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I have read several books and magazines by the late Skeeter Skelton.  One was the title
IF YOU COULD ONLY HAVE ONE GUN WHAT WOULD IT BE.

I would have to pick a 4" S&W 629 in 44 magnum.  A revolver because it is more tolerant to reloading.  Light loads , medium loads and heavy laods than a semi.  44 Can handle about any two or four legged creature in the USA
 

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I'd pick my 5.5" Ruger SS Bisley Blackhawk, for the same reasons - a 255 LSWC at 1000fps, and a 300 RFN at 1200 fps.  With those two, I can shoot anything that I will ever want to.

Tom
 

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I have also read many articles about owning only one gun. the writers usually have dozens of pistols but at one time I was actually down from 46 to only one revolver. I picked a 6 inch model 19 S&W 357 mag. Why? Well, there are a lot of reasons. A six inch barrel was the minimun legal lenght and the caliber was the minimun power allowed for deer where I lived at that time. I also had a progressive reloading machine in 38/357 with a large supply of components. Since the 38 brass is cheap and many types of ammo is available anywhere, the caliber makes sense.

the 125 gr 357 also has a reputation as a good self defense round.
For deer hunting, I put on a scope and used heavy bullets.

Today, I probably would make the same choice as you did, a short barreled 44mag. In fact, I have a 4 and 5/8 inch stainless Ruger Vaquero that I don't think I could part with. It shoots to the point of aim with 325 grain bullets at 1200 fps right out of the box.
 

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HOWDY, PILGRAMS    Gotta, agree with the rest of you folks, if it came down to hav'in just  one handgun, Make mine a super blackhawk with a 4 5/8 inch barrel.This little hand cannon I feel could do it all. With shot shells, shoot'in 44 special, and up to and includin the heavist .44 mag. shells you can get. If that's all you could have to walk a dangerous path, be it city or wilderness I feel you could meet any challeng with that sidearm. I got me one, and of all myy handguns, that one is the  one I'd grab first, No doubt about it. that super blackhawk is one fine carry.       KEEP YOUR POWDER DRY     GRIZZZ
 

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If I could have only one.  Ouch! Hard to think that way.
But my choice would be an OM Blackhawk, OR a custom modified NM Blackhawk, 4 5/8 barrell in .45 Colt.
 

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Somebody tells me I can only have one gun, I pick up my FAL and go to work fixing that problem....
Mark
 

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I'll second Tom in Boise' choice. The SS Ruger Bisley Blackhawk w/ 5.5" barrel in .45 colt is a compact piece for the amount of power possible. It is easy to carry and with loads consisting of 8.0 grs. of 231 over any handcast 255 gr swc approaching 1000 fps, accurate and easy to shoot. A 325 LBT LFN over heavy doses of H110 for 1300 fps would cover any heavy chores asked to perform.

Thankfully, we don't have to live in a one handgun world. Life would just be to boring. <!--emo&:D--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':D'><!--endemo-->

                           Jeff
 

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If I had to pick just one HANDGUN, I'd have to choose my Stainless Blachhawk 4 5/8" .45colt.


If I had to choose just one LONG GUN, I'd probably have to take a 12ga. pump; any MFG would do if I didn't have a choice, but if I could choose, it would be a Winchester.
 

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454 Casull. I can hunt big game with it and even put 45 long Colts in it for plinking and target practice & smaller game. <!--emo&:D--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':D'><!--endemo-->
 

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Would have to be the OMBH in .41Magnum that I started strapping on when they came out. I couldn't say how many thousands of rounds this has had through it. I've got a Dillon SDB dedicated to just this cartridge. It's accurate, easy to load for, and I've shot it so long I have complete confidence in it. RKBA!
 

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Much like the beloved Skeeter Skelton, my personal handgun needs don't require power for hunting and defense against beasts larger than black bear. So like ole' Skeeter I'll go with a medium frame .357 sporting a 4" barrel. While I love the smoothness of the S&W K-frame action, for long-term durability using magnums the choice would have to be a Ruger Security Six or Speed Six.
 

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I already did this. I know I sound overly simplistic, but I applied that criteria to myself when I owned 20-something handguns (out of that collection I used, uh...two of them) and that collection got snipped FAST and I don't regret selling off the useless junk either!. The one I DID pick above all is a 4 5/8" stainless Blackhawk in .45 Colt. I could also have gone for just about any 4 5/8" Blackhawk or Vaquero, or a Single Six with both cylinders, but given a choice I'll pick the 4 5/8" Blakchawk in .45 Colt every time. Not only that, but I load it with a slow moving 260 gr Keith type bullet and that works pretty well, too...
 

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Well,

After reading the Anchorage paper and seeing that photo of the Bankers Bruin,
I think I am going to work on mastering the one handed, 45/70 Marlin shot. 8*)
 

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Beretta 92FS, 9mm.  Uncle Sam makes sure that i practice with it, (allot), so I shoot it the best.  I don;t aim to be able to knock down bears with any handgun, so It will work good as any.

