Sidearm for Brooks Range, AK

Where's Bruce?

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The scenario...you and another guy are doing a fly in - float out archery hunting trip and neither of you wants to haul a rifle or shotgun along. Instead you will both carry spray and a sidearm. You have two weapons to choose from, a S&W 329PD (.44mag wheel gun) w/ 4" barrel or a Glock G40 (10mm auto) w/ 6" barrel. THESE ARE YOU SOLE CHOICES-DON'T RECOMMEND ANYTHING ELSE.

We've all seen the argument for and against:



You want no regrets as the bush plane that just dropped you off disappears over the horizon. What's strapped to you and why? I made up my mind and will share my choice and reason for it once you guys have posted your opinions.
 

Beendare

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Whichever one you shoot best and have practiced with the most.
yep^

I've shot both....and both have their plusses and minuses. ...but thats^ what it boils down to.

i'm not sure why on a trip like that a guy would be limited to those 2 choices though
 

Kevin Dill

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It pretty much has to be about accuracy first and always. I happen to shoot my 329PD with greater accuracy than any autoloader I've shot. The fact that the .44 mag load exceeds the energy of a 10mm is possibly a bonus and of course not a negative. The typical argument comes down to faster shots and more capacity with the auto, but I've not seen much proof of it equating to clear superiority over a revolver in an actual bear attack. Both guns have done their job in attacks. In almost all cases it comes down to 1-3 shots max and then you're going to be either wiping blood or your butt. :)
 

FLAK

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I went with the Glock 30SF in .45 Super. 255gr. BuffaloBore Hardcast.
Just my preference.
Will be travelling with me to MT. on a Black Bear hunt in June, just in
case.
 

HuntHarder

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I am a huge Glock fan, but If I had the 329pd, I Choose that over my Glock 10mm. I love glocks for their reliability, but freak things can happen with Semi-auto's and it is now a single shot pistol. The 329 failure rate is pretty much non-existant.

Semi-auto's fail due to mechanical failure and user error. Wheel guns fail due to mechanical failure. I would hate to be the guy who limp wristed the 10mm when a bear is charging and the gun did not cycle.
 

Axlrod

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I have killed non dangerous big game with a bow, a 44 mag, and a 10 mm. I wouldn't hunt Grizzly with any of them so I sure wouldn't count on them saving me from one. So I wouldn't do that hunt
 

Gunnersdad49

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You almost certainly will see bears. I have both .44s and a 10mm, and if I knew for sure that big bears were in the mix, the .44 comes every time.

On a float hunt, consider a chest holster for your pistol. It's always there and not wet. Wear it when you fish, too.
 

Kevin Dill

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I suppose most of these 'choose one' scenarios tend to focus primarily...if not entirely...on the gun and its cartridge. Less attention is given to the other 2 entities in the surmised attack, which are the bear, and the human being attacked.

It's only human nature to develop some type of mental vision of a bear attack scenario. The likelihood of any attack following this scenario is probably remote. Bears attack fast and humans tend to be surprised and shocked by the encounter. It's one thing to operate a sidearm when fully expecting a need to defend against attack....and another to do it when caught by complete surprise. Most of us logically make our sidearm choices based on rational thinking about the most effective firearm for us; but we have to do it using anticipated scenarios. We can certainly know exactly how a given cartridge performs from a given gun. We have NO way of knowing exactly how we or the bear will perform at the critical juncture of an attack.

My point is that it's logical to focus on the firearm and load, because it's a tangible, provable thing. But combining that decision with anticipated scenarios where 1) the bear does this, and 2) we do that....leaves a lot to the imagination. I fully realize it has to be this way too, because we can't go practice our defensive shooting on actual attacking grizzlies. When attacking bear meets surprised human there is no formula....only chaos. When that happens I want a round that hits hard; a gun that I'm accurate with, and I'm really only thinking about a couple shots....maybe 3... before the situation is resolved or has gone to critical. I truly believe the availability of rounds 7 through 14 are mainly academic based on every bear attack account (I can recall) in which a sidearm was used to successfully haze, wound or kill a threatening bear.
 

Beendare

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....

We have NO way of knowing exactly how we or the bear will perform at the critical juncture of an attack.
......
Great post Kevin!

We do know from the experiences of others in martial arts and the military.... that when the chit hits the fan it's training that makes the difference. A guy that spends time moving, quick drawing and shooting steel plates all summer is going to be better prepared in one of these attacks.

Dang it, Now I'm going to have to pick up one of these G20's. I really like the quick followups with the g20SF a couple of my buddies have....and since I do a lot of shooting with Glocks....it really is a no brainer for me.

Just a heads up, you 329PD guys should read your owners manuals....as they aren't as foolproof as a steel frame revolver. If I owned one I would remove the hammer lock....and be sure the bullet crimp is up to snuff.

..
 

hodgeman

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I've interviewed 3 people who shot grizzlies in DLP shootings- one with a .44, 2 with rifles. It happens fast and is over just as fast and what is in your head is much more important than what's in your hands.

The one guy who killed a bear with a .44 said he'd never try it ever again, sold it, and bought a shotgun.
 

Akwoodchuck

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Two things to keep in mind:

You may not kill a bear to stop it from feeding on harvested game meat.

If you kill a bear in defense of life or property, you must salvage the skull and hide and turn it over to the state.

Nonlethal bear deterrents ( spray, noisemakers, rubber slugs) have been proven to be effective at deterring bear attacks.
 

Kevin Dill

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.... that when the chit hits the fan it's training that makes the difference. A guy that spends time moving, quick drawing and shooting steel plates all summer is going to be better prepared in one of these attacks...
I absolutely agree....with one huge but: There's just no good way to replicate the emotional shock involved in suddenly recognizing a fast-incoming bear. Some guys will fall to pieces while others might be a lot steadier. I think we all want to believe we're going to perform rapidly and capably under sudden immense stress, but we'll never know until we go through it.
 

deerkiller

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posts # 12 & 13 are OUTSTANDING - given that you are archery hunting I really fail to understand not choosing a pump 12 ga, accessorized specifically for the trip - not that heavy (done right) and easy to keep handy yet out of the way but then … It's YOUR trip
 

Axlrod

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I absolutely agree....with one huge but: There's just no good way to replicate the emotional shock involved in suddenly recognizing a fast-incoming bear. Some guys will fall to pieces while others might be a lot steadier. I think we all want to believe we're going to perform rapidly and capably under sudden immense stress, but we'll never know until we go through it.
Also you may not even know the bear is after you until it is on top of you.
there was a guy a couple years ago that was attacked by Ennis, MT and was packing a Glock, i believe.
He was attacked and never had a chance to grab his gun. After the bear left the guy was heading out of the area and was attacked a second time and didnt get his gun out.
 

Gunnersdad49

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I really fail to understand not choosing a pump 12 ga, accessorized specifically for the trip
The shotgun may also help put some ptarmigan in the pot, and definitely hits harder than a handgun.

A handgun is more likely to be on your person, and not leaned against a tree or lashed to the raft.

For a float trip, I think that at least one handgun in the group is still a pretty good idea.
 
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