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Are pistols appropiate for hunting

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    Posted: 11 May 2018 at 09:46
In the 50s, few folks hunted with haandguns.  When the 44 mag was introduced, some guys thought 'hunting'.  Elmer was certainly a motivator.

My first deer killed with a pistol was with a Ruger SA 357, still have it.  I've killed about 16 whitetails, and some wild boar with a pistol. (aka handcannon).

But are pistols really an appropiate weapon for hunting big game or are they just bravado?????





ps: anything with a barrel longer than 10" is not IMO a pistol.  those are just carbines with the stock shortened.  So don't suggest a 14" Encore in 30-06 is appropiate.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 788Fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2018 at 10:20
As with all hunting, there is a huge part that is the skill of he/she who pulls the trigger.  I do carry a hunting handgun with me (Ruger BH 45LC w/reflex sight, 6" bbl), when I go into the woods but have never used it as I've never been presented with a shot that I'm comfortable taking.  I only take high percentage shots, and as with my bow, know what I'm capable of.

Handguns are perfectly capable of being an ethical hunting weapon as long as the user is capable doing their part.  

IMHO, 788
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BEAR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2018 at 11:59
788,  for years I carried  both  a rifle and a handgun.  then realized that as long as I had the rifle, I'd be not lihely to let a buck get within pistol range.  So I stopped carrying both; age also encouraged that!

Once I became a handgun only guy; I scored quite often.  practice is important; when working I stopped at the range every other day and fired 10 shots at 50 yards for months befor  the season.  that really made it.

never needed a second shot with my pistols.

Only missed one deer with my pistol.  it was walking medium speed toward me.  kept saying let it get close...let it get close.  suddenly it was just 3 yards away and moving fast radially, right past me...fired and missed.  I should have fired when it was head on at 30 yards.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote d4570 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2018 at 12:04
Here in MT there are very few "Special weapons" seasons other then archery.
But some areas require "Special weapons" which are Archery, no cross bows, shotgun , all lead slugs only, and pistols , straight wall traditional only.
We do use pistols in general season and areas.
Any of the "Magnum" rounds will work and many larger bore rounds.
Each have there own limits.
I think a 44 mag,41,357, are very adequate. The "BIG' boys work very well too.
Fact is the boy and several buddies have taken deer, antelope, mountain lion, coyotes, and of course gophers and the like.
All in all yes if conditions are right a pistol is a very huntable  weapon. Clap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BEAR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2018 at 12:20
Is the 375 winchester 38-55 a straight enough round for MT pistol season?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote d4570 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2018 at 13:57
traditional only. ???
 the old time 45/70 revolver  it ok.Big smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RobertMT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2018 at 15:03
MT regs for weapon restricted zones, pistol straight walls, originally designed for handgun, since 44-40, 38-55, 45-70 are neither straight wall nor originally designed for handgun, they don't qualify, however you can use them during regular firearm seasons, in non-weapon restricted zones. 357sig has been argued, but not taken to court, to get definitive answer.

They've recently clarified, muzzle loaders can use belted or skirted lead bullets, but sabots, aren't allowed in weapon restricted zones, but you can use them, during regular firearm seasons, in non-weapon restricted zones. Shotguns same, no sabots in weapon restricted zones, OK during regular firearm seasons, in non-weapon restricted zones.

Crossbows can be used in some weapon restricted zones, during regular firearm seasons, but not during archery equipment only season or zones, without handicap permit. They finally clarified, lighted nooks are permissible archery assec, but e-sights of any kind aren't.

Another weird rule, you can't use game cam, even on your own land, during any open season. The first season starts as early as 8/15 and last closes 6/30, pretty short widow of allowed use. They did address drone use, basically treating, same as game cam.

I think they spend 10% of their budget, coming up with these restrictions.

Regarding you handgun question, I've used handgun to take quite a few, in during regular firearm seasons, in weapon restricted zones and a few on specialized hunts. 44 SBH revolver of choice, more easily carried than, the shotgun, during regular firearm seasons, in weapon restricted zones, that may have non-hunters or anti-hunters in area. I gave up hunting several local weapon restricted zones, because of hunter harassment. MT has strong hunter harassment laws, but it's hard to prove.



Edited by RobertMT - 11 May 2018 at 15:06
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jsgbearpaws1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2018 at 23:40
HUNTER HARASSMENT!!!! My wife calls you too? That's the number one reason I shut my phone off while hunting!

Big game, I've only shot one deer with a pistol, 45ACP at about 60 yards. Did the job. Shot lotsa birds in tight cover though with a revolver and birdshot. Never saw the want nor need to limit my range with a handgun only hunt. Sure most shots are under a hundred yards around here, but I've had enough at much farther ranges to rule out missing out and not having the meat in the freezer.

Shot boar with a 44 mag. years ago outside of San Antonio TX., 240 grainers inside of 25 yards, 5 hits, one miss, and a 12 ga. slug finished it at under 10 feet and still coming strong. Most others ran off and died, but you get one with enough will......I'll stick with a bigger hammer! Thinking a good combo brace is a good idea in areas you can carry both. Relying on the rifle, but using the pistol when an easy, up close and slow moving target is more readily available. A big slow moving round is a good idea up close vs a high velocity projectile that destroys a helluva lot of meat.
...oh yeah! thats gonna hurt!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BEAR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2018 at 06:55
As said age and wisdom made me stop carrying both.

Last fall A. Bear was in his tree stand hunting a buck he was chasing when a nice doe walked close to his stand.  Shot it dead with one shot from his 41 mag Modle 657.

On the other hand my bro'has been carrying a Contender along with his rifle for 25 years, no deer with the pistol while plenty have fallen to his rifle.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RobertMT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2018 at 13:27
I used to carry 44 while archery hunting, for bears. They some times come in to cow call.

I carry 45auto, while rifle hunting for bears. There's a very real chance, to run across bear here and the most likely is while field dressing or packing meat. I'm not fast enough to get more than one or two aimed shots, with SBH, in time I can get dozen off with 45auto.

It used to be every great once in a while, but seems like the bears, chew on a few every year now.

If I was younger and figured on hunting longer/more, I'd upgrade to 10mm. They don't make a DA revolver, that fits me well.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Irish Bird Dog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2018 at 20:07
The handgun is/can be adequate (appropriate round of course) but its the Hunter who is/could be the weak link in most cases.
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