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9mm and White Tail

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Rnelson, Dec 29, 2014.

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  1. Jason_W

    Jason_W Member

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    I want to be clear that I'm not advocating the 9 mm or any other firearm in that power class as a great first choice (or even fourth choice) deer gun. Most hunters won't want to handicap themselves to that degree.
     
  2. AKElroy

    AKElroy Member

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    Thank you for that, Jason. I got kind of animated due to several posts in this thread from folks that seemed excited to give this a shot. Please don't
     
  3. jrdolall

    jrdolall Member

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    I guess I fall into the "why" category. I have no doubt that I could humanely kill a deer at 15 yards with my DB9 or several other 9mm pistols I shoot regularly and it would be perfectly legal where I hunt. As Jason said, he isn't advocating using the 9mm as a deer gun of first choice but proving that it CAN be used effectively if necessary. I do understand the challenge which is why I know several clubs that are archery only, even during rifle season.

    BTW, spear hunting is legal here. I don't do that either.
     
  4. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Why should folks with the skill and capabilities, not be excited to give it a try? Only because it seems inappropriate to you? I don't think shooting deer over bait or with the use of dogs is appropriate for me, but if legal where others hunt I have no problem with others doing it. Odds are more deer are wounded and lost every year shot over bait and with the use of dogs than with the use of a 9mm handgun. When I state I hunt deer with a .357, folks chime in it's marginal and I shouldn't use it. When I state I use the .460 folks claim it's overkill and I must be compensating for my lack of skill with such a handcannon. Apparently the only appropriate handgun for the masses is a .45Colt loaded to Ruger/TC only levels. If a deer can be cleanly and humanely killed with a re-curve or longbow, why is a 9mm inappropriate?

    Am I advocating the 9mm for everyone for hunting deer with a handgun? No. But within the hands of a capable handgunner, knowing their and the firearms limitations, using appropriate ammo, it certainly can be an effective tool. More effective than that .45Colt loaded to Ruger/TC only levels in the hands of a inexperienced and naive hunter.
     
  5. AKElroy

    AKElroy Member

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    If you want to give it a shot, feel free. I'm still free to voice my opinion, and my opinion has been formed after 35 years of taking whitetail and more critters than I can count. Many of those critters with a 9, many of them needing follow-up shots. After thousands of rounds and hundreds of harvested animals, I think I have a decent bead on the capabilities of our subject matter, and my experience on actual animals is that a 9 is not sufficiently reliable for cleanly taking whitetail.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2015
  6. AKElroy

    AKElroy Member

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    Not that I was looking to test properly powered handgun hunting theory, but I shot this 50lb wonderbuck an hour ago. 158 gr CorBon .357 mag. I was able to place the shot behind the ear.
     

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  7. AKElroy

    AKElroy Member

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    OK, it was not a challenging shot.:)The irony is I almost always wear my P226 up here; I just happened to wear the 686 today., and this is clearly a situation when a nine would be fine. A rimfire would be fine. This is the second deer this weekend harvested that was hung up in the fence. This ones leg was twisted up, and the yotes took a go at him as well. Tough night for this little guy.
     

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  8. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Well, I'd hafta go out and buy a 9mm to try it and that ain't gonna happen. I have too many other viable options that I already own. In my opinion, they all are well capable of taking whitetail. To others some are not. That is my point. I have a half century of hunting deer under my belt, so I too speak from just a titch of experience.:rolleyes: My first buck with a bow was taken in 1966 with a 45# recurve, wooden arrows and hand sharpened Bodkin broadheads. Nowadays, most folks would claim it, like the 9mm, is "not sufficiently reliable for cleanly taking whitetail". I've never said the 9mm was the optimal caliber for hunting whitetail, only that in capable hands, it certainly is sufficient. If the hands of folks that are not capable, you are correct, it is not sufficient.
     
  9. Rnelson

    Rnelson Member

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    The Shoulder was hit and broke. So if you look close the HST hit the shoulder and two ribs at a angle. This weekend i shot a rather large boar with the same pistol had a clean pass threw and it ran about 75 yards.

    I have bow hunted for 30 years spending 30-50 days a year in the stand. Its my experience that a 9mm is just as lethal as a modern bow using quality ammo and optics. Remember a modern bow is only pushing 55-80lds of energy. This energy is different because you cutting not punching. I have had many shots that were properly placed and never found. Also you have many factors to consider with a bow and string ducking is a huge one. Knowing the range and angles. Being able to hold at full draw from sometimes minutes. Bla Bla.

    I believe that the ability to make a proper shot is ethical. Bow,Rifle or slingshot.

