Using a 5" or longer barrel, what would be the caliber of choice, for deer?
(All shots taken will be inside 50 yards.) (Semi-auto pistols ONLY.)
Your opinions and experience is appreciated.
Thank you, Bowhunter57
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August 11, 2006, 12:12 AM
I'm sure there are other folks here with better experience. But at 50 yards or so, with a semi, I wouldn't recommend anything smaller than a 45acp. That's assuming you'd like a stock caliber. I've never shot nor seen a FiveSeveN or a 357 SiG, but they might do the job too. If you're into something slightly more exotic, get a .50 desert eagle. They're quite accurate enough for the job, too. Or a .45 magnum.. I don't recall the official name for it, but the guy at my local shop had one. Looked like a beefed-up 1911.
Pops used to say you could kill a deer with a 38 snub if you had to.. but he always carted that 30-06 into the sticks each year :)
August 11, 2006, 12:47 AM
I know there are guys that get into it who will disagree with me, but as an experienced deer hunter and a .45ACP owner, I'd be really uncomfortable shooting a deer at anything over 25 or 30 yards with a .45. You'd need a near-perfect shot to be certain of a quick kill at any distance further than that. It could be done, but I don't like the odds much.
I guess if having an automatic was that big of a deal, I'd probably go for a Desert Eagle like PJ suggested. Or maybe one of those High Standard Automag III's in .30 Carbine. Either way, you'd be shelling out a ton of cash. You'd probably save money buying yourself a good .45ACP auto to carry, and a revolver for hunting.
August 11, 2006, 08:26 AM
Thank you for the replies, gentlemen! :)
I believe the "45 Magnum" you're refering to is the 45 Winchester, which is no longer in production. :banghead: However, I do know of individuals that have hunted deer successfully with that caliber.
I agree with your accessment of the lack of power in the 45 acp, at anything past what I would call "bowhunting yardages". Ofcourse, shot placement is everything.
Good hunting, Bowhunter57
August 11, 2006, 09:24 AM
I plan on going deer hunting this year with my Glock 20. I know of several people (Uncle Ted included) who reliably take deer and other big game with good 10mm loads.
Like you said though shot placement is everything. If you were really good and it was legal I would not feel uncomfortable taking a 45ACP deer hunting.
August 11, 2006, 10:37 AM
One caliber stands out above the rest....10mm. I'd not bother with .45ACP, too weak. You can pump it up around 550 ft lbs in +P which should take deer to 50 yards, but it's awful weak. Forget about .45ACP in non-+P, you're talkin' sub 400 ft lbs. That's pretty marginal even on humans IMHO, but you have to make concessions in concealment. The 10, out of a normal handgun, can push near 800 ft lbs, an auto cartridge equal to the .357 magnum.
Of course, the Desert Eagle is an auto pistol, has scope mounts, is very accurate, and comes in .44 mag and .50AE. It's a huge handgun, but it's a handgun and an autoloader at that.
Me, I'll take a revolver or my contender, thanks.
August 11, 2006, 10:58 AM
The .38Super would be my "bottom" choice. Using a 124gr bullet or heavier, with good shot placement you'll do "OK".
Steve Camp has used "similar" loadings in a 9mm to do the same things. However, firearms were 5-6" "MATCH" pistols capable of far better accuracy than your run of the mill "self defense" pistol.
I have used the .40S&W with equal performance to the 10mm, though "paper ballistics" would seem to indicate that the 10mm is somewhat more gun.
BUT; SHOT PLACEMENT IS CRITICAL
So, keep the shots close.
My "muzzle loading rifle" load is actually quite close to a "hot" .45acp load. I use a Hensley and Gibbs #68 style Semi-Wad-Cutter match style bullet (Lee 205gr bevel-base SWC .452") sized to .450 and seated in a MMP .50/.45 Sabot over 70-80gr of either Pyrodex or Hod. #777.
I have killed several deer with it. Longest shot however has been ~35yds. Easy with a reciever sighted 24" bbl muzzleloading rifle.
August 11, 2006, 06:03 PM
No way can you get out of a .40 what you can do with a 10. The 10, in a good hot load, can push 750+ ft lbs out of a 5 inch barrel. The .40 is done a little over 500.
