Small Game Handgun Hunting

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nkbj

Cannon
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Roaming the woods hunting with a pistol was a passion of mine in the late seventies.
Became a serious game stalker, good shot and fed Grandad a lot of fresh meat.
Nowadays I'd just as soon yell at the bunnies to stop eating the flowers and to get their fluffy little backsides out of the planters. I found white five gallon bucket lid frisbies to strike terror in their hearts. So much so that the white flash of a paper towel pulled from my pocket to blow my nose sent one scampering.
But thinking about it, doesn't seem as though anybody ever says much about hunting with their 1849 or 1851, '58 or '61.
So what's your take on it? Any interest out there in pot meat with a pistol?
 

rodwha

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Yes sir, indeed. My standard to use a handgun as a primary weapon is 4” at 25 yds. I was getting 3-3.5” but at 15 yds with my ROA and 3.5-4” with my NMA. That’s offhand though. I’ve figured a solid rest might get me where I want.

However I moved from San Antonio and my 15 min drive to the range, which I did at least once a month spending hours and hours at. I moved to Lakeway (a hop, skip, and jump NW of Austin) and found the drive an hour away and through Austin’s nasty traffic, which kept me away for 6 years. I’ve been just that one time and found my skills had rusted over. So no hunting for me with those.

I’ve contemplated a .36 cal for smaller game, likely an 1862 Police, but I’m not sure with better shooting skills I’d be able to group small enough for small game.
 

BullRunBear

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I don't hunt anymore but my C&B revolvers are capable of bunny or squirrel head shots out to 25 yards with a rest. As usual, the biggest problem is I'm the one pulling the trigger. The idea of small game hunting with a BP hand gun sounds like fun.

I recently got a Traditions Crockett pistol in 32 caliber to go with their Crockett rifle. I'm still working up a good target load but if it can match the rifle's accuracy it would be fun to take to the woods.

Jeff
 

TNGhost

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I am not so egalitarian with the large rodents around my garden. After losing a dozen cabbage and cauliflower plants to the woodchucks and forty pepper plants to hares last year, they felt the wrath of my '58 Remingtons, both .44 and .36, as well as whatever other weapon I had close at hand. Both were up to the task.

I prefer to hunt, and pest control, these days with muzzleloaders as it is more fun, and it seems just a bit too easy and unsporting with modern weapons.
 

Stony Broke

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I've hunted a lot with handguns over the years, but only in situations where I could get close shots and with a big enough bullet to do the job. I agree a .32, .36, or .40 would be just fine for squirrels and stuff like that, but larger animals still deserve a larger bullet. This one was taken with a .54 at about 30 yards.
 

JoJoLesh

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I don't have a NP pistol yet, but when I get one I will try it on small game. Good to know what other people are using for it.
 

pwbsmokey

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I've hunted a lot with handguns over the years, but only in situations where I could get close shots and with a big enough bullet to do the job. I agree a .32, .36, or .40 would be just fine for squirrels and stuff like that, but larger animals still deserve a larger bullet. This one was taken with a .54 at about 30 yards.
What powder charge are you using? Thanks in advance
 

fire bear

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I used to love hunting squirrels with my .44 Remington. It always surprised me how little damage the .44 round ball did; no round hole, just a tear. Unfortunatly Pennsylvania made it illegal to hunt small game with my Remington (too big a bore) so I had to give it up.
 

Stony Broke

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I haven't popped a hog with a pistol for a while. I have used a .54 Lyman and a .62 Sitting Fox smoothbore flinter before with good results. Maybe I'll just have to load up a smaller caliber and go hunting for another hog....since I don't own the other two pistols anymore. The only pistols I own anymore are in .40, .44, and .45....but one of those should do the job.
 

Ferret Master

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I've been looking for one of the .32 Crockett pistols. I borrowed one to hunt tree rats with a few years back and it was a hoot.
Ferret Master
 
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Stony Broke

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I would imagine a .32 pistol would be fun. I've never owned anything smaller than a .40, but maybe someday ?
 

Jay Templin

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I've taken woodchucks and squirrels with my 1860 Army, and once got a bunny with a Pedersoli Queen Anne loaded with BBs over 30 gr 3F. Hoping to finish my Pedersoli Kentucky flintlock kit before June squirrel season opens here in Virginia.
 

Ferret Master

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I got an offer from some one this morning to sell Crockett .32. When I tried to look at the pictures the whole message disappeared. I want to buy the pistol if you will try to contact me again.
Thanks,
Ferret Master
 

saaman

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As a young man in west Texas I hunted rabbits with a brass frame Navy and most shots were on running bunnies and it usually took a whole cylinder to stop one. If I caught one sitting still I could usually hit it with one shot out to about 20 yards.
 

Ferret Master

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I've taken woodchucks and squirrels with my 1860 Army, and once got a bunny with a Pedersoli Queen Anne loaded with BBs over 30 gr 3F. Hoping to finish my Pedersoli Kentucky flintlock kit before June squirrel season opens here in Virginia.
I live in VA as well. What caliber is your Pedersoli Kentucky Flintlock?
 

Jay Templin

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I live in VA as well. What caliber is your Pedersoli Kentucky Flintlock?
.45 so it's big enough for me to legally carry during deer season. Not that I would use it on a deer, but anytime I'm in the woods for deer, I could make a living on all the squirrels that swarm. Had one climb up and sit on my knee one time. Jumped half out of his skin when I said "hello!" 🤣
 
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