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Thread: What game have you taken with a Handgun.

  1. #1
    Member The Kid's Avatar
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    Default What game have you taken with a Handgun.

    I am currently not much of a handgun hunter but the thought has always appealed to me. As a long time user of traditional muzzleloaders and longbow/recurve archery tackle, I guess it is just a logical step. I have taken a little bit of incidental stuff, mostly small game with one 80lb wild pig thrown in the mix, but 90% of that was with my Single Six and I really wasn't handgun hunting. I've been kicking around the idea of using my 44 over the baits this spring so I would enjoy hearing your experiences with different cartridges, bullets, loads, barrel length etc.

    I have a few loads worked up so far that shoot good out of my guns but I ain't sure which to use.
    Load#1 is a 250gr Keith style plainbase, cast from wheelweights, using 20gr of 2400. haven't cronoed them but they shoot great from my 4in.
    Load#2 is the 300gr Sierra jsp over some 2400 for around 1100fps. This load shoots well from my 4in as well as the 5in.

    So stories, thoughts, and info would be appreciated.

  2. #2

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    Those loads are reminiscent of my own 44 loads, and they'll do fine. I tend not to use 2400 in 4" barrels, but that's me and my flapping pant legs. Heaviest animals I've taken with the 44 mag are one elk and one moose, but several truckloads of deer including Columbia blacktail, Sitka blacktail and mule deer.

    While the 4" is handy for carry, I do all my 44 mag hunting with either a 7.5" Redhawk or an 8 3/8" Model 629. I feel like I'm better set for "long" shots with either, but in fact the longest shot I've ever taken was a Sitka blacktail at a measured 77 yards. I've got
    "hunting" accuracy out of both of them to 100 yards, but I just never felt comfortable shooting that far with an open sighted revolver. Lots further with scoped Contenders, but that's a different deal.

    BTW- As an indicator of "power" on deer at least, I have taken them to around 50 yards with Keith hard 240-255 grain wadcutters in both 44 Special and 45 Colt out of 4 5/8" barrels. Standard loads in the 750 fps range. Both seemed to kill just as quick as their corresponding magnums without all the noise and pant leg flapping.

  3. #3

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    i take deer and hogs with my 1911 pistol and shot downed animals like a cow with my duty pistol which it was right between the eyes on that shot and it was about 4 ft away from the downed cow who got it by a truck as it get out of the pasture

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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    White tail, rabbit, coyote and squirrel. Mostly with a Contender.
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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Took a stray cat with a Glock once. Does that count?
    Winter is Coming...

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default A few

    Squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, lots of deer, 1 moose, spruce hens, ..... mice. A properly loaded Contender in .44 mag. can take deer out to 120 yards. The moose was with a open sighted Smith 629 at about 65 yards with a 300 Sierra JSP.

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Like The Kid I packed a Single Six all through my life and took all kinds of small game with that in the curse of just being out and about, but I had a rifle when hunting.

    Got started on ‘handgun hunting’ in Arizona in the 80s because they made the seasons there go archery, HAM (handgun/archery/muzzle loader), then open to all legal devices. I didn't have a bow or smoke pole big enough and the game was all hold up by the time open season came, I did however have handguns. The first year I thought I will get through this year and build a smoke pole for next season.

    That first year I took a great big mule deer from horseback and a javelina one shot at 90 yards with my 357. Someday I may yet get to building that smoke pole but I found the handgun hunting was just too much fun to spoil. I have mostly been a handgun hunter since 1986! I save the rifles for game like antelope and boo out in the wide open and for poking holes in paper. Your 44 over bate will work fine and would be a blast.

    With my 460V:
    A moose with 395g cast Corbon 460mag, and assorted small game on reduced 45 Colt loads.

    6” Blackhawk in 45 Colt with jsp and cast hot loads:
    Elk, 2 in Arizona and 1 in New Mexico.
    2 Alaska moose.
    6 Arizona mule deer.
    In Texas 1 white tale then and 3 hogs in 2 days over some good dogs.
    1 Arizona antelope from horseback.
    Countless coyote and 6 or 8 fox.

