Mountain lion hunting (courtesy cbsnews.com)

“A 6-year-old boy suffered moderate injuries when a mountain lion attacked Sunday on a hiking trail in the Santa Cruz Mountains outside of Cupertino, Calif.,” kgw.com reports, neglecting to mention that the lion was in the act of dragging the boy off when accompanying adults somehow managed to convince the cat to leave his meal behind. “[Sgt. Kurtis] Stenderup said this incident took place on a well-traveled trail in an open-space preserve in the Santa Cruz Mountains about two miles from a winery. It was in the area of Stevens Creek Reservoir outside the city of Cupertino.The area is known to be a mountain lion habitat, Stenderup said. ‘We know mountain lions are up there, but attacks are very rare.'” Not rare enough, apparently. What gun do you carry in winery-adjacent wilderness or wherever? I like a .44 or above pistol or a .44 magnum lever gun. [h/t TP]

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140 Responses to Question of the Day: What Gun Do You Carry When Hiking?

  1. Smith & Wesson Scandium 360 SC in .357 with a 3″barrel and high vis front sight, V-notch rear, in a Milt Sparks holster made for that model. Empty weight about 12 oz, and it feels like someone smacked you with a ball-peen hammer when you use .357s, but you can hardly tell it is on your belt. Recoil is straight back into the web of your hand, no muzzle flip.

    Of course, carrying any kind of defensive handgun is not an option for most of the people in the PRCa.

    • Pete, you’re not worried about the accuracy of your follow-up shots? My accuracy shows significant decline just from switching from a S&W 686 (41 oz) to a Model 60 (24 oz). I can’t imagine hitting a moving target with a 12 oz revolver. But perhaps you’re much more skilled or practiced. I don’t lay any claim to expertise myself, that’s for sure.

      • Actually, the follow-up shots are not that hard to hit, because of the lack of muzzle flip. Painful, but it stays on target. And I strongly suspect I would not notice the recoil if I were on the verge of being lunch for a cougar. I have the heavier Model 60, but I find that I am more likely to actually carry the lighter gun – and as they say, the best defensive handgun is the one you are carrying when you need it.

    • Hmm… kind of miss read the topic a bit… I have neither of these weapons. Probably just carry my Witness 10mm. Best handgun I own with a lot of punch.

      • 175 gr silver tips would work great on a cat I am sure.

        I have the Witness & the Witness Polymer in 10mm. My daily carry gun is the Witness. Heavy, but i am used to it.

        I think the Witness P would be a great outdoors gun. I think it weighs less than the Glock and it has a light rail.

        The only thing I changed was the recoil spring (22 lb Wolf).

    • If I did not have a 629 the 41 mag would be my 1st choice. 10mm is good for hog hunting but where I hunt/hike/camp more likely black bear going to visit. Also depending on your area you might stumble on somebodys weed patch, man is more dangerous than animal there.

    • That would probably still be illegal here in NJ. You gotta give the animal or the perp a fighting chance. Otherwise you’re a racist, NRA-sanctioned killer. It’s illegal to defend yourself here.

        • I assume when you say IN, you mean you donated at least 6 figures to his mayors re-election fund right?

        • No stick permit for you! But I think it’d be better to be in bed with a judge, I think they have final say on carry permits. To quote somebody I’ve met in NJ who was on his way to actually receiving a carry permit, “you have to have friends in low places.”

    • I carry all the time in CA, and Orange County and San Bernardino County are not completely terrible at CC permits for non-LEOs.

      • You’re a cop. I’ve actually seen 2 mountain lions up here in Alameda county. But honestly, I worry more about stray dogs than big cats. I carry a stout walking stick when hiking combined with a good knife and pepper spray.

        And isn’t OC where they send ccw applicants to the shrink?

        • My OC CCW friends never had to do a psyche eval. I’m not sure if that’s a new thing, or just happens occasionally.

    • Why two stones? Nobody needs two stones, you only need one. No high capacity stone throwers. And how long is your stick??

  2. When I go hiking amongst possible four-legged predators, I carry a double action .44 Magnum revolver with an 8-inch ported barrel. Depending on the threat assessment and my mood, I either load it with 240 grain semi-jacketed soft points or 300 grain hardcast lead pills. Muzzle velocity of both are around 1470 fps. (The 300 grain hardcast lead cartriges are full-power loads).

