View Full Version : Handgun Hunting

December 27, 2007, 12:43 PM
Looking for opinions on which is more accurate. Smith/Taurus Revolver or Thompson Center Encore/Contender Pistol? I hunt in Ohio where I have to use Straight wall cartridges also so rifle calibers can not be considered :mad:. I am looking for a new hunting gun (as usual) and have never shot the encore pistol but have heard good things about it. Any other pistols you can think of for hunting would be great too (has to be 5 inch barrel or longer and straight wall cartridge.)

December 27, 2007, 01:04 PM
TC is an excellent choice if you are looking at 100-150 yard accuracy for bullseye purposes.

I own several TC products and love them, however for normal deer hunting ranges ( 50-100 yards or so ) you would do as well with a low powered scoped/ red dot revolver in .44 mag, .45colt with modern loads on up to a .454 casull if you can handle the recoil.

My deer handgun of choice is a TC encore, not that it means much.

December 27, 2007, 01:06 PM
I'm no expert on pistol hunting but my friend shot his bear with a Contender pistol at 205 yards. It was chambered in 358 JDJ so not a straight walled case, but still an impressive shot with a pistol. I'd think that with the 14" barrel length on the T/C pistols would provide better accuracy if you are not using a scope, as well as increased fps and muzzle energy over a standard revolver with 5-7" barrels. What caliber are you wanting to use?

December 27, 2007, 01:31 PM
My choice is the Ruger Bisley Hunter, either in .41 mag or .44 mag:


December 27, 2007, 01:55 PM
I easily shoot out to 100yds with my Ruger SRH in 454 Casull, shooting 300gr Hornady XTP with 29.9grs of WW296 powder. I have a Bushnell 2x6x32 3200 handgun scope and it is the only scope I've found that will handle the heavy recoil of the 454. I dropped 2 hogs back in November with 1 shot from this gun and my handloads.:D May have to retire my 30.06.

December 27, 2007, 08:41 PM
alot of my shots on deer are in the 85-140 yrd range so i was thinking the TC would provide better distance. I was thinking of using the 44mag, 454 casull or 460 mag. dont know yet what choices I have in the TC cant seem to find a list even on their web site. I usually use a muzzle loader so i have a thing for single shots but i cant uses a muzzle loading pistol in Ohio. Another question is can you shoot 45 long colt and 454 casull out of the 460 mag in the TC like you can the revolver?

December 27, 2007, 09:23 PM
My hunting handgun is a taurus Raging Bull in .454 Casull. I have taken a nice hog with it. I use a handload of 26.0gn of h-110 in a .45 Colt case and the Hornady 250gn XTP. This is about the ballistic equal to the 44Rem Mag and is a real pussycat out of the Bull. For 454 loads i use a higher dose of h-110 behind the Hornday 300gn bullet. Longest shot was 54 yds on the hog.

December 28, 2007, 08:10 AM
If you don't have any state regulations holding you back from the type handgun and ammo you hunt with and are relatively new to the sport I would recommend a T/C Encore in a 7mm.08. Very smooth with minimal recoil and will flat-out reach out and touch. I changed to revolvers when I started hunting in Illinois and now my primary (only) hunting firearm is a S&W .460. (it will reach out and touch,too, but you have to practice). Takes some getting used to but, in my opinion, a better challenge with the shorter barrel and much more packable than a 15" sawwed-off rifle.
If you go with the .460 I highly recommend the Hornady 200 gr SST ammo or start off with the 454 Casulls--teddy bears compared to those bad-ass, high-priced Corbons.

Just my .02 worth...

December 29, 2007, 05:38 AM
The rifle-handguns (Contenders and the like) are almost always more accurate than revolvers. I hunt with a Ruger SRH in 480 Ruger. The Freedom Arms revolvers are generally the most accurate revolvers and are also generally the most expensive. I am looking at getting a BFR in 475 Linebaugh/480 Ruger as my next hunting revolver "just because". For deer, the 480 Ruger is plenty of oomph for whitetails. Generally speaking, any handgun in 41 magnum or larger is good medicine for whitetails. My Smith Model 57's shoot real well or as good as I can shoot; good to about 75 yds or possibly 100 yds, but I don't consider it a 100 yd gun. It all depends on what you like to shoot. Personally I lean away from the rifle handguns as I'm more of a traditionalist. But things change too and my interests sway with the wind at times.

December 29, 2007, 06:15 AM
Started out, over 20 years ago, with a Ruger Super Blackhawk in .44 mag. Took plenty of deer and hogs with it during about 5 years of use. Went to a Contender, stainless with a 14 inch barrel in .44 mag, after that. Still have that one.

My wife shot a hog with it last year during our small game season. Hogs are still legal then but we can not use center fire rifles hence the Contender.

The old .44 mag works fine. I like the big slow bullet as it damages less meat. That said though, advancements over the last few years have made my Contender, and it's round, "Old School". Lots of new stuff out there to play with.

Still, if you want to save some cash you can find a used Contender for not much and in .44 mag( At reasonable ranges. ) it will do it all.

January 3, 2008, 07:02 AM
Anyone use a 357 mag for a hunting handgun? How is it for hogs? I am really interested in handgun hunting but I only have a 357 magnum.

January 3, 2008, 08:02 AM
A .357 will kill a whitetail but range is very limited and shot placement is paramount. Not sure which ammo to recommend for hunting--my .357 is under my truck seat and used for idiots, not whitetails...

January 3, 2008, 08:53 AM
a 357 is about the bare minimun for deer, I've seen too many deer take multiple good hits from .357's to feel really comfortable with it as a primary deer handgun round.

