Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
    (Dauphin County)
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    Default Handgun hunting for PA Whitatail

    Just wondering if anyone else is going out during the PA firearms season with a handgun. I enjoy ALL of the PA whitetail season and usually get to hunt the most during the Archery season and already got a nice 8 point buck this year with my bow. So I have a DMAP tag for Michaux State Forest and a doe tag for 5B. I have been thinking and preparing for handgun hunting for many years but never got to actually get out with any of my double action revolvers.

    BUT this year it is going to happen!!! I have two revolvers that I have worked up accurate and potent hunting loads. Just going to be a matter of a game day decision as to which I will choose.

    Load #1. .357 Mag with a Swift A-Frame 180 grain bullet on top of 13.7 grains of H-110 and a Mag Primer. Out of an 8" Dan Wesson 15-2 with fiber optic open sights. Shots will be limited to 50 yards and in.

    Load #2. .41 Mag with Swift A-Frame210 grain bullet on top of 20-22 (still goofing with the charge) grains of H-110 and a Mag Primer. Out of an 8" Dan Wesson 741 with fiber optic open sights. Shots will be limited to 50 yards and in.

    I have been working on these loads using Hornady XTP and Sierra Sport Master bullets. The Swift A-Frame are just too damn expensive to use for working up loads. But after I settle on a load with the Hornady or the Sierra I load up 5 with the Swift A-Frame and check for accuracy and pressure signs.

    Enjoy hope to hear from some other PA handgun hunters.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Ambridge, Pennsylvania
    (Beaver County)
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    Default Re: Handgun hunting for PA Whitatail

    I've been handgun hunting for the last 3 years. Last 3 years were with a 10" Contender in .444 Marlin with a 2x8 scope. I've shot this off a rest out to 200 yards.

    This year it will be my 500 Mag with fiber optic sights. No rest for the 500 so 50 yards and in.

    Next year will be my 460 Mag with 2x8 scope and bipod. I should be able to go 300 yards with the 460 next year. But I have all year to work up loads.
    www.Steelvalleycasting.com is your new home for coated bullets and custom ammo.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Luzerne County, Pennsylvania
    (Luzerne County)
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    Default Re: Handgun hunting for PA Whitatail

    I have not hunted with a rifle in a long, long time.

    I hunted for many years with a scoped Super Redhawk in .44 Magnum. I've taken several deer with this handgun.

    The last few years, I've drifted back into the scoped T/C Contenders. I have one in 7-30 Waters and took a doe with it a few years ago. I picked up a .44 Magnum barrel and have that one ready to go too.

    When hunting in the thick stuff, I like carrying a non-scoped Super Blackhawk in .44 Magnum. I've taken a very small bear with it last year and hope to improve on that this year.

    The T/C's are sighted in for 100 yards. The 7-30 Waters shoots a 139gr Hornady SST over Varget with sub 1" groups at 100 yards. The .44 Magnum shoots the standard 240gr XTP over 24.0gr of H110 in Starline brass.

    My SBH is sighted in for 50 yards and shoots the 200gr XTP of 26.0gr of H110. I found that it I shot the 240's, they would hit higher than I wanted at 50 yards, despite the rear sight being adjusted all the way down. At 50 yards with the 200gr bullets, its dead on.

    I'll be using any of those three during the upcoming bear and deer seasons.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2012
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    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
    (Dauphin County)
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    Default Re: Handgun hunting for PA Whitatail

    Awesome Ron. I use your 158 grain SWC in my plinking loads in 357. I also know you are a fan of the DWs. Good luck. Where do you hunt in Western PA. I grew up very close to the Airport in Moon Twp. Now I'm out in Harrisburg. I have hunting in 2B during the Special Regs seasons with my bow in years past.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    jersey shore, Pennsylvania
    (Lycoming County)
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    Default Re: Handgun hunting for PA Whitatail

    Super Blackhawk in .44 for me this year. I hunted with it last year too, but didn't get anything. I'm currently setting it up for a red dot sight.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
    (Dauphin County)
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    Default Re: Handgun hunting for PA Whitatail

    Good luck Steve in PA, I remember reading several of your handgun hunting posts. Do you use factory ammo or roll your own when hunting??

    Good luck R L Suehr- Same question factory ammo or handloads?

    I am also going to goof around with my Dan Wesson in 357 Maximum or Super Mag with 10" barrel.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    POCONO MOUNTAINS, PENNSYLVANIA, Pennsylvania
    (Monroe County)
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    Default Re: Handgun hunting for PA Whitatail

    Have not taken my S&W 686 6 inch for awhile,hunted and taken deer with open sights out to 75 yards,shot placement is key just like bowhunting,if you dont feel its a humane shot take a pass. Good Luck !

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    jersey shore, Pennsylvania
    (Lycoming County)
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    Default Re: Handgun hunting for PA Whitatail

    Quote Originally Posted by PAwhitetailbowhunter View Post
    Good luck Steve in PA, I remember reading several of your handgun hunting posts. Do you use factory ammo or roll your own when hunting??

    Good luck R L Suehr- Same question factory ammo or handloads?

    I am also going to goof around with my Dan Wesson in 357 Maximum or Super Mag with 10" barrel.
    I use handloads. Hornady 300gr xtp backed by 2400. I don't remember the charge off the top of my head. I'd have to look at my book, but they're pretty warm.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Brookville, Pennsylvania
    (Jefferson County)
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    45
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    Default Re: Handgun hunting for PA Whitatail

    I either use my Ruger Vaquero .45Colt with 250gr XTC or "cowboy" soft lead slugs driven around 900 to 1200fps.

    Or my Virginian Dragoon .44mag with 240gr Eagle JHP.


    I have in the past used my former 8" Colt Python with 125gr JHP, and 158gr JHP and JSP. The 125gr slugs made a soup bowl of the heart and lungs above the diaphragm.
    RIP: SFN, 1861, twoeggsup, Lambo, jamesjo, JayBell, 32 Magnum, Pro2A, mrwildroot, dregan, Frenchy, Fragger, ungawa.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Dillsburg Area, Pennsylvania
    (York County)
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    Default Re: Handgun hunting for PA Whitatail

    I use my Magnum Research Lone Eagle in .308 win. with a Redfield 1.5x6 handgun scope on it. It's a tack drive at 100yds as long as I don't flinch
    Don't believe a word I say and you'll never be disappointed.

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