    Does it kick like a mule? Sort of … but it doesn’t kick so hard that it isn’t fun to shoot. Does the recoil slow down follow-up shots? Of course … although that is somewhat of a moot point because I shouldn’t need follow-up shots if I put the first one on target.

  3. Which rifle? Winny Model 94 in 30-30.

    Used to carry my bolt action Remingon 512(22LR), but it took multiple shots to a rabid raccoon to stop him. First time I shot him, he charged at me full speed. I’ve been done toting the 22 in the woods since then, unless I’m squirrel hunting (then I take my late 60’s Speedmaster with Leupold Rimfire Scope). Semi auto makes me feel more comfortable.

    Handgun wise, carry my M&P 40 or Glock 21 (45 ACP).

    • Actually a .22 is all I’ve ever felt that I needed, because I follow the advice of Bear Grillers (or whatever his name is) to never hike alone. I figure a single .22 to the knee of my companion will slow him enough that I’ll be able to get away while the “four-legged predator” is busy with him.

  4. My EDC is a Ruger GP100 Wiley Clapp (3″ barrel) loaded with 158gr. Double Taps. That should work just fine for cats, but if I’m ever hiking in Grizzly country I’d upgrade to my .44 mag Blackhawk (6.5″).

    • “Ruger GP100 Wiley Clapp (3″ barrel)” Nice, I have one and think in .357 would pretty much do the job. County I live in Texas, no bears, no big cats just bob cats, racoons, cayotes, and every few years rabies outbreak in gray foxes.
      Nice heavy revolver is my go to weapon, very little felt recoil in an all steel revolvers. EDC is Ruger .38 LCR in pocket holster, it’s always going to be on me, even if just as a back up, have had t for years, very comfortable shooting it. Not a range gun but if ever needed…..

  5. Ruger Blackhawk in .45LC loaded with hard cast Buffalo Bore. I keep some snakeshot and some Silvertips on the belt for versatility. No big kitties where I go camping/hiking, and the black bear are very uncommon. I am well aware of all other options out there, but there is just something I like about a single action in the woods.

    • Do you have your Blackhawk ported? I tried the same loads in mine, and I had trouble holding onto it. If it were double action, I am sure it would have generated a double discharge.

      • Nope, not ported. Houge makes large rubber grips for the Blackhawk. I used those to get used to the recoil and then went back to the original wood grips.

  6. 1911.

    I carry what I shoot.

    A .454 Casull might be better suited, but, I refuse to carry something I do not regularly practice with.

  7. It bears pointing out that the CA dept of fish and game no longer allows mountain lion hunting.
    It’s apparently preferable to go and hug them and teach them yoga and a hummus recipe….

    • Hunting, no, predation permits, yes. When it comes right down to it, there are not that many cats in California. We’ll be seeing more of them now because of the drought forcing everything downhill to find water.

  8. Nothing in CA, IL, NY, DC, etc. Mountain Lions have more rights than people.

    In other states, I have a S&W 500, 4″, 5 shot, with 500 gr of lead that does several things….punches big holes in anything that may try to eat me, adds to the exercise with almost 5 lbs of weight, creates one hell of a lot of noise to notify anyone around there is a problem, and if I’m not careful may start a forest fire.

    • “Nothing in CA, IL, NY, DC, etc. Mountain Lions have more rights than people.”

      Unbelievable. Hope they don’t get too hungry.

    • By the way, other than National Parks (but excluding national forests), it is legal to carry in the vast majority of the unincorporated areas of California without a license. Not sure what the rule is with State Parks.

  9. .44 bullet move like a G4
    Hit ’em four-four with the impact of C4″

    Nah, I don’t CC. Too young and it is illegal where I live.

  10. Depends on where I’m going. Most nasty critters in Southern Arizona area can be handled by my GP100 .357. I mostly carry snake shot and then JHP’s, as the only real thing I’m worried about for the most part are Rattlesnakes. The full house JHP’s are more than enough to handle any big cat that might be on the prowl.

    If I go up north, however, I take my 500 S&W with me. I have handloaded 440 grain cast projectiles which I’ve loaded to about 1100 FPS.. Which puts it at about 1,182ft-lbs of muzzle energy, which is more than suitable for any nasty thing in Arizona, and it is easily controllable due to the weight and size of the pistol, really.

  11. Are we talking about a 150 lb. cat, or black bear? A 44 mag is plenty of knock down power for bear or just about any other four legged critter in North America at a close range… Remember, you have to hit what you are aiming at in the middle of an adrenalin dump.

