Shotgun only hunting areas


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bdg146
February 25, 2009, 11:23 PM
I've been pondering this for a while, and decided to post and see what others think.

One of the areas I hunt is a shotgun only area. It makes sense, since this area is developed and rifles have a long range. I get that part. My question is, why prohibit revolvers and, more generally, handgun calibers? A 12 or 20 gauge slug carries a lot more energy a lot farther than a 44 mag or a 357 mag. There's a lot more velocity out of a shotgun as well.

So why can't I use a revolver or lever action in 44 mag for deer? Is it because handguns are "scary"?

I don't mind using a shotgun, but I'd like it a lot more using my Marlin 1894 :)

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22lr
February 25, 2009, 11:59 PM
I have to use a shotgun myself although here in Indiana we can use any pistol (has to be 357 or larger, basically), and any rifle that is chambered in a "pistol round." There is even talk of high power rifles in the near future thanks to our great Governor. That said my 12ga mossberg packs a punch and because of the area that I hunt I dont think a rifle would be all that much better. That said a 12ga carries a greater change of ricochet (from what I understand) and a 30-06 might be safer in that regard. However until things change ill be using my 12ga.

It stinks you cant use handgun out there, my guess is that the "image" portion is the hold back.

MCgunner
February 26, 2009, 09:18 AM
I've hunted a local WMA a couple of trips that is open Feb/Mar for hogs. Like to do more out there, but I've gotten too danged busy. It's buckshot only. Reason, I'm thinkin', is to keep someone from taking a shot at something too far out to identify. Could be a cow (they lease the grazing rights) or a human they're protecting. But, I think the thinkin' there is making sure the hunter has to be within 50 yards where he'll more likely have a solid identification of the target. Just a guess, but the area is anything BUT developed, so I see no other real reason. The area is just north of the Aransas NWR which is pretty wild country for around here, nobody in the proximity, a little town about 5 miles from where I was hunting.

If they allow slugs, though, you'd THINK they'd at least allow revolvers if not Contenders. I can understand if they're worried about range, not allowing Contenders. That may be the reason to ban handguns. As I understand it, in Indiana they allow black powder rifles or shotguns. Me, I'd be using my .50, be all the reason I'd need. :D Since the law changed, I do have a .357 carbine, though. I really ain't into slug guns, though I probably would be if the law forced me to. I ain't into buckshot, either, but I've been totin' my 10 gauge down on that WMA.

Loyalist Dave
February 26, 2009, 12:49 PM
So why can't I use a revolver or lever action in 44 mag for deer?

Becasue the folks that write such regulations are S T U P I D!

I'm just a bit south of you..., I can use a shotgun, I can use a revolver in .44 mag, .357 mag, .454 casull, and any of the T/C handguns in rifle calibers. I can use a black powder rifle, traditional or inline, that is equal to many of the old "modern" rounds. I can't use a rifle in .44 mag or .357 mag, or anything larger. It is much more plausible that I would shoot "out-of-safe" with one of the hand-cannons out there, but the folks that write this silliness are not hunters.

LD

bdg146
February 26, 2009, 11:14 PM
I can't use a rifle in .44 mag or .357 mag

See, that makes no sense to me. I know a longer barrel gives more velocity, but it still doesn't get anywhere close to a slug gun's velocity or an inline's. I guess the 357 or 44 are a little more aerodynamic, but does it really make that much of a difference?

So, considering they allow slugs, there's really no practical reason to not allow handgun calibers. Kind of suspected that. They even allow inline muzzleloaders. I don't know much about the trajectory of those, but I'd imagine they reach out just as far as a slug gun, if not further.

I recently bought my 1894, and haven't had a whole heck of a lot of chance to take it out for deer yet. Hard to pass up the .270 for a 44 mag (in the area where you're allowed to use rifles). It'd be perfect if I could take it out in the shotgun-only area. Better yet, I'd probably go pick up a revolver. I have a 20 ga slug gun, but I'm just not really into slug guns.

Maybe I'll shoot a letter to the game commission and see if they can give me any reasonable explanation. Highly doubt anything would change in the regs... more for my own amusement than anything.

Thanks for all the input!

MCgunner
February 27, 2009, 06:46 AM
See, that makes no sense to me. I know a longer barrel gives more velocity, but it still doesn't get anywhere close to a slug gun's velocity or an inline's. I guess the 357 or 44 are a little more aerodynamic, but does it really make that much of a difference?

You inline or slug gun can reach 1800-2100 fps? Mine never could, not even with a Sabot.

bdg146
February 27, 2009, 06:55 AM
Well, I've never actually used a chrono on either. I was basing the velocities off of numbers given by ammunition manufacturers.

MCgunner
February 27, 2009, 09:05 AM
Here's Buffalo Bore's ballistics from an 18.5" carbine. My Rossi has a 20" barrel. Handgun ballistics are most often quoted for .357, of course, but out of a rifle/carbine, you can get near .30-30 ballistics. It's a good if little appreciated caliber for medium game, hogs and deer, to 100 yards.

5. 18.5 inch Marlin 1894

a. Item 19A/20-180gr. Hard Cast = 1851 fps
b. Item 19B/20-170gr. JHC = 1860 fps
c. Item 19C/20-158gr. Speer Uni Core = 2153 fps---- Can you believe this?!!!
d. Item 19D/20-125gr. Speer Uni Core = 2298 fps---- Or this?!!!

