View Full Version : Which firearm whould you choose?

February 8, 2009, 02:59 PM
IND law requires deer hunters to only use rifles that fire pistol caliber. Otherwise it is bow, black powder or shotgun. After voting please share some particulars as to the type and caliber you would choose

February 8, 2009, 05:20 PM
WHAT THE HECK HAS THIS WORLD COME TOO!! NO RIFLES?? I out of spite would use a 50 bMG

I GUESS I would find the biggest pistol caliber and use it. HERE http://airbornecombatengineer.typepad.com/airborne_combat_engineer/2005/01/the_thunder_50_.html IS ONE IN 50 BMG

February 8, 2009, 05:36 PM
Here is a list of some of the cartridges that will be allowed (in rifles of these calibers).

1. .41 Magnum

2. .357 Magnum

3. .44 Magnum

4. .45 Colt

5. .480 Ruger

6. .41 Special

7. ,44 Special

8. .44, 40 Winchester

9. . 454 Casull

10. . 475 Linebaugh

February 8, 2009, 05:38 PM
I'm waiting for Iowa to adopt the pistol caliber carbines. No way would I hunt with a shotty givin the choice. BTW, there are safety reasons for not allowing full power rifles.

February 8, 2009, 06:22 PM
you would think it would be a safety issue. here in Illinois we cant even use rifles in pistol calber. handguns bow , bp and shotgun are the choices, but, you can hunt yotes with anything.

February 8, 2009, 07:01 PM

Tom Matiska
February 8, 2009, 07:02 PM
Two of the pistol rounds you list are available from Hornady's with their LEVERevolution bullets. Their 44 MAG out of a longer rifle barrel has some legs to it.

February 8, 2009, 07:02 PM
It's a numbers game....Deer seasons are short with high numbers of hunters in the same timbers. Also, the main hunting style is "party" hunting. Coyote hunting season is long (is it ever closed there?), fewer hunters hunting much more ground and the ground is for the most part more open.

Now about the lever gun vs. shotty. Todays shotguns have just as much, if not more, range than pistol caliber carbines. There is no reason that a person shouldn't be allowed to use a .357/.41/.44 lever gun when using a shotty firing sabot slugs is legal. I'm waiting with fingers crossed........

Art Eatman
February 8, 2009, 07:06 PM
"Timber" to me implies relatively short distances. If around 100 yards or less is the deal, the .44 Maggie in whatever rifle suits you oughta work just fine. I'd want some version on which I could mount a scope, given my old eyes. :)

February 8, 2009, 07:13 PM
there are a few restrictions during firearm deer season i think, no night hunting comes to mind. but they'r isnt any caliber restictions , so if i can use a 308 to hunt yotes in the same woods i deer hunt in i dont see the difference. but this is nobama's home state. they dont trust us with guns too much. lol

February 8, 2009, 09:12 PM
here in Nh just about everything goes. anyway, i would go with the Marlin 44.

February 8, 2009, 09:48 PM
12gauge 1 oz slugs make a hell of a hole and the ballistics to a 100 yards are just as good if not better than most pistol rounds. plus a box of 5 is only like 2.80.

February 8, 2009, 10:57 PM
I would go with a lever gun in .44 mag or .45 Colt.

February 8, 2009, 11:01 PM
ddeyo-youre lucky that slugs are around 3 bucks.
Around here, slugs are easily $5+ for 5rds.

I wouldnt be caught dead with anything except a shotgun or a .22 :)

B. Lahey
February 8, 2009, 11:10 PM
there are safety reasons for not allowing full power rifles.

Not really. A miss with a shotgun slug is just as dangerous as a miss with a rifle. A deflected shot with a shotgun slug is more dangerous than a deflected shot with a rifle. The slug tends to have more energy left after striking something and bouncing.

After the DNR study came out that determined shotgun slug ricochets are more dangerous than rifle ricochets, our fine state took the half-keistered step of allowing pistol-caliber rifles. The way the trend is going I wouldn't be surprised to see regular rifles allowed within a few years.

February 8, 2009, 11:29 PM
Anything 357 mag or bigger will do the trick.

February 9, 2009, 12:09 AM
I'd choose...

