In a compact pistol, the 460 Rowland and the .45 super are probably two top choices for game that can be hunted with .44 magnum class cartridges. In the larger framed guns, check out the AMT automags and the Wildey magnums, and of course the Dessert Eagle. I owned a DE in .50AE years ago and was very pleased with the accuracy and reliability of the gun, but it is definitely big and heavy. A good compromise is the L.A.R. Grizzly chambered in .45 Winchester Magnum. It is basically a 1911 on steroids. Still a large frame gun, but much smaller than the DE and other similar platforms.
10mm and .45ACP are also reasonably suitable for medium, light framed animals such as deer and possibly even medium sized hogs, but shot placement will be critical on the tougher hogs and similar game. With either of these cartridges, I would suggest a well developed hand load with proper bullets for hunting or one of the offerings from Buffalo Bore. In either one, I would select a bullet with a large meplat, weighing in at around 200grns and then developed a load delivering around 1000fps in the .45 and 1200 in the 10mm. I would shy away from jacketed hollow points and stick to a good quality hard cast, non-expanding bullet.
The best advice I can give is to have a detailed knowledge of the anatomy of the animal you are hunting, and place your shot precisely. Just aiming for the chest cavity is not good enough. You need to know where to place the bullet from various angles to insure hitting vital organs. Also keep in mind that larger bones, such as shoulders, will soak up a lot of energy, and thus penetration on quartering shots. Broadside shots are probably best until you gain some experience.
Last edited by CubDriver451; 01-06-2012 at 11:07 PM.
Would it be practical to hunt with a semi-auto handgun? It seems like the accuracy would be much lower than a revolver. If you could, what caliber would be a good one for deer/hog hunting with a semi-auto? I kind of like the idea of easily carrying a handgun instead of long gun into the woods.
I killed a deer with my colt during rifle season so ya a 45 acp will do it. Of course this was at 5 yards out of a ground blind bout 5 mins before o-dark thirty.