January 3, 2008, 10:47 AM
I hunted one day this year with my 45-70 TC here in the lame state of Ohio. I didn't get anything with it, but I do love the pistol. My Encore is set up for 45-70 in both rifle and pistol, and I love both. The rifle will kill pop cans all day long with factory ammo at 100 yards. The pistol, well, I love it. I can put a .458" hole in any critter I want to kill at 65 yards and in. I have been in love with that TC ever since the day I got it.


January 3, 2008, 12:01 PM
geez768 said: "I hunt in Ohio where I have to use Straight wall cartridges also so rifle calibers can not be considered "

Get a .460 S&W Mag. It IS a rifle like caliber. 200 gr bullet at 2300 fps! That's a .30 30. And the recoil is seriously not much more than a 44mag or 454 Casull. At least I don't think so. My wife will shoot the 454's, but she says the .460's hurt her wrist and elbow. Yah, so there's lots of muzzel blast.... :D


January 3, 2008, 12:21 PM
I'll, second the 460 - you can then choose the almighty 460 round, the awesome 454, or the relatively tame 45 long colt all for the price of one gun. Pics of mine at http://www.kayakforfun.com/gunsbowsandreels.html

January 4, 2008, 09:09 PM
I have been looking at the 460 for awhile. I like the 454 too I just like to look around.

January 5, 2008, 09:24 PM
Guess I'll have to give props to the .460, too! :D

January 10, 2008, 12:32 PM
It's amazing to me how much the attitudes and abilities of hunters have changed over the years. Yes, you can't kill something too dead and I believe that there is no such thing as too much gun. BUT, is a .460, .480, .454, .4whatever, necessary for deer? HELL no! Too many people try to make up for poor marksmanship with massive calibers. .357 marginal for deer, especially whitetail? :D:D:D Come on guys. A well placed .357 with a decent bullet is plenty for deer within it's range limitations. For crying out loud, Dan Wesson's son killed a moose with one when they first came out. No, I don't recommend a .357 for moose but to say that it's "marginal" for a piddly little whitetail? I don't think so. If someone has seen a deer, especially a whitetail, walk away with multiple "good hits" from a .357, they were NOT good hits or they were simply too far away. Hell, I've seen guys put 4-5 rounds in a mulie or an elk with BIG rifles and have them walk away. I've also seen a .243 drop them in their tracks.

I have 2 words for you...SHOT PLACEMENT!!

I've killed my last 2 deer with G20 and this year I killed one at 112 yards with it. I've killed antelope at 186 yards with a Contender in 7mmTCU. I killed a whitetail at 143 yards with a Contender in .45-70. I've killed numerous deer. 2 elk and a couple of antelope with open-sighted revolvers in .357 and .44 mag at everywhere between 25 and 140 yards. What I have done is not unique and I am not special. It just takes practice and a intimate working knowledge of your gun and load along with a respect for the animal that demands good, clean humane kills.

January 10, 2008, 12:34 PM
WOW to above thread - Quite a marksman. My attractionto the 460 was it is tailorable to what you hunt. For small deer, I can shoot 45 LC, for mediumd ze, I can shoot 454 in various configurations from mild to intense. If I ever choose to moose or bear hunt, the 460 will be my load then.. Hard to top that with ONE gun.

January 10, 2008, 01:53 PM
My vote is for the Super blackhawk hunter in .44 mag I can put six out of six in an 8 inch circle using iron sites at 100 yards in a kneeling position resting my elbow on my knee.

Oh yea, and deer have not become any stronger over the years. Two years ago my uncle shot a 220 lbs field dress 10 pt. buck at 50 yards with his colt python and my 180 gr. cast core hand loads. Shot it in the shoulder and passed through both sides buck went about 30 yards and piled up. I guess we should of told that buck it was only a .357 maybe he wouldn't have given up so easily, lol. I also take my 686 deer hunting too using my 180 gr. cast core hand loads and never feel under gunned. If I want to shoot past 100 yards I will use my rifle, to me handgun hunting is like bow hunting I want to get as close to the buck as I can. Oh and shot placement should be paramount whether you are shooting a .357 or a .50 cal, a bad shot is a bad shot, as hunters we should take the time and make the best shot possible we owe it to the game we harvest. I would also like to know what ammo was used on those multiple shot walk aways with the .357 and where the hits were. I would never use anything under 158 gr. not saying that something under 158 gr. won't kill a deer but I feel better shooting the heavier bullets.

January 10, 2008, 02:17 PM
kayakersteve, that's a good point about the .460. Not for me but I can see the versatility of it.

Nevertoomanyguns, you're right on all counts. I used a 7.5" SBH for many years as my primary hunting handgun and have killed a lot of game with it. I still have it but I only use it on elk these days and use my G20 for everything else. My deer this year was much as you said. The 180 10mm went through both lungs and passed through the other side at a little over a 100 yards. PLENTY of deer medicine!!


January 10, 2008, 02:24 PM
Hey desertscout1, I thought Glocks were only good for combat accuracy, lol. I love My Glocks I don't have a G20 but I can see one in the near future:cool:.

January 10, 2008, 02:45 PM
Yeah, I can live with combat accuracy like this...
The top left group is before a sight adjustment.


January 10, 2008, 03:47 PM
Nice Shootin'

January 10, 2008, 06:16 PM
Just saw the new Hornady LeverEvolution Ammo in 44mag and 357mag:D The 44 may be a longer range round than ever before.

January 11, 2008, 01:04 PM
I sure like my 460V - Drops the deer on the spot!

January 14, 2008, 10:20 PM
Desertscout - I'm like you ... I