View Full Version : Best gun for Indiana

January 5, 2014, 09:08 PM
I want to be able to take a deer at 300-500 yards. And I can't use a rifle and a slug would be very unlikely at 300, any better options.

I would also like to stay away from wildcats if possible because I do not have any of the equipment to make them myself.

January 5, 2014, 11:08 PM
It seems to me that Indiana laws prevent weapons with that kind of range. My 12ga Mossberg 590 will hit a 12" steel plate at 275 yds. I have to assume a rifled 12 ga can shoot 200-300 yards.

.44 Magnum or a .454 cassul carbine seem like your next best bet. I know RTuger makes bolt action .357 Magnum but I don't know about the .44 Mag. A .44 mag bolt gun ought to be good out to 150 yds at least.

There is a thread on here about using a .458 SOCOM in Indiana so that may reach out a little further.

300-500 yds seems a tall order with Indiana hunting regs.

big al hunter
January 5, 2014, 11:57 PM
3 options to get to 300 yards. Muzzle loader with a scope, rifled barrel shotgun with a scope, or an accurate rifle in 454 or 460 if it is legal ( not sure how the law reads in Indiana). The key will be the right ammo and lots of practice. You will need to learn to dope the wind and calculate trajectory. You will also need a scope that can hold zero and return to zero. And it will need accurate click adjustment that is repeatable.

None of this will be cheap. Which type are you interested in most?

January 7, 2014, 10:00 AM

IMO, anyone contemplating a shot from 300-500 yard should use a rangefinder.

I've had many a hunter tell me of missed shots taken @ those ranges (at deer), which in reality were later measured @ 200-250yds (rangefinder) & via pacing.

IIRC, Indiana law limits hunting rifles to pistol-length cartridges - for which 300yds is a push, in both retained energy & arced trajectory. (there may have been recent changes to that law, though)


January 7, 2014, 11:15 AM
I'm not at all opposed to folks taking shots at those ranges if they have the skills and equipment to make it happen. I don't see anyone having the skills to do it with the equipment required in Indiana.

A properly set up muzzleloader shooting sabot's would probably be the closest thing, but I still think 300 yards is probably on the outer edge of an ethical shot with that equipment. 500 would certainly be too far.

January 7, 2014, 11:00 PM
I have seen videos of people shooting clays with TC pistols 300 yards.
Do you guys think it could go to 500 and hit a deer consistently?

big al hunter
January 7, 2014, 11:22 PM
I have seen videos of people shooting clays with TC pistols 300 yards. Do you guys think it could go to 500 and hit a deer consistently?
TC pistols yes.....the person shooting them....maybe...with way more practice than most people have time for.

Does Indiana law allow rifle cartridge pistols?.

You would do better with a rifle, and even that will take many hundreds of rounds of practice. To make consistent shots on game you must hit the paper target, that is smaller than the vitals of a deer, every shot at any given distance. To do that you have to know the trajectory perfectly. You also need to know how far a gentle breeze will push your shot. 300 yards is not easy with slow calibers, 500 is pushing it even for the best shooters. You would have a much easier time learning to stalk to within range of your quarry than learning to hit it at those ranges.

That said, if you have the time, money, ambition, patience and the right training...have fun doing it.

January 8, 2014, 12:09 AM
I think the best bet is some thing like a 454 or a 500 magnum rifle. But none of those will reliably reach 500 yards.

January 8, 2014, 01:50 AM
I don't think I could do it, but if pistol caliber rifles are legal, the closest you might come could be a Handi-rifle in 500S&W. While it could theoretically be done, remember the story about Elmer Keith and the 600yd shot with a 44SPL, it is absolutely beyond my skill set.

I'm not even sure if the NEF is still available in 500S&W anymore, or was I imagining that it ever was?

I'm not bashing Indiana, my brother used to live there, but it must suck to be so restricted as to what you're allowed to hunt with. I thank my blessings to live in a state with no restrictions as to caliber for hunting. People use 22LR to take cougar in MT.

January 8, 2014, 09:36 AM
When I had my gun shop there in the 1070s, the 22-250 was very popular in Rem. Mod 788. Just FWIW.

