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Looking for a saddle and hunting gun

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Birdhunter1, Dec 28, 2018.

  1. Birdhunter1

    Birdhunter1 Member

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    I'm in the search for a pistol to hunt deer and carry while horseback, mainly I want it to have adjustable sights, minimum 4" barrel and either in 357 mag, 41 Rem Mag or 45 Colt, I'm not really crazy about a 44 mag, considering you can load a 45 Colt pretty near in 44 mag territory I'd just as soon go with the 45 Colt, as a saddle gun 45 Colt would just sound so much cooler, but if the money is right then 44 mag it is, I'm trying to stay below $500. I reload so ammunition cost is sort of a wash, how far can one reasonably expect to shoot a deer with one of those calibers and open sights, 50 yards?
    The models I've kinda narrowed myself down to are a Ruger Blackhawk, Ruger Security Six, Tauras 66 but I wouldn't be opposed to a comparable S&W, Rossi or other quality brand.

    So researching load development using a Hornady XTP (I chose the XTP on the Hodgdon website simply to keep everything the same and it performs for me well in other calibers) bullet for all three I'm thinking on the 357 a 140 gr bullet at 17xx fps, a 210 gr in the 41 Rem Mag at 16xx fps and a 240gr in the 45 Colt with 15xx fps.
    I think all three above would perform well but pistol hunting is new to me. I live and hunt in Southern Illinois where you can hunt deer with everything but a rifle, I've somewhat grown bored with my 20 gauge Ultra slug hunter, and whenever I go to the stand these days I have my son with me who is carrying the same slug gun I have been so me carrying a pistol a slug gun is still available.

    So what's the thoughts on the three calibers or pistol models I've chosen? I can handle recoil but my thought is why give yourself more of a beating than you need to.
     
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  2. MaxP

    MaxP Member

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    The Security Six is no longer produced so you will have to find one on the used gun market. Taurus is hit or miss in my experience. I like the Blackhawk option the best as they can be had in a variety of configurations. I am not a huge .357 fan although they do get it done, they just don’t leave much margin for error. I like the.45 Colt but would not discount the .44 Magnum.

    Not a fan of the XTP. I’ve seen way too many failures associated with their use. That said, deer aren’t hard to kill but I prefer a more reliable bullet.
     
  3. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    For a 50 yard shot I think the bullet will perform without the extreme velocities (and associated recoil) you cited. I would avoid the 45 Colt, because Ruger doesn't get the throats and bore working together in that caliber. However, a 454 Casull SBH can fire 45 Colt and may be better suited to hunting loads. The 44 Mag would be my choice, but Ruger doesn't currently offer a 6-6 1/2" barrel that I prefer. I find the most affordable, new 44 Mag Blackhawk would be the standard model in 5 1/2", which is a good length for holster carry, strongside or cross draw. I would think that sight radius would be adequate for 50 yard shots.

    You can load 44 Mag to any level you want to. Using 44 Mag brass, I load some to a level of moderate 44 Special, but not for hunting. There is a wide range from that "cowboy" rifle load to real deal 44 Magnum.
     
  4. Choctaw

    Choctaw Member

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    I agree with both Max and Realgun to a certain extent. I have had multiple Ruger Blackhawks in 45 Colt and have lucked out because mine have been problem-free. That isn't to say the throat problem isn't real, because it most certainly is. All three of your caliber choices are fine for deer as long as you are aware of your limitations as well as that of your chosen hunting round. If you go the Colt direction, it will behoove you to reload if you don't already.
     
  5. MaxP

    MaxP Member

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    That has been my experience as well. Two of my best shooting out-of-the-box revolvers have been .45 Colt Rugers. The .44 Mag is a good choice and the barrel length issue is a non-issue in my opinion as any competent gunsmith can shorten to length for minimum cash outlay. The trigger will also benefit from a massaging, so it should head to the gunsmith no matter what you choose.

    Additionally, I just went to the Ruger website and the following barrel lengths are available in a Super Blackhawk .44 Magnum:

    3 3/4, 4 5/8, 5 1/2, 7 1/2, and 10 1/2

    Something for everyone...
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2018
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  6. Choctaw

    Choctaw Member

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    Max, I don't think I'm man enough to shoot a full load 44 mag in a 3.75 inch barrel. Pretty sure my malfunctioning left hand would complain lol. However, for me the SBH sure shines in a 7.5 inch barrel.
     