    6” Blackhawk in 357mag with 180/185g jsp, 180 and 200g cast hot loads:
    The hardest ever ONE itty bitty 5x5 cuze deer in 8 years, they are the size of a jackrabbit and are twice as fast as my aim! Great fun to hunt.
    12 javelina.
    2 mule deer.
    Coyotes, fox, bobcats, bunnies, snakes, feral dogs, cattle, horses, and things I don’t remember.

    6” Single Six 22lr:
    2 lion over dogs in Arizona.
    Coyotes, feral dogs, fox, bobcats, bunnies, snakes, and things I don’t remember.
    Andy
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    Member The Kid's Avatar
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    Great stuff fellas, keep em coming.

    Dave how fast was the 300 sierra going? What did you shoot it out of, and did it expand, break up, etc.

    AD, you sir have taken some impressive trophies with a revolver, those elk are generally hard to get very close to, I know I have hunted them for at least 10 yrs now. Big muleys usually aren't too awful stupid either.

    I forgot to mention earlier too that I did try my hand at handgun hunting a couple times when I resided in Oklahoma, first time I missed an easy 25yd shot at a big dry doe with my 4in mod65 S&W 357 and said to hell with it and took my rifle the next day. The year after that I decided to use a borrowed SuperRedhawk 44 with a 2.5X Leupold, dahg did that thing shoot good, I could kill pop cans at 50yds and coffee cans at 75-80yds all day, no problem. But on the first day of season when my old man hammered a monster buck that was right in front of me at 125yds and with no cover to close the distance I said to hell with it and brought my rifle the next day. Maybe since I'm older now I have a little more patience, who knows?

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Kid View Post
    Dave how fast was the 300 sierra going? What did you shoot it out of, and did it expand, break up, etc.
    I have no idea how fast it was moving but it was a 6" barrel and at the high end of loads for IMR296. I was living in an Athabaskan village along the Yukon at the time hand did not have a chronograph there.

    I never recovered the bullet. We had to process the animal in the river where he dived and died.

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    Ya, great stuff guys, keep em coming, it's great motivation. I've been a "wanna be" handgun hunter for a few years now. But I've been going into the woods with pistol and a rifle. But it looks like this year, starting in spring I'll be a newbie handgun hunter.

    I just remembered, I did shoot a ptarmigan with a friends single six one afternoon so I do have one handgun kill

  11. #11
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Kid View Post
    AD, you sir have taken some impressive trophies with a revolver, those elk are generally hard to get very close to, I know I have hunted them for at least 10 yrs now. Big muleys usually aren't too awful stupid either.
    You think elk and brushy mule deer are hard to get up on give coze deer a try! They are a fun challenge that will get you out of the snow here and hunting. If you put in for southern Arizona cuze deer the units east of Bisbee and Tombstone are all good. If you are real lucky you may even see a jaguar down there, can’t shoot it but it’s way too cool just to see one.

    The trick for me was having a good horse under me and hunting ranched land where the game is used to seeing a man horseback. And with handgun loads of time scouting your hunting unit is a huge help so you know where they are, where they are likely to go, and why. If the laws in Arizona had not more or less forced me I would never had the patience to watch them walk away or my buddy fill his tag with my deer because I had a handgun ether. As it was it made a level field with everyone equally gunned for me to hooked.

    The javelina at 90 yards was the one that hooked me for life on handguns. I jumped the heard out first thing in the morning and was ticked off thinking that would be an easy shot with my 308. They were just standing there sniffing the air and alarm grunting so I knew there was no stalking up on them that day. So I thought maybe I can get close enough to shut them up anyway, took careful aim and hit the little thing perfect. I saw him hutch and thought "No way I hit him out there" then my dad said “Wow son good shot, he’s down already!” A whapping 39 pounds critter and I hit within 2” of where I wanted at 90 yards. So I realized I was under estimating what effective handgun range could be if I worked on it like I did with a rifle.

    I still like to be within 50 yards but off sticks I’m over 90% on a paper plate at 100 with 357 or 45 Colt . . . 357 paints a bit better pattern than the 45 out there. I’m still learning my 460 but scoped off sticks I’m about 90% at 150 with it, that progressive rifling it has is just amazing! I don’t have horses here in Alaska so I like the 460’s range and power a lot for up here.

    If you can close the deal with a bow or old traditional muzzle stuffer you can definitely do it with a good handgun.

    Andy
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    Phoenix Arizona

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    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    Took a stray cat with a Glock once. Does that count?
    Heck yeah that counts!! 40 S&W 180 grainers from a G22 likely do a number on 'ol Tom!

