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Thread: handgun deer hunting

  1. #1
    JJB
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    Default handgun deer hunting

    is hunting deer with a handgun legal in your state? there are so many deer here in iowa i wish they would open or extend deer season to a handgun season... what caliber would you or do you use to hunt whitetail with? i think i would load up some 158 gr. sjhp pretty hot to hunt deer with my 6" s&w model 27...... i have never handgun hunted before but i believe this would do the trick with the right placed shot..... input??



    LIFE IS SHORT.....

  2. #2
    Dogs Like Him versifier's Avatar
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    .357mag in a revolver, even a really strong one like a m27, is a short range proposition for deer and you have to avoid quartering shots. I would not consider using it much beyond 50yds. With a Contender, I can seat 180gr bullets to a much greater OAL and use charges of BlueDot that would be very unsafe in a revolver, but still I would be hesitant at 100yds and want a good broadside shot. That's the reason .44mag is so much more popular - an easy 100yd killer, and maybe a bit more if you can shoot it that far accurately. Then there are the biggger revolver cartridges. With a Contender or an Encore you have the option of rifle cartridges and may be able to get a practical range of 200yds or more, depending on yor cartridge choice, though shooting a handgun in the field with that level of accuracy at very long ranges is something very few hunters are capable of, except in their dreams. I certainly am not one of them.
    "Stand your ground.
    Do not fire unless fired upon.
    But if they mean to have a war let it begin here."
    - Capt. Parker, Lexington Militia, April 19, 1775

  3. #3
    GunLoad Trainee
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    I deer hunt using a gp-100 using 180 gr xtp with 13.5 grains h110 and I take deer at 70 yards with 3" groups using a red dot.Im looking for a load using 128 gr barns bullet.

  4. #4
    runfiverun runfiverun's Avatar
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    we have an any weapons season instead of a rifle season.
    kinda cool as i can take my lever actions in a thick cover area a handgun in the really thick stuff and the long range guns and sit on ridgetops if i wannna.

  5. #5
    GunLoad Trainee
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    Default Utah

    In Utah, handguns are legal during the any weapons season as long as it produces 500 ft/lbs energy at the muzzle (for deer and pronghorn) or 500 ft/lbs energy at 100 yds for elk and moose. It also must be at least a .24 caliber and shoot expanding type projectiles.

    I carry a .357 revolver loaded with 158gr JHP as a backup to my '06. I am just starting into casting my own, so will be carrying cast loads in the .357 on my next hunt. I am casting from a Lyman 358429 giving a 170gr SWC.

  6. #6

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    I've used a 357, 41, 44 mag. I've got a T/C Contender with a 14" bull barrel in 6X47MM International Match that does a superb job if I do my part.

  7. #7
    GunLoad Trainee
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    Here in Washington State, we can use handguns during Modern Firearm season, and in firearm restriction areas. I carry a Redhawk 44 mag. Shooting handloads. Have taken two deer, and an elk so far. I want a bear up close and personal so I can get one with my revolver.

  8. #8
    GunLoad Trainee
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    up in new york only carry my 44 mag for deer season .loading 300 gr jhp over win 296 damm it makes a big hole .shooting a 6''colt anaconda with a ported barrel and a sweet trigger job . good luck to everyone this year BE SAFE

  9. #9
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    Dutchess County New York, I use 44 mag. either a Ruger SBH or a SRH both 7.5 " both shooting my cast 245,s or 300's . This year I'm going to use an Old Army during regular season, shoots a 220 gr conical. Most of my shots are under 50 yd's. Shoot them in the neck with a handgun, they don't go far.
    Last edited by Stubert; 09-14-2009 at 09:43 PM.

  10. #10
    GunLoad Trainee
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    I agree with what versifier said....

    Handgun hunting is legal in Oregon and I have hunted big game with them for more decades than I want to remember. I've taken several mature bull elk and bear as well as many deer during that time. I have used both .41 and .44 S&W mags with great success. From my experience, a .41 mag is marginal but usable for all the animals mentioned. A .357mag is impractical and could probably be considered inadequate beyond 50 yards.

    I'm from the "school" that believes you apply the firearm to the game hunted as well as the normal range of hunting conditions you will probably encounter. If you're going to challenge your hunting experience with the limits of using a handgun, do it in a way that is appropriate and doesn't risk leaving wounded animals out in the woods.

    You'll likely hear from people who will say they used everything from a BB gun to slingshot to hunt big game and they are "all you really need.." Your Mod 27 Smith is one of my favorite handguns of all time. The .357 N frame is a fine pistol and caliber for defensive use and has a long history of success in doing the close range job they were intended for. Just ask yourself if that caliber, or one smaller, is really what you want to use as a potentially longer range hunting arm.....

    JMHO.....

    TDC

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