How long of a barrel for deer hunting?

Discussion in 'Handgun Talk' started by shingman6, Jan 5, 2008.

  1. shingman6

    shingman6 New Member

    Messages:
    67
    State:
    South Carolini
    What would be the shortest barrel length you would use on deer hunting?
     
  2. flathead willie

    flathead willie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,241
    State:
    Virginia
    That would be 6 1/2" on my .357. But 18" is the shortest legal barrel length for a rifle here in Virginia.
     

  3. john catfish young

    john catfish young New Member

    Messages:
    3,070
    State:
    Kentucky
    I have an 8" barrel on my 357 mag. revolver. I am comfortable hunting deer with it. Nothing any shorter for me. Rifles I prefer longer barrels, but any length will work fine for me.:eek:oooh:
     
  4. derbycitycatman

    derbycitycatman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,296
    State:
    Kentucky
    Although I havent hunted with it yet Ive got a 6 1/2' barrel on my 44 mag. I wouldnt want under 6" but thats just me.
     
  5. DJH1

    DJH1 New Member

    Messages:
    184
    State:
    Missouri
    Six inches would be the minimum for me, but a 4" would probably work.
     
  6. massa_jorge

    massa_jorge New Member

    Messages:
    2,137
    State:
    TEXAS
    i have a ruger gp-100 .357 with the 4 inch heavy barrel, and i have killed hogs with it to 30 yards. i have only shot one hog in the body with it, the rest were head shots. the one i got in the body- the first shot broke her back and the second went through her left shoulder and broke her right shoulder but stopped there. she rolled back down the wash and stayed in the deep grass squealing and growling for about 15 minutes before she bled out. i was on top of a cut bank that was maybe 10 feet high. if i was at her level, she could have done me serious damage in a lot less time than she was allowed. i was shooting winchester silvertip hollowpoints that were 158 grains if i remember right.
    legally, i can hunt deer with any centerfire firearm that is not automatic or silenced/supressed in my state, but i have yet to shoot a deer with this revolver. when, or if, i do, i will post results! hopefully not from a laptop at the hospital...
     
  7. brinley45cal

    brinley45cal Active Member

    Messages:
    2,606
    State:
    kentucky
    id go at least 6 inch barrel,but heck you can get them now as long as your leg and shoot howtzer rounds lol.
     
  8. cantstopgrandma

    cantstopgrandma New Member

    Messages:
    955
    State:
    MD
    Shortest handgun barrel i'd shoot with is 6", but then again, in Maryland 6" is the law.
     
  9. xringer3

    xringer3 New Member

    Messages:
    950
    State:
    Oklahoma
    Barrel length has NOTHING to do with accuracy. A longer sight radius makes it easier to aim, but if you've got a scope on it, that is taken out of the equasion. Barrel length only affects velocity, usually as a rule about 50fps per inch. For example: if you're shooting a 150grn 308 bullet at 2800fps out of a 24 inch barrel, then out of an 18 inch barrel you'd get around 2500fps. However, with the different powder burn rates, this is just a general rule. I once had a 243 with a 20 inch barrel that the book showed my load at 2950fps. The chronograph showed an actual average of 3020fps.

    As long as the bullet will penetrate the vitals, preferably all the way to the opposite side and possibly exiting and damaging the vitals inside, then barrel length doesn't matter at all. Shot placement is the biggest key. My 20 inch barrel 308 M700LTR will place all the shots inside a 4 inch circle at 400 yards.
     
  10. Paraguayguy

    Paraguayguy New Member

    Messages:
    1,650
    State:
    Virginia
    I shoot a Thompson Center Encore. My favorite Caliber is a 300 Whisper. I shoot a 24 inch on the rifle and a 10 inch while using the pistol grips. I can't tell you how much difference it makes with velocity but the deer don't seem to notice. They pretty much fall over when you hit them in the head.:wink:
     
  11. bigwhiskers

    bigwhiskers New Member

    Messages:
    204
    State:
    Elon, North Ca
    Howdy Steve, I hunt with a 6" .44 mag and it seems to do well enough. I use iron sights and try to keep my shots @ 50 yds. or less. Any thing farther will call for the rifle. This is just personal preferance as there are lots of guys that can wear 'em out much farther out with irons on their pistols.
    Bigwhiskers
     
  12. catsmith1

    catsmith1 New Member

    Messages:
    1,073
    State:
    Haughton, Louisiana
    I shoot a S&W 686 357 with a 4 inch barrel. I am confident out to 50 yards easy. As far as barrel length the main advantage is sight radius.

    As far as hog hunting with a 357 you will get more penetration with a hard cast semi wad cutter. Hollow points are designed to open up and will not go as far into a tough hog. A number of years ago we skint a wind sow and stretched the shoulder between two trees. punched through with semi wad cutter and hollow point stayed dimpled in the shoulder hide. Same weight bullet, but the hollow point just collapsed on its self. With hogs penetration is key in my book.

    Just my opinion.
     
  13. fishhook

    fishhook New Member

    Messages:
    658
    State:
    Willow Woo
    Here in Ohio 6" is the shortest barrel you're allowed. I have a .44 Mag 629 with a 8" barrel and a .357 mag. with 6" barrel that I hunt with some but my favorite handgun to deer hunt with is the Contender in 45-70 with a 16" barrel which is sited in at 150 yards. Talk about knock down power with 350gr hollow points.
     
  14. MVFB52

    MVFB52 New Member

    Messages:
    55
    State:
    Mt. Vernon, Iowa
    with 7.5 inch, 44 mag and scope, 100 yards is not out of reach
     
  15. chambers bd

    chambers bd New Member

    Messages:
    1,134
    State:
    Sautee,Geo
    5 3/8 " 40 S&W OH ABOUT 30 TO 40 FEET OH YES SMILE