Contributors to this thread:
I sometimes carry while bowhunting but my current sidearm is heavy and cumbersome. I don't often take it because of the hassle. In light of that mt lion attack i can't help think i should carry more often while in the backcountry. What would you guys recommend for a lightweight easy-to-carry option? I don't need to drop a rhino in its tracks, just deter an unwanted advance from a black bear, cat, moose, cow, et cetera.
9mm Kahr made in USA Lewis
S&W Scandium .357 five-shot revolver. Weighs less than a pound.
I carry different guns at different times, but my (almost) everyday carry gun is an S&W Shield in .40 S&W. I carry an extra mag also because it's a single stack and only holds six plus one in the barrel. At times, mostly hunting, I carry either a Glock 10mm or a Taurus Titanium in .41 mag. I'm partial to the G20 (10mm) walking into my bow stands in the dark because I've had a couple hog encounters in the dark. I have a light/laser for it, and it's easy to put it on, carry it in my hand on the walk in, take the light off and put it into my pocket, then holster the gun before I get into the stand. May never need it, but I ain't arguing with a 200 lb. boar hog with just a fancy stick.
Similar to drycreek -
Glock 21 in .45 or S&W Shield in 9mm. The Glock is kind of big to carry all the time, that S&W Shield is a must have for anyone!
The shield is great carry gun. Easily carry in your back pocket, I have 3 and no malfunctions to date.
9mm is a little small for my liking for the woods.
10mm is hard to beat in a semi auto.
shield 9mm and staggered ammo. fed hollow point and flat noise one makes great wound channels and the other guaranties penetration with a better wound channel then round noise.
What are you carrying now that is too heavy and cumbersome?
I too have the shield in 9mm. It is a great little gun. You can probably find one of the first generation shields for a good price.
If you want something a little bit bigger the Glock 19 is the sh!t.
If Grizzlies aren't in the picture then I would either take my kahrCW 9 or my Glock 19, loaded with some Leigh penetrators. 16 of these little buggers would stop just about anything and in a pinch if your are surprised by a grizzly a mag full in the head would work. If your in griz Country then I would go with a Glock 10 mm or a S&W 44. Weight would not be a concern if I were walking where big bears walk.
no matter what you choose TRAIN..... I spent 15 years as a full time police trainer, after 10 years as a full time tactical officer for a metropolitan pd...... The amount of CCW holders who we train, who know little to nothing about their weapon, drives me nuts.........................
I will leave the politics alone, you would not want to hear my rant,,,, listen to me, from someone who has been there and done that..... YOU WILL PERFORM AS YOU TRAIN.....
Lots of nomenclature work, lots of dry drills, total commitment to your weapon is what is needed, when the metal is about to hit the road....... You can not train enough, and anyone that says otherwise, has not been there,,,,, I have, it will save your life.....
strapping on your pick, is no insurance, better know what your doing,,,,,, Train Train Train,,,, it is that simple.......
Good luck to all and God Bless,,,,, There is no place for second place, in any confrontation
Ground hunter you’re not lying. Been through a few ccw classes and I don’t feel more comfortable with the good guy having a gun in many cases! Flame me all you want but it was usually the women and often downright scary!
Usc, when I first got my carry license many years ago, we shot our targets from a covered range. Just 2x4s and tin, nothing fancy, but I happened to look up and saw three bullet holes in the tin above my head and immediately thought, "Damn, I'm glad I wasn't here when that happened"
On a humorous note, I ctritiqued my son on his lack of a perfect score, (he's a very good shot), and he said, " I might have done better if that 10mm brass wasn't going down my shirt collar ! " My wife was between me and him and evidently that Colt Delta Elite was chunking that hot brass several feet !
Springfield XDS gets carried a lot here. It sure would be hard to beat the Sig P365 for size and capacity if I were getting something new.
Lol dry creek. I’ve taken 2 women shooting and both limp wristed a glock and had brass down the shirt because it wasn’t ejecting them far enough out. They start waiving that thing around like it’s on fire. Grab it and then start laughing as they start stripping.
Another vote for the S&W M&P scandium-titanium with a laser grip. Hard cast .357 bullets. Weighs less than a pound loaded and is very compact.
But for all the things you mentioned, I carry spray.
Smith & Wesson Performance Center 327 TRR8 .357 Magnum With hard cast bear busters
My concealed carry is a Remington 380. When hunting I carry a S&W model 629 .44 magnum. Had a mountain lion follow me back to camp one evening and I did not feel comfortable with my 9 mm.
