Colt Navy 44 cal pistol and deer hunting


October 5, 2006, 03:27 PM
Hello all! It has been awhile for me to post here. Glad to be back. I have a question. The new regs in TN state that we can deer hunt with a pistol if the bbl is 4" or greater and not a semi. I was thinking of using me .44 cal colt navy repro for BP season. Has anyone done this before. Also can I use .44 cal HP with wadcutters or any other bullet combos that would work. Thanks in advance for any help!!!!

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Plastic Cowboy
October 5, 2006, 04:49 PM
While a BP revolver certainly CAN kill a deer, it is probably too underpowered generally speaking for a clean ethical kill.
Due to the limited power and accuracy of BP revolvers there is a greater chance that the deer will be mortally wounded and run off for a slow painfull death rather than the quick relatively painless kill provided by a more accurate and powerful firearm.

While this may be legal it is questionable ethically.

...just my $.02

October 5, 2006, 04:50 PM
I've killed hogs with my .44 Remington. Beartracker, who used to be a regular here, reported taking several deer with his .44. I wouldn't be concerned about the effectiveness of a percussion .44 with a round ball on deer if you are able to place that ball properly.

There are other bullets available which might work well, too.


October 5, 2006, 05:05 PM

Here's a thread where mec tested those bullets in their solid nose configuration.


October 5, 2006, 05:27 PM
Check your regulations, it might not be legal for black powder season as it holds more than one projectile.

October 5, 2006, 06:40 PM
It always amuses me when folks talk about clean ethical kills and things like that. There are absolutely no ethics involved unless, of course, you care to make something up along the way.
But all such attempts are nothing but justificationism pure and simple.

dead is dead, nothing cool or ethical about it.

I watched a clip at another site where someone took down a moose with a bow. It was clean and quick, the shot right on the money. It was a good kill.

And I CAN appreciate the ability to hunt and be successful. I can do it myself. I just prefer not too. One majestic bull down right in front of his mate. forever.

So what about THOSE ethics?

See.. the problem for me is that if you raise one set of ethics, then you are subject to the other.

Its not that I am against it either, even though you might be taking it that way. I simply wish more people would look at it as an unnecessary thing at present. We could conceiveably hone the exact same skills with a paint ball gun that had the reach.

People kill those things as a matter of choice and not need. Therefore there are no ethics involved. Only good sounding excuses. That's part of why I don't hunt anything. well... hunted people while in the marine corps. done plenty of rabbits and such small stuff.

so I am not exactly squeeky clean or anything. I just sort of changed my mind somewhere down the road when I realized that my hunting was more of a fever and compulsion than anything else.

I'd like to save that fever for some kind of general revolt, armed rebellion, or nasty riot. Wars against corporate america would be cool... Do you think CEO tags would cost much? just jokin.

But I have heard of plenty stories of people using 1860s and such to take down deer. I don't know what the facts are.

Low Key
October 5, 2006, 08:16 PM
Legal in Tennessee for deer: taken from the twra 2006 hunting guide

Muzzle-loading percussion cap or flintlock rifles,
handguns or shotguns of .40 caliber (.40-inches) minimum.
These muzzle-loading firearms are legal during
any gun season or hunt unless otherwise specified.
Muzzleloading firearms are defined as those firearms
which are incapable of being loaded from the

I suggest downloading and reading the entire document, it will give you all the hunting info you need.

sjohns, I understand and respect your point of view. I've done a little bit of study on conservation and the problem is that we (humans) have taken over the reponsibility of the predator in the system. Without the natural predators in the system to control population, deer will quickly overpopulate an area, eat all the available food and end up with a large part of the population diseased and starving to death. Hunting is now as much necessary to the deer for the health of the herd as it once was to us for food.

October 5, 2006, 08:29 PM
Low key!
I certainly agree where that's applicable. And I don't dislike people who participate either. And I would help eat it! hehehe. I just don't wanna do the killin. I know I'd like it again. (or at least get the thrill prior to guilt) hehehe

Just being honest bud.

I'm not trying to stir any hate and discontent. Neither am I much of a typical tree hugger or anything like that.

