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Al Agnew

Which handgun(s)?

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Hey guys...I'm not much of a gun enthusiast; own a bunch of mostly old, mostly cheap rifles and shotguns, no handguns.  I've been wanting to purchase a good semiauto .22 for a long time, just for plinking and target shooting, but wasn't quite interested enough to do all my own research and "pull the trigger".

Now, I've decided that I would also like to buy a bigger caliber as well.  There are a few places I go where it might be a good idea to go armed.  Not interested in concealed carry, these are places out in the wilds.

So...what would be good to get where the frame is similar in both .22 and larger caliber?  Doesn't have to be the most expensive, doesn't have to be the cheapest.  Just something good and reliable...and by the way, I have fairly small hands, since I'm only five feet eight inches.

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I would suggest a ruger single six for the 22 -- it's not a semi auto -- but it is a fun gun that is accurate...get it with a 6.5 or 7.5 barrel and you have a great plinking/squirel hunting gun.

for the larger caliber -- i would stay in the same family and get a ruger blackhawk in 357 or 44 mag. 

both guns are single action revolvers...the hammer must be pulled back to fire.  it is very simple and very reliable action.  semi autos tend to jam...they can be very specific as to what ammo they shoot well.  i would stay with simpler design of the single action revolver.

i know you travel to the yellowstone area...and i would feel a lot more comfortable with a blackhawk strapped to my leg...than a can of bear spray.  i was out there a couple years ago...and we were fishing down river from sheepeater cliff...below the falls.  and we had a momma bear and two cubs get close to us.  it was scary...my wife, two little boys and I...and all i had was the bear spray i bought from top of the world store.  thankfully they were on the other bank...but it was still too close for comfort.

 

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i would stay away from ruger personally, they are really heavy!

you can't go wrong with smith and wesson revolvers, at least .357caliber or higher. nothing wrong with semi-autos, some of the older semi-autos used to jam, but if get a quality brand, and shoot good ammo, you shouldn't have a problem.

I have a springfield armory XD .40cal that has over 1,000rds go thru it, and have never had a problem.

Walther makes a sweet little semi-auto .22 as well

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I've owned Ruger and S&W and they both are fine guns and have good customer service IMO.  I would stay away from the Taurus though.  Currently I have a S&W Shield in 9mm and love it.  No issues whatsoever with it.

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Ever seen that Glock 20- 10mm?  I've read they are a decent wildlife defense gun with the right ammo and you can't beat Glock reliability- for the price.  I've got a Ruger 22/45, a browning buckmark 22, and a Ruger single six- all are fun but I enjoy shooting the Browning the most.  I honestly do not like the Ruger MIII 22/45- too barrel heavy and too much plastic.  Single six is a ton of fun too and very accurate.

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