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Old 07-02-2018, 05:24 PM
Fish4bass101 Fish4bass101 is online now
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Default Woods Revolver

Planning to buy a revolver for woods and UTV carry. Undecided on barrel length and caliber. What does everyone reccommend?
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Old 07-02-2018, 06:08 PM
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Welcome! New or used, frame size (small/medium/large), intended uses?

New, I would look at a model 60-15 (stainless 3" small frame, .357/.38) or a 63-5 (3", .22 LR). The used equivalents of the model 60 would be a -4 (.38 Special) or a -10 (similar to the -15 but no internal lock). Older model 63s are fairly commonly found, usually in 4".

For a larger gun, a new model 66-8 (stainless 4", .357/.38, medium frame) or an older version.

Others will have plenty more suggestions for you. Good luck in your decision.
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Old 07-02-2018, 06:09 PM
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First question would be what part of the USA ?
That many times determines caliber choice.
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Old 07-02-2018, 06:12 PM
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...depends on how big the bears are in them thar woods...

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Old 07-02-2018, 06:16 PM
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Well depending on where you live and what sorts of critters you might need to shoot I would recommend either a .357 or .44 magnum. If you decide to go with a .357 I would recommend a 66 or 686. For woods and atv carry I would recommend at least a 4in barrel. The 66 comes with either a 2.75 or 4.25in barrel. There are a ton 686 models. I would think a 5 or 6in barrel of some bend of 686 would be good. If you go with a .44 I would highly recommend the model 69. It’s light and handy and would be a dream to shoot with .44 specials and you can shoot magnums if you need to. If you desire a beefier frame there are a ton of 629 and 29 models. I personally like the ejector shroud models as opposed to the full underlug models. A 4in or 6in barrel length would be good. I like 6in myself.
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Old 07-02-2018, 06:20 PM
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It all depends on perceived needs. If you want a gun in the event of two-legged emergencies that find you, most any K frame 4" in .357 Magnum will do. It's pretty much what the police carried for decades. If you're concerned about large animals such as grizzlies, you'll need a much more potent handgun starting with the 41 Magnum and up.

For years, I carried a Model 65 3" round butt while deer hunting or studying my hunting grounds prior to deer season. We only had black bears to be mindful of.
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Old 07-02-2018, 06:24 PM
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I used to own a M60-15 as mentioned by murphydog in the first reply. It was the best woods gun I ever had. Lightweight, accurate and powerful (or not if you prefer). I made the mistake of trading mine away for a 6" nickel plated model 19-3. Even though the trade put me ahead dollar wise the M60 was fun to shoot and easy to carry. The M19 pretty much spends it's life in the safe.
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Old 07-02-2018, 06:31 PM
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A Ruger stainless single action in 45 Colt with a 4 5/8" barrel. Muddled thru with a Ruger single 6 357 snub, & a Sig stainless P220 45 acp. No problems to report.
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Old 07-02-2018, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish4bass101 View Post
Planning to buy a revolver for woods and UTV carry. Undecided on barrel length and caliber. What does everyone reccommend?
What's your budget?

I'd recommend .357 and up.
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Old 07-02-2018, 06:49 PM
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My two are a 6" 686 7 shooter and a 5" 629. Not at the same time...but that does get me thinking...
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Old 07-02-2018, 07:04 PM
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After thinking on it a little bit I decided to enter a second post to explain my reasoning for the M60. A LOT has to do with what you're doing in the woods. If you're walking along a quiet wooded trail with your dog then you can pretty much pack anything. If you go off trail, hike extensively, or are actually doing work (firewood etc) you do not want to be packing around a 3lb pistol. To me my woods guns need to be easy to maintain (stainless), accurate, and easy to carry. It should also be powerful enough when it's called for but also small enough to be pleasant to shoot. If injured off trail or lost, a good woods gun can be a life saver when signaling to search parties. This means loud enough to hear but small enough that extra rounds don't weigh you down needlessly. I can't speak for anywhere else but here in the West people die when they get lost in the woods. The 3" M60 seems almost to have been designed around those criteria.
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Old 07-02-2018, 07:04 PM
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If you don't live in a area where there is dangerous wildlife a model 17,18 or 617 would probably do you well enough. Even though a .22 lr wouldn't be my first choice for two legged critters it will get the job done with good shot placement.
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Old 07-02-2018, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish4bass101 View Post
Planning to buy a revolver for woods and UTV carry. Undecided on barrel length and caliber. What does everyone reccommend?
WELCOME TO THE FORUM Fish4bass. JUDGING BY YOUR FORUM NAME, I ASSUME THAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A GUN TO CARRY IN THE LOWER 48, RATHER THAN PROTECTION AGAINST ALASKAN BEARS, ETC.....