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  7. Birdhunter1

    Birdhunter1 Member

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    I'm not opposed to a used pistol by any means, I simply mentioned the XTP as it was in the manual for each round but I am not against Sierra, Barnes or any other bullet as long as it performs well.
    I've been eyeing the 41 Rem mag also as it is also chambered in the Blackhawk, from what it seems the 44 mag, 45 Colt and 41 mag are somewhat on par with each other.
     
  8. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    Of those, the Blackhawk would get my vote 10 times out of 10.
    They are available in all of the calibers you mentioned. I would go with the .45 Colt or .41 magnum personally if hunting is the main goal.
    As far as bullets go, I'm a fan of cast bullets.

    If you really like the .41 magnum and are willing to add $100 to your budget, Buds has a fantastic looking 5.5" .41 mag bisley in stainless. I've been drooling over it lately. If I had the funds for a new revolver right now, this would likely be the one.
    If you're set on a $500 budget however, you can't go wrong with a standard Blackhawk.

    https://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog.../Ruger+Blackhawk+Bisley+.41+Mag+5.5+Stainless
     
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  9. Choctaw

    Choctaw Member

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    Yes! I'm hoping this will be my next gun purchase. I really like the Bisley grips on a Blackhawk.
     
  10. Birdhunter1

    Birdhunter1 Member

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    "If you're set on a $500 budget however, you can't go wrong with a standard Blackhawk."
    When I got to looking at Buds and saw the standard 6 1/2" 41 mag I thought that might just be the ticket.
     
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  11. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    I have a 6 1/2" in .357 and a 7 1/2" in .45 Colt.
    They are both fantastic. There is no reason the .41 mag wouldn't be as well.
    I can't imagine you being anything but pleased with it.
     
  12. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Birdhunter1

    Another vote for the Ruger Blackhawk in .41 Magnum. It will do everything you ask of it and then some.
     
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  13. dvnv

    dvnv Member

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    Hodgdon's velocities are over stated (at least for a 6ish inch revolver), reduce by +/-250 fps for the revolvers being talking about.

    For most, it takes some practice to get rid of anticipation...and to add grip, sight alignment, trigger control and follow through. Once accomplished, 50 yards is doable with iron sights...you might find you can reliably stretch that distance some.

    I'll go with the others that think a 357 is on the light side for hunting. I'd also pick Ruger over Taurus in any caliber.

    In my experience, XTPs are accurate but on the soft side. If you can stomach the cost, A-Frame probably makes a the best jacketed bullet for pistol hunting. Hard cast works well too...But, since you are talking about deer, any of the standard weight jhp or hard cast will work. Pick one that is accurate, within budget, and shoot with confidence.

    All the other calibers discussed (.41, .44, .45) are fine for hunting deer and general ranch duties. Since you reload (and it being one of my favorites)...Buy that 6.5" Blackhawk in .41 mag! It won't bite you quite as hard as the 44, should have more consistent dimensions than some 45s, and is plenty of gun for what you describe.

    Can't wait to see the pics, no matter what you end up choosing.

    my .02, dvnv
     
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  14. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Birdhunter1

    Bud's Gun Shop also has a blued Blackhawk in .41 Magnum with a 6 1/2" barrel for $512; this gets you a bit closer to your $500 budget.
     
  15. AmmunitionDepot

    AmmunitionDepot Member

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    My vote would be for the Ruger Blackhawk 45 Colt or the .41. It sounds like you'd really like to go with the 45 Colt for some additional cool factor.
     
  16. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    As a saddle gun I kinda vote for none of the above. I’m no horseman but I have a lot of family who is. A short barreled magnum revolver is going to be very very hard on the horses ears of the gun is fired from horseback. I would opt more for a non-magnum that is peppy and tosses a heavy bullet. 38 is a bit small, 41 is just out of the equation here, 44 special or 45 colt will do it though, and in the same guns you mentioned in the original post. You could buy the 44 mag and use specials while mounted, then quickly swap when dismounted, but that’s not the best option. Ruger makes a .45 convertable that would be awesome for this role. Get a nice spare cylinder pouch and swap loaded cylinders between 45acp while mounted, to a very peppy 45colt while dismounted. It’s the best of 4 worlds... low pressure round doesn’t harm the horse, high pressure capable for dismounted hunting, cheap common ammo in the .45acp cylinder, and a reloaders dream in the 45colt.

    https://www.gunbroker.com/item/795018924
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2018
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  17. Birdhunter1

    Birdhunter1 Member

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    I agree on loading manuals, they are almost all overstated. The only one I have found that isn't is with the Norma or Vihta Vouri N500 powders in rifles, they typically list up to 200 fps slower than the published numbers. The anticipation of shooting deer is gone, with my current slug gun I find myself looking for difficult shots to keep it interesting.. I'm not stuck on an XTP, a jacketed bullet or hardcast.

