For many of us, guns are like a woman’s shoe collection. Any reason is reason enough to get a new gun, for some specific purpose that we either recognize or even makeup to justify it to the shoe collector at home.
A good revolver for hiking can be an invaluable asset. Whether it be for self-defense (from two or four-legged predators), or for hunting and recreational purposes. Having a trustworthy wheel-gun at your side can greatly impact your time in the woods.
Why a revolver?
Why then would you choose a revolver over something like an auto-loading pistol? Revolvers can be very compact, and many have very lightweight options such as Titanium or composite frames as well. In addition to that, they are available in more powerful cartridges generally than other pistols. The typical straight-walled cartridges like .357 Magnum or .41 Magnum that revolvers are chambered in carry a lot more power than their auto-loading cousins such as the 9mm or 40S&W.
And sometimes it’s nice to just appreciate the simplicity of the revolver design, enjoying the features of this time-proven design. Whether a single-action or double-action revolver, the simple draw, point, and shoot motion is therapeutic and charming to the cowboy inside each of us.
A hiking gun?
Many of us live and frequent very wild areas, places where help can be far away. Having a gun when you really need it can be the difference between life and death sometimes. A casual hike through the foothills can and has turned deadly with predators like the cougar around. A lightweight .357 like the Ruger LDR tucked into a belt could certainly have changed the outcome of such an encounter. It’s composite frame and hammerless design make it easy to tuck into a pocket and carry comfortably.
Rural life isn’t just about life and death however, sometimes it is about fun. A pleasant stroll through the alpine forests can easily turn into a squirrel or rabbit hunt if you’re in the right place. A simple pistol like the old Ruger single six could come in handy on just such a stroll. With inexpensive 22lr or 22 mag you can enjoy your hike and hunt without spending much, they are available in great condition from 300 to 600$ here on GDC.
Big bore pistols
If you are in big country, like Alaska or the mountains of Western Montana then you may want something bigger than either the .22 or .357. Whenever there are large predators like bears nearby, it’s probably a good idea to have something a little more robust. I know many will say bear spray is more effective, and it may be. But a pistol is a survival tool in this case, not just a defense against bears tool. Hikers and fishermen in these wild and remote places would be wise to have as many tools on their side as possible. For a situation like this, a Super Redhawk Alaskan in .44 magnum or something like a .454 Casull would be a better option.
A revolver can be an excellent hunting tool, with a broad spectrum of good cartridges to choose from it can be a very compact hunting weapon. With some states requiring hunters to use straight-walled or pistol cartridges, you might do well to embrace your handgun hunting experience. A handy revolver is less cumbersome than a long-gun, but still carries the apropos energy required to take down many game animals.
Whether it be for personal protection or just a reason to enjoy a new firearm, a good a revolver can make a great hiking companion.