Thursday, January 5, 2012

Outdoor Safety and the .22

If you spend any time at all outdoors, you are eventually going to come across a wild animal. In that case you have three things you can do, like in any threatening situation. Flee, fight or do absolutely nothing.

Case in Point - there was a hike one time, up in the Rockies with my brother in law, the liberal attorney from California. Suddenly, rushing at us from out of no where, came this HUGE brown bear, and oh boy, was she enraged. We must have been near her cubs and she was out for blood.

I thought about the fleeing part. I could run for it, considering the animals I can outrun - starfish, three toed sloth, hamster. I decided against it.

I thought about getting up into a tree. Let's see, what animals can I out climb? - Manatee, trout, moss. No.

I can do nothing. That keeps the carnage contained, easier for the coroner to pick up.

No, I will fight. That's why I carry a gun.

People always talk about taking large caliber ammo loads while hiking in case of bears.

A 12 gauge Express Magnum loaded with slugs perhaps. The.45 Colt Ruger with 21.5 grs H-110/325 gr Keith or LBT bullet recipes. Maybe a Browning 45-70 1886 carbine with heavy loads, a .44 Magnum or a .45 Colt (in Ruger persuasion for hot loads) both stoked with heavy (240-300 gr) hard-cast lead Keith-style bullets. Another option, the LBT series of bullets, such as the 325gr LBT WFN over 21.5gr of H110 for the .45 Colt bruiser.

But no, I learned I should just stick with my little .22. Over all the years I've been hiking in bear country, I've always had it with me. That and a buddy, you've got to have both. For you should know that the first rule for safe hiking in back country is to use the "buddy system". That means, you never hike in remote areas alone, you bring a friend, even a relative, that way, if something goes awry, you have someone to help you stay safe.

Had I not been in possession my small but always reliable Mark III .22, I'm not sure I would still be here today. Just one well placed shot to my brother-in-law's knee cap and I was able to escape by just walking away at a brisk pace.

It's always going to have a prized spot in my gun safe in front of the heavy iron, I can tell you that.



  1. Good thing for your Brother-in-law that the bear fell over laughing...

  2. The anti's would tell you that you could have accomplished the job just as easily having your brother take Barkley for a walk on the ice.

  3. Nice you have your priorities straight!
    'Bears before B-I-Ls !'

    Seriously, in-laws are just chum, right?

  4. My daughter, 10, is quite proficient with my Ruger Standard (built 1961 - almost as old as me), and a host of other rimfires: 10/22, 39A, Savage bolt, Micro A-bolt, Stoeger Luger, HS-HDM, and a Single-Six.

    While @ Cabela's on NYD, in the taxidermy exhibit, she asked if she could go hunting for those kind of animals. I explained that she would need to step up to a larger caliber for that kind of game.

    We'll be commencing practice with a shortened stock Rem. 600/660 in .243 this Spring...

    Awesome girl!

  5. Technology upgrade? Instead of "an arrow to the knee, it's now a 22 to the knee"? ROFLMAO!!!

  6. Hmmmm remind me not to go hiking with you anytime soon... Unless there's a 3rd buddy...

  7. Priceless! I am SO linking to this post.

  8. That's just not right.

  9. :) That's most excellent. I didn't see it coming!

  10. Always used to tell my kids when we went camping:

    "I'm not ONE BIT worried about bears! They don't worry me AT ALL!"

    This was great comfort to them when they were young enough to consider me infallible - but then came the "everything Dad says or does is WRONG (or at least 'questionable') phase -- so they demanded more information!

    "WHY NOT?! With your knee there's no way you could run away!"

    "No problem!" says I!

    "I don't NEED to be able to outrun the bear, just as long as I can trip at least one of you kids!"

    They're grown, and STILL don't see the humor in this. My usual response is "That's 'cause there ISN'T ANY HUMOR.

    Not only is it POSSIBLE to make more kids, it's actually FUN!!"

    Yeah - they don't see the humor in THAT either....

  11. Ha!

    Just don't take the Ruger apart unless the moon phase is right and you kill a chicken and draw a pentagram in it's blood on the workbench. Then grow a third eye and another hand. Perhaps then you can get it back together!

    Me, I just hose the MK anythings down with Hornady dry lube and cleaner and hit it with a bore snake and let it go. Beats a "bag 'o gun" to take humbly to someone versed in the Ruger-Fu arts!

