Just a little gun-geekery here. I like to hike and camp-out as often as I can manage (which recently has been not-at-all), but when switching from a populated environment to a rustic one safety concerns can change. Camping out in the woods or hiking a mountain trail changes the potential dangers. While there’s always a chance of encountering a dangerous person on a trail and at a campsite (and many many documented cases thereof) suddenly 4-legged predators become an issue. Around here its more geekery than anything as probably the most aggressive predator is the Coyote, which are neither big nor tough animals. Rutting bull Moose have been known to hurt people as well which is a VERY large threat, but from what I hear overall easy to avoid. In the middle we have the Black bear, which is also not terribly aggressive, nor impressively large, but attacks are not unheard of, and while they are hardly as impressive as their brown cousins to the west, they are VERY tough animals. I was told a story by a trapper who had dropped a snared sow with a single .357 Magnum round between the eyes. He then left the trip line to retrieve his ATV to haul off the carcass, when returning he found the bear had come back to life. Seems the magnum slug had flattened out against the dome of her thick skull only giving her a nasty concussion, but doing nothing fatal.
Of course there is nothing in this mix that my FAL or my 12 gauge loaded with slugs couldn’t handle….and in a pinch several well-placed shots from a 7.62×39 AK or SKS would likely dissuade a bear or moose. But when I’m hiking I really don’t want to lug around a big long-gun for the off chance that I get between a sow and her cubs, or stumble into a bull-moose rut, or somebody leaves some food out at a campsite and the raiding bear gets aggressive. And while I did document a while back a store where a person dropped a Grizzly with 9 shots from a .45 ACP handgun (I assume a 1911 like what I normally carry) In such dire circumstances I’d prefer a little more gun.
I will say I do have a shine for such uses to the Ruger Alaskan in .454 Casull preferentially. Its not as comically huge as the S&W X-Frame Revolvers, still holds a full 6-rounds in the wheel, and while .454 doesn’t quite pair up with .500 Magnum, or .460 Magnum, its a really stout cartridge.
That being said a wiki-wander had me stumble upon the .460 Rowland While not quite the stump-puller the .454 Casull is, its a REALLY stout round, and on top of that it can be used in most .45 ACP platform guns with minor modifications, also .45 ACP loading dies can be used to load up cartridges. Throw this on top of the fact that there is a conversion kit for the S&W M&P45, the kit nearly doubles the price of the gun, but man the idea of 10+1 rounds of magnum-power .45 ACP in a rock-solid platform like the M&P…hmmm Also I dunno where they hid it on their site but they do have a picture of the kit.
Just a pipe-dream at this point, but given that ammo prices and availability are on-par with .454 Casull, the price of a NIB M&P+ Conversion kit is about the same as a NIB Ruger Alaskan. 10+1 vs. 6, and the fact that the M&P can be converted to .45 ACP, vs. the Casull dropping down to .45 Colt, I’m starting to see this as a potentially VERY viable gun to add to my collection…