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Old 07-15-2017, 07:41 PM
Scott B. Scott B. is offline
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Default Your Choice in Field Revolvers

I have worked for quite a while completing my collection of revolvers for field use. I have other handguns for social work, but the two S&W 629's below are what I use when in the field in areas with big critters (grizz or moose). I use .357's (other than S&W) for areas where black bears are the biggest critters. Each one serves a different purpose in my lineup (although they can overlap if needed). All of my field revolvers are stainless steel for weather protection. Although my collection has revolvers other than S&W, I would like to hear which S&W revolvers you bring with you in the field.

Taurus 970 6.5" Stainless .22 (Primary small game hunting revolver)
Ruger SP101 4" Stainless .22 (Utility farm/camping tool)
Ruger GP100 3" Stainless Wiley Clapp TALO .357 mag (Utility camping/hiking revolver in areas with boar/black bear/mountain lion)
Ruger GP100 6" Stainless Unfluted TALO .357 mag (A hunting 357 that can handle the hottest Buffalo Bore 180gr. rounds for black bear and big pigs)
Dan Wesson 7.5" Stainless Ported .357 mag (A hunting 357 that is used with 158gr. JSP - mostly for coyotes and deer)
Smith and Wesson 629 Classic 5" .44 mag (Utility camping/hiking revolver for Big Bear/Moose medicine)
Smith and Wesson 629 7.5" Performance Center Stealth Hunter .44 mag (Hunting 44 for bigger critters than deer or black bear)

I found the hunting length revolvers were a bit long for utility work so I added a shorter .22, .357, and .44 to the mix for utility/camping/critter defense as needed). What are your choices in the field and what made you choose that particular tool in your toolbox?
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Old 07-15-2017, 07:47 PM
Lee's Landing Billy Lee's Landing Billy is offline
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S&W 631..4 inch 32 mag...turtle murderer
Ruger Bearcat...22....same as above
Charter Arms old model 3 inch 44 special....walks to the mail box
Colt SAA...3 1/2 inch 45 engraved with steerhead ivories...general inside the gates gun, Gets shot ALOT
If I need more than these I take a rifle.
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Old 07-15-2017, 07:52 PM
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As you pointed out, with the exception of brown bear territory, I've always liked 357 Magnum, 4" to 6" barrel, for trails, hiking, backpacking, camping, hunting, and any "wilderness" outings. I like the spectrum of different loads available in 357 for just about any problem that may stroll in, four-legged or two-legged.
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Old 07-15-2017, 09:40 PM
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Unfortunately, I don't hit the field much anymore. Texas is pretty much all private land, and the family ranch that we're my stomping grounds for 45 years was sold last year.

When I did, it was either a 4" M24 or 5.5"
Ruger SBH. When actively hunting big game with a handgun it was a 7.5" Bisley BH.

I never had to worry about bears in TX but feral hogs were always a possibility, plus deer or turkeys in season. Coyotes, bobcats, and even mountain lions (though I never saw one in North Texas.)

Almost forgot the wabbit/squirrel killer, 17-3.

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Old 07-15-2017, 11:13 PM
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S&W 60-15 Pro 3" .357 takes care of my field and fishing needs.
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Old 07-15-2017, 11:19 PM
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Ruger security 6 snub, first 1-2 chambers with snake shot.(cuz that's what I own, & many 2-3" types would work) A 45acp semi sees field carry as well. The most actually fired in the field was a 22.

Last edited by nachogrande; 07-17-2017 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:07 AM
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S&W 60-15 Pro 3" .357 takes care of my field and fishing needs.
Same here only standard model not pro.
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:16 AM
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Same here only standard model not pro.
I take my 60-15 3" 357 mag.

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Old 07-16-2017, 09:21 AM
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"S&W 631..4 inch 32 mag...turtle murderer"

You will likely catch some flak for this statement; but people who aren't from around these parts just have no idea how dangerous Southern turtles can be.
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:33 AM
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S&W model 13 for game hinting, utility, mountain lion, black bear, camping, hiking.

That being said. If I'm camping and hiking in black bear country the primary self defense firearm has 30 rounds of 7.62 and 30 more as backup

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by ColbyBruce View Post
"S&W 631..4 inch 32 mag...turtle murderer"

You will likely catch some flak for this statement; but people who aren't from around these parts just have no idea how dangerous Southern turtles can be.
Big turtle population in Atlanta?