My concealed carry is a M&P Shield 40. It's always at my 4 o'clock position. Never leave home without it.
I carry way more for two legged critters then four. It’s a rare day I am not carrying either my Glock43 or FN 9c.
If am in bear country I carry my G20.
Shield 9mm is my everyday carry, but thinking of ramping up to something bigger for my next trip out West.
Ruger SP101 in 357, shoots good and very compact.
Whatever you carry I would not use the "standard" self defense hollow points. Animals are much tougher than us and in a defensive situation you more than likely will be shooting head animal head on. Most pistol hollow points will not make it too far past a tough hide and heavy bone is a sure soft bullet stopper. Stick with solid penetrating bullets like the Lehigh Extreme penetrator or a hard cast type from baffalo bore. Good luck.
For every day carry I alternate between my 380 and Shield 45. When I carry in the hills it’s always my Shield. I carry safety slugs for personal defense and like the Buffalo bore for mountain defense.
G20 10 mm
G20 10 mm
10 mm Hands down. for light protection you can get 130-150 grain bullets - similar recoil to a 40- maybe even lighter than a 45, holds 15 rounds.
if you ever need it in grizzly or lion country you can get 180 grain bullets - even up to 240 grain. a hard cast Flat nose 220 grain bullet will rip though a big grizzly and do major damage. Underwood and double tap have these loaded pretty hot and they are serious ammo and do serious damage.
I have a Glock 20 10mm with a Romeo I reflex sight - the slide is cut for low profile, i also have suppressor height sights to use with the reflex sight. its really really accurate. i killed a doe with it at 46 yards last year.
I'm with ground hunter. You're better off with a .22 WMR that you know intimately, can shoot accurately, and can access quickly, than a .500 S&W that's left in the the truck, locked down in a heavy rig or under clothing, or that that you can't get in action quickly and fire accurately. "Bad news" action often happens fast, unexpectedly, and seemingly at random. Also be prepared for "hand to tooth/claw " action no matter what you carry. Chances are that'll happen.
"...just deter an unwanted advance from a black bear, cat, moose, cow, et cetera."
Bear spray-I don't know what you mean by "deter" but if you mean shoot, you'd better plan to kill a bear. I've been told many times, by people who know what they're talking about. If you have a confrontation with a bear, you might get attacked. If you have a confrontation with a bear and shoot it, but don't kill it, you will get attacked.
If you're not in griz country, the only predator I might carry for is the two legged variety.
Probably step up to the 20 if I hunt big bear country...
Ruger LCR .38 special. Light and carries more punch than a 9mm. That's what my sister carries when hunting hiking horse riding etc. If its light enough for her should work for you too lol.
I also carry the Ruger LCR in .38/.357. Super light and easy to carry, 5 shot cylinder. Of course I wouldn't carry it in grizzly country. In the backcountry I carry .357 in it.
I always hear people say they wouldn’t carry for anything but grizzlies. In the short time I’ve been on bowsite I’ve read Idyllwilds account of a near miss with a 150# blackie, Lou’s close call with a cow moose, another fella shot a mountain lion in the face with his bow at close range and others. You tough guys can leave your pistols or spray at home, I’m to young and have way to much hunting to do to be a statistic... even if it’s barely more common than drawing a high demand NM elk hunt. I need to upgrade but I carry my Taurus 38 because it’s what I have.
Same as mountainman with lasergrip.
Thanks for the advice so far. I looked at the glock 19 and the shield today. I like the shield for its size, but I like the magazine capacity of the glock. Thanks for the other suggestions so far, I am leaning to semiauto for capacity reasons for the 5 round revolver doesn't do much for me. If I am going to go through the hassle of carrying, I want to make it count if needed.
What caliber would you guys suggest, I am looking at the 9mm, the 40 cal and 45 an10mm...the 45 seems a bit much, but between the 40/10 and the 9mm, is there a clear choice/winner?
That question about what caliber will need a whole thread for itself,lol.
Also, the shield has a thumb safety, the glock no safety? Thoughts on which is better? Additionally, laser sight or no laser sight? I feel like a laser sight makes sense for quick target acquisition, but the guy behind the counter seemed to try and steer me away from that.
So many opinions.
I don’t want a safety in my gun. Give me a good holster and it’s one less thing to worry about.
"I carry an extra mag also because it's a single stack and only holds six plus one..."
More rounds is one reason to carry an extra magazine. A better reason is, because if you practice often and correctly, they take abuse. One can always fail and need to be stripped in a hurry. Any number of rounds in the grip that won't feed is pretty useless.
