HANDGUN HUNTING TIPS   7 comments

When considering hunting deer this fall with a pistol take this advice on choosing a firearm from Paul Pluff of Smith & Wesson.

 Basically with deer hunting you have several different considerations.  They can be taken them with a .357 magnum which is kind of a staple in deer hunting since the mid 80’s.  It does very well and is very accurate.  The .44 magnum is popular with guys who like to shoot.  Paul tends to recommend S&W’s Model 460.

 A .460 caliber raises handgun hunting to a whole new level.  The hunter now has the ability with that .460 round to have a basically .45 caliber slug coming out at a velocity of about 2300fps.  That is flat shooting trajectory.  If the gun is sighted in at 120 yards it has a point of aim out to about 180 yards.  This provides the ability to shoot within a 10-inch kill zone without shooting over or under.  That is how flat the round shoots.

 Although it is not recommend there are people who take deer out at 280 – 290 yards with this gun.  It gives shooters the possibility of hunting deer with a handgun at ranges one would only think possible with a rifle.

 Pluff still recommends people get their deer within 100-yards.  But the gun is extremely accurate.  Another good thing about the .460 is its versatility.  If you do not want to hunt with the .460 caliber round the gun is also capable of shooting a 45-Colt as well as a .454.

 It provides the ability to do a lot of different things with one gun.  It is Pluff’s number one pick for whitetail hunting. 

In selecting bullet weight the right one depends upon where one is shooting and how big the animal.  S&W has anywhere from a 270 grain Hornady Ballistic tip bullets that are extremely accurate up to a 380 grain hard cast.  The later is good if hunting something very large (elk) or thick hide (bear).  The former works for Whitetails.

 One of the nice things about the .460 is it’s built in compensator which is actually removable.  The compensator comes in several different types depending upon what type of round is to be shot.  It can be hardcast, jacketed or ballistic tip.  A specific compensator can be set up to gain accuracy and improve the muzzle brake.  It reduces the recoil.  That is part of the advantage of the gun.  When shooting the design of the gun, as big as it is, it is very comfortable to shoot and control.  If a second shot is necessary the hunter has the ability to do it fairly quickly. 

 The gun itself weighs about 72 ounces on purpose.  With higher calibers the weight differential helps offset the recoil of the gun. 

 Compared to the .44 magnum, the .460 has a smaller grip.  Ergonomically it changes the position of the recoil of the gun.  Instead of trying to come back up at you it has a tendency to nudge backward keeping the barrel in alignment.  The synthetic grip has an absorbing pad in the back.  Up in the rubber where you hand fits is where all the recoil is really taken. The grip has a little shock absorber to it.  The gun is much more comfortable to shoot than people expect.  It is much more comfortable to shoot than a standard .44 magnum.

 The gun is made of stainless steel and is very weather resistant.  With inclement weather one needs to be careful understanding the gear.  It is no different than when shooting a rifle.  In very cold weather people have a tendency to want to wear gloves.  Pistol hunters need proper equipment to access inside the trigger guard and not have something too big that interferes with pulling the trigger. It is important to be safe.  Do not risk firing the gun because your glove is too big and causes it to go off at the wrong time. 

 It is not wise to shoot the gun single action when in a hunting situation. The reason is if you practice with it you will find that you shoot that gun better with double action. When pulling through double action with that little trigger pull it forces you to focus on those front sights or on the sights.  If you are using optics it forces you to focus on the optics and make sure you stay on target.  People shooting single action have a tendency to have short trigger pull and tend to jerk the trigger.  They shoot down or left or right.  When pulling double action the shooter is pulling through and can focus on the optics or sights.  It keeps the muzzle on target all the time.

 You tend to be able to shoot more accurately double action.  Sometimes it takes a few rounds double action practice.  It is a safer way of doing it.  If shooting double action you have to cock the gun and it can slip and go off unexpectedly.  When shooting double action it will only go off when you want it to.

 In terms of scopes for pistol hunting, pistol scopes are the basic choice because of the eye relief.  When using a rifle scope you have a closer eye relief.  One does not want to be holding a handgun that close to their face due to the recoil.  Companies like Leupold, Bushnell are bringing out a whole new breed of pistol scopes for the larger caliber pistols.  The average pistol scope in the past was either 2 power or four power.  Some companies had a 2 ½ to 6 power model.  Leupold now is builds variable scopes that go 2 ½ to 9 power.  They are even considering scopes that go from a 4 to a 16 power.

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7 responses to “HANDGUN HUNTING TIPS

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  1. Pingback: HANDGUN HUNTING TIPS « Don Gasaway's Blog | Hunting Tips

  2. Pingback: HANDGUN HUNTING TIPS « Don Gasaway's Blog | Hunting Reviews

  3. I really like this blog and I got a lot of information out of it. thanks

  4. Nice gun but I don’t plan on shooting a dinosaur anytime soon.

  5. Nice gun but I don’t plan on shooting a dinosaur anytime soon. Thank you for the tips

  6. wow this is awesome!

    • Thank you. I have always thought of handgun hunting as a close cousin of bowhunting. After 40 years of bowhunting, I found that my shoulders just would not take the abuse anymore. By switching to handgun hunting, I could use my skills learned bowhunting in handgun hunting.

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