    I normally carry a S&W 686 4″ with Buffalo Bore or other stout loads as a hunting sidearm, but even a 40 cal. would do the trick on a 150 lb. cat…

  12. I’ll typically carry an FNX .45 Tactical with Hornady Critical Duty +Ps, two spare mags. If I can’t kill it with 46 rounds of that, it must be my time to die.

    • Similarly, if I’m on a day off and not going someplace that doesn’t allow OC, I’m likely already carrying an FNX-45 (non-tactical) OWB with 2 spare mags all loaded with Federal 230gr HST. Plus my EDC XD-S, also with 230 HSTs. So… 59rds of .45 on me.

      If I was going hiking in particular, I’d swap my 3rd FNX mag to FMJs just to have a deeper penetrating option on my belt.

  13. I think a small, concealable 9mm with hollow points would do the trick on a cat, bear etc.. No need for a cannon IMHO. Though not sure you would see a large cat in time to do anything at all. Those animals are wicked fast and very strong. One bite on your head or neck and no need for a gun after that as you would not be able to pull the trigger. Most of the folks never see cougars and the ones that do probably don’t live to tell the tale.

    • Have you studied bear anatomy or read any after-action reviews of bear/handgun encounters? While a 9mm with hollow points is better than a shod foot, stopping a charging bear almost requires a central nervous system hit, and that means -penetration-.

      If you’re not playing in at least the .357 mag/.41 mag/10mm auto range of calibers, then you might be able to annoy the bear enough to make it leave you alone (as in the bowhunting story above this one), but you won’t be able to stop hundreds of pounds of ursine from landing on top of you in a charge situation.

      Rule #2: Bring enough gun.

      • Hollow points are not a wise idea, but 9mm (esp. +P) should be quite sufficient penetration for a black bear, which is what most of us will potentially face.

        • If .355 caliber it has to be, make it a 147 +p.

          Better yet, go with the 357 Sig 147 gr + p. I think Double Tap ‘ s 147 is doing about 1250 fps.

        • It wouldn’t be my pick, but you could do worse than 9mm +P hardball 147 gr. I’d probably look around for something hardcast, though. And I’d want something bigger than a “small, concealable” pistol like Neil D suggested. Longer barrel = more velocity = more penetration, especially for something hardcast.

  14. 10.3″ Colt M4 LE6920. My state considers SBRs (and SBSes) to be “firearms” for the purpose of protection and transporting. So anything I can use a pistol for (such as hiking) I can use a SBR or SBS for, including keeping them in condition one in my car.

    And with the messed up laws in my state, I can’t carry my 454 Casull revolver because it is a “firearm suitable for hunting,” so I could get a poaching charge.

  15. Browning Hi Power when I have dogs and an RAI 1911 VZ 4.25″ barrel when I am hands free. Just shot some Buffalo Bore at the range on Saturday and found it to be way to hot for to shoot accurately unless I am using deliberate fire. The 9mm should be good enough for cats, coyotes and rabid racoons. For the next few months I will be carrying a 243 at a minimum.

  16. I dont know, but it just seems like common sense to carry a weapon whilst hiking in the Southern AZ wilderness. Bears, wolves, mountain lions, cougars (not the ones that wear high heels and mini dresses), big foot, cartel goons, chupacabras are just some of the dangers.

    You carry water (I hope) to protect you from dehydration, a jacket to protect you from the elements, and you carry a weapon to protect you from the things above. It just makes sense.

    By the way I carry a P228 in an OWB holster w/ 5 extra mags.

  17. S&W model 329 – Scandium/Titanium .44 Mag with 4″ barrel, topped with a Leupold Delta Point in a custom holster made by Dave Workman. Depending on my location, it’s loaded with either 225 gr. Hornady FTX or hard cast bear loads.

    Sure it recoils – but it’s lightweight enough that I’ll actually carry it, and the holster was custom designed to ride high enough to not interfere with backpack straps, etc.

    In my area (Snohomish County, WA) open-carried revolvers are no big deal. Actually, the handgun has been a great conversation starter when stopping at a restaurant or the grocery store on the way back from an outing.

    On hikes in city parks I carry either a .45 XD compact or XDs.

      • Good hunting and personal defense round, I don’t worry too much about over penetration in the woods. And when I run through a mag at my range everyone stops and stares 🙂

        So nice to see Federal come out with a “real ” 10 mm round.