Shield 9. Light, compact, and very reliable. Here in Okla, bears and mountain lions aren't much of a concern. Maybe a meth head or two.
The whole caliber thing can be debated till eternity. My take is that there is not a single pistol caliber out there proven to be a single shot "man stopper", cant expect them to be single shot animal stoppers either. Given this, I prefer being able to get more shots on target hence my choice of 9mm.......others will disagree. Either way, I am usually more worried about people than animals.
Totally agree backpack hunter. Spot on.
Just FYI, there's a ton of difference between the .40 and the 10mm, kinda like .38/.357, the .40 being the weakest. You can get some pretty hot loads for the 10mm. The .45 ACP is between the .40 and the 10mm. My preference for hogs, the only dangerous animal where I hunt, is the 10mm. I use hard cast, copper plated, flat nosed bullets, 180 gr. , and I've dropped two boar hogs in their tracks with that load. Both were hit between the eyes and both were DRT. One was about ten feet from me and the other died at my feet. Let me say right now that I would NOT want to have to stop a bear with the same pistol/ammo combination.
The answer to your question will always be: The biggest gun you can shoot well and will carry all the time.
Dry creek habe you tried a 200+ grain lead hard cast in your 10mm? Underwood and double tap have some offerings in the 200-220
Thanks for the feedback so far. Is a 10mm that much harder to control vs a 9 mm?
The last couple of years I have been trying to fill a doe tag with my stainless GP100, .357, 4". I've got a few miles carrying it on the side and the shoulder. It is a little heavier than some but I'm a taller guy and it seems to fit pretty good. I haven't hiked any mountains with it yet so I can't speak to that.....just hills around my place. As far as rounds....180gr Buffalo Bores in LFN's. I can empty it pretty quick with .38's and moderate close-in accuracy, not so with the .357 Buffalo Bores. They have a pretty good bite....one of the more powerful ones out there. I think if I had a shorter torso it might not be a good carry for the bush....at least for the shoulder.
For the price of the shield everyone should have at least one. I paid less than $250/each for mine. It’s a phenomenal piece at that price.
As to the question of laser grips, I have several revolvers with CT grips. They are fun to play with but not very practical. In bright daylight the little dot is virtually impossible to see. Under duress that thing is going to be waving all over the place. They are helpful in low light or darkness and bad guys generally know what it means, but it can also draw gunfire if you encounter a more experienced bad guy because it's a nice target. Then again, the bad guys you are likely to encounter in the woods will most likely be drunk or tweaking and not pros, and a red laser might make them run away.
IMO you'll be far better off learning to draw, acquire the target with hand-eye as you are drawing and discharge two rapid shots as accurately as possible without trying to locate a tiny wiggling dot before you act.
Also remember that once you pull the trigger you can't take it back. If you draw the gun be prepared to shoot. If you shoot at a human you'd best kill him. Same with a bear. Cats generally attack from behind so if that happens you're screwed anyway.
Personally I trust my own abilities to draw and execute two rapid (accurate) shots with a DAO hammerless revolver vs semis with a safety. Semis are for LEOs who may engage in a running gunfight where multiple rounds are fired over a period of time.
There is never a reason to carry a handgun while bow hunting, ......until there is! I would much rather have one and not need it than need the one I left at home.
I know you’ve asked for light, what I’m about to suggest won’t be that but is my most accurate sidearm albeit I don’t carry into the Woods here in MO/KS/NE often. 460 Rowland Mine is a full frame that Dad and I built. Caspian arms stainless frame, Kimber blued slide, Clark 460 internals up top (22lb spring), 1911 style. I am most comfortable with this gun and will put up with weight for accuracy and throwing 200 grain XTPs around 1,050. Best, Joe
EF just posted the penultimate advice on this thread. Caliber, style, etc. doesn't matter if you don't how to react and use it instinctively. I trust UDAP far more than my .357 for two and four legged critters.
Joe Holden also hit the nail. His most accurate .460 is almost never carried into the woods. My most accurate is a Ruger.45 LC. I never carry it in the woods unless I'm trailing a shot black bear and don't have a shotgun. So it's highly accurate but impractical.
Used to carry a Ruger super blackhawk 44 mag until I got the Glock 10...Ruger was very accurate but heavy and single action. Glock 10 is much lighter and easier to handle.
I carry a Glock 20 -10mm, I use to carry a 44 mag. but it was heavy. I do have my 14 year son carry bear spray.
