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  #1  
Old 16 Jan 12, 14:55
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Self defense pistol against Mountain Lions

Here in the Rocky Mountains its not uncommon for mountain lions to attack humans, usually small children and human pets. But should I encounter a starving mother mountain lion and I am in between it and its litter what pistol would you trust to kill a mountain lion with one shot?

I was thinking a semi-auto .45 ACP should do the trick but what of other rounds like .357 Magnum, .38 Special, .380 ACP, .40 S&W and 9mm?
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  #2  
Old 16 Jan 12, 15:00
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Another requirement is that the pistol have a barrel over 3.5" and cost less than $300.
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Old 16 Jan 12, 15:47
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Originally Posted by Frtigern View Post
Another requirement is that the pistol have a barrel over 3.5" and cost less than $300.
Jeez... looks like a shotgun probably is your best option.

In pawn shops I have seen a couple S&W 40 cal for 350$, with the right ammo that might do the job. Nothing else fits the bill today, pistols are severely over-priced.

Maybe you should get a Ruger super-Blackhawk, if it's over 100 yards away you could still clip it with one of those.
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Old 16 Jan 12, 15:51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frtigern View Post
Another requirement is that the pistol have a barrel over 3.5" and cost less than $300.
Don't take this the wrong way, but unless you're trying to buy a POS, you can't meet that last requirement. I haven't bought a good pistol new for less than 400 dollars in years. .22s don't count.

If you're really worried about grizzlies and mountain lions, I'd recommend something in no less than .357Magnum, and preferably better. Go to pawn shops and look at 4-6" barrelled revolvers in .357 and .44 Magnum calibers. 357 has a small advantage that you can shoot .38 special loads for practice or 'small snakes (humans)', while giving you the ability to upload significantly before moving into the woods.

IIRC if a mountain lion is inside pistol-shot range, he's likely going to kill you, unless you did something unusual to startle him. Therefore, you want a pistol that will put him down in 1 shot. Even if it's not a kill you want to temporarily disable him with the first round so you can follow it up and save your arse. You won't have the time to burn off more than 6 rounds, and you need the individual firepower.

Personally, I'd say go with a shotgun loaded with 00Buck or slug, preferably slug, or a rifle. Shotgun is prefered if you're not much of a shooter, as it's more forgiving. Either a 12 Gauge shotgun or a .270 or better rifle will kill a mountain lion.

For pistols, look for Smith and Wesson Revolvers in K-N Frames, Calibers .357-.44, there are some other hunting calibers, like .454 Casull that will also work well for this application but they're more rare and expensive bullets and recoil is also heavier. You can also look for Ruger Revolvers in the same range of calibers. Both manufacturers make very good revolvers, and you can likely find some used. One possibility is to check out law enforcement surplus, as some agencies are still getting rid of .357 revolvers for autos, and their revolvers will likely be cheaper than buying new. Be Very Wary about purchasing a firearm from a non-reputable manufacturer, as not only can these fail when you need them, they can also be dangerous to handle (personal experience of the safety on a Jimenez .380 not working. Fortunately for me there were no rounds in the weapon). I've only given you 2 manufacturers, but both are arguably the Best in the business of large-caliber revolvers.
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Old 16 Jan 12, 16:24
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Thanks TacCovert, I considered a shotgun but a shot gun is something you carry, while a pistol is just on you. Also for drawing, aiming and firing a pistol is quicker. I was thinking a Mossberg 500 without a stock over my shoulder would be almost as quick.

If I had the money I wish I could drop it on a really nice .44 magnum. Revolvers always seem cheaper than autos and good idea for looking for Police surplus .357 revolvers. What do you think of the 7.63x38R's stopping power? like those in these Nagant revolvers:
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Old 16 Jan 12, 16:31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frtigern View Post
Thanks TacCovert, I considered a shotgun but a shot gun is something you carry, while a pistol is just on you. Also for drawing, aiming and firing a pistol is quicker. I was thinking a Mossberg 500 without a stock over my shoulder would be almost as quick.