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Old 07-16-2017, 09:56 AM
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Instead of telling you which of your guns would be good I'll just generalize my response. In my opinion a 3-6 inch barrel stainless 357 Magnum with a minimum of 6 shots would be nearly ideal. There are many others available that will also work but I am looking at the whole spectrum. That includes the cost of ammunition, availability of ammunition, cost of the holster and holsters available. You want something that is reasonably economic yet enough to handle whatever danger you come across. A black bear with cubs nearby can be nearly as formidable as a grizzly if she believes you pose a danger to her cubs. My grandpa was chased up a tree by one in Virginia. All he had was a single shot shotgun with birdshot. A few birdshot to the face and the black decided to go elsewhere. Also in today's society a bear may be the least of your troubles. The criminal element can now be found in the woods as well as the street corner. Also while I don't like the idea of putting down a dog there are more dogs around than bear. Some are sweet and friendly, others can be vicious, and others can be rabid. Use good judgement no matter what you carry in the woods.
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Old 07-16-2017, 10:04 AM
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"The criminal element can now be found in the woods as well as the street corner."

Very true! I am more concerned about running into the boys from the "Deliverance" than I am a rabid dog or Bear.
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Old 07-16-2017, 10:17 AM
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It's not often these days that I am out in an area where there is any threat at all other than human or canine, so my carry choice is usually .38 Spl +P, 9mm or .45ACP, in that order. On those rare occasions when I am in an area where more than one bear has been alleged to have been sighted within the last two decades, I usually carry a *** x" M*** loaded with ********** *********s in a DeSantis OWB holster, although I know that only my A5 with Brenneke's gives the least chance of survival. Of course, a belt revolver is probably sufficient to repel allegations, if not boarders, so I don't feel all that uncomfortable.
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Old 07-16-2017, 12:00 PM
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Don't do much field work any more. Worn out legs.
But if I were to go, my 681 whold fill the bill nicely.
Everything I need, nothing I don't:
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Old 07-16-2017, 01:35 PM
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I carry a number of revolvers into the field including a 60-15, a no lock 629 mountain gun, a 686+ 3 inch, and a 63 no dash. Just depends on what I am doing and where I am. I do agree, though, that the 60-15 is about the perfect field revolver. A change in sights and grips has made mine my favorite:

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Old 07-16-2017, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arik View Post
Big turtle population in Atlanta?

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
I'm gonna guess you've never met an unhappy alligator snapper . . .
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Old 07-16-2017, 03:39 PM
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S&W 340PD purely for personal defense.
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Old 07-16-2017, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by ColbyBruce View Post
"S&W 631..4 inch 32 mag...turtle murderer"

You will likely catch some flak for this statement; but people who aren't from around these parts just have no idea how dangerous Southern turtles can be.
Y'all don't have the lumbering desert tortoises down there like we do....(they're harmless & protected). If someone gets bit by a Gopherus agassizii, they're either incredibly stupid, drunk, stoned or a combo of all three.

What you southern boys have are armor plated pygmy gators!! My grandmother was from E. Texas. She never had any love for those ill tempered, ugly reptilian anachronisms from the Cretaceous period.

On topic, I carry a Beretta 96A1 in the sticks. However, I'm in the process of buying one of the new 586 'Classics' which is LNIB. That too will have some field use.
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Old 07-16-2017, 06:01 PM
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Always a toss up for me for a "woods" gun....either the 3" GP100 or a 4" 686.

The 686 is more of a hunting gun for me...with adj sights I can try different loads as it suits me.

The GP100 really likes light bullets so it's not perfect for larger stuff.....but it's a long time companion and I shoot it very well, so never feel under-gunned carrying it hiking/camping etc.
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Old 07-16-2017, 06:17 PM
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I happen to like my tapered barrel .44 Magnum. It's lighter than 4" 686 and can launch a 240gr slug over 1000fps if required.


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Old 07-16-2017, 06:47 PM
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Y'all don't have the lumbering desert tortoises down there like we do....(they're harmless & protected). If someone gets bit by a Gopherus agassizii, they're either incredibly stupid, drunk, stoned or a combo of all three.

