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Introduction and next hunting handgun help #208159 09/24/2020 3:17 PM
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Squints08 Offline OP
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Good morning and I'll start with an introduction. My name is Squints and I live in Illinois. First, I love hunting but especially with handguns. I have been doing it for around 12 years now and I have harvested numerous deer with different calibers (44 mag, 454 casull, 460 S&W), a jacobs ram with a 10mm, coyotes with a 9mm and squirrels with a 22lr. I also compete in handgun competitions and simply consider shooting and improving my handgun skills as my hobby. Now for the fun part. I am seeking advice on what I would like to be my ultimate large game hunting handgun but it has to be legal to hunt with in Illinois (regulations below). I already own the following: Ruger SRH in 454, Ruger SBH in 44mag, S&W Model 69 in 44 mag and S&W in 460S&W. I currently carry my TC encore muzzleloader for long shots and my model 69 in a chest holster for closer shots. I want to only carry 1 handgun and cover out to around 200 yards (My longest shot with my 460 is 124 yards and the deer dumped over). I am thinking of a TC encore pistol with a Match Grade Machine barrel chambered in 460S&W. My question is how long of a barrel is needed? I am open to advice on barrel length and even any other firearm suggestions or comments on what you read above. Thank you.

- Centerfire revolvers or centerfire single-shot handguns of .30 caliber or larger with a minimum barrel length of 4 inches.
- a bottleneck centerfire cartridge of .30 caliber or larger with a case length not exceeding 1.4 inches, or a straight-walled centerfire cartridge of .30 caliber or larger, both of which must be available as a factory load with the published ballistic tables of the manufacturer showing a capability of at least 500 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle. Note: There is no case length limit for straight-walled cartridges.

Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: Squints08] #208161 09/24/2020 4:16 PM
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Franchise Offline
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I like for my single shot pistol barrels to be between 12" - 15". Just me, and it's honestly a personal preference thing. The type of forend will also factor in to how long the barrel needs to be.


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Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: Franchise] #208163 09/24/2020 7:30 PM
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REDHAWK1954 Offline
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All of my single shot pistol barrels are 14" long. I like that length. Looking at the restrictions above the first thing I think about is 357 max. I know factory loads are hard to find but they do exist. The 200 yard max range is the biggest problem to solve here. I think the max would do that.

I am not a max expert but there are plenty here who are. Am I right?


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Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: REDHAWK1954] #208166 09/24/2020 9:25 PM
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karl Offline
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Hello and Welcome!
A couple questions then a lot of opinions
Do you reload and what is your definition of large game?
What flavor of 460 do you have? That would likely do it with the right setup.

Other cartridges that come to mind are...
300BO with a good low velocity bullet would do that just fine.
357 Max, or 350 legend for moderate bore options.
If you wanted larger bore, 444 Marlin, 450 BM, 45-70+p, 450 Marlin, 450 Winchester, 458 Lott.

An encore would do all of those. Long Frame BFR will do several of those options and could be another consideration, but i'm not sure what you would loose with the cylinder gap.

i hunt a 14" 30-30 with the 110gn Barns TAC-TX bullet (hunt at 2300fps) designed for the 300BO and am comfortable out to 200+ yards. The bullet should expand to 2x diameter out to ~400 yards. Deadly on deer.

I also hunt a 15.75" encore 45-70 with the 300gn TTSX bullet at ~2100fps with a custom throat to accommodate the longer projectile and am comfortable out to ~200 yards for good bullet expansion. A bit of a big hammer for deer, but lots of fun.

Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: karl] #208167 09/24/2020 10:11 PM
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Memtb460 Offline
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Welcome to the forum. All you need is a handgun and a little experience....and you?ll fit in pretty good! 😉 memtb


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Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: karl] #208168 09/24/2020 10:21 PM
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Squints08 Offline OP
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Thanks to those who have responded and provided input. I do not currently reload but would like to at some point in my life. However, with my 2 young kids and the current situation in this country I think it would be tough to start now. My idea of big game is deer, bear and elk. My current 460 is a S&W XVR with an 8.38? barrel and handgun scope. The 357 max is totally new to me but the 300 blackout is not. I actually assembled an AR pistol with a 10.5? barrel for deer hunting this season and am having great accuracy with the Barnes 110 tac-tx ammo you mentioned. Ultimately, I just like the 460S&W because I have seen it?s effectiveness and accuracy as well as not needing to stock a new caliber. But, I am looking for a different platform to shoot it through and an encore seems like the best method of achieving that. Or, would the 300 BO in an encore suit my needs? Thanks for reading and please don?t hesitate to respond with opinions and/or suggestions.

