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  #1  
Old 03-28-2012, 06:34 PM
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Handgun & caliber for elk?


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Odds are my rifle hunting days are over. Next week's eye exam will likely put an end to heavy recoil rifles for me. I have a good 45 colt Ruger Redhawk, but am thinking there may be better options for elk.

Can you get a handgun that shoots a 300 WSM? Or is a 308 just as good in handgun barrel lengths? How about a 358 Win or 350 Rem mag?

Handgun hunting for big game is all new to me so am looking for ideas and recommendations.
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  #2  
Old 03-28-2012, 07:26 PM
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The most power and trajectory for elk hunting you can get in a handgun would be with a 15" barreled Encore single shot. SSK Industries 338 JDJ gives 2400 fps + with a 225 gr bullet. This is a fully blown out 30-06 cased wildcat with a short neck and 60 shoulder for maximum case capacity. Muzzle breaks are pretty common on these hand-cannons, which run about 5-1/2 pounds with scope.
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  #3  
Old 03-29-2012, 03:24 AM
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The classic 375 JDJ (a necked down 444 Marlin) is another great option that has taken a lot of heavy game in its career. Just be aware that the recoil on these things is STOUT! As Black Mamba said, be sure to get the muzzle brake, unless you're got wrists that are in much better shape than your eyes.

Also, get a lower powered LER scope and be prepared to spend some time getting used to it.

If you're talking about using a wheel-gun and open sights, with scopes being out of the question, a 460 S&W is a huge increase in power over the 45 Colt, but you could shoot those 45 loads out of the 460, to get used to it.
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  #4  
Old 03-29-2012, 08:51 AM
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I'm almost 65 years old and my wrists and hands are in bad shape, but about 15-18 years ago I started hunting with my Contender pistol in 45/70 Gov. I've shot 2 different 30-06 pistols and the pure shock fropm them is very objectional. Its more then just recoil. Its like a jack hammer on your hands and wrists. While the 45/70 with 300 grain bullets is no pussy cat its still much less objectional then the 30-06. The 45/70 is also a very effiecient killing machine, but it doesn't have the range that a rifle bullet does. You can easily get 175 yds out of hand loads though as my son has in his Encore, and accuracy is 1 1/2 inches at 150 yds, not bad for a pistol.
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  #5  
Old 03-29-2012, 04:43 PM
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thanks guys...there may be handgun hunting in my future. I really like the 45-70 and have 2 rifles plus beaucoup ammo in that caliber now.
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  #6  
Old 03-29-2012, 06:01 PM
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Ah! A vietNam vet heh?

The 45/70 is a heavy recoiler, but the hard shock is gone. I remember the first time I shot the 30-06 pistol. I was sure I had done permenant damage.
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  #7  
Old 03-29-2012, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimboLLN View Post
Ah! A vietNam vet heh?

The 45/70 is a heavy recoiler, but the hard shock is gone. I remember the first time I shot the 30-06 pistol. I was sure I had done permenant damage.

Did leave the USAF intact back then...but, not much of me left that isn't permanently damaged to some degree now.

Last edited by leverite; 03-29-2012 at 08:07 PM.
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  #8  
Old 03-30-2012, 02:52 PM
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If iron sights are not an issue, a 45 Colt Redhawk would be hard to beat.
After a summer of shooting 2 or 3 or 4 hundred rounds a month at longrange handgun silhouette (NRA or IHMSA) a guy will be ready for most any handgun elk hunting situation.
Just my 2 cents worth
..
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  #9  
Old 03-30-2012, 06:07 PM
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by twodot View Post
If iron sights are not an issue, a 45 Colt Redhawk would be hard to beat.
After a summer of shooting 2 or 3 or 4 hundred rounds a month at longrange handgun silhouette (NRA or IHMSA) a guy will be ready for most any handgun elk hunting situation.
Just my 2 cents worth
..
Can't disagree..I could also put a red dot on my Ruger. BUT, if I find out I'm losing one eye, I ought to be able to buy another gun to blunt the pain.
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  #10  
Old 03-31-2012, 04:28 AM
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Why not a 460 or a 454? I think the .500 is just to big.....
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  #11  
Old 04-01-2012, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Rick Hiott View Post
Why not a 460 or a 454? I think the .500 is just to big.....

good option.
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  #12  
Old 04-02-2012, 12:04 PM
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I have a bias toward firearms in 35 caliber.
In a single shot bolt or break open handgun, some kind of bottleneck cartridge would be my choice.
A 35 Remington in the Contender or XP; 358 Win in a Encore or XP.
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  #13  
Old 04-03-2012, 07:02 PM
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good news at the retina specialist today. Left eye only has a 1 in 5 chance of getting worse and rifle recoil will not be a factor. SO...will revisit handgun hunting another year.

Although a handfull of 358 win sounds like a wild ride.
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  #14  
Old 04-04-2012, 01:23 AM
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Come on man,,,,,do it now,,,(While you can still see)..................
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  #15  
Old 04-05-2012, 10:25 AM
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I just picked up a .376 Steyr barrel for my encore. I plan to use it on Elk as soon as I can afford to get back west. The recoil is significant, and I have a brake installed. BUT, I wouldn't hesitate to use it out to 250yds or so. Chrony shows around 2600fps with 275gr bullets. Also just picked up some BTB 255gr SP/Gas checked that I bet I could run around the same velocity. It's heavy, it recoils, but it is a BLAST to shoot.
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  #16  
Old 04-05-2012, 02:19 PM
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Thats a beautiful gun DCAMM94 but I don't know how you can hold it with the wild recoil it muct have, unless you are one of those fortunate guys with impervious hands and wrists and a grip like a 12 inch vice.

I wear a leather glove when I shoot my 45/70 and it helps a lot in reducing felt recoil and in hanging onto the gun.
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  #17  
Old 04-05-2012, 02:53 PM
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In the 10-12 inch class you can't beat the 375 winchester, accurate, easy to shoot accurately. It handles the spire 270 grain and groups at 1" at 100 yards form bags. Off hand it is the easiest large bore high power to master.
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  #18  
Old 04-14-2012, 09:51 AM
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A Specialty Pistol for elk is easy in a MOA Maximum or XP-100.
Has the accuracy of a bolt action rifle.
Better than most hunting rifles and some are as good as long-range BR rigs.
Cartridge choice would be dependent upon distance desired and barrel length.
My longest elk kill is 666 yards with a XP-100, then 540 yards, 440 yards, 416 yards, 380 yards, 355 yards, and shorter distances as well.

You don't need to have an eye problem to use a SP for elk hunting!


Quote:
Originally Posted by leverite View Post
Odds are my rifle hunting days are over. Next week's eye exam will likely put an end to heavy recoil rifles for me. I have a good 45 colt Ruger Redhawk, but am thinking there may be better options for elk.

Can you get a handgun that shoots a 300 WSM? Or is a 308 just as good in handgun barrel lengths? How about a 358 Win or 350 Rem mag?

Handgun hunting for big game is all new to me so am looking for ideas and recommendations.
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  #19  
Old 04-14-2012, 11:10 AM
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DCAMM,,,Is that the Nikon EER on top?
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  #20  
Old 04-17-2012, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by black mamba View Post
15" barreled Encore
I wasn't aware that T/C made a 15". (14 & 16 yes)
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