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Old October 14, 2017, 22:36   #1
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Walk in the woods handguns

It being autumn this is the time of year that I like to take a stroll in the woods in this area. I always am armed with a handgun carried concealed (legally) under my jacket.

Over the years I have carried a variety of handguns in assorted calibers. But my preference is a double action revolver. Currently I carry a S&W Model 60-4 .38 Special. This piece has the three inch full lug barrel, a Baughman ramp front sight, and an adjustable rear sight. It is fitted with a set of Herret's Shooting Star checkered walnut grips. I carry it in a OWB ballistic nylon holster. I use the Winchester +P 158 grain LSWCHP "FBI Load". Five in the cylinder and ten spare rounds carried loose in my left hand jacket pocket. I feel adequately armed for both two and four legged critters.

I have carried bigger and more powerful revolvers in the past. Like my S&W Model 629 .44 Magnum Mountain Gun loaded with the Winchester 210 grain SilverTip JHP. But quite honestly the 629 was more than I felt was necessary. For a while I carried another stainless S&W. The Model 631 .32 Magnum Kit Gun with my hand loaded 100 grain LSWC's that are a bit warmer than the Federal 95 grain LSWC factory load. But when the 60-4 came into my possession the 631 was replaced by it.

Anyone else carry a J frame Smith as a trail, hiking, or walk in the woods gun?

And so it goes.


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Old October 14, 2017, 23:02   #2
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I wouldn't call my Model 60 my 'woods' gun ... my outside the house gun would be more the case. I use Hornady Critical Defense Lite, .38 Special, 90 Grain, because of arthritis in the hands. I've always been a revolver person as they are reliable, intuitive to shoot, probably the safest handgun to use and carry and yes ... a vintage Model 60 is a pretty little jewel.
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Old October 14, 2017, 23:19   #3
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A "walk in the woods" around here would almost require a .500 S&W considering all the nuisance grizzlies.

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Old October 14, 2017, 23:22   #4
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I like my air weight 37 to just hit a trail or walk a dog. I load 148 wad cutters in it and it shoots pretty close to aim. Older I get I tend toward light guns, I just bought a model 12 2 inch and as a 6 shot K frame it isn't too heavy. Bianchi thumb break and one speed loader. Going to carry full wad cutters in it to.
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Old October 15, 2017, 07:40   #5
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S&W Model 10-5 (2" RB) in a VN era air crewman shoulder holster and loaded with Hornady Critical Defense.
Or a 1911 in another similar holster...
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Old October 15, 2017, 07:49   #6
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4" S&W Mdl 66 w/+P Hydrashoks.
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Old October 15, 2017, 09:15   #7
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Ruger LCR 38sp loaded with +p hollow points in Gould leather holster I bought from a member here.
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Old October 15, 2017, 10:18   #8
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Well that's a hard question as most situations are different. Likely to always have a rifle and of just random wandering will be one of my tack driving 18" AR's for defense and those pesky coyotes that are often out past 200 yards and farthest clean shot in pasture is 480 yards. Not handgun distance. More often than not, the pistol,that lives in my "bug out/bug home bag" gets carried.



The Taurus Tracker in 22 magnum holds seven rounds and offers a lot of flexibility. If I can see a squirrel, ground hog or coyote inside of 75 yards not going to even raise the rifle and flip the safety. This pistol owns 75 yards and farther if necessary though loses a good bit of knock down power. Reason this lives in "bug home bag" is if caught in situation where going to take a couple or three days to get home it weighs little as does the 250 rounds of 22 mag ammo in daypack.

Five boxes of 22 mag weighs about what two loaded AR mags weigh. My guess is at least half the killing a person would have to do this pistol will handle. From snakes, to squirrel and rabbit for food and people inside 50 yards one little bark and game over. Not terribly heavy but heavy enough with ports that follow up shots run as fast as trigger finger can. If just go for walk around farm, one or two 50 count boxes of ammo will shoot a lot of squirrels, beer cans, pine cones or whatever feel like would look better with a bullet hole.

Again, 50 to 75 yards with good shot placement people or deer can be taken cleanly along with varmints. Of all my general purpose handguns this is one of my favorites due to its accuracy, weight of ammo and just generally a joy to shoot.
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Old October 15, 2017, 14:08   #9
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Back on topic, and to answer the question, yes. My drop-in-the-pocket "always" gun is a pre-lock 642 loaded with .38 +P something-or-others. To augment that, my GMH and/or woods loafing bag holds a 3 1/16" SP101 stoked with stout magnums and an assortment of +P and.38 shotshell loads in speed strips and speed loaders. Only .38 for reloads so they will fit either gun.

