Any body here hunt with a pistol?

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by CaptRickHiott, Dec 24, 2011.

  1. CaptRickHiott

    CaptRickHiott New Member

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    I just started hunting last year and thought it would be a challenge with a hand gun.
    I bought a Taurus Raging Bull 454 Casull.

    So far Ive taken three hogs with it. MAN,,,This thing is fun to shoot, and the recoil is not bad at all with the ported barrel. I can shoot the gun with one hand.

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  2. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    We had a thread on this a while back, but sometimes it's hard to find older threads.

    I was surprised to learn that there are quite a few who hunt with pistols, and now I'm thinking of trying it out myself. I was also really surprised to learn at one point in the conversation that apparently there is a SPEAR season in Alabama. Wow. Something else I'll have to try out one day.

    On another note, you look a lot like a few of my relatives. You wouldn't happen to have family ties to central MS would you?
     

  3. CaptRickHiott

    CaptRickHiott New Member

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    Like I said,,the recoil on this Taurus is very smooth,,click on the video.

    This is while shoting a Magtech 260Gr @ 1800fps.

    [​IMG]





    What is "SPEAR season"?

    Sorry,,,No family in MS
     
  4. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Besides using a Ruger .22 auto for bunnies, I deer hunt with a Dan Wesson 15-2HVB, .357, 10 inch barrel. I use heavy cast solid handloads, and am hunting in an area where 50 yards in a long shot.
     
  5. FarmersForge

    FarmersForge New Member

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    Hi
    I am a handgun hunter some of my favorites have been a ruger super blackhawk in 44 mag a ruger super red hawk in 454 casull a smith and Wesson in 500 smith and Wesson mag and a Thompson center encore in 460 smith and Wesson mag
    Love them all
     
  6. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    I have a Contender Pistol in 7-30 Waters I am planning on using for deer next year.
     
  7. CaptRickHiott

    CaptRickHiott New Member

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    I almost bought a S/W 460 revolver,,but after I shot the Taurus R/B 454,, I had to have it.
    To me the .500 is just to much gun......

    My longest shot so far was when I shot those two gold hogs you see in the back of the truck at about 35-40 yards, freehand. I was pretty excited.
     
  8. peters923

    peters923 New Member

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    Blackhawk in .41 mag. Coyote killer!
     
  9. sweeper22

    sweeper22 New Member

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    If you do ever go 460sw, I believe they can be used to shoot both 454cas and 45colt as well. Lots of versaility, but those 460's are monsters ballistically...probably more power than really necessary in the lower 48.
     
  10. CubDriver451

    CubDriver451 New Member

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    I have hunted almost exclusively with handguns for more than twenty years and have learned a few things along the way. A few notes that may be helpful:

    Handguns, generally do not kill with velocity in the same way that rifles do. Bullet placement, design, penetration and application account for more performance than does power. Select your bullet based on intended use and performance capabilities of the cartridge.

    I have found that I prefer the felt recoil of a larger caliber, heavy bullet loaded to lower pressures than a smaller caliber, light weight bullet loaded to high pressures. As a general rule, a larger bore diameter will drive a given weight bullet to the same velocity with lower pressure as the next smaller caliber. This is more important to the handloader than to the shooter that uses typically available factory ammo, as it allows for a lot of flexibility within almost any cartridge.

    Generally speaking, I do not load any of my big bore revolvers to full potential. Because I have a broad selection to choose from, if I need more power than what a moderate load in a given caliber delivers, I step up to a milder load in a larger caliber. This relates to what I was talking about previously. As an example, if I require more power than a .44 mag delivers with a 250 grain bullet, I step up to the .454 Casull loaded with a 335 grain bullet at a moderate for caliber velocity. This results in lower pressures and what I feel is a more enjoyable recoil impulse than the sharp slap of the .44 loaded heavier.

    Hard cast bullets (non-expanding) of proper design perform just as well, and even better in some applications, than JHP bullets. Any big bore handgun shooter would benefit greatly from reading "jacketed performance with cast bullets" by Veral Smith of LBT bullets.

    More power will not kill any better than less power if you cannot place the bullet precisely. A bad shot will almost always result in a long day of tracking a wounded animal, that all too often is not found. This, in my opinion, is the worst type of hunting irresponsibility.

    If I had to choose only one caliber, it would likely be the .45 Colt in a Ruger single action or gun of similar strength.

    The .45, when carefully and properly handloaded, will reliably and humanely take any game animal in the lower 48. Loaded to standard velocity with lighter bullets, it is perfectly suitable for smaller game such as larger rabbits and similar small game. The flexibility of this old workhorse is pretty hard to beat.