Last edited by Squints08; 09/25/2020 12:02 AM.
Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: Squints08] #208170 09/25/2020 12:36 AM
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karl Offline
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Get a frame and a barrel and then you can get lots of barrels
\:\)
We're nothing if not great enablers here. Frames and barrels multiply like rabbits.

A 300BO in a contender with a 12-14" barrel would be a light little package that would be deadly on dear well past 200 yards. It could be down loaded a bit in the future for smaller hands if needed.

the 460 would definitely get the job done but needs to be in the encore.

Under the yellow menu bar above, click on member services, then slide down to reloading and slide over to get load data. Click get all data and pick 460 from the drop down menu to see what folks are getting for velocities with different loads in different platforms. click on load details to get more info and barrel length/platform. Gives you some idea on what is possible.

Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: karl] #208172 09/25/2020 2:19 AM
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Chance Weldon Offline
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First, let me just say, welcome to the forum!

Karl and Franchise gave some pretty solid advice.

I've actually got an MGM custom Encore chambered in 460 S&W, and despite its recoil, I'm a huge fan of the cartridge:

Mine's 15" long excluding the brake, and according to my chronograph it gets a hair over 2,700 fps with the Hornady 200 grain FTX factory load. It's plenty accurate for those long shots, and has more than enough power to spare. It's heavy and cumbersome, so no freehanded shooting - it's strictly for those supported long shots. You could probably go as low as 10" - which incidentally will match the length of your S&W - and still get plenty of performance out of the cartridge, but I say stick with 12" or longer.

I do like the idea of a 300 Blackout or 350 Legend. Both should get you out to 200 yards or so with plenty of knockdown power to spare on deer. I would suggest the 357 Maximum since several members here have used it with good success, but since you don't handload, you're very limited by lack factory ammunition.

Other cartridges I can think of off the top of my head that would suit your needs yet still have fairly widely available factory ammo would be the 444 Marlin or the 450 Bushmaster. You could also probably make the 500 S&W work with lighter bullets.

On the subject of MatchGradeMachine, while I have a few custom barrels from them and am very happy with them, their current lead time for a custom barrel is 10-12 weeks plus shipping. If you ordered one now you may not get it until after deer season, unless you find one being sold on Gunbroker or Ebay. If you do order a custom barrel from them, keep in mind the full bull contour barrels must be drilled for the 12 gauge shotgun forends - standard rifle/pistol forends won't fit. The heavy and factory tapers will fit any rifle/pistol forend you have.


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Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: Chance Weldon] #208173 09/25/2020 3:39 AM
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Welcome. Lots of good choices mentioned. Where about in IL are you? I'm in Galesburg (Knox County).

I've taken deer with the 44 mag and 357 mag, and a Black Bear with the 480 Ruger. None of which are really good 200 yard calibers, and for me under 100.

I have been thinking of a 30-30 MGM barrel for my Encore.

Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: ruger4570] #208174 09/25/2020 10:33 AM
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If you want range and power,the 460 is the way to go; I have a 15? MGM 1? full bull barrel, 200 yards , no problem; I had to make the same decision when I started hunting in Ohio; straight wall only,good luck and welcome

Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: racksmasher1] #208175 09/25/2020 12:30 PM
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Ernie Offline
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If you want less recoil the 300 Blackout would be the way to go.
357 MAX would be the next step up in recoil, but still quite a bit less than the 460.
What do you think you can shoot accurately in the field, and more importantly, what do you want to hunt with?
YOU CAN GET MORE THAN ONE BARREL!
Enabling is officially on
;\)


Ernie the Un-Tactical
Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: Ernie] #208177 09/25/2020 12:50 PM
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Thanks again for the replies and the more I read the more I'm leaning towards the 300 BO. Less recoil and 200 yards with the Barnes would cover 95 percent of my hunting. Now should I go with the Contender or Encore frame? What length barrel? Also, I live in Will County but do the majority of my hunting in Menard County. Lastly, the MGM barrel wait time is not an issue because I started this thought process with the 2021 season in mind. This season I plan to use my AR pistol in 300BO as well as an old 3 screw RSB my father in-law let me borrow. He remembers sitting at his kitchen table cleaning it as a little kid so he told me to take care of it.

Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: Squints08] #208178 09/25/2020 1:14 PM
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I would go with the Contender/G-2, as many people prefer it to the Encore frame with the BO. Personal preference.