I think I truly categorize it as "It didn't do anything to me to deserve being shot by me." Maybe that's how I really look at it. Maybe its cuz I'm 53 and I realize how important life seemingly is. Or maybe I have finally studied enough philosophy that I'm starting to get weird. I dunno.

So having said that, all I can say to any hunter is "Good Huntin'"

If life as we know it went to hades and there were no more markets, I'd be out there in a flash, then thank my brother for letting me kill him. (brother deer, elk... you guys know what I'm saying.)

It just makes me laugh a little, they way we reason as people do about "clean ethical kills"..
You gotta admit there's something funny about that phrase.

No insult intended Cowboy, it just struck me as an odd phrase.

October 5, 2006, 10:52 PM
sjohns, I didn't take you for a tree hugger, never heard of a Marine that was anyhow :) . Everybody has their opinion, and you are certainly no different at all. I do agree with the line about an ethical kill, just seems like an oxymoron. I do agree with the rebellion part of your statement, or taking down Corp. America, but when does open season start? :)

Low Key
October 6, 2006, 07:46 AM

understood completely, not a problem. Your POV is really close to my own, I don't hunt anymore myself but I could, and I get out and track in the fall to keep the skills sharp if I need them and If I needed food I'd drop a deer in a heartbeat. But there is enough hunting pressure around here to keep the herd healthy without me so I'm an observer for the time being.

October 6, 2006, 09:14 AM
A Colt reproduction? The sights are terrible and the round is underpowered. I agree with Plastic Cowboy. Don't do it.

October 6, 2006, 09:36 AM
Just to make a point.

In North America, humans have not "taken over" the role of predators that used to be fulfilled by bears, wolves, etc.

According to archaeology, humans have always been top predators in North America, at least for 50,000 years.

This myth of humans having to "take over" the job as top predators in North America is the result of all sorts of myths and folks forgetting historical reality.

In North America, for thousands of years, every single ecosystem has had humans as the apex predator.


October 6, 2006, 10:17 AM
Starter52, A percussion .44 revolver with a round ball is less less powerful than a modern cartridge revolver of the same caliber as a general rule. When you load the percussion revolver with conical bullets, though, you narrow that gap and if you choose a Walker or Dragoon you can surpass anything short of a .44 magnum. I agree they have less power, generally, but I don't agree they are inaccurate. I have a Pietta .44 Remington which is more accurate than my S&W model 14 target revolver loaded with match wadcutters. This was fired from 25 yards.

I've killed several deer with home made longbows. They have less power than a compound bow of the same draw weight. They still perform efficiently, I just have to get closer shots. Same principle with a percussion revolver.


October 6, 2006, 10:45 AM
Thanks to all for the help!! If I was to try and take a deer with it the range of such a shot would be within 20 yards. I understand the limits on this firearm and would not shot unless I had a good shot. It was really just an idea I had. I have the paper work on this pistol and the recomended powder load for hunting is 30 grains target is 20. Thanks for the info on the bullets also. to be inaccurate would only be to true if I didnt practice and I plan to have every charteristic down and accurate shot placement before I try to down a deer with it.

Low Key
October 6, 2006, 12:31 PM

I won’t argue with you about humans being the top predator because I really don’t disagree with that. Around here we are the only predator. You could argue that we do have black bears around here, but all they do is eat, crap, and wander out in front of trucks in the road and get hit.

You might find this interesting though. Several years ago, I had the opportunity to spend some time in the woods in an area of western ky where the deer herd had been mismanaged and allowed to overpopulate. The deer had eaten absolutely everything that they could reach…all the foliage and even the small twigs that they could bite off of the trees, up as high as they could reach standing on their hind legs. They had created something called a browse line where there is no foliage below the line but the canopy is normal because the deer could reach no higher to eat anything else. It was kinda weird walking through woods like that. Everything was open and stripped clean up higher than my head, but the canopy was still thick. I saw a couple of emaciated deer and there had been a massive die off because of the lack of food. The area was about at the bottom of the cycle and the next spring would allow new growth of the low vegetation. I believe that they changed the hunting management in that particular area with allowed a healthier herd to redevelop in the area.

October 6, 2006, 04:29 PM

Very well said.


