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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey yall,

Im lookin to get a handgun for a graduation present. Im not sure what to go with. i fly fish alot, and have seen a couple black bears, so i would like it to be durable, easy to pack, and able to stop a black bear at least. Also, if i ever had oppertunity to hunt with it, i would like to have that option, such as whitetail.
Im looking at a Ruger GP100 for the revolver. I looked at a few springfields for the pistol. I really dont know what to go for, and if a pistol is what i should get... What manufacturer and model? same with revolver?

I am pretty ignorant with handguns. I know a little about rifles and shotguns, but this is a whole new ballgame for me, and any advice would be appreciated!
 

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Hillbilly

I kinda put a similar response to your question over on shootingworld.

What's your primary purpose? If its hunting - You may be forced to go with a revolver. Here in PA we're restricted that way. If hunting is your primary concern - I'd look at the Redhawk or Super Redhawk in 44 mag.

CCW or HD - gives you a whole lot more choices
 

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I wouldn't worry too much about black bears..... an aggressive black bear (except for a sow with cubs) is a million-to-one kind of deal.

If you want a handgun for hunting, I'd say a .41 mag is the minimum, and a .44 mag is better. A .357, although a lot of guys use one for deer hunting, is marginal..... not enough oomph to make up the difference if the shot isn't perfectly placed.

A SA revolver will be less expensive than a DA, and will work just fine for hunting. There are expensive exceptions, but for the most part, you can't get hunting power in an autoloading pistol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks yall,

The primary purpose is gonna be for protection. I went on a camping/fly fishing trip in the smokies a summer or 2 ago, and the campsite i was supposed to stay at had a bear attack on the night before we were to stay there. I also saw one about 100 yards off, on the hike back to the truck. I wasnt fly fishing when i saw him, and all my gear that smelled like fish was packed well, BUT i couldve easily seen one while in the middle of the stream, and stinkin of brook trout...
I will probably try my hand at hunting whitetail with it in the next few seasons, also. I know that is alot of needs from one gun, and i will probably end up getting another in a year or two. but for now, i want a good all around handgun for hunting and protection, that can take a little bit of abuse, and still function well.
 

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hillbilly ... One other thing to consider .... Your ccw permit is no good in the national park.

I remember the attack you're talking about - we were in the area on vacation not long after that happened. I believe that it was a small child that the bear attacked or a mother with a baby? I like to think that that one was the rare exception but I still made use of TN honoring my PA CCW permit when I was there (outside of the park of course .... and more for the defense from two legged predator than the four).

There was a discussion on one of the boards that I visit (may have even been this one) not too long ago about the adequecy or the lack there of of the 357 mag as a hunting round. If I remember correctly - the consensus was with WWB that it was marginal if not used at bow hunting type distances and with optimal shot placement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That is true about carrying in the Park. I hadn't realized that at the time, and i still find myself in the middle of no where fly fishing. Places where i have seen many a black bear that were bigger than me, and im a big fella.
Should i lean more towards a .44 mag rather than the 357?
if so, what revolver should i look @?
like i said, i know a bit about rifles and shotguns, but i am pretty ignorant when it comes to handguns.

Also, what ammo is gonna be the easiest to find?
 

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IMO - Stay with a name brand like Ruger or S&W.... Two of my friends who hunt with a handgun have a Ruger Super Redhawk - in 44 mag.

Ruger's are built like tanks for handling the heavy loads and are very well made. Ruger is about the only one I'd consider for shooting 44 mags with and overall quality. But that is just me. Another friend has a S&W in 357 but to my knowledge he's never taken a deer with it, and as other's have pointed out ... It seems to be a marginal round on deer. I wouldn't want to really test it on a bear (although its got to be better than throwing bubble gum at it)

Some people have had good luck with Taurus - others not so much.
 

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Re: re: New to Pistolworld... Need Advice

hillbilly44 said:
.....who make the most reliable, and durable handguns?
Ruger.... Built like a brick #$&*house. Easy to clean & maintain. Triggers can be improved with new springs and a little finesse with a 1200 grit stone.

Smith & Wesson...... works of art. Silky smooth triggers (the old ones, anyhow.... can't speak for the new ones). Gonna cost a bit more than a Ruger. Dirty Harry carried a M29.... what more can I say?

Colt.... haven't made wheelguns for some time now, so you have to hit the gun shoews and score a used one..... The Anaconda is one heck of a .44 Mag, the Python is arguably the best .357 ever built, and (secret) the Trooper is a bargain.

Other than those 3 brands, I wouldn't consider any other wheelgun.
 