IF, weight is your friend, go with the Encore, and it gives you less recoil and the ability to do even more barrel/chambering options.
I would go with a 14" barrel to a 15.9" barrel.


Ernie the Un-Tactical
Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: Ernie] #208179 09/25/2020 2:31 PM
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Talking about ranges to 200 yards this implies stand hunting to me and I would try the 300BO in a Contender frame with a 14" barrel. If you were stalking or looking for a woods gun, I would go shorter, but you've already got better options for that. If you want a gun that will do both, the 12" barrel will work but you will lose a touch of velocity. If you go with a custom barrel you can pick your length. Check the reloading pages to see if there is any relevant loads.

Shooting 30-30 in a similar setup with similar velocities and bullet weights i would call the recoil quite mild. I would put the recoil between a 38sp. and 357mag in a 6" GP100. In the heavier encore, I would imagine there would be almost no recoil.
For me the platform would be too big and I would definitely go contender, BUT if you wanted to get a bigger boomer in the near future, then maybe getting an encore would be the way to go as a starting point for a family of barrels.

Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: karl] #208180 09/25/2020 3:17 PM
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Great information! I'm glad I stopped lurking and signed up. 14 inch contender barrel in 300 BO it is. Does anybody know if either the blued and walnut or stainless and synthetic offers something the other doesn't? Is there a reason to pick one over the other? I personally like the looks of the blued and walnut.

Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: Squints08] #208181 09/25/2020 3:57 PM
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Chance Weldon Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Squints08
Now should I go with the Contender or Encore frame?


The Contender is more compact, can take rimfire barrels without modification, and (so I've heard) has a better trigger, although admittedly that doesn't say much when comparing it to factory Encore triggers. The only downside is it's a weaker action, so you have to choose use lower pressure cartridges unless its the 223 case head size. The 30-30 is about the limit for bottlenecks, and the 44 Magnum is the limit for traditional handgun cartridges.

The Encore is beefier and stronger, and will allow you to run virtually any cartridge you want: the 308 family, the 30-06 family, many belted magnums, and big bore revolver cartridges like the 454, 460, 480, 475, and 500.

Both will handle the 300 Blackout just fine.

 Originally Posted By: Squints08
Great information! I'm glad I stopped lurking and signed up. 14 inch contender barrel in 300 BO it is. Does anybody know if either the blued and walnut or stainless and synthetic offers something the other doesn't? Is there a reason to pick one over the other? I personally like the looks of the blued and walnut.


A Contender with a 14" 300 Blackout barrel sounds like it'll be a great choice. I would suggest getting it threaded for a suppressor, but . . . Illinois.

I don't think there will be any downsides to choosing blued or stainless over one another, or walnut vs. polymer furniture. If you had a heavier recoiling cartridge picked, I would suggest a Pachmayr grip and forend to make shooting it a bit more comfortable on your hands, but I can't imagine a Blackout Contender recoiling that bad. It's hard to beat the looks of walnut on a polished blued gun, too.

There's also a third option: custom laminate. I've done an Encore build with a HausOfArms grip/forend set that I think turned out pretty neat:


Formerly TN Lone Wolf

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Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: Chance Weldon] #208182 09/25/2020 8:29 PM
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There are very few things that a 15" .460 wont sort out. My Encores are 14" and 15". With the elk on the menu I would have to go with the .460. Just my humble opinion. Welcome by the way!


"A quiet hit in the right place is better than a loud miss in the wrong place followed by 10 more shots on the run"

I was a handgun hunter, when handgun wasn't cool.....
Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: reflex264] #208184 09/25/2020 8:52 PM
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Sounds like I need a 14 inch Contender for my 300 BO and a 15 inch Encore for my 460. Reflex264, is your 460 ported or have any kind of muzzle device?

Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: Squints08] #208185 09/25/2020 9:11 PM
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Think Ken Lewis over on 6BR has a new or near new 300BO MGM set up.


If it jams force it! If it breaks it needed replacing anyway.
Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: H2OBUG] #208187 09/25/2020 11:57 PM
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I've been watching this post with great interest.

Having almost no experience with single shot pistols, I'm curious, what advantage does the .300 BO provide that the .30-30 or .30-30 AI don't?

Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: DarkTimber] #208188 09/26/2020 12:15 AM
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I think it meets a shorter case restriction of the state hes in......1.4????