What you southern boys have are armor plated pygmy gators!! My grandmother was from E. Texas. She never had any love for those ill tempered, ugly reptilian anachronisms from the Cretaceous period.

On topic, I carry a Beretta 96A1 in the sticks. However, I'm in the process of buying one of the new 586 'Classics' which is LNIB. That too will have some field use.
What is the best ammo for shooting a snapping turtle? Do I need a hard cast bullet at high velocity to pierce its armor? Last thing I'd want is a hollow point to deform on the shell, and do no damage.
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Old 07-16-2017, 06:53 PM
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Here in Indiana I relied on either a Model 19 or a Model 34 for most of my woodsloafing. When the stainless guns came along, eventually I was able to retire those guns in favor of stainless versions of the same thing, though I was never as pleased with my Model 63 as I was with the Model 34. I don't believe my 63 shot as well as I hoped it would. As to the 66, no complaints. Mine was a -1 version and I was always well satisfied with it. Out west I would take my .45 Commander because it was so light and handy, and where I was there was always plenty of other gun-horsepower close by. Once one of my western friends, who was not impressed with my Commander, insisted on loaning me something he thought more suitable (his old .45 Blackhawk, which I liked - sort of ), and my old Model 29 did make one trip out that way. It was heavy, but manageable. All of them were great guns to have along.
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Old 07-16-2017, 07:21 PM
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I admit that I have a decent assortment to choose from, but I guess my primary choices would be the 686-4+ or the 629-4, both with 4 inch barrels. Covers most requirements.

629-4:


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Old 07-16-2017, 07:42 PM
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What is the best ammo for shooting a snapping turtle? Do I need a hard cast bullet at high velocity to pierce its armor? Last thing I'd want is a hollow point to deform on the shell, and do no damage.
Turtles are headshots only. Don't mess up what little meat they have.
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Old 07-16-2017, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Black Knight View Post
Instead of telling you which of your guns would be good I'll just generalize my response. In my opinion a 3-6 inch barrel stainless 357 Magnum with a minimum of 6 shots would be nearly ideal. There are many others available that will also work but I am looking at the whole spectrum. That includes the cost of ammunition, availability of ammunition, cost of the holster and holsters available. You want something that is reasonably economic yet enough to handle whatever danger you come across. A black bear with cubs nearby can be nearly as formidable as a grizzly if she believes you pose a danger to her cubs. My grandpa was chased up a tree by one in Virginia. All he had was a single shot shotgun with birdshot. A few birdshot to the face and the black decided to go elsewhere. Also in today's society a bear may be the least of your troubles. The criminal element can now be found in the woods as well as the street corner. Also while I don't like the idea of putting down a dog there are more dogs around than bear. Some are sweet and friendly, others can be vicious, and others can be rabid. Use good judgement no matter what you carry in the woods.
I got my selection sorted out. Just wanted to hear about yours. Thanks for posting not only your opinion (which I agree with 100%) but also the story about your Grandpa. Pretty cool!
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Old 07-16-2017, 08:21 PM
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I was wondering the same thing....why shoot turtles? Snakes yes, but only when absolutely necessary.
I'm guessing you have never had a catfish pond. Turtles will wipe out the fish population in no time.
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Old 07-16-2017, 08:56 PM
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Big turtle population in Atlanta? Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
The population holds it's own despite the best efforts of concerned citizens. I had a neighbor lose a beagle puppy to a snapping turtle on Lake Sinclair in 2015.
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:13 PM
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For me at least, a "field gun" is a 6inch revolver in either .22 or .38 that I carry to plink whilst wandering around the back 40. With that as a caveat, I personally would take a K38 Masterpiece.
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:13 PM
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My favorite woods carry guns are my 625-9 mountain gun or a ss Ruger Blackhawk in 45 colt.Probably backed up with a 640 in the pocket.
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:16 PM
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I was wondering the same thing....why shoot turtles? Snakes yes, but only when absolutely necessary.

When I used to spend a lot of time out at my roommate's grandfather's ranch he asked me to pop as many turtles as I could. They were getting too many of the younger fish. I would also kill any cottonmouths that I could find. The stock tanks were swimming and fishing holes for kids and adults alike.

