Bow vs Pistol...Poll...Another fight night.

Minimum pistol with bow lethality

  • 9mm Luger

    Votes: 8 14.8%
  • 40 S&W

    Votes: 1 1.9%
  • 357 Magnum

    Votes: 16 29.6%
  • 10 mm (the best mm)

    Votes: 11 20.4%
  • 44 Mag (do you feel lucky?)

    Votes: 11 20.4%
  • 475 Linebaugh

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 454 Casull

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 500 S&W

    Votes: 2 3.7%
  • Less than 9mm? Seriously? You gonna vote here?

    Votes: 1 1.9%
  • More than 500 S&W? Seriously? You gonna vote here?

    Votes: 4 7.4%

  • Total voters
    54

skipglo

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I've had experience with both. I can only say that I shot a big baren doe at 40 yards with my S&W 460 using a 535-grain gas checked lead semi-wadcutter and I have NEVER seen anything die any faster. Not even a squished mosquito. And I have used a .454 Casull, and they work well, too!
Ahhhhhhhh...my vote says Squished mosquito definitely dies faster...now the question comes back....did you squish em with an arrow or the .460 and was the splat bigger with one vs the other?😄
 

blueprairiedog

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Feb 9, 2012
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suffolk va.
Around here the day bow goes out and black powder comes in most of my friends make the switch and black powder goes out and high power comes in they make the switch but that’s the normal way here and if someone on here wants to use something else that’s up to them and I wish them all the luck in the world just put it down quickly and eat what you shoot good luck everyone this year and enjoy the hunt and be safe
 

Treeslug

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Hill Country, Texas
Ahhhhhhhh...my vote says Squished mosquito definitely dies faster...now the question comes back....did you squish em with an arrow or the .460 and was the splat bigger with one vs the other?😄
You old bear shooter, you did not see that doe die. She hit the ground and never quivered. I have NEVER seen an animal do that. Maybe you have because you have all of those exotic firearms that shoot 3 miles on a line and then start rising.

As for the mosquito, I have shot the blood sack off of the back of them with a .44 magnum (back in the old days) and they did not die any faster--I don't think. Well, you may be right about a squished mosquito, but not by much. The doe made a bigger splat--on the tree behind her, but again, not by much.
 

skipglo

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You old bear shooter, you did not see that doe die. She hit the ground and never quivered. I have NEVER seen an animal do that. Maybe you have because you have all of those exotic firearms that shoot 3 miles on a line and then start rising.

As for the mosquito, I have shot the blood sack off of the back of them with a .44 magnum (back in the old days) and they did not die any faster--I don't think. Well, you may be right about a squished mosquito, but not by much. The doe made a bigger splat--on the tree behind her, but again, not by much.
I see so far I'm the only one voting 500 s&w....geeez...you little gun owners are no dang fun at all! To bad Treesloth
they left out the 460....cause you can't even vote🤣 ( or is that Slug) then we'd both be alone!
 

testlight

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Aug 15, 2010
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Central Oregon
I would say that the handgun equivalent of a bow at close range is probably a 38 special or 357.

At long range for a bow it's very difficult for most people to hit anything but the arrow maintains its lethality as long as you can in fact hit your target. Whereas a handgun bullet is generally moving very slow at longer range. I would say an arrow is more like a 44 special 45 Long Colt at long range.

At some point an arrow just has such a poor trajectory that about any pistol will overtake it.

As a side note can you kill a deer with a headshot using an arrow? I'm thinking it's a very bad idea. (Really don't know) With a pistol it's very doable with the right platform appropriate range and lots of practice.

P.S. .44 Magnum with soft point ammo is absolutely on a different level than a bow or a 10 mm. In my experience.
 

Treeslug

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Sep 30, 2020
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Hill Country, Texas
I see so far I'm the only one voting 500 s&w....geeez...you little gun owners are no dang fun at all! To bad Treesloth
they left out the 460....cause you can't even vote🤣 ( or is that Slug) then we'd both be alone!
My 500 S&W only has a 4-inch barrel. I don't even remember why I bought it. I always said: "Too much is almost enough." That was before I got this dang old, and shot that 500 S&W with 700-grain handloads. Kinda like a 460 Weatherby Mag. with 500 gr. bullets. Sometimes enough is enough, sliplo--oh, I'm sorry, skipglo! Which is faster, a slug or a sloth?
 

skipglo

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Jan 23, 2015
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My 500 S&W only has a 4-inch barrel. I don't even remember why I bought it. I always said: "Too much is almost enough." That was before I got this dang old, and shot that 500 S&W with 700-grain handloads. Kinda like a 460 Weatherby Mag. with 500 gr. bullets. Sometimes enough is enough, sliplo--oh, I'm sorry, skipglo! Which is faster, a slug or a sloth?

Sloth....unless converting size to distance traveled....then a Slug....obviously....unless it's a shotgun slug...then much faster than both!
 

