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Old April 28, 2013, 08:24 AM   #1
Barneveld
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.40 S&W for Deer

I was thinking about using my hi-point .40S&W handgun for deer this fall if the accuracy is high enough. Has anyone tested the accuracy of these pistols out to 100yd?

I will be hand-loading the shells for this, so any suggestions or recipes would be very helpful?
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Old April 28, 2013, 08:31 AM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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A 40SW at 100 yards is in no way shape or form an acceptable deer hunting cartridge.

I might consider using one (as I have my 357sig) at extremely close, literally short-range archery, distances. 25 or 30 yards would be maximum distance.

First, you've got the accuracy problem. Open sights on what amounts to a "combat" handgun.

Second is the energy/penetration problem.

No way is that round going to make ethical kills at anything remotely close to 100 yards.
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Old April 28, 2013, 08:37 AM   #3
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Understandably, 100 yards is crazy for this caliber. A max of 50 sounds realistic, but I am concerned with weather or not this pistol would be possible of consistently small groupings at such a distance.
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Old April 28, 2013, 08:40 AM   #4
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No one can give you more than a generalized prediction which you will have to test under realistic hunting conditions anyway, rendering the predictions moot next to your tests.

50 yards is too far. I would not consider exceeding 30.
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Old April 28, 2013, 09:03 AM   #5
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Agreed. At very short ranges you might be OK with a proper load. There are better choices for handgun hunting though.

The only way to determine whether the gun, and more importantly you, have the accuracy potential to make a clean ethical shot, is to practice at the ranges you expect to use, and to do it from real world field positions. I am a firm believer in using a solid bench for testing, and ignoring it for determining whether I can make a shot in the field. There are no benches out there. Good luck.
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Old April 28, 2013, 09:06 AM   #6
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In a perfect world, I would be carrying a .357 mag, but I picked up the hipoint at a gun auction, and nobody wants to trade with me. So, now I am forced to learn what this gun can do and how to load for it.
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Old April 28, 2013, 09:15 AM   #7
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I agree with Brian...The object is to bag a deer and if you just injure it because you tried it from distance and with a pistol....well no need to say what happens to an injured deer.

I would never attempt it (using a pistol round) in anything but a carbine @ 30 yards or less. 44 magnum...Maybe a 100 yrs...still have to be a carbine before i (myself) would i would consider attempting it.

I am sure someone on here is confident enough to make shots like that but the last thing any of us gun lovers need is another mistake, injured deer, anything for the gathering army to use against the private ownership of any firearm.
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Old April 28, 2013, 09:56 AM   #8
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When my eyes were younger, took whitetails at 40 - 50 yards with a 70 series Gold Cup in .45. Load was a 250 grain SWC with an unprintable load of Blue Dot. Worked pretty well, the few that one shot didn't finish, were dispatched with one more. Only one got away, sunk in a lake. Anyway, it works if you're careful.
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Old April 28, 2013, 10:32 AM   #9
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Thanks for all of the input. Any recommendations on hand loading, or would that be another thread?
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Old April 28, 2013, 10:40 AM   #10
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It could be a thread in the reloading forum but it could be answered here as well.

I'd personally choose the Hornady XTP and find an accurate max load. Deer are thin-skinned, light-boned animals and not very "thick". Two holes would be preferable. I'd use the 155gr, probably, and drive it as fast as I could push it within published data.
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Old April 28, 2013, 11:28 AM   #11
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Thank you very much for the reloading info. I have many questions, so I will start a new thread in the reloading forum.
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Old April 28, 2013, 12:49 PM   #12
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I recommend stepping up to a 10mm and then try hot loads and keep distances below 40yds.

Or go ahead and get a 44mag or 357mag with at least a 8" barrel.
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Old April 28, 2013, 01:08 PM   #13
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If you were looking to shoot deer or any animal you would be looking at being able to hit consistently a small target at 100 yards. Never mind the caliber if you can do that you are a better shot with a handgun than most people i know.

Advice here on shooting deer. Quote Although deer are comparatively large animals, the vital areas for clean kills are small. No one should consider stalking unless they can consistently shoot a group of three shots within a 10cm target at 100m.

Quote.
For Muntjac and Chinese Water deer only- a rifle with a minimum calibre of not less than .220 inches and muzzle energy of not less than 1000 foot pounds and a bullet weight of not less than 50 grains may be used.

For all deer of any species - a minimum calibre of .240 and minimum muzzle energy of 1,700 foot pounds is the legal requirement.
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Old April 28, 2013, 01:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Thank you very much for the reloading info. I have many questions, so I will start a new thread in the reloading forum.
Regardless of what you learn in a new thread in the reloading forum, a .40 out of a combat handgun is not suitable for taking deer. Be a responsible hunter, just because it can be done, does not mean it should. Wait a few months until you can afford a better suited handgun for hunting deer, until then borrow someones or use a rifle. I am not against hunting at all, but no animal deserves to be wounded by an unethical hunter only to drag itself into the woods and bleed out slowly. There have been cases where amateur hunters who played too many video games go around trying to get headshots on deer at 150+ yards, only to miss and take out the deers jaw. Instead of bleeding out the deer starves to death over not being able to eat. Like I said before, hunt responsibly.

