Best Wilderness Defense Pistol

James Lee
• Sunday, 27 December, 2020
• 7 min read

If you’re planning a bow hunting trip in a state that allows you to carry a backup gun, or you’re going camping in bear territory, you’re going to want a sidearm. From bears to coyotes to even the occasional mountain lion, there are always scenarios in which having a powerful handgun at your side could very well save your life.

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(Source: www.wideopenspaces.com)


In addition, avoiding confrontations and knowing how to handle encounters with a wild animal is always preferable to using a firearm. The Taurus Tracker series is a rugged family of revolvers designed specifically for wilderness survival.

While some might say that .357 Magnum is on the lower end of what they would want in their hands against a bear or even an aggressive moose, a well-placed shot would bring down even the largest of bruins. An advantage of the .357 Magnum over more powerful rounds is that it generally is easier to handle and fire accurately, not to mention that revolver chambered in the caliber are also usually lighter.

Large, unwieldy, and often hard to shoot accurately, the .44 Magnum is nonetheless a great round for predator defense. Ruler’s revolvers are made from high-grade steel and constructed to handle extra stress, making them popular with hand loaders using hot rounds.

Both the Red hawk and Black hawk series have been used successfully in the wild, and perhaps most famously by legendary explorer Sir Ralph Fences when he drew one of the magnum revolvers against charging polar bear and shot it in the foot in the North Pole. The prevailing opinion is that if you fire this hand cannon at something and don’t miss by a mile, that thing will die.

They are made of flesh, blood, and large vital organs that, if punctured, will usually result in death. If you’re okay with carrying around a 56-ounce to 82-ounce revolver on your hip, you can rest easy in the fact that you’re basically lugging around a cannon.

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It should also be noted that the S&W 500 has been used to successfully take cape buffalo, one of the toughest animals in the world and often reputed as the biggest challenge for hunters in Africa. By nature, outdoors men spend a lot of time out in the farthest corners of America.

Bear spray is great if you see them coming, but keep in mind, if you are in the middle of a wilderness area, that may not be the best option that could be available. While doing the research for this quick list of popular guns, I decided to take myself and my opinions out of it, and instead ask the people who actually carry self- defense weapons every day.

Some are hunters, some are hikers, but one thing is in common, they are all prepared should the worst scenario take place. Those in an Alaskan wilderness, Idaho, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, or parts of Canada may feel differently.

If you have spent some time looking at hunting videos on YouTube, then the odds are good you have come across Outdoors Allie. Her huge following suggests she knows a thing or two and her real unscripted videos only go to prove it.

She hunts elk, mule deer, and other big game all over the American West, and as most know, that can be dangerous. “To be honest with you, I rarely carry a side arm, however my boyfriend/cameraman Nick always has one and goes with one of two options.

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(Source: www.epicwilderness.com)

For example, a semi-auto could be great in pig country, but maybe a big bore revolver works better elsewhere. Mike Macho is a full time elk guide in Colorado.

For the most part, Mike has a long gun always nearby, but during archery season, he has a sidearm on his hip. “I carry a 40 Smith and Wesson or a .45 1911 stacked with hollow point and full metal jackets, alternating rounds.

So far we have covered several great backcountry sidearms good for protection against dangerous animals. “I don't face a major risk of encountering bears or other large predators in most of the areas I hike and hunt, so I typically carry my Ruler LCP .380 in the woods.

It inconspicuously and comfortably fits the holster in my concealed carry leggings on hikes and doesn't weigh down my gear on hunts. I've practiced shooting at the range enough that I could quickly and confidently draw in a worst-case scenario.

After attending a gun training event with a former ATF officer, I know that should I ever travel to an area with grizzlies or wolves, I would upgrade to a higher caliber handgun.” There's a lot of people who say a .380 semi-auto just isn't big enough, but if a well-trained person knows how to use it, it's all the gun you need in any situation.

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(Source: www.theprepperdome.com)

Drew Baker, owner of Black pine Productions always has his Glock 20 on his side. Firing a 10 mm round, this is no small gun, and it also provides a great finishing shot for any downed big game.