Otherwise, for 200 yrd deer, id take a 30-30 Ackley improved x10. super contender cartridge imo, along with 7-30 waters. I like the multiple bullet choices in .308? for the 30 for my pick though.


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Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: DarkTimber] #208189 09/26/2020 12:36 AM
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 Originally Posted By: DarkTimber
I've been watching this post with great interest.

Having almost no experience with single shot pistols, I'm curious, what advantage does the .300 BO provide that the .30-30 or .30-30 AI don't?


In his case, the Blackout is a legal cartridge in his state, but the 30-30 is not.


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Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: Squints08] #208191 09/26/2020 1:09 AM
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 Originally Posted By: Squints08
I am seeking advice on what I would like to be my ultimate large game hunting handgun but it has to be legal to hunt with in Illinois ... .30 caliber or larger with a case length not exceeding 1.4 inches


Where's my sign!


Move along folks, nothing to see here.

Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: DarkTimber] #208192 09/26/2020 2:57 AM
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karl Offline
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 Originally Posted By: DarkTimber
what advantage does the .300 BO provide that the .30-30 or .30-30 AI don't?

Purely legality. 30-30 AI sounds like like an optimal setup to me. Works with factory ammo and plentiful brass and a little extra powder. If i hadn't found the 300bo specific barnes bullets I would likely be shooting one. As it is, I dont have a need for the increased performance for deer.

Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: karl] #208193 09/26/2020 12:57 PM
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In a Contender or G-2 I would go with either the 7x30 Waters or the 30-30AI for deer sized game (As long as they are legal for the state you are hunting in).

Squints,
There is nothing wrong with getting both frames.
If money is a concern, get the 300 BO in the Encore frame, so you can have your 460 as well. A good solid-bottom brake works even on a 460.


Ernie the Un-Tactical
Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: Ernie] #208194 09/26/2020 1:31 PM
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Chance Weldon Offline
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Have you given any thought to what scope you'd like on it?


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Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: Ernie] #208195 09/26/2020 1:55 PM
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I am well supplied with Single Shots, and barrels.
I have a couple 357 Maximums, they would work well for your situation, however with you not reloading the 357 Max is not a good choice. You really need to reload to own a 357 Maximum.

The choice between Contender G2 or Encore/Pro Hunter. Several considerations. With a G2 you can purchase a 22 LR barrel for Cheap Trigger Time. I cannot imagine not owning a 22 LR barrel for Practice/Trigger Time. The 300BO would work fine on a G2 frame, and be a good choice for deer in your state.

The Encore platform is Heavy. I must not consider this a big problem "stand hunting" as I have three frames, and four Encore barrels.
With the Encore you could really bring the 460 to life. You have Elk on the Plate. I am guessing you do not plan to hunt Elk in the Peoples Republic. Hunting out West you could get the Encore chambered in several different chambering's that are flat shooting and hard hitting. I would have MGM Thread and Time it for a Four Gill Muzzle Brake to make shooting a hard hitter fun.

After all of my ramblings I am suggesting you get a G2 with a 22 LR and 300 Blackout barrel for your home state. If you are going out West pick up an Encore in a hard hitting chambering.

As a long time Contender/Encore/Scout shooter I would suggest you get with Tony (Tony's Stocks and Forends) and have him make you a 10" or 11" Forend. With factory synthetic grip I would go with Ebony for the color. His forends are a huge improvement over factory. I have a hard time believing someone at TC or S&W has not figured out over the years that the Handgun really would work better with a Carbine Forend.

Good Luck Bob R


See You At The Range
Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: Bob Roach] #208196 09/26/2020 2:23 PM
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Squints08 Offline OP
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Bob Roach must be a mind reader. A G2 Contender in 22lr and 300 BO is exactly my current plan to start with. I love squirrel hunting and a match barrel in 22lr would be very nice for that. In terms of optics, I'm thinking a Leupold VX3 handgun scope on the 300 BO. I do have a Bushnell Trophy handgun scope in the basement waiting to be used too. Have any other thoughts or suggestions please send them my way. Thanks.

Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: Squints08] #208197 09/26/2020 5:35 PM
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They've been discontinued, but I'm partial to the Nikon Force XR variable. If you happen find one for sale, even if it's used, it's well worth it in my opinion.

I don't think the Blackout will truly warrant it, but go with a steel base and steel scope rings, not aluminum. Our handguns are much harder on scope mounts than rifles, and several members here have had issues with their mounting systems. MGM's steel bases are rock solid, as are Warne bases and rings. Again, the Blackout might not recoil enough to cause problems, but it never hurts to have insurance. If you ever do a 460 build, it definitely will require steel mounts, along with 3 or 4 scope rings.


