I learned a few lessons out on that long ass hike. Lesson one….getting old ain’t for pussies. Lesson two: heavy stuff sucks when you have to carry it.
Nothing I could do about number one, but I could sure as hell fix number two. That dirty bastard. I was hiking along, mile after mile, when I realized, HEY DUMBASS…(that’s Me) You aren’t as young as You used to be, this heavy Camelback water thingamajig sucks ass. Well, I can’t go without water, so I ignored that voice that kept calling Me a dumbass as long as I could. Eventually though, that voice said something that made a little sense. Hey Dickhead…(that’s Me again) That damned .45 You are carrying is heavier than a small foreign car. WTF Well, I had to give the voice it’s props there. Despite being a rude and abrasive sonofabitch, it had a point.
My Springfield Armory 1911-A1 was a fine piece of lead slinging hardware, but at 42 ounces unloaded, damn was that thing heavy.
It was heavy, & with an extra 8 round magazine, it was even worse. Now…a lot of hand wringing wussies about now are probably wondering why someone would need a .45 auto on a hike. Well smartass, I’m going to tell Ya.
The world is a tough place, & the back country of the Utah canyons is the toughest in the lower 48 states. If You go into that part of the country without a weapon, then You are taking Your life in Your hands. Everything in the desert wants to eat You or kill You. The most dangerous thing out there…? Other people. That’s right folks, other damned people. The back country of Utah is a perfect place for the criminal element to hang out, without the scrutiny of Law Enforcement. So yes, having a weapon is part of desert hiking. Get over it.
The Springfield Armory is a damn fine weapon other than being heavy as hell, & in reality, it’s no heavier that other 1911s of the same design. So a little research was in order.
What I found was by longtime gun maker Smith & Wesson. Smith has a line of 1911s out with an alloy frame made from Scandium. That is a metal mined in Russia that is added to aluminum to make is strong as hell. I looked them over at the LGS (Local Gun Store) & I liked what I saw.
Now at almost a pound lighter than the Springfield, this is the weapon to take on a hike.
Why not take a Glock You ask? Well to keep it simple…fuck Glock. Actually, Glock makes a damn fine weapon, & if that is what You choose to carry on a hike, then they will work just fine. I don’t care for the thickness of the Glock slide, & frankly, they are ugly, so I don’t own one.
OK, so I have shed the weight of that Springfield Armory .45, & have been on a few hikes since then, & let Me tell You, that weight loss made a hell of a difference. If You are looking at buying a weapon just for hiking, there are lots of good choices out there. Just do your research, & most of all, have fun, cause life is too fuckin short not to.