ASSUMING THAT'S THE CASE, I WOULD RECOMMEND A 4" M686+. IMHO, THE M686 IS THE FINEST .357 MAGNUM REVOLVER IN PRODUCTION. THE + VERSION CARRIES 7 ROUNDS, INSTEAD OF 6. THE VARIETY OF LOADS IN .38 SPL/.357MAG IS ENDLESS--FROM LIGHT TARGET LOADS, TO SD LOADS AGAINST HUMAN TARGETS, TO HEAVY HARD CAST HUNTING LOADS, THAT CAN PENETRATE DEEP, AND SMASH BONES---THUS TERMINATING ANY 4 LEGGED THREAT THAT YOU MIGHT ENCOUNTER.....

THE 4" LENGHT BALANCES PERFECTLY IN THE HAND, AND GIVES UP LITTLE FOR RANGE USE. IT IS EASILY CARRIED IN A BELT OR SHOULDER HOLSTER, WHILE SEATED IN A VEHICLE, OR ON AN ATV. ITS STAINLESS STEEL CONSTRUCTION, AND RUBBER GRIPS MAKE IT VERY WEATHER RESISTANT, AND DURABLE........

A NEW ONE IS COVERED BY A LIFETIME WARRANTY. I THINK IT WILL BE A RELIABLE LIFETIME COMPANION, THAT YOU CAN PASS ON TO A FAMILY MEMBER, WHEN THE TIME COMES......
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Old 07-02-2018, 07:10 PM
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Woods protection gun? Nothing smaller than a 357 magnum. With a 4” or 6” barrel. My smiths don’t go in the woods but my ruger RedHawks do.
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Old 07-02-2018, 07:20 PM
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This state (California) is a special case.

Open carry is not allowed.

You can only carry one of the three guns on your CCW license -- and it has to be concealed.

For the last couple years, I kept a M60-15 on my license as a possible woods gun.

But it was hard to conceal, and heavy.

I ended up not carrying it even once in the last two years.

So when I renewed my license a couple weeks ago, I replaced it on my license with an LCR 357.

So that LCR will be my woods gun from now on, and also one of my city carry guns.

It's light, stainless steel (plus polymer), and shoots a powerful cartridge.

I don't hike as much as I used to. But at one time I was a serious backpacker, and know well that every ounce of equipment counts.

For me any woods gun needs to be light just like a city CCW gun.

Last edited by Cal44; 07-02-2018 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 07-02-2018, 07:34 PM
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At various times over the last 50 years I’ve carried, at different times, a Ruger Blackhawk 357, a Colt Python, a M29-2, a M 15 or a M19 with 6.5”, 6”, 4” or 2.5” barrels.

About 35 years ago, I settled on a Colt 1911 in 45acp, often in the lightweight Commander configuration.

Much more compact than a revolver. Much more pleasant to carry than a revolver. Much quicker (in my hands) than a revolver, and plenty for anything I might encounter in the Colorado mountains.

I’d only carry a revolver if I didn’t have a 1911.

Last edited by Rpg; 07-02-2018 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 07-02-2018, 07:37 PM
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Thx for the replies. I guess I should have mentioned that I live in the east. Black bear and critters of the two legged variety would be the worst I would encounter. Willing to spend $500-$1000 to get one good woods gun.
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Old 07-02-2018, 07:39 PM
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Welcome to the forum from Pennsylvania!
I will base a suggestion upon your needs, purpose, and location.
Those issues have everything to do with having the right tool.
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Old 07-02-2018, 07:43 PM
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Ruger Super Blackhawk 44 magnum with a 4 5/8 barrel!
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Old 07-02-2018, 07:46 PM
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Mine is a 60-15 for here in Penn's Wood, for the reasons mentioned above.

Easy to carry,accurate, and Stainless.Usually hardcast 38s but can switch to 357s . Works for me

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Old 07-02-2018, 07:54 PM
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My favorite S&W revolvers for woods walking are my 58, 629-5, 65-3, 65-5 in no particular order.

My favorite semi-autos are a Glock 29 10mm and a Sig P250sc .40 S&W.

With the .40 S&W falling out of favor everywhere pistols in this chambering are inexpensive. You might consider one.
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Old 07-02-2018, 07:58 PM
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I am very fond of a mountain gun in 45 colt.You can load it heavy or light and if you worry about snakes,shotshells in 45 colt work well.
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Old 07-02-2018, 08:00 PM
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You beat me out of the gate with the location, etc.
Around here I would feel well equipped with any K frame 4" or 6" in .357 Magnum. Ruger Blackhawk comes to mind too. There are lots of options available. I am quite comfortable in Pennsylvania with a .45 1911 (in the woods or on the street).
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Old 07-02-2018, 08:02 PM
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Another vote for the 60-15....essentially disappears in a Milt Sparks VMII.

