Backcountry Handgun

Surviving and protecting yourself from the two- and four-legged varmints!

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When we think of “carry guns” it’s generally along the line of what works best for personal defense in the urban environment. This is understandable because most of us live and work in that environment every day. But what do you do when you are away from civilization for a few days or maybe even a week or two? Do you make any adjustments, or just carry the same handgun, holster and ammo? This raises some interesting questions to think about.

smallparts.jpgAside from hunting trips, where the more efficient rifle or shotgun might be employed, I have always carried some sort of handgun while hiking, fishing or camping in the backcountry. Over the years this has included a variety of pistols and revolvers in cartridges ranging from .22LR through the .44 Mag, and many in between. Over the past 30 years I’d have to say that, more often than not, the handgun of choice has been a .45ACP, sometimes a Gov’t Model, but more often a Colt Lightweight Commander. Years ago it would have been stoked with .45ACP hardball, but in more recent years the load of choice would be the 230-grain Federal Hydra-Shok, or a similar high performance jacketed hollow point. The rationale being that the two-legged varmints that might cause you problems in the urban environment just might have cousins lurking in the rural scene as well. At the same time, the .45ACP, when well handled, could be effective in protecting you against that rare possibility of a black bear attack, a pack of feral hogs, or even a rabid dog or coyote.