First check you reglations, Our state only allows a .357
with a 6 " barrel but the bullet has to have at leased 700ft lbs of muzzle energy. So anything over that is Ok.
I would with grizz around too get a .44 6" pistol or bigger.
Well depending on your "toy" account depends on what you can get. I have a 475 Linebaugh built on a 6" Ruger Bisley and when loaded with good bullets its an awsome display fo hand cannon , the recoil is stout but not as bad as a 454 Raging bull I had. I've carried this thing on a few hunts out west but soon relized that I could likly out run my guid so I quiet packing the extra weight.
I also have a 45 Super conversion for my Glock 21 from Ace customs , it cranks the regular 45 acp up to the magnum level in a still compact gun. I shoot the 260gr Nosler Partition HG bullets out of it at just over 1000fps , and thats what I carry when we hog hunt because your generaly wet from the waist down and alot of the time its with salt water. We almost never shoot the hogs we catch but I did have to plug a big sow with it once at about 15yds , bullet entered the top of the skull and ended in one lung , about18" totaly penitration that started with a realy think head.
The 45 Long Colt makes for a very formidable cailber if its built right , Linebaugh makes some great cylinders that will bring the 45lc way up in power with good brass , not 454 levels but up to 44mag at a minimum.
But hell if its just hogs , get a set of handcuffs and catch em (cuffs work better than rope)once you get hold of their back legs the rest is all down hill [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
Sounds like you are looking for a minimally acceptable cartridge for the task. I'd carry a 4"-5" 357mag loaded with 180gr Cast Performance hard cast bullets. Very comfortable to carry and up to the task at short range. I belive that Federal makes this ammo if you didn't want to load them.
If I was out hunting for BIG tuskers than I'd carry a bigger gun with a heavier payload. Shot my last 300lb + pig with the 454 and a 300gr Swift A-Frame but I wouldn't make a habit of carrying that anchor around all the time. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
JDJ, get one of your fine law Enforcement buudies to give you some flexcuffs. Zip tie style cuffs faster than standard cuffs and will get extremely tight on something the size of a hogs leg. They come prelooped and Id say you can get em on in about 3 secs.
Roy .357 and up in a wheel gun four inch barrel minimum.
With handguns you want to look at penetration more then anything else. Shot placement is critical, as with everything but handguns do not have the huge dose of energy to damage alot of tissue so you have to drive a bullet through the vitals and make sure you have enough penetration to get all the way through.
I have taken Russian boars with everything from a 45 ACP(230 gr) up to a 50 Action Express(440 gr). For a total of nine boars on the ground. Not as many as alot of guys out there but there are not to many Russian boars running around the hills of Montana(to bad!! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]).
As a minimum, I would look at a 357 loaded with a good 180 gr heat treated hard cast bullet such as those from Leadhead or Cast Performance.
My personal favorite hog hammer is a Ruger Blackhawk with a 4 5/8" barrel in 45 Colt. I load her up with 330 gr Hard cast loaded to 1100 fps.
Remember velocity means really nothing in handguns. Get a heavy for caliber bullet in a good heat treated hard cast and drive it to at least 1000 fps and it will cleanly punch through any hog around.
As for chamberings, here are a list of what will work great: 357 Mag, 41 Mag, 44 Mag, 45 Colt, 480 Ruger and 50 AE.
Bullet weights I would recommend would be(all quality hard cast): 180 gr 357 cal, +220 gr 41 cal, +280 gr 429 cal, +300 gr 45 cal, +325 gr 480 cal, +325 gr 50 cal.
Now obviously there are now many round much larger then the ones I list. Obviously they will slap the heck out of a hog but they are not really user friendly to pack around. The ones I list can be had in very lightweight, truely portable handguns that can be carried all day long with no discomfort in a quality holster.
As you can tell, the wheel guns are my preferred choice for this type of hunting handgun. Just stronger and more reliable and for the most part more accurate as well.
Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.