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Old April 28, 2013, 01:52 PM   #15
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save up your money and buy a mosin nagant and some soft point ammo. that is an infinitely better deer gun
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Old April 28, 2013, 01:56 PM   #16
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Quote:
A 40SW at 100 yards is in no way shape or form an acceptable deer hunting cartridge.
As far as I'm concerned, it is not acceptable at 50 yds regardless of whether you can hit your intended target area.

I don't particularly believe the 357 mag (from a typical handgun) is a good caliber for whitetail hunting. It is adequate up to 50 yds. The 357 mag is quite a bit more powerful than your typical 40 S&W. I feel sure someone will quote ballistics and energy numbers to prove me wrong. Police have trouble shooting road kills/wounded deer with their 40's.
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Old April 28, 2013, 03:29 PM   #17
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Checked back in on this after working on other things for awhile. I never thought this thread would spark such outrage or concern.

First, I usually hunt with a .308, which has served me well for years.

Second, I ended up with a hipoint .40S&W from an auction a couple weeks ago. I'm trying to figure out what it is reasonably capable of. I ask about deer hunting with it because a number of forums, etc. have stated that medium game hunting with a 10mm is not out of the question. Since they share very close shell sizes, I thought I would investigate.

Sorry If I riled anyone up too much. It was not my intention.
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Old April 28, 2013, 03:34 PM   #18
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8.0 gr Hodgdon Longshot with choice of 180gr JHP 1.125" COL will produce 1150fps I forget the ft lbs of energy its a stout load and can be hard on guns. its max load though is a published book load. I wouldnt be shooting no 100 or 50 yards. for good kill I would want 25 yards max and preferably closer.
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Old April 28, 2013, 04:31 PM   #19
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To the OP-- Please dont go out and shoot dear with a .40. As others said, a clean kill is very unlikely at any range. Its bad for the deer and bad for all responsible hunters. If your a crack shot a 357 or hot 45lc is minimum. 44 or larger to be comfortable. Use that 308 for your deer, great round.
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Old April 28, 2013, 04:47 PM   #20
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I would not feel like it would be an ethical choice for deer hunting, especially at 100 yards. Sure you might kill it, but you are much more likely to injure/maimed it severely and have it run so far that you never find it. One pointlessly killed animal that died a slow painful death at your hands because you were not using the right tool for the job.

Deer hunting with a handgun I wouldn't want anything less than a .44 magnum with a 6" barrel and I wouldn't be shooting a deer at 100 yard with it because that is beyond my ability as a shooter. If I do not know that I can do it, I won't risk it.
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Old April 28, 2013, 07:15 PM   #21
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Deer hunting with a .40 S&W.....the only thing I would use it for is dispatching a deer I had shot with my rifle and for whatever reason, was down but not yet dead. There is no other deer hunting related use for it.
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Old April 28, 2013, 07:22 PM   #22
Nathan
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10mm yes within about 25 yards or so...

40...ok, maybe to 10 yards with quality ammo....

44 mag.... Out to 100 yds unless you have a long barrel and optic.

Good luck!
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Old April 28, 2013, 07:59 PM   #23
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Deer can be taken with high-quality JHPs using the 9mm, .40S&W, and .45ACP- the two caveats being that one must treat it like bowhunting and keep shots to within 25-30 yards and that carefully placed shots be taken which means that it will be necessary to "pass" more often than to "shoot".

It not that it is impossible, but most folks interested in putting meat on the table within the limited hunting season simply lack the combination of skill, patience, and time required for such a pursuit.

I've done it successfully, with a 9mm (147 gr XTP handloaded to 1050 fps), but other than for the sake of the 'stunt', I'd much rather have my scoped .30-06 loaded with 150 gr. TSXs for the task.
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Old April 28, 2013, 09:16 PM   #24
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One thing to understand is that deer aren't tough to kill, so anybody claiming the .40 won't work has their head in the sand. The .40 doesn't lack power, the biggest disadvantage is the platform, as no pistol is the ticket for 100yd deer hunting.

There isn't anything unethical about deer hunting with a .40 (or .45 too), a good shot is a good shot. A bad shot is unethical and many deer are shot poorly even with guns that are "better" choices.

With that said, most can't hit an 8" popper at 25yds with any consistency. Don't shoot anything further than you're comfortable with. It's hard for me to imagine too many even trying a 50-75yd shot with a pistol.

I have no issue getting 1150 fps with 180gr from a 4" Glock 23. With hardcast lead, it's closer to 1175 fps, and the sweet Beartooth 200gr WFNGC hardcast can get out near 1,100 fps from the G23. There's no deer on this planet those loads will bounce off of, they'll drop dead every time if you put the bullet where it needs to go.


Many deer have fallen, and fallen quick with a 40 or 45, even with basic factory loaded ammo.
http://www.gunblast.com/JoeRiekers-NewAmmo.htm
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Old April 29, 2013, 05:20 AM   #25
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Wow. It's amazing all of the great responses to this thread. From what I have learned here and elsewhere, I will be sighting in the .40 for 50yd and hopefully will not be shooting it beyond 30 yds. That said, it will strictly be a secondary carry piece behind my .308. It will not be used unless I stumble upon the rare circumstance where I am within pistol range.
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