  18. Glock 29 with Leupold Deltapoint, 10+1 alternating rounds of Double Tap 230g hard cast and 220g hollow point carried IWB. Extra 15 rd G20 mag of more of the same. 4″ knife, flashlight. Going out to check a trail cam tonight after work and have it on my hip right now. Lots of Black Bear on the cam these days. I don’t actively bear hunt but if I see one I have a tag and will shoot this gun out to 50 yards off hand. Also carry a small bottle of pepper spray in the woods as the first level deterrent to any 2 or 4 legged predators.

    BTW, if you haven’t shot a 29, suggest you try it. Its a lot of power in a small package but shoots very well.

  19. Why carry a gun when you can just put some bacon in your buddy’s pocket? You gun guys are always ready to resort to violence when all you need is a little deception.

    • Can’t do that here. If I am to blend in with the locals I have to wrestle the moose into submission with my bare hands.

      Some kinda viking tradition among the Norskies.

  20. This being NJ I carry a ka-bar and a stout stick to make an improvised spear if needed. It is what it is.

  21. I have been carrying a Springfield XD converted to .460 Rowland. I recently picked up a .460 S&W Magnum. I will probably carry the Smith once I become more proficient with it.

    • My Buddy wants to convert his XD. Have you had any problems with it?

      Just a drop in barrel & spring or is there more to it?

  22. .454 Ruger Alaskan or Glock 20 with Buffalo Bore 185 jhp in Alaska

    In LA I carry Tauras Judge: 2 rounds 3″ 000 buck, 1-3″ slug for feral hogs & 2 rounds #9 for snakes

  23. We have the occasional black bear or cougar on the Sandia Crest trail in the Albuquerque area. I carry my PT1911 with 230gr Golden Saber Bonded. I never really felt the need to take an extra magazine, but I guess I might stash it in the frame pack.

  24. Glock 29 with 175 grain Winchester silver tips same gun I edc, when I hiking I do prefer a hard cast bullet, the 180 grain Buffalo bore is my choice

    • Ditto. S&W 629 Backpacker w/ Buffalo Bore hardcast low recoil. Either that or a S&W 6″ 686+ with Buffalo Bore hardcast gascheck.

  25. 1911 Kimber Custom TLE/RL with a Rowland Conversion. Loaded with 250g hard cast lead moving about 1400 Ft/Sec and about 1000 ft/lbs of energy at the muzzle.

  26. What is this “hiking” of which you speak? Does it involve some form of physical exercise?

    Okay, I’m a veteran hiker and usually carry the same gun or guns that I carry while doing anything else. Because the odds of me being eaten by a bear or mountain lion in Massachusetts are lower than the odds of me being jumped by a mob in Walmart.

  27. GP100 .357 w/4″ barrel, 180Gr Buffalo Bore & 2 speedloaders. My 1911 makes a good alternate but would rather have a wheelgun in a hi anxiety (pissed off moose coming at speed) situation….

  28. For a mountain lion? .38 Special ought to scare it off. For a cougar? Pitcher of margaritas and some hors d’oeuvres.

  29. Convenient timing. I just moved to Arizona. I like to hike, and as usual, I am always armed. I just learned over the weekend what kind of predators can be found here. Let’s say that I plan to carry something with a lot more punch and capacity than my LC9 on future hikes.

  30. CA has rural open carry, no permit needed. If it’s a rural unincorporated area and it’s legal to shoot there, you can open carry.

  31. Ruger GP100 in .357 magnum, 4″ barrel. In Colorado there’s always the possibility of mountain lions, bears, coyotes and an angry stupid moose is a serious threat too. I love the Rocky Mountains but there are plenty things that can kill you when your out hiking, not just the altitude.

  32. Glock 20 10mm for Arizona hiking. 15+1 of 10mm just makes me feel cozy when the cops are many minutes or hours away. When black bears are a risk, I use Cor Bon’s 200 gr round-nose penetrator load. If I’m not worried about bears, I use the 180 gr Federal Trophy Bonded load, which would be fantastic for cougars or two-legged threats.

    I was looking for a .44 mag to accompany me to our condo in northern/eastern AZ since there are regular black bear sightings, but I stumbled across this G20 for a decent price, and although I’ve never been a Glock guy, I just love the thing.

