deer hunting with 38 special

Discussion in 'The Hunting & Fishing Forum' started by 38 special, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. 38 special

    38 special New Member

    Feb 14, 2009
    This is just purely curiosity: Has anyone ever shot a deer with a well placed shot behind the front shoulder or thru neck or in head with a 38 special?
    If so, what were the results. Did deer die quickly- did bullet go thru -or expand-what was range etc..
  2. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    I have seen deer shot and killed with a .22LR. I have also seen them shot, and then run off, never to be found. Critically wounded by a bullet that is not ideal for the job, to die a slow, and painful death. A .38SPC would definitely kill a deer at close range, but I surely would not shoot one with this caliber, unless I was really hungry, and desperate!

  3. 38 special

    38 special New Member

    Feb 14, 2009
    good point. I agree. nothing worse than crippling or making an animal suffer a long painful death. I would assume that if you shot a deer at say 20 yards though the lungs with a 38 sp. that he wouldn't run much farther than if shot in the same place with a 30-06 but maybe not so. maybe He'd go alot farther and sufferalot more being shot with 38 I'm not sure.
  4. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    You're right, do not compare a .38 with an .06. The .06 has tons of foot pounds of energy as compared to the .38. The .38 is a good rd. for SD, but even the police and military will not use it due to it's inability to put a man down consistantly. I wouldn't try this unless within 20 feet!
  5. While the .38 Special is far from what I would consider an adequate round for hunting deer, I can't help wonder just how many deer have been taken with a Winchester '73 or '92 in .38-40, which falls somewhere between a .357 Magnum and a .38 Special, during the later 19th century. Just a thought…
  6. Red84

    Red84 New Member

    Feb 14, 2009
    While I have not shot any deer with a .38 SPCL, I have shot one doe with a .357, at about 25 yards or so, I was so dissapointed in the performance (158 gr. Silvertip, more than one shot had to be fired) even though it was a vital area hit, that I never took it out hunting again. Like you said, if you had to I'm sure it might work, but there are definitely better calibers available.
  7. Oneida Steve

    Oneida Steve Well-Known Member

    Sep 28, 2006
    Upstate NY
    Shot placement is everything.

    In the first half of the 20th century many car-deer accidents resulted in a injured whitetail getting a .38 slug behind the ear courtesy of a passing deputy sheriff or highway patrolman.
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