January 12, 2014, 08:55 AM
Contact TC Arms. They have rifled shotgun barrels for 12ga&20ga,20 in. barrels for 460 s&w and 500 s&w and they make a pretty darn good muzzleloader, all in the Pro Hunter line. Ask for an engineer or some one in quality control vs some one in sales, Maybe they can help. Good Luck

January 12, 2014, 01:30 PM
Take a soccer ball sized target & set it a an unknown distance between 400 & 500 yds. Take a field position, lazer it, and see how many times you can hit that target with any rifle you have on the first shot. Most of the time that shortens the range people will be willing to shoot at a deer. Now look at the accuracy difference between what you can hunt with & that rifle. The long range shooting craze looks good to a lot of people until they try it on paper and then think about what a gut shot whitetail goes through before he dies.

January 12, 2014, 04:16 PM
The Savage 220 might get you out to 300, with good amo, scope, and a lot of practice, but I think around 200 is more reasonable. Good factory loads quickly get you to around $3 a shot.

January 12, 2014, 07:33 PM
Unfortunately Indiana law says that the case length cannot exceed 1.80", and must be at least 35 caliber.

Right now there are a couple of wildcats available.

The .358 BFG which has a case length of 1.625"
The .35 Indiana which has a case length of 1.80"
And the .358 Hoosier which has a case length of 1.80"

The .358 BFG would need to be based off of a "short magnum" action as the rim diameter is 0.535"

The others can be based off of a used .308 Win. which would be re-barreled.

January 13, 2014, 06:31 AM
Excluding the 358 wildcats per your original post, your best option is a smokeless .45cal muzzleloader. I built mine with a PacNor barrel and what started out as a .243Win Savage. I'm getting 2770fps with a 200gr Shockwave. Easily capable of 400 yards. I've shot it well to 500, but field conditions would need to be perfect for that.

Performance is in a whole other class from BP guns.

January 13, 2014, 06:39 AM
The entire reasoning behind the regs is to limit range...

Get closer...

January 13, 2014, 08:07 AM
Whats wrong with the .357Max? Has great potential with 180-190gr bullets. GW

January 14, 2014, 10:22 PM
"The entire reasoning behind the regs is to limit range...

Get closer..."

The entire reasoning behind the regs is to limit the past-target travel of errant rounds, ie safety. The Indiana DNR has no concern about how far away people are shooting deer. This is why any rifle is allowed for coyotes, because they are not so concerned about centerfire rifles when the hunter density is a fraction of what it is on opening day of deer season.

So as long as you stay within the regs, there is no reason to feel the need to get closer than your capabilities allow. I've shot 4 of my 5 deer in the past two years within 140 yards, but I don't feel bad about being prepared for a 400 yard shot if that is what is required.

January 15, 2014, 06:46 AM

"The entire reasoning behind the regs is to limit range...

Get closer..."


The entire reasoning behind the regs is to limit the past-target travel of errant rounds, ie safety.

And the OP is about increasing the distance he can kill, thereby increasing the distance if he misses...

Stop trying to make a 150 yard gun into a 500 yard gun and live with it...

Get closer to your target...

January 23, 2014, 01:30 PM
I agree with Salmoneye. Why are you trying to shoot that far?

February 2, 2014, 04:55 PM
358 hoosier seems to be picking up steam not sure it would be effect that far.

February 4, 2014, 09:28 PM
Have you considered the .357 Herret based off a cut down .30-30 case? You could rechamber a .357 mag Handi rifle to this caliber pretty easily...


February 4, 2014, 10:41 PM
You have to remember that the 357 rifles are sold on the SB-1 frames for lower pressure rounds and shotgun rounds. A step up in power would most likely need you to have a 357 barrel fitted to the SB-2 frame made for higher pressure rounds like .270 and 30-06 just to be safe.

February 6, 2014, 01:49 AM
The easy way around that is to by one in a varmint caliber that you can use the rest of the year and send it in and have a .357 Mag barrel fit to that SB2 frame.

For the small cost difference between the frames, you'd think it would be less trouble to stock one frame only and do away with the weaker cast iron SB1 frame...

Anyway I have 3 Handi rifles and I wouldn't trade off one of them. I'll probably get one or 2 more before I'm done buying guns...


