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DEER WITH A HANDGUN

7 posts in this topic

I've killed several critters with my .44, and in my experience you will not be flattening the animal with your first shot. If you hit 'em in the boiler room they are going to run a bit just as they would with most rounds. Heck, the .44 has a lot less horsepower than a normal deer caliber rifle round, so keep your expectations in line. My self-imposed limit is a clear 50 yards.
Had a buck run nearly 100 yards once with 4 slugs from my rifle in his chest - all at fairly close range. I would imagine he might have gone a bit farther with similar shots from the .44.
The last deer I shot with the .44 was taken in the head out of my treestand - at about 15 yards. That one didn't run. Hung up the handgun for hunting several years ago, and stick to the long guns. Just haven't had enough time to practice and keep the confidence level up.

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The energy in a .44 Mag bullet at the muzzle is less than the energy in a .30-30 rifle at 200 yards. I know many people who wouldn't want to take a 200-yard shot with a .30-30 because of the dropping energy at that range.

I'm not against hunting with handguns, in fact I've done it myself, but I've set a limit at 25-40 yards or so. The .44 Mag seems like a real powerful cartridge, indeed it is for a handgun, but it doesn't even come close to the power of a "marginal" rifle.

Something to think about...

Cashcrews

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buddy of mine has the exact same gun and set up. he has no problem stopping anything that he can get a clear shot at, but his stand has a max of about 65 yards. As with any gun, the ammo you choose will make a big difference. He uses Federal hydra shoks, 240gr.

For fun, when my youngest got near age I picked up a mdl 94 in .44 mag for him. ballistics from the 16in barrel are very similar to a 20ga w/premium sabots. Put a 3x9 40mm cheap bushnell on it. (dusk to Dawn)I took his lead and shot with the 240gr. hydra shoks and can make a 4 inch group at 100yds. Most of the shooting we get is 100 or less. (like everyone else in MN.) 2 years ago, I put a portable up on the edge of a swamp that we don't usually hunt and had a spike come out on a heavy trail, and since we don't usually hunt this area, i wasn't sure the distance. knew it was over 100 but by how much?? Gun is zeroed at 75 so I held a bit high and let go. Deer ran 40 yards an dropped at the edge of the brush. When I got there, I couldn't believe how far it was so using the gps I found it was 165 yards! There was a funny bump in the skin of the right shoulder and when we butchered just under the skin on the exit side of the deer was the bullet looking just like the ones in the pictures. Perfect full mushroom and the center pin sticking out clean. The bullet had gone through both shoulder blades too.

I know it's way different coming out a 16" barrel vs. 8", but having a good bullet on the end is worth a lot of tracking and dragging.

Good Luck!

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I own a Ruger 357 Mag and have taken one deer with it with iron sites On the run, missed the first shot 15 yds then it went down on the second shot, as I walked towards it it jumped and ran off a very lucky shot but I finally tracked it down, I now have a red dot scope on it and have used it but I try to keep the range close 50 yds or under.

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4 years ago, A Ruger superblackhawk 44mag fell into my hands...and I liked it. I run a 2x scope on it and have been working at becoming proficient with it before attempting taking a deer. I am able to consistatly place 3 shots in a 5 inch group at 75 yards. I've been told this is too great a distance as the knockdown power is greatly reduced after 50yds. I don't plan on lettin loose at 75, but figured I'd better be able to...just in case! I don't load my own and therefore shoot factory ammo. I'm one who likes to see my game drop immediately, no suffering..plus I don't want to chase/drag any further than necessary. I'm lookin to get some info/tipps from knowledgable sources. (now, I suspect, I've eliminated most of the data base). grin.gif Lemme hear! TALKOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

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I use a Ruger myself(Redhawk). I have found
most factory loaded ammo to be on the lame
side for hunting situations.You can get
around this two ways. You could reload
your own ammo, or do a search on the web
for those companies that deal in specialty
ammo that is designed for the handgun hunter.
I have gone to some 300gr Pro load rounds
now, and find them more than adequate for
deer AND bear. This was after a very near
disaster with factory bullets and an
incident at a bear camp. The factory 240
grain bullets merely stuck in the hide of
a very large yogi (450 lbs)!!! Eventually,
after a narrow escape from death and a quick reload, the bruin was put to rest.

As that one poster explained a less than perfect penetration, these Pro Load rounds
are fine out to 100yds if you can shoot a
group out to there.

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Still another question....Instead of the scope, I'm thinkin about using a red dot sight, any one of the current offerings better than another....and why? I find that I don't need the magnification and target acquisition is faster with a red dot. Do most of you stand hunt or still hunt while using a hand cannon? I think most of my hunting will be still hunting thru fairly thick stands of cedar, pines, etc. Thanks all.
TALKOOOOOOOOOOO!

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