    Would i go out with just a 9mm? No way! I always bring my long guns to the blind. Mr big boy might poke his head out at 400.
     
  10. mbt2001

    mbt2001 Member

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    It looks like the weapon used had a 5" barrel, which would have contributed to increase in velocity and down range power/penetration.

    That being said, I have no problem with using a .38/.357 or 9mm or other handgun/carbine for harvesting animals provided that shot placement, range, and capability are in line. I know that back in the day, the calibers used by hunters were anemic compared to what is used today. They didn't have qualms about using them. I do think that the barrel length is something often overlooked. Hunting handguns, traditionally have greater than 5" barrel AND for good reason.

    I think it is a combination of marketing hype, and the american mindset of getting a bigger gun. Whether you kill with a .257 roberts, 30-06, or .357 mag out of a carbine or pistol, the deer/hog is just as dead.
     
  11. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    You've proved what we should've already known, that anything can work reasonably well if properly applied in the right conditions. The problem with intentionally hunting with something so marginal is that conditions are rarely perfect. The .44Mag was invented because things are so rarely perfect.


    Have you ever used a round ball out of a muzzleloader on game? I assure you, there is nothing underpowered about a .54cal roundball at 1850fps.
     
  12. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Just as an aside, what type of optics are on your 9mm?

    TIA
     
  13. mbt2001

    mbt2001 Member

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    I don't think that is a fair statement. Knowing the WHY of, in this case the 9mm working i.e. 5" barrel, .38 caliber rnd, shot placement, distance, is very important. Let's be honest, knowing the capability of the weapons in your arsenal, and more importantly, how they can be used for protection, hunting, signaling, etc can be the difference between life and death in the field.

    A for instance would be if my car broke down in the boondocks and I was forced to effect a self rescue, would my snub or semi-auto self defense weapon work and for what game, under what condition, and at what distances? These questions are important to contemplate.
     
  14. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    I agree but testing is one thing. Making a regular habit of it is quite another.

    Personally, I would never hunt with a handgun load that I KNEW would not exit from any angle. That tells me there is not enough......of something. The collective data from hunting with the .357Mag for the last 80yrs tell us a few things. That a cartridge of that diameter needs to expand to be very effective, that it needs sufficient weight for good penetration and it needs plenty of velocity to accomplish those things. Here we're talking about a lighter bullet at less velocity and it did exactly what we could've predicted. It obviously worked and it might work the next ten times. However, from what we KNOW about handgun hunting, it's far from the ideal tool for the job.

    PS, no discussion of kinetic energy is relevant to a discussion of handgun hunting. It is simply not a proper measure of a cartridge's effectiveness and this thread is proof of that.
     
  15. Rnelson01

    Rnelson01 Member

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    Modern bullet design has changed so much. I feel that going down in caliber has become possible because quality of bullets optics and firearms allow a person to place shots in a kill zone much easier. Its up to the hunter to practice controling thier buck "fever" to make a clean shot.

    Personally I wouldnt allow any clients/guest first time hunter tovshot less than a 30 caliber bullet. We have a extra sighted in rifles ready if someone shows up with a 223. I have been to a couple ranches in south texas that had this rule because the brush was so thick that recovering wounded game became a issue.
     
  16. matrem

    matrem Member

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    Not a highroad response to a first time poster.
    Welcome Rnelson01.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2015
  17. AKElroy

    AKElroy Member

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    We may have hunted the same property. I do not go that far; I've never had a run-off with a 7mag. That said, I get the rule. When a customer signs an agreement that ANY sign of blood equals their animal, recovered or not, and when that animal is going to run $7,000 for 170" or $10,000+ for 200", the rule starts to make more sense.

    I was there for culls, by the way. Trophies are not my thing. This owner is fine with any decent rifle caliber, but did tell me not to bother bringing a .243 or anything smaller. He also refuses .30-30's, which is a bit of a bummer for me. I took the 7mag.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2015
  18. AKElroy

    AKElroy Member

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    These loads are tested ad naseum in ways far more effective than shooting a 90lb doe. No disrespect to the OP, he used exceptional skill to effect that kill. My issue with this entire conversation is the apparent need to determine the absolute minimum cartridge or method for taking game. I do not get the point of that. I do not think it is a bragging point, or that it proves anything other than eventually determining what DOES NOT work, at the risk of great suffering of the animal. We KNOW what reliably works, and those choices are readily available. i just don't get using game animals as test subjects for a pointless, potentially game-losing exercise. "I wonder if this will be powerful enough" is a question that should be answered before taking a particular weapon into the field.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2015
  19. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    Agreed! We should be focusing on the most effective weapon we can master. Not the bare minimum we can use as a stunt. Sure, I could use a .22LR on my next deer and probably kill one with a heart shot but what have I proven if it works? I've proven that my ego is more important than respect for the sport and the animal being experimented upon.
     