    Another poster mentioned the .460 Smith, and I cannot argue the broad flexibility of that cartridge. I do not own one and likely never will. My preference is for handguns that are smaller in size and easier to pack than the X-frame hand cannons of Smith and Wesson. I feel the same about such guns as the TC Encore and contender. Why carry a handgun thAt weighs as much as a carbine? While they are indeed handguns, they do not fit with my view of what a handgun should be. In my opinion, there is little difference from shooting a scoped 10, 12 or 14 inch barreled handgun vs. just shooting a rifle.

    None of my hunting pistols wear a scope, and only one, a Freedom Arms in .454, has a six inch or longer barrel. The rest are either 4 5/8" or 5 1/2" barrels. While my average shot is less than fifty yards, I have made clean kills at distances of over 150 yards. I do not have a set distance limit. Rather, I let the conditions dictate whether or not a shot is reasonable to take. Is this animal broadside or quartering? How big is the ideal target area? Is the animal moving or stationary? Can I achieve a comfortable and stable stance/rest that will allow acceptable accuracy? Is the lighting such that I can see the sights and target clearly and in sharp contrast? These are the types of things that a handgun hunter MUST consider before taking any shot. There are times I will pass up a lot of shots waiting for the one I really like. No matter what platform or caliber you select, make every effort to be an ethical hunter that always strives for the clean kill.

    Hunting with a handgun presents some unique challenges and is incredibly rewarding. It's also addictive!!

    JW
     
  11. FarmersForge

    FarmersForge New Member

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    Great post JW lots of good info and I totally agree handgun hunting is very rewarding and addictive !
    I hunt with a handgun because of a physical condition and set my practical shot limit to a 100 yds I use longer barrels for more accuracy at that range tried scoping my 460 because of my aging eyes but have not found one yet that will take the recoil my x frame 500 is ported and actually does not have as much felt recoil as my un ported 454 so even though it's as heavy as a carbine it has become my usual choice on deer bear or moose
    Keep up the good posts
    Regards
    FF
     
  12. CubDriver451

    CubDriver451 New Member

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    Thanks FF!

    I hope that you didn't mistake my preference for "packin pistols" for an attack on those with other preferences. It certainly was not intended to be.

    I grew up pretty much as a cowboy, and the Good Lord willing, that is how I will depart this world. A six shooter has been pretty much my daily companion for most of my life, and I'm sure that is where the bias originates. I have hunted all over the US, much of this hunting in areas that are not accessible by any means other than horses or helicopter. Horses are cheaper! :) as a general rule, if you can't comfortably carry it all day, often in the thin air of mountainous terrain, you probably shouldn't bring it. You won't be happy.

    The largest caliber that I own is the .500 Linebaugh. The largest animal I have taken with it was a buffalo in Wyoming at about 70 yards. He was quartering towards me on a slow walk. I centered my sights just inside the point of his right shoulder on his chest and sent my calling card in the form of a 420 grain LBT hardcast LFN at about 1100fps. The bullet struck perfectly, traversed his body on About a 30 degree angle. It exited just forward of his left hip, cutting a hole all the way through that measured just over 3/4" in diameter from entrance to exit. The bull fell in his tracks for an instant kill.

    I never did find the bullet, but would have loved to see what condition it was in. There was obvious evidence of it striking and penetrating several large bones. Obviously, this load was up to the task of cleanly and humanely taking a very large and tough critter, and it was not even a "full throttle" load.

    Because I do not own or have a desire to own any of the long cylinder revolvers, I am not terribly knowledgable about their performance from shorter barrels. With the large case capacity, coupled with longer barrels, the .500 Smith will certainly out perform the Linebaugh cartridge, particularly with very heavy bullets (up to about 700grns if my memory is right). Do you happen to know how it performs out of barrels less than 6" long? I am guessing that it loses quite a bit of the case capacity advantage because there isn't enough barrel length to take advantage of heavy doses of slow burning powders, but that is only a guess. It would be interesting to do a side by side comparison with the Linebaugh cartridge using the same weight bullets and same barrel lengths. I have a feeling that with barrels of say, 5 1/2" and bullet weights in the neighborhood of 400grns, the Smith may not hold a huge advantage over the Linebaugh. But, that is just a guess.

    JW
     
  13. FarmersForge

    FarmersForge New Member

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    Hi JW
    Farthest thing from my mind was you being critical of my or anyone's choice in firearms :)
    As far as short barreled 500's are concerned the are a handful I used to own one with a two inch barrel for a bear gun to carry on spring fishing trips when the opportunity was best to stumble upon a sow with her new cub suffice it to say the recoil was intense
    I now find a 4" 44 better suited for that duty
    I think if I could only have one gun it would probably be a 4" or 6" 454 casual

    Regards FF
     
  14. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    I'd go with a model 29. It's just a classic, but I'm not talking specifically for hunting purposes, it's what I'd pick if I could only have one hand gun and it had to fill all my needs.

    4" barrel of course.

    I'm also extremely biased towards S&W classics.
     
