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Best for White Tail Deer

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by grey9551, Jul 3, 2004.

  1. grey9551

    grey9551 Well-Known Member

    I need some advice on what is the best length and Caliber to use when Hunting Whitetail with a revolver. I'm not interested in the S&W .500 so something my practical please.

    I am leaning toward's the S&W 627 with some sort of red dot sighting system OR a Model 629 Lite Hunter scope undecided.

    What are some other opinions?

  2. RWK

    RWK Well-Known Member

    IMHO, the best calibers are:
    .357 magnum (acceptable)
    .41 magnum (good)
    10mm (good)
    .45 Colt (even better)
    .44 magnum (even better) (and other “super calibers†in the .44/.45 category)

    And the best revolvers are Smiths, Rugers and old Colts with a minimum 4 inch barrel (>5 would be better) and with which you can accurately and consistently hit a five inch circle at 50+ yards. I would personally never take a 50 yard shot at a white tail with a revolver, although I realize many individuals do so.
  3. ducktapehero

    ducktapehero Well-Known Member

  4. Deuce

    Deuce Well-Known Member

    I'm no expert ... but, I did take a doe last November with my Glock 20 (10mm CorBon 180gr BCSP 1320fps ... put in a 20lbs recoil spring just for that load).

    For an all-around revo, the 10mm is an excellent choice. Moon clips afford fast reloads for competition or self-defense. And, from what I understand, you can shoot .40sw in the 10mm revo's just like .38spl in the .357's. In fact, I know a few practical shooters prefer the S&W 610 for the N-frame heft over the .40sw 646.

    I have a 629 (5" classic) and prefer to shoot the American Eagle stuff as it's a little lighter. Bottom line is, comfortable shooting affords more practice which yields better results in the field. Ya, a .44 will be effective ... but only if you can hit what you're shooting at. A whitetail, of comparable weight, is really no more tough than a human and .357 and .45acp are more than sufficient for that. This is also why soft-points are preferred for whitetail (as opposed to hardcast).

    You might also, in case you haven't already, check the DNR laws in your state as to what cartridges are acceptable ... and if there are any restrictions on handguns (like bbl length).

    Good luck.
  5. jc2

    jc2 member

    I use an old five-inch Model 27 for our local (Central Texas) whitetails. I use open sights and just limit range to about 35-40 yards--never really have felt the need of a scope (and that old Model 27 just has too much class to go and hang a scope on it).

    The .357 Magnum in a four-inch barrel can do anything the 10mm in a Glock 20 can do (and even very, very slightly better) so it's really no slouch (and you can't get Winchester Partition Golds in a 10mm). If I were looking at a 10mm in a revolver, I'd go with the .41 Magnum for the edge in performance (and I hate moonclips). I suppose a .44 Magnum would be better in that it might give you a slightly larger "margin of error," but it still boils down to you having to do your part.
  6. Shootcraps

    Shootcraps Well-Known Member

    .357Magnum is good for up to 50 yards. Beyond that you'll need a .41 or .44Magnum. Max on those is about 100 yards. Minimum of 6 inch barrel.

    With any of these, you need to keep all your shots on a 12" plate at any distance you're going to be shooting. And you've got to have patience to wait for the right shot. Good luck and have fun. Let us know how it goes.
  7. Marshall

    Marshall Well-Known Member

    I would suggest .41Mag and up. I start there only because there is a better chance of killing your deer and downing him both. I realize with shot placement I can kill a deer with a .22. But, when Mossyhorns appears, many times our accuracy is, at the least, suspect.

    You can't compare humans and deer. A deer shot with a 40S&W could run far enough to possibly not be found. The odds of that happening go way down with the Magnum large diameter rounds.

    Besides that, hunting with a revolver instead of a Glock, is the only way to fly.

    Yo Vinny, watch me shoot this f**k**g Bambi. D*mmit, that m..f**ker!Vinny, throw me another mag. :evil:
  8. Deuce

    Deuce Well-Known Member

    I really don't care to get into a whole .357 vs. 10mm thing ... and if you've tried moon clips and don't like 'em, I understand and I'd probably go with .357 over .41 just for the cost of practice ammo (presuming you don't handload) and I'm all about practicing to become proficient.

