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Capacity vs Caliber

  • Semi-Auto (Capacity)

    Votes: 1 6.7%
  • Revolver (Caliber)

    Votes: 11 73.3%
  • Depends

    Votes: 3 20.0%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay so someone brought this to my attention: whats a good hunting sidearm? A semi-auto handgun with a high capacity like the Beretta M9 or the SIG Sauer P226 or a high caliber revolver like the S&W .44 or the Taurus Model 444?

So first, I need to know: Semi-Auto or Revolver.

Then, I need to know which semi-auto or revolver is best as a hunting sidearm.

NOTE: I live in Florida so I hunt for deer and wild boar.
 

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That is not entirely an either-or decision, but if you are hunting big game, the idea is that you only need one shot to do it. A lot of critters have been shot with a TC Contender, for instance. If I was intentionally hunting deer, however, I would probably choose a large caliber long-barreled revolver that would take a scope. That being said, I have killed a few deer (post-car-impact) with a .40 SW and it works just fine.
 

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Ancient Gaseous Emanation
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Large bore revolver. I don't use anything smaller than .41 Magnum for 'large' game animals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
yeah makes sense. a 9mm isnt gonna stop a full grown boar running at me
 

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Revolver. I carry a 44 when ever I am in the woods. It does not matter if I am carrying a 30-30 hunting or hunting with the mag or just hiking. I like that magnum on my left hip.

In PA you can't hunt with a semi auto. So my choice was made for me.
 

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Indiana it must have a 6 inch barrel or longer so you are limited. But I have killed a couple Yotes now with my 9mm which is legal. 9mm is not a recommended hunting round.
 

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I carry a g20 as a sidearm while hunting or just in the woods. 15+1 of some good 10mm would work fine as a cougar or bear repellent.
 

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I like the flexibility of a good revolver and the power along with many choices usually available in factory ammo and reloading components for hunting. Also, revolvers generally have superior adjustable sights and some can easily accommodate optics. I am thinking mostly about a Ruger single action in 44 magnum or 45 colt.

I would not object to working with a Glock 10mm with some full power loads......but that for me would be more as a backup to a long gun. I like the weight savings and potential power there to do double duty for some hunting and two-legged problems as well. But for a primary hunting handgun, i will still go with a revolver......unless a T/C Contender would be better for that particular hunt.
 

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Did I take "hunting sidearms" too literally or is this like the the best home defense handgun thread that turned into a shotgun thread?
 

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The 500 S&W stare...
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I use a revolver most of the time. A good 44 mag is probably the best choice. I have killed deer with 44s with 3,4,6.5,7.5 and 9.5 inch barrels. It is best to stay around a 6-7.5" area for hunting. I have also used a 41 magnum, 45 Colt, and 500 S&W on deer and they all worked good. I have hunted with a semi auto. It was a Smith and Wesson 1006 in 10mm. It worked well with Hornady 200 grain ammo.
 

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I agree with Popeye I carry a large bore revolver as a backup while hunting. Mine is a Ruger Blackhawk in.45 Colt with stout handloads.
 

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I voted, Revolver cause that's what I carry!

But - Not for any of the reasons I read above!

I carry a 22LR with both "rat" shot capsules and HPs in it.
 

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A hunting sidearm need not be the weapon you intend to take game with - that's your rifle's job. A hunting sidearm is for those very rare, often less than once in a lifetime situations where one must dispatch a snake, or finish off a wounded animal. For that, and for hiking or camping in general, a .357 Magnum revolver is sufficient. I would load the first 3 chambers with snake shot, the rest with of the cylinder with the new loads developed by Buffalo Bore and several other companies specifically for bear or other large predators. Packing a couple of speedloaders filled with SD rounds for bipedal predators should round out the ensemble. My general purpose .357 Magnum is a S&W 366Sc/S snubby (2.5"). Scandium-titanium-stainless steel, weighs in at 20 ounces empty, maybe 2 pounds with 7 rounds, 2 speedloaders and a holster. A delightfully light load to tote. If you're not comfortable with a .357 Magnum, be my guest and lug around 4 pounds of Model 29, Super Redhawk, Anaconda, or whatever, rig and ammo. If you're hunting, don't forget your rifle on top of that. Whew! One might consider retaining native bearers for such a burden.


Autoloaders are inappropriate for the great outdoors - they lack the versatility of revolvers, and they can be unreliable with light rounds like snake shot, and, unless you have a Desert Eagle monster, cannot be loaded for mountain lion or bear. Chambered in all the right calibers, and possessing the unique flexibility of mixing loads in the cylinder while retaining absolute functional reliability make revolvers the only effective choice for wilderness, mountain, or desert adventures.
 

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I do 90+% of my hunting with a handgun only.
 

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The 500 S&W stare...
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I do 90+% of my hunting with a handgun only.

Me too. For me, a hunting handgun means just that. It is the firearm I use to take the game.

When I hunt in northern Michigan, I use a rifle. I have a handgun on me then too. At that point it is more for the purposes you describe Lips. I will say that a 10mm auto pistol is pretty versatile. It can take game and be used for self defense.
 

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horselips;342720 Autoloaders are inappropriate for the great outdoors - they lack the versatility of revolvers said:
So what you're saying is a 158 gr 357 mag would stop a bear or mountain lion in 6 or less shots but a 200 gr hardcast 10mm can't in up to 16? Maybe I'm not understanding your logic but if you're lucky enough to see a cougar before it attacks you (and most people don't) I'm pretty sure either cartridge would effectively dispatch it. As far as bears go I wouldn't even consider a 357 over a 10mm if those were my only two options.
 

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S&W Model 29 is my first choice for hunting. It also is a nice compliment to my little Ruger Model 44 rifle. I also have a Ruger 45 LC but I like the S&W Model 29 better for hunting.

Ron
 

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A hunting sidearm need not be the weapon you intend to take game with - that's your rifle's job. A hunting sidearm is for those very rare, often less than once in a lifetime situations where one must dispatch a snake, or finish off a wounded animal.
IMHO, what you are describing is not a hunting sidearm, but a back-up gun. To many of us, a hunting sidearm is our primary weapon. This is what denotes real handgun hunting. One will never be a handgun hunter as long as they carry a long gun as their primary weapon. To a handgunner proficient with his weapon, confident with his skills and willing to hunt within the limitations of his firearm, there is no reason not to leave the long gun home.

That said while I have carried bottom feeders for back up guns, when it comes to a handgun as a primary firearm for deer, it always is a revolver in a magnum caliber. I have taken deer with .357s, .44s and the .460. They all work well when used within their parameters.
 
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