View Full Version : red dot or scope for a 44 revolver?

September 16, 2006, 03:42 PM
which do yall have on your deer handguns and why? which is better near dark? what magnification? brand? I dont plan on taking any shots longer than 100 yds.

Long Path
September 16, 2006, 06:45 PM
I don't slam other hunters who wish to hunt with a scope or red-dot on their pistol. Lord knows that it's more challenging than the hunting that I often do with a scoped rifle.

But when I'm pistol-hunting, my pistol is a side-arm. It is handy, hardy, and fairly light. It is not delicate. I carry iron-sighted pistols while hunting, because that's what a pistol, to me, was made to wear. Thus a 50 yard shot is enormously-long for me. My self-imposed limit for deer is 30 yards.

Try your best loads on paper plates at 20 yards with iron sights. If you can put 5 out of 5 on a paper plate from a field position, push the range out by 5 yard increments, until you find the range at which you can't consistently do it. Then come back in 5 yards to account for a touch of buck fever and fudge factor.

If you can get the sun behind you and the wind at your face with a solid rest, it's impressive how well a good hunting revolver will print for you.

Good luck.

September 17, 2006, 07:46 AM
Thanks for the reply. When i take my handgun hunting it is not my sidearm it is the only weapon i have and would like it to be as accurate as possible. I am confident with irons only to 40 yds, and i like to see where on animal the shot is going. I cant do that with irons, all i see is a big blurry ball. I plan on getting a 44 mag this year so i can take some longer or less than perfect broadside shots(gotta be perfect for the 357).

September 17, 2006, 09:19 AM
Hoss, what you will see in your scope is just how shaky you really are when you shoot a handgun. I'm sure part is due to the extra weight of the scope, but most is shake. A low powered variable might be okay, but you will find that it is tough to use the higher powers in real life situations away from the bench.

September 17, 2006, 12:21 PM
i was planning on getting a 1.5-4x scope, i have noticed the shake in a non magnified red dot, i imagine that a scope would make it worse. anyone have a red dot and a scope on pistols? what are the pros and cons of each?

September 17, 2006, 06:15 PM
I have a 2x Leupold scope on my 480 SRH. It is a big gun to hand hold. No experience with red dots yet. The speed guys use them for competition.

Thoughts.... you are going to have to get used to a scope. It is not like a rifle where you can just look around (as in scoping). I notice that when I pull up the SRH, I'm very close to being on. The time comes in fine tuning the aim and that is where the shaking begins to be very noticeable. Most say nothing over a 4x for handgun hunting. Again, it is not like a rifle. You will be practicing both getting the proper full field view as well as aligning the cross hairs on the target. It takes a bit of practice. I'm no expert.

I used the Stoney Pt shooting sticks (2-sticks) the first couple of years. They don't support much weight. Too slow and lacks flexibility. I had deer hear the faint tick of the metal at the base of the sticks touching rocks.

This year I am going to use a Stoney Pt Polecat 2 section monopod. It is really stiff and you can raise it up to your normal shooting height standing. You will be shooting one handed though as you will be holding the monopod with the other hand to brace it solid. That is the disadvantage of the monopod over a bipod design. I am experimenting with the one and two hand hold with the monopod these days. I sight on the neighbors dog an awful lot for practice finding a target quickly. If they only knew....

Pay attention to eye relief for the chosen scope. Longer the better.

The biggest advantage is that the target and cross hairs (or dot) are at the same focal plane and hence in focus. No blurry blobs for a target or mistakes focusing on the rear sight or target and not the front sight.

September 18, 2006, 02:54 PM
I ended up getting a nikon 2x but came close to trying a Bushnell holosight. They still are intriguing. Check them out.:)

Wild Bill Bucks
September 18, 2006, 03:17 PM
A Red dot scope is probably the fastest, for finding your target, while hunting. Since they are virtually zero power, they are probably as good as you can get for low light conditions. I had one on my Ruger Super Red Hawk in .44 magnum, when I first got it several years ago. One of the biggest advantages to it is that you don't have to be centered behind the scope for it to be accurate. Simply put the red dot on the target and pull the trigger.

That being said, I found that for distances beyond 40 yards, I had to brace the pistol on something solid. I braced on a tree for a shot, and being a revolver, the pressure coming from the cylinder, blew several chunks of bark in my eyes. Now I shoot it with open sights and limit myself to about 35 or 40 yards, because that is my limit to hit with it with open sights.