When I lived in Idaho, I always had a 3” Smith and Wesson 629 with me in the woods. I carried it crossdraw on the belt of my hunting pack and I really couldn’t tell it was there. I could get it out pretty quick, if needed.
I would feel undergunned with a 44 if I ran into a grizzly. Several years ago, while carrying a 300 Winchester Magnum, I kicked a grizzly out of its bed while tracking a moose just below Glacier National Park. It apparently wasn’t too happy about being disturbed and it stood its ground and huffed at me. As I was backing out of there, I was thinking, “I need something bigger.”
When I hunt AK I carry a Ruger Super Redhawk in .480 Ruger.
Here I rarely carry anything. If I am battling Porcupines eating my stands it's a 9mm or 22 auto. After being face to face with a Grizzly at 80 yards.......nothing around here seems dangerous.
Ryanc, the Shield comes with or without thumb safety. I personally don't see the need for the safety. My Colt 1911, I see the need for it when carried in condition 1(round in the chamber, safety on).
In grizzly country I carry a Ruger Bisley Blackhawk in .45 LC loaded hot. A double action would be a better choice for defense, but it's the only "big" cartridge handgun I own. It's really amazing the range you can take game with it off a rest.
If I carry bowhunting (or day to day) outside of grizzly country, its usually a little S&W .380 Bodyguard. Light caliber but I get annoyed carrying anything bigger and for stopping a two legged varmint, finishing off an elk someone hit on the road or killing a rabid raccoon, I have confidence in it. It also conceals easily when active in light clothing. The gun I have with me in .380 is better than my .45 ACP I left at home because its a pain to carry. I have other autos and revolvers I love to shoot but don't find practical as a carry gun for most situations unless I'm hunting with them. I don't expect it to stop an angry moose or a mother black bear who commits to ending me.
Whatever you choose, it's always a balance of trade offs. The trick is matching that balance to the situation.
Guess I’m old school. For everyday, I carry a 1911 in a SOB holster, don’t even know it’s there. In the mountains it’s spray in the pack and a Super Blackhawk with a 5” barrel for pack outs. When I pull the trigger, I want it to go bang.
Just out of curiosity....does anyone have a DOCUMENTED case of a bowhunter having serious trouble, where a side arm would have been of use, walking to or from a deer hunting stand in the dark? I've seen a couple where a cougar was stalking an elk hunter but that's about it.
Most bad encounters in the woods are usually the 2 legged kind. We have ran into some real weirdos over the years. Most after dark.
Here's a few pistol vs bear stories I found with a quick google. Not all bowhunting but I'm not sure the bears cared if the people were bowhunting or fly fishing.
I don't carry often.
In the woods, I bring a .380 ACP ... a little tiny thing ... and only if I'm around horses. If I'm back in the middle of nowhere, and a horse has a severe injury, I don't want to end its suffering with a knife.
That said, I have thought about carrying for another reason not mentioned here.
I do have the legal right to carry. (In WY, we don't need a CC permit, though I do have one). But I rarely use it. I think, though, that carrying in the woods could be used to "get one in the habit of carrying". Like carrying a knife, or a flashlight. Certain habitually carried items. One needs different kinds of training, and a central "training" is putting the concept in one's head that "it's always there".
But for me, I don't worry (much) about sudden, life-threatening events in the woods that would be correctable with a sidearm.
Great words of wisdom from Glunt that bear (pun intended) repeating: "The gun I have with me in .380 is better than my .45 ACP I left at home because it's a pain to carry." "Whatever you choose, it's always a balance of trade-offs. The trick is matching that balance to the situation."
A bit off-topic, but the other day I emptied a seven-year-old can of UDAP spray (wind at my back, of course!) to get a better feel for its duration, distance, and pattern. Glad I did because such knowledge might come in handy someday.
Rut Nut's Link
Has anyone put their hands on this holster from Razco that attaches to your bino harness? Seems like a good idea, just not sure how it would feel and ride especially if you have to move quickly.
Who says a 9mm is ineffective on bears???!!! ;-)
I bought the RAZCO holster that attaches to the bino harness. It look like a great idea and makes the gun accessible. I just haven't tried it out but will do so this fall in the mountains in Colorado. I have a Glock 30 45 ACP and a Glock 20 10mm and either one will fit in the holster I purchased. The Glock 20 fits perfectly and the 30 is just a little tight. I just never was happy with other ways of carrying my Glock for safety and accessibility. Hope this works.
