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Old 10-02-2008, 04:53 AM   #1
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Default Buying my first handgun

I'm looking to buy the Smith & Wesson Performance Center .44MAG 6" weighted barrel "Competitor". I plan to deer hunt with this revolver. Does anyone have experience with this gun? Am I on the right track or is there a pistol better suited for large game?

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Old 10-02-2008, 06:13 AM   #2
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A 44Mag is well suited for game like Deer and Possibly Western Black bear and the S&W will do it for you. If you want larger game, the 44mag can do it, but the 500 does it better. Granted, Ive only hunted deer with a Ruger 44mag before, and it was painfully hard, but, Ive seen the 500 in action.

Also, thats quite the gun for your first pistol. Have you ever hunted game with a pistol before?

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Old 10-02-2008, 12:32 PM   #3
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Also, thats quite the gun for your first pistol. Have you ever hunted game with a pistol before?
Better yet have you even fired handguns enough to deal with the recoil and shoot them well .

If not I'm betting you'll touch off that 44 mag a few times case it up and want to trade/sell it off faster than you bought it and take a huge loss .

If you limit your shots to 50 yards a 357 will do just fine on Deer size game and be a much better first handgun to learn on .

I don't know when your deer season starts but I hope you don't think if you start today you will have the skills to hunt deer with a pistol this year .
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Old 10-02-2008, 02:01 PM   #4
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This is a tough one. I have several S&W 629 44 mags and each one has its merits. I also have a Ruger Bisley 44 Magnum. The heaviest of my 44 Magnums' is my Performance Center 44 Magnum Hunter Plus.


This particular pistol has a custom-made Walther progressive twist 7.5" barrel, a full underlug & plank side with a scope rail. It's deadly accurate to about 125 yards with a standard 2X pistol scope.

My other Smith & Wesson is a "629 CLASSIC". It has a 6.5" barrel with a full underlug. It has an optional scope mount but I use the iron sights on this one.


This 44 is accurate to about 75 yards if you can see your target with the iron sights. However, it does best at about 50 yards. Because it's considerably lighter than the S&W 44 Mag Hunter Plus, it has a lot more "felt recoil" with maximum loads.

This is my "BAD BOY" 44 Magnum. It's a Ruger BISLEY 44 Magnum. This pistol will shoot super hot loads that no other 44 Magnum can handle, including my S&W Hunter Plus.


It's deadly accurate with iron sights up to about 75 yards and it has about 20% more knockdown power than my Smith & Wesson's. The felt recoil with the Bisley is brutal as it is the lightest of my 44's, and shoots the hottest loads. My typical load is a 330 grain hard cast bullet powered with 25.5 grains of H110 powder, ignited with CCI Magnum primers. My S&W's do best with 240 grain factory loads.

For North American Deer hunting any of these 44' Mags will work well. When I hunt for Feral Pigs, I use my Bisley exclusively. My S&W Hunter Plus is best for long-range shots, but it's also my most expensive 44 Mag as well.
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Old 10-03-2008, 03:28 AM   #5
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A ruger super blawkhawk will be more than enough gun for the task unless you just want to spend more on the gun. There's no need for double action when hunting deer and everybody that has a double action cocks the hammer back manually to shoot single action when hunting. You can start out with light .44mag loads or even .44 special loads until you get used to shooting it and then move up in power level. The ruger also happens to be the strongest revolver you'll get with possible exception of a freedom arms.
My suggestion would be to get a ruger super blackhawk and spend the rest of your money in ammo for practice-both light recoiling loads AND full power loads.

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Old 10-03-2008, 04:14 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by BigO01 View Post
Better yet have you even fired handguns enough to deal with the recoil and shoot them well .

If not I'm betting you'll touch off that 44 mag a few times case it up and want to trade/sell it off faster than you bought it and take a huge loss .

If you limit your shots to 50 yards a 357 will do just fine on Deer size game and be a much better first handgun to learn on .

I don't know when your deer season starts but I hope you don't think if you start today you will have the skills to hunt deer with a pistol this year .
I would add that most people that go hunting with a rifle for the first time can't really shoot the damm thing well enough that they should be hunting with it. I would suggest you find a friend who really knows what is going on before you even think about hunting with a handgun as it is a whole different world than with a high powered rifle. While a 44 mag is a powerful pistol cartridge it does not hold a candle to the performace of even a 243 rifle when it comes to range and trajectory. If you plan on shooting well under a hundred yards you might be OK but after a 100 yards bullet drop added to ones inability to judge distance without the aid of a range finder and the fact you are shooting a handgun you might as well shoot the gun in the air. I know, I know, there some of you who have killed deer at 500yards with a 44 mag pistol and I once walked on the moon.
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Old 10-03-2008, 12:22 PM   #7
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I have to agree that virtually any deer rifle will out perform ALL pistols, when it comes to knocking em' down at over 100 yards. But pistol hunting is a great sport and it requires a lot of practice.

If I had only ONE pistol to choose from, I'd use my Ruger Bisley 44 Magnum. Rick, just so you'll know a Ruger Bisley is a Super Blackhawk with a larger grip frame and a rounded trigger guard. It is a Single Action revolver and Ruger cylinders' are extra long. This allows room for really large bullets such as Buffalo Bore 305 grain and 330 grain hard cast bullets also known as BONE BREAKERS. All Ruger 44 Magnum's are built to withstand CAP pressures that few other guns can handle.

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Old 10-03-2008, 01:43 PM   #8
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Pistols are nice, and I love them all, but maybe you might have heard this famous quote before:

"A pistol is for fighting with until you can get a rifle"

There is a reason for that, and hunting is no exception. No matter how great the pistol, it still isn't as good, as accurate, as effective or as powerful as a rifle.

Hunting should always be about the ethical and swift killing of the animal. In my mind, having the best possible tool to insure that is the responsibility of the hunter.

Now, if you were starving and only had a pistol to procure food with, absolutely. More power to you. However that isn't the case with a planned hunt in this day and age.

Take the right tool for the job. After all, you don't drive nails with an ice cream scoop, do you?

JD

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Old 10-03-2008, 01:59 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Dillinger View Post
After all, you don't drive nails with an ice cream scoop, do you?

JD
WHAT??? I do...
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Old 10-03-2008, 02:14 PM   #10
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WHAT??? I do...
That certainly does explain a few things....

JD
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