    Having said that, I'd like to comment ... just a bit ... on what was said about 10mm vs. .357. I contacted CorBon to determine what gun they used to get the velocities they got with 10mm ... they indicated a box-stock Glock 20. I never asked 'em what gun they used for .357 (as I didn't care about that at the time) but, I'd bet at least $20 it was longer than 4" ... and even then, with their 180gr BCSP load, they got 1265fps (compared to 1320fps for 10mm). Now, personally, while I agree that's a significant difference, I wouldn't discount one or the other for it. But, as I understand it the closer you get to 2" in bbl length, the quicker you lose velocity. As such, and considering that CorBon is unlikely to download the .357 (for a revo) compared to 10mm (for an auto) for just about any reason, I'd be very hestitant to proclaim that .357 is simply outright superior from a 4" bbl compared to 10mm from a Glock 20 or just about any similar length bbl. Of course, I understand that an auto will typically "soak" up a little velocity, but, as I mentioned, CorBon's superior numbers were obtained from an auto, therefore, I'd expect the velocity to improve just a bit from a revo ... thereby further increasing the disparity.

    Also, a couple things about .41mag. First, I'm thinkin' factory ammo is few and far between and not likely priced well (compared to Winchester white-box 240gr JSP for $20/50 and American Eagle 240gr JHP for $17/50 ... great practice ammo). Second, again referring to CorBon, their .41 210gr JHP (again, whitetail ain't grizzlies) load only offers 150ft/lbs more energy (same fps, just a heavier bullet) compared to .44mag which offers closer to 500ft/lbs more energy. In other words, I don't see, for the cost, .41mag buying you much more than 10mm or .357 ... and, if you really think you need more (which you don't for whitetail ... unless you plan on using a scope and practicing a LOT), than .44mag gives you a lot more. And, if I were seriously thinking of .44mag for whitetail, I'd seriously consider handloading some 280gr BCSP at closer to 1000fps - 1100fps (presuming most is loaded closer to 1400fps).

    Incidentally, I thought I heard somewhere that Ted Nugent used a Glock 20 for whitetail and feral pigs ... then again, how could anyone possibly consider Ted a true sportsman?:neener:
  9. Okiecruffler

    Okiecruffler Well-Known Member

    I've always thought a Ruger Blackhawk in 357max would make just a dandy whitetail handgun. 158gr at around 1800fps is nothing to sneeze at. Of course they don't make those anymore, but Dan Wesson makes a dandy DA revolver still chambered for it. If we weren't in the revolver forum I would suggest a contender in something like 30-30 or 35 rem, but since we aren't...
  10. Marshall

    Marshall Well-Known Member

    Deuce, I agree, a 10mm would qualify. I'm just not accustom to thinking of that caliber so I forget it. And, a .357 Mag will do an very effective job with the proper ammo, I just like a larger diameter for hunting. I hate loosing game.

    As for Ted, he really should have more confidence in his revolver abilities, maybe it's that Cat Scratch Fever thing? :evil: :neener:
  11. jc2

    jc2 member

    Deuce -
    You'd lose big time--but keep your money! Buffalo Bore's 180-grain LFN does 1375 fps out of four-inch S&W Model 686. (Bhe 686 is a L-frame similar in size/mission to the Glock 20--basically they're just about as equivalent as a revolver and an autoloader can be).

    In fact, Buffalo Bore .357 Magnum is just slightly (very, very slightly) hotter out of a four-inch L-frame across the board than Double Tap's stuff out of a 10mm Glock 20. For all practical purposes, the .357 Magnum and 10mm are ballistic twins out of a S&W 686 and a Glock 20.
  12. Deuce

    Deuce Well-Known Member

    Perhaps too much wango ze tango?;)

    JC, while I'd be curious as to why CorBon loads .357 lighter than 10mm (presuming they didn't measure velocity of 180gr BCSP from a snub), I'm not a handloader and, as such, ill-equipped to debate such issues in-depth. I only offered my observations. I must say, I feel a bit enlightened as I was unaware of ANY .357 load over 700ft/lbs. Thanks. BTW, those Buffalo Bore 180gr LFN loads appear to be hardcast ... I just wanted to point that out before someone buys 'em for whitetail. Just out of curiosity, what load do you use in your 27 for whitetails? Thanks.
  13. jc2

    jc2 member

    I use the 180-grain Winchester Partition Gold. It's not near as hot as Buffalo Bore's stuff, but so far it has worked like magic on our Central Texas whitetails. Like I said earlier, I really limit range and pick my shots. I hate to have to look for a deer in our brush. I was able to recover the bullet from a doe I shot a doe last January. It exhibited just about perfect textbook expansion with nice sharp petals. I couldn't ask for a better performing bullet.
  14. Majic

    Majic Well-Known Member

    How do you point out the negatives of the .41mag with factory loads, but recommend the .44mag and "seriously consider handloading" that cartridge? If you are going to recommend handloading then both cartridges are excellent choices.
  15. Deuce

    Deuce Well-Known Member

    Thanks JC!

