What hand gun?

I was waiting for a Desert Eagle to make an appearance.
As a kid, that was my gun of choice but the .44 Mag beat it to the gift bag once I turned 18.

Still would want to have it simply because of the name.

That and the .50 Cal which is in my bag of goodies for my bday next weekend.

Love them classics.
 
I’m impressed with how smooth it’s shoots and how accurate it is 😊
I have a Kimber Gold Match and I've had nothing but problems with the damn gun. It's so finicky with ammo that I would always have at least one FTE or round cycling issue each range day. I've made sure the gun was broken down and cleaned between each range day, done a feed ramp polish and had a gun smith check the extractor and extractor spring. I've also talked to Kimber about the gun and it basically boiled down to either A) shoot it more to let it break in B) Use "better" ammo.

I can't remember now but I got close to 1k rounds through it, most of Federal 230gr FMJ and still was having issues. Now it lives in the safe, unless I want to burn some .45acp at the range and one of these days I'll probably sell it. It's a fun range toy, but I'd never trust my life to that gun.
 
Ok, it's been a minute or two since I used a gun. To be honest, the last time I used a gun was during my time as a tank driver in the army, back in 1988/89/90.

So, I am planning for full-time travel, and I am aware of the "challenges" of taking a gun across state borders when I travel, but the question I have is what handgun to purchase. I have no idea what I am looking for and why. Glock 19 seems to be a decent recommendation, but is it the right gun for me? I do not know. I am planning to take some training classes and spend a decent amount at a gun range to feel confident that I know what I am doing.

Why do I want a gun? Self-defense. Self-defense in case I encounter a mountain lion or bear when out hiking or at camp. Self-defense, should some unlucky individual try to mess with me while I am out at camp in the middle of nowhere. Self-defense if I suddenly find myself in a sketchy situation (whatever that may look like). I am not planning to get my concealed carrying permit or at least I would not know why I need it. I am planning to have a console safe in my truck center console as well as some sort of gun safe inside my camper near the bed. Potentially, I will have a quick-release holster of some sort near the entrance of the camper. I am looking for easy maintenance, too. I travel solo with my dog and so far I have not had the need to consider "grabbing a gun" to feel protected. I have placed larger Rambo-style knifes in and around the camper in the past and I plan to do so as well. But the world is getting more crazy and the more I start travelling later this fall and winter I want to be prepared.

So, what gun would you recommend to get?

You're kind of in a catch 22 as depending on where you hike and camp you likely cannot open carry a loaded firearm in CA. It's been a while since I looked into it and I wouldn't be surpised if they're trying to change it, but it used to be that you could only open carry on BLM land and most public campsights prohibit open carrying of a firearm. Obviously if you're talking dispersed camping in BLM land that's a different story. Further even with a console safe in your truck you cannot legally have your firearm loaded in it if you do not have a ccw permit.

The unfortunate reality is the state legislature is coming after legal gun owners hard and is heavily trying to restrict where legal CCW holders can carry (SB-2) but at least for now a ccw permit would let you carry in all the places you're talking about, and allow you to have it in your truck on your person or in your control while driving. Depending on where you live and what your sherriff is like the application process is either pretty painless or 2+years long. Both of the above paragraphs of course are assuming you're a civilain and do not fall under LEOSA.

As for what gun, if you're really only worried about large predators I'd look at a glock 20, but for all else I standardized on 9mm. I have a ccw, and my daily carry is a P365 X-Macro however I also have a Glock 19 and a Glock 43x. If you an get away with 9mm it's hard to go wrong with the Glock 19 as it's not super snappy like most sub compacts, but it still conceals reasonably well and you can count on it to go bang every time no matter if it's clean, dirty, wet or just got dropped in the mud.
 
Underpowered. .454 Casull for self defense ;)
Ha! There’s definitely not too many living things on this earth that are going to walk away from 360grs at 1300fps :ROFLMAO:

(147gr 9mm presented for reference)
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I’m not an expert, at least I’m not @Rodd187 but i have 10’s of thousands of rounds down range in my life. Shot USPSA, IDPA, 3-gun, Steel, and nearly anything else you can think of.