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Old 07-16-2017, 09:47 PM
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I was wondering the same thing....why shoot turtles? Snakes yes, but only when absolutely necessary.
Turtles taste good when fixed right. That's one good reason. And Muss posted a second good reason for turtles too.
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:51 PM
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Here in Indiana, for normal woods walking, I pack my K-22 6" with 2 rat shot and 4 .22LR HP.

When camping, a 4" M-28 w/.357 (2 hand loaded Rat shot and 4 125 gr Fed 357-2 factory loads and when hunting, a 6" M-27 with either 158 gr HP or HP cast handload.

In areas out West, below 5K feet a 6" M-29 with Buffalo Bore 240 gr HP and above 5K altitude, a M-629-4 Mountain Gun with Buffalo Bore 240 gr Solid .44 Magnums.

Note: I also carry 4 speed loaders to balance me on the left side whenever I pack a revolver!

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Old 07-16-2017, 11:46 PM
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Depends... For light hiking where there are no big clawed or fanged critters, I keep my ultra light PD 340 with 5 x .357 handy. Don't even know it's there.

For deep woods with big critters, I'll be packing a 629 v-comp.
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Old 07-17-2017, 12:01 AM
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I'm pretty much "Old School" - because I'm really old. I have quite a few older S&W revolvers, but my go to woods walking gun is my Model 58 .41 magnum. I down load it to a comfort level that I like. It carries nicely and will be adequate for cottontails to T-Rex.
Plus - I really like the way it carries
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Old 07-17-2017, 12:27 AM
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In just the past week, my field revolver has varied from a 1908 production Colt New Service in .38 WCF to a 2017 production Ruger Bisley Blackhawk in .44 Special.
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Old 07-17-2017, 12:53 AM
silversnake silversnake is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott B. View Post
Turtles are headshots only. Don't mess up what little meat they have.
Looks like I'll have to start practicing... The head could be a hard target if one of them charges. Good thing snapping turtles can't hide in the shell.
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:30 AM
hkcavalier hkcavalier is offline
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I'm with the OP. Stainless revolvers for the field.

Pics are toast with the whole Photobucket debacle. 686-4 Plus 6" and a 629-3 5" Classic, depending on the type of country and what I might run into.
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:39 AM
roguegamma roguegamma is offline
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There are plenty of black bears,mountain lions and illegal pot grows in the mountains of Southern Oregon. Consequently, when I did wildlife surveys back in the '90's I would carry a stainless Ruger Police Service Six, 2.75 inch barrel in .357 magnum. I usually carried the revolver wrapped in a bandana and placed in the inside pocket of my cruiser vest. Given the less-than-ideal carry method, I always wondered if I would be able to access the Ruger in a timely manner. I got my answer the day I was picking my way through a thick jungle of manzanita and a bear, or maybe a sasquatch, exploded from its hiding place about ten feet away and started tearing through the thicket. I had that revolver in hand with the hammer back pretty much instantly and kept it there until I figured out that the bear was charting a course away from me.
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:26 AM
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For field carry, I always carry a 44mag, doesn't matter if the biggest thing I will run into is a black bear or a gopher!
So if I'm hiking, it's my S&W Backpacker with 44spl, a mix of expanders and lead penetrators in the 200gr range. When hunting, in the Carolinas I bring my Ruger Alaskan 44mag as backup with nothing but 44mags with 240gr SWC's. The Ruger is a LOT heavier than the Backpacker, but you can shoot 44mags all day long with it and it is very accurate out to 25yds, you can shoot a man size target out to 100yds, but you need to be relaxed and leaning against a tree to make that shot reliably! I am considering a chest rig for my new S&W PC XVR with 7.5" bbl, but the 460S&W is LOUD...not sure I'd want to shoot that without any hearing protection, but when hunting Mountain lions and Black Bears, it's a great firearm that I wouldn't feel undergunned with. Heck, the noise alone might scare any critters away! Of course, this is only as a backup to my Rifle which has never failed me yet!
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Old 07-17-2017, 10:06 AM
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M66-2 3" accompanied me for many miles on horseback on public land. Handmade holster is my own, mostly a copy of a Bianchi BHL.



My horse, now sadly gone.


On one occasion, my horse & I found ourselves not quite alone on a remote trail in the forest as dusk was falling... I could hear a pack of coy-dogs moving through the brush around us. I unzipped my insulated vest & tucked it inside, explosing the M66. I was really glad when we broke out onto a gravel road, gave the horse his head & went home.
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Old 07-17-2017, 11:00 AM
Tony2much Tony2much is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTBL View Post
"The criminal element can now be found in the woods as well as the street corner."