February 7, 2014, 05:21 PM
For years the only guns we could use were shotguns and Black powder. A number of years ago hunters went to the state and past legislation that allowed handguns of 357 Mag or larger.
Then a few years ago since hand guns were allowed then rifles in pistol calibers were allowed a short time after that.
I agree with the others it’s the range that stops high caliber rifles.
Varmint rifles are legal, I use a 6mm Rem for groundhogs.
Trying to get an Indiana legal gun to shoot 300 to 500 yards is a fantasy.
You might not want to live here due to no rifles for deer, but the other things like there gun laws and other laws make it a good choice to live in.
I heard rumors from a DNR officer that they are considering black powder cartridge rifles. Now if they allowed that and you were named Quiggly it would be an easy shot
For out to 175 yards if you can figure the drop the Ruger 77/44 would be my choice

February 7, 2014, 05:34 PM
.357 mag lever action would be what I would use. Either that or a .45-70. But I think that is a rifle round.

February 8, 2014, 02:47 PM
You need to check out the .358 wssm. Legal in Indiana from what I understand.

February 9, 2014, 08:57 AM
From the Indiana DNR regulations for Deer hunting

Legal Firearms
Shotguns, handguns, rifles with legal cartridges, muzzleloading long guns and muzzleloading handguns are legal during the firearms and special antlerless seasons. Only muzzleloading firearms are legal during the muzzleloader season.
Hunters may carry more than one type of legal firearm when hunting during the firearms and special antlerless seasons only. Shotguns must be 10-, 12-, 16- or 20-gauge or .410 bore loaded with slugs or saboted bullets. Rifled slug barrels are permitted. Combination rifle-shotguns are not allowed.
Muzzleloading firearms must be .44 caliber or larger, loaded with a single bullet of at least .357 caliber. Saboted bullets are allowed, provided the bullet is .357 caliber or larger. A muzzleloading firearm must be capable of being loaded from only the muzzle. Multiple-barrel muzzleloading long guns are allowed.
Rifles with cartridges that fire a bullet of .357-inch diameter or larger; have a minimum case length of 1.16 inches; and have a maximum case length of 1.8 inches are legal to use only during the deer firearms and special antlerless seasons. Some cartridges legal for deer hunting include the .357 Magnum, .38-.40 Winchester, .41 Magnum, .41 Special, .44 Magnum, .44 Special, .44-.40 Winchester, .45 Colt, .454 Casull, .458 SOCOM, .475 Linebaugh, .480 Ruger, .50 Action Express, .500 S&W, .460 Smith & Wesson, .450 Bushmaster, and .50 Beowulf.
Handguns, other than muzzleloading, must have a barrel at least 4 inches long and must fire a bullet of .243-inch diameter or larger. The handgun cartridge case, without the bullet, must be at least 1.16 inches long. Full metal-jacketed bullets are not permitted. The handgun must not be a rifle that has a barrel less than 18 inches or be designed or redesigned to be fired from the shoulder.
Handguns are not permitted on any military areas.
Some handgun cartridges that are legal for deer hunting include .357 Magnum, .41 Magnum, .44 Magnum, .44 Special, .45 Colt, .45 Long Colt, .45 Winchester Magnum, .35 Remington and .357 Herrett.
Some handgun cartridges that are illegal for deer hunting are .38 Special, .38 Smith and Wesson, .38 Colt New Police, .38/200, .38 Long Colt, .38 Super, .38 ACP, .38 Colt Auto, .45 ACP, .45 Automatic and .45 Auto Rim. All .25/.20, .32/.20 and .30 carbine ammunition is prohibited.
Muzzleloading handguns are allowed. The muzzleloading handgun must be single shot, .50 caliber or larger, loaded with bullets at least .44 caliber and have a barrel at least 12 inches long, measured from the base of the breech plug excluding tangs and other projections to the end of the barrel, including the muzzle crown.

February 9, 2014, 04:39 PM
I have seen videos of people shooting clays with TC pistols 300 yards.

You are missing the point, "Shotguns, handguns, rifles with legal cartridges".

It's the cartage that's important not the weapon used.