I really like the Double Tap 200 grain wide flat nose hard cast in the 10mm. I did put in a Lone Wolf SS barrel and I put in heavier springs. I am not a large person and have small hands and do not at all find the 10mm recoil an issue. I call it "ole thunder" though because it does make a little noise at the range!
For those thinking 10mm and bigger is the only way to go, remember: our ancestors were fending off bears for decades with slow, low energy bullets from black powder firearms.
I had Glock 20 when I hunted elk at Idaho. I don’t know Colorado allow Sidearms when bow hunt? Do you carry sidearms when you bow hunt at Colorado?
G20 200 gn underwood. Trijicon rmr
In Canada you can't carry. We just pray.
"For those thinking 10mm and bigger is the only way to go, remember: our ancestors were fending off bears for decades with slow, low energy bullets from black powder firearms."
...and that's your rational for why a person should can/use a smaller caliber??? Using the same rational should I choose a shoe, rather than a gun, to defend my loved ones at home because some guy in Detroit beat up a burglar with in 1984? Personally, I'll make an informed decision based on what's available today and not what was available to my ancestors a long time ago...
Thanks for all the replys everyone. I still haven't made up my mind but I was looking at the fns 9c the other day and I am leaning that way. The latest bear attack in Colorado has me reminded I need make a choice. Ironically this last weekend I was hiking with my wife and kids(3 under 7 years old) and my wife kept yelling at the kids for running ahead of us. Anyway I told her not to worry as they were being so loud playing and yelling that anything in earshot would have moved on. It was sparsely wooded and we stopped at a stream and the kids played for awhile, mind you we could see the car from where we were about 200 yards from the road. So we go to take a trail to leave and 15 yards down it a bull moose jumps up out of his bed 20 yards from us! Luckily he wanted nothing to do with us and went the other way in a hurry, but I couldn't help but think of this thread while I felt naked wondering what to do if he had had a different attitude.
Scoot, I'll put it another way. Most modern pistol calibers will kill anything. State troopers in Alaska put down bears with .357 sig. I've killed several big Ks bucks with subsonic solid bullets and they zipped right through both animals and I recovered them in 100 yds or less. Shot placement is what matters. If you can't hit the elephant with a .22 then you sure can't with a .458
Thornton, Our ancestors were also wiping their butts with corncobs, dying from flu and smallpox, and drinking warm beer. Yay for technology!
I suggest bear spray for the above listed critters. In reality you probably will not be effective hitting a charging bear with your pistol. ( yeah, except for all you armchair gunfighters.) LOL. Very unlikely to actually be attacked by a lion. If so, you probably wont see it till its to late. Otherwise the spray will deter a cat instantly. Its always a good idea to hunt with a buddy in Grizzly country. That way you can shoot him in the foot and then run like Hell.
I carry a shield 9mm for the tweekers and meth heads. These are the ones that really need to be put down.
I have had issues with ferral dogs where I have hunted. Before concealed carry was legal, I was coming out one night after bow hunting and ran into some. I backed around them but had some major concerns. The mother of one of the girls I use to work with was attacked by stray dogs. She didn't have conceal carry then, she does now. She was lucky to get out alive with that situation, if she would have gone down with the dogs biting her legs they would have killed her. Luckly early on in the situation she got hold of her husband who called the police. When they showed up the biggest of the dogs tried to attack the officer, his 40cal did the trick.
If you like a revolver, some to look at S&W model 69 5 shot 44mag, you can use the mag rounds or 44 special or the 629, 5 shot Ruger GP 100 in 44 special in heavy loads, Ruger Redhawk (Super Redhawk way to heavy) in 45Colt or 44 mag. If you can't handle the magnum rounds, 44 Special from makers like Buffalo Bore would up the anty but be less recoil than a mag round. Charter Arms makes a 44 Special called the Bull Dog which is lighter weight, but but can only handle standard pressure rounds. Ruger also makes a 8 shot .357 mag in the Redhawk. Just a thought on revolvers. Someone mentioned the scandium frame revolvers. Those are ultra light in weight, I would not want to pull the trigger on a magnum round in one of those even a .357. Those things are as light as some plastic cap pistols. DANNY
Easy answer to the OP's question; Do what the 90% does!
Carry a powerful pistol that you haven't shot much ....haven't practiced drawing from the holster....haven't even run a few hundred rounds through it to make sure it functions 100%...... And feel confident in the woods. /grin
Flock 29, 10mm, 15 round clip, small, light weight, deadly handgun, but like all handguns you need to practice, they are a close range weapon for sure.