My muzzle loader has a 20 inch barrel, yet pushes a 385 grain minie at 1200+ fps. I wouldn't fire a .45ACP that hot in MY gun, can tell ya that!:eek: A sabot 240 grain .44 bullet is hoppin' along at 1400+ fps, closer to .44 mag than any ACP anything.
August 11, 2006, 07:53 PM
10mm, 44mag, or .50AE
August 11, 2006, 09:02 PM
10mm. It's what gets dinner.
August 11, 2006, 09:56 PM
10mm. It's what gets dinner.More correctly, it kills what's for dinner
August 11, 2006, 10:05 PM
What about a 45 Super or 460 Roland? Of course 10mm is much more available.
August 12, 2006, 11:28 AM
A silly question. I have a 1847 Walker reproduction in blackpowder. Can it be used for hunting and what would one hunt with it.
August 12, 2006, 12:01 PM
Sure, a Walker can kill deer out to 50 yards so long as it's accurate enough. I'd shoot conicals in it. I have an Old Army I've yet to carry for hunting, but I have faith in it to stop a deer at short range and it's not as powerful as a Walker. I've yet to send that gun off to have the cylinders bored and get a taller front sight on it. I need to do that. I'm planning to use it for backup to my Hawkin while hog hunting.
August 13, 2006, 09:41 AM
dragongoddess and MCgunner,
Check your state's regulations for black powder handgun usage. Texas may allow it, but Ohio does NOT and is always the last one to get on the wagon with gun laws, hunting regulations, etc. :banghead:
A Colt Walker has enough powder behind it to get the job done, inside 50 yards. I've always wanted to own one.....a reproduction, not an original. :)
Good hunting, Bowhunter57
August 13, 2006, 11:14 AM
Semi-auto's do not offer the choice selection found with revolvers. Desert Eagle, Grizzly, Wildey, Automag, and few 10mm's would be the prefered ones. I wouldn't be inclined to endorse .45ACP or the .40's unless you're hunting those dog sized Southern deer.
I've used both the Desert Eagle and 10mm (below) for hunting Whitetails (12), Mulies (3), and Antelope (4).
Texas does allow taking deer with BP revolvers, and stipulates powder charges that pretty much limit this to Walkers and repro's. This was several years ago, but can't imagine much has changed in a couple years.
August 14, 2006, 12:56 AM
Advise checking regulations on centerfire use as well as BP. In MN, muzzleloading is restricted to long guns. For CF pistols, they have to be at least .23 cal (i.e. no .22; 6 mm or up) and 1.285" case length (.357/.44 mag lengths), with a few stipulated exceptions. The exceptions do include the 10 mm, and I believe the .45 Win Mag as well.
August 23, 2006, 04:01 AM
I don't intend to use any kind of pistol for deer hunting except as backup, but I'd like to see what my CZ52 would do with a good hollowpoint load. I fired a fmj round nose bullet through 5 inches of oak lumber backed by a St. Louis yellow pages. The bullet was 3 inches into the yellow pages. A good expanding hollowpoint coming out of that thing at 1500-1600 fps ought to do the job. But I don't think I'll be taking a first shot with it with what I've done with my 30-06. Last deer I shot with my rifle I shot twice, one heart and one lung. He ran about 75 yards uphill. I'm sure the first shot would have done the job eventually, but I've seen too many twig deflections, angle miscalculations, and just bad juju to take a chance on wounding a deer with a pistol. I'm not being critical of people who do hunt with them, I'm just saying I'm not up to it.
August 23, 2006, 02:05 PM
Handgun hunting shots under 50 yards
.22LR - small game
.32ACP - small game including some larger varmints (coyote)
.380 - small game including some larger varmints (coyote) more effective than the .32
.38 special - small and medium sized game UP TO small deer
9mm - small and medium sized game UP TO small deer
.38 super - medium sized game (smaller deer and hogs under 150 or so pounds)
.40 S&W- medium sized game (smaller deer and hogs under 150 or so pounds)
.45 ACP - medium sized game (smaller deer and hogs under 150 or so pounds)
** When I say smaller deer, I mean regular white tails. Not mule deer or the ones that grow back east to 200 - 300 pounds. Deer that are up to 100 or so pounds.
10mm - medium sized game and possibly some larger game
.357 - medium sized game and possibly some larger game
.44 mag - large game
.45 colt - The Corbon loadings and Buffalo Bore loadings for Colt will beat a .44 mag, but you HAVE TO HAVE A Ruger, Smith or Freedom Arms gun to shoot them safely.