Treeslug

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Sep 30, 2020
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Hill Country, Texas
I'd disagree a bit on this.

I just looked at factory offerings from Hornady and Federal, and quality defense/hunting ammo runs the 180 gr class bullets in 10mm at ~1275 fps. For a 357 Mag, it's running the 158 gr pills at ~1250 fps. The 158 and 180 class bullets both have similar SD values, though the 10mm is definitely a little lower. Energy is 100 ftlbs more for the 10mm.

Comparing bullets of identical sectional density (0.18) would be the 10mm 200 gr vs the 357 158 gr. I found a few factory ammo offerings, and the 10mm is in the 1175 fps (600 ftlbs) ballpark, and the 357 Mag is is around 1250 fps (550 ftlbs) ballpark.

Regardless of how you slice it, with quality ammunition, the 10mm is going to hit a bit harder (energy) and penetrate just as deep (sectional density) as the 357 magnum in equivalent bbl length guns, at least according to my research and limited experience (I've shot both calibers in a couple different bbl lengths over chronographs a few times).
You probably have a point on the .357 mag. I owned on once only long enough to sell it. It was required for my job. I bought a .44 mag and carried that until I saw some news stories showing people being killed while trying to reload a revolver, but I still love .44 mags. I do own and carry and hunt with 10mm pistols. One has a 3 1/2 inch barrel. I have killed many feral hogs with this pistol at medium close range. I also have a new Springfield 1911 6 inch longside that I have yet to kill anything with. I have seen the remains of pigs shot with all sorts of guns and I think, only my opinion, that the 10mm does a great job on pigs, but I would feel under gunned with a 10mm in brown bear territory. I can't say which of my handguns I would carry around brown or grizzly or polar bear hunting, but it would probably be a slow to load revolver. Probably my 460 S&W with the scope removed.

I did some research in some of my old reloading manuals and found some loads for the .357 mag that were up around 1,400 fps. with 150 gr. bullets. No energy numbers were given. Apples to apples with the .41 mag. with 200 grain bullets, the old books have loads with 296 and 2400 coming in at just barely shy of 1,400 fps. No energy given. However, going back to dead animals versus numbers on a page, the 10mm is, in my own opinion, being sold as a great hunting round--falsely. 10mm is absolutely fantastic on the most dangerous animal on the planet--man, but there again, penetration can be a bit much for the good dude behind the bad dude you are trying to kill.

I am not saying the 10mm is a bad hunting round for close-up shots, just that it is not all that it is cracked up to be for 100 yard plus shots and the hunting of deer-sized game. And over 300-pound boar hogs can be more than a match for poorly placed shots from a 10mm. Even well-placed shots on a big pig are dangerous if you are too close and standing on his ground. Just sayin'.
 

Colorman5280

Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2021
Messages
17
Location
Utah
Another Fight Night!!

At what point does a pistol exceed a bow (not crossbow) in lethality?

For the best fairness, no "optics" beyond iron sights on the pistol and "conventional" bow sights (pins?). No red dots, scopes, thermals, or lasers on either platform. "Ethical" ranges also. Hit a deer vitals at 40, elk at 50 perhaps. Let's call it 20 MOA.

Forget about handiness, forget about convenience, just considering killing power and ability to hit the boiler room with a reasonably practiced shooter. Good shot = animal dead nearby (<100 yds)

Go ahead and consider ideal loads though. Heavy arrows, good slicers, etc. Good hard cast, hollow points, etc. Heavy draw weight and heavy charge weight.

This isn't a which "pistol is best" poll. Your vote should go to the minimum pistol round, from a non-speciallty "full size" pistol (4"-6") that you think will beat a well setup bow at 40-50 yds, for leaving an elk/deer "hoof side up" without much of a chase.
I think the one handgun cartridge that could match bow lethality if not slightly exceed it with proper projectiles in both cases would be 10mm is an incredible penetrator with the right ammo and has taken lots of game while not technically being a magnum cartridge.
Most other hand gun cartridges dont meet legal FTLBs of energy requirements thus their comparative lethality is harder to judge with less data.
 

snookntarpon

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Joined
Feb 28, 2011
Messages
306
Location
FL
I have shot close to 100 big game animals with a revolver. Pigs, Stag, Whitetail. Red dot and scope on all but a few as my eyes are not what they once used to be, and it extends my range to 100+ yards. Pigs and Stags running 240 gr XTP's at 1250fps. All but a few were DRT. Hits like a hammer. On whitetail i ended up opening up and deepening the hollow point removing 9 grains, and they stopped running. Still getting exits on the majority, just thinner skinned than pigs and stags, so the 231 grainers open faster and expend more energy inside = DRT.
With my 10mm and 41 mag i get very comparable results. 40-50 yard runs, shots inside of 50 yards. I guess i could open the hollow points on the 210 gr XTP's on the 41 mag, but I mostly use the 44 anyway.
Most comparable to a bow kill is the 10mm for sure. 180 gr XTP.
SnT
 

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