As much as I like the SP it may be getting kicked to the back of the safe. I just a couple of weeks ago picked up an ultra (ULTRA I say) sweet 60-10 Magnum. It has adjustable sights and a better trigger than the SP, while being a little lighter to boot. I have not shot it yet, but if it works out it may get the nod for pack duty.
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Old October 15, 2017, 14:14   #10
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While I don't walk in the woods as much as I used to (or as much as I'd like to), sometimes when I do I carry my 5" S&W 27-2 loaded with either Federal 158-gr+P SWCLHP .38 Spl or Rem HTP 158-gr SJHP .357s. It's not a light revolver so I don't always pack it (in Bianchi 111 Cyclone) but I do on occasion.
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Old October 15, 2017, 15:49   #11
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Thanks for all of the replies to my OP.

Over 20 years ago I bought a discontinued but NIB S&W Model 12 four inch Airweight M&P .38 Special. Unloaded weight is only 20 ounces compared to the unloaded 30 ounces of the tapered barrel four inch Model 10. I thought that it would make an ideal walk in the woods carry gun.

But just one trip to the range with it shooting the FBI Load made me drop that idea. It shot to point of aim but the recoil was a bit on the heavy side. So I tried the Federal 125 grain standard pressure Nyclad HP load. Okay recoil wise but it didn't shoot anywhere near point of aim. So the Airweight M&P just sits in the safe lonely and neglected by me.

One of my shooting pals decided that his T/C Contender with the ten inch .45 Colt/.410 barrel would be ideal for woods carry. But he shamefully admitted to me that he screwed up big time with it. He forgot that he had the choke screwed in and shot a "Ruger Only" .45 Colt hand load. The bullet was a hardcast SWC and it totally trashed the choke. Oh well.....

And so it goes.


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Old October 15, 2017, 16:49   #12
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I find that I most often carry my 1911. I could carry my 19-3 .357 but I keep it put away. I could also carry my SRH but it is scoped and is so heavy you have to carry it in a big unwieldy Uncle Mike's shoulder holster and it's sort of a PIA to carry.
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Old October 15, 2017, 17:38   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easttex View Post
SNIP I could carry my 19-3 .357 but I keep it put away. SNIP.
Uh huh. Exactly the reason I bought a cosmetically challenged but mechanically unhurt snub 19-3. Just so I could leave my pristine 19-6 snub in the safe.. Dang, I was not going to thread drift and I did anyway. Guess I might as well mention that I have never thought about actually packing my Contender .45/410 as a woods loafing gun. So many guns, so little time to woods loaf.
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Old October 16, 2017, 01:42   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retired Bum View Post
Thanks for all of the replies to my OP.

Over 20 years ago I bought a discontinued but NIB S&W Model 12 four inch Airweight M&P .38 Special. Unloaded weight is only 20 ounces compared to the unloaded 30 ounces of the tapered barrel four inch Model 10. I thought that it would make an ideal walk in the woods carry gun.

But just one trip to the range with it shooting the FBI Load made me drop that idea. It shot to point of aim but the recoil was a bit on the heavy side. So I tried the Federal 125 grain standard pressure Nyclad HP load. Okay recoil wise but it didn't shoot anywhere near point of aim. So the Airweight M&P just sits in the safe lonely and neglected by me.

One of my shooting pals decided that his T/C Contender with the ten inch .45 Colt/.410 barrel would be ideal for woods carry. But he shamefully admitted to me that he screwed up big time with it. He forgot that he had the choke screwed in and shot a "Ruger Only" .45 Colt hand load. The bullet was a hardcast SWC and it totally trashed the choke. Oh well.....

And so it goes.


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It's why I shoot target wad cutters in my light weight guns, I sacrifice power for a sharp cutting shoulder of a wadcutter. Ya they dont have power but they cut fat and leave a nice hole. If I want to load creative ammo I turn the hollow base wadcutter upside down in the case, biggest hollow point you can make.
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Old October 16, 2017, 23:44   #15
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i usually carry a winchester 1300 & #4 buckshot or slugs.
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Old October 17, 2017, 05:21   #16
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10MM or it's smaller brother 357mag alllll the time regardless of where I'm going.
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Old October 17, 2017, 07:38   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easttex View Post
I find that I most often carry my 1911. I could carry my 19-3 .357 but I keep it put away. I could also carry my SRH but it is scoped and is so heavy you have to carry it in a big unwieldy Uncle Mike's shoulder holster and it's sort of a PIA to carry.
Have a 19-4 purchased when 13 using mostly rolled change had been saving for years. Used my cash to buy a Lee Turret press, two sets of dies, pair of bullet molds and accessories. Pulled out the Smith 19-5 purchased Freshman year of college recently and lamented ever lending to my brother. He left under the seat of his truck, spilled a big soda and it layer in a half inch of soda till found it and soda evaporated leaving a nasty mess. Only option at the time was bead blast and blue it. Cosmetically looked o.k. (luckily original grips were in box and wearing set of Pachmyers) functionally was sound and been accurate as a used M19 should be.