Mine has been 100% reliable and extremely accurate to boot.
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Old 07-02-2018, 08:09 PM
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I have three in their respective holsters that I carry depending on what I'm doing that day... hiking, cutting wood, getting up hay, mowing fields, etc.

I generally carry a model 60 with a full lug barrel. I replaced the front sight with an XS big dot and load it with Speer Gold Dot SB.

Several months ago I bought a new model 63. Insanely accurate and just fun to carry and shoot. I carry it more and more as I tend to do a little informal shooting while out.

Both of these short barrel revolvers I carry in a pancake holster that I make myself.

The third gun that I carry in the woods quite a bit is a Ruger SR 1911 in 10mm. Flat, easy and comfortable to carry. As accurate as anything I am likely to carry and able to handle anything I run into in the woods.
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Old 07-02-2018, 08:22 PM
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Hard to beat a .357/38 4" revolver of any model....mild to wild in one package. Just be sure you know where different loads will hit.

A heavy .357 will kill anything here in the East. Heck... 6 .38's ain't bad.

However, my recently purchased 41mag Blackhawk has a nice "woods gun" swagger to it
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Old 07-02-2018, 08:39 PM
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A few days ago I bought a rag nasty Glock 20 10mm from the receptionist at my doctor’s office. It was fairly cheap. I took it to my son’s fishing companion and he gave me my money back. Butt ugly but functional. We live close enough to Glock, Inc. that we can drive it to the factory for service.
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Old 07-02-2018, 08:54 PM
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...I lug a Ruger Super Blackhawk around our woods...

...I would take my 29-3...but it's too nice to holster...

...44 Magnum should do the job...if you do your job...

...welcome to the forum...
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Old 07-02-2018, 09:00 PM
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M60-15; its called the Trail Masterpiece for a reason. Its just as hard hitting as a 3 inch 686, with the same ammo. You do give up 1 or 2 rounds, but not power. I carried a 6 inch 686 one time hiking in the Cascade Mountains. A lot of up and down. Just once! The M60 will do what I need it to. Holster is a Lobo Gunleather Original Pancake. I like Buffalo Bore 38 Spl Outdoors load. They make a 180 gr hard cast load, if required.

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Old 07-02-2018, 09:01 PM
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For many years of my outdoor activities, on foot & horseback, I holstered my OD 3" M66. If it was too hot for cover clothing I used a pommel holster & doubt anyone knew what it was. Something as small as a J frame is still going to be a burden hiking long distances unless you are very clever about concealing in a pack of sorts.

Only once... on a remote trail... my horse & I were tracked by a pack of aggressive coy-dogs at the limits of of visibility in the underbrush. I went as far as to open my vest & tuck it behind the grips for access. I was very glad that I reached a gravel road as dusk fell & gave him his head... quickly opening the first mile of distance. He earned a bath when we reached the barn, all sweated up.

I hand made my holster... a near copy of a Bianchi 5BHL with slight influence from Safariland.



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Old 07-02-2018, 09:13 PM
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S&W Governor (or a Taurus Judge if cost is a concern) ought to be the ideal choice of a Wilderness Defense firearm.

Capable of chambering .410 Shotshells, .45 Long Colt, or .45 ACP, (with moon clips) the Governor boasts an unprecedented level of versatility. You've got .410 Bore Shotshells for small animals such as Snakes and .45 Long Colt for just about anything else one could conceivably encounter in the Wilderness.
Furthermore, you have the option to mix ammunition and load up any of the different types of shot/bullets offered in .410/.45 in the same cylinder at once. (.410 birdshot for Snakes, buckshot for larger animals like wolves, and a nice hardcast 255gr .45LC semiwadcutter for Bears.)
Oh, and the Governor weighs in at mere 30oz, so you don't have to worry about lugging around an excessively heavy pistol either.

I know that there will be a lot of folks coming to argue against my suggestion because .410/.45 Revolvers such as the S&W Governor and Taurus Judge are the Uncle Buck's hat of the firearms community, so be prepared for a lot of protests from folks who just plain hate these sorts of firearms, complete with outdated articles/videos "proving" their ineffectiveness by using .410 shotshells which were designed for full-size shotguns with 18" long barrels with full chokes at absurdly long ranges well in excess of what they were designed for or one would ever likely find themselves needing to shoot, much less be legally justified in doing so, acting as if that means something. But specialty loads have long since been developed specifically for handguns like the Governor which have proven to be quite effective at distances out to 20 yards, such as Federal Premium .410 Handgun 000 Buck Shotshells, so to preemptively give you a more realistic demonstration of what to expect from the Governor, I'll leave you with this video.


