Minimum caliber for deer and hogs

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mwood1985

Senior Member
what does everyone consider minimum? Hunting buddy and I have shot pigs from treestands with a Glock 9mm while hunting and its done fine. Never tried it on a deer in say the same range you would use bow.
 

transfixer

Senior Member
For a handgun I wouldn't trust a 9mm, even at bow range, will it kill one ? sure, but they may run quite a ways before dropping, especially since pin point accuracy with a pistol is a lot harder for most people. could run off your property onto someone elses , making recovery a little problematic, I've seen deer run 500-600 yds when gut shot with a high powered rifle, imagine how they would go if you hit one low or further back with a 9mil ?

I'd want a .357 or larger in a revolver, and would prefer a 10mm in a pistol, a .40cal might be enough with some of the premium ammo, it has a good bit more velocity and power than a 9mil, but even then I'd limit shots to prbly 20yds,

I consider myself a better than average shot with a pistol, but I really don't like to have a deer run after I pull the trigger, I prefer to drop them in their tracks, majority of that is bullet placement, but also a round with enough umph to do the job !
 

Nimrod71

Senior Member
You can kill a deer or hog with a rock if its big enough and thrown hard enough. That said for deer I would say a good 357 mag. load with 158 gr. Sierra Soft Point Bullet. I use a T/C with 14 in. barrel 44 mag. with 240 gr. Sierra over full load of Win 296. As for them trouble making hogs, anything that will put them down. I usually shot them with a rifle, 223 or 308, but if I were to hunt them with a handgun I would say a 357. You need to kill every hog you see. They are taking over the woods here.
 

transfixer

Senior Member
If a hog is shot with a caliber that doesn't put it down quickly , and it runs off and isn't found, its not a big loss, unless of course you were after the meat ? Many guys will shoot a hog and leave it in the woods, especially if its a pretty good sized boar,

my point is DRT shots aren't as critically necessary when it comes to hogs, as I feel they are for deer ,,, a 9mm pistol might be fine for hogs, many have been killed with 22lr's, but I wouldn't want to risk losing the meat of a deer to a lesser caliber. or a less precise bullet placement .
 

rosewood

Senior Member
Doesn't the law say 38 or bigger
No, it says .22 caliber centerfire or larger now. The way the rules are written, you can hunt with a .22 hornet or a .25 auto. I would hope most ethical hunters have better sense than using something so small though. Our game laws leave up to us hunters to do the right thing. I like it that way.

Rosewood
 

rosewood

Senior Member
10 mm in an autoloader.

357 mag with a heavy bullet, 158 grain, and a 6 inch barrel.

But a 41 mag and 210 grain bullet would be better.
Ditto.

Lighter bullets in the .357 mag such as a 125 have been used, but are less likely to give you a clean pass through and no blood trail.

Rosewood
 
No, it says .22 caliber centerfire or larger now. The way the rules are written, you can hunt with a .22 hornet or a .25 auto. I would hope most ethical hunters have better sense than using something so small though. Our game laws leave up to us hunters to do the right thing. I like it that way.

Rosewood
Your right I guess I was thinking the minimum hand gun caliber that would be ethical
 

Nimrod71

Senior Member
I got my T/C out loaded up and ready to go next week. I have not shot this thing since 2001. Set up my shooting bench and put the target at 50 yds. I make my targets with a fifty cent piece and color crayons. I know I'm cheap. Well I shoot four rounds of three shots each and all four groups were inside the fifty cent circle. If I miss a deer it want be the pistol. Good Luck Everyone.
 

tcward

Senior Member
No, it says .22 caliber centerfire or larger now. The way the rules are written, you can hunt with a .22 hornet or a .25 auto. I would hope most ethical hunters have better sense than using something so small though. Our game laws leave up to us hunters to do the right thing. I like it that way.

Rosewood
This^
 
Our law states that caliber must be 23 caliber or larger which makes eligibility start at 6mm or .243 ...
(unless you know of a 23 caliber cartridge)
The bore has less influence on a bullet's lethalness than it's energy does.
I'd prefer to use a foot/pound factor for setting an ethical standard of hunting big game.
Our State's game laws only requires that pistols to generate 350 foot/pounds of energy.
I'd feel more confident with quite a bit more energy than that.
This would do. 6x45
6x45 Free float forearm sm.jpg
But this would be better. 444 Marlin
444 with Dolin furniture.jpg
 
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And what state are you quoting the law for??? This site is Georgia Outdoors Network. We welcome people from all over, but if Quoting state laws please specify to avoid confusion.
Our law states that caliber must be 23 caliber or larger which makes eligibility start at 6mm or .243 ...
(unless you know of a 23 caliber cartridge)
The bore has less influence on a bullet's lethalness than it's energy does.
I'd prefer to use a foot/pound factor for setting an ethical standard of hunting big game.
Our State's game laws only requires that pistols to generate 350 foot/pounds of energy.
I'd feel more confident with quite a bit more energy than that.
This would do. 6x45
View attachment 1045918
But this would be better. 444 Marlin
View attachment 1045919
 
What ever you can hit with. 8ve killed a few with a 22, punch 3 or 4 holes in the lungs and they don't go far.
44 rem mag is the best for me anyway. But I can hit with it
 

Mark R

Senior Member
before some educated youngster rewrote the specs . it used to say 500 ft lbs at 50 yds i think . 357 barely with spec loads . definetly not 9 mm . maybe if ya hold it sideways and got a gangsta grin .
 

NCHillbilly

Administrator
Staff member
I have killed a deer with a .22LR (legal here in NC,) but I wouldn't deer hunt with one. For a handgun, I'd want at least a .44 mag or a 10mm.
 
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