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Old December 8, 2007, 08:12 PM   #1
butwhat
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handgun for deer in Illinois

Given these rules:

The only legal handguns are centerfire revolvers or centerfire single-shot
handguns of .30 caliber or larger with a minimum barrel length of 4 inches.
It shall be unlawful to take or attempt to take white-tailed deer by the
use of semi-automatic handguns, muzzleloading handguns, or handguns
altered to allow for shoulder firing.
The only legal ammunition for a centerfire handgun is (1) a bottleneck
centerfire cartridge of .30 caliber or larger with a case length not exceeding
1.4 inches, or (2) a straightwalled centerfire cartridge of .30 caliber
or larger, with no minimum case length; both of which must be available
with the published ballistic tables of the manufacturer showing a capability
of at least 500 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle.

What would be the best round for handgunning deer in Illinois?
500 S&W, 454 Casull are a couple I've been considering. I would be interested in a T/C in a good caliber.
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Old December 8, 2007, 10:52 PM   #2
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I use either a .41 mag or a .44 mag. Either one will get the job done on IL whitetails.

Quote:
500 S&W, 454 Casull are a couple I've been considering.
Those should work as well. A little more than I want to shoot.
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Old December 8, 2007, 11:41 PM   #3
jrothWA
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Sound like...

the .357Mag, .41Mag, .44Mag for sure, then maybe the .30 & .35 Herretts' in the T/C.

Don't have ballistic chart but would this also allow the 38-40 & 44-40?

Re-read original post, sounds like maybe the .30 Carbine???

Last edited by jrothWA; December 8, 2007 at 11:42 PM. Reason: added info
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Old December 9, 2007, 12:59 AM   #4
klcmschlesinger
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44 mag

I handgun hunt in Illinois with my Ruger SRH 44 mag. It'll take any whitetail in the state. My uncle uses a 357 and has taken some deer with good shot placement.
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Old December 9, 2007, 01:13 AM   #5
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.44 mag with a 6 or 8 inch barrel.
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Old December 9, 2007, 08:41 AM   #6
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Dont forget if you aint a resident of The Land of Lincoln you aint gonna hunt with no handgun or long rifle in their sandbox.
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Old December 9, 2007, 08:48 AM   #7
ISP2605
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Quote:
then maybe the .30 & .35 Herretts' in the T/C.
Case is too long. Max case length for a bottleneck cartridge is 1.4"
Quote:
Don't have ballistic chart but would this also allow the 38-40 & 44-40? Re-read original post, sounds like maybe the .30 Carbine???
Factory ammo charts don't meet 500 ft-lbs limit.
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Old December 9, 2007, 10:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Dont forget if you aint a resident of The Land of Lincoln you aint gonna hunt with no handgun or long rifle in their sandbox.
What???????
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Old December 9, 2007, 10:29 AM   #9
butwhat
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What is the SRH 44 mag?
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Old December 9, 2007, 11:39 AM   #10
klcmschlesinger
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SRH 44 mag

Super Redhawk.
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Old December 9, 2007, 01:30 PM   #11
44capnball
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If you really were set on something bottlenecked, there isnt much. I think they make a 440 Cor-Bon barrel for the Encore. Ammo is factory loaded. Amazing they wont let you use the .30-30 in a handgun. Most popular deer round ever.

Like the others said, hard to go wrong with a 41 or 44 mag for whitetails. But if you got your heart set on a 454 casull you can always shoot 45 colt out of it too for cheaper target practice. I would pick the 454 over the 500 because of that. Also theres a huge selection of 45 cal handgun bullets for handloading.
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Old December 9, 2007, 07:07 PM   #12
butwhat
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Let me narrow it down just a little. I would like the pistol to have between a 10" and 16" barrel. The longer the better in my opinion. I would like this gun to shoot out to 200 yards.
Where do I need to go to find out ballistic information on the rounds discussed here?
What I had in mind was a 260 - 300 grain bullet traveling 2000 fps +
Can that be done with Illinois's restrictions?

I don't really care if it's bottle necked or not.
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Old December 9, 2007, 07:29 PM   #13
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45-70

Everyone has an opinion, so here's mine. Get yourself an Encore with a 15" 45-70 barrel. Straight wall and gobs of power. And when you're done slaying Illinois deer, buy another barrel or two for whatever else you want to shoot. You just can't go wrong with all the choices an Encore will give you. The only problem you will run into is not being able to pay the rent because you 'gotta have' another barrel.
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Old December 9, 2007, 08:02 PM   #14
44capnball
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Quote:
What I had in mind was a 260 - 300 grain bullet traveling 2000 fps +
Can that be done with Illinois's restrictions?
That will be tough out of a handgun length barrel when you cant use most bottleneck rounds. Though a 16" barrel might get a little over 2000 with a 454 casull and 240 or 260 gr bullets.