Just something to consider.

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Old 07-02-2018, 09:14 PM
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Over the years I've carried a variety of guns while woods bumming, hunting, and fishing. Ruger Blackhawks, S&W J, K & L frames, .22, .38/.357, .44 & .45 Colt. My go to gun now is my 60-15. Light and compact with a range of power and accuracy sufficient for my purposes. It rides easy and almost unnoticed in a Bianchi 5BHL. I do wish either the Bianchi 111 Cyclone or Galco Phoenix were available for this gun.
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Old 07-02-2018, 09:17 PM
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I second and third the 5-shot 3" target J frame as the perfect gun for those times when you don't expect to need a gun but still feel the need to have one with you. I have a 60-4 in .38 and a 60-10 in .357. I previously had the 60-15 mentioned above (same as 60-10 but with the internal lock).
I started carrying the 60-10 even when rifle hunting after an occasion I found myself on my hands and knees in a laurel thicket helping a buddy track blood from a wounded bear. I quickly realized that the lever action rifle on my shoulder was almost useless in all that brush. Thankfully the bear was 'tits up' when we finally found it. :-)

My other go-to gun that is completely out of the way when on ATVs or hiking is a custom 2" .45ACP on a 1917 frame converted to a K grip frame. I even use the lanyard ring so I can't loose it. It has open sights but I installed a tritium vial in the front.
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Old 07-02-2018, 09:27 PM
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Having spent a lot of time in the DEEP woods of Maine over 50 years,I carried a Ruger Blackhawk 41 mag or 44 mag. with wood grips. I have: 1. Run into a hunter while deer hunting that thought I was a deer or something and froze looking at me for about what seemed to be an eternity.
I remember as though it was yesterday (And it was 40+ years ago) that if he raised his rifle I would have to shoot him. I was wearing the proper hunting colors and was talking to him, but he just stood there motionless and looking at me. ( Buck fever? ).finally he snaped out of it and went on his way. I went in the opposite direction.
2. Going down Mt Washington and having a full grown mountain lion running about 50 feet from me chasing a rabbit.
3. Deer hunting in Maine and crossing the path of a full grown black bear that had been killing cattle on a nearby farm. I was close enough the hair on the back of my neck stood up.(hunters that go after dangerous game know what I am talking about). And I could go on.

My point or more to yours, You want a handgun that can deal with any of the above experiences that could have turned ugly really fast! A gun and caliber that puts the danger to your life down quickly. I have owned a lot of hand guns and rifles over the years and prefer cold steel blued guns to stainless. IMO they are more accurate.
There are some good suggestions on this post. Good luck on your qwest!

Be SAFE and shoot often!

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Old 07-02-2018, 09:34 PM
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Don't laugh too hard, but my constant companion in the wilds of southern Arizona mountains was..

New it cost me $123 at Jensen's in Tucson.
Seemed like a lot on a 2LT's pay!
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Old 07-02-2018, 09:38 PM
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I use a M629 Mountain Gun for woods walking.
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Old 07-02-2018, 10:15 PM
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Back in the day a woods' gun would be the classic "kit gun", which was traditionally a .22 long rifle, something like a Model 34 or H&R Sportsman, with a 3 to 6 inch barrel.

Thrown into a tackle box, carried in a haversack, worn in a belt holster. Ideal for small game, snakes, pesky varmints, casual plinking, signaling. Perhaps in those bygone days they worried less about bears, miscreants, and Apocalypse Now, and focused instead on what the gun would actually be used for 99.9999% of the time.
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Old 07-02-2018, 10:25 PM
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Model19, 4",.357 will handle most anything you will encounter in the east. .
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Old 07-02-2018, 10:35 PM
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329PD practically defines WOODS GUN
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Old 07-02-2018, 10:45 PM
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My favorite is a 317, 22lr. I am getting very sensitive to weight, except for my own body.

2nd is a 2" 45acp revolver.

3rd is a 4" 629 mountain gun, depending on whether I THINK I might run into Mr. Bear.
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:00 AM
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Any 357 is a good place to start. I have a 3 inch M60 but I don't shoot it as well as I do either an L or N frame. Carries easier but I have big medium clumsy hands so larger is better. If you like single action revolvers Ruger's Blackhawk (not Super Blackhawk) comes in 357 , 44 Special and 45 Colt. They are available w Bisley frames which is my preference. Next step up is a S&W N frame in 44 Mag or 45 Colt. I really like the M625 Mountain Gun in 45 Colt. There is also a L frame 44 Mag but no experience w it. Back to Ruger for either a Super Blackhawk or a Redhawk in 44 Mag or 45 Colt next size up. They are big honking revolvers so if weight is an issue they are off the table.

