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how many guys here regularly hunt with a handgun?

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how many guys here regularly hunt with a handgun?

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Old 03-05-2019, 06:05 AM
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Default how many guys here regularly hunt with a handgun?

personally I rather enjoy the challenge involved with, getting in close to game and while I found ARCHERY to be fun,
Ive never become super proficient with a bow, 3"-4" diam. 40 yard groups are doable,
but at least for me, remain a challenge even after decades of practice and hunting for decades.
but I think I found my nitch with a big bore revolver, I started with a ruger single action, I was not overly impressed ,
(back in the early 1960s as the cylinder pin on my revolver frequently worked loose & accuracy was not exceptional )
but by the early 1970s I'd purchased a 8.375 " 44 S&W and learned to cast and reload bullets,
my revolver skills were improving a great deal,after thousands of cartridges fired,
in the mid 1980s I had purchased a 10.5/8" S&W silhouette revolver and a bit later a 10" DWSM in 445 caliber
I was never an exceptional shot, but 2"-3" 50 yard groups from a sitting position, were not at all difficult ,
and I rapidly found that the 300-330 grain hard cast gas check bullets,
in the 44 caliber revolvers used with iron sights, provided impressive performance on game.
Ive never had any problem with a revolver used with heavy gas check, hard cast bullets and any lack of lethality on game.
loaded over a stiff load of H110 or in some cases 2400 the 44 cal revolvers, were very lethal on everything I shot at under the 70 yard self imposed limits Id set.
I also acquired a couple 8.3/8" 357 mag revolvers, they were fun plinkers and yes,they were lethal on deer and hogs with a 158-175 grain hard cast gas check bullet.
BTW Ive tried the 480 ruger, 454 cassul 460 and 500 S&W revolvers , the 480 ruger has impressive performance and does not require a huge heavy revolver ,
the 445 dwsm and S&W 460/500 are rather large and heavy revolvers.
I personally think the 480 ruger cartridge, is potentially the best compromise, power and revolver size, in the revolvers larger than the 44 mag
the 500 S&W is impressive but theres no need to max it out , a 440-480 grain hard cast bullet at only about 1200 fps would devastate any game at the ranges I prefer to hunt at.
If you hand load and cast, the 480 ruger, 460 & 500 S&W all have amazing potential
this level of performance is not really required, and mildly hot 480 ruger and 445 DWSM handloads can match the energy level
several friend have decided to use single shot break action pistols like contenders, these work well,
in the 35-50 caliber range from what I see, one guy I hunt with has a contender in a 14" barrel in 35 rem, whos certainly doing well.
and provide good accuracy and a huge range in cartridge choice, each of us finds what he likes.
btw
bullet weight x vel x vel divided by 450240 gives you muzzle energy. if youve got a revolver that packs a 280-440 grain bullet ,
and is fast enough to provide about 1100 ft lbs of muzzle energy it will prove devastating, on game with the correct projectile.
most ammo in the shorter barrel length, 44 mag falls just short of that with most loads , in guns with less than a 8" barrel,
but I've shot and killed 2 elk with a 44 mag 10" revolver, and 300 grain bullets and the bullets zip through and exit so it certainly has the required punch.
so how many of you gentlemen have found hunting with a handgun rather interesting/ rewarding?




how much better a hunter would you be...

Last edited by hardcastonly; 03-05-2019 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 03-05-2019, 06:12 AM
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I do. At least a few times a season I try to get out with the .44mag


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Old 03-05-2019, 08:58 AM
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I started hunting with a revolver when I was 7, a borrowed 357mag S&W 27. Never developed a taste for the .357mag for hunting, and upgraded to a 44mag when I turned 12. Spent the last ~25yrs seeking out the ideal deer hunting revolver, tried out tens of thousands of dollars in different handguns in that pursuit, shot a lot of handgun sports, developed an obsession with large frame Ruger Vaqueros in 44mag (over 70 of them in the safe today), and found a passion in specialty pistol shooting.

I fall back to a rifle as a crutch, and I do enjoy rifle hunting, but have done most of my big game hunting with handguns. My go-to revolver is a 44mag Super Blackhawk I picked up in 1998, loaded with Hornady 300grn XTPs, loaded to cylinder length and stoked over H110, beyond book values (but lower pressure, due to longer seating depth), trucking about 1350fps. I also put together a Ruger Redhawk, originally in 357mag, but reamed out to 357/44 Bain & Davis mag, which will push a drawn 180grn Speer Hotcor at 1800fps without flattening primers, with the intention of balancing deer killing performance and range capability with recoil and frame size. I keep a 6 Taurus Tracker in 17HMR for my primary small game handgun. A Bowen conversion Redhawk in 475Linebaugh is my really gotta want it dead revolver.

I also keep a collection of specialty pistols, Rem XP100s, Savage Strikers, Contenders, and Encores. I have a CZ action on the shelf with a Rigby boltface which I intend to build in .416Rigby at 14 with the brake, just to say I did. In the handgun safes, theres no shortage of huntable revolvers, pistols, and specialty pistols.

My next endeavors into hunting handguns:

1) I bought an STI 2011 frame last year, no idea what to build on it, so Im building a 460 Rowland hunting pistol.

2) I have a spare 7.5 357mag Redhawk which Im planning to tear apart - I have a take-off 45colt Redhawk barrel, so Ill transplant that barrel and a 454casull cylinder from a Super Redhawk into this Redhawk, giving me a 7.5 454casull Redhawk. The Super Redhawk frame will then take the 357mag cylinder, after it gets sent to California to be reamed to 357/44 Bain & Davis, then get sent to Bowen for a GP44 nosejob, then to bayside custom gunworks for a 12 barrel and his proprietary free float barrel shroud - leaving me with a 12 Super Redhawk FrankenRuger in 357/44 B&D.

3) I have another 7.5 Super Redhawk which will get sent to Bowen as well for the GP44 nosejob, but replacing the barrel with an SP101 style 6 barrel, and chambered in 475Linebaugh.

4) Probably going to have to pick up another Single 7 in 327FM this season. I sold mine last year, and instantly regretted it.
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Old 03-05-2019, 01:14 PM
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Well, I always carry a handgun when I'm hunting but I usually bring along a rifle or shotgun. Does that count?
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Old 03-06-2019, 07:27 AM
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jake, it would be nice if Pa. would have a handgun season. like archery, its an up close sport. most shots would be within 100 yards or less. id even say within 50 yards. could be ran during the muzzleloader season. just a thought.
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Old 03-06-2019, 11:21 AM
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Like others have posted, I'll often carry a pistol while I'm out rifle hunting. Most times its just extra weight on my hip, although more that a few grouse have ended up in the pot from my pistols.

A few times I have gone out looking for black bears with a pistol, and my 1911 .45 acp and my Ruger SBH .44 mag have each put a bear in my freezer.
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Old 03-15-2019, 05:48 PM
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I very often hunt with only a Ruger Redhawk .44. Shots are usually less than 50 yds. where I am.
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Old 03-16-2019, 03:31 PM
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I've never considered hunting only with a handgun but can see how it would be easier to hike that way.
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Old 03-16-2019, 04:05 PM
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pretty regular, have taken dozens of deer, a bear and a bunch of small game and varmints with a handgun. I like hunting long range with a rifle, but not because I have to.
RR
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Old 03-16-2019, 04:32 PM
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I heard that you ain't much of a hunter RR since you have to shoot them from 800 yards away and can't get any closer

-Jake
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