-The rifled sabot in a rifled shotgun barrel
-The SUV
-The high-paid tax attorney/accountant
-The very small 9mm and 45acp 10-round handgun
-The "For Sale" sign on your private gun at a gun show

All "loopholes" through stupid laws, rules and regulations.

50 years ago, a person could use a rifle for deer hunting, drive a cheap 8-cylinder car, do my own taxes, build and sell a 1000-round pistol (physics permitting), and buy a gun through the mail without a background check anywhere in the USA.

Have the related laws actually made anything better?

The so-called "loophole" is merely the human being excercising our inherent ability to innovate, adapt and overcome stupid laws.

As far as reality goes, I would choose a Rem 870 with a rifled barrel, a Ruger Redhawk in .44 mag, a Marlin 1894 in .44 mag, a T/C Encore w/ 209x50 barrel and a Oneida Eagle bow. All of the above. I wouls also add a nice Savage Scout in .308 with a Leupold EER scope because it gets me 3 deer seasons in 2 zones that cover the entire state here in Minnesota. YMMV.

February 9, 2009, 10:06 AM
Personally I would hunt as many seasons as I possibly could. With new ML technology and some of the slug guns available I wouldn’t be afraid to use them as well or feel hindered by them in any way. As far as your pistol calibers go check out this link:


February 9, 2009, 05:14 PM
I have a '92 Winchester in .45 Colt, and I'd not hesitate to use it for hunting deer. It's my saddle gun when I'm bear hunting and such, but it'd kill a deer easily enough.

Range would be similar to most muzzleloaders, with quicker follow up shots.

Shotguns are generally limited to two rounds in the chamber, and most aren't all that accurate (although they can be). Because of the weight of slugs and the pattern of shot, they don't work well for longer range shots.

I've never hunting in Indiana, so I don't know how far shots are generally taken. Even so, I think a pistol caliber rifle would work as well or better than the others.

Of course, given the chance I'd do as suggested above; just hunt with each in their respective seasons. If limited to one, then I'd go with the rifle chambered in a pistol cartridge.

Personally, I'd use a .44 mag, or .45 Colt loaded heavy. I use 300 gr bullets in mine, pushed to about 1700 fps in the rifle.


February 9, 2009, 06:32 PM
I didnt think a 45 colt would be that efective at 200 yards Daryl. anything that far out is bp country with me.

February 9, 2009, 06:59 PM
I didnt think a 45 colt would be that efective at 200 yards Daryl. anything that far out is bp country with me.
Today 03:14 PM

Range would be similar to most muzzleloaders,

I stand by what I said; I'd still use the handgun cartridge, and shoot out to about 150 yards.

In fact, I'd use a handgun over a muzzleloader if I had that choice.

I'm reminded of the time I stalked a bunch of javalina during a HAM (Handgun, Archery, Muzzleloader) season. I got about 20 yards from them, aimed, and my muzzleloader misfired. The cap went off, but the powder didn't. The javalinas took off, and I made a nice running shot on the largest one with my SD carry pistol, which at the time was a Star "Firestar" in .40 S&W.

Muzzleloaders don't usually do that, but it happens. It's less likely with the so-called "new" inlines, but it makes no difference to me.

I'll hunt with a ML during a ML only hunt, but given an option, I'll invariably choose something else. I'd choose a bow, given the choice, and yes, I hunt with one of those, too.


February 9, 2009, 07:07 PM
My favorite all around rifle is a Marlin 1894 in .44 Mag, 18" bbl.

With old eyes and a scope zeroed @100 it shoots a little over 1" high @ 50 and 14" low @ 200 w/3" groups. Good enough to send any deer to the meat pot.

February 9, 2009, 08:59 PM
I would think that .44 mag would do a pretty slick number on a whitetail. No brainer as far as I'm concerned.

February 10, 2009, 02:47 PM
I'd like to know who the heck is still voting "shotgun" when a neat handy rifle is legal. Nuts I tell you! Just nuts!!! If Iowa opens up deer hunting to pistol caliber rifles my slug gun is gonna go in on a trade as quick as I possibly can.

February 10, 2009, 04:15 PM
i feel your pain Daryl. had that happen to me back when i used a percussion cap ML. went to the 209 and no longer a problem. i just wasnt sure a 45 could do that good at that range. myself I hunt with whatever i can.

