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I am getting kind of tired of rifle hunting for whitetails. I have decided to try next year to use an encore pistol and was wondering what your opinion of the best cartridge to use in terms lower recoil and enough punch to get the job done at reasonable ranges. Thanks Jim
 

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Hmm, handgun hunting huh? I'd love to try it someday, but fat chance of that anytime soon (Canadian gun laws --> pffft).

I sure don't know anything about it, but why not stick to a caliber you shoot in one of your rifles? .270? .308? .30-30? .45-70? :cool: If you don't like the caliber, you can easily switch barrels and sell the one you don't like.

Hope that helps a little. :confused:
 

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I usually carry my 44 mag or 357 mag revolver while rifle hunting. If the deer is close enough I use the handgun. This way, if the deer is at 100 yards or so, I am not sitting there with only a handgun. The encore if scope equipped would be a lot better.
 

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I am getting kind of tired of rifle hunting for whitetails. I have decided to try next year to use an encore pistol and was wondering what your opinion of the best cartridge to use in terms lower recoil and enough punch to get the job done at reasonable ranges. Thanks Jim
I've never used an encore pistol but, If the urge struck me, and if I could, I'd get one in 30-30. The 30-30 loaded with a faster expanding bullet like Remington's 150gr 30-30 offering or other... would make a great choice, IMO.

As far as "handgun" hunting for whitetail... While squirrel hunting with my .22LR, and during deer season, I carry a .44 mag loaded with midrange cast bullet loads. This is sort of a "best of both worlds" thing for me since I get to stay active, and not freeze, while squirrel hunting, but I can still pop a whitetail if it shows up.

As for advice... Practice with your handgun. Shooting well, with a handgun at the range, is a bit different than shooting at a deer while the juices are flowing.
 

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Since this is posted in the single-shot handgun section, I'm going to presume you have a Contender, Encore or XP-100 in mind, when you say you'd like to hunt with a handgun, next year.

I have 4 barrels for my Contender; 44Mag, 30 Herrett, 7-30 Waters and 6.5JDJ. They are all suitable for harvesting whitetail deer out to 125 yards for the 44 and as much as 250, for the 7-30 and 6.5JDJ. Recoil is manageable for all of them, but might not be for someone who is new to powerful handguns. The beauty of the TC pistols (Contender, G2, Encore) is that you can have multiple barrels, allowing you to practice with smaller cartridges and working your way up to the big stuff. With the Encore frame you can have 3 or 4 barrels and cover everything from a .22LR on up to a 338WM, allowing you to hunt everything in the northern hemisphere, with little or no compromise.

Depending on what you have in mind, in terms of caliber, velocity and how far you want to be able to shoot, there are many different options to choose from. For 100 yards and less the 44Mag is a real hammer on deer, with recoil (in a 10 or 14" barrel) that is not too hard to master. If you step up to one of the 15" Encores, you can shoot some true rifle cartridges that will have you rubbing your wrist until next Tuesday.

Do you reload or will this need to be a standard caliber that you can buy ammo for? Do you hunt from treestands or would you like to be able to still-hunt? How much practice do you have with revolvers or auto-loading pistols? Answer these questions for yourself and you'll have some of the information you'll need to make a solid choice of what caliber and pistol to buy.
 

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Several Considerations

Distances ---> I look at handgun hunting kinda like hunting with a new/modern muzzle loader. The distances are fairly the same.
Terminal Energy ---> The terminal energy produced by a well loaded pistol/revo round will come equal to a M/L, or in some cases of the extreme in handgun performance,will out due it.
Scopes/Sights ---> A well made scope for a handgun(EER or LER)will not cost as much as a scope made for a rifle but they can be pretty pricey. This is extremely debatable but......for $350 or so you can get a "pretty good" handgun scope.
*Trigger ---> For the most part a handgun has a extremely slow lock time. For this, a well made/designed trigger is very important. A little creep is tolerated but let off should be fairly light, and you should have to endure NO over travel.

I have hunted with handguns for quite a few years. Revo's,auto's,and single shots are still a big part of my hunting. I have taken 300+lb boar hogs at 10ft with my Desert Eagle,moose,bear,and deer, at 30-50yds with my .444Marlin, and chucks and yotes at 300+yds with my .223's.

I now have a .243 Lone Eagle headed my way, and a scope that will hopefully complement the weapon. This will be my first .243 ever but have long admired the loading when kept within it's limitations. It will be a Fla. sized deer weapon and will be used from ladder stands,tent blinds,and shooting houses.

The NosPart will be my bullet of choice, but that brings up another topic of(sometimes rather HOT)discussion. Keep in mind the somewhat lowered velocities of a weapon spitting out a bullet from a shortened bbl. I look at it as a rifle with a 14"bbl. A weapon such as the T/C's have the appropriate amount of velocity loss......the revo's and gas operated auto's have even more. Off the shelf ammo will perform somewhat differently. More penetration,but not as much hydrostatic shock. Admittedly,at the closer ranges this will not matter a lot(?), but at the 200yd+ ranges that we sometimes try to stretch the shots to,it could make quite a difference. For the smalled deer,and no tracking snow,I would rather have a an exit wound than not. Hence my choice for the NosPart.

Your choice could/will vary,but at least keep this in mind when reloading or stopping by the nearest Wally World to pick up a box of hunting ammo for that super short bbl'ed "rifle".

