Super Blackhawk (4-5/8" barrel) for Hunting?

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IrvJr

Single-Sixer
Joined
Aug 29, 2002
Messages
137
Hi All - I have a Ruger Super Blackhawk in .44 mag that I have been using as a range and trail gun (sometimes pack it while hiking/camping). It's an accurate and fun gun to shoot.

This year I am planning on hunting some areas where rifles are prohibited. In these areas, handgun hunting is permit, provided that the gun is of a certain caliber (.44 mag, .45 colt, 480 Ruger, .357 mag, etc.). I was thinking about using my Super Blackhawk rather than a shotgun.

Does anyone here hunt with a short barrel Super Blackhawk? Do you think the muzzle velocity with the shorter 4 and 5/8 inch barrel would be sufficient for a reliable and clean kill on a medium sized game like a whitetail deer? what would be the max range that you would recommend with a .44 mag revolver? 25 yards? 50 yards?

I would be using the factory iron sights and at my local range I practice shooting at both 25 yards and 50 yards with this gun.


Thanks in advance.
 

Pal Val

Buckeye
Joined
May 30, 2006
Messages
1,529
Loss of velocity in this case is of little concern. Sight radius is. You will need to determine the maximum distance you can reliably hit the vitals of a deer under field conditions, and that will be your range.

The old paper plate test is a good indicator. Test yourself. Any distance you can keep your shots within a regular 10" paper plate is good enoughfor a max range.
 

batmann

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Messages
307
If you can shoot it, it will do fine. The pie plate target is an excellent idea.
You will want to check on the min barrel length for handguns. Some states require a minumum of 5" some, like Indiana only 4".
 

Stoots

Buckeye
Joined
May 27, 2002
Messages
1,465
The SBH 4 5/8 .44 is the perfect, do-all gun, IMHO.

I do all the things you mentioned in your post.

Good advice above!


:wink:
 

Bear Paw Jack

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 19, 2001
Messages
9,442
Provided the barrel length is allowed by law, you have a fine gun. The only limitations is the guy hanging onto the grip. Short Barrel frequently hunts with 4" barrels and does just fine. The load you use can give you an advantage as well. I like Buffalo Bore Ammo myself. You will only know what the effective range is by getting out and shooting a lot at various ranges. The reason for that is, once again, it's the person hanging onto the grip that determines the effective range. Most guys would be limited to 25 yards is my guess. (some less)
 

MADDOG 521

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 24, 2005
Messages
289
I have a SBH with a 5" barrel and would not hesitate to hunt with it. A while back I shoot a buck and a doe with a 6 1/2" barreled BH in 41 mag. Both shots were 40 yds. I think you should go for it. Have fun.
 

Tommy Kelly

Buckeye
Joined
Apr 24, 2008
Messages
1,045
I have every cal ruger makes in 4 5/8" And would not hesitate shooting 50 yds with any of them. I killed a deer with my 500 s&w 4" last year at 50 yds. It was fairly easy and the bullet placement was perfect. At 75 yds I probably wouldn't try it but at 50 I feel confident of a clean kill.
 

Sonnytoo

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
631
You are more than likely to take the shot at your deer when he/she is more-or-less broadside. At any velocity of 900 fps or greater, with about a 250gr hard-cast bullet, the penetration is likely to be complete; i.e. one hole in and one hole out the other side. Two outlets for blood means easy blood trail and quick blood loss. Give the deer 10-15 minutes after the shot before you follow up. Don't get all het up about needing high velocity; you don't need it with whitetail or mulies.
Sonnytoo
 

IrvJr

Single-Sixer
Joined
Aug 29, 2002
Messages
137
Thanks all for the replies.

Do you recommend a hard cast bullet or would it be OK to use a jacketed soft tip hunting bullet? To start, I would probably use factory ammo, but eventually would develop my own handload.

Thanks again.
 

VAdoublegunner

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 24, 2006
Messages
459
The revolver you are considering is one of my favorite packin' guns, although I must admit it may soon be eclipsed by a 4 5/8" Lispey's 44 Special.

If you can shoot the gun accurately, there is little to worry about from a load perspective. Shot placement is of prime importance, so make sure whatever load you choose that you can shoot it accurately, repeatedly.