October 6, 2006, 04:57 PM
We could start a new thread on why some of us don`t hunt anymore ... i was a hunting and fishing fool when i was younger ..In my per teens i owned a single shot 12 ga. and i thought God had put birds on the earth for me to perfect my wing shooting .My first marriage failed because the wife told the judge i hunted and fished too much , and yes the judge turned his head and snickered . When there wasn`t a hunting season open i was fishing . I worked hard and i played hard . One day a few years ago my deep freezer went on the lamb ..and we had to clean it out fast .. well looked like it needed cleaning out anyway ..see the wife and kids didn`t eat wild game or fish and i wasn`t ever home to eat it so .. so you guessed it all Gods creatures i had hunted down and fished for were looking something moon rocks .. from freezer burn . At 53 years old , and kind of supprised i have lived that long ... looking at all this ruined meat made me feel sick , I was taught to eat what i killed and somehow it wasn`t getting eaten . Wasn`t but one thing for me to do and that was to quit hunting and catch and release fishing . It`s a good thing for a man to know how to feed hisself off the land .. there ain`t a thing wrong with that .. but those that don`t eat what they kill should give it to someone that will eat it .. Target shooting can be just as rewarding .. there`s plenty of shooting matches out there .... I shoot in 2 black powder clubs matches every month now ... and life is grand .. the wife does the grocery shopping and there`s meat on the table .

October 6, 2006, 05:47 PM
Just a minor point here, and not trying to stir anything up. Anyone who eats meat is responsible for an animal death to feed them. Whether they do the killing themselves, or hire someone else to do it for them by buying their meat in the store is a minor point. We hold slaughter houses responsible to make as painless of a kill as possible and I think it's fair to hold hunters to the same standard. That's the point of the "ethical kill".

Aside from the population control aspect, I hunt because I feel that the meat is cleaner and healthier. Something has got to be a predator to keep the system in balance. I hunt with a muzzleloader because it puts me in touch with one aspect of life that my distant ancestors lived. It's a living history lesson in itself.

October 6, 2006, 06:55 PM
I don't hunt - never did. I'm not against it if it's done correctly (proper location, method of killing, etc). But, I've always had this hunting question: what happens to the deer gene pool (deer for example) if only the biggest and best of the herd are killed, the ones that would not die of starvation, disease, etc?

October 6, 2006, 07:39 PM
poor withers got highjacked big time didn't he?

October 6, 2006, 09:51 PM
Steve, we are not talking about Remington revolvers or Walkers. The discussion was about the Colt .44 navy revolver. I stand by my original statement that this gun is too underpowered for deer hunting.

Low Key
October 7, 2006, 07:56 AM
The colt 51 design is inherently weaker than the remington design and I don't know if it would hold up to heavy charges for very long without warping. The full framed steel remington however is a sturdy design and can handle heavier powder charges without damage to the frame.

With any gun that you use...shot placement is the key.

October 7, 2006, 08:05 AM
As long as the ball can reach its destination, the heart or lungs, it is all about shot placement. Myself, I'll stick with my old army so I can get the velocity for better penetration...Rugers are more expensive, but I like to have an edge. I hear in WVA it is legal for deer...:evil:

October 7, 2006, 08:12 AM
Starter, don't have a Colt .44 so I am only guessing here, but my Remington holds 30 grains of 3F easily and I think the Colt will too. I have seen a ball shot by that charge go through a hog's skull, pass through the neck and then disappear into the innards somewhere. It had penetrated about 14 inches of bone and solid meat before it entered the chest cavity. It was still penetrating then but I have no idea how much farther it went because I had gutted the hog and discarded the entrails before I realised the ball had gone as far as it had. If you can penetrate 14 plus inches of solid meat and bone, the air filled chest cavity of a deer with only hide and ribs over it won't slow it down so much to make it ineffective.

I know the manufacturers recommend light charges for liability reasons but if the Colt will hold 30 grains of 3F, the ball won't care what make of pistol it is fired from.


October 9, 2006, 10:21 AM
here is an artical I found today while doing some research it was a good read!

even has a load chart at the end.

October 9, 2006, 02:21 PM
Heres yer deer bullets.

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