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Old October 21, 2019, 05:01 PM   #1
Ernie Bishop
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Who hunts with a handgun for big game?

Revolvers?
Semi-Autos?
Specialty Pistols?
If so, what types of game do hunt with a handgun?
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Old October 21, 2019, 05:43 PM   #2
FrankenMauser
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I am a handgun hunter of opportunity.
It is never the primary weapon. ...But it's there in case the situation presents itself.
Generally: .44 Mag or .480 Ruger. -- S&W M29 (DA), Ruger SBH (SA), Ruger SRH (DA).

I primarily hunt big game (pronghorn, muleys, and elk); none of which have fallen to a revolver yet. But many a bunny and chicken have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. A few snakes, lizards, bees, and very aggressive rocks have also been dispatched with the 'big' revolvers.


Also, one that's debatable: An AR-15 pistol. Pistol? Technically. But it is slung, not holstered; weighs more than several of my rifles; and it requires a two-hand grip for any control. It's also running a rifle cartridge that spits bullets out at about 2,200-2,500 fps. ...Not really traditional 'handgun' territory.
A few things have been eliminated with that pistol. But not, yet, any big game. (It's the "truck gun" when cruising between hunting spots, just in case there's an opportunity to jump out and fill a tag. It is not easy to get out of my truck in an expedient manner, when dealing with a full-size rifle.)
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Old October 21, 2019, 05:48 PM   #3
Doyle
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Define "big game". Biggest things we have in the South (other than women) are hogs and deer. I've shot hogs with a handgun but never shot a deer yet. I'm currently looking for a .44 Encore Pistol barrel to use as a short-range deer pistol.
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Old October 21, 2019, 05:53 PM   #4
Ernie Bishop
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doyle View Post
Define "big game". Biggest things we have in the South (other than women) are hogs and deer. I've shot hogs with a handgun but never shot a deer yet. I'm currently looking for a .44 Encore Pistol barrel to use as a short-range deer pistol.
whitetail, mule deer, antelope, and on up in size.
I would count pigs in there too, as they are harder on bullets than deer or antelope when they get bigger.
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Old October 21, 2019, 06:16 PM   #5
NoSecondBest
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I hunted deer exclusively for over thirty years with handguns (other than using a muzzle loader in a ML only season). I've mostly used revolvers in 357mag and 44mag. I've also used TC Contenders in 30-30, 7tcu, and .357mag. Add in a short stint with a Coonan .357mag auto. I've taken over 50 deer with just the .357mag revolver and another dozen and a half or so with the other guns and calibers. The only deer I ever lost with a handgun was hit with a full power 44mag load but the shot simply didn't hit the vitals. It happens sooner or later if you shoot enough. I got tired/bored with the handguns and moved into single shot rifles a few years ago...High Walls, Sharps, Encores, etc. I might go back to handguns a time or two this year...we'll see.
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Old October 21, 2019, 06:27 PM   #6
JERRYS.
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the biggest game I ever hunted was razorbacks and whitetails. .45 acp was enough but I have a 6" .44 mag if I ever get to go again....
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Old October 21, 2019, 07:09 PM   #7
44caliberkid
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Alaskan grizzly and a black bear in Minnesota with a S&W Model 29 44 Mag, 8 3/8 barrel. Then I got a Taurus Raging Bull 44 Magnum when they first came out. Have two deer and an elk with that one. Got a lot of practice on small game with .22 target pistols.
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Old October 21, 2019, 07:31 PM   #8
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I've carried my Ruger Blackhawk 45Colt a number of times. I added a stainless Super Hunter grip frame to get the larger grips on it. Shoot 255 SWC over 10 grains of Unique, nice shooting load plenty for a white tail. I had a shot once but missed, would like to take a deer with it though.
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Old October 21, 2019, 08:32 PM   #9
Rembrandt
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Antelope, Mulies, and Whitetails.

Use a S&W Performance Center .44 and a Desert Eagle in .44



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Old October 21, 2019, 09:18 PM   #10
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I have a 5.5" SBH that I plan to bring on an upcoming hog hunt. Just maybe, if the opportunity presents itself...
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Old October 21, 2019, 09:31 PM   #11
Ernie Bishop
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I did some hunting last week with a variety of handguns. It was a great week!
Mule Deer at 280ish yards with a 6.5 Creed XP-100


Buck antelope with my 44 Magnum Franken-Ruger at around 110 yards


Doe antelope with a 686 S&W at 124 yards.


Doe antelope at 255 yards with a 6 BR XP-100


Coyote with a Performance Center 44 Mag at 91 yards
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Old October 22, 2019, 04:03 AM   #12
bamaranger
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handguns

I've hoped to take a whitetail with a handgun for years, but have never done it. Initially I carried a 6", iron sighted M27. I later traded that gun for a 6" M29. I felt I was pretty well tuned up for taking a whitetail, as I did a lot of groundhog hunting with those revolvers preseason. But on the trips I wandered forth for deer carrying just the handgun, a shot never presented itself. Then I got the bow hunting bug and went that route.

