I would take a USP45 V1 with me.
Thank you! from the consensus, the Compacts seem to make the most sense for packability, weight, and capacity. I like the USP40 & 45 in full size for range visits, where its advantage is in shooting comfort. If I'm going to lug around a large handgun all day, then I may as well bring about a full size revolver.
I find both 40 S&W and .45 ACP in compacts to be equally punishing to practice with regularly -
Considering the available ammunition I can acquire immediately, I also don't know if either caliber choice makes much of a difference in terminal performance. Which means, the USPC 40 with 10 rounds meets most of my requirement for a compact outdoor sidearm-
my hangup atm; its my least favorite USP to fire.
(enter smart sayings here)
I would take a USP45 V1 with me.
Be certain to check the CA CCW Laws re: Firearms on Public (yours and mine) Lands. I know the US Forest Service reps can be brutal in their readings of CCW Laws.
For years my field sidearm was a full-size USP 45 (KF), then a 45c. Now I like my USP 9 or 9c. The 9c is an amazing firearm and current favorite, but there's always a .45 somewhere in my field kit. My backup is a S&W 640-1 .357 or a S&W 13 .357 3" in my pocket. You never know when those brown trout are going to attack! To the OP, think about a USP9c -- 15 rounds in a small package.
Last edited by tjmayer; 01-17-2018 at 02:26 PM.
USP45FS (Variant 1) and Winchester Black Talon--- great for all environments--- inside or outside!!!
CA & applicable Fed's laws regarding firearm possession outdoors (in a very summarized nutshell):
- State Park : Must be unloaded, locked, concealed to have it in one's possession.
- National Parks: Handgun prohibited, no shooting anywhere, period. But loaded, open & concealed carry is okay on campsite.
- National Forests & BLM : Loaded open carry okay unless on 'shooting is prohibited' areas, Loaded concealed okay with hunting license.
- Stored, locked & unloaded in car/parking lot/campsite : Not prohibited.
CA CCW permit allows loaded concealed carry anywhere.
So I drive up my car onto my campsite and have my firearm there. If campsite is on national forest/BLM, I can then open carry and hike/bike with it. If on State Park/National Park I'll just hope to whistle a park ranger nearby or bring a LARGE machete to go out Spartan style.
In other news; visited LGS to handle the USP 40 Full size and Compact. After handling the 45 Expert for awhile, the 40 Full size feels a LOT smaller than I originally thought... maybe packability isn't an issue after all and I should spare myself the intense snappiness of a compact.
It might ease some of my apprehension about carrying the 45c instead of the 454 when bears are out. While not ideal, its better than nothing and bear spray really is my first line of defense.
Not to sound prickly but I'm a little confused about what you want. You said you're "not out to kill a bear" but wish you had a firearm "in an event we really need to take down a charging animal." To me, take down means kill if I really feel my life is being threatened, otherwise there is no need to shoot. I hiked the lower Appalachian, and on one of the trips there with my lady in NC the acorns were down, so the bears were out. While I don't want to kill a bear in any other circumstance, that's EXACTLY what I want to do should I be faced with a real threat, or a charging animal as you put it. So I took a pistol that would kill an aggressive black bear. It would be very sad to do that, but better him than me. I was faced with 2 very aggressive bears in 3 days.. too far in to call the trip. The situation didn't force me to have to use my weapon, but best believe I was ready to plug them both if they charged. The tool (non-HK in that instance) was always close by, and I felt comfort in the fact that I knew my weapon would stop an imminent threat permanently. I slept easy. Moreover, in my experience ask anyone who has to face critters regularly, say up in Alaska, and more often than not they fall in two categories: those who don't carry or wouldn't shoot an animal even if they were being pursued by one, and those who pack something big enough to kill what they expect to encounter. Back to the bear, chances of being attacked by one are pretty small unless you done messed up anyway and its too late, like inadvertently getting too close to one of their cubs. For that reason I don't shoot to intimidate (or piss them off depending on the mood), I shoot to kill. Just my opinion, but I'm passionate about the outdoors and am a big proponent of responsible outdoor carry and best hunting practices. I get all worked up about it! Just writing this makes me want to get out on a cold camping trip this weekend, so thanks for that.
Now to pack up my soapbox and make a recommendation. This doesn't sound like what you want to hear but what I recommend is to research on the lightest firearm you can feasibly use to kill what you expect to encounter and pack that, HK or not. We're lucky that throughout TX to the deserts and along the Tex Mex border 9mm could be okay depending on the terrain. Here I've brought a USPc with me for years, though I may try packing the VP9 one of these days. It's imperative to choose proper ammo.. you don't want a gold dot HP man stopper, you want penetration. However, I agree with you on the Redhawk, 44 mag is beyond overkill for the size of cats I have seen here. As someone else mentioned, 10mm is your friend in a lot of situations here in North America AND hunting loads are plentiful. You could run into some BIG game with more northern exposure, and 10mm could be inadequate. Good luck with your decision, and hopefully you never have to test out your choice! Also, for pistol carry I've gone to using a little zip up pack attached to my pack's waist belt that can accept a holster inside, so its right in front of me but looks like a snack pack and doesn't freak people out on the trail. It can also unattach and clip to my pants at camp.