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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks, looking for sensible and serious advice on purchasing a used sidearm for defense against bears and mountain lions. I plan to do a fair amount of bowhunting elk out West where these toothy critters reside. Looking to purchase a used light weight revolver with adequate stopping power at close range. A friend suggested a used S&W .44 magnum "mountain" lite revolver (S&W no longer makes these?). I would appreciate any suggestions from other manufacturers, i.e. Ruger Super Blackhawk, etc.. Remember, I will be bowhunting so the revolver has to be light in a shoulder holster and dependable. Also what is the difference between a single and double action revolver? Which of the two is more failsafe for my application? Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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If revolver, double action is the way to go.

Even "Light Weight" revolvers are still heavy and bulky and the lightweight the revolver, the more felt recoil and harder to get your second shot on target.

Me, I would go with a Glock 20. 16 rounds of 10mm that is easily carried.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
bloodtrails, I never considered a Glock in 10mm. You've given me food for thought. I know Glocks are dependable but in your opinion is a 10 mm round pack enough "persuasion" or firepower for my application?
 

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Chances are that unless your trained and an expert in quick reaction use of a hand gun your, A) not going to hit it anyway B) not going to get it out in time, unless you walk around with it in your hand C) not going to hit it anyway D) probably not going to matter anyway because if he's close enough to jump you your not going to stop him E) not going to hit it anyway, and finally F) not going to hit it anyway.

That being said... My friends in Montana carry the titanium judge anyway. Heavy 45 or 410 self defense ammo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
brijones1, thanks for busting my bubble. No, just kidding. I am not planning to be walking around the mountains trying to outdraw a grizz. A real life scenario is having a bear/mtn. lion approach your downed bowkilled elk while you are tracking or field dressing it. Common enough in some areas out West.
 

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For me, the minimum caliber for defense in bear country is a .357 magnum (heavily loaded).
Agreed...and double action....and a minimum 4" barrel....and definitely black finish...don't go stainless or nickel plated....But there's a ton of revolvers on the market that meet those specifications...so your next considerations are weight, and ease/fit of handling....when you are trusting your life to a piece of equipment (and that's what this is) price should never be a factor. I'm sure most of what you are looking at will run $350 to $500..that $150 dollar difference is nothing compared to your life...so don't let the price steer your choice
 

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I sent my buddy in Montana a txt and here is his response. Guys like the titanium judge to lighten things up because of all the hiking required. I average about 4-6 miles a day and 2000 foot elevation gains during elk archery. That seems to be a typical hunt. Then factor in ten days in a row of that, it can really wear on you. Anything to lighten up gear helps
 

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I carried my 4" 686 for six days hiking up and down between 8000' and 10,000' in Colorado. Let me tell you, any extra weight is a PIA. There were mountain lions up there and mad cows. Really. Almost got trampled by a pissed off cow. I would go with a Glock 29 next time. 10mm has a wide range of ammo available. Besides, you're not going to hit anything with it anyway[ko]
 

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10mm will certainly stop just about anything you could run into with the right ammo. I agree anything too heavy would stay in camp or at home. I have a S&W 460 cannot imagine carrying it around without a back brace!
 

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I was faced with a somewhat similar decision for an Alaska fly-in rafting/salmon fishing trip. I went with the Ruger Super Redhawk in .454 Casull. I went with that gun because if I was going to have an encounter, it would likely be with a brown/grizzly bear and I wanted something with some oomph behind it. It was/is a great combo for that type of trip but for most trips in the lower 48 and even for that type trip, you might consider carrying bear spray instead. Although not as "cool" to carry it is certainly easier to hit with the spray than a gun and god forbid you ever have an accident, the spray will make you miserable for awhile but you will be fine whereas the gun might not be as pleasant. If you are set on a gun, I think the Glock in 10mm or some of the other choices might be ok if you don't expect an encounter with a grizzly.
 

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45 or 44 mag!!! On the lighter side a 357 would prob get you by. All 3 are standard calibers and you can find ammo easily stay away from 10mm not because it's a bad caliber but from an ammo standpoint.
 
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