A Little Help

This morning as I was getting ready to do my workout, I heard my phone ding. I usually turn it off, but sine i didn’t, I popped over to see who it was from.

Text- “Happy Friday, my friend!”

Me- “Happy Friday”

Friend- “I am looking for a gun.”

I am pretty much shocked at this point. She is not really a gun person. Her son is and her hubby I think, but she has never been to keen on me talking about them. She lets me bring my guns when I visit, but they have to be locked up and left in my car. She is sweet as pie. Tough too, but not a shooter.

Me- “Really?” “How can I help?”

Friend- “Lol, yes a gun for me.”

Me- “What will you be using it for and how much shooting have you done?”

She has shot a .22 rifle and some kind of pistol, but that was 10 years ago or so. She actually is looking for a small gun to carry on her property because they are having trouble with wolves.

Friend- “I have no intention of carrying it off the property and hubby has a hunting rifle, but I would prefer something smaller that I could carry on my body.”

Me- “Ok, I actually do not know much about handguns for wolves.” “Let me ask on my blog.”

Friend- “Thank you my dear”.

I have some thoughts on this and I shared them with her, but I would like to know what you all think. I will encourage her to get some training either in a hunters safety type class or a basic pistol course through the NRA. She lives in Wisconsin, so I can’t work with her. She is smaller like me, but she is not timid and she is not one to back down from something she needs to do. So, I am a bit concerned about the kick of a bigger caliber then she is used to, but not overly so. I think she would get training and learn to shoot whatever she felt she needed to be safe from the wolf.

She might read this blog from time to time(not sure), so I am going to keep other thoughts to myself, but maybe you know what I am thinking about her opening her mind to using a gun in any capacity. Even though it’s only for a four legged animal, I am thrilled that she is thinking about her safety and ways to protect herself!

31 thoughts on “A Little Help

  1. Wolves – haven’t heard that one before. My knee jerk reaction is a 357 Magnum, either a S&W or a Ruger – in a stainless. The downside is they are heavy guns. The upside is that weight will absorb some of the recoil. Definite attention needs to be paid to holster and belt. I have an old Ruger Security Six circa 1980’s that I used to carry while hunting, to deal with bears and coyotes. Those can still be found relatively inexpensive. This gives her the advantage of training with 38 for proficiency and carrying and of a variety of 357 loads. If not a wheel gun, I’d find a 40 cal semi and go with that – glock 22 or 23, M&P, XD – all fine choices.

  2. Wolves can be up to 175 pounds, depending on what part of the world you are in. As such they are similar in mass to humans. And they are not heavily boned like a bear so I would think that any suitable caliber for reliable self defense against two-legged wolves should work for the four-legged kind.

    9mm or .38 would probably be the minimum to me. It would be tough to beat a .357 with good ammo. As always, she needs to be able to shoot it well…

  3. A 327 mag would be all she needs, wolves aren’t that hard to kill. and it would have the advantage of being able to use 32 H&R mag for a low recoil practice round.
    the ruger sp101 is a good choice with a 4 in barrel, long enough for a good sight picture and short enough to carry easy.
    have a great day.

  4. Good For Her! We use a XD Compact 45 for coyotes and other four legged critters. It is pretty effective and not too much recoil. I can handle it with no problem and I’m 5’5” with small hands.

  5. I think a mid sized 9mm would be fine, good capacity, decent recoil control, good stopping power with good ammo. glock 19 or something in that size . it’s a nice balance

  6. I would think that pretty much anything that would work against humans would be sufficient for wolf. The key being that she wil need to be carrying it. Talk to her about how she invisions carrying it. Ridiculous at it may seem, a single action revolver in a cowboy rig might fit her needs best. My Ruger Blackhawks are among the favorite handguns among my female students! Big and clunky but they shoot like a dream. They are admittedly a poor choice for concealed carry.

  7. I’d recommend a 1911. Widely available at all kinds of price points, ammunition is not atrocious (though no ammo is inexpensive right now), and a fantastic tradeoff between recoil and accuracy. Significantly better, IMO, than .38 or .357, and more powerful than 9mm.