Seeing as Baker spends most of his time in Montana, he keeps his head on a swivel. It's hard to make a gun list without a Glock somewhere near the top, and as backcountry sidearms go, this is no exception.

But with my pack weight and all the camera gear on top of that, a big and heavy 44 is out of the question.” Just like Emily, I don't run the risk of mountain lion attacks here in Indiana.

I don't mean to paint Indiana in a bad light, but stories emerge every year coming from hunters, hikers, and campers walking up on situations in the woods where they wished they didn't. Ruler, Colt, Glock, Smith and Wesson, Taurus, all the way to Springfield, amongst others, are all great choices.

As long as you are carrying something that can handle the worst case scenario, you should be good to go. By using your brain and taking a few basic precautions out in the woods, you can dramatically reduce your odds of being attacked by a bear.

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(Source: survivallife.com)

Remember: even the biggest and most powerful bear- defense guns aren't guaranteed to stop a charging bear if you don't make a good shot. Available in .44 Magnum, .454 Casual, and .480 Ruler, the Super Red hawk Alaskan packs a lot of power into a small package.

However, the short barrel comes with a price of increased recoil, muzzle blast, and slightly reduced power. If you're looking for a good bear- defense gun, you could do a lot worse than the venerable Smith & Wesson Model 629.

Ruler Though .44 Magnum is often considered the minimum cartridge for a bear- defense gun, that isn't necessarily the case. This cartridge's deep penetration is more than capable of stopping a charging bear with good shot placement.

With this in mind, a high-quality handgun chambered in .357 Magnum, like the Ruler GP100, can be a very effective bear- defense gun. Taurus While the Taurus Raging Bull is available in a wide variety of barrel lengths and chambered in .44 Magnum or .454 Casual, the .454 Casual version with a 2-1/4-inch barrel is a nasty blend of power, versatility and portability.

Additionally, the revolver features the famous red “Raging Bull” back strap on the grip, which considerably tames the gun's recoil. Add it all up and the Taurus Raging Bull is another good choice for bear defense.

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(Source: www.pinterest.com)

Some people consider it almost sacrilegious to recommend a semi-automatic handgun chambered in 10 mm Auto as a bear- defense gun. This gives the shooter a wide range of options depending on the bear threat and the shooting skills of the hunter in question.

It is also of an appropriate size and weight to be a good compromise between being light and compact enough to comfortably carry, while being heavy enough to be able to accurately shoot. If you're looking for a versatile, yet potent bear- defense gun, the Smith & Wesson 460V just might fit the bill.

Smith & Wesson claims this is the most powerful production revolver in the world in their advertisements. Originally designed as a hunting handgun, but it's also available with shorter 4-inch and 6.5-inch barrels to make it a more practical bear- defense gun.

The S&W 500 also incorporates a muzzle compensator in order to tame the recoil of the powerful .500 S&W cartridges. That being said, the sheer amount of power in this handgun can make it difficult for an inexperienced shooter to handle.

Bass Pro The biggest drawback of a shotgun (or a rifle), is the fact that it is larger, heavier, and more difficult to carry than a handgun. Long guns are also out of the question for bow hunters pursuing deer and elk in grizzly country (like Wyoming and Montana), who are restricted to carrying a sidearm.

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(Source: www.dlsports.com)

Additionally, it is generally much easier to accurately shoot a long gun than a handgun. For this reason, a good pump action 12-gauge shotgun like the Moss berg 500 (or the Remington 870) with a short (24-inch) barrel is an outstanding choice for a bear- defense gun.

On the other hand, if you want something that will penetrate better and give you a slightly longer range, use a slug which will also do a number on a bear. Marlin True to the name, the Marlin 1895 Guide Gun is a favorite of hunting guides in North America, particularly those in Canada and Alaska who operate in areas where there is a good chance of a bear encounter at close range.

With an 18- or 22-inch barrel, the big bore Marlin 1895 Guide Gun only weighs around 8 pounds, making it a powerful, yet handy, accurate and easy-to-carry rifle. However, the two Ruler cartridge variants are very compelling choices for those who may be encountering big, dangerous animals (like bears) at close range.

All versions of the rifle have a 20-inch barrel and weigh around 8 pounds, making it very easy to carry and handy to shoot.

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