View Full Version : Handgun Hunters?

Hand Cannon
June 29, 2005, 04:51 PM
How many handgun hunters do we have here? Let's hear from ya! What handgun(s) do you prefer to hunt with?

I prefer the 45 Colt and 454 Casull (though the 454 is rarely needed if the proper 45 Colt load is used for the job) and typically use either my 5.5" Redhawk, or 7.5" SRH in 454. I have been tempted to bring along my 4" S&W 25-5 but must admit to being a bit nervous about scratching the deep blue finish or dinging up the wood. :eek:

How about the rest of ya?

Big Yac
June 29, 2005, 06:00 PM
well about 2 months ago I got a Ruger SRH in .454 Casull with the 9.5" barrel. My plans are to use it for deer hunting this year. It will be my first year ever handgun hunting. I really love this gun. I love big bore revolvers so much that my next revolvers include a Magnum Reaserch BFR in 45-70 , anything in .500 Linebaugh and maybe a .357mag :)

Long Path
June 29, 2005, 06:05 PM
I passed up a dead easy shot on a ~100 hog with my rifle last month to get a little closer to his mama, who was a bit closer to 200 lbs, with my 4 3/8" .44 Mag SuperBlackhawk. They spooked, but I got in close.

Dad did the exact same thing with his Mountain Revolver (625-5) in .45 Colt, two days later.

I've taken two javelina with my Colt Officer's Model Special (6" heavy barrel), and one with my Kimber Stainless Classic Government Model .45 acp.

I shot a few times at a doe with my Gold Cup before tagging her with my '03 Springfield, one shameful afternoon. :o

None of my hunting partners nor I put anything but iron sights on our hunting pistols, and we all carry in crossdraw belt holsters, strongside belt holsters, or leather field shoulder holsters.

Don't be afraid to carry your handguns hunting-- honorable field wear is nothing to be ashamed of. With that M25-5, I suggest a decent flap field holster.

June 29, 2005, 06:11 PM
For the last several years, my hunting guns have been a pair of S&W M629 Classic revolvers, .44 Mag, 6.5" barrel, 2X Leupold scope. Results were 2 deer and 2 hogs. One gun is sighted in at 75 yds for 255 grain bullet at 1400 fps. The other is sighted in at 50 yds for 210 gr bullet at 1100 fps. Each gun has taken one deer and one hog.

Good shooting and be safe.

June 29, 2005, 06:16 PM
I can't wait to use my new 44mag S&W629 light hunter on an (un)suspecting deer this season.

June 29, 2005, 06:23 PM
My father had a Ruger super blackhawk .44mag with a 10.5 inch barrel he hunted with.
He took a few coyotes, but sadly no deer.

Now I have a GP-100 6 incher that I'll use for coyotes and I'm thinking deer and rabbit this fall. I also have a 1968-1969 nickel plated S&W model 29 waiting for me to get the cash together. I don't know if I'll use it to hunt with or not.

June 29, 2005, 06:31 PM
Hi Siotwo,
If you want some help with those unsuspecting deer, let me know. I live in The Woodlands area too and lost my hunting lease. My S&W's have no place to hunt now. By the way, Carter's Country has redone their entire pistol and rifle shooting range. Really looks much better. I plan on going tomorrow morning and try it.

Good shooting and be safe.

June 29, 2005, 07:16 PM
I have hunted about everything you can hunt in MO with handguns, and have pretty well deer hunted exclusively with them for the past 5 years; have about 8 deer under my belt with them now counting direct kills, and deer that were still up & running after being hit by people I was hunting with.

I have used .357's .44's & .45 Colts, including close-to-standard loads in the .45's w/255 SWC's, and Ruger-only loads with Sierra 240 JHC's. Same goes with the .44 Mag. The .357 didn't impress me much, but I quit using it before the advent of good 180 grain bullets for it, like the XTP. The .45 Colt is a deer-killin' machine if loaded to take advantage of the Ruger's strength.

I have pretty well settled on the .44 for all my handgun hunting needs, mostly because I have always loaded for it and I know what it's do- and I have this old 4" Model 29 that has been with me a long time, has always worked, and so I'll just keep using it.

If I were starting from scratch. I'd give the .480 a hard look. This one's a real draft horse, and even loaded down to 900 fps or so it is still all the handgun you'd need for most grass-eaters. If Ruger would bring out a 5-shot SA for that caliber, it'd sell like hotcakes.

June 29, 2005, 08:08 PM
Last year was my first year hunting with a revolver for whitetails. Have a 480 Rguer SRH with 9.5" barrel with a 2x Leopold ER scope. I am still trying to handle that big guy. May revert back to my 8 3/8" SW Model 57 this year at leaset some of the time. No scores as of yet. Wasn't seeing any bucks last year, changed to my 270 Rem 700 and got an small 8pt. Could have easily had a good shot with the 480 IF I had it along. This year, the handgun will be my primary woods gun for deer. I don't really care (that much) if I score this year unless it is a trophy, or a buck with the handgun.

