Deer Hunting with a Handgun - Page 2

Deer Hunting with a Handgun

This is a discussion on Deer Hunting with a Handgun within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Originally Posted by atctimmy Both of my friends use a Burris fast fire. they are very pleased. Thanks, I will check them out this weekend ...

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  1. #16
    Ex Member Array Kerby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    Both of my friends use a Burris fast fire. they are very pleased.
    Thanks, I will check them out this weekend at the gun show....


  2. #17
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    I've taken four deer with handguns. Two with .38 Special revolvers and two with a .44 Magnum Model 29. Use of the .38 Special was a bit of a stunt but it works with good hits.

    One deer, shot with a .38 Special and a 200 grain lead bullet over a heavy charge of powder, was shot at 17 yards and took a few wobbly steps and collapsed. The bullet didn't exit but damaged the top of the heart and a lung. It was wedged sideways in a rib on the off side.

    The other .38 Special shot deer was 30 yards out and was shot through the heart broadside. It was a doe and upon being struck, went into a strange rocking lope for 40 yards in a semi-circle then fell over kicked at the sky and expired. The factory Winchester +P 158 grain bullet exited, the wound giving no indication of expansion.

    I used a Smith & Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum on a doe, firing a heavily loaded 240 grain Sierra jacketed hollow point through both lungs on a broadside shot at 15 yards. The doe sagged to the ground for an instant but recovered enough to run down a steep hill for perhaps 60 yards before piling up in heavy brush.

    A buck was taken at 30 yards with the .44 Magnum using the same Sierra 240 grain handload, the bullet striking him in the neck as he was facing me and exiting just above the juncture with his back. He sat down hard on his haunches and flopped over.

    For deer here in Texas, any straight-walled Magnum revolver cartridge is appropriate as are the .44 Special and .45 Colt, properly loaded. I have friends and relations who have all done well with these revolvers. The .45 ACP can be a good choice too and the 10mm looks suitable as well.

    One cousin took a buck a few years back using an 8 3/8-inch Smith & Wesson Model 25 .45 Colt handloaded with a 250 grain lead semi-wadcutter and a stiff charge of Unique. The deer had come to a stock tank and was drinking. The bank was steep as it was on the side of the dam. At the shot, the deer fell forward into the water and my cousin had to wade to retrieve him.

    My brother-in-law has taken four deer and a mouflon ram with a full-sized 1911 .45 ACP with good results.

    My nephew made quite a decent shot on a whitetail buck 2 years ago, hitting it on the point of the shoulder at 70 yards with a Ruger Super Blackhawk .44 magnum loaded up with a 245 grain lead SWC and dropping it in its tracks.

    All the deer above were taken with open sights.
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  3. #18
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    While a 1911 in .45 ACP can be used for deer at close range, it was never designed nor intended for big game hunting. Yes, you could use it, but should you?

    If your intent is to hunt with a handgun, I'd suggest getting one that is more suitable, particularly in caliber. The Norweigens use the Glock 10mm for protection against polar bears (braver than I!), so there's no doubt it would be good for deer. Cousins use a .22 mag to kill black bears. I had a Ruger Blackhawk in .41 Mag that dropped a caribou like a sack of bricks at 50 yds. Like Glockman said, deer aren't particularly tough, and a well-placed shot in many calibers will do the job. Offhand, I'd say anything in .357 Mag up should be sufficient within reasonable range. There's many handguns in both semi and revolver that are suitable.
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  4. #19
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    I'd suggest that if you need to use a red dot or scope, you are out of handgun range for a clean kill.
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  5. #20
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    My preference is a Redhawk 5.5 inch barrel in 44 mag. I shoot 240gr JSP bullets for both hogs and deer. I use open sights and make sure that I am comfortable with the distances I am shooting. I don't hunt out of a stand in general, usually walking through sometimes pretty think East Texas brush.

    The only compelling argument I can make for a Ruger over your prefered S&W is that the Redhawks, Super Redhawks, and Blackhawks are built much heavier than the S&W in the mid caliber guns, .357 thru .44 mags. The 460-500 are a different thing.

    One question about barrel length. Does Ohio count the cylinder? I know in WI cylinder length is included in the barrel length, so a 4 inch GP100 for instance is going to be measured as 5.75 in barrel and a 5.5 inch Redhawk is measured as 7.25 inch barrel. I am not suggesting that you look for shorter barrel length just that you are sure what they are measuring.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by farronwolf View Post
    . One question about barrel length. Does Ohio count the cylinder? I know in WI cylinder length is included in the barrel length, so a 4 inch GP100 for instance is going to be measured as 5.75 in barrel and a 5.5 inch Redhawk is measured as 7.25 inch barrel. I am not suggesting that you look for shorter barrel length just that you are sure what they are measuring.
    That is a good question. I will find out the answer. I prefer the looks of the 4" gun and if the cylinder counts, it could work. Thanks.
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  7. #22
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    I have taken two Bucks here in Vermont with A Ruger Redhawk .44 Mag. This year I went out with a glock 20 10mm but unfortunately had no luck (had to cut the season short for out of town work.) Handgun hunting is a blast and can be VERY challenging and rewarding.

