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

The Oregonian

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2012
Messages
1,015
Location
Nashville, Tennessee
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.
 

drtony

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2018
Messages
116
Location
My home
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).
 

J E Custom

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2004
Messages
9,962
Location
Texas
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
 

Rick Richard

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2014
Messages
2,889
Location
North Carolina
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.
 

BallisticsGuy

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 8, 2016
Messages
1,000
Location
Heck
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.
 

Wolf76

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2014
Messages
626
Location
Grandville, Michigan
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:

sea2summit

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2018
Messages
208
Location
Alaska...most of the time
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.
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.
 

sea2summit

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2018
Messages
208
Location
Alaska...most of the time
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).
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
 

Mountain Sloth

Active Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2017
Messages
30
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.
 

J E Custom

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2004
Messages
9,962
Location
Texas
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
 

stljc2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2016
Messages
99
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
 

HARPERC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2011
Messages
6,137
Location
Spokane, WA
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.
 

Recent Posts

Nightforce has great tracking capabilities, they are rugged, a bunch of elevation, holds zero forever, and reticles are designed for long range shooting. So if you are looking to shoot long distances constantly, then you need a scope that can take the abuse. -- gilmillan1


Culture Of Excellence At Nightforce Optics
By Len Backus

A high level of quality both in production and in service. Read More


Nightforce is such a solid combo of reticle, available elevation, glass that is good enough to shoot at the longest range you can dial. Nightforce has bullet proof construction that can handle the incidental horse rolling or some other rodeo action. -- bigngreen


Nightforce ATACR Scope Review
By Jeff Brozovich

The new NightForce ATACR is for sure a top choice for any long range shooter. Read More


The total package. Nightforce is the best I have used as far as turret feel and solid detents. I have never had one that didn't track right on and always return to zero. Nightforce NXS is the best value for everything I need. -- Broz


Nightforce Velocity 1000 Reticle Review
By Scott Shreve

I think Nightforce knocked it outta the park with this reticle! Read More

NightForce


Top