Johnny Guest
June 29, 2005, 09:53 PM
I've taken deer with - - -
Ruger Old Model Blackhawk .45 Colt, 7-1/2"
Colt SAA .45 Colt, 4-3/4"
S&W 1955 Target (Old M25) 6-1/2"
Colt National Match .45
Colt Three-Fifty-Seven 4"

Lotsa rabbits, possums, armadillos, and a few raccoons with various handguns. Finisher shots on hogs with .45 NM and S&W 625-5.


June 30, 2005, 05:49 PM
Always enjoyed using a handgun to hunt with. I started with a High Standard Sentinel .22 Revolver, had to help Grandma shoot it when I was 3, years old, took a dove with it at age 5, grandmas need to learn stuff ya know... ;)

I used that same .22 Revo to stop an immediate threat of a rabid dog chasing a sib when I was about 10. That High Standard was my gun - waiting for me to be born...it was always loaded and I grew up in a house with firearms and Firearm Safety.

I don't have a dedicated Handgun for hunting. I don't own any scopes for any guns...much less a handgun. So I use/have used anything from .22 revos/ semis, to my CCWs, in whatever caliber for critter control on a farm or ranch to borrowing a Single Action, DA in larger calibers.

Have taken Deer with a 1911 carry gun and BHP, small game too. Model 10s , 64s, 19s have taken various game as well. One should feel at home with a CCW.

Keltec P-11 to take groundhogs, raccoons, snakes...

1928 Colt Detective Special , with standard 158 gr LSWC-HP takes care of rabid skunks and racoons too.

Most Challenging shot at game: Bushytail at 7yds sitting on a stump- with a NAA Mini Revo , 1 1/8" bbl using Win Powerpoints. Stalking in leather shoes, kahkis, blue oxford shirt, kinda tough...doable.

Hunting regs state 4" min bbl lengh here. With "depredation permit" one has some leeway...[Critter Control]

Squirrel was the one that had eaten on farmhouse, then had the gall to eat the birdfood set out on the stump...he won't be doing that again.

June 30, 2005, 09:42 PM
I like a .38 revolver with downloaded, lightweight wadcutters for squirrel and rabbit. Dunno why, really. I guess it's overkill. It is mighty fun though, and you still get plenty of meat if you hit 'em just right.

July 1, 2005, 08:49 AM
An antelope at 80 yards several years ago with my smith 57,6", .41 mag.I will say that a large powerful gun is the way to go on game but I don't shoot my magnums much,don't like the sharp recoil

July 2, 2005, 04:40 AM
5.5" Accusport Stainless Bisley in 45 Colt.

Beartooth Bullets 300gr. WFNPB at 1150 fps on big game.

Mt. Baldy 255gr Keith style at 950 fps on 'yotes.

Took a deer two years ago with my Kimber with Corbon 185gr. +p at 1150fps. Wasn't that impressed with the light bullets performance, that's when I decided to use a heavy bullet and bought a sixgun.

I try to hunt big game exclusively with a handgun, and 'yotes I will shoot with either my AR or Ruger, but prefer to call them close and use the sixgun.

I want a Freedom Arms 83 in .475 Linebaugh, but they are a bit out of my price range.


Big Yac
July 2, 2005, 01:18 PM
if you want a .475 Linebaugh check out the Magnum Research BFR line. Quality wise they are better than Rugers and just about on par with Freedom Arms. They also come in a wide variety of calibers including .475 Linebaugh, .444 Marlin, 45-70 and several others.

Quickdraw Limpsalot
July 2, 2005, 02:28 PM
Dad has a 10.5" Super Blackhawk .44 that's taken 13 deer so far. I bought a similar 10.5" SBH .44 but I haven't even seen a deer while hunting the last two years. I will though.

July 6, 2005, 09:31 AM
Big Yac,

You are dead on the money to lust for a Magnum Research BFR 45/70. It is a hog-killin' machine, and would be perfect for deer or any other relatively large game animal (properly hand-loaded, there is nothing this side of the world that it will not take!). And the quality of the product is superb. The pricing is fair (in fact, I believe the prices have even dropped a bit since I bought mine a couple of years ago). Go for it.

Frankly, I have owned a Smith .500 magnum as well, and did not like it near as well as I like my BFR.


July 6, 2005, 06:32 PM
http://thefiringline.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=13495Super blackhawk in .44 mag is my hunter. Redhawk .44 is my "small gun". :D

July 6, 2005, 07:51 PM
I have used a handgun exclusively for the past five firearms deer season here in Georgia. It just got too easy with a rifle.

I have a T/C Contender Scoped in 7-30 Waters,A Scoped Ruger Redhawk in .41 Mag, A Ruger Blackhawk in .41 Mag and a S&W 29 4", both with open sights.

I handload for all of them.

