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Who's used .40 S&W on deer...

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by WheelMan, Oct 22, 2003.

  1. WheelMan

    WheelMan Well-Known Member

    ... or other largish game. I know it's good on Squirrel & Weasel ;)

    I'm trying to evaluate carry loads for my .40 and I though I'd tap into the hunting knowledge on this board.

    I'm looking for information regaurding what loads have been used and what was the effect on the game.

  2. mete

    mete Well-Known Member

    Since you haven't got a response -I've only used the 40 on small stuff and I'm very happy withit . But for deer I'd rather have a 10mm. If you're set on using a 40 then I would use a premium 165 gr bullet like the Hydra-shok or Golden Saber, and keep distance 50yds or less.
  3. 1911

    1911 Well-Known Member

    my buddy shot a wild dog 3 years ago with a 180 gr hydroshock.Went down but with a lot of wailing.
  4. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    Gave a buck quietus with 155 grain XTP at about 1150 fps, but he was already solidly hit with rifle caliber.
  5. Sunray

    Sunray Well-Known Member

    No pistol round is very good for hunting deer. Note: pistol round not the large calibre revolvers. You had best find out if it's even legal to hunt with where you are. In some places it is illegal to carry a handgun whi;le hunting even with a CCW. As daft as that is.
    There is no comparison between deer hunting and self defense. If that's what you're thinking. It just ain't the same. No pistol round is 100% effective for anything but punching holes in paper and knocking over bowling pins.
  6. Fire1

    Fire1 Well-Known Member

    I know of a hog that was cleared from a trap with a .40 with no undue fuss. I don't know what ammo was used, but it was a regular commercial brand.

    Sunray - There are plenty of pistol calibers that work just fine for up to deer sized game. But, it'a all about knowing your own limitations, the limitations of your wepon, and having the patience and skill to get good shot placement.
  7. BigG

    BigG Well-Known Member

    Mr. Stephen A. Camp has killed several deer with his 9mm Trojan (IIRC). Maybe he'll check in. I think the 40 is a better cartridge than the 9 so it should be safe if it's an easy shot.
  8. WheelMan

    WheelMan Well-Known Member

    I should clarify...

    I don't plan on hunting anything with my .40 I'm just trying to absorb information on it's performance. Specifially I'm evaluating what defensive load to use for carry.

    What I was hoping for in this thread is information on how well different loads penetrated and expanded in an actual critter (as opposed to Jell-o wearing blue jeans or wet newspaper)
  9. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    'bout 16" with perhaps .60 caliber size when recovered. (I actually took two shots- one was just under the skin and recovered, the other hit him just under the jaw and was an instant lights out. Not recovered.)
  10. Pumpkinheaver

    Pumpkinheaver Well-Known Member

    I shot one in the head that was wounded, obviously it was lights out after that.
  11. Sunray

    Sunray Well-Known Member

    Hi, WheelMan. The best defensive load is the one you can shoot the most accurately. Hunting and defensive loads aren't the same thing. A hollow point isn't always the best hunting bullet. Generally, but not always, a hollowpoint is the best defensive bullet, IF, you can shoot it accurately. Whether or not it will drop a deer is irrelevant. Deer, and most other game animals, are a whole lot tougher than people. Find load you can shoot accurately in practice and use that load for defense.
    Your original question did provide an interesting exchange of information.
  12. WheelMan

    WheelMan Well-Known Member

    I should clairify some more... :)

    My above question is by no means the only question I'm asking regaurding defensive loads, nor is it the only factor I'm considering. I know what loads I can shoot well... that's easy to test, just go make holes in paper. What's not easy to test is the terminal effects of those loads. However different or tougher a deer or hog or whatever might be I think it's still a better test than gel or wetpack.
  13. Covey Rise

    Covey Rise Well-Known Member

    200 XTP should work great

    I will try it soon. Let ya knowl.
  14. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member


    Some years ago, I bought about 500 rounds of what I considered an "all-purpose" load: penetration deep enough to take deer (if needed), while not penetrating deeply enough to be negligent if used defensively. The 155-grain XTP, loaded to about 1150 fps, worked well in this role, with adequate expansion AND penetration, while feeding well and producing controllable recoil.

    There are different theories of the ideal defensive handgun bullet, with perhaps 3 ideas being most prevalent. The first would be the "expansion is king" school. These folks want violent expansion or even fragmentation, and generally eschew deep penetration. Many in this camp will be satisfied with anything over 9" of penetration. (Though a few extremists will settle for even less if there is "enough" tissue destruction.)
    The second school of thought is the "penetration is key" folks. Just the inverse of the expansion freaks, penetration of at least 14" is considered the most vital component of the stopping equation.
    The last camp is the "paper don't matter" clique. These types use rounds that will reliably function their weapon, and that are accurate enough to hit the target.

    There are well-respected "experts" in each of these schools of thought. I personally tend to be a reliable expansionist. ;) My target depth is between
    11 and 16 inches, with priority given to reliability, then cost and accuracy.


  15. grampster

    grampster Well-Known Member

    Used Federal Hydra shok jhp in .40 w/165 gr through a Beretta mod 96 to kill bambi at about 18 paces. She walked 50 yds and laid down and bled out. Bullet went in and out. Busted up the liver.

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