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Pistol choice for camping in the Rockies.

This is a discussion on Pistol choice for camping in the Rockies. within the Guns forums, part of the Gun Forum category; I am taking the family on a tent camping trip to Colorado, where there is a risk of black bears and mountain lions. For protection ...


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Old 06-28-2020, 04:40 AM   #1
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Pistol choice for camping in the Rockies.

I am taking the family on a tent camping trip to Colorado, where there is a risk of black bears and mountain lions. For protection against both four and two legged aggressors, would I have a ballistic advantage with a 357Sig or a .45? I知 accurate and comfortable with both my P220 and my P229. I知 thinking that any of my pistols chambered in 9mm won稚 cut it for this one. Thank you for your replies.
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Old 06-28-2020, 04:44 AM   #2
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I am taking the family on a tent camping trip to Colorado, where there is a risk of black bears and mountain lions. For protection against both four and two legged aggressors, would I have a ballistic advantage with a 357Sig or a .45? I知 accurate and comfortable with both my P220 and my P229. I知 thinking that any of my pistols chambered in 9mm won稚 cut it for this one. Thank you for your replies.
I agree on leaving the 9's at home. I am not an expert on firepower for the four legged fiends.
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Old 06-28-2020, 04:51 AM   #3
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Take the 357Sig! The noise alone would do the job!
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Old 06-28-2020, 04:58 AM   #4
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I’ve camped in black bear territory a lot when I was younger but never near mountain lions so I won’t speak to their habits. If you hang your food appropriately or keep it in bear boxes ( these weren’t available to me then) I’d think you’d be ok from bears. Personally, I’d keep the .357 sig with a few extra rounds if they’re Colorado legal.
Have fun with the family, try to check out some natural hot springs.
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Old 06-28-2020, 05:18 AM   #5
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Make sure you are taking the necessary precautions to avoid attracting them in the first place. Aside from keeping food in a bear box or suspended in a bear bag, it’s also a good idea to do all of your cooking away from your sleeping area. You should also change after cooking and put those clothes in your bear bag too as they will most likely soak in the aromas. Also, get yourself some bear spray. I’m not sure either caliber is going to stop a bear so avoidance is your best defense.
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Old 06-28-2020, 05:43 AM   #6
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I知 not a novice in camping in bear country, but it will be the first time wife the wife and kids. I will also have a 45/70 lever in the truck if I need it, but something on my hip always makes me feel more comfortable.


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Old 06-28-2020, 05:55 AM   #7
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If those were my choices I would go with the 45 with 230 gr bullets loaded near/at the top (provided they are accurate and cycle). Momentum drives big bullets deeper.
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Old 06-28-2020, 07:23 AM   #8
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Forget the handgun, take the 45/70! Or both. I think I would be more worried about snakes than bears. I hate snakes. I would not leave a gun in the truck, there are far too many tweakers now days. I used to work for the National Park Service and always told people not to leave valuables in their cars. Tweakers. But you will probably be in a camp ground and not have to worry about it.
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Old 06-28-2020, 07:56 AM   #9
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What are you going to take for the Ticks? They will get you with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever!
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Old 06-28-2020, 08:04 AM   #10
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I agree and wouldn’t leave the 45/70 in the truck or let it leave my side.
Of course if you’re touring monuments or whatever it may not be needed.
But if you’re out in the middle of nowhere bearville is there some reason you can’t have it slung on your back or in hand all the while?
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Old 06-28-2020, 08:22 AM   #11
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glock g3 g20
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Old 06-28-2020, 09:13 AM   #12
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glock g3 g20
This is a gun made just for the woods in my humble opinion. But I'm a 10mm type person. It's almost as good as American Express. Don't leave home with out it.
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Old 06-28-2020, 09:17 AM   #13
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Make sure you are taking the necessary precautions to avoid attracting them in the first place. Aside from keeping food in a bear box or suspended in a bear bag, it’s also a good idea to do all of your cooking away from your sleeping area. You should also change after cooking and put those clothes in your bear bag too as they will most likely soak in the aromas. Also, get yourself some bear spray. I’m not sure either caliber is going to stop a bear so avoidance is your best defense.
Yeah, Mr Phlyers13's right - NO food in your tent!!

Sounds like you're 'car-camping' and not backpacking into our backcountry. Not sure of our campgrounds' status. Some, like one of your favs Brainard Lake remain closed, or at least the gate's locked requiring a 3 mile hike just to get to the trailheads.

Most forest service campgrounds have custodians, usually in a camp trailer near the entry. Suggest meeting those folks at arrival. They'll share logistics and any nearby, recent wildlife activities. Also, checkout alltrails.com for recent reports on area trails.

We have lots of hungry black bear here. Elk, moose, mtn loin & bobcats too. The cats are rarely problems. Elk, moose & bear are fun to see, but they're the usual suspects when problems happen - Google 'Estes Park elk attack'

Keep a safe distance from these critters and always have a clear escape route. Elk and moose cows have nearby calves now. You may not see these babies, but their moms may surprise ya and become very aggressive. Watch 'em carefully, don't turn your back on 'em. If you see an animal giving you more that passing eye contact and start moving towards you - Start your escape, because these critters are never bluffing.

Drawing a gun on a charging cow isn't gonna end well for you regardless of its caliber. So, please get yourselves several of those handy pocket size pepper sprays. I have the big bear spray cans too, but they're so big it's usually not on-board.

Wouldn't suggest blasting an elk in the face, as creating a blind/injured/very angry 500-800lb elk or moose will ruin your day!! Usually, a few poofs of spray over an elk's head will stop their advance. Although, she/he'll usually restart and you'll need a few more poofs as you back away. This technique works well for me. I'm out with our dogs everyday here, and usually have couple encounters with cows in spring/early summer, and couple more with bulls in the fall. Heck, a yearling bull elk got 3 or 4 poofs at the end of our driveway 2 weeks ago.

Bear activity is typically looking for food at night - Google 'Aspen Colorado bears'. If you hear loud breathing or crashing sounds outside your tent at night - You need to get yourselves into your vehicle as soon as possible.

Obviously, it's gonna be dark, probably very dark and shooting a firearm in a stressful, confusing situation has to be your very last resort - Like when Mr/Ms Bear's chewing off your other foot. I carry HK45 in my daypack with Underwood +P Xtreme Penetrator and usually have my IWB 9mm with UW's +P Xtreme Defender.

Enjoy your trip - Be safe!!


Cheers
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Last edited by kansascity45; 06-28-2020 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 06-28-2020, 09:24 AM   #14
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Four legged critters as pointed out can be very dangerous, especially if they have young'uns. Spending the night in tree because of an angry moose is not fun and neither is cracked ribs, broken arm and getting your trail bike totaled on a mountain road just because the mother and calf were on opposites side of the road. Be safe and retreat, the castle doctrine doesn't work with critters!
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Old 06-28-2020, 09:25 AM   #15
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10mm on your hip at all times, and as mentioned can’t go wrong with a big bullet lever action .45/70 or .450.
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