  8. Since concealed carry is not a concern here, I’m going to go with recommending any full size handgun in a caliber 9mm or larger that fits her hand. You didn’t mention her budget. So, I will give a range of recommendations.

    Under $500, it’s hard to beat the Ruger SR series of pistols. They just released a .45 ACP version within the last couple of days. So, they have all the popular flavors covered. Street price here in Texas is running from a low of $379 to the low $400s. If you want a wheelie gun under $500, Taurus revolvers aren’t a bad choice. Not my first choice, but serviceable enough.

    $500 to $750
    Glock and Smith & Wesson M&Ps. Pick your flavor. Reliable as the sun and capable of being fitted with grip inserts. Ruger revolvers and some Smith and Wesson revolvers fit in this category. Rugers have an excellent reputation for reliability in their revolvers.

    Over $750
    More Smith & Wesson revolvers and Sigs. I am an unabashed Sig fan since purchasing my Sig 1911. I will echo Double Tap’s comment that a heavier gun will absorb recoil better.

    Capacity wise, I would recommend the Smith 627 in .357 for a revolver (8 rounds) and any 9mm in semi autos (usually 15+1 at a minimum).

    9mm has the advantage of cheaper practice ammo than all other major caliber options unless she reloads.

  9. If she felt a 357 mag revolver would feel good in her hand there’s a Ruger Security Six revolver, 6 inch barrel, for $345 on the site: simpsons LTD out of Galesburg IL. Course there’s shipping/sales/ffl costs but it might be cheaper than a new 357 mag revolver.

  10. A lot of it depends on her hand strength. For instance, my wife can rack a slide on a 1911, but has problems with the trigger pull on a double-action revolver.
    If she can use a revolver, a 357 would work. If not, a .40 or .45 would do fine.
    I think in most cases, though, the sound of a firearm will usually send them running. I’ve run off belligerent moose and black bears just by firing a shot into the ground in front of them, and have yet had to resort to actually shooting one (I carry a .44Mag in bear country).
    Just my 2¢.

  11. Not enamored of an iron-sight (or any) handgun for use on wolves but . . . I echo .357 Mag as a minimum, and really like Ruger. I sure wouldn’t turn down an S&W, though. Alternatively, a .45 auto should fit the bill nicely if it fits your friend. Ammo will be very important. I’ll send you a useful linky-dink if I can locate it again. (You know how tech-challenged I am.)

  12. I love and will always recoommend the subcompact 9mm Beretta Px4 Storm. It’s not heavy, and when I use it/clean it never had any problems. It makes for a great weapon to carry concealed.

  13. I don’t know this gal, obviously, but given what is written in the post, with the current “trending issues,” there is small voice in the back of my head saying, “Yannow, this might not be just about wolves.” Perhaps that is not even a conscious thought for her. Yet.

  14. Considering she is looking for a ‘working gun” to carry around for unanticipated problems with large predators, not a “hunting gun” to take carefully planned shots, I side with the .357 revolver crowd, because of two factors:

    1. While wolves are human-sized, they are not human. They will not likely “give up and die” when hit because they haven’t been conditioned that guns kill — and that’s probably 50% of “stopping power” right there (remember the stats — roughly 50% of ANYONE, shot ANYWHERE, with ANYTHING, ceases to remain an active threat — those are psychological stops caused by the attacker’s mind and unrelated to the actual damage; wolves don’t watch TV and don’t know they are supposed to be flung through the air, spin three times, and drop dead while spouting profound enlightenment when hit with a pistol bullet). Think of a wolf as being a lot more like a lunatic or raging drug addict in terms of stopping — you will have to do enough PHYSICALLY INCAPACITATING damage to render them harmless before they can get to you to be fairly confident of stopping them safely. Smash limb bones (including shoulders or pelvis) so they can’t run or leap, or destory the CNS (tough shots, defensively). You need more snot in hand than if you were hunting them — especially given you might well find the wolf unexpectantly at rather close range (less than 50 feet) and be a tad off your precision shooting game when your “walk the fence line” day turns into convincing the Big Bad Wolf that you and your livestock aren’t lunch. (If you are actively seeking out the wolves for straight up predator control, you’d have a RIFLE.)

