Sunday, September 05, 2010

*pop!* versus *BOOM!*

While I was out today, I saw some folks out walking dogs you could have put a saddle on. A couple of mastiffs, a great dane, and suchlike.

They were friendly puppies, but it made me suddenly start rethinking my choice of a .32 H&R Magnum revolver as my fanny pack/coat pocket gun while cycling. A 158gr LSWC-HP +P would have been a lot more comforting than a 100gr SJHP should Cujo have decided to go ballistic...


Anonymous said...


It was more than some. It was the Day of the Really Big Dog in Indy.

Had it not been an ordinance violation, I should have been carrying a .45 instead of a 9mm with Federal HST.

Shootin' Buddy

og said...

Y-You mean you can't just wiggle your fingers and make the dog back down like Croc Dundee?

Take it from me, a vicious BEAGLE can be a handful. A big dog is a whole nother deal. I reccomend a rolled up newspaper and a swat to the nose, and firmly say "Bad doggie! No walkies!!" That ALWAYS works. Especially on fight-trained pit bulls.

reflectoscope said...

200 pound dog, 200 pound person, one just has bigger teeth and a cleaner mouth.


Anonymous said...

My thought of many years ago - except Cujo was a 150 pound tom cougar at perhaps 15 feet and the High Standard nine shooter in my holster was not very comforting.

I traded it for a Model 10 - and now a model 57.


Anonymous said...

Hey, Tam.

Dogs are so vulnerable to pepper spray, all you need to do is spray some in the air in the direction away from them and they will take off running. And most will bolt at the sound of a gunshot unless trained otherwise.

Joseph said...

I figure I'm much more likely to run into a 200+lb aggressive male human than cujo. Either way, the farther north of .354 a caliber gets, the more comforting it is to me.

Keads said...

I love the .32 Long S&W revolver here, don't know if it is in the same camp as your H&R.

Do love the inscription on the revolver that says: "Remembrance of the girl I love" from 1963.

Eck! said...

30-30 Lever action gun does the trick.

Especially when they form up in packs.


Frank W. James said...

Having had some experience in the possibility you speak of...let me say, "Downward angle...head shot". Caliber and projectile heavy enough to penetrate, don't shoot early, about 5 t 6 feet out as they come in seems to work quite well.

Of course, there is no room for mistakes as the distance is so short because if you miss.....Well, I have never far....

All The Best,
Frank W. James

Buck said...

I'm upgrading to a .45 because too many folks that move here from the city think they have to own Cujo.

doubletrouble said...

Huh. I've never seen .30-30s form up in packs. I guess I've got some livin' to do...

Ed Foster said...

Do the French have smaller dogs? The Frogs had a double action only revolver 120 years ago called the 5.75mm Velo Dog, specifically to whack nasty puppies. I think it was anologous to the .22WMR.

The thought of a street full of Frenchmen on bicycles opening up on one nasty bulldog boggles the mind.

Bubblehead Les. said...

In all seriousness, remembering your previous posts about the trouble on your Bike trail, and you now mention the Large Dog Threat, I would not leave home w/o a large cap semi-auto pistol.

Yes, I loved my old Colt Cobra (aluminum frame Detective Special) with 158+P Nyclad Hollow Points ( no frame stretch, timing was good, hit to my point of aim), but in today's world, I choose to retire it to strictly a "Stash Gun" in the house, and have gone to a S+W Third Gen.4043 that I had laying around until I can find a pistol system that the wife and I both can use.

Dogs travel in Packs, Wolves travel in Packs, Goblins travel in Packs. "Six for Sure" just doesn't provide enough ammunition capacity for today's threats.

Won't start a "Flame War" over "9 vs. 45" or "My Sig can beat your Glock" or any of that malarky. You know what you can shoot, what caliber you like, what fits your hand best, etc. Just make sure that it has enough ammo to get you out of trouble if/when a Pack attempts to go after you. Revolvers just don't give you enough "cushion" for today's threats, and we don't live far enough in the Country to carry a long gun around w/o the SWAT Team being called on us.