They are as close range as you make them. I have two friends that can stretch 9mm and 45 acp out to 300 yds
I carry a EAA 10mm in griz country
My CCW everyday is M&P Shield 9mm it goes everywhere with me and on most hunts. .357 w/sholder holster when I go to WYO/ID/MT.
THORNTON, Your two friends are complete BS'ers. HAHAHAHAHA
Rut Nut's Link
Deflatem, I'm 72 next March, and I bought my first revolver at 16 years of age. That's over fifty years of shooting all kinds of handguns, and when I had good eyes, I wasn't afraid to stretch the legs on any of them. I couldn't count the squirrells and rabbits I head shot with a .22 S&W revolver and a High Standard or Ruger auto. Snakes have to number in the hundreds. I regularly shot at 100 yards ( at cans, dirt clods, etc.) with the Ruger. I used to rest over the tool box on my truck and lay those 240 grain slugs into gopher mounds at 150 yards or so with a Ruger Super Blackhawk in .44 mag. I've killed deer, hogs, coyotes, skunks, and coons with a variety of handguns from 20 feet to 150 yards. I can't swear to someone else's shooting, but someone intimately familiar with their chosen tool can do things the casual user can't even imagine. Some of us (apparently) can shoot handguns better than others.
I want something that goes BANG to fend off deadly critters. This is a prime example of a muzzle blast stopping a charge. ANd he didn't even hit the bear- he hit the water in front of the bear. I would not have wanted to rely on spray in that scenario!
glock 27 .40 cal.
It’s small enough to carry concealed. I’ve carried mine inside the waist band for probably 12 years now.
Deflatem- I've watched my friend Braden Moore walk his bullets across a watershed lake and repeatedly hit a 20" gong at 300 ranged yards with a .45 Glock .I can hit the same gong at 400 yds with my 9mm carbine and .22 carbine.
Here's proof a 9mm will kill a brown bear
I love how some a-hole picked the "angry" icon on a person who shot a charging grizzly to save their own life........
I have used pepper spray on some really aggressive dogs and it will fold them up on the spot. I watched a friend of mine use the UDAP on a big black German shepherd that lunged at him and it stopped him RIGHT THERE. That dog rolled around for a couple of minutes before running for home. And it was a very short blast. Had he really hosed him he might still be there rolling around.
I have shot handguns for years, and owned a S&W 29 in .44 mag for 36 years and mostly shoot 240 grain loads out of it. And shoot it well. The only reason I would carry a handgun is to kill something. Otherwise it will be bear spray.
Thornton- I think it's important to note- that was with Buffalo Bore +P with hard cast bullets! Not your average loads with hollowpoints.
It really doesn't matter. Even tiny .22 bullets can cause extreme damage and it's all where you hit the animal. I've worked ER since 2006 and I've seen my share of gunshot wounds. I've killed some big deer with bullets only going 900 fps. At that velocity they do not mushroom. They just zip right through the deer so shot placement is key.
“If I am going to go through the hassle of carrying, I want to make it count if needed.”
I think Lou’s point was that if you haven’t made your point by the second round, having 10 or 15 more available is just a helluva lot of extra weight to carry, and IIRC, the OP specifically did mention that he wanted smaller & lighter....
Couple things about cougars I picked up from a book I read recently: #1, kids who run ahead of (or lag behind) adults are among the highest risk groups, but some kids have been just a matter of feet away from the nearest adult.
#2, in at least one case, pepper spray (NOT bear spray) was enough to turn away an attacking cat, but only momentarily, and that confrontation was nowhere near over at that point. Bear spray is a different deal (by design) but it ain’t worth a damn in your pack.
#3 is especially worth knowing, which is that in only one case was anyone killed when going to aid a person who had been targeted by a lion; and among those who got hurt, the injuries were relatively minor. So if you are ever on the scene when a cat attacks someone (or your dog, let's say), DON’T run to find a weapon, just get in there and kick its ass before the cat can deliver the lethal bite. And then DO NOT leave the victim to go for help, because the cat WILL be back.
Last time I got out to Elk country, one of the guys had a big Smith .357 which he ended up leaving in camp because it was such a PITA to haul up and down the mountain every day. Ruger SP starts looking pretty good at that rate... Or a Bulldog. I know they don’t advertise them as being capable of withstanding the abuse of hot-loaded specialty ammo, but I’ve always wondered if the workings would hold up to at least 5 rounds of the hot stuff. Maybe you just plan to retire it if you ever had to use it?
Have a SP101 in 357 and they say plus loads are ok occasionally.