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Old July 19, 2012, 06:54 AM   #1
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Hunting Sidearm Advice Sought

Hello folks,

Am considering getting a handgun (guessing revolver but happily consider a Semi Auto) to accompany me on hunting trips.

This won't be a bear protection gun, nor will it be what I will be pricipally hunting with.

I want it more for following up something wounded (mainly after deer and boar in close cover so shots would be short range) or maybe for a bit of evening plinking.

My thoughts are so far:

.357 Revolver (9mm Convertable)
.45 Revolver (.45 Colt or ACP)

Something else?

Please feel free to suggest Calibres / Makes / Models

I think I'd prefer barrels of 4"-6" though should I really entertain thoughts of a S&W Governor / Taurus Judge?

Thanks in advance,

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Old July 19, 2012, 07:59 AM   #2
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Given those parameters, I would go with a Ruger Blackhawk in your choice of caliber and barrel length. Myself, I would go with the 45 convertible, but the 357/9mm convertible would give you a wider and cheaper selection of ammo.
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Old July 19, 2012, 08:08 AM   #3
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A 45 colt revolver would work well for what you describe.

I carry my Cimarron Artillery model 45 colt single action revolver when I'm walking my pasture fences in case I come up on a hog. It is made by Uberti and gone over by Cimarron before sale. The artillery model is listed in a drop down menu from their "Model P" list from "handguns" tab.

Due to the cost of factory 45 colt ammo you almost must reload, which I do. For the carry load I use the maximum recommended powder charge for Unique powder under a Speer Deep curl jacketed hollow point. These loads are from the standard chart for 45 colt not the chart for the very strong Ruger Blackhawk. Don't have my data handy, so can't give the actual load. My plinking loads use Trailboss powder and round nose flat point lead bullets.

You can reload 45 colt anywhere from a soft plinking load, all the way up to a very powerful defensive load which is comparable to 44 magnum. I love shooting the single action peacemaker style gun. Very natural point of aim. The style of the gun is just classic.
Cimarron's site is here

Simply rugged holsters makes a wonderful pancake holster for it called the "sourdough pancake". Protects the gun well for hunting type carry.
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Old July 19, 2012, 08:10 AM   #4
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At Heritage Firearms in Austin they have the perfect gun for your purposes.

It's a Colt SAA in .45 Colt that has a custom .45 ACP cylinder fitted from the Colt custom shop. Barrel is 4 5/8".
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Old July 19, 2012, 08:15 AM   #5
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For that purpose,I carry a S&W Model 66 with a 2 1/2" barrel,it's a good close range gun,and it carrys easy on the hip, or in my back pocket.
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Old July 19, 2012, 08:28 AM   #6
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I carry the opposite end of the spectrum, if I have a centerfire rifle or a shotgun then I'll also have a rimfire pistol. If I have a rimfire rifle then I'll have a centerfire pistol.
The rimfires I carry are Smith 34's, one with a 2" and the other has a 4". And my favorite centerfires are Smith 19's in either a 4" or a 2.5" barrel.
But now thats just me......
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Old July 19, 2012, 08:41 AM   #7
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I usually carry a SP101 or GP100 in 357. Loads range from 38 +p to light 357. I've finished off elk with 135gr +P Speer Gold Dots and also with 38 standard pressure 158gr LSWC. They did the trick every time.
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Old July 19, 2012, 08:42 AM   #8
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IMO the Blackhawk .357/9mm is a solid choice. Since you didn't limit it to single action I suggest you consider a GP-100 4" .357 DA. Remember, this is just a suggestion. You should always choose the gun you are most comfortable with.
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Old July 19, 2012, 08:59 AM   #9
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I would suggest a Ruger Single Six .22LF/.22 Magnum, a single action convertible revolver. The .22 Magnum cylinder allows use of .22 Magnum with metal jacketed bullets and is adequate for the coup de grace shot. With the Long Rifle cylinder, perfect for plinking and taking small game. With the 4 5/8" barrel length, its perfect for packin'.

As I typed this I recalled a hunter I ran across many years ago who packed a Savage single shot pistol that looked like a Single Action revovler. Had served him for many years.