Or something bigger, like JMynes said the 45-70. Also you might look at 444 Marlin. Either way the recoil will be somethin' else.
I wouldnt be too confident of 200 yard shots with those unless you had a super steady bench rest and a good scope, even then the trajectory is going to be like an arch.

Once you get to 16" barrel lengths it just seems to defeat the purpose of a handgun vs. a rifle. Heavy, hard to hold out in front of you.
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Old December 9, 2007, 08:07 PM   #15
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You guys are forgetting the .45 Long Colt!!
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Old December 9, 2007, 08:07 PM   #16
butwhat
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Are the 45-70 and the 444 marlin legal pistol rounds in Illinois?
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Old December 9, 2007, 08:22 PM   #17
44capnball
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I think it said any straight sided above 30 caliber.

Heavy 45 colt loads, how could I forget. They can easily top 44 mag ballistics. Just make sure you dont load em in a Colt style six shooter.
Since you need factory charts to show 500 ft lbs or more, you would have that with the +P 45 colt loads.

Too bad the actual 45 colt barrel for the T/C also chambers .410. That's a enormous gap for the bullet to jump, I hear accuracy suffers. But you could use a Ruger Blackhawk
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Old December 9, 2007, 08:35 PM   #18
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T/C Contender barrels...

I have both the .45 Colt/.410 barrel AND a barrel in .45 Colt (only). Accuracy with the .45 Colt in the .410 chambered barrel is not up to my standards. That's why I got a barrel for the .45 Colt (no .410 chamber). My .45 Colt barrel is 10", octagon, with iron sights. Shoots well enough for me, although I don't shoot it much, doing most of my .45 Colt shooting with my 7.5" Ruger Blackhawk.
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Old December 9, 2007, 08:37 PM   #19
JMynes
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44capnball said, "Or something bigger, like JMynes said the 45-70. Also you might look at 444 Marlin. Either way the recoil will be somethin' else."
Hehehe. Recoil. My thoughts exactly the first time I touched off a full-house 30-06 in my Encore pistol. The new 1/2 recoil loads are much more fun.
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Old December 10, 2007, 12:08 AM   #20
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why so much gun for a skinny deer? A good 180gr .357 mag would do the job without putting quite as much a dent in the web of your hand or the folds of your wallet.

With a handgun, practical limits are about 50yds (you could do further, but your risks of missing go up considerably with loss of site radius. Even scoped, I think a 50yd shot max would be considered clean. Above that, I would be concerned, but realize I don't hunt, especially with handguns, so take that with a grain of salt.
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Old December 10, 2007, 07:51 AM   #21
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Quote:
why so much gun for a skinny deer? A good 180gr .357 mag would do the job without putting quite as much a dent in the web of your hand or the folds of your wallet.
A .357 is minimal for IL deer. You really wouldn't want to go less in caliber or power level. .41 and .44 will do the trick.
If a person hasn't seen IL deer then they don't realize their size. According to Buckmasters the next trophy whitetail will come out of west central IL. Every year there are deer taken that come close to the record. We're talking some big deer. Field dressed at 300+ lbs isn't uncommon in the "Golden Triangle" of west central IL. They're good corn fed deer.
Here are some pictures from previous years.







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Old December 11, 2007, 05:21 PM   #22
Rey B
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Just curious, why the blurred faces? Those are bragging size deer.
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Old December 11, 2007, 05:32 PM   #23
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Quote:
Just curious, why the blurred faces? Those are bragging size deer.
Because those guys aren't me. I've seen them that big and bigger and with racks like the last one but never seen them either close enough or during hunting season. Those are bragging deer for sure. They didn't make record book tho. Just a shade too small.
The land between the Illinois and Mississippi rivers is called the Golden Triangle. Hunting leases are majorly big business for the land owners and outfitters. The TV shows come in about Oct 1 when bow season starts and they film all season.
The 2 guys in the first picture are now federally convicted felons. That deer was taken illegally and then transported across state lines. Cost them each in excess of $20K plus court costs and their hunting rights are revoked in IL and their home state.
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Old December 11, 2007, 09:41 PM   #24
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How about a 10" PC model .460 S&W? Part of the problem is optics when shooting at 200 yards. To get a good ethical shot you need to get the power up. When you turn the power up you lose a lot of field of view, and also eye relief. I wouldn't want to get a hand gun over 30 caliber pushing past 2,000 fps that close to my face. Choose your optics wisely.
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Old December 19, 2007, 07:32 PM   #25
butwhat
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I've decided to go the 444 TC Encore route. Any suggestions as far as price and what to buy would be appreciated.
Thanks for all the suggestions.
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