If I had the money I wish I could drop it on a really nice .44 magnum. Revolvers always seem cheaper than autos and good idea for looking for Police surplus .357 revolvers. What do you think of the 7.63x38R's stopping power? like those in these Nagant revolvers:
IMO if your worrying about running into a cat then your better off with a gun in your hands and not in a holster. Unless your a quick draw artist. Pack both if you wish but for me, give me the shotgun with OO loads. Might not be good for a Griz but enough for a cat.
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Old 16 Jan 12, 18:32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frtigern View Post

If I had the money I wish I could drop it on a really nice .44 magnum. Revolvers always seem cheaper than autos and good idea for looking for Police surplus .357 revolvers. What do you think of the 7.63x38R's stopping power? like those in these Nagant revolvers:
Don't know much about mountain lions, but old Nagant if I remember correct was somewhat underpowered even for two legged opponents, I wouldn't recommend it for any kind of self defence.
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Old 16 Jan 12, 21:01
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What do you think of the 7.63x38R's stopping power? like those in these Nagant revolvers:
I believe the 7.62x38r is somewhere between .32 H&R Mag and .32 S&W long in power so I wouldn't wish to try it out on an angry cat. the biggest drawback of the Nagant is the VERY heavy trigger pull though they can be quite accurate ( as I remember, the Soviet Olympic team at one time used target sighted Nagants) and you get seven shots.

Don't know if you can still get one, but the Charter Arms Bulldog in .44 special would be a decent choice.
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Old 17 Jan 12, 06:30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frtigern View Post
Another requirement is that the pistol have a barrel over 3.5" and cost less than $300.


I think you need to double your budget if you want to purchase a quality reliable handgun for your purpose. It will really open up a lot of choices. It makes sense if you seriously fear an encounter with said critters.
I do hike in blackbear and mountain lion country and I feel quite adequately armed with both a .357 Ruger GP-100 with a 6"barrel or a 10mm Glock 20 with a 4.6" barrel for both of which I paid about $550.00 each. I have thankfully never encountered a situation where I had to use either in a real life situation.
Although the .40S&W is considered a little inadequate for protection against wild animals you would encounter in the Rockies, Double Tap offers some loads designed for woods carry. The .357 sig also comes with a decent selection of hunting loads.

As mentioned by many of the posters pistols take practice and effort to master so it would be worthwhile to budget additional funds for that purpose. There are tons of good literature and DVDs on building good shooting fundamentals but if you can becaome a member of a shooting range, sooner or later you will encounter an expert willing to help you with improving shooting skills. That is how I improved mine.
If you do decide to practice it would be good to stay away from odd ball calibers like the 7.63*38 R because ammo might be expensive and hard to find especially considering your budget appears to be somewhat short.

Last edited by Slim; 17 Jan 12 at 06:56..
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Old 11 Feb 12, 20:30
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Another requirement is that the pistol have a barrel over 3.5" and cost less than $300.

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Old 22 Feb 12, 15:45
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I realize some may want this thread to go away, but couldn't pass this up;
Pet dog chases mountain lion up a tree

LOS ALTOS HILLS, Calif. -- A dog chased a cat up a tree Tuesday morning in Los Altos. Normally, that wouldn't be a big deal, but this cat is a rather large mountain lion.
The California Department of Fish and Game responded to a report of a mountain lion 30 to 40 feet up an oak tree at an upscale home on La Barranca and Elena roads Tuesday morning.
An 85-pound German Shepherd named Cody apparently was scary enough to cause the mountain lion to retreat. Cody is owned by Denise and Larry Del Carlo. ....
http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/20...lion-up-a-tree
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Old 22 Feb 12, 17:27
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Toy dogs also chase away large dogs. I would guess the cougar was not hungry. The next time that dog chases a cougar his owners may wonder where ole Spot is!

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Old 22 Feb 12, 17:48
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I would chalk that up to it being an 85 pound German Shepherd. If it was pissed and charging the Mountain Lion growling, the cat probably thought that it was a wolf (a natural enemy) and went up the tree rather than risk a fight it might lose.
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Old 16 Jan 12, 15:24
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Pistols take a lot of training to be able to hit anything. When the target is moving even more and it starts to become a matter of luck as well if you hit it.

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Old 18 Jan 12, 13:21
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Quote:
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Pistols take a lot of training to be able to hit anything. When the target is moving even more and it starts to become a matter of luck as well if you hit it.

Love that Model '97. I have a reproduction (Chinese) that I enjoy shooting - that repro gets bad press, but mine has functioned just fine (maybe it's an anomaly).

The question is, would you happen to be carrying one when you meet said mountain lion? Portability would be an issue - otherwise it might be in your gun safe while you and momma cat are doing the tango.
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