When purchasing a handgun for deer hunting, the most crucial consideration is to select the appropriate one for you. There are several handgun choices for deer hunters, including single-shot rifles in rifle calibers and a revolver that must be on the market for almost 60 years. We’ve compiled a list of the top hunting handguns on the market for whitetails that include their characteristics, a little background information, and recommendations from experts. The first two weapons on the list are his favorites; the rest are in chronological order.
1. Freedom Arms Model 83
The Purdey is to the shotgun what GunAxe is to the revolver. The Model 83 has a higher price tag than other revolvers, but it’s well worth it. Excellent fit and finish and greater longevity and accuracy than its competitors make this gun a winner. The Model 83 in.454 Casull will get five shots within five inches at 100 yards using Federal ammunition loaded with the Swift 300-grain A-Frame bullet, which is considered acceptable accuracy from most revolvers.
The accuracy of a revolver is heavily influenced by the precise alignment of each chamber in the cylinder with the bore of the barrel throughout locking. This is accomplished by hand-fitting each cylinder to its frame, then line-boring each chamber in precise alignment with the barrel, as I’m aware of no other business that does this for quality.
2. SSK Industries Contender
SSK Industries’ J.D. Jones has shot all species on the planet, including Cape buffalo and African elephant, with his bespoke weapons. The T/C Contender action is used in these guns. SKK provides barrels for Contender owners who already own a rifle chambered in those calibers. In addition to a range of JDJ cartridges from .257 to .375, custom chamberings such as the .30-30 Winchester, 6.5mm Grendel, .444 Marlin, and .300 Savage are produced by factory processes.
I’ve put a lot of SSK barrels and chamberings through their paces on deer, but if I need to pick one as a favorite, it would be the.309 JDJ with a Sierra 150-grain SPT topping off. The 6.5 JDJ loaded to the same speed with a 120-grain bullet is also quite lethal, and it’s better for recoil-sensitive persons. Using the strong TSOB scope mount stands for “The Strong One,” I think you should use the powerful TSOB scope mount.
3. Freedom Arms Model 2008
Freedom Arms is a firearms manufacturer based in Texas, U.S. The Freedom Arms single-shot has initially been released in 2008 and is the most recent long-range handgun available. It’s sturdy enough to handle a variety of rifle calibers, and it’s also available in .454 Casull. It has the exact grip as the Model 83 revolver and an external hammer with safe and fully cocked settings. The hammer of this gun automatically moves to the safe position, where it is prevented from coming into touch with the firing pin after being fired.
The Remington 700 is a large-framed hunting semi-automatic rifle chambered for the .270 Winchester. It has an 18″ barrel and comes with iron sights. The stock is not adjustable, but it can be removed by hand if desired. A sliding breech bolt on top of the receiver allows you to tip up the breech end of the barrel for loading. Because it’s easier to produce, this very well-made gun costs less than the Model 83 revolver. My choice of chambering in this gun is 6.5×55 Swedish for recoil-sensitive hunters who handled their ammunition, whereas 7mm BR Remington is the most excellent option for those who prefer a more manageable caliber.
4. Magnum Research Desert Eagle
The Desert Eagle is a gas-operated, 4.5-pound handgun with an ergonomic design that makes it one of the more pleasing .44 Magnums to fire. It is pretty dependable if kept clean and fired with a firm two-hand grip. Although accuracy isn’t as good as some of the revolvers listed here, it’s adequate for shooting a deer out to 100 long paces.
The fully adjustable rear sight is adequate for hunting at closer ranges. Still, a scope mounted to the Picatinny rail on top of the barrel makes distant deer kills considerably easier. The .357 Magnum isn’t powerful enough for giant deer, and the .50 A.E. is overkill, making the .44 Magnum the best option. A round in the chamber gives you nine opportunities to hit the target. Because there is no cylinder/barrel gap in a Desert Eagle, it generates somewhat greater velocities than a revolver with a comparable length barrel.
5. MOA Maximum
An MOA Maximum in .260 Remington is one of the most accurate pistols I’ve ever handled. The smallest five-shot group I’ve ever put down with it at 100 yards was only about a quarter of an inch wide. It has an external hammer and a unique safety system, as well as a target-weight barrel.
The trigger is squeezed to fire the rifle. The transfer bar aligns with the hammer and firing pin when a button on the side of the receiver is pressed; then, when released, it fires the gun. When you raise the button, the transfer bar is moved away from the hammer and firing pin, making the weapon safe. The Maximum comes standard with fully adjustable open sights but benefits significantly from a reasonable scope. Numerous chamberings are available, including .260 Remington, 7mm-08 Remington, and .308 Winchester for deer hunting. If you want less kickback, try out one of those three calibers.