At one time I shot firebreathing loads in it. However, I have found that a good 240 grain cast or swaged LSWC with a large meplat at around 1000fps is both easy to shoot and very effective in the field. I generally shoot a Speer 240 LSWC at around 1050fps. It will completely penetrate any eastern whitetail and put them down effectively within 75 yards or so. That's one of the reasons I'm considering the Lipsey's 44 Special now -- it is a little more compact and lighter, and I find it both accurate and very easy to shoot well. Plus, I can load it to the same ballistic level as the downloaded 44 Mag I'm using. Or, following a load mentioned by Brian Pearce in the June 2009 Handloader, I've chrono'd a Hornady 240 HP/XTP at 1140 fps which should also be a fine performer within 50 yards.

Of course, if you need more power and distance, the SBH can easily achieve that with heavier or faster loads. Hot 300 grainers are a handfull to shoot, but work very well in my 4 5/8" SBH. Or fast 225 gr loads are also an option. It is a great field hunting revolver.... provided *you* can put the shots where you need them!
 

xx78

Bearcat
Joined
May 17, 2005
Messages
24
batmann":2rf8i08r said:
If you can shoot it, it will do fine. The pie plate target is an excellent idea.
You will want to check on the min barrel length for handguns. Some states require a minumum of 5" some, like Indiana only 4".

+1. Illinois regs say 4" barrel 500 foot pounds of muzzle energy and at least .30 cal. I do carry a 4" Smith or a 7.5" Bisley in 44 mag.
 

David LaPell

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Messages
979
If you can find a target like this one, so much the better, and then shoot from either offhand or how you will be situated when in the woods.
Here is a good example of why sight radius is important. All these were shot at 40 yards offhand.
Picture344.jpg

Picture272.jpg

Picture264.jpg
 

Quarterbore

Blackhawk
Joined
Mar 9, 2008
Messages
904
The deer targets are a good idea. I have been shooting at man shared targets and I hope when I am out deer hunting I don't get confused :lol:

CB-Terrorist8585-250.png


Seriously, regardless to the length of the barrel your abuility to shoot should limit your range with the 44 mag and good loads. I know I am not comfortable shooting a small enough group with my revolver out to 50-yards so I am limiting my range to deer closer then that. I just didn't get as much practice in as I would have liked so I will have the 308 over the shoulder to back me up if the deer look tasty out past where I am willing to shoot with the revolver.

I have not lost a deer yet, and I am not going to break that tradition while trying to get my first deer with a handgun :wink:
 

MK111

Bearcat
Joined
Feb 15, 2009
Messages
49
A short barrel pistol will do fine. The shorter sight raduis is a concern but don't shoot beyond your ability and you will be OK. Cast bulets in my book are the best. I have taken 19 deer with cast bullets either 240 or 310 gr in the 44 mag. Never recovered a bullet. I like two holes because the deer bleed better and don't have to worry about heavy bones stopping the bullet. I have taken two "texas heart shots" and both where end to end and both existed. I have always have thought that a bullet the stopped under the skin on the other side did stop. So what power was left. May raise a argument here but so be it. Just my thoughts and experiences.

Only cast bullet I have ever recovered was a 44 mag 240 gr recovered under the skin of the off shoulder on a 1800 lb bull we had to put down because of a broken leg. The bullet went through both shoulders and had a slight rub mark on the hose. The bullet was in such good shape you could have reloaded it and shot it again.
 

don44

Hunter
Joined
Mar 18, 2002
Messages
2,928
MK111":o5e1c0sq said:
A short barrel pistol will do fine. The shorter sight raduis is a concern but don't shoot beyond your ability and you will be OK. Cast bulets in my book are the best. I have taken 19 deer with cast bullets either 240 or 310 gr in the 44 mag. Never recovered a bullet. I like two holes because the deer bleed better and don't have to worry about heavy bones stopping the bullet. I have taken two "texas heart shots" and both where end to end and both existed. I have always have thought that a bullet the stopped under the skin on the other side did stop. So what power was left. May raise a argument here but so be it. Just my thoughts and experiences.

Only cast buller ever recovered was a 44 mag 240 gr recovered under the skin on a 1800 lb bull we had to put down because of a broken leg. The bullet went through both shoulders and had a slight rub mark on the hose. The bullet was in such good shape you could have reloaded it and shot it again.
+1
 

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