Some point took it into a gun shop for some custom love, owner was raided for multiple violations such as undocumented Class 3 conversions, suppressors and selling live Claymore's and mortar rounds. Luckily my 19-5 was returned but rear sight and cylinder latch missing. So now I have to find the right screw spacing replacement, originally white outline rear, red ramp front but any adjustible rear sight will do. Purchased a Hogue extended latch that sits up next to hammer and complete set of Wolfe springs to totally respring the thing and will square up all mating surfaces on my Power Custom Hammer and Sear jig. Also have a Power Custom oversize cylinder latch to snug up the timing and some end play shims and plan to totally go through it. Going to Cerakote since it will be it's second refinish, slick up the trigger, tighten cylinder in both axis add the long cylinder latch and use it for something like IDPA type shooting. If anyone has any rear sights laying around for a Smith this is going to become my new general purpose wheel gun as should shoot fine but won't be able to devalue it anymore.
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Old October 22, 2017, 13:17   #18
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Currently, a no dash S&W model 36 3".
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Old October 22, 2017, 15:32   #19
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I had a no dash Model 36 three inch with the square butt. It was one of the contract over run guns for the Japanese police. Good shooting piece with loads in the 148 to 158 grain weight. After I bought the three inch 60-4 I mentioned to one of my shooting buddies that maybe I was going to let it go.

He asked what I had to have for it and was back the next day with three Franklins. No regrets on letting it go. It wasn't going to be shot by me anymore and so I turned it into some cash for my next firearms purchase.

And so it goes.


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Old October 22, 2017, 18:24   #20
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Depending on where I am and what time of years it is I may have a Browning HP in 9mm or a 1911 in 45 ACP on me. At other times or places I might have a 51/2 inches Ruger SBH in 44 mag. The 9 or 45 will have a good HP bullet in them. The 44 will have a 240 grain SWC that I cast.
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Old October 22, 2017, 21:00   #21
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I had a blued 6” .454 raging bull for a while, but combining the monster recoil with the monster double action pull, I had a hard time with quick follow up shots. In the last 6 years or so I’ve been taking a different route.





9 rounds of well placed, controlled rapid fire 240gr TCSP at 1497fps ought to take the place of 5 slow fire .454’s......or so I tell myself......

At least with this pistol, it’s as soft shooting as a light 10mm 1911, and can be handled as such (controllable with one hand, moderate recoil, easily controlled rapid fire with two hands), and is purdy darn comfy to carry in a shoulder holster when counter balanced by two spare mags on the other side.


If I’m down state it will usually be a Glock 20 or 29.
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Old October 25, 2017, 17:50   #22
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My old walk in the woods gun 30 years ago when I walked in the woods much better than I do now, was a Colt Walker replica. Brush 511 made a nice cross draw holster for me with nice tooling and flap. I still have it and a new Uberti Colt Walker that is a little better made than my original. The cylinder of a Colt Walker holds 60 grains of powder per hole. This leaves a lot of room to adjust and find the most accurate load for the weapon. I used to carry three holes with 45grs of FFFG and round ball over a felt wad. The other three holes were loaded with 25 grs of FFFG then a felt wad. Then I would top the hole off with #8 shot leaving about 3/8" from the top and inserted a homemade fiber board card. This was a grouse getting load that patterned pretty good and would take grouse cleanly at up to about 60 feet. When loaded that pistol weighs over 5 pounds. I now carry either my 1911 with my cast 230gr Rn. or my Taurus model 85 in .38 +p Critical Defense.
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Old October 26, 2017, 17:18   #23
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Well, I did have the wrong pistol for the purpose, a Ruger SP101 in .38spl with a 3 inch barrel. I took it with me to the gun show and met a dealer that wanted it more than the snubby SP101 DAO with a flush bobbed hammer in .357mag that he had. We traded straight across and now I have a revolver that I want to carry.
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Old October 26, 2017, 21:40   #24
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When walking in the woods around here I generally carry OWB a Ruger "Sheriff" model 357 MAG Vaquero, 6 Shot with a 3.75" barrel in Stainless. Very nice carry gun for woods work and shoots like a dream, plenty powerful for what I need!
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Old October 27, 2017, 12:45   #25
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Sig p228 in 9. We don't have large 4 legged critters down here. The crackheads are the bigger threat.
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