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Handgun Hunting

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Rivenoak, Sep 25, 2019.

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  1. Rivenoak

    Rivenoak Member

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    I would like to eventually get to a point where I'm comfortable hunting whitetail/hogs with a handgun. I have a ways to go in order to get my accuracy where I would need it to be for ethical shots. However I have started debating which caliber would be the best option for me to do this with and start practicing. As far as I can tell the best 3 would be 10mm, .357 mag, or .44 mag. I believe I could handle the 44's recoil if I had to but don't think it's necessary for this type of game. 10mm seems like a good option other than price of ammo long term. I do like the idea of the .357 being able to shoot 38 sp as well. I know you should practice with what you carry/hunt with but cost has to be a factor at some point so I thought about practicing some with the 38s. Thoughts on why one option would be better than another? In regard to revolvers is a 6in barrel a must or is 4in a long enough barrel?
     
  2. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm member

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    10mm and .357 are pretty close to the same.

    Personally if I were going to hunt with a handgun it would be with a 10mm 1911 with a 6" barrel and a red dot.
     
    MikeInOr and 460Shooter like this.
  3. Rivenoak

    Rivenoak Member

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    What rounds would you go with? Is there something made more or less for hunting or something like the Hornady critical duty bc it's supposed to retain weight and penetrate like 15-18in? And if I'm looking at a 1911 does 45 acp lack enough velocity for this application? I have seen arguments for and against it.
     
  4. Middletown

    Middletown Member

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    I went with a Ruger Super Red Hawk 44 Mag with 6 1/2 inch barrel. I used the excellent rings that came with the gun and put a 2X pistol scope on it. I have only killed one deer with it but it was DRT. Even full power reloads are tamed by the SRH.
     
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  5. Fyrstyk

    Fyrstyk Member

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    Go with the 44 mag in a gun with a 6" barrel. You can always shoot 44 special loads for practive, and full power loads for hunting. I personally used to shoot a 7.5" Ruger Super Black Hawk with a 2X scope. I used 200 grain jacketed soft points for deer. Took several deer with that load, and never recovered a bullet. Always good blood trails if they didn't drop right away. Go with 240 or 265 grain bullets for hogs. Them critters can be pretty hard to drop.
     
  6. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    I’ve been handgun hunting for 28 years. No speculation, the 44mag is the only one of your 3 which I can support as your only option for hunting. If you had a dozen hammers for a dozen specific situations, sure, include the lesser 357mag or 10mm. But if you’re planning for one, it should be the 44mag.

    The 357mag and 10mm carry with them concessions which don’t afflict the 44mag. The 10mm might be the best option in an autoloader, but it’s a pipsqueak compared to proper revolver cartridges. The 357 magnum, at approximately the same level of power, is sparsely better than the 10mm. Longer runs, smaller temporary cavity trauma, less bloodletting, and less penetration - if you’re buying ONE handgun for hunting, don’t make it one which ties your hands.
     
  7. RETG

    RETG Member

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    IF I was going to go hunting with a handgun, in this area full of bears, it would be a S&W 500 magnum.
    xsw500magside.jpg.pagespeed.ic.I3xFOTqGnO.jpg
     
  8. alfsauve

    alfsauve Member

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    I'm a .44 fan. Here's mine and a target I shot just recently while sighting in.

    20190818_072235.jpg 20190816_132702[1].jpg

    Granted I was shooting with the barrel supported and hands on the bench. But if I had a suitable rest in the field then 100yds
    is very doable. These were Hornady 240gr XTP rounds, btw.
     
    Armored farmer and Milt1 like this.
  9. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm member

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    I reload. My choice would be the 180 gr WFN bullet I cast.
     
  10. Ohen Cepel

    Ohen Cepel Member

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    .44 is a great option. Not mild to shoot with hot loads in it, but with a scope on it and loaded light it you can shoot it all day long.

    Longer barrel means more power down range so I would go that way. 4in (assuming no scope) one needs to be close.

    41 Mag is also a great option but sadly that is more of a handloader's round these days. Worth looking into if that fits you. If not, 44 gets my vote followed by .357. You can do it with .357 or 10mm (took a 300lb+ wild hog with one) but rarely will a hunter regret having more power on hand.

    Grips and the gun fitting you right is also key. Most find a single action frame to be better for recoil, me included.

    Now, if you are a dyed in the wool auto guy then 10mm may be it (or a Desert Eagle). More info on your likes and location could help. Smaller deer/pigs and one could back down from the .44 I think.
     
    horsey300 likes this.
  11. Boarhunter

    Boarhunter Member

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    I have taken many Russian hogs with pistols in a variety of calibers, but the most effective combination for me has been a Magnum Research BFR in 45/70. And different from some of the other big-bore calibers, the 45/70 in the BFR is surprisingly easy and comfortable to shoot.

    BOARHUNTER
     
  12. Richard Jay King

    Richard Jay King Member

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    Any of the three calibers will kill deer just fine but in my experience the larger bores are more effective even at lower velocities. If you choose JHP bullets limit your shots to broadside..if you use hard cast SWC bullets you have much more leeway in the angle of the shot as long as it eventually gets into the lungs...
     
