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I would like to take a pistol with me deer hunting this year (Michigan). It will be my first year doing so, therefore I am very much in the dark about the whole thing. I was planning on taking my S&W .357 mag revolver 6" barrel, but also have an XD SC 9mm and Glock 22 .40 s&w that I could take. Which one would you recommend? What type of ammo should I use? Any tips???
 

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Definitely the .357

Federal makes a 158gr Jacketed Softpoint that is SMOKIN". You can get them in American Eagle boxes for about $16 for 50 rounds.
 

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I've used my Dan Wesson 357 a couple times. Had great luck w/ Remington 180gr soft points.

Just checked Remington's website and they apparently no longer mfg that ammo but there is a 180 sjhp that would be a nice choice.
 

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Are you wanting to actually hunt with the pistol? or just for a mercy shot? or for protection against wildlife?
 

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Verm has got a point there...what is the intended purpose for the sidearm?

If it is going to be your only means to take deer, I'd look into borrowing someone's 44 magnum and keeping the shots from 50-75 yards. I'd even look for a 454 Casull to borrow, if you could. The 357 is just too iffy, unless youre really close and very good with it. Sure, it has velocity, but most 357 bullets are too lightweight, unless you use the Winchester 180 grain platinum tips. I use that line in 44 magnum in my Marlin rifle and love them.

If you're using it as a back-up or for mercy/finishing shots, either the 357 or the 40 will do great.

Everyone is saying..."the 40?"

Sure. Hell, here in Texas, I carry either my 1911 or Colt SAA in 44spl for a sidearm, when hunting deer with a rifle. I have made several finishing shots with the 44 Special, using Winchester 200gr Silvertips. I even shot a 100lb feral pig that wandered directly underneath my treestand once with that round and he fell like a sack of potatoes. From short distances, you'd be amazed at how effective the 44 Special is...ditto for the 45acp, but its a 25yd gun at tops on big game. I'd say the same for a 40SW auto as well.

I'd rather zap 'em with the 8mm or 30-06, but if something wanders extremely close...I might try my sidearm.

- Brickboy240
 

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You probably want to check your local laws before pistol hunting. Here in Nebraska it has to provide a certain amount of force at 50 yards. 9mm doesn't qualify and I don't think .40 does either. It is illegal to even carry a non-hunting legal handun when hunting.
 

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I've shot 2 deer with my M-29 6" , but I used 300 grain bullets and the longest shot was just over 60 yds.

One dropped like a rock , the other I found 100 or so yards away.

A friend of mine has killed a few deer with a .357 and they were all under 50 yards, and good hits(chest area).
 

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galway said:
You probably want to check your local laws before pistol hunting. Here in Nebraska it has to provide a certain amount of force at 50 yards. 9mm doesn't qualify and I don't think .40 does either. It is illegal to even carry a non-hunting legal handun when hunting.
Not sure on all the NE laws but if someone had say a CCW permit you could get around that as long as you dont get caught hunting with it
 

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Im curious on this issue also. I heard that in iowa you can hunt with a pistol but it must be 357 or bigger. That would mean my XD 40 would work right? What I would probably do is use a 12 gauge primarily and if somethin got in the 40 yard range use my XD. In iowa you are not allowed to hunt with rifles. One of my friends claims that one of my other friends took down a deer with his Ruger 45. He also claims it took two mags. I assume he missed quite a few times. Also, my friend who told me this is a notorious bullsh*tter.
 

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pmfinnegan2,

In Michigan you need to have at least a hunting CCW (Don't know if they even have these anymore) to carry your pistol under your jacket, in your vehicle, etc. Without a CCW it is a real hassle as your weapon must be out and exposed to the elements.

Of the choices you listed I would go with the crowed and say the .357

If it was me and I was below the rifle line, I would just grab a slug gun and be done with it.
 

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Iowa DNR says you have to use .357 mag and above through a 4" minimum bbl length, so if you have the service or tactical model you'll be fine, but i'd only use it for mercy shots. Hey nickc50310, have you heard anything about a possible limited rifle season in Iowa, a salesman at Scheels was trying to tell me that next year they are going to allow .357 mag, .44mag and other lever action rifles to come out and play
 

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I agree with some of the others. Check your local laws. Pennsylvania law doesn't permit any semiauto handguns to be used for hunting, not even with a CCW. Revolvers only.
 

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Missouri is centerfire cartridges only, no other restriction on caliber / action. That said, I'd recommend the .357.

You'd have to dump two clips of 9mm into the thing to drop it anywhere near you for recovery ).

T
 

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Yeah, alot of your choice does have to hinge on what your state will legally let you hunt with. I forgot that some states are very picky on what pistol they will let you hunt with.

Here in Texas, as long as it is not full auto or rimfire, you're wide open for pistols on deer. Still, I'd think that a 44 magnum would be an absolute minimum and would prefer a Thompson or Remington bolt-pistol in a rifle caliber....if it was to be my primary deer-slayer.

-Brickboy240
 
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