.454 casul - anything that walks.
everything up from that will also work.
Feel free to disagree with my conclusion, however in the hands of a good shot and in the range of 50 yards, each gun above will perform as described. I have done them all more than once, save for the bigger guns. I have used .44's on deer and large hog, but have never had a chance to hunt larger game with a handgun, beyond 2 black bear hunts.
The one peice of advice that I give, is if you are hunting hog, please use a larger primary gun. IF you are planning to hunt hog with a handgun, please use something along the .44 magnum range or at least a .357 with a 6" barrel shooting the Buffalo Bore 180 grain. Make sure that the .357 can handle the round; Ruger is again advised for that.
Best thing to do deer hunting is get a light rifle (30-30) and carry it with you. Carry your choice of sidearm and then you will be a whole lot less likely to try to push your sidearm beyond it's limits. If you have to dispatch the deer, you can hit it with the sidearm at close range and it will give you an idea of performance, range, et cetera.
August 23, 2006, 02:17 PM
440 cor-bon. I dont like the idea of trying to take a deer at more than 25-30 yards with any "normal" auto un less its a desert eagle or an automag (if you can find one), But for the price, you could buy a nice auto and a good .357 or 44, or whatever. If you want to do it just to say that you did it, than have at it, but I would wait till you got that "perfect shot".
August 25, 2006, 01:31 PM
S&W 1006 stoked with DoubleTap XTP's at 728lbs ME (it's what I use!). Well-placed shots kill deer, feral dogs, hogs, coyotes, groundhogs from my experience.
August 30, 2006, 03:13 AM
10mm for groundhogs? psssssh, you wouldn't last a second around here! .500SW is the bare minimum if you want to step out of your tent in the morning.
shot placement being everything, i'd say you could brain a deer reliably with .40 or better. if you want the trophy, or are like most of us out there and know you couldn't put one square in the mellon - it's a pretty small mellon on deer, for that matter - i'd lean toward a .357mag or 10mm minimum. then again, deer do walk right under tree stands, so 5-10 yard shots are doable if you're patient.
i really just wanted to say something in this thread :D
August 30, 2006, 10:46 AM
Having shot deer with both the .40"short and weak", and the "mighty" 10mm; the only advantage I see to the 10mm is that it kills the pine tree behind the deer a little "deader" than the .40. Both have expanded well, and completely penetrated the deer.
Sorry, but I've been there, done that; and "ate" the results.
Otherwise, Mbt2001's "spread sheet" does pretty well cover it.
keystone hog hunter
September 1, 2006, 02:26 AM
on the ruger old army.. you will be suprised how well it works on hogs with just the round balls.... just fill the cylinder up with powder 2 wonder wads and squeeeeeze the ball down... was told when i picked it up that you could not blow it up..well I have tried real hard.....
September 1, 2006, 03:29 AM
10mm. but you say you want something exotic. well then the 45 super is for you.:D
September 1, 2006, 02:39 PM
After my experience with a charging rottweiler soaking up hit after hit with a H&K USP .45 loaded with 185gr hollowpoints I would never use a .45 for hunting deer.
September 1, 2006, 02:54 PM
I am planning on using a Glock 24 this year for dear hunting. I will also bring along a shotgun for longer shots over 60 yards. I am planning on buying some special hunting loads off the internet to use in the 24.
September 3, 2006, 04:12 AM
Desert Eagle .44 mag. Regular black finish and scoped.
September 6, 2006, 03:34 PM
Since no one has said it... .44 and .357 automags.
If you own one you are re-loading anyway.
September 6, 2006, 06:50 PM
Take a look at the .357 sig. It's got equivelant power to the .357 mag in an autoloader, and many common gunmakers make that calibre.
September 12, 2006, 02:05 PM
45 super........... Buffalo bore has them and they are hot!! I can get a round out of my 1911 longslide going at about 1300fps. Ammo is pricey tho. Numbers are right around 10mm.
September 13, 2006, 06:10 AM
Then a 10mm. Double Tap, Reeds and others offer the rounds you will need for hunting.
If you do reload, any of those exotic ones like the 44 automag, 45 super and what not. Just remember, you may not be finding some of that brass should a hog charge you and you need to scoot and shoot like here.