Dead serious, start packing a semi.

Will said...

she's not packing the Govt .45auto due to it being unlawful to CCW on the trail there. She's going for very discrete carry, I think.

Tam, maybe consider a LtWt Officers or the even smaller 3" versions. Mine carries 7+1 with Mag-Pak kits.

STRONGLY suggest you not use your govt mags as backup. Guarantee you will overdrive it into the gun when under pressure, turning it into an expensive club. There are sleeves that fit govt mags for this purpose.

(anyone know what happened to Mag-Pack? Their follower design was the best for these short barrel 1911's.)

WV: wooffel...hmm, a dog with an accent

Don Meaker said...

Another approach is to have some solid/fmj rounds in your .32 accepting the smaller diameter to be more assured of penetration. Not the best approach, but something.

Friend of mine was going pig hunting in CA, and I suggested to him to carry a pistol side arm. The only sidearm he had was a .40 small and weak. I suggested he carry fmj bullets. In the event, he ended up using it, and it did ok, penetrating well enough, but he did get to use a finishing shot with his .300 Magnum.

Anonymous said...

As Frank mentioned, best to be close and shooting down into the skull. Imagine two invisible lines drawn from left ear to right eye and visa-versa. About an inch towards the back of the skull is the sweet spot for turning rover or miss piggy into cold cuts or a Korean buffet selection. Folks use .22LR for this all the time.

Don, if your handgun is your backup for pigs, 9mm 124 gr Gold Dots works fine for either the previously mentioned shot or the ear-to-ear shot. As 180 gr .40 bullets have the same sectional density as 147 gr 9mm bullets (and 230 gr .45s), obviously the .40 would work mo'better. No need to think that pigs have kevlar hide.

Al T.

Anonymous said...

"Imagine two invisible lines drawn from left ear to right eye and visa-versa. About an inch towards the back of the skull"

Should have added:
"from the intersection of those two lines"

"is the sweet spot"

Sorry about that.....

George said...

Whatever happened to Velo-Dog?

Gewehr98 said...

.45-70 Magnum Research BFR. My 100lb fat-ass lapdawg would probably only flinch were it swatted by a .32 H&R Magnum, and he's small potatoes compared to what I've seen running around on leashes in public.

Lazy Bike Commuter said...

That sounds like a familiar internal debate. The only time I've pulled my carry gun was when a very angry German Shepherd came after me when I was biking. Got my bike between the dog and myself and eventually managed to get him to back off and go back to the trailer he lived in, but I was ready to put one in him if he'd come any closer.

9x8 double stack Makarov w/Barnaul JPH in a fanny pack. Sadly, this is still my only carry gun since I haven't yet been able to save up for the XD 45 that I really want.

Chas S. Clifton said...

I'll be a little contrarian here and second Anonymous 10:10.

"Bear spray" works quite well on dogs. I used it once on a large, aggressive dog who had bitten one person and was going after me.

It changed his outlook in a hurry, and he wanted nothing more to do with us.

Probably fewer legal and interpersonal ramifications too, if it came to that.

For two-legged problems, you can resume your discussion of guns and calibers. :-)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I gotta say most of the large dogs, esp great danes, are fearsome looking when excited, but if you stand your ground and say "NO, BAD Dog", the majority will stop & look confused.

Of course in some neighbourhoohs that won't work, you know where they are.

I had a great dane come after my bike once. I stopped. Gave him the "no! thing", said nice words and pedaled off with him following me sedately, when I got him home, I gave him some water ( he drank like a gallon) , and a bowl of leftovers - he was looking peckish; and called the number onthe collar. The owners came by and gratefully picked him up.

He had gotten lost the night before and was quite thrilled to see his owner.

John said...

Some canine fact; their nose is several mega-pixels more attuned to scent than ours. Since you are in an environment where explaining a pistol shot could be an expensive proposition, why not take advantage of its vulnerability?