6. Ruger Blackhawk & Super Blackhawk
Around the time that Remington and Smith & Wesson were working on the .44 Magnum bulletin 1955, news leaked out, and Ruger was just about to introduce a revolver chambered for it. The Ruger Blackhawk was not only the most expensive handgun, but it was also less affordable than the Smith & Wesson Model 29. In terms of overall quality and performance, however, the S&W Model 59 prevailed. It outperformed its rival when both were fired with high charges and cost $44 less than the Ruger Blackhawk.
While the Blackhawk remains one of the world’s best revolvers for those who stick with open sights, hunters that prefer to use scope are better off with the Super Blackhawk Hunter. An integral rib on its barrel allows scope-mounting rings included with the gun to be used, in addition to its fully adjustable sights. I’m not sure that there’s any practical difference between the two grips, so I’ve chosen to use them both.
7. Ruger Redhawk & Super Redhawk
I prefer the aesthetics of the Ruger Blackhawk single-action, but I enjoy shooting the Redhawk double-action. In addition to being a little heavier, the angle and shape of its grip make it simpler on the hand. If you want an adjustable open sight, the less expensive basic Redhawk is the gun for you. The Super Redhawk is your only alternative if you like a scope.
Because of its thick extended top strap, the Redhawk’s frame is milled at the factory to accept scope-mounting rings, including the weapon. The Redhawk and Super Redhawk are incredibly robust and can shoot hundreds of rounds of hefty ammunition without a problem.
8. Smith & Wesson Model 29/629
I’ve used to hunt wild pigs with the help of hounds frequently, and one of my favorite guns for ending the chase was an S & W Model 29 with a four-inch barrel. I recently took a nice Alaska-Yukon moose with a Model 629, which is a useful stainless steel variation.
The Model 29 and the Model 629 from Smith & Wesson are standard revolvers with open sights that can be adjusted, but if you want to use a scope, the S&W Performance Center’s Model 629 Hunter is a superior option. Models 29 and 629 are robust revolvers, but they aren’t built to handle as many significant changes as the S&W Model 460, which has a larger frame. Even so, either model will endure a lifetime of hunting and shooting if used with .44 Special ammunition most of the time and reserved for obtaining meat.
9. Smith & Wesson Model 460
The Model 460 is a little larger and weighs about a pound more than the S&W Model 29. This is beneficial since the extra weight helps soften some of the recoil produced by the .460 Magnum cartridge. The big gun fires ammunition that is approximately 100 fps slower than advertised, thanks to its popularity. It is also available from additional retailers, making it simpler to locate.
If you want to shoot .45 Colt ammunition in the rifle, you may, and reserving the extra powerful rounds for serious hunting reduces wear on both weapon and shooter. Another alternative is to hunt deer with milder-recoiling .45 Colt +P loads from Buffalo Bore and Cor-Bon, which are comparable in power to the .44 Magnum. Although not fitted with a scope, the basic model 460 comes standard with adjustable sights. While it can be equipped with a range, the more expensive version from S & W’s Performance Center that has a Picatinny rail machined into its longer barrel is better suited for use with a glass sight.
10. Taurus Raging Bull
The Taurus Raging Bull is a Brazilian-made double-action revolver with a ported barrel for muzzle-jump reduction, a cushioned rubber grip to absorb recoil, and a buttery smooth trigger pull. The cylinder locks up front and rear, making it quite durable. Unauthorized shooters cannot fire the weapon because an internal safety mechanism requires a key to operate.
The 8-3/8 inch barrel, which allows the .454 Casull to have the most energy of all handguns chambered for it, is ideal for this caliber. For practice, can use softer-kicking .45 Colt ammunition in conjunction with all .454 revolvers. Unlike other guns, most individuals will go with the .44 Magnum in this revolver since they may also utilize mild-mannered .44 Special ammo. I would suggest the mount from Jack Weigand for mounting a scope on the Raging Bull. It necessitates the drilling and tapping of two holes in the top of the barrel rib by a gunsmith, but it is well worth it.
11. Thompson/Center Encore
The Contender, as mentioned previously, is a trimmer and lighter alternative to the SSK Industries Encore. The more decisive action of the Encore allows it to shoot more powerful rifle rounds such as the .270 Winchester and .30-06. It’s also relatively adaptable, with barrels from various calibers being readily swapped.
All things considered, the.260 Remington, 7mm-08 Remington, and .308 Winchester are very tough to beat when it comes to long-range performance. The.243 Winchester in a 15-inch barrel is just the right size for deer at 200 yards or beyond, and it’s considerably more pleasant to shoot than the standard length guns. It’s also great for varmint hunting. The Encore includes fully adjustable sights, but adding a scope extends the shooter’s range dramatically. The extra weight also minimizes recoil.