Five best handguns for whitetails

Pete Rogers killed this fine South Carolina buck with a Ruger Blackhawk in .44 Remington Magnum with a Bushnell 2X scope.

Selecting the right handgun for hunting whitetail deer can be daunting, in part because there are so many excellent options. This list of five only scratches the surface. But these are some of the finest handguns available for whitetail hunters.

• Ruger Blackhawk, .44 Remington Magnum.

This classic wheel gun is a personal favorite. The weight balance and look of the Blackhawk make it an excellent choice. Choose the seven-inch barrel and top it with quality optics. This gun is capable of killing deer out to slightly more than 100 yards. The .44 Remington Magnum is arguably the best choice for handgun hunters. The single-action revolver is powerful and capable of handling the heaviest rounds.

• Taurus Raging Bull, .454 Casull.

This has been long thought to be too much gun for whitetail.  The .454 Casull with a 300-grain bullet carries more than 1,600 food pounds of energy at the muzzle. You will not be underpowered with this comfortable-shooting revolver. The built-in porting from Taurus allows for the recoil to be manageable.

• Smith and Wesson 629 Classic, .357 Magnum.

This double-action action revolver in .357 Magnum is thought by some to be on the light side; however, the .357 magnum is plenty capable of killing deer in the Carolinas. The light, 500 foot pounds of energy make this a close-range gun for deer.

• Freedom Arms .500 Wyoming Express.

The last of the revolver options, this might be the finest handgun being made today. Freedom Arms’ single-action revolvers are a thing of beauty and functionality, and if you are getting the best, you might as well get the biggest. The .500 Wyoming Express shoots a thumb-sized, 400-grain bullet at at a whopping 1,250 feet per second, carrying 1,387 foot pounds of energy. This gun will stop anything in its tracks. Plus, it is just fun to shoot!

• Thompson/Center Contender G2, .41 Remington Magnum.

Moving from the revolvers to a single shot, the Thompson/Center Contender G2 multi-barrel pistol is a great choice for beginning handgun hunters. Look at the .41 Rem Magnum as an option. Carrying a muzzle velocity of 1,560 feet per second and 1,135 foot pounds of energy from a 210-grain bullet. It carries more than enough energy and power to kill whitetails out to around 100 yards.

Choosing any of these fine handguns for your next deer hunt will guarantee you a gun that is more than capable for the job.

Click here to read about how crossbows have helped get more women involved in hunting.

About Pete Rogers 163 Articles
Pete Rogers of Taylors, S.C., is employed with the USDA Wildlife Services and has been a sporting writer and photographer for over a decade. He has a real passion for trapping and enjoys sharing his outdoors experiences with his wife and five children.