  33. When hiking, I like to carry my Ruger P94SE chambered in .40 S&W with 185g FMJ rounds. Let’s not forget at least with two spare mags.

    Shouldn’t need 30rds: but I rather have them, and not need them then need them and not have them.

  34. Mosin-Nagant 91/30. Surprisingly comfortable slung across my back. I own zero handguns, else I would carry one instead. “Any gun is better than no gun at all” and the Mosin with 180-gr softpoints is the most-bear-appropriate gun I own. Only 2 people have ever commented on it, both were positive.

  35. Sig P226 – chambered in 40 S&W
    I can conceal it if I need to but it is enough gun that I don’t fear any man or beast out in the bush.

    I have 1 in the chamber, 12 in the mag and a 15 round spare mag, more than enough to take care of anything I might run into

  36. You guys know that it’s really hard to kill a bear, right? Unless you get a VERY lucky shot that penetrates enough to hit the spine or break a shoulder, the bear keeps coming. Even after a perfect heart/lung shot a bear can continue for up to 40 yards.

    Based on my time living in remote parts of Alaska, I’ve earned some firsthand experience. When hunting or fishing, I do the manly thing and carry really big guns. But if I’m not specifically hunting for bear, I’ve found bear spray is a quicker deterrent than just about any gun I can carry, draw, and shoot.

    Pepper spray and a quick exit is way better than a bear mauling followed by a government mauling over the rights of the bear…

    • Fair enough, and that’s why, ideally, I’d like to have my .357 and also bear spray. But there are all sizes of bear, from 150-lb black bear in the Appalachians to 1,500-lb. grizzly bear in Kodiak.

  37. For a little day hike Ill carry my 9mm, spear gold dots..for backpacking trips when weight and space is a premium, I carry my 380, with 2 mags… lugging around a 40 lb pack is hard enough.

    • Finally somebody who gets it…

      I think these posters claiming to carry some big-ass semi-auto rifle while hiking, you probably don’t hike very far or often. Or at all.

      Like I said above, I carry a Glock 36 in .45 acp and occasionally carry my FNX .45. I feel a .45 is fine for most normal things you might encounter in the woods, plus I can load it with .45 acp shotshells for snakes and grouse.

      For bears, bear spray is more effective, faster and lighterweight plus it teaches bears to avoid humans. My friends in Kodiak, AK tell me all the bears need to hear is the safety flicked off the spray-can and they run. In the more remote areas they carry bear spray plus a 12 gauge because it’s easier to get multiple rounds on target with it, compared to some .500 hand cannon. One guy I met carries a .357 mag and feels fine with it. He’s killed 3 bears with it and thinks shot placement and number of rounds fired is more important than some uber projectile of doom.

  38. Once again this blog leaves me beating my head against the desk. North American cats are not bears. Thin skin, exposed vitals and very receptive to pain. Anything that will kill us will kill them just as well without the requirement of high penetration hand canons.

    • +1

      You carry something with 4 in it for bears of any type. As noted above bears can go a long way with a fatal wound because they have very slow heart rates so the blood doesn’t leak out very fast. I feel very comfortable with a 9mm for every other threat. Bear spray works on big cats as well. Pepper is even more irritating to cats than bears.

  39. Easy. Ruger SP101 4.2 inch 357 magnum with Underwood 180 gr hard cast. Good for anything around here.

    But I’m saving my pennies for a G20. In case of dinosaurs.

  40. Outdoor carry for me is either a 340 PD .357, GLOCK 27, 23, 35, Sig 227, or Smith 460 XVR, or a rifle or shotgun. Sometimes a combination thereof, and always a knife or two. It depends if I’m hiking in CA, AZ, WI, or an upcoming Alaska trip. In foreign countries I’m stuck with just knives.

    And a good wiping of Otis 085 if the guns get sweaty.

  41. Used to be my GP100 but that’s long gone.
    Then my Model 66 2.5 incher with 180gr hard cast. Not enough barrel.
    Now my handy dandy goes with me every place 24/7 even if posted I still takes it.
    Rock Island Armory Tactical Compact 1911 in good old what else?? 230gr +P Federal HSTs.
    Nothing better in my opinion.

  42. For most hiking I carry a single stack 9mm with 124 grain hollowpoints, since there isn’t anything bigger than mountain lions for hundreds of miles. If I want to carry something heavier, I’ll go with a 1911 or an M1 Carbine (but that last one tends to scare the “straights”).