I ran the gamut of firearms from full open class guns (2011’s) against nearly every gun you could list. You know what I kept coming back to over and over and over again? Glocks. 34’s, 17’s, and even a 24 (anyone know that one??). Because they ALWAYS go bang. Watching people struggle to keep some guns running sold me on simplicity.

Now as far as your use @Chris-DTA saying you can get a gun in CA, or you wise up and make your residence somewhere else I can only speak to what I know use and carry when I’m traveling and what I have found over the years of doing so.

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This is my carry rig when I’m in the West where bears (real bears) are an issue. I fly fish a lot in WY, MT, and ID and big bears can be a real threat. Inside the chest rig I’m running a Dale Frickie concealment (trigger cover) tied to the internal loop in the chest rig. Upon drawing the trigger cover snaps free and remains inside and the gun comes out.

This is a hill people gear chest rig that carries my Glock 20 loaded with Buffalo Bore Hard cast ammo. This is a 10mm and the reason I chose it over something larger is I just plain shoot it. I have a 44 mag but tbh I can draw and fire this 4 times in the time I could fire my Ruger 44 mag once.

You'll note this chest pack carries the gun concealed and I have a bear spray can attached below. It’s attached and can’t be lost in a fight, it doesn’t have to be taken off like a backpack to take a squat In the woods and because the gun is concealed I have worn it on busy trails and even into shops on occasion without anyone looking twice at me.

I also bring and carry a Glock 42, because it’s the smallest one they make and fully concealable. Obviously not appropriate for bears of any kind but small and I shoot it well.

My parents traveled the country in an RV after retirement and they opted for a 12ga pump to avoid potential problems but this doesn’t help you much if you need to hike with it.

Ruger also makes a bolt action 44 mag rifle that’s only about 5lbs, that’s a great option.

Final note the bear spray serves double duty to me in case of a human threat but not something that might need lethal force. Lots of options and as you obviously know TRAIN TRAIN AND TRAIN, and be aware of local laws.
 
I lived in SD for 20 years, hiked all over the backcountry there. I had a 7 shot Taurus .357 for a long time, then got a Glock 20 (10mm). The G20 is still my sidearm when hunting or hiking and will dispatch a cougar or bear provided you put the bullets where they belong.

I also love the suggestion of a lever action .44 mag. I have Marlin .357, .44, and 45-70 lever actions.... the .44 is my favorite by far.
 
Lot of good advice in this thread.

Best advice. Try before you buy. Rentals or friends.

Me. I am a 1911 guy. Shoot them well and carry one. Glocks don’t work for me. Have an M&P for the double stack 9 urge.

If you are truly concerned about bears, then 10mm is the way to go. For two legged goblins, 9mm will do.
 
If we are talking bears, this is an interesting read. Seems far more important to have a gun, than what gun.

Rule number one of gunfighting according to the late, great Pat Rogers; "Have a gun".

 
If we are talking bears, this is an interesting read. Seems far more important to have a gun, than what gun.

Rule number one of gunfighting according to the late, great Pat Rogers; "Have a gun".

Holy smokes. That is an interesting read on that ammo land website.
 
I lived in Bakersfield for 28 years. Moved there during my first career in oil exploration. I loved central CA. The desert, mountains, ocean, etc all close by. In 2016 I had had enough. My kids were adults and on their own. Politics and the one party state ruined it for me and I left. One of the 2 best things I ever did for myself, well maybe 3 since retiring last year. I have way too many guns and not going to add to the great advise already posted here except that freedom is still a thing in many (other) states and well worth persuing.
Totally random...but did you used to do the 1000yard competitions outside Cuyama before you left?
 
Speaking of guns... I just picked up two of these. I will carry one and the other owner carry the other.

These are extremely well built guns. Slide feel like butter. Not cheap though. Shipped from Arkansas this afternoon.

Cant wait!
 

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I prefer Sig Sauer. I carry the P365X, but I also have the P226 and P228 in 9mm and the P220 in .45. Never had any problems with them, and I believe Sigs were selected as Navy Seal service weapons at one point. I think I read that somewhere. Lol
 
A lot of advice in this thread - good, bad, and indifferent.

