First, Hello to all from the Hill Country of Texas. I found this site only a few days ago, and after reading for a couple of hours, you all have answered many questions for me, thanks.
I have never used a handgun to hunt, but have shot firearms for over 50 years. The last 8-point I took was with a crossbow. I hunt for meat rather than trophy nowadays, so seldom take bucks anymore. But that 8-point showed up and, well.
My objective is not to have to track, but drop the deer immediately, because I have a small hunting area and I do not want to have to go onto my neighbors property to retrieve the animal.
I have one kill zone that is 65 yds maximum and my experience here has been 30 to 50 yd shots, so this has led me to using a magnum handgun for a quick kill.
I have set up a Ruger Redhawk 44 Magnum 7.5 barrel, scoped with a 2-6x32 Bushnell due to old eyes and the absolute desire to hit the target. I recently began reloading and usually use H110/SWC 240g for the 44 mag, and maybe 2400/SWC 180/200g in a Bisley Flattop and Charter Bulldog 44 special.
The two areas I need help with are shot placement and bullets.
** Shot Placement
Reading the forum tells me a center shoulder shot is probably what I want to do. My only thought here is how much meat do I destroy? I figure a minor problem that takes out a couple of pounds. I also do not quite understand the high shoulder shot that is mentioned. What is the difference in the two shots?
The other option is slightly behind the shoulder for the vitals, but I read that this results in occasional tracking. So the center shoulder seems best. Head or neck shots, maybe not. Comments please.
I have 2 boxes of factory 44 Mag: Winchester 240g JSP and Remington 180g JSP. I figure the Win 240g is the choice here. But will these JSP will do the job on the center shoulder shot and not fragment or penetrate?
For bullets to load, I have Lyman 429244 SWCGC 250g and SWCHPGC 240g (both 11 BHN from Maplewood in VT) with these I figure the 250g is better to use than the 240g HP for plowing through the shoulders. And what speed is recommended?
I also have Hornady 200g XTP, but your posts tell me these are best for behind the shoulder vitals shots that sometimes lead to tracking, which I wish to avoid.
In addition, I have Sierra 300g JSP (8630) and 240g JHC Power Jackets (8610). Comments on any/all these please.
The deer here are generally not that big, so a lot of this may be swatting flies with a bazooka, but when I pull the trigger, I want to see that deer drop. I am getting too old to chase deer around the county, ha.
Thanks in advance for your comments and recommendations. And sorry for the long post.
Edited by BgDnTX (12/24/17 11:07 AM)
Edit Reason: corrected Redhawk not super