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#3366889 - 09/20/13 06:37 AM Deer hunting with a pistol?
Buck Assassin
10 Point


Registered: 05/08/08
Posts: 2944
Loc: cocke county, TN

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I have always wanted to kill a deer with a pistol since I turned 18 but just never have. I want to try it this year but I have a few questions since I don't know a whole lot about pistols.

I have a Smith and Wesson model 10 revolver in 38 special. It's the only pistol I have besides a .22. Would a 38 have enough knockdown power to hunt with if I use a premium bullet? Im thinking I would have to keep my shots pretty close too?

I'm pretty sure Dad has a 357 he would let me borrow but I would really like to use my own equipment if I can. I can shoot my own pistol pretty accurately too.
Any feedback is appreciated!
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#3367232 - 09/20/13 10:32 AM Re: Deer hunting with a pistol? [Re: Buck Assassin]
pressfit
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Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 3181
Loc: Giles Co. Tn

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If i had to chose.. I'd pick the 22..lol.. a 38 for deer.. poor choice..he would have to be less that 10 yards before I would attempt it.. IMO.. save your money and buy a 44 mag.. that will drop them in their tracks.. I know.. I have done it before..
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#3367325 - 09/20/13 11:13 AM Re: Deer hunting with a pistol? [Re: pressfit]
Rubberduck270
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Registered: 11/01/10
Posts: 2807
Loc: Lawrence Co.

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Even with a +P round, I don't think the 38 special is enough for deer. Sure, it MIGHT kill one if it were dang near point blank but anything over 25 yrds would be risky for the animal. Borrow your Dad's 357 and find a hot round for it or buy a larger caliber gun intended for hunting.
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#3367787 - 09/20/13 04:38 PM Re: Deer hunting with a pistol? [Re: Rubberduck270]
Kimberman
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Registered: 10/30/05
Posts: 3499
Loc: Knoxville

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IMO a 357 Mag with heavy bullets should be the minimum for deer. I have finished off a couple of wounded deer with a 45 ACP, and was not impressed. No way a 38 should be used IMO.
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#3367929 - 09/20/13 06:58 PM Re: Deer hunting with a pistol? [Re: Kimberman]
Buck Assassin
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Registered: 05/08/08
Posts: 2944
Loc: cocke county, TN

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Ok thanks guys! Just what I needed to know! I thought it might be to small but I wanted to get some opinions first. I think I might have solved my problems though! I have a 44 mag located. I will probably be posting a question about it pretty quick! thanks guys!
_________________________
Its not a passion,It's an obsession!

Round here we follow the motto "K.I.S.S" KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID!


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#3367965 - 09/20/13 10:25 PM Re: Deer hunting with a pistol? [Re: Kimberman]
Deer Assassin
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Registered: 08/01/03
Posts: 87053
Loc: Kingston Springs

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 Originally Posted By: Kimberman
IMO a 357 Mag with heavy bullets should be the minimum for deer. I have finished off a couple of wounded deer with a 45 ACP, and was not impressed. No way a 38 should be used IMO.


been there witnessed it

if i hadnt i wouldnt believe it


i have killed a few with 180 sjhp over max blue dot 1200 fps give or take 50 fps

shot one 47 yds bullet in offside shoulder retained 147gns

44 will no doubt get it done
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#3367979 - 09/20/13 10:38 PM Re: Deer hunting with a pistol? [Re: Deer Assassin]
mr.big
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Registered: 01/03/01
Posts: 28784
Loc: Copper Head Road

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I would take a 45 LC over a 44 RM any day,,you can get serious horse power from a modern action 45LC,,I would like a 1894 lever and Ruger Blackhawk in 45LC and see if I could get a load to work in both weapons,
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#3367984 - 09/20/13 10:42 PM Re: Deer hunting with a pistol? [Re: Kimberman]
7mm08
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Registered: 09/12/07
Posts: 5007
Loc: In a river hopefully!

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 Originally Posted By: Kimberman
IMO a 357 Mag with heavy bullets should be the minimum for deer. I have finished off a couple of wounded deer with a 45 ACP, and was not impressed. No way a 38 should be used IMO.


Which brings up an interesting question....I will be deer hunting this fall in an area that has LOTS of hogs. If one of those smelly thick haired "crack acting" hogs comes at me will a 45ACP stop it and what ammo is best suited for that IF you say you were not impressed when you finished off a deer. Find a .454 Casull and carry it?
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#3368588 - 09/21/13 12:38 PM Re: Deer hunting with a pistol? [Re: 7mm08]
Kimberman
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Registered: 10/30/05
Posts: 3499
Loc: Knoxville

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I was using the 230 gr +p Win Ranger T series, which is the Black Talon bullet at a published 990 FPS. IMO a good self defense bullet isn't what you want in a handgun hunting bullet. Penetration is a good thing, especially with something with thick hide and fur. Double Tap makes a couple of 45 ACP hunting loads, one is a 230 gr +p controlled expansion, the other is a cast 255 gr lead bullet.
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#3372930 - 09/24/13 06:44 PM Re: Deer hunting with a pistol? [Re: Kimberman]
Hunter 257W
10 Point


Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 3187
Loc: Franklin County

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 Originally Posted By: Kimberman
I was using the 230 gr +p Win Ranger T series, which is the Black Talon bullet at a published 990 FPS. IMO a good self defense bullet isn't what you want in a handgun hunting bullet. Penetration is a good thing, especially with something with thick hide and fur. Double Tap makes a couple of 45 ACP hunting loads, one is a 230 gr +p controlled expansion, the other is a cast 255 gr lead bullet.


Did you recover those bullets from the wounded deer to see how they behaved? It's hard for me to believe that they expanded to such a degree that they didn't penetrate well into the vitals of such a lightly boned animal as a deer. Unless you had to take a raking shot from behind maybe? Everything I've ever seen from handgun bullets shows that you are always struggling to get enough expansion rather than trying to control it. Certainly from the low velocity cartridges such as the 45 ACP with 225-230 grain bullets. For humans or deer - both of which are about the same size. Not trying to say you are wrong here but interested in hearing more.

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