During his last hunting years, my Father took two whitetail bucks, each with a single shot from a stock 6.5" S&W model 29-2 .44 Magnum. Ammo was the regular Remington 240gr JHP. Knowing him, the shots would have been under 60yds and were heart/lung shots. He asked me later if there was a .44Mag load (factory, he didn't do handloads) that wouldn't
penetrate all the way through and exit. I suggested he try the 180 grs, but as fate would have it, he never got the chance again.
His standard was the paper plate. If he could hit close to the center of a paper plate, he was sure of a clean kill at that range. He hunted the woods of the Adirondaks, and that was plenty good enough accuracy on several occassions.
There is no doubt in my mind that regular .44 mag is powerful enough to cleanly take deer at any range the shooter can make a clean hit. Even big muleys.
As to the T/C Contender class, I find the 14" barrels to be both very muzzle heavy, and the upper limit of what I can shoot offhand. The 10" barrels, however balance much better and can be shot well offhand (and you CAN use both hands) or off a rest.
People that can hit a target at 100 yards with a 4" barrel only exist on the internet. Olympic shooters can't do it.
I would say that would depend on the size of the target, and the shooter. I don't know any Olympic shooters, so I can't say if they could hit a small target at that range, after all, its not what they practice. But I think any of them could learn how.
I have hit the 200yd gong on the rifle range with a friend's .357 Sig. Took me 3 shots to get the range down, but once I got it, it wasn't all that tough. With a gun I had never shot before.
I can regularly ring that gong with my 7.5" .45 Colt Blackhawk, offhand, one handed. Its all just a matter of learning your gun and load well enough.
Note that is slow aimed fire. I won't claim to be able to do it on the run, from the hip like they can in the movies, but then there are a lot of things they do in the movies I can't do (or do anymore
And I can assure you that I, and others with even more skill don't only exist on the Internet.