627PCFan
February 27, 2009, 11:01 AM
I cant speak to the lever actions, but a local warden told me that they have restrictions on handguns because manufacturers are chambering handguns in "rifle" like calibers. I assume he was referring to .454 and 460's. Sounded like a load of BS to me but good luck making that argument in the great state of MD.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
February 27, 2009, 11:42 AM
The WHY is hard to pinpoint. Most likely a prejudice against handguns by the policy-makers, as they are Non-PC hunting tools. But I supposed an accuracy/maiming-prevention argument can be made, with shotgun slug accuracy versus revolvers.

Note: Most (if not all) "shotgun-only" hunting areas actually allow rifles. A "shotgun" with a rifled barrel is NOT a shotgun - it is a rifle, by definition - just sayin. :p

MCgunner
February 27, 2009, 05:33 PM
I cant speak to the lever actions, but a local warden told me that they have restrictions on handguns because manufacturers are chambering handguns in "rifle" like calibers. I assume he was referring to .454 and 460's. Sounded like a load of BS to me but good luck making that argument in the great state of MD.

Or Contenders or XP100s or Encores, maybe? .460 has some umph to it, but a 150 Nosler BT out of my .30-30 Contender would probably shoot farther. The whole deal is crazy IMHO, but every state is its own entity.

matrem
February 27, 2009, 06:47 PM
Most likely a prejudice against handguns by the policy-makers
I can't think of a single logical different reason than that.

Sir Aardvark
February 27, 2009, 07:17 PM
This is one of the BLM's "Shotgun Only" rules for the Barstow Area in Southern California:

"A zone has been established where shotgun use only (with shot no larger than half the bore diameter) is allowed."

As you can see, no slugs are allowed, only shot.

Are you sure that your rules don't have this similar provision written into them somewhere in the small print?.

BLM Barstow link:

http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/barstow/recshoot.html

bucktail
February 27, 2009, 09:04 PM
The rules for shotgun zones just seem to evolve and really don't always make a lot of sense. In MN, you can hunt with a muzzle loader in the slug zone (makes sense). You can also use a handgun. Now for traditional handgun rounds this makes sense as well. Much as I'd like to hunt with a marlin 1894 in 44 mag, I can't. I could, however hunt with a handgun chambered in 300 RUM. (doesn't make sense). The laws are imperfect, but I can live with them. I hunt with a muzzle loader.

bdg146
February 27, 2009, 10:26 PM
Wow... so lots of stuff to respond to.

MC, those velocities are amazing. Guess I never realized how much the extra barrel length will give you. Although that is Buffalo Bore, and that stuff tends to be pretty hot.

manufacturers are chambering handguns in "rifle" like calibers

I didn't think about the newer revolver calibers. They are coming closer to rifle-type ballistics. However, there's no reason they couldn't limit it (say 44 mag or under). Or just exclude some at the upper end, like the 460. I guess they could argue that'd be too complicated, but they already do it with rifles. Most states have a minimum diameter necessary for deer and such.

But I supposed an accuracy/maiming-prevention argument can be made, with shotgun slug accuracy versus revolvers.

Note: Most (if not all) "shotgun-only" hunting areas actually allow rifles. A "shotgun" with a rifled barrel is NOT a shotgun - it is a rifle, by definition - just sayin.

Not picking here, because that could be a legitimate argument in certain areas, but buckshot and flintlock muzzle loaders are legal in this area. That sort of eliminates that as a possible reason for this law. And you're right about the shotgun/rifle thing. So I guess what I mean is shotgun-gauged rifles are legal. Or the bullet has to be encased in plastic rather than a brass Or whatever it is that constitutes a slug gun.

Are you sure that your rules don't have this similar provision written into them somewhere in the small print?.

Yeah, I'm sure. Buckshot or slugs out of a "shotgun" and muzzleloaders are legal. Bows and crossbows as well.

Much as I'd like to hunt with a marlin 1894 in 44 mag, I can't. I could, however hunt with a handgun chambered in 300 RUM.

That makes even less sense than allowing slug guns but no handguns.

So it makes me feel better that I'm not the only one that is confused by some of the laws out there. I guess that's not the only illogical hunting reg (no semi-autos, even for coyotes... ugh), but probably the one that baffles me the most. Well, I'm glad I asked. Thanks again for all the great input.

kmrcstintn
March 1, 2009, 01:47 PM
wow...I'm really confused by all the different allowances & restrictions that this thread has listed :what:

if yer hunting regs allow 'slugs' from 'shotguns' then take full advantge and get yerself a fully rifled barrel w/ cantilever mount for a scope and use yer 'rifle' ;) if you feel that buckshot only is a possibility later on then avoid a single shot slugger (eg: NEF or H&R brands) and get yerself a combo so you have a field barrel later on; the dedicated single shot slug guns are really accurate, but you can snag a used shotgun combo (or a new one when on sale) for nearly the same price (eg: I snagged a Mossberg 500 combo from Dick's right before Thanksgiving on sale for $270 that gave me a field barrel & a rifled slug barrel...the original packages scope died so I got a better Bushnell Banner 2-7 x 36 for another $80)

if yer stuck with buckshot only then grab a few brands of the shot size you want and pattern them through a variety of chokes that your shotgun came with; once you establish the best ammo-n-choke combo, then shot it at varying distances from 20 yards to 50 yards to see how your shot group patterns and how many pellets land within a 8" to 12" circle that mimicks the vital area on the side of a deer

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