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Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: Squints08] #208200 09/28/2020 12:40 PM
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 Originally Posted By: Squints08
Sounds like I need a 14 inch Contender for my 300 BO and a 15 inch Encore for my 460. Reflex264, is your 460 ported or have any kind of muzzle device?


One with and one without. I can take the recoil better than the noise. I just carry ear protection all the time now. My 460 suggestion was based on what you are already shooting. I have moved to the 30-06 and .260 in the encores. Neither of them have breaks or ports.


"A quiet hit in the right place is better than a loud miss in the wrong place followed by 10 more shots on the run"

I was a handgun hunter, when handgun wasn't cool.....
Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: reflex264] #208201 09/28/2020 1:04 PM
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I recently picked up a 25-06 15" encore barrel that shoots nicely without a break. I had a factory 45-70 barrel (tapered) that I ended up adding a break to and then went to a custom bull barrel with the MGM Tactical Integrate break. I shoot 300gn TTSX bullets at ~2100fps. The break is very nice for that load. Not necessary for off the shelf 45-70 loads. A break for a 250gn bullet at 2500+fps would definitely be on order for me.

If you are undecided and have a bit of time and money for shipping, a phone call to discuss having the barrel built without a break and/or options for adding a break later is also an option.

Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: Squints08] #208210 09/29/2020 7:40 AM
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Hello everyone, I'm into a lot of weapons especially AR-15. Be it for hunting or sport shooting at Shooters world Tampa, you can always ping me. Looking forward to connecting!

Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: braxton74] #208214 09/29/2020 1:40 PM
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Ernie Offline
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Braxton,
Do you hunt with a handgun?
Interesting way to start with your first post... Seems like you you are just trying to sell stuff.


Ernie the Un-Tactical
Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: Ernie] #208230 09/30/2020 5:04 AM
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LOL hunting with handguns....I am here to read some useful information in this forum

Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: braxton74] #208237 09/30/2020 5:30 PM
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Ernie Offline
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 Originally Posted By: braxton74
LOL hunting with handguns....I am here to read some useful information in this forum

I am happy to be wrong.
There is a lot of reading for you to do-Enjoy and welcome!
Are you wanting to hunt big game with a revolver, single-shot, etc...?


Ernie the Un-Tactical
Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: Ernie] #208249 10/01/2020 2:41 PM
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Squints08 Offline OP
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Well, my rental property is under contract so the funds for this next project are on the horizon. I have already picked up a new Nikon Force XR on Gunbroker based upon a recommendation here and have decided to order a TC Contender G2 stainless and synthetic frame. For the MGM barrel, I am leaning towards 300 BO with a 14-15 inch barrrl. However, does anybody here have first hand experience with the 300 BO on any game? Is it truly a 200 yard capable round for whitetail? Thanks again.

Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: Squints08] #208256 10/02/2020 12:29 AM
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I don't own a 300 blk out in pistol form, but I do in a rifle.

I don't consider it a viable 200 yard deer gun. I know people have done it, but me personally I don't feel comfortable taking a deer at that range with it.

Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: Brenden] #208257 10/02/2020 1:20 AM
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Squints08 Offline OP
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Excellent and thank you. What distance do you consider it effective out to? Have you harvested any game with it? Distances and performance of bullets maybe as well?

Last edited by Squints08; 10/02/2020 1:20 AM.
Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: Squints08] #208262 10/02/2020 2:25 AM
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Gregg Richter Offline
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Squints: According to your original post and second post, you want the ultimate handgun for deer, bear and elk out to 200 yards.

IMO the 300 BO is not a 200 yard elk cartridge, and I don't know about a bear at 200 yards, either. Some of those big blacks weigh 3-400 pounds or more with a lot of body fat.

I like what Chance said about the .460; IMO it may be the best solution of the calibers mentioned for deer, bear and elk out to 200 yards, per your requirements and your state's requirements.








Re: Introduction and next hunting handgun help [Re: Gregg Richter] #208265 10/02/2020 10:24 AM
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Squints08 Offline OP
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Solid points and I guess I kind of evolved from my original post as this progressed. I?m mainly a whitetail hunter with elk and black bear on my wishlist. So I figured I?d start with a ?deer? pistol and upgrade with another frame and barrel later. Or, just buy the encore pistol frame and get a trigger job done on it so I only need one frame. Oh the decisions in life.

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