 454. That's a stout load in a 44 mag. but awesome. I've never shot anything heavier in my 44 Super Blackhawk than a 300 gr. .
 

memtb

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I bought a Kenai Gunfighter holster for my 460 S&W. I has a Sig Romeo red dot sight on it. I went into the holster until it hit the picatinney rail. About inch and a half short of all the way in. I probably would of been ok. I was thinking of heating it up with hair dryer and shoving it in. All the while a Glock 20 or Springfield XDM 10mm kept going thru my head. The a week later the guy I just bought a Lab pup from can in wanting to sell 3 new in the box pistols. One was a Glock 20. Imagine that. Glad I didn't alter the holster. I returned it and got a Kenai for the Glock 20. Then 2 weeks later was my last day working there so I bought myself a Springfield XDM 10mm for a going away present ! Don't really know why... I haven't checked if it fits in the Glock holster yet but I doubt it. I'll get another Kenai for it if I choose it to carry.. no more 20% discount tho 😟

WYO300RUM,

I was gonna ask why you didn’t just notch the holster......then I got a little smarter and decided too research the Kenai holster.

I went with the Galco Kodiak Cross Chest rig, as I wanted leather for the “more quiet” rig when carrying through brush and when drawing the firearm.

When I went to a picatinny rail/with red dot sight.....I notched the holster to clear the sight system! It ain’t as pretty as when Galco produced it.....but, it’s functional! 😉 memtb
 

memtb

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A thought for those carrying heavy handguns in a cross-chest holster, as I’m a wimp, I padded the shoulder strap where it crosses the shouldr/neck area. I used a sheep skin cover, like some people put on automobile seat belt shoulder straps! It’s a bit warm in the heat of summer.....but, works well the rest of the time!

As an unsolicited bonus.....you can see my skillfully crafted notch in the holster! 😁 memtb

rpzNFBXl.jpg
 

wilkup

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Cle Elum, WA
With those big X-Frame Smiths, what's the overall weight end up at? They're monsters for sure! I can't imagine carrying it any way other than in a chest holster.
I really prefer packing my sixgun on the belt in a crossdraw style leather holster while horseback (when I bring it along).
Anyone else carry their sixgun that way these days, or is the Kenai/Diamond chest rig, the new preferred way?
 
Last edited:

WYO300RUM

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WYO300RUM,

I was gonna ask why you didn’t just notch the holster......then I got a little smarter and decided too research the Kenai holster.

I went with the Galco Kodiak Cross Chest rig, as I wanted leather for the “more quiet” rig when carrying through brush and when drawing the firearm.

When I went to a picatinny rail/with red dot sight.....I notched the holster to clear the sight system! It ain’t as pretty as when Galco produced it.....but, it’s functional! 😉 memtb
I thought about it before the heat job. If I get another I may cut it. Probably easier.
 

memtb

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Dec 30, 2013
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1,652
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Winchester, Wy.
With those big X-Frame Smiths, what's the overall weight end up at? They're monsters for sure! I can't imagine carrying it any way other than in a chest holster. I really like packing my sixgun on the belt in a crossdraw style leather holster (when I bring it along) while horseback.
Anyone else carry theirs that way anymore, or is the Kenai, or Diamond's chest rig, the new preferred way?

Not a lot lighter than my .375 AI! 😁

6 pounds, 15.1 ounces.....fully loaded, 6 spare rounds, scoped (“dotted” 😉), and slung! “All dressed-up.....and ready to rumble”! 😉 memtb


EAd2Kgml.jpg
 

WYO300RUM

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Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Messages
1,715
Location
Wyoming
With those big X-Frame Smiths, what's the overall weight end up at? They're monsters for sure! I can't imagine carrying it any way other than in a chest holster.
I really prefer packing my sixgun on the belt in a crossdraw style leather holster while horseback (when I bring it along).
Anyone else carry their sixgun that way these days, or is the Kenai/Diamond chest rig, the new preferred way?
It's either 72 or 74 ounces without rail and optic.
 

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