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Handgun Hunting: 2 questions re: Red Dot and Holster

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by WNC Seabee, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. WNC Seabee

    WNC Seabee Well-Known Member

    I'll be hunting with a handgun (.44Mag Redhawk ) for the first time this year. I'm looking for input on 2 questions...

    1. As a lefty, it is awfully hard to a)find ready made holsters and b)justify the cost of a custom ordered holster for 2-3 field trips a year.

    So, I'm looking at either not using a holster at all and carrying the handgun to/from my blinds in my backpack, or, getting one of these el cheapo bandolier things. The bandolier looks awfully cumbersome.

    Cabela's Bandolier

    Thoughts? Other than not being able to get off a quick shot while walking in/out, I don't see much need for a hip holster.

    2. Red Dot Sight. I'm leaning towards open sights, but have an UltaDot and a Burris FastFire II that could be mounted easily.

    What do most handgunners use?

    The area I hunt will be max 60 yards shots in heavy woods. Medium sized whitetails.
  2. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Well-Known Member

    Not being LH, having a holster wasn't an issue, so you'll have to sort that out yourself.

    I have killed deer with a single action 44 Mag with open sights back a number of years ago, and if you're young enough to have good eye sight, I would practice with the open sights at the distance mentioned to see if you can hold all shots on a paper plate.

    Later in my life I used a 357 Maximum in a 10" Contender with scope to harvest deer. I carried that pistol on a shoulder strap that hung on my left side and freed up my hands for walking into the hunting area.

  3. timney t

    timney t Active Member

    first i would get a holster. i like a uncle mikes hip holster. durable, cheap well made for the outdoors. i like the gun close in case something is spotted and i don't have time to dig it out of my pack.

    if the holster is not your thing try a light weight fanny pack and wear it in the front of ya. just make sure the gun will fit with no hang ups when extrating it. then practice taking it out and seeing how fast you can do this. pretty soon you'll probably be looking for that holster.

    sights i like open. i carry a 454 and it has enough energy to down most big game at 100 yrds. but i have yet to harvest anything past sixty yards with any of my firearms. so the scope is just something cute for the range or finding what really is tight on paper at that 100 yrd range. plus opens are quickest and with a little practice just fine.

    as far as the bandolier i thought of one but opted for a simple rifle cartridge case that you can thread onto your belt. holds more then enough rounds and is small and light weight. i got mine for like $10 at the local sporting goods store.
  4. WNC Seabee

    WNC Seabee Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the suggestions. Though I think you may have missed 2 points.

    1. I can't find a traditional LEFT HANDED hip holster for this gun (7.5" Redhawk) without paying more than I care to. The Uncle Mike's in that size are right hand only.

    2. The bandolier that I referenced is a front-carry chest holster, not an ammo carrier. I don't plan on needing more than a cylinder full, so I'm not worried about a reload. =)

    Your comments about not taking game past 60 yards fits my experience as well. The woods where I hunt are pretty thick and a typical shot is 25 yards. I was considering the red dot as a way to extend shooting time a bit...better visibility of that dot when it's getting near dusk vs. the black on black irons. Of course, I could mount a set of fiber optics as well.

    I'm comfortable with the FastFire sight in terms of acquiring the target quickly, I"ve used this sight in IDPA and other quick action games. The UltraDot is probably out for this reason.

    HGUNHNTR Well-Known Member

    Strong side holster with a good belt and open sights is how I would set it up.

    It is tough to find a decent holster for a revolver with a red dot sight. If you are comfortable using iron sights, go for it. Part of the advantage to handgun hunting is keeping hunting basic, and simple.

    The red dot is not going to extend your shooting time, you still must see your target, and black sights contrast suprisingly well on critters without being distracting.

    You may have to spend more than you like to get a holster that meets your specs, the upside is that it will last forever if cared for. If it costs $80 and you hunt for 20 more years, thats $4/yr.
  6. Legionnaire

    Legionnaire Well-Known Member

    Not cheap, but I carry my hunting revolver in a Bandito from Pistol Packaging. The shoulder belt is stiff and goes on and off easily over heavy clothing. My revolver wears a Leupold 2X pistol scope.

  7. hardluk1

    hardluk1 member

    I have used a red dot for over 20 years on revolvers. Some people are good enough with open sites but a dot will make finding the target quicker . A scope can mutiply the target but can be harder to pickup the target and keep the cross hairs on it while hunting. I can shoot 3" groups off the bench at 100 yards with both a DW 357 and 44 mag. There are several cross chest hollsters that can be bought in left hand that can be found with a search from your front page. Price are from cheap to down right expensive. I use a cheapy ffrom uncle mikes. Give DT 240gr jsp at 1500fps. Shoot well in two buddies SRH.
  8. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Well-Known Member

    When I hunt with Encores or Contenders, I carry them like I would a rifle. You could do the same with your Redhawk.

    If your shots are only going to be 25 to 30 yards, I wouldn't complicate my life with a red dot or scope. I got a gold bead front sight and shallow V rear sight for my Redhawk from Gary Reeder; in my opinion, this setup makes it much easier to get a good and rapid sight picture in a variety of lighting conditions.
  9. WNC Seabee

    WNC Seabee Well-Known Member

    Well, I got my new-to-me Redhawk home today and it fits well enough in a nice leather N frame hip holster that I've got. Not a perfect fit, but serviceable. If I end up taking to handgun hunting I'll get myself a nice purpose made rig for next season. So, the holster situation is taken care of!

    I ordered up a HiViz fiber optic front sight and will call that good for now w/regard to the red dot.
  10. Legionnaire

    Legionnaire Well-Known Member

    Good for you. Now WE need PICs!
  11. hardluk1

    hardluk1 member

    Must be nice to still have the eyes to use open sites well.

    HGUNHNTR Well-Known Member

    Don't get rid of the stock sight, you may find it a better option than the fiber optic as I did.

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