By Chuck Papp, Contributing Writer
A lot of people take to the outdoors not just to hunt. Fishing, camping, hiking, mountain biking or just to be out there. One of the questions that has come up in some articles recently is should you be armed when you go out there. That is one you must answer yourself. The Federal Park System has allowed concealed carry to individuals for a while as long as you have a carry permit in your state and if there is a Federal Park in your state. The same goes for state and county parks as well. If you do choose to carry a handgun there are more than a few to choose from. Now, remember you are carrying for personal protection not hunting. Where you live will also dictate what you may need. We don’t have any 1,200 pound brown bears walking around South Florida, so we will be realistic for this part of the country.
For a revolver, a Smith and Wesson 686 with a 3 inch barrel in 357 is near perfect. Weight is very manageable; its stainless steel construction makes it perfect for the environment and ease of maintenance. If you don’t want one that heavy, then the next would be a Smith and Wesson model 60 with a 3 inch barrel. It holds one less round, 5 instead of 6, but it’s smaller size may be more beneficial to some.
In the pistol department, a Glock is what you need. The Glock pistol is probably used by more state game agencies than any other one out there. For the “woods” where you may need it against something on 4 legs instead of 2, I would stay away from the 9mm and go with either a .40 or .45. If you want something with a bigger round, then try the 10mm. If a .40 is what you are looking for, it would be the Glock 23, .45 try the model 21, and finally in the 10mm category, you should look at the model 20.
There are also a variety of outdoor holsters available so you will need to see what fits your needs and go with it.
When out in the wilderness, your protection is your responsibility, no one else’s. 911 can’t dispatch help that will be there in 10 minutes, so you are on your own. If you are out there with your family, their protection falls onto you as well. Taking a medical wilderness survival course should also be on your list before you wander into the great outdoors. Learn first aid and basic survival skills, you never know what may happen out there. Stay safe and be prepared.
Chuck Papp, Manager
Delray Shooting Center • (561) 265-0700