Pepper spray, or gel, can be carried without a huge regard for concealment. I'm no expert on the assorted delivery systems, potency, and containers. I'd guess you prolly have a fair comparative knowledge,or know where to find said info.

In the Indy urban enviro, with an Auntie-crazoid city administration, a gunhot to someone's beloved fangoid monster might be avoided -- and most likely will be avoided -- by a properly delivered dose [and repeat] to the face of the drooling snarler. Then give the dog one, too.[note: humor attempt]

Jus' sayin'. I got little monies for lawyers, and would prefer to save it, unless it gets justifiably scared right out of pocket and into my hand. Then it becomes money spent.

Good luck, from a bikie that has had his share of canine encounters, including a once-upon-a-time set of junkyard dogs, that eventually came to learn a lasting fear.

Anonymous said...

+1 on using spray. Bear spray, pepper spray, whatever. One puff in the air in any direction and all dogs within 30 yards will hightail it out of there. Why risk a criminal record to conceal carry the wrong weapon when the right weapon is both legal and much more effective?

John said...

PS. A good bike shop may even have some pepper spray,since it's sorta PC for even Liberal bikies.

I'd get the meanest, nastiest cop-shop, longest range, large container stuff I could find, tho. And mount it right on the bars.

Dr. StrangeGun said...


.32S&W Long brass, loaded to .32mag OAL with a heavy (slow) convex-faced wadcutter of the softest possible lead cast around a zinc or hard lead alloy 'rod' possibly square or triangular/cruciform, and an inverted copper 'gas cup' that covers the base, and possible also a bearing ring midways towards the nose... labor intensive, I know.

What I'm getting at is something heavy enough to penetrate at low speeds, soft enough to gain some expansion in soft materials, and of a sufficient hardness in that internal structure to "cleave" a struck bone and possibly maintain enough energy to push the broken sections aside and continue, while being overall strong enough to not deform in flight or smear itself all over your rifling...

Actually, just had another idea for something along similar ballistic lines that would be completely wicked and much easier to produce, but I need to sit on it for a bit to consider it's viability.

Crucis said...

Perhaps it was fortunate I left you some Buffalo Bore .38s to play with. Now, go fit them to a compatible wheelgun.

aczarnowski said...

I love seeing the big dogs romping at the dog park. They always seem extra "big kid" like and put a smile on my face every time.

Maybe it's because it takes a dedicated owner to house, walk, feed and take to the park an animal that big. Aggressive dogs are mostly owner problems IMO, and the big dogs don't map to bad owners as much in my experience.

+1 to the spray tactics with an aggressive canine. Unless you have to remove the problem, i.e. Frank, spray near'em. With their senses of smell, a pepper dose has got to be debilitating and won't bring the sirens. Only down side is where does a person find a spot in the already loaded pockets to carry yet one more item?

Montie said...

Being a dog lover, it pains me to admit that I had to shoot a couple of dogs early in my LE career that were in full charge and very aggressive. both went down immediately from center chest hits with .45 ACP JHP's. since we started carrying pepper gas, I have not had to shoot a dog that was in the process of attacking me.

I will say that with enough aggression training, some dogs can shake off the effects rather more quickly than most can. I once had to repeatedly pepper gas a pit-bull which was chained in the backyard of a drug dealer's house we were serving a search warrant on, as I was doing backdoor watch.

I sprayed the dog upon rounding the corner of the house as he came after me. he ran as far away as his chain would allow and began rubbing his face in the grass. A few minutes later he was up and after me again and I had to spray him again. This went on two more times before he gave up. Most dogs only want one dose.

when I walk my dogs, I always carry pepper gas as well as a handgun in case we run into loose dogs in the neighborhood (but then I always carry both anyway, 25 years of police work has taught me that intermediate force weapons are very much more likely to be used than deadly force).

Matt G said...

I agree that the airweight J-frame or analogous resolver with 158g LSWCHP or LSWC is an optimum for concealment, penetration, and oomph, for what you're doing. I have been hassling you about your little bitty .32 (for which you have an unusually sentimental affection for) love for years. :)

I've had even smallish dogs try to come after me, which makes no sense to me; I border on gigantic. The majority of them have been packed up. I do NOT want to have to put multiple rounds into dogs in that circumstance. I want to put the front sight on the near Alpha, press the trigger, and move to the next dog's center mass.

