38/44 for deer hunting

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  • Last Post 23 October 2023
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2frogs posted this 14 October 2023

I would like to know why the 38/44 is not good for deer hunting? I am using the 170 gr 358429 ? Keith bullet in my smith 686 for 50 yards. I have a green dot sight on it. It's pretty accurate at 50 yards. Mv about 1200 fps. Other forums say it's not good for deer?? I fail to understand this. Any advice on this is appreciated. Johnny

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delmarskid posted this 14 October 2023

Sounds like it’s doing what a .357 does.

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2frogs posted this 14 October 2023

I don't understand what you mean by that.

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delmarskid posted this 15 October 2023

I meant that from what I read the 38/44 load that you mentioned matches the .357 magnum’s performance.

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2frogs posted this 15 October 2023

Oh,I see . So do you think it will be ok for close range deer hunting.

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Aaron posted this 15 October 2023

If it was the only gun you had, would you use it?

 

 

With rifle in hand, I confidently go forth into the darkness.

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2frogs posted this 15 October 2023

If Elmer Keith can do it I think I can. Either that or use my 17 HMR..only 2 choices I have now. I might get a 416 Rigby for next year.

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ten-mile posted this 15 October 2023

It is adequate if you are.  The key is whether you can precisely place your shot and forego any opportunity where you cannot. My 38/44 Outdoorsman has delivered for me in the past.

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delmarskid posted this 15 October 2023

I wouldn’t feel under gunned with that load. Inside of 50 yards you’ll get full pass through.

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Hornet posted this 15 October 2023

A lot of "Internet Experts" seem to think that deer have somehow developed Kevlar skins and require massive amounts of power to kill. Where you hit them matters MUCH more than what you hit them with if you use a suitably constructed bullet. Know your limitations under field conditions and pick your placement. Good Luck.

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Lee Guthrie posted this 16 October 2023

Will it kill a deer?  YES

IF you are within 50 yards and shoot through the lungs.  

It may very well run for a long distance, and if it does not exit the blood trail could be hard to follow.

Many conservation departments will allow its use.  However, I've seen a lot of deer shot with 30-30 that failed to exit with lots of lost deer.  Both of your proposed cartridges are good for deer only at short range and perfect shot placement.

Unless it was a survival matter, I would never use either one of those cartridges for deer hunting.

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delmarskid posted this 18 October 2023

The deer I’ve shot with handguns have not left good blood trails. Pick your shots carefully and practice a lot on smaller targets would be my advice. When I can hit something like a tennis ball at 25 yards standing with two hands I know I’m ready.

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KaKl posted this 23 October 2023

I have seldom hunted, so I defer to what experienced hunters write. With regards to the "38" caliber, I recorded this many years ago by Brian Pearce: "... loaded with 155 to 180 grain cast bullets of correct design with a muzzle velocity of 1,200 to 1,500 fps will sail through deer and black bear broadside rather easily." He was commenting on the modern 357 revolver, which is downloaded from the originals. Your 38/44 load meets his recommendation.

More recently Richard Mann had this to say: "For most, the .357 Mangum is the best handgun cartridge for deer hunting. It does not hit as hard or make as big of a hole as the .44 Magnum, but the .357 Magnum is enough gun for deer, and more importantly, it’s enough gun without too much recoil." Modern factory 357 loads are little faster than your 38/44. (Mann has also had success with the 327 and recommends it, too.)

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