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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good Afternoon Folks,

I'm planning to carry my Springfield XDS 9mm with me to Colorado for our mule deer/elk hunt this fall. I am licensed and know all the reciprocity and CO laws. From the bowhunting perspective, would anyone with experience bow hunting CO recommend carrying a sidearm? We're in a lower density unit, closest town is an hour away.

A few gents I've talked to with years of experience hunting various other parts of CO are packing hot-loaded .357s and .44mags this fall, because of what they observed being "more aggressive black bears" and "an increasing number of mountain lion sightings". I've tent camped in grizzly country and I'm not paranoid, but if it was encouraged to bring something a bit more potent than my 9mm, I could justify the purchase to the wifey.

We'll be spike camping a bit in south central CO, with our base camp at the bottom of the mountains. I'm more concerned with two legged predators than the furry kind, but is it worth the weight penalty to pack a .44mag in a bandolier holster while stalking the mountains? I'm planning to bring my XDS or even thinking about picking up a J-frame airweight just to keep things on the lighter side.

Feedback appreciated.
 

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Black bears and mountain lions doesn’t take a lot to kill one. Placement is the key. If nothing else I’d recommend +P rounds if your firearm can handle the pressure.
If I were looking for a more potent sidearm that wouldn’t be as heavy as a .44 mag revolver, I’d suggest a 10 mm. That caliber is now standard issue for Alaska Game Wardens.
 
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but if it was encouraged to bring something a bit more potent than my 9mm, I could justify the purchase to the wifey.
I encourage you to bring something a bit more potent than a 9mm, now go buy your magnum handgun. :)

Seriously though. Deep penetration is your friend (insert junior high innuendo here). You'll also want something that can push through bone with little deflection. Neither of those traits are in the wheelhouse of a 9mm.
 

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Lived and hunted CO from 1992 through 2017. Only had one really close encounter with a black bear but it high tailed it outta the area when I tapped an arrow a few times on my bow - lightly, then louder and louder before got her attention. If I had seen the cub, I would've started at the louder first! Honestly would be more worried about 2 legged and getting broken into at the base camp if it's very easily accessible. If your camp/hunt area isn't relatively close to a town where been encroaching on habitat, I bet you'd be fine carrying your 9mm. Otherwise, yeah, a 10mm would be comforting but dang heavy to lug around assuming you've got a bow, arrows, quiver, small backpack, knife, lunch, etc...

I can't imagine a .44 mag revolver to be heavier than my Glock 20 loaded up with Buffalo Bore 220 gr hardcast. It'll make you lean to one side! :)

Be sure to take one of the silver kevlar blankets in case you get lost. If spotted, feds will think you're a lost immigrant and likely just come get you with a warm cup of soup and a sandwich.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My biggest concern is two legged variety predators and really the weight penalty, I don't want to carry a boat anchor with a million to one chance I'll need it when my single stack 9mm will take car of my main threat and maybe run off the furry kind. I was kinda thinking .38spl +P would be a good alternate, been thinking about a J-frame for years.

Honestly, I have other carry guns that could work, Springfield 5"tactical 45acp, holds 13 rounds, but feels like it weighs 5lbs. With the right bandolier or chest rig I probably would never notice it. It's just not as light weight as my main option. Beretta PX4 in 40SW. I regrettably sold my Ruger GP100 last year.
 

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I carry my Glock 22 or S&W Mdl 410 in .40 when I’m in the woods. I plan to hunt with these .44 Mag loads. If you need to use your sidearm in a quick hurry you want to know that a so-so shot will still get the job done. A 9mm with the hottest loads could be pushing your luck.
Just tell the wife your life and your safety is worth the investment.
6469
 
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Personally while roaming the back country trout streams in Montana this summer, I’ll be toting the 7.5” Ruger Super Redhawk in .44 mag with Buffalo Bore 275 grain solid copper bullets at 1425 FPS for grizzly.
There is a very healthy population in the areas I’ll be fishing.

I did hear of a lady in Colorado that was killed and partially eaten by the sow and one of her two cubs last week or so.
The bears were killed by game wardens and their stomach contents examined.
When we were in Southern Colorado last summer, there were two black bear attacks in Colorado and one in New Mexico with none fatal.
 
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We had a grizzly kill someone here already this year. I make my boys carry bear spray when we go check baits. I always go in first as well.
We have confirmed resident wolves in my baiting area now as well. Bet your tail I’ll take one if I see one. No tag required as it’s not within the wolf management area. These moved in from CO.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It seems like the consensus is that I should pack something, and it should probably be bigger than my 9mm. If I could find one, I'd grab a Ruger Redhawk in .41mag. A girl I work with was shopping somewhere and they put two boxes of 41mag shells in her bag by accident. She didn't notice until she got home. She had no use for them and knows that I own guns so she gave them to me. I don't have a 41mag though.
 

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It seems like the consensus is that I should pack something, and it should probably be bigger than my 9mm. If I could find one, I'd grab a Ruger Redhawk in .41mag. A girl I work with was shopping somewhere and they put two boxes of 41mag shells in her bag by accident. She didn't notice until she got home. She had no use for them and knows that I own guns so she gave them to me. I don't have a 41mag though.
It's like a sign from above, you were meant to have a 41mag.
 

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It seems like the consensus is that I should pack something, and it should probably be bigger than my 9mm. If I could find one, I'd grab a Ruger Redhawk in .41mag. A girl I work with was shopping somewhere and they put two boxes of 41mag shells in her bag by accident. She didn't notice until she got home. She had no use for them and knows that I own guns so she gave them to me. I don't have a 41mag though.
Sounds like a .41 Mag is in order and it’s a good choice as well. If not then send me the ammo and I’ll get myself one.
 
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If I had no option of buying another gun (which I don’t) I would take my 9mm, and carry buffalo +p+ 147grn hard cast. There was an Alaskan guide that stopped a grizzly attack with one, look it up, it’s a good read for sure!


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You coulda had a .41...............
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If I carried my 9mm, I'd pack a mag full of FMJ's while out bowhunting and my defensive rounds in another mag when I'm at camp. I'm currently looking for a .41mag. My buddy refuses to sell me his SW 629 Hunter in .44mag so I guess I'll keep shopping around.
 

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Have you looked at the Taurus Raging Bull revolver in .44 Mag?
 
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