  43. Whether I’m hiking in the wilderness or walking the mean streets of Portland, my main concern is two-legged predators. I carry either a Smith M&P9 or Kahr PM9, loaded up with 124gr +P Gold Dots. I expect that’d be enough to fend off a cougar (assuming I hear/see it coming).

    I neither own nor feel capable of handling a big boomer suitable for stopping a bear. They’re pretty rare in these parts, and if Winnie the Pooh really wants a skinny gimlet with his dinner that bad, so be it.

  44. I like to get way out in the wilderness when I hike. Attached to my frame pack is a Pardner Pump Protector with three 00 bucks and three magnum slugs.

  45. In Kommieforina you’re suppose to pee your pants and scream. I’m going to guess that didn’t work too well. We all know that firearms are dangerous. RIGHT? Must be because the F’n idiots in Sacramento are working overtime to make us ‘safe’.

  46. I do lots of backpacking and searched for years for a carry method that would allow easy access to my firearm and would not interfere with my pack.

    I finally found a company called Hill People Gear – they make a really outstanding chest rig (you can also carry a snack, flashlight, etc. in it). They make several sizes.

    I use the smallest size for my Glock 19. I do not backpack in bear country and am more prepared for two-legged critters than animals in the wild.

  47. Carry while hiking in Cupertino, California? Surely you jest.

    I see mountain lions all the time around here, but I have a much better chance of being attacked by a mountain lion than getting a CCW in Santa Clara County.

    Supposedly, you can keep a gun at campsite, but I don’t know of any realistic, legal way to carry while hiking.

    Unfortunately, the only protection I can safely carry is a big ass buck knife, and then I have to carry in a very specific way to avoid arrest and prosecution if seen by a cop.

    This is one of many reasons we’re leaving this progressive hell of abusive local and state governments. Forget this ridiculous state.

  48. This post did mention wineries. Most of the vineyard managers i have known like either a single shot or double barrel .410. Works well for starlings and won’ destroy the drip lines. But I did know a girl in college who was a viticulture major who told me her vineyard gun was an M1A.

  49. Crazy cat calibers aside, I chose an XDm 45 compact for my do-everything firearm. It’ll take 45 Super straight out of the box, which is right up there with 10mm. For most trail work in AZ, that’s just fine. If I need anything hotter, there’s a drop-in 460 Roland conversion to push 44mag levels. 13+1 of any of that should deter nearly anything on four legs.

  50. Long ago it use to be a 1911 because that was all I owned. Only one time did I come close to drawing it, but simply taking off my jacket to “re-adjust” my day pack and canteen persuaded the group of two legged predators that it was time to move on. I didn’t explain to the wife that what I was actually doing was showing those guys that I was armed until after we got back to the car much later.

  51. This took place in bay area of Kommiefornia. The odds of you going to prison for carrying that gun are about ten thousand times greater than the odds of you using that gun against a bear of cougar.

  52. Lotsa folks seem to be carrying big heavy guns around. Too heavy to do a lot of real walking, in my opinion. Mountain lions are thin-skinned and don’t need a huge-bore.

    That said, I carry a FA 97 in .45 Colt, chopped to 3.5″ that launches 250-grain XTPs at 1240fps. Small and light, yet excessive for anything in the Black Hills smaller than bison. It also will not rust no matter how much I sweat on it.

  53. Smith and Wesson 3rd gen .45 Semi Auto, the 4516-1, until I save up enough scratch for an EAA witness or Glock 20 in 10mm. I live in AZ so open carry is fine, and isn’t noticed in the slightest by other hikers. I also carry an NAA revolver in 22 mag with snakeshot which has dispatched more than one rattler, since they’re a bigger problem out here than most bears or cats.

  54. Browning Buckmark always easy to carry and a couple of extra mags means 30+ rounds of .22
    If hiking I usually carry a Colt King Cobra in 6″ loaded with 158 grn JHP for a cat or the other vermin in Southern AZ that is usually adequate a couple extra speedloader in the pack (with water) I usually feel pretty comfortable the holster rides high enough it will hide under a windbreaker and not alarm the casual hikers.

  55. You’re all missing the point. To protect myself against mountain lion and bear attacks when hiking, I carry a 6-year old.

  56. 7.75″ AR Pistol works for me in National Forests. It’s not a rifle and IS a pistol, so it fits within laws here and it doesn’t matter what season it is. .223/5.56 or 300BLK should do.

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