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Best Handgun Caliber for deer

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by Ralphumor, Dec 6, 2006.

  1. Ralphumor

    Ralphumor NRA Life Member

    Mar 22, 2004
    I want to get a new hand gun to hunt white tail. I have killed one with a .357 4" open sights. It was a small doe but a blast. I am torn between a .44 or .357...A friend of mine has killed 2 with his .44 this year and a couple last year. He uses a 265 grain bullet that is just freakin HUGE. Every one he has shot drops and stays droped. So I will stop rambling and ask what do you think .357 or .44 or other. If you would also include what amo you would use as well. Thank You and Merry Christmas....:supergrin:
  2. I've been using handguns for deer hunting for over 20 years now.

    I prefer the .44 magnum. It just seems to work very well. I use 240 gr JHP's mostly but I have also used 240 gr JSP's and they worked just fine.

    I've used a .45 Colt heavily loaded. It worked well too, but no better than the .44 magnum and I like the convienence of buying factory ammo if I don't have time to handload.

    I say get the .44 magnum.

  3. ajstrider

    ajstrider Silent Warrior

    Apr 17, 2005
    Western Kentucky
    Anything from .38 up is good. The .38 special with a heavy bullet will do the trick within 25 yards. You need to analyze your situation. If shots are close, like within 25 yards, I would stick with a .357 magnum and open sights. Once you put a scope on a handgun, it becomes bulky and annoying, and to me, takes the fun out of handgun hunting. You could get a T/C Contender with a scope and shoot deer at 150 yards if you wanted. I chose the widely forgotten about .41 magnum. You can get bullets weighing from 180 to like 250 grains. I use open sights and only shoot within 40 yards maximum, essentially, it is like bowhunting distances. If you wanted to deck a revolver out with a scope and get some range out of it though, a .44 magnum is probably a better choice. It will get you a bit more range. Barrel length is also a concern. If you use open sights, a longer barrel gives you a longer sight radius which helps you shoot more accurately. I went with the 6.5" barrel on my .41 magnum. Pick good ammo too. I am a big fan of the new Fusion ammo for both rifles and pistols, it is a good premium bullet that is not quite as expensive as some others. If you are a handloader...well, you probably would not have posted this. Barnes Expanders or whatever they are called are good too, as are Nosler Partitions.
  4. The one that you can shot the best is the best handgun caliber.

    I've used 357mag, 44mag,10mm and now 45colt all in that order All worked fine for the most part on deer type/sized gun.
  5. I think a 41 or a 44 mag would be the best bet if strictly for hunting deer. Esox357.