  13. #13

    Default a few things...

    Shot 2 caribou with a Ruger .44 mag. Super Black Hawk and 240 grain Rem. jacketed soft points. Quite a few bunnies with a .22 and a S&W Mod. 29 with 240 grain .44 Specials. A bunch of grouse with the .22. I think I will stop there...

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default Single Six power to finish?

    I notice several Single Six kills, Adfields mentioning in 22LR coyote, fox and lion over dogs,

    I just got a single six and was wondering if the 22LR is enough for finishing kills on Fox so... I guess so, eh Andy? I've had folks somewhere on these forums suggest LR 22 was not enough ??

    Does Lion over dogs mean Mtn Lion treed, right? Were those with the 22LR or did you use the 22mag rounds for those? Man that's a big animal, and I was wondering about the fox thing(?) what great news

    Thanks for these post guys, I'm after it, love my new handgun,

    Oh, one more, do you think the mag is more accurate at range than the LR for speed or any other factors to consider to make that decision on which to carry (22LR or Magnum) when I look for rabbit, Fox, etc.

  15. #15
    Member The Kid's Avatar
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    Default Single Six

    I dont think that the extra 50 fps your gonna get with the magnums will matteer much at any range. I have taken a coyote at about 75yds with a single LR round from mine, as well as a large beaver at around the same range with the same ammo. Both of them were larger than the average fox and both were DRT, the coyote with a lung shot and the beaver being shot in the noggin. I will admit that the wild hog I used my SS on was only about 15yds and it took 2 shots but they are pretty tough critters.

  16. #16
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    People underestimate the killing power of the 22. All our large livestock butchering always started with the crack of a 22. Dad and Grandpa could drop a 2000 pound bull in his tracks with a 22 short at an upward and rearward angle in the dimple under the eye. The bullet enters the brainstem and shuts them off like a light switch. I never did enough to get the knack but I have done nine or ten maybe. Hogs are harder and for them there are several angles but I like the ear canal with a 22lr. Dad liked the forehead just one side of center and Grandpa liked a knife to the jugular, said it made the hams cure and last better. Ham don’t stay around me long enough to know but he never pointed me wrong on anything that I know of.

    Yes lion over dogs is a treed mountain lion. 22 was all Dad and Grandpa ever used for running dogs, they said I was ‘power crazy’ when I brought a 38. You get the dogs back on leashes so if he comes down you don’t get any killed then carefully pick a head shot from the side under an eye. If you do it right lights out without even a quiver, miss a little and he slowly falls one branch at a time. Miss bad and it’s a redo unless he’s one of the 5% that makes a run for it or the legendary one that will come talk to you about it. Getting hungry for cat meet thinking about it.

    Coyote and fox with a 22lr?
    Hunting fox and yote with a 22 in Alaska may or may not be legal, I don’t know so you need to find out before you do it. In Arizona they are classed as furbearers and rimfire is fine, so is bobcat, ring tail cat, and smaller things but for lion. Lion is big game and could be taken with rimfire over dogs only down there but I don’t know if it’s still that way.

    Anyway, be sure to read up on what is a legal device for what in Alaska before you head out for fox, coyote, links, and so on with a 22.

    With a broadside shot to the vitals just like a deer or moose out to 50 yards or a tad more 22lr works fine. Stingers or Mini Mags are what I like for that. I think CCI has a round just for fox and yote even. I want a good standing broadside for yote and critters that size though and it is hard to get that if you’re calling. For calling I like a 357 and 223 or 22-250 rifle in case they hang up, also lets me double sometimes. I was big into calling in Arizona but only a couple dumb fox pups to my name here in Alaska, calling is way different up here.

    I used to trap a bunch in Arizona and the 22 always came along for critters that were in the sticker bushes too bad to dispatch the normal way. Most of the time in trapping I just got a loop through a pipe on them then so they can't nibble then (well it’s kinda graphic but) kneel or stand on their chest to stop the heart. Had some thrilling times getting baby javelina out of my traps with mom all mad at me. They are big game so can’t be killed on a trap line but man they love to dig at a dirt hole set.
    Andy
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    Email= Andy@C-lazy-F.co
    Call/Text 602-315-2406
    Phoenix Arizona

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