    2. .357 Magnum is “big enough” to do the preceeding, but has recoil light enough to be fairly easy for practice, especially if she gets a full size revolver with a decent barrel length. Plus, revolvers are ammo insensitive — she can practice her trigger work and fundamental grouping with softball wadcutters. (Personally, I’d likely go with a .44 Magnum, but I don’t mind the weight and enjoy shooting something like a Super Redhawk. Others find both the weight and recoil objectionable.)

    My specific advice would be a full size revolver (it’s not a concealment piece, after all), in stainless steel (maintenance, especially since it will see its fair share of inclement weather), with a barrel 4-6″ long and adjustable sights, with a heavy bullet load (like a 158 grain JHP or JSP) designed for deep penetration.

    Whatever revolver she feels comfortable with along tehse lines is probably her best bet, although I would recommend a S&W 686, Ruger GP100 or SP101, or Colt Python without hesitation. All of these are good quality, solid shooters, with plenty of mass to mitigate recoil. Not to say other guns aren’t necessarily good — just that these ones I would be comfortable recommending sight unseen for just about anyone in similar circumstances. Of course, if a single-action revolver thrills her, something like a Ruger Blackhawk is an excellent choice. But I would suggest adjustable sights, so she can dial it in for her “wolf” load. (Not that the mission is impossible with a decently regulated fixed sight, but I’m trying to minimize the difficulties, here — zeroed to HER load, at HER selected range based on visibility and shooting ability, and the fact that most adjustable sights are crisper and easier to see than most revolver fixed sights. . . all whisper, “adjustable” to me. Again, “farm gun”, not a CCW revolver where I’d be concerned with snagging on the draw or bashing the rear sight against things just enough to throw it off zero.)

  15. Ruger SP101in 357 Magnum, adaptable to rural woods/field walking and urban carry later on if desired. Though heavier than an air weight 38 Special or smaller polymer frame pistol it’s affordable, reliable and proven. I’ve yet to meet a first time shooter who doesn’t like the SP101 if it’s loaded with standard velocity 38 Specials.

  16. Oh, and while if I was handgun HUNTING predators, I’d likely use a scoped handgun, I wouldn’t recommend a scoped sidearm for a “working” gun like this one. As I’m perceiving the parameters, it’s for an “everyday” gun for “in case I run into predators”, so it’s a lot closer to a police service pistol role (albeit intended for animals) where it will be carried a lot in all weather and while doing other things, and shot very little other than for practice. Face to face with a wolf determined to protect his kill (your livestock) is a lousy time to find out you banged your scope out of true or even sprunk a leak and got moisture inside it last week hooking up the tractor. Adjustable irons are about as fragile as I’d risk. . .

  17. Here I tend towards the 357 revolver as well, but will say that anything that we would use on two legged problems will work on a wolf or feral dog.

    With that out there the Kel-Tec PMR 30 (22 mag semi auto) maybe the new sweet spot for a working/pest control gun. 30 rounds of 22 mag, easy to shoot and easy to carry. That should be plenty to say “bad dog” as many times as you need to :-) and will likely be much easier to shoot well than a 357

    Its easy to go caliber crazy here, but remember, there are even fewer human wolf attacks than bear attacks, and the majority of those are really a wolf or several wolves going after a persons pet that is with them. You don’t need a cannon to say “I’m not good eats, and neither is my dog”.

  18. I agree that any round that is suitable for two-legged wolves would work you four- legged ones. No wolves around here, but we do have montain lions and coyotes. My fence-walking pistol is a rare gunshop find, a Taurus titanium .357 magnum with a 2″ ported barrel and their “ribber” grips. Light enough that I can carry it all day, but with recoil so low I use it to train “noobs” with. The porting makes a huge diference in felt recoil, as do the grips. As a bonus, it carries 7 rounds instead of 5 or 6 like most small revolvers. Accuracy is adequate at 25 yards.