Bob Wright
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Old July 19, 2012, 09:27 AM   #10
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I have a Ruger Blackhawk .357mag, 6 1/2" barrel that is real accurate (for me) out to about 35yds. Loaded with Federal American Eagle .357 SJSP, velocity is up to 1500fps. Also Federal's Fusion, hollow point is good.
Just need a holster for it. Got one that fits at Academy Sports.
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Old July 19, 2012, 10:12 AM   #11
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I carried a 6" Blackwawk for just that purpose for several seasons. I got tired of the weight and length always catching on brush. I switched to a snubnose Security Six and it carries much easier in the woods.
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Old July 19, 2012, 10:39 AM   #12
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Virtually any good revolver with a barrel of at least 4" and chambered in any of the following: .357Mag, .38-40, 10mm, .41Mag, .44-40, .44Spl, .44Mag, .45ACP or .45Colt will do the job. Personally, anything bigger than the .357. A moderately loaded big bore will get the job done without making your ears bleed.

It's a Colt SAA in .45 Colt that has a custom .45 ACP cylinder fitted from the Colt custom shop. Barrel is 4 5/8".
If it's a Colt I would hope the barrel was 4¾".
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Old July 19, 2012, 11:02 AM   #13
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Thanks folks, keep the suggestions coming. I'm thinking a DA option might be good as heavier trigger a little more controllable with the adrenaline going.

Anybody think there will be issues with penetration from .45 ACP?
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Old July 19, 2012, 11:51 AM   #14
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For you purposes, lighter would be better. An SP101 3" .357 would be a good choice. At 27 ounces it's not too heavy but is heavy enough and strong enough to shoot whatever ammunition you could tolerate.
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Old July 19, 2012, 12:16 PM   #15
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lots of good choices mentioned. i second the ruger single six .22/22 mag or other favorite .22 or .22 mag handgun of your choice. since you already have a centerfire rifle or shotgun for larger things, having a smaller lighter handgun for dispatching big game, hunting small game, plinking and protection. it used to be that gun makers had models marketed especially towards hunters and woodsmen such as the charter arms pathfinder, colt woodsman, s&w kit gun and others. if i knew i might run into a grizzly i would carry my 44 mag but if you don't have griz in your area a good 22 or 22 mag handgun should cover all your bases and you still have your shotgun or rifle if you need it.
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Old July 19, 2012, 12:36 PM   #16
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If you don't reload, I'd opt for the .357 because finding factory hunting ammo for a .45 Colt or .45ACP can be difficult, whereas, .357 hunting ammo is common everywhere. If you reload, it's just a matter of what tickles your fancy. Even if you are only gonna use it for coup de gras on game animals, you need to check your state regs to make sure the firearm/caliber you choose is legal for hunting that species.
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Old July 19, 2012, 01:20 PM   #17
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A 45 colt revolver, Ruger BlackHawk I have a 5 1/2 inch bbl but I wish it were 7 1/2 bbl.


A Super RedHawk in 480Ruger if you can get one.

I have both and i could not choose one... guess that is why I have both

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Old July 19, 2012, 02:32 PM   #18
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I use a 44 Redhawk with 300 XTP for hunting. If you reload the versatility of the 44 is as good as any.
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Old July 19, 2012, 02:38 PM   #19
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For your purposes, the 9mm/.357 would be great. For 9mm ammo, for legal hunting where "soft points" are required, remington makes a nice, easy recoiling 9mm 147 grn with an exposed lead end. It won't expand, but it's legal. I carry a .38 nowadays.
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Old July 19, 2012, 03:33 PM   #20
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For the purposes described I would go with a GLOCK G20 in 10mm. The gun is lightweight, reliable, has a generous capacity and the 10mm round is powerful enough for anything you might need.
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Old July 19, 2012, 04:49 PM   #21
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Somehow I don't see using fifteen rounds of .40 caliber hollow points to finish off a dying whitetail, nor a .44 Magnum Super Blackhawk.

The original premise was for trailing a wounded, and dying, deer, or casual plinking.

Some of the suggested handguns would blow his eyeballs out and separate the rack. I'll stick with a good .22 rimfire. Far better than the flat side of a camp ax.

Bob Wright
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Old July 19, 2012, 05:01 PM   #22
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Be careful with that .22. In some places, that's illegal. For NM, a .32 S&W short LRN would be legal, where a .22 would not. I'm not saying it's illegal there, but it could be. You might want to check.
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Old July 19, 2012, 06:46 PM   #23
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I carry Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan either .44 or .454 with Ruger M77 in 7mm mag.
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Old July 19, 2012, 08:27 PM   #24
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.357 in any DA/SA configuration you shoot well will fill the bill of the parameters in the original post on this thread...

If I am following a wounded black bear into the brush i want a .44 in my hand..
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Old July 20, 2012, 05:22 AM   #25
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My Vaquero (45 Colt) is on my hip every Deer season.

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