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orsonwelles1938 09-26-2009 08:54 PM

Firearm Recommendations?
Afternoon gentlemen:

I've recently moved into the Rocky Mountains and my house resides at 8600ft. Over the past month, I've seen deer, elk, bears and a huge mountain lion prowling my property.

Given that mountain lions are an unsocial animal, I'm a bit surprised to have seen him twice already in the context of one month. This has made me a tad anxious as I do not currently own a firearm. I grew up in the deep South around firearms, so I'm quite comfortable with them.

I have no plans to hunt at this point, but I'd like to purchase a rifle and a pistol for sake of safety and self-defense. I've been thinking a simple shotgun and .40 pistol would suffice, as they'd have no problem handling a mountain lion should I or someone in my family have an unfortunate encounter.

However, I'd like some recommendations. What do you guys think I should buy?



Dillinger 09-26-2009 09:14 PM

Welcome to the FTF Community Orson...

Here's the deal. A cat like a mountain lion isn't going to take a .40 round or a .45 cal round and just run off like a girl with a skinned knee. Regardless of what some would want you to believe.

I would recommend something like a short carbine, or perhaps a shotgun, something with some punch to it.

If a cat that size gets the idea you would make a nice treat, you are going to need something that has the ability to put a big hole in kitty and perhaps send it tumbling.

A rifle or a shotgun can also be used to block the mouth of the animal if it gets too damn close, too damn quick. Turn it sideways and jam it in the damn things' mouth. :eek: Not ideal, but it beats putting your arm in there to protect your throat.

I would recommend against a pistol. Not as accurate, not as powerful and you need both in the event kitty wants to come play "Taste the human".


dunerunner 09-26-2009 09:26 PM

I agree with JD here, a Rifle or shotgun is your best bet. You could get by with a 30/30 but I would personally opt for a 30/06 chambered rifle because of the versitility. If you choose a shotgun, I recommend 12 gauge, semi-auto and 00 Buck, or slugs.

You live in big animal country, best be prepared with a heavy side arm as back-up. .357 mag as a minimum. Have fun searching out a specific weapon, good luck with kitty and relax and enjoy Big Sky Country.

OC357 09-26-2009 10:09 PM

I pretty much agree with everyone elce. As much as I love my 30-30 carbine and .357 mag I would keep those, but......

But you are in Griz Country up there also in addition to cougar, so if it were me I would get a 30/06 rifle. For a handgun I would start looking at .44 Mag. That's just me.


RL357Mag 09-26-2009 10:50 PM

Good advice on the shotgun/rifle and minimum .357 cal. revolver. Nothing beats a nice 12 ga. pump or semi loaded with 00 Buck or slugs. I would opt for a .44 mag in bear country and stay away from semi-auto's - not enough time to clear a stovepipe or any other jam when you've got a pissed off grizzly charging.

gadrooning 09-26-2009 11:46 PM

First I would consider the nature and behavior of a mountain lion. First off a mountain lion is an ambush predator. They typically like to attack you from the behind or from above. This means if he wants you for a snack you will more than likely never see him till he is already on top of you, which in this instants, a rifle or even a shot gun will probably not do you a whole lot of good. Ever try shooting behind yourself with a rifle or shotgun. Pretty darn hard to do especially since the trigger and the end of the barrel is fairly far apart.

If your fighting off a mountain lion your best bet is a handgun, remember this will be a close quarter fight. I would recommend a revolver. Just because it is always ready. You don't have to think about the safety, and in case of misfires just pull the trigger again and it will fire. You really don't have time to think of these things when you have a large cat munching on your neck. Probably wouldn't be a bad idea to have a fixed blade knife with you as well.

You are more likely to carry a handgun just because of ease, size, and weight when you are taking an evening stroll. I still would obtain a rifle, not a shotgun for mountain lion. This is the reason why. You have to take into consideration a couple of things with a rifle and shotgun.

A shotgun is great for short distance and hit ratio. However, I forsee the rifle or shotgun as being a precationary arms. That means if you have time to pull up a rifle or shotgun there will be some distance from you and your target, which also means you have more options.

Both will definately put a cat down. no debates on that. However keep this in mind. If you see a person being attacked by a mountain lion, and the lion is on top of the person which would you rather have a rifle or a shotgun.... My vote would be a rifle. I really wouldn't want to fire a shot gun at the risk of further injury to the person being attacked. Just my thoughts.

Trocar 09-26-2009 11:51 PM

You really can't go wrong with a 10mm. A glock20 will put a Mountain Lion in it's place with no problems. Plus you have the luxury of having 15 rounds per mag, and a pistol that is battle ready.

CA357 09-26-2009 11:52 PM

My suggestions have already been posted in several variations, a .44 Magnum, a .30-06 and a 12 ga. shotgun and you'll be fine.

I would not count on a .40 caliber unless you're on the street in Denver, and even then, .45ACP is better. ;)

CA357 09-26-2009 11:53 PM

Oh, and welcome to the forum. When you get a chance, head over to the New Member Area and introduce yourself to the gang. :D

gadrooning 09-27-2009 12:16 AM

i posted a earlier but forgot to recommend a hand gun or rifle. I would go with a 357 revolver or a 45 colt or 45 acp revolver. These handguns are very managable for power and accuracy.

Taking into account that you are not planning on hunting but looking purely as a big game, defense, rifle I would go with a large caliber, iron sight, lever action rifle such as a 30-30. It is powerful at close range and has a large bullit. It will not overly penetrate like other rifles, and it is short and easier to carry.

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