Wanna try handgun hunting

Thread starter #1


Senior Member
I’ve been hunting all my life with bows, rifles and shotguns. My MIL recently gave me a Ruger “new model” Blackhawk in .357 magnum. My biggest concern is whether the 357 is an adequate round for deer hunting. I’m looking for any tips and guidance you can provide. I want to begin practicing soon to be ready for deer season
i have S&W model 66 with a 6" barrel .
i have killed several deer with it using 110gr. jacketed hollow points.
I would suggest that you shoot it a lot to be able to shoot accurately.


Senior Member
What barrel length?
I don't think I'd try it with the 4.5" barreled version, unless I could take the shot from 25 yards or less.
With the longer barrel, the 7.5" version, and those good sights with a fully adjustable rear sight, I think I'd consider it good to about 40 yards on a deer, with a broadside or front-quartering shot. I assume that I could keep an 8" group at that distance under field conditions, bracing my arms on a tree trunk, rail of the stand or blind, etc.

MY COUSIN took several deer with an 8" barreled .357 mag Rossi revolver, although that gun had a red dot optic. He also took a few deer with his 1911 model in .45 acp, both with the Millet sights (high viz, and fully adjustable rear) or later with a red dot optic. HE'D LIMIT HIS SHOOTING TO 35 yards, though-- the maximum distance he could reliably keep a 6" group.

Basically, he hunted deer with these handguns the way one might hunt deer with a compound bow, but NOT like how you'd shoot them from a long way off with a scoped rifle.


Senior Member
That Blackhawk will do it fine.
Just limit your range to the load and your ability.
I like 180-200 grain cast gas checked bullets in mine.
Good penetration.
Good luck.
The 357 can work with a good shot placement. Personally would use a 158 grain soft point or hollow point. I would limit myself to 75 yards or less as long as I can place the bullet where it needs to be. Many say you should be able to place your shots in a paper plate to figure your limit in distance, I like to shoot a little less than paper plate. Most of my hunting handguns have a scope or red dot but open sights work again within your limits. Practice in a setting you will be hunting in, in other words it is one thing to shoot off a bench and a rest, another in a tree stand or a ground blind.
Practice , practice, practice and good luck, I find it alot more challenging and fun than with a rifle.
I loaded some 180gr soft points for a friends 357 as he ended up being the clubs unofficial wounded deer tracker.
He shot several with them and said they did well.