Steve
 

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This is for White hunter 35, PILGRAM, I figger you are just trying to stir up trouble, But!!!!  If'in you  wants to take on a ****** OFF  GRIZZLEY with that little peashooter of a 9mm you can be my guest, Take my advice though, after bangin away at that  bear  and you get down to yer last bullet, and that bear is still com'in after you even more ****** off than he was to start with, Put the last round in your brain, cause yer just bear meat waiting  to happen,  AND with any luck in your next life you'll have the sense to carry at least a .44mag into my woods.  LOOKING FORWARD TO HAVEING  YOU FOR LUNCH  !!!! THE GRIZZZ

This post was edited for content. It contained langauge that may be objectionable to some readers.

Bill Lester, Beartooth Moderator



<!--EDIT|Bill Lester|April 28 2002,09:16-->
 

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Grizzz...

I would be curious to know why you think Whitehunter was attempting to stir up trouble?

I have seen barroom brawls started with less fuel than that statement!

I believe Whitehunter was quite clear in that he had no intention of fending off a big bear with his personal choice in a handgun.

Scotty
 

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WHOA !!!!!!  Did'nt  mean to get you PILGRAMS all RILED UP !!!!  WELL,  then again maybe I did mean to get ya RILED !!! Ya see, Pilgram,  the GRIZZZ loves to stir up mud, specially, when there is PILGRAMS in it.  Personnaly, the GRIZZZ don't care one little tiny hair, on my you know what, What you Pilgrams carry when your in the woods, or anny other place you care to venture. Cause it's your meat the beasts will be feasting on, not mine, All this, child was doin was trying to give a pilgram   some advice, But, Hey, don't let me step on your senistive toes, Scotty, You and Whitehunter 35 go ahead, take your peashooters an extra mags.  filled to the brim, take your GPS and dvd headphones  an SUV's an ATV's  go ahead, have your fun, PILGRAMS. There ain't nothin out there goin to bite  ya.  anyway.  HEE, Hee, YAH,  RIGHT, GOOD LUCK , PILGRAMS   HEE, Hee  you'll need it             GRIZZZ
 

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If we look back to the beginning of this thread I don't recall reading where the "one handgun" had to be a bear stopper. Granted it seems to have migrated in that direction, but only because most of the members of this board are dedicated hunters who spend a lot of time in the woods. Many are from western states where grizzly and moose can make life interesting. However that's not the only reason to have a pistol. If GRIZZ thinks it's pretty stupid to use a 9mm against nasty bears, wouldn't it be equally or more stupid to use a single action .44 Magnum or .45 Colt if you lived in the inner city during a riot a la' the Rodney King affair. Steve also pointed out that he's in the military. (Thanks for your service by the way.) I don't remember the last time Uncle Sam issued a .44 caliber handgun- the Civil War perhaps? For him using a Beretta 92 makes a great deal of sense. And to be perfectly frank, I seriously have doubts  any handgun is capable of stopping a sudden bear charge from the alders before you're chopped liver so why not plan your "one handgun" around situations you and the weapon can handle?
 

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Gentlemen,

I did envision stirring the slightest of controversy, but it was not my intention to offend.  My choice is predicated on two things.  

First, where defensive situations are concerned, it has been my expirence that one will not rise to the occassion, so much as default to the last level of his training.  That being my expirenece and my mindset, it makes sense to use what i shoot best.  

Secondly, I would only consider using a handgun for defense as either a backup to a primary two-handed gun for four legged threats, or  if the only threat was two-legged.  I am a veteran of bear country, and my choice was first a 12 gauge shotgun with sabot slugs, then a 350 rem mag, and lastly a 375 H&H when i was hunting and not defending.  For backup, Its a model 29 smith, although i would almost feel as naked armed only with it as anything else, including the U.S. army service round.  Pistols and bears don;t mix, in my humble opinion.  I had posted something to that effect, in another thread.

I don;t have any allegiance to the 9mm, or the Beretta 92F, per se, except that it is the gun that the Army requires me to carry, and has forced me to practice with.  And, as a result of that practice, its the one i shoot the best.  Reckon if the army issued 454 casul's, i would think differently.

I understood the thread to be "only one (hand) gun", and now that I have clarified my thinking, I hope that i have cleared up any confusion regarding my choice.  

Thanks for your concern Grizz, but with my shotguns, carbines, rifles, and pistols, plus some of the finest training to be had, I can take care of myself not only in the woods, but nearly everywhere else on the planet.  I don;t expect I'll be dinner for anybody soon, 2 or  4 legged.

Ya'll have a great day.

Steve
 

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"...it has been my experience that one will not rise to the occassion, so much as default to the last level of his training." -whitehunter35

The greatest writers in the world envy succinct truth like this!
Obviously, you've been there.

FWIW,
If I had to limit to only one, it would be my .41 mag NMBH in 4&5/8" bbl.
Mostly because with it I can hit what I aim at, and secondly because it's pretty in its own rugged way, even though my SS Vaquaro .32 mag looks great and feels even better.
The .41, I have more time and confidence with at longer ranges, and it hits hard enough for anything I'm likely to need defense from (like rabid bunnies).
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