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Best 9mm for White Tail

9253 Views 97 Replies 49 Participants Last post by  IAhunter
Before everyone jumps down my throat yes it is legal in Virginia. In Virginia the requirements are that it is greater than 23caliber and more than 350ftlbs of energy.

Secondly we are talking small deer < 100lbs. I have been practicing for this for a very long time. My maximum range will be 25yards as that is the farthest distance that I can consistently keep all my rounds within a 6" circle. I will be hunting with a shotgun but if the deer gets close enough and presents a perfect broad side shot then I do plan on taking the shot.

If a hollow point then it needs to penetrate farther than most hollow points as deer are tougher than we are. For that reason I've settled on the Hornady American Gunner 124gr +P. Based on the tests I've seen these tend to penetrate to around 18" of ballistics gel.

Another round could be the Underwood 115hr +P Extreme Penetrator. I'm not sure if these rounds are all hype but the thought behind this round is that it would break any bone that it comes into contact with and would allow for a clean pass through insuring more rapid blood loss.

Lastly I'm considering just going with a Standard 124gr NATO spec round. This round should also allow for a pass through and should also Yaw creating a more devastating wound channel than the Extreme Penetrator.

I've tested all 3 of these rounds and I'm the most accurate with the Hornady load and closely followed by the NATO spec load. The least accurate for me is the Underwood but even it keeps all shots within the required 6" circle at 25 yards.

PS. Based on everything I can find there is no requirement to have an expanding round for hunting in VA like there is in some states.

Thanks in advance.
~Quigley

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I'd go with something in 9mm Mauser.


You shoot 6" groups at 25 yards with a completely inadequate cartridge and you want to hunt deer with it? I shoot smaller groups with a .45 at 50 yards and it's still not good enough for deer hunting.
 

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If a 9mm was my only choice, It'd be my BHP, with M882 or hard cast 124rn. Penetration and an accurate shot to the neck would be key. 200+lb weight and an 1/2" of fat, mid winter are common around here for a normal doe. But it would work if need be. Shot placement would be paramount. Expanding bullets from a 9mm handgun would be inhumane for the most part. And would lead to tracking a wounded animal for miles and days. Literally. I'd go any hard cast flat point through any respectable .357 or larger magnum caliber.
Cheers on you're logic though!
:cheers:
 

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I'd go with something in 9mm Mauser.


You shoot 6" groups at 25 yards with a completely inadequate cartridge and you want to hunt deer with it? I shoot smaller groups with a .45 at 50 yards and it's still not good enough for deer hunting.
I was going to recommend .35 Remington (even though technically it’s only 8.9 mm)
 

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I would not hunt small deer with a 9 mm pistol, unless it was for survival. If you insist on doing it, full metal jacket would never be my choice for ammo. I can't legally hunt deer with 300 grain hard cast 44 bullets from a rifle here, because they are not expanding.
I consider .357 magnum and 10 mm to be marginal for deer, but I am not an expert. I believe in respecting your prey, by having enough gun. Being legal does not mean it is ethical. You are the best one to judge. I wish you the best and good hunting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·


I'd go with something in 9mm Mauser.


You shoot 6" groups at 25 yards with a completely inadequate cartridge and you want to hunt deer with it? I shoot smaller groups with a .45 at 50 yards and it's still not good enough for deer hunting.
9mm has as much energy as a .45 and it will penetrate further. I also have a .45 but I'd take 9mm where penetration is needed. I also have a GP100 but I honestly shoot the 9mm a little more consistently.

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The only thing I can see to possibly improve would be using a WNFP or LSWC bullet that is accurate and functions well in your pistol.
I am really leery of the ball ammo - would not use.
Sounds like you have your ducks in a row, just relaying lots of pistol hunting experience.
Let us know how you do!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
If you want to hunt with a handgun get a decent 357 magnum and practice with it. But why use the most minimal cartridge possible and taking the chance of wounding the animal and causing it to suffer?
I have a 6" GP100 too but the sound is what I dont like about it. I'm not comfortable taking a shot at a deer with it in double action and cocking the hammer is pretty loud when you are talking about a deer that is within 25yards. I've had deer jump when I flicked off the safety before and that is no where near as loud as the sound of a hammer cocking on a revolver.

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I have a 6" GP100 too but the sound is what I dont like about it. I'm not comfortable taking a shot at a deer with it in double action and cocking the hammer is pretty loud when you are talking about a deer that is within 25yards. I've had deer jump when I flicked off the safety before and that is no where near as loud as the sound of a hammer cocking on a revolver.

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Then get a Glock 20 that has more than enough power to humanely take down the animal.
 
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