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Old 04-06-07, 12:30 PM   #1
phinney
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Suggestions On How To Carry A Very Large Revolver?

With the kids and work all requiring more and more time I'm finding it tough to get in as much recreational time as I'd like. Last deer season I really didn't get enough trigger time going in and hope to change that this year. The problem is I just don't feel as good if I don't get in a certain amount of saddle time. What I normally like to do is get home from work and head out on a bike ride around the countryside. This is great but no trigger time. This year I'm thinking of bringing my deer hunting revolver along and hunting any varmints that I might see during my ride.

The revolver is large - A Ruger Super Redhawk in .44 mag, 7 1/2 inch barrel - and it's scoped. Way to large for my handlebar bag. In anticipation of this activity I restored my first mountain bike which is from the 80's and is actually a great frame for just tooling around. Very long and slow handling - almost feels like a tandem. Anyway, the bike turned out great and now I've just got to work out how to carry the gun.

I'm considering some type of pannier or maybe a rack trunk. I don't need instant access but it does need to be convenient as I expect to make several stalks a night on the chucks. Anybody doing anything similar? Any suggestions on how to carry the gun?
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Old 04-06-07, 12:33 PM   #2
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I was about to declare "troll," but see that you are from Western Michigan.

Don't you need a permit and for the animal to be in season? And where the heck would you put the animal once you've cleaned it, especially that a "deer hunting revolver" could take down?

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Old 04-06-07, 12:58 PM   #3
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Not a troll, just looking for some ideas. Don't usually eat the chucks (though they can be eaten) so no game to carry home. All legal with proper licenses, permits, and landowners permission. A .44 mag is pretty short range and low velocity anyway as varminters go but I may load it light for more shooting comfort. The point is really to use the same gun I'll be deer hunting with in the fall to get more used to it.

I don't have any recent experience with panniers and all the weight would be on one side. It's heavy as revolvers go - about 4 pounds for the gun alone.
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Old 04-06-07, 01:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phinney
I don't have any recent experience with panniers and all the weight would be on one side. It's heavy as revolvers go - about 4 pounds for the gun alone.
Balance it out with 4 pounds of marinating sauces and a can of sterno in the other pannier. Bingo! Instant roadside protein!

(sorry... trollish/flippant response from me, but it just seems really an odd thing to want to carry a weapon on a ride, especially one not for self defense purposes.)
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Old 04-06-07, 05:39 PM   #5
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i've carried an Encore singleshot with 12" barrel in a large cross shoulder holster;
i turn it so it is more on my back when riding, then move it to the front when
in the field. sort of like a messenger bag. i did try a messenger bag, but could not
get the firearm to sit in it just right. i suppose i could have sewn or rivited the holster
inside the messenger bag; perhaps that would have worked, but it may have been
considered a concealed weapon. ride on an empty chamber.
ps.
is this a type of "road hunting" ?
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Old 04-06-07, 06:01 PM   #6
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I knew I couldn't be the only one to do this! It just makes too much sense.

I do have a bandoleer holster that I use for deer hunting but I have to carry concealed on the road. I also want to be able to get some good exercise and I don't think a shoulder holster with enough clothes to conceal this thing would be comfortable on a hard ride. Right now I'm leaning toward a saddlebag and carrying the gun in a holster in the saddlebag. Seems like a rack trunk would ride a little rougher since the contents rest right on the rack rather than being suspended. Maybe a rack trunk with some foam in the bottom? Probably best if I take the gun to a bike shop and try the fit in some different bags.

Not so much road hunting as road spotting. I'm planning on riding until I see a chuck and then stalking to a good spot to take him from. Not a bad way to unwind after work but it will mostly help me get used to hunting with this revolver. I'm probably going to look for the lightest bullets I can find and load them to about the same ballistics as my deer load.
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Old 04-06-07, 07:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CyLowe97
I was about to declare "troll," but see that you are from Western Michigan.
Yeah, things are a little different in these parts.

How about a a messenger bag or backpack?
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Old 04-07-07, 05:15 AM   #8
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I would think a frame bag should work well for this.

Something like this:

http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...ku=6799&brand=

I would probably pad the sides with sheets of foam to protect the scope, and the bottom to protect the muzzle.