  13. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    All three will kill deer, but I kind of think going bigger is better since the point is to try and anchor the beast. Not to say a 357 or 10mm wouldn't do that. If specifically looking at hunting deer and hog, I'd go 44 magnum. If I didn't really care for revolvers (but I do), I'd go 10mm.

    I'd choose a heavy for cartridge bullet weight, or a copper monolithic (which are typically light for cartridge but do not shed much weight or deform) according to our resident THR big game hunters.

    I love the 357, but honestly I reserve it for a defensive role. I also like that you can lob 220 gr hard cast ammo in 10mm.

    If you load your own, the 44 or 10mm would serve you well. If you don't load your own, now's a great time to start as any.
     
  14. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    10 mm or 357 magnum are adequate but limited for hunting. 44 magnum would be a far more versatile and better choice in my opinion.
     
  15. bassjam

    bassjam Member

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    I recommend you stick with a .357. Mostly because you mention needing a lot of practice, and .38's are far cheaper to buy and the low recoil will let you focus on your technique without worrying about recoil. Anything you learn while shooting .38's will translate when you put .357's in the cylinder.

    The others are correct that a .44 mag packs a lot more of a wallop than .357, but a good hit with a .357 is better than a poor hit with a .44 mag and it sounds like you need plenty of practice to focus on accuracy right now. As to barrel length, check your state but I'd stick with a 6" minimum for deer. In my state the minimum barrel length is 5".

    And there's no reason you can't step up to a .44 mag in the future if you decide to. Buy a good used .357 revolver and if you decide to sell it you'll probably get all your money back to invest in a .44 mag. Of course, everybody needs at least one .357 mag, so I don't recommend selling it!
     
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  16. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    If you get into handloading, and you practice a lot, it won't take very long for your handloading equipment "to pay for itself." From that point on, the "cost" difference between 38 Special and .357 Mag practice ammo is hardly worth worrying about, and you'll be able to tailor your hunting ammo for the game you're hunting.
     
  17. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Such the Serpent Devil coaxed Eve, “it’s only an apple.”
     
  18. cougar1717

    cougar1717 Member

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    Handgun hunting takes some practice. It is very important to know the limitations of the caliber. It is very important to practice and know the distance limitations at which the hunter can make consistent hits. Then, factor in shooting position because it is unlikely that there will be support at the moment that the hunter will need to take the shot. Lower velocities and low bc bullets (in comparison to rifles) mean more rainbow-like trajectories at longer distances.
     
  19. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    You do not indicate where you live or where you will hunt.

    But for deer and hogs there is nothing wrong with a handgun chambered for the 45 long Colt. I have used one, with black powder loads, on several white tailed deer and have not yet recovered a bullet. 260 grains of lead at +/- 900fps seems to do the trick nicely.

    Kevin
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2019
    The Evangelist Cowboy likes this.
  20. Stew0576

    Stew0576 Addicted

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    I use a Glock model 40 10mm it has a6 inch barrel, 180jhp, love this gun, I reload so cost of ammo not to bad
     
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  21. Apuesto

    Apuesto member

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    Given the three you mentioned, 44 mag. If you are planning to use optics, the barrel length doesn't matter. A longer barrel will give you a bigger sight radius if you shoot iron sights.
     
  22. Stew0576

    Stew0576 Addicted

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    The longer the barrel the higher the velocity, also the better accuracy
     
  23. Apuesto

    Apuesto member

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    Higher velocity yes, better accuracy no.
     
  24. JeeperCreeper

    JeeperCreeper Member

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    I'd be looking at platform in regards to caliber.

    Because there's a few wildcards out there from break-action singles, to revolvers, to autos, to convertible revolvers.

    A .357/9mm Ruger Blackhawk is a great range and hunting combo.

    A 10mm Glock is a great defense and hunting combo.

    A .45 Super 1911 is a great competition and hunting combo.

    A .44mag is a great woods and hunting gun.

    Depends on platform. If you're going big caliber, I like comps or ported. The .460 ported I've shot were much more mild than 4" .44 out of a medium weight revolver.

    But I think a 6-8" .357 or .44 is a decent all around good hunting revolver below 100yards for thin skinned medium game.
     
  25. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Member

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    I gotta suggest you look at the 41 magnum too.

    Ammo is available all over the internet from 170 grain bullets to 265 grain bullets, it'll cleanly take any animal a 44 will take.... and will do it with a little less recoil.

    For a hunting gun, I wouldn't want anything less than a 6 inch barrel.

    I have two 41's...a 6.5 inch Blackhawk and a Henry Big Boy Steel carbine, its a really great round that will hunt any hoofed game in North America and most of the rest of the world. I might choose something bigger (454, 460) for the really big bears but even for dangerous game up to about 600 pounds or so the 41 is plenty and then some.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2019
    Stew0576 likes this.
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