I learned how to climb trees, play the wind and have done fairly well with a bow. I'd still like to take a deer with a handgun. For me, handgun range would be equal to bow range, and my limit with a bow is 30 yds. At that distance, I figure I could still stay in the vitals with an iron sighted handgun.
I wish I still had those long barreled magnums of my youth, but both are gone. These days, ( and I need to do it sooner than later) my deer handguns would either be a 4" 629 Mtn Gun/.44, a Glock G20/10mm, or a 4-5/8" Ruger B-hawk in .357.
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Old October 22, 2019, 07:35 AM   #13
Doyle
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Quote:
For me, handgun range would be equal to bow range,
Ranger, that's the way I feel too. I've got a scoped Encore 7mm-08 pistol barrel that I could probably use out past 100 with a good rest but with iron sights I would limit myself to bow range.
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Old October 22, 2019, 09:36 AM   #14
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Handgunner

I have used my S&W mod 57; .41Mag for many years for boar with great success.
Ammo is self-rolled cast 250 grain flat point.

Also 7x30 Waters form a TC Contender as well as .357 Maximum from the same platform. Both performed extremely well.
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Old October 22, 2019, 10:07 AM   #15
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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I did a one time. Haven't done so lately. I find sitting in my above ground stand at 74 I'm a bit more confidant with a {270} laying across my lap than a 7" barreled revolver.
Staying on point.
During that time I revolver hunted. First thing I did was mount a 2 power Leupold EER scope atop a 44 mag Red Hawk equipped with a Wolf brand spring kit. My first deer? a big doe. Although after a longer retrieval than anticipated with a different deer I removed the scope and shot open barrel sites there after. Although the Ruger stainless is capable of downing things 100 yrds or more dressed in either arrangement. These days I hold my shooting to 75 yrds or less with most of my hand firearms. To have that long distant accuracy required for pistol deer hunting. I found the only cartridges capable of long distance and shorter 15 feet away (bedded) were those I reloaded w/296 and g/c cast.
Only things I can suggest to those whom want to try the sport of Handgun deer hunting. Know your'e capability's. Practice practice and more practice.
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Old October 22, 2019, 10:15 AM   #16
GE-Minigun
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Hunted deer for years with a S&W 29 Classic Hunter 6.5" barrel, had the chance to take 3 turkeys as targets of opportunity…they were in season and walked within range all three times.
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Old October 22, 2019, 01:09 PM   #17
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I have many times.
I never used a specialty handgun. Always stock revolvers and pistols with iron sights. Never used a scope or a dot sight. 100% holster guns. One several occasions I have gone out for the hunt and didn't even take a rifle on the trip.
I have killed deer (white tails and mule deer combined) about 25-30
Antelope 13
Elk 4
Buffalo 1
Bear 3
Mountain Lion 2

I used a few jacketed bullet from 44 mags back in the early 70s, but most kills have been made with cast bullets of either Keith SWC types or LBT WFN types.

I have used 357 mags 44 mags, 45 Colt, 45 ACP, 45 Auto-Rim and 454 Casull.
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Old October 22, 2019, 04:03 PM   #18
labnoti
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoSecondBest View Post
I hunted deer exclusively for over thirty years with handguns (other than using a muzzle loader in a ML only season). I've mostly used revolvers in 357mag and 44mag. ...
What bullets worked best for you?
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Old October 22, 2019, 04:05 PM   #19
labnoti
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernie Bishop View Post
...
Doe antelope with a 686 S&W at 124 yards.

What bullet?
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Old October 22, 2019, 04:18 PM   #20
Ernie Bishop
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Originally Posted by labnoti View Post
What bullet?
158 grain XTP FP
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Old October 22, 2019, 05:32 PM   #21
dahermit
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I took a large doe here in Michigan with a S&W 657 (.41 magnum stainless) about 10 or so years ago. I was up in my high, and elaborate (lawn chair, porta potty, heater, etc.) tree stand. It was about a ten yard shot. She fell at the shot, got back up and ran as I continued to shoot. I hit her at least twice more as she ran (bullets recovered) and collapsed at about forty yards.

I was shooting double action, as was my practice with a S&W.

The bullets were Lyman 210 grain nominal weight with gas checks over what I remember as a load of Blue Dot.

I shot one other deer with a Model 58 four-inch S&W (also a .41 magnum), but I don't really count that as a "handgun hunt" inasmuch as I was looking for a deer I had previously shot at with a rifle, and it jumped up at about 20 yards to be dispatched as it crossed in front of me in an attempt at escape.
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Old October 22, 2019, 06:23 PM   #22
Capt Rick Hiott
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Ive hunted hogs and deer here in Charleston,SC for over 10 years with my .454 Taurus raging bull. Have killed hogs out to 100 yards many times.
I just bought the new Taurus Raging Hunter in .44mag and put a AimPoint 30mm red dot scope on it. Its still a virgin (So far) It might put down a deer this weekend....

Im lucky,,,Magtech ammo works great in both (SJSP) is all I use. Very accurate!

If your just getting into hand gun hunting I highly recommend this book.

https://www.amazon.com/Big-Bore-Revo.../dp/1440228566
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Old October 22, 2019, 07:49 PM   #23
GeauxTide
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Have always had a Ruger Blackhawk on my hip for deer and now hog hunting. Started with 44Mag and now carry a 45 Colt or 44 Special. The 45 throws 280gr SWC and the 44 throws 255gr SWC.
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Old November 5, 2019, 09:02 PM   #24
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45 Colt or 44 Special with 280gr or 255gr Hard Cast SWC in Ruger Blackhawks are on my hip when I'm in the woods.
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Old November 6, 2019, 01:45 PM   #25
CarJunkieLS1
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After bow season I'm gonna use a performance center 460 S&W the one with the 10.5 inch barrel. After that I'm gonna use my newly built AR pistol in 7.92x33 and the one in 7.62x39.
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