Last edited by CommuterRun; 04-07-07 at 05:23 AM.
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Old 04-07-07, 05:52 AM   #9
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I didn't think of a frame bag. It might not be big enough and from the picture I have to give up a water bottle but definitely worth checking out. If it works it will be a great solution. Thanks!
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Old 04-07-07, 06:37 AM   #10
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I checked out the Nashbar frame bag and it looks to be just a little too small. An inch larger in each principle dimension would do it. I ride a big frame so there should be plenty of room for a larger one. Any suggestions?

I could go with a messenger bag or backpack but I just don't like think it would be comfortable enough.
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Old 04-07-07, 08:13 AM   #11
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My thought would be to buy one of those metal pistol boxes. Make hard foam inserts to hold the gun securely and fasten the box onto a rack. One with a key lock would be nice. They used to be cheap.
One on just the side of the rack is OK, you can get used to it. Or up on top of the rack.

The 7.5 inch barrel might be tight, I fit a 6" S+W .44 in one.
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Old 04-07-07, 09:20 AM   #12
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Thanks 2many. That's actually the first thing I thought of. I have a dry box which is very similar to an ammo box but it's too big to work on the rack top and too small to hold this revolver. It's funny how big it is when trying to pack on a bike because it sure seems handy compared to a rifle. If I removed the scope it would all get much easier but my eyes and iron sights don't get along like they used to.
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Old 04-07-07, 10:06 AM   #13
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Carrying it openly though, just might reduce those "buzzings" by angry motorists

Flip side, it might make the police a bit nervous as well!

EDIT: How about a trunk bag? Put some inserts in it with a sculpted cavity to padd the pistol/scope properly for protection and this should also make for quite a bit of crash protection as well!
Quote:
Originally Posted by phinney
I knew I couldn't be the only one to do this! It just makes too much sense.

I do have a bandoleer holster that I use for deer hunting but I have to carry concealed on the road. I also want to be able to get some good exercise and I don't think a shoulder holster with enough clothes to conceal this thing would be comfortable on a hard ride. Right now I'm leaning toward a saddlebag and carrying the gun in a holster in the saddlebag. Seems like a rack trunk would ride a little rougher since the contents rest right on the rack rather than being suspended. Maybe a rack trunk with some foam in the bottom? Probably best if I take the gun to a bike shop and try the fit in some different bags.

Not so much road hunting as road spotting. I'm planning on riding until I see a chuck and then stalking to a good spot to take him from. Not a bad way to unwind after work but it will mostly help me get used to hunting with this revolver. I'm probably going to look for the lightest bullets I can find and load them to about the same ballistics as my deer load.
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Old 04-07-07, 11:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phinney
I checked out the Nashbar frame bag and it looks to be just a little too small. An inch larger in each principle dimension would do it. I ride a big frame so there should be plenty of room for a larger one. Any suggestions?

I could go with a messenger bag or backpack but I just don't like think it would be comfortable enough.
Bet'cha, if you look around, you could find a tailor or cobbler, or somebody that just likes to sew, that could make a frame bag to your specifications and material. There's not much to the design.
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Old 04-07-07, 06:36 PM   #15
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Some probably would give me a wider birth with a hulking stainless scoped .44 mag riding between my shoulder blades. I can hear the cell phones opening now.

The frame bag was a good idea but holding the gun in the frame it would have to be a very large bag. A custom one isn't too bad an idea. I could try to get my wife to use that expensive sewing machine I bought her - oops, better not go there.

I think I've come up with a pretty simple solution that might work well though. If I just attach a pistol case to the rear rack I think I'll be all set. Turns out MTM makes one that looks to be just the right size and uses a compression foam that should keep the gun from moving around at all. Still requires fabricating an attachment system but hopefully I can come up with something convenient. I bet the local woodchucks have no idea...



Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
Carrying it openly though, just might reduce those "buzzings" by angry motorists

Flip side, it might make the police a bit nervous as well!

EDIT: How about a trunk bag? Put some inserts in it with a sculpted cavity to padd the pistol/scope properly for protection and this should also make for quite a bit of crash protection as well!
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Old 04-07-07, 07:18 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phinney
The frame bag was a good idea but holding the gun in the frame it would have to be a very large bag. A custom one isn't too bad an idea. I could try to get my wife to use that expensive sewing machine I bought her - oops, better not go there.
I wouldn't recommend it. Besides the potential marital landmine, sewing things like tents, backpacks, panniers, and what you might be looking for takes different skillsets than more conventional, household sewing. Also, despite how much her sewing machine cost, chances are a heavy-duty, industrial machine would be necessary to sew the heavier materials such a case/bag would need.
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Old 04-08-07, 06:49 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phinney
Some probably would give me a wider birth with a hulking stainless scoped .44 mag riding between my shoulder blades. I can hear the cell phones opening now.