Long Path is telling you the right way to go. Just my 2 cents.

September 18, 2006, 06:47 PM
Long Path is telling you the right way to go. Just my 2 cents.

That's my opinion, too.

I agree with the handy comment. If it's a choice between a large, awkward scoped handgun in a shoulder holster and a light, handy rifle like a scoped model 7, I'd rather tote the rifle. Faster shot if you jump a deer, much better accurracy offhand. The same is true about an iron sighted handgun. I'm willing to give up some range. I think scoping a handgun kind of defeats the whole purpose of handgun hunting, anyway.

I was told the same thing when I started handgun hunting, 20 some years ago, but I had to learn on my own.

September 18, 2006, 07:03 PM
thanks for all the replies, i'll probably learn the hard way too. think i'm gonna try the ultradot(on my gp100 now) first and see how it does out to 100 yds or so. hard to spend $300 on a scope i'm not sure i'll like. i like the gp with open sights anyway, the 629 should do better on longer shots.

September 20, 2006, 02:01 PM
I see this thread was started some time ago. Something I didn't see mentioned. With the "red dot" type sights verus a scope or iron sights - the red dot easily allows you to shoot with both eyes open. Most people would tend to shoot iron sights/scopes with one eye, thus miss the chance to see the animal (fall or run off). Also- it is MUCH faster to "get on target" with the red dot type. At low light conditions as long as you can see the outline of the animal it's toast. The magnification of any scope severely limits you at close distances. I've hunted deer with a handgun since 1986 and killed deer from 30 feet to 316 feet (measured distance), all with red dot type sights. Currently use a Bushnell Holosight on my 44 Colt Anaconda. The Busnell was $300 but well worth it compared to the "tube" style red dots I've had in the past. Both my sons use red dot sights (tube) on their 12Ga slug guns with no problems. Here's last years deer from 35 yards:

September 20, 2006, 02:35 PM
The holosight is quick and very well made. A tube style red dot would come in second in term of sight acquisition and a low powered ( 2x ) scope would be slowest. For a .44 mag any would be a good choice. All are preferrible over iron sights. As mentioned above, most people shoot iron sights with one eye closed, with the scope, red dot or holosight most can easily keep the other eye on the game animal as they prepare to shoot.

Leupold, Burris and the Bushnell 3200 series pistol scopes are well made.

September 22, 2006, 03:02 AM
I've been considering getting a 2 power scope for my 629 as well. I don't know how much I would use it for deer hunting, but I think it would be alot of fun for hog hunting. From what I've gathered from other posts on here in the past, if your going to go with a scope, go with the lower power scope. Going with a higher power scope is going to give you the confidence to take a longer shot than what is an effective distance for a 44 mag handgun. If I had a 460 or 500 S&W, I would probably consider going with a higher power scope or variable power since the effective distance would be quite abit further. Just FYI, I've seen quite a few leupold 2X scopes that appear to be in excellent condition go for under $200 on ebay.

September 22, 2006, 07:45 AM

You are correct that a 2X is plenty for almost all hunting and is about the best for the range of a .44mag.

I have a .308 encore that is sighted in for 200 yards and practice with it regularly out to 300 - I can still hit a 10 " circle at 300 in the field and can do a bit better off the bench. It wears a 2- 6 power bushnell 3200 scope. most of my range time and sighting in I have it on 6 power.

That being said I have ALWAYS left it on 2x in the hunting field and have never needed more power when hunting. The field of view is too small at higher powers. My longest shot was just over 220 yards at a nice 6 pointer a few years ago and it was with the scope set at 2x. one shot and the 150 gr NBT went right where it was supposed to....

Leupold, burris and Bushnell are the best, with leupold having a slight edge in quality. IMO

September 22, 2006, 08:54 AM
Trooper3385 - Before you put a scope on it, try a "red dot sight." For the range of a 44 (100 yds) IMHO you don't need the magafication and there is no way a scope will be as fast as a red dot. As long as you can see the the dot on the target, regardless of its location inside the tube (centered, off to one side, etc) you're good to go. Just try finding a moving target in any scope in varing light conditions. Then try a red dot that easily allows you to shoot with both eyes open. Night and day difference...