    Oh, if we ever go hiking, I'm watching you!

  12. Lions and Tigers and Rugers!

    Oh my!

  13. Reminds me of the Farside cartoon with the two polar bears sitting by a busted-up igloo... one bears says, "Hey, I just love these things... crunchy on the outside with a chewy center."...

    Dann in Ohio

  14. Are you sure you didn't watch a certain episode of "The Walking Dead"? (big grin)

  15. Nice joke, (I hope).

    I take it the B-I-L is similar to his brother - the ex, which is why you don't care if a bear eats him.

  16. As we say down on the third coast, you don't have to out swim the shark, just the guy next to you.
    There is a wonderfully poetic justice to that little story that just makes me smile.

  17. Barkleys are rare and priceless- anyone can get another B-I-L.
    Good one, Brigid! :-D

  18. Thanks for the LOL on the old lawyer-cougar story. Cleaning the keyboard and screen now.

  19. Heh. The only thing that would have made that better was if it was your Brother-in-law the Lawyer. ;-)

  20. No Thank you for being you!

    I hope al is going better for you and that the knee is on the mend.

    Sorry, had the blog in private was working on somethings forgot to put it to open.

    Take Care & remeber the offers always on the table,

  21. I'm so glad that I'd finished dinner before reading this, would have made a terrible mess of the keyboard and scree otherwise!

  22. Good one, Brigid. I was looking for the usual sage comment...this was way better :-)

  23. As Blue said " I just didn't see it coming", Duh!

    I am now busy multi-tasking (see, we men can do it too!) wiping the monitor down whilst dealing with singed nostrils having snorted hot coffee everywhere.

    Thanks! :-)

  24. Glad you had the proper plan. Thought I was going to have to remind you that there are no brown bears in Colorado, just blackies--but they come in all colors including blondes and red-heads!

    Other options are good running shoes--"I don't have to outrun the bear, I just have to out-run my buddy." Also review tiny bells and black-pepper as counter-measures.

    Seriously though, in 25 years of hunting CO, NM, and AZ I only encountered one black bear and that one was while driving on a US highway!

  25. B-
    I saw it coming but it still made me laugh. I've hiked many miles of trails, mostly east of the Mississippi, and have always carried my Ruger 22/45. I know it wont do much for the black bears I may run into, but I've used it twice to take down what I'm positive were rabid zombie chipmunks intent on my destruction.
    Happy Friday!

  26. Check out the new LCR-22 and the NEW PR-22 by Ruger. Can't wait to see the (I have it on good authority that it IS coming) upcoming LCR-22 MAGNUM! Try going easy on the Bro-in-law. OK?

  27. lol Loved the punch line :)

    Feliz Navidad! Im 50 now.

  28. Wasn't expecting that one. Like it.

  29. LCR-22

    Wow. Expensive. You can get their .38 or .357 for that price. I am pleased with them both.

  30. Good one Brigid, that was funny as hell! : )

  31. Didn't catch the true direction this was heading till you mentioned the requirement for the buddy. Then I knew just where this was going to end.

    Glad your sense of humor wasn't banged up with your knee.

  32. Pity you can't do this in the UK, you can't even take a knife without 'good purpose'...... so I make sure i walk with someone who is slower. (That said, the most dangerous thing is probably a mildly irritated sheep when your up on the hills!)

  33. I may have posted this a while ago...but it's worth repeating:

    Good friend heading up to Alaska, asked me if the .32 automatic given to him by his father in law would be good to carry for bears. Had he ever shot it?


    Then buy a box, go out to the range and shoot it, then take it to the local gunsmith and have him file down the front sight.

    Why file down the sight? So I can get it out of my jacket pocket quicker?

    No, so when you shoot the bear and he takes it from you and shoves it up your aXX, it won't hurt so much...

    True story..

  34. Hah! Really had me going there.

    I've made a note to never go hiking in the Rockies with you. Or at try and find out your split times so I can practice beforehand to get my draw time down to lower than yours. ;-)

    Good one!

  35. Oh my! That is just prcieless. I'll be grinning all day thinking about this post ;)

  36. Dang. Sitting here at work, trying to be all sneaky and trying to contain a mouthful of refreshing beverage after reading that. Should've seen that one coming a mile off, but was also waiting for some sage advice. Now, just waiting for a post about wearing bear bells in bear country, since they help subsequent hikers identify grizzly bear scat (full of bells).


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