Inline FabricationTitan ReloadingWidenersRotoMetals2
RepackboxLee PrecisionMidSouth Shooters SupplyADvertise here

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 53

Thread: usable handgun range

  1. #1
    Banned
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    85

    usable handgun range

    just the semi redundant question about the usefulness of a handgun for the serious taking of game and defense against wild animals.

    A person can get a rifle round chambered in a contender, but im simply focusing on standard pistol rounds like .357 magnum, 44special/magnum, 45 colt. But in standard loads of standard weight bullets at standard velocities.

    160 to 200 grains at 1000 to 1100 fps for .357
    200 to 260 for 44 special, yes elmer/skeeter loading data MAX
    260 and under for 44 magnum at standard 44 magnum velocity
    300 grain at N frame pressure and velocity for 45 colt

    Im simply at the defensive shooter stage of working with a revolver. 6 inch .357 and 158 grain bullets. And after an unpleasant outing with friends turkey hunting that included a black bear that wasn't impressed with us until both of us did a mag dump at the same time with our shotguns, I started wondering about the usefulness of standard 158 grain 357 loads.

    I really do want a new handgun that would be BETTER for bear defense, but also give the option of deer hunting with recoil sane loads.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    3,294
    The easy answer is to stop using the powder puff factory ammo. In your 6" 357 magnum, the cartridge is capable of 1500 fps with a 158 grain, 1400 with a 170-180 grain, and 1300 fps with a 200 grain, give or take. That is what you can do within the current SAMMI pressure spec with powders like H110, Lil' Gun, 300-MP, maybe 2400. Some of us even push that farther.

    Or you can buy full power ammo from companies like Buffalo Bore, or Grizzly
    Last edited by megasupermagnum; 04-03-2020 at 01:08 AM.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy Ateam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Northern MI
    Posts
    273
    It seems you have a few questions here.
    -A quality hand gun and cartridge will be adequate as far out as you can shoot it accurately/humanely for deer.
    -If you have a bear problem, any handgun is a poor substitute if you have access to a long gun, and if you already have a shotgun in your hands I suggest you carry a few slugs in your pocket.
    -I have no doubt a 158gswc doing 1500 will go clean through a black bear. Of course if you hit a big bone, all bets are off.

    mega pretty well covered the ballistics, cast some up and work up to his specs slowly, and practice more

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    East Central Illinois
    Posts
    2,896
    I have taken a fair number of deer with various .44 magnum loads over the years. I hunt with handgun and cross bow exclusively. I like to plink out to 200 yards or more. I would never take a shot at a critter at anywhere near that range. My longest deer kill is 65 yards. Most have been 50 or less. I have never shot a bear so I can not speak to that. I can say that if I knew that I was going to tangle with a bear I would not be armed with a handgun. 12 gauge full of 3" Breneke slugs probably and a friend also armed with the same maybe a group of friends. Actually if I thought I was going to tangle with a bear I would not be there. If I knew where I was going to die I wouldn't be there either. I have no real desire to kill a bear so it should not be an issue for me.

    That said if I had to choose a handgun for bears I would go with one of my .44's that I shoot well and 265 rnfp or 300 grain boolits. I would not be at all concerned about expansion but would want to break bone to get to something important in said bear. I would choose a .44 because that is what I have the most experience with and a couple of them I shoot pretty darn well from a whole lot of range and field time. I shoot and hunt with handguns because I like handguns not because I expect to run into a bear. Megasupermagnum speaks the truth as to load potential.
    You'll go far providin' you ain't burnt alive or scalped."

    Will Geer as Bear Claw in "Jeramiah Johnson"

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Dan Cash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Western North Dakota
    Posts
    3,159
    Quote Originally Posted by megasupermagnum View Post
    The easy answer is to stop using the powder puff factory ammo. In your 6" 357 magnum, the cartridge is capable of 1500 fps with a 158 grain, 1400 with a 170-180 grain, and 1300 fps with a 200 grain, give or take. That is what you can do within the current SAMMI pressure spec with powders like H110, Lil' Gun, 300-MP, maybe 2400. Some of us even push that farther.