    I also have considered using a .357 so I picked up some 180 grain Buffalo bore rounds but opted for the 10mm this season. If you think 158 grain rounds are a handfull try the 180 grain LFNGC buffalo bore rounds THEY are a handful!!
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  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adkjoe View Post
    I also have considered using a .357 so I picked up some 180 grain Buffalo bore rounds but opted for the 10mm this season. If you think 158 grain rounds are a handfull try the 180 grain LFNGC buffalo bore rounds THEY are a handful!!
    I am sure that is true, but in a 640 with a 2.125" barrel, I think I will pass. The 640 shoots .38 spcl like a .22 and handles Golden Saber 125 grain .357 rounds with ease, but the 158 grain hunting loads are no fun. They would probably be OK in a 627 which would also probably handle the BB 180 grain rounds, but with a bit more kick.
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  9. #24
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    .357 is the minimum. Deer are not hard to kill, if hit perfectly. That means broadside, or quartering away. Unless you have a heavier bullet sufficiently driven to penetrate on a less than perfect hit, like the scapula. Hard to consistently make perfect hits on perfectly still targets... Do the deer a favor and dispatch them humanely with a well placed round like a 210 gr from a .41 mag or larger. That way when you get that 65yd shot, its a no brainer.
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  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by farronwolf View Post
    My preference is a Redhawk 5.5 inch barrel in 44 mag. I shoot 240gr JSP bullets for both hogs and deer. I use open sights and make sure that I am comfortable with the distances I am shooting. I don't hunt out of a stand in general, usually walking through sometimes pretty think East Texas brush.

    The only compelling argument I can make for a Ruger over your prefered S&W is that the Redhawks, Super Redhawks, and Blackhawks are built much heavier than the S&W in the mid caliber guns, .357 thru .44 mags. The 460-500 are a different thing.

    One question about barrel length. Does Ohio count the cylinder? I know in WI cylinder length is included in the barrel length, so a 4 inch GP100 for instance is going to be measured as 5.75 in barrel and a 5.5 inch Redhawk is measured as 7.25 inch barrel. I am not suggesting that you look for shorter barrel length just that you are sure what they are measuring.
    Farronwolf - I have done some checking around and called the legal team at the ODNR. Ohio law does not define how to measure a barrel in a revolver (or an auto-loader for that matter). The lawyers suggested erring on the long side to be sure I am legal - good advice under the current law. I have fired off a letter to my state rep to see about clarifying this to conform to the WI law - thanks for the info. I included a copy of the WI pdf regulations to help him out. This ought to be clarified for the 2015 hunting season...
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  11. #26
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    Ruger Super Redhawk with a 7 1/2 inch barrel is my choice. .44 Mag for the most part and for a change, .454 Casull is my choice lately.
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  12. #27
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    Since you are considering the S&W 627 and 629, which are both going to cost significant money, I think that there is another option that you could consider.

    I don't hunt with a handgun myself, but if I did, it would be with a Thompson Center Encore. They have a long 15 inch barrel, and thus a long sight radius too, which would be a help in accuracy. And it is very simple to add either a scope or a red dot sight to the gun. The stainless model generally sells for around $700. Certainly a new 629 or 627 is going to cost you that much or even more.




    If you are serious about getting into handgun hunting, it would also offer the advantage of being able to quickly and easily change calibers by simply swapping out the barrel. You could get barrels in .223 Remington and 17 HMR, for example, for hunting smaller game. For Deer hunting, the Encore in .308 Winchester or 7mm-08 would be far superior to any pistol cartridge. Much flatter shooting, and way more energy.

    Even the best revolver will not be able to come close to an Encore for accuracy, either. The Encore's trigger is superb, too.

    I'm too much of a rifle hunter to ever consider handgun hunting. But if I did, I would want a handgun with rifle like capabilities, like the Encore has.

    There is really no limit to the game that one can hunt with an Encore. It is even available in .416 Rigby caliber, and has been used to take Elephants in Africa.

    And every type of big game in North America has been taken with it too:




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  13. #28
    Member Array ken45's Avatar
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    When you buy a revolver, the manufacturer species it as a "4 inch" or whatever. I would assume that would be the same definition here in Ohio.

    I don't do much deer hunting but my last one was taken with a Super Redhawk with iron sights and a 300 gr SWC handload.

    Ken

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