Big Yac
July 6, 2005, 10:44 PM
Big Yac,

You are dead on the money to lust for a Magnum Research BFR 45/70. It is a hog-killin' machine, and would be perfect for deer or any other relatively large game animal (properly hand-loaded, there is nothing this side of the world that it will not take!). And the quality of the product is superb. The pricing is fair (in fact, I believe the prices have even dropped a bit since I bought mine a couple of years ago). Go for it.

Frankly, I have owned a Smith .500 magnum as well, and did not like it near as well as I like my BFR.


the Magnum Research in 45-70 is going to be my next revolver for sure(unless I go to the police academy then its gonna be a revolver in .357 mag), the long barreled version ofcourse :) I also agree it would be a nice gun for deer. Here in Ohio we can only use shotguns with slugs or revolvers. I havent got a deer yet with the shotgun but I believe I"m better with the revolver, so hopefully I"ll get one this year with the Casull :D

December 5, 2005, 05:11 PM
Have taken two deer with a handgun so far. One with a 44 SBH and the other with a KGP-141. Both within 30 yards and dropped quickly. I think it really adds to the deer hunting experience.
On a side note-do those Walker game ears really work?? Kind of noticed the ringing this year using the 357 and would like to find a reasonable alternative for my ears when handgun hunting.

December 5, 2005, 10:51 PM
Other than the weight, I'm pleased with 7 1/2" SBH in .454. Buddy put a scope on his, but I've stayed with irons.

Great versatility. Last Sunday morning I had it loaded with two 240-grain XTPs (box sez 2000 fps!), two .45 300-grain cast handloads (around 1250 fps) and two 250-grain Black Hills "cowboy loads" (around 720 fps). After waiting unsuccessflly on Bambi's Granddaddy for a couple of hours and needing to go meet some guys at camp to go chase qualie birds, Mr. Big Crow landed in a tree right in front of my pop-up blind.

It was not a safe shot due to height, but I casually rolled the cylinder around to be keyed up for the first cowboy load "just in case". Then Mr. Big Crow decided to go to the ground. :D Centerpunched him at 28 yards. A "confidence builder" if nothing else. ;)

Also got a Glock 29 (compact 10mm) for "light packing" days, but all I've shot with it thus far is paper and one rattler.

C01, regarding hearing protection, I usually try to keep a pair of the foam plugs (on the stiff wire or string) around my neck to put in place when time. Sometimes I've carried big Peltor electronic muffs to the blind, but have yet to need. And they interfered with sleepin'. :)

Big Yac
December 5, 2005, 11:44 PM
Our deer season just ended Sunday but I have a few questions for you handgun hunters. I did go deer hunting all week with my .454 Casull but didnt see a thing. This was my first year as a handgun hunter so I learned a few things. I got a bandolier style holster which worked out really nice, was great not carrying around a shotgun the whole time. What I'm wondering is what type of hearing protection do you guys use when hunting? I shot my 454 once without ear plugs while target shooting and I'm determined NEVER to do that again. So when I went hunting I had the foam ear plugs, ofcourse you cant hear much with them in. Are the electronic ear plugs that drown out loud sounds good for this? I see some of the electronic ear plugs can even help amplify sounds, which would make hearing oncoming game easier. Also, whats a good cold weather glove to wear when handgun hunting? I found a nice combination of the mittens that you can fold back to reveal a fingerless type glove with my lightweight camo gloves underneath them. that way when waiting I could have the mitten part covered my fingers and when something came along I could flip it down and have good feel on the trigger.

December 6, 2005, 12:30 AM
I carry my Ruger Super Blackhawk in .44 mag with 6 1/2" barrel, stainless, in the hopes of one day taking big game with it... also my carry peice for mountain lion.

So far all I've taken with it is Ruffed Grouse - accurate enough for head shots only at 30 ft or less. :D

December 6, 2005, 11:44 AM
This spring I purchased a S&W model 629 .44 magnum with a 6 1/2' power port brl. I love the hogue grip on the large frame revolver. I also purchased a Burris 2 power pistol scope for it. Buris has to make one of the best pistol scopes ever (in my opinion). This is one gun I will never sell. It is fun to shoot the down loaded 44spl. and 44 mag cowboy loads and for hunting the 240XTP shells preformed well.



the possum
December 9, 2005, 08:00 PM
Only got two deer with a pistol, both using my Freedom Arms .454. First one was with 250 grain Hornady hollowpoints going about 1700 fps, the one this season was with 335 grain hardcasts. (don't know the velocity. Aughta be somewhere around 1500-1600 with those)

Got some squirrels with dad's Ruger single-six .22s.

Kilt a couple hundred raccoons and possums with a pistola now, though. Most of 'em were with either a Witness .45 ACP or Kimber .45 ACP. Also a few with the .454 and .22 mentioned above, but I won't use the .22 on 'em anymore.

M Jager
December 9, 2005, 09:44 PM
Mine is a stainless Dan Wesson .41 mag cause its the only handgun I got. Last year I shot with red dot and shot a deer. This year I shot iron sights and took 2 year with it.
I really want a stainless ruger 44 mag with 7.5 barrel though. Anybody wanna trade?