February 10, 2009, 09:24 PM
I'd have to go with a lever gun in .44 magnum in a rifle, but I'd probably just stick with the Redhawk or Dan Wesson revolver.

February 14, 2009, 09:23 PM
Given the choice, I'd probably opt for a Marlin 1894 in .44 mag. That said, I'd give some consideration to a modern, in-line muzzle loader as well.

February 14, 2009, 10:19 PM
A good purpose made hunting round in .357 magnum out of a rifle length barrel approaches .30/30 ballistics. That'll anchor most deer just fine with good shot placement. One example is Buffalo Bore product no. 19A which is a 180 grain hardcast .357 that does 1851 fps from an 18.5" barrelled Marlin 1894.

February 14, 2009, 10:34 PM
I'd go with a Ruger #3 in 44 Mag, but those rifles don't just hang out on the peg boards of the local pawn shops.

February 15, 2009, 06:48 PM
I believe that a Savage 10 ML is legal there. Go smokeless. Very real 250 grains down range at 2500 fps at the muzzle. This makes 200 yards a chip shot. With practice of course.

February 15, 2009, 06:54 PM
Marlin 1894 .44mag, 20" barrel, 270gr Speer Gold Dot ammo (holds 10, by the way for you BP fans...lol). To 125yds it is as good a weapon as any 30/30 and darn near as good as a .308 and we ALL know over 90% of whitetails are killed inside 125yds. See, simple.:D

Para Bellum
February 16, 2009, 03:51 PM
Easy Choice: Winchester Sabot Slug.
Many rifles wish they'd perform that good:

Distance Velocity Trajectory
Muzzle 2000
50 1810 0.8
100 1620 0
150 1455 -3.9
200 1305 -12

See more here: http://www.winchester.com/products/newitems/xp3slug.aspx

PS: Pretty wird law, that!

February 16, 2009, 09:09 PM
I'd probably pick the pistol rifle caliber in .44 Magnum.

February 16, 2009, 09:20 PM
i hunt with my ML more than any other weapon. with a modern ML you can get accurate kills out to 200yds. i'm sure some people on here have shot even farther than that.

March 1, 2009, 10:34 AM
Well, I've hunted deer, here in Indiana for about 35 yrs. I've shot them with bows, ML, shotguns[for the last 17 yrs.]. This year I bought a Marlin 1894, .44 mag. I killed a buck and 2 does with it. Sold the shotgun to a buddy. I really like the little rifle.

Mad Dog

March 1, 2009, 12:00 PM
BTW, there are safety reasons for not allowing full power rifles.

you would think it would be a safety issue.

What safety issues do you guys have that most other states do not?

Try...we aren't going to use high powered rifles so we can limit the number of deer killed and to make it harder for the hunter. Not safety. LOL

March 1, 2009, 05:04 PM
If your muzzle loader charge doesn't fire but the primer does you have left some oil residue or other contaminate in it. If you think it was clean and misfired anyway you are kidding yourself. Try using some HCFC contact cleaner blown through the primer hole until it runs out the barrel. This will cure that problem.

March 1, 2009, 07:11 PM
I have taken more deer with my compound bow and crossbow than anything else. Archery can be difficult but once you get ur first buck (I frown on doh shooters) you will be jumping out of ur boots. Its also a great past time during the weeknd ..head down to ur rod n gun club and hit the archery range, great way to stay active instead of sitting in the house. But its always nice to get somthing with your firearm too. But givin ur choices I think it would be fun to use the blackpowder and the archery. If ur anything like I would love to own One of everything (shotguns) break barrel, semi auto, pump. (never tried the lever or bolt action shotguns never will haha) but go out try hunting with everything and find what you enjoy.

James R. Burke
March 10, 2009, 03:57 PM
44 Mag

March 10, 2009, 07:31 PM
(I frown on doh shooters)

Do you mean you frown on those that choose to fill their freezers with meat? You are playing with a hornets nest around here. I'd rather hunt with someone that shoots does rather than any little buck that comes accross their path.

I hope you mean that you only shoot large/mature bucks. I frown on you for shooting every little immature buck you see. An old mature doe is harder to get in close than a 1.5 year old buck. Any day.

If I were the OP, I would try and get good enough at all the possible seasons and use them all. It will expand your hunting season and increase your chances of filling your freezer.