While a CNS hit is of course optimum, I find that dogs move so fast and that the situation is so dynamic, you really want to aim for C.O.M., when the time arrives that a dog must be shot. Fortunately this usually gives you the lovely earth as a backstop.

Still, you do practice with your treinta bore, which puts you well ahead of the rest.

John B said...

I have been followed home by other people's 'faithful friends'. Only time I ever got grumbled at, was when the dog felt he was defending his persons, and property. I'm much more likely to harm the owner than the dog. If you need much more than .32 H&R, you're over obsessing. After all, the euro police used .32 for half a century until everyone got allowed to use the 'military' 9mm.

WV=conski bad Russian for Parolee?

John B said...

@Matt G. when the dogs come after you, are you wearing the uniform? They DID come after me when I drove for Domino's. A uniform does something to their attitudes.

Bram said...

I had a bullmastiff for years (our mastiff puppy comes home next month).

He was an excellent judge of character. Meet him on the street with a good attitude and it was play time. Meet us with bad intentions - as the bum hiding in our carport tried on my wife - and it is go-time. In that case, I suggest an immediate retreat - from the dog and his master.

Mike said...

I once saw a St. Bernard take 5 from a .38 and 3 rounds of buckshot before it went down. I'd look for an officers or micro .45

tickmeister said...

I've had to shoot a few dogs as I get a lot of dumps where I live and I can't keep all of them. A 22 in the top of the head is usually good. Had to shoot a Lab that had lost 2 feet to a mower once and three shots didn't do it, had to get the 357. Labs have astonishingly thick skulls and small brains. Nice dogs, just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

Finally got a Crimson Trace laser grip for my Taurus .357mag titanium snubbie, a 651 Protector. Stoked with Winchester Partition Gold 180gr pills, I don't worry about not getting enough penetration on doggies.

I bought that snubbie for the purpose of carrying while doing sweaty exercise and dealing with large critters.

Matt G said...

Anonymous at 12:57: No one could ever claim that you're aching to get into a shootout, with that load/gun setup. I would fall on my knees and BEG my assailants to leave me alone, rather than fire a cylinder full of that fast out of a super-lightweight. :|

John B: Sometimes I have been, sometimes not. Lately, I've been having dogs come snarling up at me while I'm just walking about in mufti.

tickmeister: As I'm sure you're aware, there's a HUGE difference between just putting a dog down (.22 LR behind the ear is often sufficient), and stopping the charge of an aggressive animal. (12 ga to center mass is sometimes insufficient.) In addition to having to shoot at a more dynamic target when your own adrenaline is dumping, under a major time constraint, there's the fact that the critter's own blood chemistry is not in "lay down and go dead" mode.

Will said...

One potential problem I see is small women with very large dogs. If you are not strong enough to pick up the dog, or at least drag it backwards while it does it's best to go the other way, you have no business having it.

There was a case in SF years ago where a woman had two BIG dogs in the hallway of her apt house. Just returning from a walk, IIRC. One of the dogs decided to attack a woman opening her apt door to go inside. The dog killed her because the dog owner couldn't pull the dog off her. (This was not a fast death, it took many minutes for the dog to maul her to the point of death.)

They lost everything in a civil suit, she went to prison, and her husband may also have gone there as an accessory(?) to harboring a vicious animal (he wasn't present at the attack).

If you can't physically control the dog, you had better have pepper spray and a gun on you to give you a chance to stop it. Court precedent says you WILL control it, or pay severe penalties.

Anonymous said...

I saw a lady walking her black and white Great Dane around the apartment yesterday (yes, there are people in my apartment complex with Great Danes and St. Bernards), which I immediately mistook for a cow.

I then wondered how many of those plastic poop bags she had to carry around with her for when that thing did its business.