The frame bag was a good idea but holding the gun in the frame it would have to be a very large bag. A custom one isn't too bad an idea. I could try to get my wife to use that expensive sewing machine I bought her - oops, better not go there.

I think I've come up with a pretty simple solution that might work well though. If I just attach a pistol case to the rear rack I think I'll be all set. Turns out MTM makes one that looks to be just the right size and uses a compression foam that should keep the gun from moving around at all. Still requires fabricating an attachment system but hopefully I can come up with something convenient. I bet the local woodchucks have no idea...
That sounds perfect. You can drill and bolt any normal pannier mounting system to a hard box if you want to.
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Old 04-10-07, 08:14 PM   #18
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I've actually carried a large frame .45 auto in a rack pack like the Nashbar above, but wasn't happy with it. Even though the bag was bigger than that photo, the gun barely fit and it tended to tilt to one side and banged against my knee when riding.

Why not just toss the holstered gun in a daypack or large camelback?

Or, handlebar bag which would be quasi-suspended.
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Old 04-19-07, 09:00 AM   #19
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A bandolier with a 2-3XL T-shirt over the whole assembly would do just fine. Make it a Hi-Vis color so people can't stand to look at it up close and you'll be good to go.

Works pretty good with an M4 length AR as well.
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Old 04-20-07, 10:20 AM   #20
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Just out of curiosity...do you shoot the deer and just leave it there? No, I'm not against hunting, but leaving a dead deer on someone's property to rot and stink up the place seems a bit odd.

/from California and don't know any better.
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Old 04-26-07, 06:32 PM   #21
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When I'm out boar hunting with a scoped rifle, I sometimes carry my Ruger Super Blackhawk .44 as well. I use an Uncle Mikes shoulder rig to keep it handy but secure and out of the way. Works great - loops over both shoulders/arm pits and attaches to your pants belt on one side.

Looks something like this:



Or this might work:

http://www.unclemikes.com/adtemplate...catky2=2000326
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Old 04-27-07, 02:17 PM   #22
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You need a scope on your revolver to hunt woodchucks? That seems a bit overkill to me.

Anyways, I'd get a handlebar bag from Carradice and keep the revolver in its holster inside the bag. That way, it's easy to get to when you see a 'chuck by the road. Should be possible to secure the holster to the bag so the revolver doesn't end up pointing at you.

Even better, get a front basket and mount the holster to it on the inside next to the handlebars. Very secure. I like having a bag to keep debris/moisture off the weapon, though.

I have seen a rifle case attached to a front pannier and to the handlebars; for a Ruger .22

Another hunter carries his 7mm on his back while riding fire lanes. If he gets a deer, he rides back home for the atv.

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Old 04-30-07, 05:08 PM   #23
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Use a gun to go hunting! What's wrong wi' chasing 'em to exhaustion, strangling 'em wi' your bare hands, skinning 'em wi' your teeth, then ripping a still warm piece of liver out and eating it raw?

You young 'uns today are just big soft jessies.
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Old 05-04-07, 10:33 PM   #24
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I have got to say good choice on the firepower. I have a Super Blackhawk with 10.5 inch barell + 4X scope. 16 inches overall length, 6+ pounds loaded. I have never considered taking it on a ride.
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Old 05-04-07, 11:38 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mo'Phat
Just out of curiosity...do you shoot the deer and just leave it there? No, I'm not against hunting, but leaving a dead deer on someone's property to rot and stink up the place seems a bit odd.

/from California and don't know any better.
Ok, no. The OP is currently using the pistol to hunt woodchucks and random assorted varmints. He is using his deer gun, a large revolver in this case, so he is well practiced when deer season arrives. That is several months down the road. Contrary to TV and the movies, shooting a handgun well is not an easy task. Practice is a huge help in shooting well, practice is a difficult thing for the OP. He is taking his revolver along so he can shoot any woodchucks he sees. He is shooting the chucks because the holes they dig are potentially deadly. They can cause a tractor to flip and livestock can have their legs broken from falling in the holes.
The OP is likely using a handgun to hunt deer because the Michigan rifle season is rediculously short IIRC.
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