    I saw it, I've been watching multiple pistols on gunbroker then ventured to Buds and found that 41 mag at that price. I'm stopping by my local shop today, he'll probably come in very close on that price.

    That has been at the front of my mind, a new horse I just got a few weeks ago I have found isn't bothered by gunfire in or out of the saddle. Granted I've only fired a 22 rifle off of him but it's a start and he didn't care. What I load up for carry on the saddle will probably be light lead loads with Trailboss, I've been exprementing with TB and 100 gr Berry's bullets in a 30-30 Marlin on another horse I have.... with so far mixed results on how she acts. Most likely any horseback hunts will be dismounted shots, at least in my home state. My neighbors have been telling me that I'm too modern of a cowboy carrying that Glock (they thinkits a Glock while its actually a full size Springfield XD) and I need a big Colt.

    If I do end up with a 41 mag you can rest assured there will be an in the saddle load and that other load that requires two hands.
     
  18. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    I have a cowboy/target load with Trailboss for 41 Mag. I am using 6.2 gr with a 215 gr Xtreme SWC. Mostly though I use a max load of IMR4227. You just fill it up until no more will fit, somewhere around 19 grains. Not as punishing to shoot, not such sharp recoil, as other full loads of magnum powders.
     
  19. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    I have taken enough deer with a .357 to have an opinion.
    In my opinion, I wouldn't buy a .357 specifically for deer hunting.
    .45colt goes from pinker to hand cannon.
    20181224_144348.jpg

    Thousands of cowboys weren't wrong.
     
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  20. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    I like 45 Colt and I like the way the traditional SAA handles.

    For hunting, I think it would be hard to beat a Black Hawk.

    Perhaps @BobWright will be along to give you some more info.

    Full disclosure, I don't do much hunting, but I know a thing or two riding horses and choose a Uberti SAA in 45 Colt for that task (most of the time):
    3ArsfFh0W8uwNRar38TEOIY5T4OjQxH3JD4pYRsDwrN_t612HiyikijI3ujP2jzP0bz5bUhdzeWXWnRszqM=w900-h675-no.jpg
     
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  21. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    I've seen some 686's in that ballpark used, but you should be well served by any variation of the Ruger Blackhawk, and they'll be easier to find under your price point.

    As to 44 v 45, I prefer 44 but you can't go wrong either way.
     
  22. Buckeye63

    Buckeye63 Member

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    image.jpeg
    I have had this Ruger Security Six 357mag longer than I can remember ,
    I took one wild boar with it , a 4 or five feral dogs ... My brother has taken several boar with it ..
    The bullet used was the 158gr Gold Dot pushed to its full potential...
    Underwood has a Great selection of 357mag loads ..., Underwood has a 158gr Gold Dot load that beats our handloads ... I buy them now
     
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  23. Frulk

    Frulk Member

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    Another vote for the Blackhawk. .41 and 45 will get the job done for you. .44 Mag and .45 Colt bullet selection MAY be more readily available locally. However, nowadays you can use that Internet thingy to get around it.... if you give the nod to the .41 Mag.
     
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  24. Birdhunter1

    Birdhunter1 Member

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    Stopped by my local shop yesterday, the owner and I have become friends over the years and he looked at them and said by the time I pay sales tax if buying new from him I'm within $20 of buying that one and paying the transfer fee.
    I asked him which way will he make more money, I don't bicker on price with him and he always shoots a fair deal... I'd like him to stay in business so the more profitable one to him is the way I'll go.

    Now I just have to decide with everything else being the same 41 mag or 45 Colt.
     
  25. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    I would personally choose .45colt just on ammo availability and selection alone. Carbines are more readily available in .45colt.
     
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