6 replies [Last post]
Location: north idaho
Joined: 06/11/2004
Posts: 610
which pistol?

Here is the situation. I live in idaho and love to snowmobile. I carry a backpack with winter survival gear. I don't have a lot of room inthe pack.

But wolf is in season pretty much all winter, and i cover a lot of wolf country in the winter. I haven't seen one, but you never know. So i want a pistol to keep in my pack, for when i can fill my wolf tag out riding. I would like to be able to reach out to about 40-50 yards and have enough to cleanly kill a wolf. What weapon should i go for.

right now i throw my xdm-.40 in the pack. But i don't think that gun would give me the reach. I am thinking a .44mag with a 4in barrel. I don't have room in my pack for a 6 in barrel. the xd fits good. So which weapon?




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Critter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4423
For a hunting revolver I

For a hunting revolver I wouldn't consider anything less than a 6" barrel.  Also how good can you shoot your .40 at 40-50 yards now.  If you can't keep all your shots within a 6" circle I wouldn't try to shoot a wolf.  As for a .44 magnum with a 4" barrel, they pack a heck of a kick and are hard to get to where you can shoot accurately at the range that you are talking about.  I also doubt that you would get within 40 or 50 yards of a wolf to take a shot as long as you are on a snowmobile. 

Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: NE NV
Joined: 03/18/2010
Posts: 382
Time For a New Gun!

Sounds like you've described a perfect reason (never say excuse!) to buy a new gun.  In you shoes, I'd look at a solid single or double action in .45 colt, .41 or .44 special.  Barrel lenght of 4.5 to 6 inches (shorter makes stashing in the pack easier, longer give a better (longer) sight radius).  The hand guns from Freedom Arms are about as good as it gets.  With the right loads any of those calibers will easily kill an elk at 50 yards and the recoil probably won't be as "exciting" as a .44 mag.

The final determination of maximum range will be made based on the amount of practice you do.  When I was shooting it alot years back, my .44 mag Superblackhawk would readily shoot 6 inch groups at 100 yards with a good rest.  Today, I'd be lucky to do as well at 50 yards.

BikerRN's picture
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Joined: 05/23/2011
Posts: 715
By the time you get your

By the time you get your handgun out of your pack Ol' Wiley will probably be in the next county.

When I'm out and about, and stand the chance to harvest a game animal with a handgun I prefer a Single Action Revolver for a few reasons. For that reason I'd suggest a Ruger Super Blackhawk with a 5.5" Barrel in a chest holster.

Check out the Guide's Choice Holster by Diamond D Custom Leather. It's what I will carry my bear defense gun in when I scrape up the cash. My bear defense gun is the aforementioned Ruger. If bears aren't on the menu I usually opt for a .357 Magnum, also in Single Action, as my handgun of choice but it does depend on where I am and what I'm likely to encounter.

On the border here I usually opt for more anti-personnel type of armament over hunting type. Thus I carry what I carry off duty with spare magazines. The reason I favor the single action is because, when riding, I cannot inadverdently fire off a second shot unless I intentionally cock the hammer. That is a benefit when one is on the back of a horse. It could also be a benefit on a bicycle, ATV, or other mode of conveyence but likely not as much of an issue.

As for bear defense I'm of the opinion that I'm likely only going to get one shot. Thus I want to have the single action for greater accuracy potential.


Location: north idaho
Joined: 06/11/2004
Posts: 610
This is just an opportunity

This is just an opportunity thing,  If i am hunting i will have a rifle. 

The big revolver is out.  just not enough room in my avy pack,  and to big with not enough rounds.  and to flippend heavy.   One local guy is recommending the 10mm another guy says just use your .40.

I am a hardcore sledder with chest protector etc, so holsters are just out of the question. 

right now i consistlently hit my spinner plate at 35 yards, so a big wolf has a bigger area than the spinner does.   IF springfield made a 10mm i would probably get it. 


bitmasher's picture
Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2974
Perhaps a Ruger Blackhawk in

Perhaps a Ruger Blackhawk in 357, 4-5/8 barrel.

Joined: 07/16/2009
Posts: 70
  Sounds like a great excuse


Sounds like a great excuse to get a 10mm. Springfield doesn't make one, but Kimber and Colt make a 1911 10mm version. You can get the Kimber with adjustable sights. Obviously you can get a Glock 20, the ubiquitous standby in 10mm. Don't be fooled by Glock's plastic construction, mine will shoot 1" groups at 10 yards with hand loads - in a stock configuration. I can regularly hit a 12x14 steel plate at 120 yards with it too. The 10mm is awesome in that you can get lite rounds, about the same as 40SW (that would be 40 Short and Weak to any 10mm guru), and full power rounds surpassing 357 magnum ballistics and nipping at the heels of a 41 magnum. It's a great round, incredibly underrated in my opinion.


If you don't want a revolver, I understand, but despite what others say, a four inch barrel isn't a bad thing. Remember revolver barrels are measured to the front of the cylinder, but semi auto barrel's are measured to the firing pin. A four inch revolver barrel could easily equal a 5.5 inch semi-auto barrel in advertised length. Obviously there's some velocity lost in the revolver because of gases leaking out of the cylinder gap. A .44mag revolver with a 4" barrel is a great woods gun and will allow you to shoot .44specials along with a huge variety of .44 mag rounds.


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