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ilsmokepoler's picture
Location: Tinley Park, IL
Joined: 09/07/2009
Posts: 38
Best pistol for whitetail hunting?

I'm thinking of buying a new pistol for whitetail deer hunting and I need some advice from experienced pistol hunters.

I already have a Ruger .357 with a 4" barril but it is not the model that you can mount a scope or reddot on so I'm thinking of buying another one such as the Ruger GP100 with a 6" barrel in SS and adding a reddot or scope. Anyone have any better suggestions? Should I get a .357 mag or a .44 mag? 6" barril or longer? What is the comparitive effective hunting range for these guns? Is the stopping power of the .44 mag really necessary for whitetails?

I should add that I only want this for hunting, not a nightstand or concealed carry gun. In Illinois you are not allowed to hunt with a semi auto pistol, only revolvers


Location: Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Joined: 01/13/2007
Posts: 363
Re: Best pistol for whitetail hunting?

I have had somewhat the same decision to make and decided on the Ruger Blackhawk in 41 Mag with a Bushnell red dot sight. I felt that the .357 wasn't quite as much power as I wanted, but the 44 Mag recoil was more than my arthritic hands could tollerate. I plan to have the Ruger Mag-na-ported, as the recoil is right on the edge of what I find comfortable to shoot.

Critter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4423
Re: Best pistol for whitetail hunting?

I have hunted deer and elk with a pistole for quite a while. The .357 out of a 6" barrel has ample power to put down a whitetail providing you do your job. As far as sights you need to check your local game laws on what is legal. In a lot of states any sighting device that is electronically powered is illegal. The only pistole that I have mounted a scope on in s Thompson Contender in 7/30 Waters. If you can keep your shots within a 6" circle at 50 yards your should be ok with just open sights.

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