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hillbilly44 said:
i fly fish alot, and have seen a couple black bears, so i would like it to be durable, easy to pack, and able to stop a black bear at least. Also, if i ever had oppertunity to hunt with it, i would like to have that option, such as whitetail.
IMO, it will be hard to meet all these requirements in one handgun.

...easy to pack, and able to stop a black bear at least.
Any handgun chambered in a powerful enough cartridge to stop a bear is going to be a pain to carry. Any pleasant to pack handgun will be less than optimal for bear stoppage. One of the light weight S&W .44 mags might work, it will beat you up practicing. Less practice = less proficiency.

IMO (once again), the best compromise would be a 4" .44. It won't pack as well as a shorter .44 or be as useful hunting as a longer barreled handgun.

As to which brand, I would choose a Ruger or S&W. I personally choose Ruger for hard use revolvers. A little heavier and less refined than Smiths, but a little easier on the wallet. Colt made some fine revolvers, scarcity is leading to premium prices. Wouldn't want to drop such a high priced piece in the river.

Single action vs. double action is another personal choice. I prefer DA revolvers. No real reason why, that's just what I (currently) prefer.

All the above has pertained to revolvers. IMO (there it is again), the only semi-auto round that would even begin to be good bear medicine is the 10mm. The only affordable 10mm on the market (that I'm aware of) is the Glock, why bother.
 

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Ruger Super Redhawk in .44 magnum...it will last forver and I would trust it vs. a bear over a .357.

But, if you're TRULY worried about bear, and you are in an area where it is possible, bring a rifle or a shotgun, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If im not fly fishing, and im worried about bear... i have a .30-06 or a 12 gauge slug gun thatll handle anything in my neck of the woods...

No one has mentioned Taurus... Why is thaT? are they made poorly? just not good guns overall??
 

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I'd take a look at a 4" or 5 1/2" Ruger Redhawk .44 Magnum. Not the Super Redhawk, but the regular Redhawk. The Super is unnecessarily heavy and a bit ugly in my humble opinion. For your stated uses, I'd go with stainless steel. The 4" is only available in stainless.
 

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To carry while fishing for protection you have several great suggestions but if you want to hunt with a pistol there is only one that fits the need and that would be a Thompson Contender. It's a single shot but while in the pistol class has everything a rifle is in a small package. I shoot my TC at 100 yards with a 7mm bull barrel and take a deer every year. You can get a TC in almost any caliber you can expect, I have several barrels for mine ranging from 22 to 30-06.
 

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Re: re: New to Pistolworld... Need Advice

hillbilly44 said:
.......No one has mentioned Taurus... Why is thaT? are they made poorly? just not good guns overall??
In years gone by, their quality control was very hit-or-miss. Too many examples of shoddy workmanship hit the market, and their service left a lot to be desired. They may have improved lately, but they left a very bad taste in my mouth, and I won't even consider them.
 

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Hey, everybody. You CAN carry in national parks!

www.nra.org

National Parks to Allow Right-to-Carry

Fairfax, Va. - The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), through the National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has announced the final amended version of its changes to rules on carrying of firearms in national parks and wildlife refuges. DOI’s move will restore the rights of law-abiding gun owners who wish to transport and carry firearms for lawful purposes on most DOI lands, and will make federal law consistent with the state law in which these public lands are located. The National Rifle Association (NRA) led the effort to amend the existing policy regarding the carrying and transportation of firearms on these federal lands.


Election 2008 and the Long Road Ahead
The 2008 elections are over, and America has spoken. While many of the results were not what we hoped for, this year’s election does show how NRA members have truly changed politics in America.

Across the country, from the presidential race, to the U.S. Senate and House, to state legislative races, one thing was missing this year: ads proudly proclaiming candidates' anti-gun credentials.

The gun control lobby must be distressed that many Democratic gains occurred only because the party has run so far from the gun control issue. While they fondly look back to how actively Bill Clinton campaigned for gun control in 1992 and 1996, they also remember the lesson that gun owners taught an anti-gun Congress in 1994, Al Gore in 2000, and John Kerry in 2004. This was a lesson taught by the National Rifle Association that has changed the politics of our issue across the country.
 

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Thanks for the info .... Glad to know they finally changed that!
 

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I did not see anyone mention the 45LC, You can find it in the Ruger Blackhawk, And they make the Redhawk in 45LC with A 4" Barrel, Should be easy enough to carry.

Also the Colt Anaconda was avaible in 45LC as are many SAA Copies.

There are some Hot Loads Avaible for the 45LC up to 300 Grain
Bullets.

They are very Sweet Shooters with standard Loads and Very Accurate.
 
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