I'll just go ahead and hurt everyone's feelings in once go, since this is my passion, hobby, and life's research:

Glock 19: The most popular handgun in America for a reason. Great for the use case you are describing. Not the most concealable, but that doesn't sound like your priority. I say go for it. All of the micro-pistol recommendations are a terrible compromise in concealability vs shootability for your needs.

Springfield: Actively campaigned against the 2A in IL so that they could sell more guns. Trash company. And the XD is one of the ugliest pistols money can buy.

Canik: Turkish range toys, with a history of poor customer support when things go wrong.

Sig: A company with a growing history of "desk pops" with a penchant for using the consumer as their R&D department. They are not the Sig of old.

FN: Admittedly, I am a fan boy, but they are more expensive and starting to get into the "enthusiast" realm, rather than just practicality. There are also models with striker issues, so do your research.

Other Silly Recommendations: Stacatto (enthusiast weapon, not practical) / Kimber (fudd junk) / S&W (bootlicker special) etc... consider the source.
Yeah, it took me a while to figure out how to conceal my G19. I am a trim 5'9" and 155-160lbs. I can conceal it small of back with board shorts and a medium shirt as long as I wear a white undershirt to help keep it close to my back. Until I have to bend over.... 🤣 I have learned to squat instead 😉
 
Ok, it's been a minute or two since I used a gun. To be honest, the last time I used a gun was during my time as a tank driver in the army, back in 1988/89/90.

So, I am planning for full-time travel, and I am aware of the "challenges" of taking a gun across state borders when I travel, but the question I have is what handgun to purchase. I have no idea what I am looking for and why. Glock 19 seems to be a decent recommendation, but is it the right gun for me? I do not know. I am planning to take some training classes and spend a decent amount at a gun range to feel confident that I know what I am doing.

Why do I want a gun? Self-defense. Self-defense in case I encounter a mountain lion or bear when out hiking or at camp. Self-defense, should some unlucky individual try to mess with me while I am out at camp in the middle of nowhere. Self-defense if I suddenly find myself in a sketchy situation (whatever that may look like). I am not planning to get my concealed carrying permit or at least I would not know why I need it. I am planning to have a console safe in my truck center console as well as some sort of gun safe inside my camper near the bed. Potentially, I will have a quick-release holster of some sort near the entrance of the camper. I am looking for easy maintenance, too. I travel solo with my dog and so far I have not had the need to consider "grabbing a gun" to feel protected. I have placed larger Rambo-style knifes in and around the camper in the past and I plan to do so as well. But the world is getting more crazy and the more I start travelling later this fall and winter I want to be prepared.

So, what gun would you recommend to get?


As a fellow SoCal resident, I can say that, from what you are saying, you should probably look into a CCW. While you are in California, at least, you'd need to keep the pistol unloaded and locked in a case, and out of reach (i.e. not in your center console safe) while transporting it, if you didn't have a CCW (and, specifically, have that pistol on your permit) - so it would be useless for self-defense. As you said, the world is getting crazier...

I bought a few pistols, for similar purposes (particularly protection while camping), starting with a Glock 30SF (because I have a Colt 1911 that I bought years ago, I initially wanted to stick with .45 ACP, figuring that would be good for protection against some larger animals) - but it's definitely not my favorite gun to shoot. Later, I ended up going 9mm and buying a S&W M&P Shield, as it is compact and easy to carry, but still fits my hand well (I have large hands, so some of the compact pistols, like the P365, just don't work for me) and a CZ 75 P01, which is still somewhat compact and my favorite to shoot.
 
I prefer Sig Sauer. I carry the P365X, but I also have the P226 and P228 in 9mm and the P220 in .45. Never had any problems with them, and I believe Sigs were selected as Navy Seal service weapons at one point. I think I read that somewhere. Lol
I prefer Sigs also but the utility of the Glock 20 is tough to beat for outdoor excursions.

FN’s 10mm would also be a decent choice.
 
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