  15. CubDriver451

    CubDriver451 New Member

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    I can't argue that as long as we are talking about Smith and Wessons of years past. I have been sorely disappointed with the quality of what both Smith an Ruger have been turning out in recent years. Of the current production equipment available, my order of preference would be :

    Freedom Arms
    Magnum Research BFR
    Ruger Blackhawk
    Smith And Wesson

    I currently own multiples of each of the above listed. Some new, some old. While the Rugers and Smiths both have quality issues from time to time, in my experience the the Rugers are more easily corrected than the Smiths. I absolutely refuse to send a brand new gun back to the manufacturer to have something corrected that should have prevented it from being shipped in the first place.

    The worst example from S&W that I have seen was on a 625JM that I was going to buy until I gave it a good once over. The bore of the barrel was not concentric to the outside diameter by enough that it was easily seen with the naked eye, and the trigger was horrible. It felt like not a single internal part had been finished worth a damn.

    Long story short, it took three trips back to S&W and multiple phone conversations to get the problems corrected. I know this only because I used to work at this particular shop and when I pointed out the flaws to the owner, he asked of I wanted to correspond with Smith and coordinate the repairs. After three trips back to he factory, it still was not satisfactory to my standards, but another customer thought it was good enough for him.

    It's a damn shame. Open up an old Smith and every internal part has had it's due attention. The triggers were smooth in double action and light and crisp in single action. The external fit and finish was top notch. It was evident that a true craftsman had given the gun the attention it deserved. Now...not so much...

    I am sad to say that I will no longer buy a new Smith. For the price they want for their guns, and the lack of quality control, I will hunt for older ones that have been well kept. Though it is unlikely that I will purchase any more double actions. I own all that I have any great desire to own.

    JW
     
  16. CaptRickHiott

    CaptRickHiott New Member

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    Your right Sweeper about the 460. It will shoot the 454 and the .45 L/C.

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    Very good post there JW!

    I have read that anything over 1500fps is to much when it comes to the large bore hand guns. Whats your comment on that?

    Like you said,,,,I am a ethical hunter that always strives for the clean kill.

    Have you ever hunted for hogs with your pistol?

    (Sorry for all the questions) Just want to learn all I can about this.
     
  17. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    Wow, I have to say that's the first non stellar review of a smith revolver I've heard.

    FWIW though, I am talking about older ones, as I just seem to pinch pennies and used ones usually carry a better price tag.

    My current one is dated from the 70's I think. It's a smith 65-2 with the pinned barrel and recessed cylinder. I've done a little work to it, polishing some of the internals, lightened the trigger pull, bobbed the hammer and radiused the trigger face. It was damn good before, but now it's slicker than snot on a door knob.
     
  18. CubDriver451

    CubDriver451 New Member

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    Trip,

    To talk to some of the older gunsmiths that have worked with S&Ws for a long time. Your 70s vintage gun is a good example of what their standard of quality used to be. I have even seen several older guns that had such nice triggers directly from the factory that they were challenged by officials at handgun silhouette matches, until it was shown that they were unmodified.

    I'm not saying that Smith is making junk. What I am saying is that their product quality has fallen off dramatically over the years and I have seen numerous examples that make me believe that S&W is using the general public as their quality control. I miss the days when "made in America" was an indicator of quality. Take your older gun into a shop and do a side by side comparison with a critical eye to what is currently being produced. I think you may find it discouraging.

    JW
     
  19. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    I totally agree. Simpler times for one thing. When a man actually had to make a living with his hands instead of pressing the "go" button on a computer, everything was of a much better quality, from cars to appliances to guns.
     
  20. CubDriver451

    CubDriver451 New Member

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    I kinda feel like I've hijacked this thread, and I do apologize to the original poster. One more comment and then I will shut up. No... Really, I promise. :)

    Referencing your comments on reviews from various people; something to keep I mind is the experience and knowledge base that people are basing their review on. Having participated in many forums over the years, it does seem that there is a much larger group of younger participants than there are of us old farts. This is not to say that younger equals uneducated, dumb or inexperienced. But, keep in mind that someone in their mid twenties, that is relatively new to guns, very easily could be lacking the experience of having dealt with older guns. I would even venture a guess that many of them have never had the experience of handling such guns as a Colt Python, or a S&W that had a dash number of less than six. The list could go on almost indefinitely. High quality products that were once commonplace are now anything but common. A persons opinion of a product can only be as realistic as their experience allows. If all they have to compare to is the current crop of production guns, their opinion may differ vastly from someone with a broader perspective.

    Even a persons career, hobbies and interests can influence how they view a given product. My background includes 20 years of employment as a tool and die maker, being a competitive shooter since the age of about 16, I have done gunsmithing for almost 15 years. I own and have handled some of the finest guns ever produced and used a variety of service firearms in real world combat conditions. To say that my opinion is likely different than the shooter who has only known guns produced within he past five years would probably be a gross understatement. Just some food for thought.

    Jw