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Old April 18, 2013, 07:52 AM   #1
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180 grain bullets, handgun hunting

yes i know the standard convention is 200 grains at a muzzle velocity of 1000 fps.

i read a strange article that refered to the 45 colt loaded with 180-185 grain bullets as being very effective on deer hunting. when it comes to hunting i only actually see real articles concerning 225 grains and up.

Can someone show me there adventures with a 45 colt or 357 with 180 grain bullets? range animal was hit at, exit holes if possible, ideally recovered bullets..

my idea is more for a fun gun i could use as hunting. so for a 357 mangum 4 inch barrels are all thats really popping up in da world.
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Old April 18, 2013, 08:12 AM   #2
Art Eatman
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Personally, I think folks worry too much about this sort of detail.

With a handgun, I've long said that the range limitation is the skill level which allows regular hits on the end of a beer can.

It is commonly reported of deer kills with a .357 using bullets of around 150 grains. .44 Mag and .45 Colt, 180 to 235 grains are commonly used.

(With the .45 Colt, I'm thinking of the Ruger Blackhawk with its higher performance level than other guns.)

Within these general ranges of bullet weights, shot placement as usual is the more important part of the deal.
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Old April 18, 2013, 04:29 PM   #3
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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I never wondered about the size of the holes coming and going. With a 44 or 45 H.P. their plenty BIG even if the bullet doesn't exit. The techniques one needs for pistol hunting and during target practice are:

1. control-ability

2. shot placement

3. the ability to scale yardage. Not by some machine > but by Old School (eye sight.)

A fellow masters these three items. He'll do really well at a Range. And puts the odds in his favor while out and about in the Field. 180, 225 whats the difference? if you can't put them Tips where they do the most good for a quick human kill you'll be going home with little white Tails to tell. Instead of proudly sharing a Picture with your White Tail.

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Old April 19, 2013, 11:48 AM   #4
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well im reading that the normal 225-260 grain lead bullet at a velocity of 9-1100 fps have less blast and recoil then 180-200 grain hunting ammo in a 357 magnum. i have issues with hearing that make me look more at a 45 although its going to be a major waiting period for a nw production 45.

ive read alot at least in 45acp loads the 185grain bullets if a hollow point will expand well but NOT penetrate well. but 185 solid in the same load will not expand, but penetrate well.
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Old April 29, 2013, 07:44 AM   #5
Join Date: March 6, 2013
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I tried hunting deer with a .44mag Blackhawk wheel gun. The theory was sound but in practice I learned that the deer could hear the cocking of the hammer with ease. My only alternatives were to hunt with the hammer cocked (Not an option) or change weapons. I chose the Encore pistol.

So far as projectile mass I do Shoot a 240gr .44 mag out of my Marlin for deer and realistically it's less effective than either my 130gr .270, or my 165gr .308 (Encore Pistol). On deer I would think a bit lighter projectile would give better expansion. One of the deer I dropped last year with the .44mag had the same size exit wound as the entrance (No contact with bone), and she went a bit, with zero blood trail, before she laid down. I had to track her on hoof prints and broken twigs.

edit: That shot was all lung, she bled out internally.
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Old April 29, 2013, 10:27 AM   #6
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The 357 is very effective on deer if the shooter has the ability to put the bullet on target at ranges within his capability limits. The 158grain bullets have worked best for me. The 180 grain will kill deer but it's difficult to get expansion at distance since it can't be driven fast enough to reliably expand past fifty yards. Attached are two bullets recovered out of the same deer and hit within three inches of each other. Each bullet cut a rib going in and lodged under the hide on the off side. One shot was at around 35yds and the second was very close to 100 yds. The difference in expansion is very noticable. I've shot over fifty deer with the 357 (over many years of exclusivily hunting with a handgun in three states) and have only lost one deer. It was shot with a 44mag and I simply made a bad shot. Sometimes it just happens. Caliber doesn't kill, it is bullet placement that does. It's a lot like bow hunting. Know the range, have the ability to hit the target under some duress, and practice until you are capable.
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Old May 1, 2013, 11:47 AM   #7
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I've shot many hogs and some deers with handguns in past 30+ years.
For 20+ years I've been using LBT designed WFN hard cast bullets exclusively in revolvers and they've never disappointed me when I hit the target.

In my 357 mag revolver I load and shoot 180gr-GC WFN bullets @ 1,275-1,400 fps. In my 44 Special I load and shoot 255gr WFN @ 1,000 fps. In 44 mag I load and shoot 265gr-GC WFN @ 1,275-1,400 fps or 275gr-GC LWFN @ 1,300 fps. In 45 Colt I use 265gr-GC WFN @ 1,200 fps or 285gr WFN @ 1,000 fps.
Any of these loads will exit a double shoulder shots on a large hog.

Last month one of my neighbor shot a 70 lb. hogs with 44 mag Hornady Levervolution ammo out of a 6" model 29 from 25-30 yards. The shot entered the left shoulder and stopped before exiting the right shoulder. We found the bullet while cleaning the hog and it had the almost perfect mushroom profile but the penetration was limited.
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