  20. Rnelson

    Rnelson Member

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    I have witnessed a new hunter wound a animal with a 308 win with 3 shots and the first shot was a neck shot then a jaw hit. He didn't listen to my instruction not to walk up until he waited 30 minutes. Within 5 mins of his first shot it he walked up and shot it on the run with a 44 mag four times. It was still alive when i pulled up. Horrible death..

    Shot placement is everything second only to experience.

    I always try to make a ethical shot but for me i have had plenty of deer run away not to be found. Especially bow hunting in my younger years.

    Also i have shot deer that have been shot before and lived. We have a large young eight that has a massive wound to his upper back at one of the blinds. He is very healthy and in a couple years will be a nice trophy.

    So maybe using a smaller caliber that allows a animal to survive a marginal shot is more ethical?

    We found this deer a couple weeks ago with a massive bullet hole on his back. He was in the pool and had to walk a couple miles from a neighbors range. If i would have made this shot with a 9mm he would have survived and more than likely be running around today.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0By0zKKCWMUdBYXh3R0h2X2p1ZEE/view?usp=sharing
     
  21. AKElroy

    AKElroy Member

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    I've made my fair share of questionable shots over the years, and sometimes it ended badly. It is one of the reasons I use weapons more than up to the job, that way I have a little more margin for the errors that are bound to happen. Shot placement is not everything; I've made marginal shots with a 7mag that dropped the animal, that would have likely been run-offs with a pistol-caliber handgun. They are simply more forgiving.

    I've taken deer with .357mag, 22-250, .30-30, .243, .308, .270, .30-06, 7mag. Of those, the ones least likely to run were on the more powerful side of that list, the ones most likely to bolt on the less powerful side. Not a shocking result.

    I am not saying that all pistol caliber shots on deer sized game are unethical, I am simply saying that there is far less margin for error, and the notion that some folks would read this thread and then go out and try this with a nine concerns me.

    If I invited a hunter that showed up to camp with a nine for hunting deer from one of my blinds, I would loan him a rifle. If he refused it, I would send him packing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2015
  22. mbt2001

    mbt2001 Member

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    I do not disagree. My point is that "what works" is now 7mm mags and 338 winchesters; when in the past it was 30-30's and 44-40s and 38-40s. I do not recommend people use anything but bona fide deer rifle in the appropriate caliber. I am sure that you have seen younger hunters that come in the camp with a howitzer. Really I don't disagree, I am just trying to clarify this and other points.
     
  23. AKElroy

    AKElroy Member

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    We are on the same page. Of the loadings you reference, the lightest is the .38-40, and even that is probably pushing more than 600'lbs from a rifle. That is a significant bump up from the nine, but your point is well taken. The .30-30 could not be more established as a solid performer on deer, and the .44-40 likewise thumps pretty strong from a rifle. No comparison to the nine.

    Most of my deer have been taken with a .30-30. Enough gun is enough gun, even if it is over 100 years old.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2015
  24. Johnny_B_Goode

    Johnny_B_Goode member

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    The reason hunters want a real deer rifle, even at 15 yards is Murphy stalks the woods. A friend and I were sitting in a cut over waiting for the dogs to come back. A young doe just walked up to the truck really close. He whips out his pocket nine, bang, bang bang, The brush was far to thick to find the deer. Luckily she stumbled out in the path about 100 yards away. I finished her off with the 30/06. The brush was so thick in that cut over after 50 yards we would not have been able to tell our own blood from the deer blood. Needless to say he had to find another hunting partner. I am a forgive and forget type of guy. But that guy was way to unpredictable. Why shoot a deer with a 9mm when you have a shotgun right there? Why even shoot the deer? It was late and we were not leaving until we found the dogs.

    He excepted my exhausted dogs to trail and find that deer, not to mention we had not caught the blood trail dogs yet. All we had caught were inexperienced puppies that got left behind.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2015
  25. Fremmer

    Fremmer Member

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    The 9mm will work when the shot placement and the animal cooperate.

    But it's when you pull a bad shot (or the animal moves when you shoot or whatever) resulting in a wounded deer that the 9mm sucks. Of course, a wound from any caliber is a mess; but I'd imagine a wound from a 9mm will result in a lot of walking after a wounded deer. JMHO.
     
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