.38 and Small Game

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Peakbagger46, May 21, 2022.

  1. defjon

    defjon Member

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    22 lr from at least a four inch barrel can kill with one sometimes two shots on the big coons and ground hogs, but prefer a stinger or velociter except for the noise. Needs to be between the eyes or just off to the side of the eye though.

    Aim behind the front leg and they have so much fat to seal up the wound they can turn into bullet sponges and you're gonna have a bad time all around..lol.
     
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  2. DR505

    DR505 Member

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    Wadcutters work well on snakes too...

    49785002412_1fd49332c9_b.jpg

    For grouse aim for the head, but as Riomouse911 said, use round nose ammo so damage is minimal.
     
  3. sonora

    sonora Member

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    I have some 138 gr, BN Wadcutters for .38 special. I plan on using Unique would 4 gr be a good load for target shooting. My Speer manual doesn't have any load data specific to that weight bullet. Thank you.
     
  4. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    Alliant lists 3.3gr as the maximum load for a 148gr WC so I think 4.0 might be kinda hot for targets. You might start at 3.0 and work up to your gun’s most accurate load.
     
  5. earplug

    earplug Member

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    I have a a revolver with a red dot sight. RDS make hitting small targets much easier. Your Python might be drilled and tapped for a rail making the fitting simple.
     
  6. sonora

    sonora Member

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    I'm using Unique, not Bullseye.
     
  7. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    Here’s from the 1996 Alliant manual.
    9D2834EE-F052-4013-8215-1A56B0B6A356.jpeg
     
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  8. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    The Alliant data is for a swaged lead Hollow base wadcutter.
    4.0 with a flat base CAST wadcutter will be a light-mid level load.

    I started out reloading using flat base wadcutters 50yrs ago. Started with 3.2gr but graduated to 4.0gr of Unique as it burns MUCH cleaner!
    You can go as high as 4.2gr with a 148gr CAST Double Ended wadcutter without getting into +P range.
    With a dry lube, swaged double ended wadcutter I’d not go above 3.5gr as the softer lead tends to lead heavily.
     

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  9. Micro

    Micro Member

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    Here in Virginia centerfire pistols for hunting game animals must generate at least 350 ft lbs of energy. Nonetheless, I've shot some nusiance species with my Ruger GP100 and 130 grain FMJ .38 Spl range ammo, which falls under the 350 ft lbs requirement for game animals. That revolver with that cheap ammo is accurate enough to break stationary clays at 50 yards. I've wanted to use it for squirrels but techinally its an illegal firearm for hunting game animals.
     
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  10. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    The question was "Does anyone use their .38 Special for small game"? Though not a revolver, I used my Bullseye-purposed Smith & Wesson Model 52 pistol with 148 grain wadcutters for hunting squirrels with good success for many years. The .38 Special, with all of its many bullet configurations to choose from, is one of the best handgun cartridges for use in hunting small game, imo.
     
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