How many carry a 44 or similar when you are rifle hunting?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by The Oregonian, Jul 10, 2019.


Help Support Long Range Hunting by donating:


  1. The Oregonian

    The Oregonian Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,013
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Talking about areas where bears, cougars, etc can be found. Or do you just carry pepper spray, where aim doesn’t have to be dead on. Moving to Montana in a month or so and curious to what people carry and what your reasoning is...whatever i decide to do I want it to be an informed decision somthe reasoning is important to me.
     
  2. drtony

    drtony Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    115
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2018
    I carry a Ruger Redhawk 44 magnum when I hunt in the mountains whether predators are common in the area or not. It is a little heavy, but built like a tank and can shoot some heavy HSM bear loads. I decided on the Ruger over the S&W due to the stronger build on the Rugers. I read somewhere that some S&W revolvers cannot shoot the really heavy and hot for caliber rounds because the frames aren't built for it. In fact, if I remember correctly, its printed on the box of HSM bear loads not to shoot them in S&W revolvers.

    I am not sure how "necessary" it is to carry a defensive sidearm for four legged creatures, but everyone else in our hunting party carries one. That said, I also don't live in the mountains where I would be exposed to predators on a daily (or at least frequent) basis. I think it is more of a "better to have it and not need it; than need it and not have it" kind of deal (for me anyway).
     
  3. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,946
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    I carry some form of pistol every time I go hunting. Depending on the location and possible need, I carry a 22 mag up to a 460 S&W. Depending on the level of exposure I will take the appropriate one.

    Many times you don't have time to use the rifle and the pistol works well from varmints to bears.

    I have had many close calls, and the pistol came through for me.

    J E CUSTOM
     
    Mustang72, Hse0785, FIGJAM and 4 others like this.
  4. Bravo 4

    Bravo 4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,135
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    I carry a Glock 21 in .460 Rowland. Normally it's when I carry my bigger more unwieldy rifle, however find it on my side more and more (especially in thick brush).
     
  5. Rick Richard

    Rick Richard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,269
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    I found in most places out west the wind always blows so I don't use pepper spray. It could be a bad thing if your on the downwind side if you have to deploy the spray.

    With that said, in Grizz country I carry a 10 MM Glock when hunting. You never know when they will come in to your space such as; when dressing out game and that rifle of yours is propped up 15 feet from you against a tree. That sidearm maybe quicker to reach and eliminate the threat provided you can 'hit' with it. Also, carrying a firearm is sort of...cool.
     
  6. BallisticsGuy

    BallisticsGuy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    759
    Joined:
    May 8, 2016
    If I carry a pistol in the field, it's usually just the ol' Glock 21 or a Dan Wesson .357mag.

    .44's are just too heavy, kick too hard, are too damned loud and I, frankly, can't shoot more than one shot from one both quickly and accurately at the same time while I can positively rattle rounds out of my Glock or .357 as fast as I can and still be usefully accurate. If I'm going for my sidearm, chances are it was a surprise. If it's a surprise then I'm going to probably be pushing lead downrange quickly to gain situational dominance whilst trying to get more space between my butt and any teeth or claws. In a surprise we stand an equal chance of the first shot being a miss or being otherwise ineffective regardless of the gun we have so we might as well have the ability to follow up repeatedly and quickly.

    Before anyone jumps in with the, "oh just spray and pray then?" The difference between the above and spray-and-pray is subtle and has to do as much with mindset as tactics. Spray and pray is just that. It's wild shooting which is so poorly aimed as to be generally ineffective regardless of the number of rounds fired. Shooting fast and continuously until the target is defeated while paying attention to accuracy is not spray and pray. While shooting fast and accurately you're ok to give up a little accuracy for a little speed because you're looking to deliver as much blood loss to your target as possible and because the whole argument assumes that you did not have the luck to get a bang-flop from your first round.
     
  7. Wolf76

    Wolf76 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    348
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2014
    Glock 29 in 10mm. Hard cast bullets in bear country and jhp every where else.
    I have 9mm and 44 mag, but the 10 literally and figuratively splits the difference.
    I like the fact you could give a warning shot in a stand off situation with a handgun. The percussion could definitely sway the encounter in the right direction.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
  8. Buttermilk

    Buttermilk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    567
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2005
    I carry a Ruger SBH 454 Casull and/or a Glock M29 10mm when I am hunting with a bow, rifle or one of my specialty pistols (Encore, XP-100).
     
    Cold Trigger Finger and Cinchy like this.
  9. sea2summit

    sea2summit Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    76
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2018
    My experience and thoughts^

    S&W 629 with heavy bullets here if I'm carrying a backup pistol for critters. Won't fail to go bang if I don't take care of it, will go bang after a bad round if I pull the trigger again, has at least twice the horsepower of the supposedly amazing 10mm.
     
  10. sea2summit

    sea2summit Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    76
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2018
    My understanding is the strength of each is the same, I don't know of any independent tests of both frames in the same conditions. The Ruger is forged so has to be bigger because the steel is weaker, the S&W is smaller because it's milled out of harder steel from what I know.

    I looked up HSM and didn't see any warnings on their ammo other than for .45 Colt bear loads which list both Ruger Redhawk and S&W (among others) not suitable for the round. Link, https://hsmammunition.com/faqs/?Display_FAQ=2729
     
    lyotehunter likes this.
  11. Mountain Sloth

    Mountain Sloth Active Member

    Messages:
    27
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2017
    Carry a Springfield XD40 in Montana, not necessarily the biggest handgun but at least it would give me a fighting chance. Carry it every weekend when side by siding or hunting/fishing/hiking. Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it is suppose.
     
  12. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,946
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Dangerous game is not the only reason/time I carry a pistol as mentioned. I like my 22 mag when on my fore wheeler for varmints, snakes and pest that the rifle would not be fast enough or Appropriate. It would/is also great comfort when facing people intent on doing you harm with 30 rounds in fast succession.

    I hunted on the Texas - Mexico border and had more than one confrontation with less than desirable's running Drugs. the pistols made for good deterrence and fortunately I never had to use the rifle. At least Bears are more predictable than some undesirables.

    J E CUSTOM
     
    Ingwe, 30378wbymag, djm670 and 6 others like this.
  13. stljc2

    stljc2 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2016
    I carry a Ruger New model super Blackhawk almost every time I hunt deer. We have black bears here in Missouri where I hunt and I have, on one occasion, had 2 mountain lions come within 10 ft of me (ground blind). But these are not the reason I carry, although it's good enough. My 300 win mag is long and sometimes unwieldly to switch from one hand to the other. I am right handed and inevitably some deer come in from the rear and to my right. So since the area I hunt is very brushy in places the 44's a lot easier to get into position and shoot from my tree stand. Usually I carry my .45 ACP with me also...just because...just because...lol
     
    Cold Trigger Finger and SCSCHNUR like this.
  14. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,685
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Maximum range bear spray still limited to about 35 feet. Temperature and wind also variable.
    35 feet is too close in my mind for an aggressive bear. I'd take any handgun, and start sooner.
    Bear spray is for protecting the bears, and we have plenty thank you.