Very true! I am more concerned about running into the boys from the "Deliverance" than I am a rabid dog or Bear.
Late one night, while camping deep in the woods of western, North Carolina I heard some twigs snapping near my campsite. I went out to look around with my constant camping companion (Ruger Speed Six, 2 3/4" .357) and a flashlight. I didn't see anything and assumed it was probably just a deer. When I returned to my tent, my wife asked if I was scared and what I would have done if I saw a "large patch of brown fur" lurking in the woods. I told her I was more worried about seeing flannel or denim overalls than brown fur!
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Old 07-17-2017, 11:45 AM
Chubbs103 Chubbs103 is offline
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Turtles taste good when fixed right. That's one good reason. And Muss posted a second good reason for turtles too.
Turtle can be fried, but I prefer it in soup. The Catholic church deems them acceptable to eat on Friday during Lent. I've butchered a number of them. I watched a whole lot more being butchered when I was growing up. They still fight you for a long time after they are dead.

I have only shot one. He would not agree to my efforts to remove his head. All the others were killed by be-heading. I usually use a hatchet, but I have used a large knife as well. There is a long screwdriver involved as well....

Chubbs
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Old 07-17-2017, 12:05 PM
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If I can go afield, my first choice is a .357 Magnum.

Smith & Wesson Model 686+ 4" barrel

Ruger Security Six 4" barrel (in Colorado - because I leave one up there and if my friends move to the Southeast then it will be there with them).

If I happen to actually plan a field trip where really big animals abide I would switch to a .45 Colt. For my taste, a 44 Magnum is a waste of energy unless it is downloaded to .44 Special. I can get three rounds or more down range, accurately, with a .357 or a .45 before anyone except a super professional can do it with a .44 Magnum.

Smith & Wesson Model 25 4" barrel

I don't mind carrying a blued gun in the field. If it gets messy I can clean it.
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:14 PM
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In my younger years it was always an N Frame starting with the number 4 now it is an L Frame starting with the number 4! Model 69 a superbly accurate 44 Magnum, and due to frame size and weight much handier to pack on the belt. I load mine with Sierra 220 flat points at 1100fps.
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:55 PM
dave1918a2 dave1918a2 is offline
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Elk hunting I carry a Linebaugh Custom Sixguns 475 Linebaugh.
Summer camping and fishing a 3# 629 and when muzzle loading hunting for deer I carry My model 53 for grouse and wabbits. I load 3 jets and 3 .22 vipers depending on what I see.
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Old 07-17-2017, 03:47 PM
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Older I get the lighter the load.
No bears or big cats in my hunting area.
It has been one of these lately.
Colt SAA 44 special or a model 19.

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Old 07-17-2017, 04:04 PM
SPDSNYPR SPDSNYPR is offline
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A model 66 is what I've traditionally carried out in the woods. I recently picked up a model 69 4" with an eye on woods carry because of an increase in wild pigs. Some of them are pretty good sized and are supposed to be tough critters. I figured bigger is better, even with one less shot. Both guns fit in the same holster, so I just have to pick my flavor of the day. With solid lead bullets, I think either will do the job on anything I run into.
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Old 07-17-2017, 04:39 PM
fishcreekrim fishcreekrim is offline
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Mod 66-3 4" if I want to go light sp101 4.2" or real light mod 60-9 3".
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:10 PM
Scott B. Scott B. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abbynormal View Post
Here in Indiana, for normal woods walking, I pack my K-22 6" with 2 rat shot and 4 .22LR HP.

When camping, a 4" M-28 w/.357 (2 hand loaded Rat shot and 4 125 gr Fed 357-2 factory loads and when hunting, a 6" M-27 with either 158 gr HP or HP cast handload.

In areas out West, below 5K feet a 6" M-29 with Buffalo Bore 240 gr HP and above 5K altitude, a M-629-4 Mountain Gun with Buffalo Bore 240 gr Solid .44 Magnums.

Note: I also carry 4 speed loaders to balance me on the left side whenever I pack a revolver!
.22's, .357's and .44's. Seems a lot like my selections.
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