  19. For an everyday working field gun my favorite is a Ruger Blackhawk 4 5/8” in 45 Colt using 250 grain hollow point hand loads. That being said, it is probably a bit more weapon than she needs. So I would eco what others have said and point her towards a Ruger Blackhawk or a GP100 in .357 Magnum. They both are rock solid pistols that will go bang in the harshest conditions and you can pass them down for generations.

  20. If she’s smaller like you, grip feel will be critical. The single stack 1911’s in fullsize will offer a good grip (if her hands are smaller), and the fullsize frame will help absorb the recoil of the .45 round.

    I have 2 1911’s – 1 for carry is a shorter barrel with alloy frame and the other is a fullsize with steel frame. HUGE difference in recoil between the two.

    Regardless, she needs to get some training, and try a multitude of pistols to see what works for her. We can all make recommendations all day long, but without having more knowledge of her, it is just a WAG (Wild A** Guess).

    An advantage of the M&P’s and Glocks though are the polymer frame and if she’s going to carry on property, may hold up to the elements better (water, dirt, sweat, etc).

    I’d almost suggest a couple of pistols (one being a .22) so she can work on control. If the pistol is available with a conversion kit to .22, that would work as well and have the added benefit of her training with her weapon, but a lighter caliber with lower cost.

    • Yes, I know. I have written on this blog a number of times about selecting a first hand gun and that each person should shoot a variety of guns, what fits their hand, what works for me might not them, grip, caliber, what’s it gonna be used for. This question was specific to is there anything in addition to the normal considerations that she needs to look for in a gun when the primary purpose is shooting wolves. For example someone is looking for conceal carry there are certain things I would rule out or add extra attention on. Not exclude the basics, but eliminating some options like say an AR.

  21. I would recommend the Ruger GP100 in .357 ,and she can use.38 for practice.It’s not overly heavy ,but easy enough to shoot,and powerful enough for wolves (and later on,if she wants to carry off property) powerful enough for personal protection.
    Rarely do revolvers Malf,even when not regularly maintained,and ammo is common.
    Bill

  22. I’ll echo .357 and add long barrel (8″ perhaps) since concealment isn’t a concern (and accuracy may be), she can practice with .38 rounds to keep from developing a flinch.

  23. I like the .357 idea. Is your friend concerned about a single wolf at a time? If she might face a pack, then I’d prefer a larger ammo capacity. I carry Glock G22 .40 and love its durability. My recco would be for a pack threat a .357 semi auto with 2 extra magazines.

  24. Don’t think you can shoot wolves…just sayin
    If you could, you would be aiming at a fast moving back end. If it were legal to shoot maybe in a year or 2 she may be able to acquire target with the right pistol at 75 yards or so.

    • Even with endangered animals, you MAY shoot to protect yourself.

      In most states, you may shoot to protect your livestock, but I am unsure if that applies to endangered species.

      Since wolves are not endangered in many states, even that concern may not be applicable.

  25. I guess I’ll toss in my 2 cents. She’ll have to choose a gun to fit her, of course, all the usual suspects have been covered. I would forget the .380. Nine, 38 spl,.357 should do nicely—-With HOLLOW POINTS. Ball will over penetrate not using all it’s energy.
    The .327 intrigues me, might be a possibility, low recoil, high energy and velocity.
    A medium sized gun for a good balance of weight to recoil. We don’t want it so heavy she won’t carry it. Another thing comes to mind a .44spl. Not the Charter arms Bulldog, recoil may be to brutal for her but Taurus made a mid frame 431 that was pleasant to shoot. I’m not sure what’s out there in .44spl now but a 4″ might be something to think about.
    I’m in Wi so if I con help just let me know.

  26. I vote for a full-sized 9mm pistol with spare magazine, for a reason no one else has mentioned, apparently: wolves go in packs. If attacked you might not have to deal with just one. Also you are going to miss some. I’d carry top quality hollowpoints. I think that would do the job. Feral dog packs also are a problem people should worry about. I don’t think revolvers would work so well unless you have several speedloaders or moon clips, and practice using them.

  27. I think a full size 9mm with spare mags is great, but overkill for wolves, they will scatter after just a shot or two is fired, even if fired into the ground

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