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  1. #1

    Default First Time Handgun Hunting

    Hi,

    So pleased to report on my first handgun hunting experience.
    Went hunting in Waterpoort (Limpopo) last week. On my things to do was attempt a hunt with my Taurus 357 Magnum 6 inch barrel with scope (donated to me by my brother ).
    Taurus 357.jpg

    As luck would have it I only received my license just before we left, so practice was limited. There was no time to reload my preferred hunting round (14.5gr of S265 Hardcast SWC 160gr), so had to buy off the shelf ammunition. My only options were PMP 158gr JSP or Sellier & Bellot SJHP, not great. I decided to go with Sellier & Bellot because of the difference in speed, 1181 fps vs 1328 fps.

    After my rifle hunt I had one day left to practice some more. I managed to shoot constant groupings of 2 inches @ 20m. Not sure if this was good enough but decided that was the best I could do for now, so off I went to a hide near a water hole.

    My son and I arrived around 14:30 at the hole. Within 10 minutes he shot a big Baboon, so he was happy and left the rest of the afternoon to me. I sett up a shooting stick at one window and a shooting bag at the other one.

    Then the waiting game started. Every now and then I would do a mock practice from both setups just to play it over in my head and making sure I can keep my nerves in controller. Around 17:00 I saw some Impale ewes appear from the bush (60m). They started walking closer and far behind a saw the ram appear. They were very jittery, but kept on coming closer and then stopped. Looking in the opposite direction they heard sorting and stayed there for about 5 minutes. The ewes walked to the drinking hole while the ram kept clear. At that point my mind was made up the ram will come and drink water so stay calm. I had him in my sights the whole time, heart pumping but hands steady. He stopped at 37m and stood perfect. Slowly squeezed the trigger and BANG.

    He ran straight into the waterhole, did a u-turn and ran out. Did I miss???? The ewes went left into the bushes and the ram ran to the right, he went through (not around) the bushed. No, no I think I hit.

    I waited for 2 minutes and went to the spot I shot. No blood. Marked the spot and started to follow the water trail. I walked about 30m and heard some branches snapping, there he is, walking slowly away from me. Followed for 20m before I had a clear shot. Now at this point I was shaking so bad I could hardly get the gun on the sticks. Took a shot, miss, took another one, miss. One more try, grazed the leg. He was not moving away, just standing. Crawled closer and saw he was breathing hard. He then slowly lied down, deep breaths. I move closer and closer. He was down.

    IMG-20180709-WA0052.jpgIMG-20180709-WA0043.jpg

    The shot placement was good. No exit wound and not a drop of blood, not even in the mouth.

    We did recover the bullet on the opposite side close to the belly. The bullet did hit bone and changed direction clipping both lungs.
    P2.jpgP1.jpg

    All in all an absolute rush.
    Last edited by Mad_Max; 10-07-2018 at 10:09. Reason: Images reposted

  2. #2
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    Default Re: First Time Handgun Hunting

    Great story. Unfortunately the pics are not opening. I would be great if you could re-post them

  3. #3

    Default Re: First Time Handgun Hunting

    Quote Originally Posted by gary-t View Post
    Great story. Unfortunately the pics are not opening. I would be great if you could re-post them
    Done

  4. #4
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    Default Re: First Time Handgun Hunting

    Quote Originally Posted by Mad_Max View Post
    Done
    Thanks. I also have 6" Taurus revolver licensed for this purpose. I have not yet had an opportunity to use it for hunting.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: First Time Handgun Hunting

    If I were you, I'd definitely load up the hard-cast SWC's before hunting with that pistol again. The one you used had no expansion .. and not enough penetration. The worst of both worlds.

    Nice ram with a handgun.

  6. #6

    Default Re: First Time Handgun Hunting

    Quote Originally Posted by Patocazador View Post
    I'd definitely load up the hard-cast SWC's before hunting with that pistol again
    Agree, will chase max loads (speed) with hard cast bullets. The gun being so heavy is an absolute pleasure to shoot with. Recoil is VERY light. A friend of mine's 10 year old daughter shot with it for the first time. She wanted to keep on shooting.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: First Time Handgun Hunting

    Congrats are in order. The challenge for me now is, how close can I get. 44 Mag and warm 45 Colt in model 29, 629 or Ruger super Blackhawk or Bisley are my guns of choice for whitetail or wild hogs.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: First Time Handgun Hunting

    Quote Originally Posted by Mad_Max View Post
    Agree, will chase max loads (speed) with hard cast bullets. The gun being so heavy is an absolute pleasure to shoot with. Recoil is VERY light. A friend of mine's 10 year old daughter shot with it for the first time. She wanted to keep on shooting.
    Perhaps a bonded JHP, like the Speer 158gr Gold Dot may work well on small game, such as Impala?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: First Time Handgun Hunting

    Quote Originally Posted by Brendank View Post
    Perhaps a bonded JHP, like the Speer 158gr Gold Dot may work well on small game, such as Impala?
    Impala are a bit smaller than our whitetail deer so a HP that opens quickly might work for a broadside lung shot. However, the penetration would be even worse. When hunting with a marginal cartridge (which I consider the .357 mag.), I think it is imperative to use a bullet that will exit thus leaving a blood trail.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: First Time Handgun Hunting

    Congrats Mad_Max, well done.

    Your experience reflects what many have preached for a long time, revolvers generally do not produce enough velocity for reliable bullet expansion, rather shoot the heaviest cast bullet you can load safely, with a large meplat. This gives reliable deep penetration with an ample wound channel, in .357" look at cast bullet weights between 200 - 230grs. All you then need is good bullet placement to get the job done.

    As has been mentioned, 44 or 45 is much better choice for revolver hunting. The challenge for me, is also to get as close as possible for a sure shot, personally don't like ambush at waterholes, but that's just me.

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