If you handload 44 Special 44 Mag and 45 Colt are very versatile. 250 grain lead swc bullets at 900 to 1000 fps thump pretty good but aren't abusive on your hands. Im headed for geezer age so that is more important than it used to be.

I skipped the S&W k frames bc no love in my heart for them as field guns. Nothing wrong w them but to me they are either target revolvers w a 6 inch barrel plinkers in 22 or 38 Special w a 4 inch barrel or concealed carry revolvers. My 3 inch M65 isn't for sale. If you drug me to a pistol fight w a revolver either it or my worked over M28 would be in my hand.

To me your woods gun is a gun you shoot a lot and I don't care for practice with 38s then carry 357s. That is why i skip the K frames for field carry. Nothing wrong w that just my preference.

I also prefer stainless steel for woods carry. Not as pretty but the finish hold up better.

Finally I've been known to woods bum w a 1911 stuck behind my hip.

If you haven't figured it out no one here can tell you what is best for you. I pretty much covered the waterfront rather than said buy X. I mentioned some of my preferences but you might not share them. Now I will tell you this. If you have a buddy w a bunch of different revolvers get him to take you shooting. Buy some ammo or pay for some components if he loads but try shooting as many different choices as possible. Ammo and lunch and friends can shoot my handguns especially folks who are new to the shooting sports. Then choose what you like that meets your needs.

Let us know what you pick and how it works for you.
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:08 AM
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A S&W Model 64 with 4" barrel in a Ted Blocker 114 Field Holster with some spare ammo in this pouch and some Buffalo Bore .38 special Outdoorsman loads.
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:43 AM
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My choice as of late is the model 69 2.75" 44. Great gun.
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Fish4bass101 View Post
Thx for the replies. I guess I should have mentioned that I live in the east. Black bear and critters of the two legged variety would be the worst I would encounter. Willing to spend $500-$1000 to get one good woods gun.
THEN I STAND PAT ON MY SUGGESTION OF A 4" M686+, AS PER MY POST #13 ABOVE.....
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Old 07-03-2018, 02:11 AM
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This is my woods/nightstand gun, which can and has withstood all the nasty weather the Oregon coast can dish out. That means rain, mostly. It's sighted in with Remington UMC 180's, but shoots to the same point of aim with a Speer 200 gr. GDHP at 900 fps, which is what I keep it loaded with on the nightstand. The friend I traded it out of had the barrel bobbed to 2.75" not too long before they came out with the Alaskan model. I have other woods guns, too, but this is my favorite.
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Old 07-03-2018, 07:44 AM
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My choice as of late is the model 69 2.75" 44. Great gun.
This is all you need
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Old 07-03-2018, 08:02 AM
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My "Kit Gun" when working or just roaming around in Penn's Woods is a 3" Model 60-10....... think micro 5 shot 686.

Given that Coyotes are 24/7/365 here in Pa. I'm often accompanied by a Ruger 77/357 or a CZ 452 FS/mannlicher in .22 magnum,
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Old 07-03-2018, 08:02 AM
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I’m out in the woods a good deal in the NE. NH & ME. I’d say for woods defensive purposes, a .357 in 4” like a 686+ is gonna be plenty 99.9% of the time. I carry a 44 mag in 6.5” because sometimes I want to be the predator.

PS) any of the mountain guns in 357 or up would probably be ideal if you can find one. Real nice looking and carrying guns that were tailor made for the task. Pride of ownership, too. Something you could have your whole life and pass down. If you’re more a fisher than hunter or gun guy and don’t plan on buying a bunch of guns, i’d personally go the ‘top-shelf’ approach ang get something like this as it could wear many ‘hats’ too - bedside or home defense, potential CC, range fun, etc.
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Old 07-03-2018, 10:17 AM
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I just cringe when I hear about Kit Guns being ‘thrown’ into tackle boxes.
Would I throw something into a tackle box?
Yes. A package of sinkers.
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Old 07-03-2018, 11:12 AM
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I just cringe when I hear about Kit Guns being ‘thrown’ into tackle boxes.
Would I throw something into a tackle box?
Yes. A package of sinkers.
LOL.... if I recall correctly ...... a lot of those .22 Model 34s were "carried" in full flap holsters..........
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