    Or you can buy full power ammo from companies like Buffalo Bore, or Grizzly
    I agree that much factory ammo is under powered but to achieve the above stated velocities, you may expect a short life for your hand gun if they are used very much.
    To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, the trouble with many shooting experts is not that they're ignorant; its just that they know so much that isn't so.

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    8,804
    mag dump at the same time with our shotguns - what are you using for turkey? Should have done the job easily with a turkey load (slug).
    Whatever!

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    3,294
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Cash View Post
    I agree that much factory ammo is under powered but to achieve the above stated velocities, you may expect a short life for your hand gun if they are used very much.
    Well I wouldn't expect much of a life of a J frame, but something like a GP100 can live tens of thousands of rounds of full power ammo. It's not like you have to shoot full power every day either.

    The thing you have to consider about slugs, is that it may not be legal in every state to carry them while turkey hunting. It is not in Minnesota. I doubt anyone would ever find a few in a pocket, but that's the way it is. On the flip side, you are generally allowed to carry a handgun. Plus it's possible he wasn't even using a cartridge shotgun for turkey hunting. Bows and muzzleloaders are gaining in popularity.

    As for the effective range of a handgun. I can do some fairly impressive things on the range, but in the field I cap myself at 50 yards for hunting purposes. The 357 magnum cartridge is certainly capable of longer shots on medium size game like deer.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Moorhead, MN
    Posts
    399
    Deer are thin-skinned and light-boned. Black bear and wild pigs are not. Black bear aren't hard to kill, but a 357 handgun certainly isn't the firearm of choice. My bear rifle is a 45-70 and the emergency handgun is a SBH with 300 gr Lee cast bullets, chosen because of their wide flat nose.
    As for really emergency bear protection, I'd choose the "Alaska load", a 12 gauge with birdshot in the chamber, exgtended magazine filled with slugs. If the birdshot doesn't change the bear's mind, the slugs can disable/dismember any bear according to our river fly fishing guide in Cooper's Landing, Alaska.

  9. #9
    Boolit Man White Oak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    79
    I have killed a several deer with my 44 Mag Redhawk from 12 Yards up to 60ish yards with cast bullets weighing 265 to 290gr and they all passed thru.
    Black Bears in other parts of the world must be a lot more aggressive than our Arkansas bears, but I would trust my load to handle one.

  10. #10
    Moderator Emeritus


    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    SW Montana
    Posts
    10,750
    I don't think it will matter much until you are shooting 250 + rounds a month at targets 50 yards or further. Second stage of practice is how fast you can get a gun out and shoot accurately at a target 15 yards out.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    3,294
    Quote Originally Posted by White Oak View Post
    I have killed a several deer with my 44 Mag Redhawk from 12 Yards up to 60ish yards with cast bullets weighing 265 to 290gr and they all passed thru.
    Black Bears in other parts of the world must be a lot more aggressive than our Arkansas bears, but I would trust my load to handle one.
    No, they aren't here either. Black bears are likely the least aggressive predator on the planet. Other than stealing food, don't corner them and they are no concern. I think people get scared because they are curious, and sometimes come in for a look.
    Last edited by megasupermagnum; 04-03-2020 at 03:42 PM.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    194
    Having lived in a slug only state for years I have made lasagna out of deer hearts with 12 gauge slugs and shredded lungs only to watch them run for 60 yards or so. If a deer doesn't think it is dead with a hunk of lead ripping through it I highly doubt an angry bruin will do the same. It will die, but what it might do to you first wouldn't be pretty. Don't count on a good outcome unless you bust the brain or sever the spinal cord, no matter what you are using. Even with the beloved 45/70 with a large flat nosed lead bullet/boolit, which we are now allowed to use, deer still run unless the spine is knocked out of place. This is from experience with thin skin animals. Take if for what it is worth, but aim for the head and neck to the best of your abilities if a bear charges.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master



    skeettx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Amarillo, Texas
    Posts
    3,459
    44 Mag, 240 grain with large meplat, at 1200 fps or more

    Should do the trick if needed

    Mike
    NRA Benefactor 2004 USAF RET 1971-95

  14. #14
    Banned
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    85
    to get caught with ammunition that DOESNT MEET state rules for turkey hunting, you loose any firearm on your person or in your possession at that moment, and you get charged 1800$ for any dead turkey in your possession or on your property plus you loose hunting privilege for 3 years. Plus you get the standard fine for "poaching".


