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Old January 17, 2006, 07:53 AM   #1
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Join Date: November 30, 1998
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Taking the Plunge

I have been thinking about handgun hunting lately. The last two seasons I have hunted with a single shot rifle and carried a handgun with me. I will be hunting middle Georgia white tails mainly (but may have to shot at hogs). I currently own a stainless Taurus Tracker 4" .357 mag.. I am comfortable with this handgun and caliber. As a Police Officer I carry a handgun everyday a Sig P220 45 on duty and either a Taurus total ti 2" 357 mag or Taurus ultra lite 38 off duty. I have qualified with both of 357 mags..
What I need is good recommendations for a hunting handgun, both model and caliber. And I need a good factory load, since I don't reload. Hunting mainly deer (possibly a hog if presented). Hunting lightwoods, longest possible shot around 75 yards with most shots between 15 and 30 yards. Also is optics needed and which one. Thanks in advance for any input.
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Old January 17, 2006, 09:15 AM   #2
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The options are numerous and as varied as the individual hunter!

Personally, I prefer heavier caliber, even for deer - .44 mag. Though a .41 would be perfectly adecuate for whitetail and many espouse hard hitting loads in the .357 mag as plenty good medicine for them.

The gun - really any good quality revolver would do - I'd find one similar to your Taurus, simply to make the most of your familiarity with its manual of arms and feel. Probably thier DA .44 mag would work admirably. I'd go with a slightly longer barrel to take advantage of higher velocities and longer sighting plane... 6" barrel at least.

Optics - at the ranges you describe, none would be neccessary - just good quality practice. But they would help! Are you familiar with scopes at all? (Rifle in your back ground?) If so - I'd find one fitting to your handgun which is similar to what you know, but in pistol variation. (long eye relief smaller magnification in the 1-4 x range) Again - familiarity breeds competence and your already a "qualified" marksman with open sights. But the advantage of optics is tremedous - find what you like and work with it!

And the load. Gotta be special selective when choosing a .357 mag for deer... That's why I prefer heavier caliber and most factory rounds out there will work in .44 mag! Just find one that you can shoot comfortably and with soft nose bullets - totally personal preference for you.

My set up for such duties is a open sighted stainless Ruger Super Blackhawk with 6 1/2" barrel shooting flat point 250 gr custom reloads. Potent deer medicine.
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Old January 17, 2006, 09:47 AM   #3
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For the distances you're thinking about, open sights should do just fine. The .44 Rem Mag is pretty hard to beat for a good all around hunting caliber. Ammo is easily available and plenty of new-or-used pistol choices to be found. If you are thinking about a holster, scoped holsters are harder to find.

Here's my Whitetail and Antelope piece, a Smith & Wesson Performance Center w/6" barrel (comp makes it a little longer). High-Viz sights are the way to go for hunting applications. For ammo Winchester Partion Gold is first rate. Here's a link for more info...

44 Remington Magnum
250 gr. SupremeĀ® Partition Gold

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Old January 17, 2006, 10:03 AM   #4
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Rembrant, beautiful grips on that gun...would you mind letting me know where I can get grips like that? I promise not to get the same exact ones; just something similar...
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Old January 17, 2006, 10:07 AM   #5
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DON'T DO IT! It is more addictive than crack!

Seriously, it is a LOT of fun. Two suggestions, both of which I use.
1. Ruger Blackhawk hunter with the Bisley grip in .44 mag.
2. TC Contender super 14" in 30-30 win.

Both are fine deer hunting firearms. You need to shoot both to see which kind of handgun you like to hunt with. The TC has a little more range obviously. Neither is a bad kicker and both are PLENTY accurate for your applications.
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Old January 17, 2006, 11:31 AM   #6
Wild Bill Bucks
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Location: Southeastern Oklahoma, Next door to Sasquatch
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Own Ruger 357 GP100--Great Gun--Excellent on BURGLARS
Own Smith 38 - Good at 10 yards for me.
Own 41 Magnum-Dan Wesson-Great for ALMOST anything.
Own Ruger Super Red Hawk 44 Magnum- Will stop a Truck- and skin it!!
If you ever get charged by a pissed off hog and you don't own one, Enjoy the time you have left, because you're living out the last seconds of your life.
Last year some hunters and I cornered a 350 lb. Boar, had 8 dogs when we left, sewed the intrals back in two of them and came back with 4 live dogs. Hog took 4 rounds from a 270 Remington and ripped dogs right up to his dying breath.
This is Not an every time occurance, but anybody who has hunted them much can tell you how aggressive they can be when wounded or threatened.
Be prepared for the worst when you go and take the biggest, baddest,ass-kikin firepower that you can handle.
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Old January 17, 2006, 01:36 PM   #7
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Scrap5000.....grips are available thru Smith&Wesson
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Old January 17, 2006, 07:52 PM   #8
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Rembrandt: LOL - Thanks! I must have been on their site 50 times & never noticed that page...
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Old January 17, 2006, 08:44 PM   #9
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There is no deer that needs more than a 44 mag . The 44 mag is about twice as effective as the 357 mag. A 6" barrel is convenient. There are many 240 gr loads which is all you need. What you really need is accuracy 1 1/2" groups at 25 yds or better. Iron sights good to 60-70 yds . S&W, Taurus, Ruger - your choice.
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Old January 19, 2006, 03:58 PM   #10
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I kinda like that 6" bbl as a minimum, not for power, but for sight radius. As for caliber, either should work fine, but I'd personally want a .44 magnum over a .357 mag. Rembrandt's hunter handgun is uber sweetness, as you can see. Just about right. The main advantage of a handgun for hunting is that you can just climb up into your stand with it in a holster, rather than having to pull it up after you get settled. Of course, most people, yourself included, are not looking for an *advantage* to be gained with a handgun, but quite the opposite; a disadvantage in order to make it a challenge. But just thought I'd mention a possible actual advantage of it.
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