View Full Version : New to handgun hunting
August 31, 1999, 06:29 PM
Hello! I am going to try my hand at handgun hunting this year and I would like to hear from those of you who have some experience. Mainly, I would like to know if handguns (excluding the single-shot hand cannons---I like my hearing :) ) are capable of cleanly harvesting game. I have ordered a Desert Eagle (6" barrel, .50 AE) and would mostly be using it to shoot feral hogs at night on my deer lease and they occasionally get over 300 lbs. I plan on using 350 gr. FP Hawk bullets, but the sectional density worries me---it is only equivalent to a 136 gr. .308 bullet. Will these things puncture an old hog with thick grisle? I probably worry too much, but I don't know anyone first-hand who has shot a game animal with a handgun, so I wonder about their effectiveness.
August 31, 1999, 10:37 PM
I only know from reading guys like Ross Seyfried, but the cartridge is inherently just fine for big hogs. If FP means "full patch" for the bullet, I'd bet it will provide ample penetration.
I believe I would avoid soft point or hollow point bullets for your pet hogs. They'd probably do fine on deer, which are softer skinned and smaller-boned...
I suggest ear plugs AND hearguards for your learning and practicing. However, in hunting, I have never heard the muzzle blast nor felt the recoil when I shot at a deer...
September 2, 1999, 09:14 PM
Thanks for the encouraging reply Art! I also just found an article by Brian Pearce and he reports on the field performance of the .475 Linebaugh and it made me feel a lot more comfortable about hunting with a handgun.
September 2, 1999, 09:19 PM
Don't know anything about hogs. I have taken pronghorn antelope, mule Deer, and elk with my model 29 Smith. Used 240 grain jacketed soft point handloads well within pressure limits. All were one shot kills. With the exception of an antelope I shot in the neck (bad choice by the way) every critter was shot behind the front shoulder standing broadside. Us archers call that a "double lung". Like any other firearm, it is where you hit them that counts.
September 3, 1999, 12:54 PM
Getting away from the issue of the pistol itself: Do you plan on walking, or sitting and waiting? Have you done a lot of pistol shooting?
The reason I think these are factors is that you have the gun "on order". So, if you're walking, you might have to turn and shoot. Or draw and shoot. Practiced this sort of thing very much?
I strongly suggest that you get a bunch of lightly-loaded ammo and "play like" you are in some awkward hunting situation, with gallon cans and old buckets or milk jugs for targets. Get your muscle-memory built up for that particular pistol.
Lotsa times while quail hunting, I carry a Redhawk in a cross-draw position. My own hilarity of a Chinese Fire Drill is to try to put down the shotgun and get the pistol out and up before "Ol' Bucky" gets too ridiculously far away. Or, switch hands, draw and fire ASAP while not dropping the shotgun or falling down. Glad nobody's been around with a video-cam...But it's better to do this sort of "imagineering" BEFORE it's a sad hunting story of "You shoulda seen..." :)
September 3, 1999, 08:28 PM
You brought up some really good points about the differences between shooting from the bench at a range and shooting in the field. I will need to practice these scenarios. This year, I will simply restrict myself to shooting at close, slow moving game until I get better. I also plan on using this pistol for deer that walk out of the woods less than 100 feet from my stand because it is so difficult get your rifle into position when they are that close.
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