    Majic, I agree, if you handload, both .44 and .41 are quite effective on whitetail. And, if you handload, .41 ammo doesn't need to be expensive or hard to find. There was a little more to it than that though. First off, I was trying to say that you don't NEED to go bigger than .357/10mm for whitetail. Second, if you REALLY think you do, why would you stop at .41? Third, I'm a big fan of .44/.45 (in cowboy loads) and, as such, I'll advise anyone to get that over .41 ... particularly considering I don't even own a .41. Fourth, if the guy was gonna ignore my advice to stay in the .357/10mm realm, I wanted to quantify my recommendation for .44 for whitetail with the "seriously consider handloading" presuming he'd be far more successful if he would.
  16. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Well-Known Member

    So basically you're saying that 10mm is a great choice for hunting deer with a handgun.
  17. RooK

    RooK Well-Known Member

    Deuce, no point in arguing about the 10mm's effectiveness when compared to anything. I think I've been through it a thousand times already, with the same people, in my search for a semiauto to hunt with. They seem to like revolving cylinders and that's that. Fact: 10mm shoots larger diameter bullets at the same speeds as the .357. That, in my opinion, puts it one notch higher on the totem pole. But the only 10mm revolvers in town are the S&W 610 and the out of production Ruger Blackhawk Buckeye.

    grey9551, I would personally recommend a .44Mag or .45 Colt in a modern revolver from Ruger, S&W, or Taurus. If you're somewhat recoil shy, then by all means take a step down to the .41Mag. All three are wonderful options, with easy access to ammo for the most part. If you don't handload, .41Mag ammo might be hard to find depending on your location unless you order it and heavy .45 Colt loads are only available from certain companies.
  18. Majic

    Majic Well-Known Member

    It's fine to put in a plug for your favorite cartridge, but not at the expense of other cartridges that can get the job done. This is especially so when you go to handloading.
    The fact is any big bore handgun with suitable bullets driven at speeds over 900 fps will down whitetail deer at handgunning ranges.
    If seriously considering handloading is factored in then why stop at the .44mag? Move up to the .454 and be even more successful.
  19. jc2

    jc2 member

    JohnKSa -
    No, John, I'm not. Both are at the low end of acceptable. I'd say the .41 Magnum or the .44 Magnum (or even the .454, .480, etc) would be "great" choices for hunting deer with a handgun. I just like my old Model 27 a lot and am real comfortable with it.

    Rook -
    That "larger daimeter" consists of four one hundreths of an inch--you have to measure it with a caliper. I've shot lots of deer and never, ever found one with a caliper on it! :p

    There are several good reasons most hunters prefer wheelguns over bottom feeders. The wheelguns (and this would include the 610 and Ruger Buckeyes--I'd give my eyeteeth for one) are generally more accurate than autoloaders (fixed barrels and all that). They also give you option of better bullets--you don't have feeding issues with a revolver. For example, you can't get a Partition Gold (like I use) or LFNs in 10mm. Generally speaking, most revolvers used for hunting have considerable longer barrels (six, seven and a half, eight and even longer) than stock autoloaders. Don't forget the .357 Magnum out of a four-inch barrel is slightly faster than the 10mm out of a stock Glock 20. You don't have to go out and drop $160 for an after-market six-inch "hunting barrel" for a revolver.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2004
  20. Deuce

    Deuce Well-Known Member

    Majic, I admit I'm not big fan of .41 ... but I'm also no enemy of it. Maybe I accidentally made a good point why no one should ever consider investing in one. But, rather than argue with me about what I should or shouldn't recommend, why not make some good points for the .41 ... if you don't think it's being fairly represented here?:confused: I guess I never gave it much thought ... but, now that you mention it, I have no clue why anyone (who doesn't already own a gun in .41) would want to get a .41.:confused:

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