Better late than never.
I waited until the next to the last weekend of the season here to have some deer hunting success. I'd been itching to use the Smith & Wesson Model 57 .41 Magnum that I picked up late last year. I wasn't going to bother with shooting this doe with a rifle that I also had along when she was farther out, but when she came toward the blind and got within handgun range the .41 Magnum was poked out the window and a bullet was sent her way, hitting just behind the right shoulder at a bit over 30 yards. Load used was a Sierra 220 grain Silhouette bullet over a warmish charge of Hodgdon H110 giving a muzzle velocity a bit over 1360 fps.
This bullet is effectively a half-jacketed semi-wadcutter and possesses no hollow point. It cult a .41 hole through hide and a rib upon entrance and left a larger exit hole, also hitting a rib. The photo was taken of the deer lying as I first walked up. The exit hole was larger than expected, using such a bullet. A bit of lung tissue was lying on the ground behind where she was standing when the bullet struck and she was completely bled out inside the body cavity with both lungs sustaining severe damage. What was really nice though was the fact that there was no massive bloodshot meat. When I skinned her out and cut her up it was discovered that one could eat "right up to the hole." Since "the hole" was through ribs it really didn't matter though. A bullet from a high-powered rifle can still spoil a portion of shoulder with the same shot placement due to bruised, bloodshot meat.
I was enthused about the shot placement and the cartridge's effectiveness. The small deer did hunker down and go into a mad run for a short distance but was really dead on her feet. About 20 years ago I shot a larger doe from about 20 yards with a .44 Magnum using a Sierra 240 grain JHP with a muzzle velocity of 1480 fps. The shot placement was exactly the same but on that occasion the deer ran a long distance (150+ yards), all of it through thick underbrush, giving me a merry time trailing her. Exit hole wasn't nearly as impressive. Maybe the hollow point didn't open up and just slipped through? I always wondered.
From inside the confines of a small box stand, the .41 Magnum gave a throaty bark and the pungent odor of burned H110 immediately filled the stand. I didn't notice how loud it sounded at the time but, after field dressing the deer, I had a few more hours to hunt so got back in the stand. After sitting for an hour or so my left ear suddenly set up a constant ring for perhaps 5 minutes. After this subsided I noticed no more ill effects.
Here's a link to the revolver used on Saturday.
New Pistole: An Itch, Well Scratched.