Concealed Carry Corner: Options To Carry For Hunting

Matt E
by Matt E
Concealed Carry Corner: Options To Carry For Hunting

Welcome back to another edition of Concealed Carry Corner. Last week, we talked about some basic drills people can do at the range to practice for carrying concealed. If you happened to miss last week’s article, be sure to click the link here to catch up. This week, I wanted to start looking at some good hunting carry gun options. This can range widely depending on where you are and there are certainly examples where hunters needed a handgun for protection. Let’s take a closer look at options to carry for hunting.

Concealed Carry Corner @ TFB:

What Options Do You Have To Carry?

When you start looking at various handguns, there are really two types of handguns to look at: semi-auto pistols and revolvers. When you start taking out AR pistols and things like that, you can start to get in trouble with what’s legally hunting firearms and firearms for self-defense. I know it sounds ridiculous but it’s a question I’ve been asked more than once previously. Now depending on if you live on the East or West Coast, your pistol choice will be drastically different.

There are widely different threats depending on what part of the country you live in. Most of the potential threats on the East Coast are people, whereas Western hunters have to worry about wild animals more than people. It’s important to think about what you may run into when out in the woods hunting. Is it more likely to run into another person or rather something like a cougar or bear? These are important variables to think about when looking at what to carry in the woods.

Classic Revolvers

When thinking about a woods gun, most people start to think about the classic big-bore revolver as the best option. Something like a Smith & Wesson 357 Magnum, 44 Magnum, or even the Big Boy 500 Magnum all come to mind. Depending on what your needs are for self-defense, these are all great options, and having a revolver for self-defense. These styles of pistols are known for their reliability and although the capacity is relatively low, these options will always go bang every time you need it in a life-or-death situation with good ammo.

While I was out west or up in Alaska, I always took my Smith & Wesson 4″ 500 Magnum with 250gr hollow points. Whether it’s a Grizzly bear, cougar, or anything else I know this revolver will be enough to stop most animals in their tracks. Smith & Wesson has even come out with revolvers chambered in 350 Legend you can use as a hunting revolver as well as for self-defense. The biggest downside to revolvers is the fact you can’t quickly do follow-up shots if needed and they are very slow to reload. With something like my 500 Magnum, you only get 5 shots to deal with and if it doesn’t do the job in 5 rounds, you’ll be in real trouble.

New Semi Auto Options

Over the last few years, there have been even more semi-auto handgun options to take out in the field. In the past, there were a number of 10mm 1911 pistols as well as 10mm or 45 ACP Glocks you could choose from. Other companies like FN and SIG threw their hat into the ring with polymer-framed striker-fired handguns. Having a high-capacity option chambered in 45 ACP or 10mm not only allows you more capacity than the classic revolvers but also allows you to fire faster.

Certain firearms like the Glock 20 and 21 have higher double-stack capacity than both revolvers and 1911-style firearms. FN has also come out with some crazy higher capacity 10mm and 45 ACP handguns with their 510 and 545 models. The new FN 510 pistol has a 15-round flush fitting magazine or a 22-round extended magazine of hard-hitting 10mm. Combined with a lighter polymer frame the FN is a great option. The Glock 20 and 21 have the bulletproof reliability that Glock has become known for which is ultimately what I have gone with as my new hunting carry gun. Personally, I went with the Glock 21 since I own a few 45 ACP pistols and plan on making it a suppressor host. If I were going out west to hunt though I would certainly go with the faster and harder-hitting 10mm round with the Glock 20.

Why It’s Important

Whether it’s bow or rifle season, some hunters don’t believe there’s a real reason to carry a second weapon when they go out into the woods. They think having a bolt action or compound bow is more than enough to protect themselves. In stressful situations either with predators or other people, it’s easy to drop or not be able to use your main hunting weapon if they get close to you. If a bear comes after you and gets within striking distance, it’s less than ideal to try and fire your 20″ bolt action rifle at them. Having a handgun either holstered on your body or concealed will allow you to have a fighting chance if the animal gets too close to you.

The other example we can’t forget about is Chai Vang who ended up trespassing on a Wisconsin hunting group’s land. Vang ended up killing six men and wounding two others before escaping. Vang was hunting with a semi-auto Saiga rifle and ended up shooting the men in the back at close range. Most of the men were shot fleeing because they were afraid and didn’t feel they could take Vang on with what they had. They were almost all shot within pistol ranges and if one of them had a pistol on their hip, this story could have ended very differently. This story is one example of why you should carry some sort of handgun even if you’re in the woods by yourself deer hunting.

Overall Thoughts

Some may not think there’s a reason to carry a concealed handgun in the woods, but between the wild predators and potential human aggressors, it’s never a bad idea to have some sort of firearm. For the East Coast, a 9mm will do perfectly but it’s important to think about what works for the animals when hunting out West. Revolvers are a great option but with the new higher capacity semi-automatic options like the 10mm Glock 20, it’s hard to ignore those over revolvers.

Let me know what your thoughts are down below. When you go out to hunt, do you carry a handgun at all? If so, do you typically prefer a revolver or semi-auto? If you have questions about carrying concealed or firearms in general, be sure to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator, Stay safe out there and we will see you next week in another edition of Concealed Carry Corner.

TFB’s Concealed Carry Corner is brought to you by GLOCK

Matt E
Matt E

I'm an avid shooter and love educating whether it's at my job or in the shooting community. I'm an average joe that really loves talking with other people about firearms and other passions.I'm active on Instagram on @fridgeoperator.

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2 of 14 comments
  • River_rover River_rover on Nov 05, 2023

    I'm in that 2% of the lower 48 that has grizzlies.
    So, .45 colt, RCBS SAA-270 hard cast at 1070 fps.
    Gun is a 50'th anniversary flat-top Blackhawk, thus the 20K psi load.
    40 ounces (44 loaded) and it's concealable ....kinda.

  • DukeofChutney DukeofChutney on Nov 07, 2023

    Usually I carry my 1911 with underwood hardcast +P, though I've seen ballistic tests that have made me consider 10mm as optimal.