Is the taurus 44ss8 a good starter pistol for whitetail hunting?


Aug 30, 2012
Roanoke Rapids,NC
I am looking to buy a handgun to start hunting whitetail deer with. I have been looking at a Taurus 44ss8. Just want to know if that would be a good choice and how would you set a pistol up to hunt whitetail in a mix of timber and fields? What optics? What would be good ammo? This will be the first handgun I have hunted with.


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I don't have anything bad to say about Taurus revolvers that are set up as hunting rigs. But I agree with SUBMOA on the Ruger or S&W recommendation. However, I think S&W is overpriced these days for comparable quality to other manufacturers.

A Ruger Super Redhawk with a 7.5" barrel would be a great fit for a beginning or an accomplished handgun hunter. They come with pretty decent adjustable sights and also have an integral scope mounting system.

For scopes, a 2X Leupold is hard to beat, but if you like more power or anticipate shooting out to 100 yards you might consider a 2-6X variable.

Hornady Custom XTP--JHP ammo in whatever grain weight patterns best would be great for deer.

The Ruger is a couple hundred dollars more than the Taurus, but I think you would be happier in the long run.

Be Aware! Handgun hunting is addictive and your other guns will have to be treated for rust as they start staying in the safe a lot more!
Nothing wrong with the Taurus. It is just as good as a S&W and Ruger. I would choose a low power 1.5 fixed or a red dot sight or maybe a variable 1.5X4 or so scope. The 44 mag is not a long range round as far as point blank aiming so I would limit my shots to where my bullet would not be above or below line of sight 3" from a center shoulder hold which is around 100 yards. For WT deer you don't need 240 or 300 gr jacketed bullets. 180 to 210 will work just fine and will shoot a little flatter. I would use a Hornady XTP or Speer Gold Dot for Jacketed HP bullets. You can also use a good 240 gr or so lead Keith type SWC or WIDE flat nose bullet cast hard and driven 1150 to 1250 fps. The secret to handgun hunting is to know your limitations. Take only shots that you KNOW you can make and the only way you can KNOW that is to practice, practice, practice from field positions. I would get a bi or tri-pod and learn how to use it. Take a rest if possible to shoot from. Good luck and good shooting.
Thanks for the input guys. Still researching and seeing what I have available in my area. That is main reason for looking at the Taurus have one available locally. I don't like to buy guns without being able to look at them first. Anybody tried a burris 2x7x32 scope or the pride and fowler 1.5x4x32 44 scope. I will probably start carrying my hunting handgun along with my rifle at first and limit it to close shots until I get good with it at longer range. That way I limit temptation to take shot that I am not ready for if that once in a lifetime buck walks out. I will be hunting from treestand because can't shoot anything larger than 22caliber from ground where I live. Most of the time my shots are around 50 yards or closer.
Shooting mostly less than 50 yards. My advice would be with a low power fixed scope(2x at most), red dot or preferably open sights. Keep it simple! Scopes on a handguns are a great tools to have, but stand hunting... Go open sights, so when you monster walks out at dusk he is not lost in a scope. Some practice from a treestand with milk jugs set at random ranges will help you learn to control the gun. Practice will help muscle memory and increase you confidence and effectiveness.
Thanks Bronco, I think I will start with open sights and see how it works out. I would like to be able to eventually be able to shoot to a hundred yards. I bow hunt also, so should be able to get most shots with in 50 yards. I will practice until I feel comfortable at a hundred yards and can repeatedly hit where I aim before I even think about hunting to that range. For that matter same at fifty yards or whatever range I plan to hunt.
I have nothing against Taurus, my best friend shoots one, but by the same token, i would have spent the same amount of $$ and went American with a single action Ruger, but that was his personal choice. Side by side his Taurus and my Ruger shoot the same to 75 yards, after that the porting really starts to mess with our cast bullets. I also don't care for the kicked in the chest feeling that i get from the ports everytime i pull the trigger.

I like cast bullets for hunting either my namesake Keith 429421, or a WFN bullet, I am currently hunting with a 250 Keith over 9.5 gr's of Unique for just over 1000fps and it will shoot the length of any deer.
For factory ammo i like the Winchester White Box 240gr soft points, the insure penetration and a good hole in, good hole out. A .44 bullet doesn't need to expand if it has a good nose profile (but those JSP's WILL expand). We gave up on the XTP's a long time ago, after several failures on game, as well as the high cost. I am a fan of heavier going slower, rather than light going fast in handguns, that is the one way to be sure of performance in a handgun.
The iron sights will serve you well, if you don't intend to shoot much past 75 yards a red dot can be your best friend on a hunting handgun! Good luck to you, one you get the hangun hunting bug it's hard to lose!
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