Good huntin' -----pruhdlr
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have an older g-2 in 222 rem and have shot that a lot and I beleive that you are right in that it takes a lot of practice. Am able to reliably take jack rabbits with that combination. I also was thinking of the 30-30 or the 7-30 waters or Eben Browns 7mm US. I am planning on a 15" barrel with either a bi-pod or shooting sticks and also a Leopould scope This will be put together on a stainless encore frame. Thanks Jim
 

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I've been handgun hunting in Indiana for 28 years now and if I were to pick an Encore or Contender, or the newer G model, I think I would go with the 30-30. It has relatively low recoil and if you reload you can use spitzers that will increase its range considerably. Then after you get a year or two trigger time in and want something that will reach out a little further and thump a little harder, send your barrel to SSK industries and have it rechambered to .309 JDJ. It will extend the range to 300 yards easily and you only have to eat a little more recoil.
Once you feel you are ready for more recoil, something like the .45-70 or .500 S&W will get you there. My favorite long range Contender is the .309 JDJ but my favorite Contender round is the .45-70. It does the job for as far as I have ever needed to shoot. My Encore favorite, and the only barrel I own in the Encore, is the .50 Alaskan. A bit more powerful than the .500 S&W and uses full caliber .510 diameter bullets, but it can be a hand full with maximum loads so I would not recommend that to a new handgunner. That thing can hurt you if you are not careful.
 

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That is a handful in the Encore's 15" barrel. I can only imagine what the .50 Alaskan is like (though I'd sure like to try).
In all fairness, though, to the .500 S&W, maybe factory loads wouldn't be too bad.
I tried a few of Rick Gibson's beautifully made 600 grainers (see Ranger Rick's bullets http://www.lsstuff.com/ranger-rick/) and every shot hurt. The Tyrannosaur Thumpers were even worse.
My favorite Contender barrel is the .30-30; the Encore favorite is the .308 Win.
Pete
 

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i really like the 7/08 in the encore pistol... there are a lot of good ones out there. i'm thinking that my next barrel will be a 25/35AI. i use the 7/08 in nodak and a 45 colt barrel in iowa and in the cold having some rim to grab onto would be nice so i could also see myself picking up a 375 win barrel too. there are a lot of good calibers for the t/c's that i'd like to play with, the 30/30 is good advice, i have a levergun in 30/30AI and i'd like to have it in an encore or contender too!!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Funny thing called EABCO today to order a custom barrel in 7mmUS and they don't make one and wasn't interested in making one. Oh well I'll just order a 30/30 barrel from fox ridge instead. Their loss not mine.
 

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I think you are describing a .44 Magnum. The recoil is very managable and lots of power. I shot a super 14 contender in .44 alot and could hit 4 out 5 milk jugs at a 100 yards with out using a rest. I could tell when I was loading hot when It would come with a twist. If you use a hard cast bullet angling shots are less worrisome.

I have a G2 now with a 10'' .44, 18'' .17 mach 4 and a 12'' .357 Mag. The 357 broke my steel swinging target, the velocity is quite a bit higher than when used in a wheel gun. The Sierra book shows 12" 357 data.
 

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Funny thing called EABCO today to order a custom barrel in 7mmUS and they don't make one and wasn't interested in making one. Oh well I'll just order a 30/30 barrel from fox ridge instead. Their loss not mine.
Taking up handgun hunting you will need to do a lot of practice, and not just from a bench. I recomend you get some shooting stix's if you are not shooting from a tree stand, or blind (I havent tried those ways yet, we have alot of open public range and I like to do the sneak). Practice in field possition with the stix's if your hunting style is walking on the ground up there in ND.

I think you will enjoy the .30-30. If you have the Encore, it will have a tiny bit more weight than a contender. I use a .30-30 Super 14" on my Contender with a 2 X 7 T/C scope. My longest shot on a speed goat was 250 yds (1 shot, complete broadside pass thru) with a 125 gr Nos B-tip (I pack a range finder).

Good luck, and good shooting!
 

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I have a G2, and the 7-30 waters barrel shoots like a dream. Only trouble is, ammo is a bit hard to find where I'm not a reloader. AFAIK, Federal makes a 120 grain load, and that's all I've been able to find. It works fine, and I have no need for anything else, but you may. A 30-30 would be an obvious choice if ammo availability is a concern.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I Reload for about 50 different cals. So ammo is not going to be a problem and have some 136gr FB BIB that shoot really well out other 30 cals that I have. Now the hard part waiting for the barrel to show up.
 

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check your local game laws. I know here in michigan your limited to mutipule shot 5 or more (no single shots ).357 or larger diameter bullet and no bottle neck cartriges
 

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Loneaglefan. Did they change the laws or do you live in shotgun territory? I used to hunt both in the upper and lower, but only one year south of rifle country I was still pistol hunting then and I remember the regs were different there. I no longer pistol hunt due to a stroke I had several years ago. It paralysed my left hand enough that I'm worried about the ethics of it. I take a good rest with my rifle and its much more stable.

Handgun hunting is very rewarding and I would recomend that if you are willing to put in the practice and pick your shots carefully to try it. I've used several calibers to shoot deer and most work fairly well. My favorite is the .41 Mag in either a single shot or revolver. extend the range a little and I'd say the .30/30 is a good place to start your search.

Regards
Gene
 
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