What is the ideal handgun to conceal while hiking?
Recently I have started to go on hikes with my fiancee and 4 year old son. I live in washington state but sometimes I go to idaho and oregon. We have ran into a couple of coyotes, nothing serious but lately I have been paranoid about running into a black bear or cougar. Please any suggestions?
Big difference in animal sizes. .44 mag with a medium size barrel is my choice if black bears are around. Shorter barrels have more recoil, and the longer barrel helps with accuracy at longer ranges. Check out the various brands to see which feels more comfortable in your hands. I hunt with a full size handgun on my hip. I am able to conceal it very well despite the size. I only have to worry about Russian and German boars so I carry a HK USP .40. It does the job for my situation. If you are looking for a semi-auto, maybe consider a full size 10mm. I hear a cop took out a bear with one shot from a Glock 20. You will get more advise on this thread and many opinions. The question comes down to what you can handle, and what feels more comfortable.
When I go hiking (multi day jaunts in forbidding terrain with EVERYTHING on your back), weight consideration is on the gram level. This forces many hard decisions, and the invention of reversible underwear. My lightest gun is my air weight .38 and with the right round can be quite a deterrent/killer.
If a short hike with less weight concern is the plan, my options would open up considerably!
If It Were Easy, They Would Not Call It Work, And Everyone Would Do It
You are not hunting, you are being hunted.
Generally just leave the animals alone. Do not pet. Coyotes should not bother an adult unless rabid. Bears with cubs, or if you have some smelly delicious stuff in your pack. Big cats in the woods will have your throat torn out before you can say Huckleberry. Do not run.
S&W 629 with a 4" maganaported barrel. 6" max w/o any scope. Open carry holster and speed loader. Wear a loose open shirt or jacket for concealed easy access. Practice on moving targets at various distances with factory mag loads. Practice is key.
I would not worry, only a few hikers get eaten.
"...from my cold dead hands" Charlton Heston & NRA
"He which hath no stomach to this fight,/ Let him depart." Henry V
Cougs will usually not be a problem, i live in wa too, and hike as well. In this setting open carry is appropriate, a 357 or 44 mag double action revolver would be well suited, 158 grain lead semi wad cutter in 357, or 200 - 240 grain lead semi wad cutter in 44 mag. If you are in rattler territory then the shot load ftom cgi in either of the 2 is recommended.
A good used ruger with a 4" barrel.
Last edited by phildenton; 05-14-2013 at 01:11 AM.