    Winchester lead free turkey loads aren't very impressive on turkeys, and the bear was 6' tall when he was standing on his hind legs growling and snapping them jaws at us.

  15. #15
    Banned
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    85
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Cash View Post
    I agree that much factory ammo is under powered but to achieve the above stated velocities, you may expect a short life for your hand gun if they are used very much.
    ive done a bit of research on that velocity range "mega" put out and on those powders, it may be safe for the cylinder, but the phrase "flame cutting on top strap" is something that has me unconvinced on those powders.

    the 170 to 200 grain loads in the alliant 2004 pdf are at what keith and skelton felt were IDEAL for black bear work. as close to 200 grains and as close to 1000fps as possible.

    Im also interested in the recoil aspect of it all because if the 44 special loads can do as much or more penetration as the 357s but be easier to control recoil wise that's something to me

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy Win94ae's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    352
    Quote Originally Posted by popper View Post
    mag dump at the same time with our shotguns - what are you using for turkey? Should have done the job easily with a turkey load (slug).
    This is what I was wondering.

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    9,640
    I imagine shooting a bear with steel bird shot during Turkey season is a bit illegal as well. Non toxic shot for upland birds? Are you in California?

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    3,294
    Quote Originally Posted by nikonuser View Post
    ive done a bit of research on that velocity range "mega" put out and on those powders, it may be safe for the cylinder, but the phrase "flame cutting on top strap" is something that has me unconvinced on those powders.

    the 170 to 200 grain loads in the alliant 2004 pdf are at what keith and skelton felt were IDEAL for black bear work. as close to 200 grains and as close to 1000fps as possible.

    Im also interested in the recoil aspect of it all because if the 44 special loads can do as much or more penetration as the 357s but be easier to control recoil wise that's something to me
    Theoretically a 200 grain 357 magnum at 1000 fps should penetrate farther than a 200 grain 44 special at 1000 fps.

    If comparing the same model, say GP100, the 44 special would also recoil more, as the gun is lighter. Also consider it is a 5 shot, while the same gun is a 6 shot 357 mag, and even offered as a 7 shot on a couple variants.

  19. #19
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Itís a dry heat.....
    Posts
    80

    Cool

    How about a reality check. In the past ten years there have been ten fatal black bear attacks in NA. All but two were in Canada or Alaska. Any attack by a black bear is extremely rare. https://abcnews.go.com/US/black-bear...ry?id=65413852

    But they do happen. I’ve been charged twice by brownies - both were false charges, but they included the obligatory popping of teeth, growling and posturing. No attacks, both left the scene. Two friends were actually attacked, both survived with injuries but their .44 and .454 revolvers did not prevent nor stop the attacks.

    It is fine to be prepared and I would never suggest that a bear attack is impossible - but there is far more fear than substance. Everyone has an opinion on a firearm - especially those who have never seen an aggressive bear in the field - but even the .458 which a friend carried had no guarantee...


    .


    .

  20. #20
    Banned
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    85
    weight of the 7 shot would be pretty much close to the 44 special version.

    lipseyes 5" barrel 44spcl weighs 38 ounces while standard 3" barrel weighs ,

    standard 6 shot 6" in .357 weighs 45 ounces. 3" 6 shot weighs 36ounces empty 5" weighs 43 ounces



    Taurus model 66 7 shot 357 with 6" barrel is 40 ounces 4" barrel is 38 ounces 44 tracker with 4" barrel is 35 ounces

    yes, either way there will be recoil. that's expected.

    the old beartooth bullet data shows that the meplat is what counts as far as tissue damage goes, a 158 grain slug with .20 meplat at 1000fps will do the same damage as a 44 mag 300 grain slug with .20 meplat at 1000fps but the thinner diameter makes it more prone to deflection..

    Its why im trying to get this figured out finally.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check