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Why isn't a 9mm hollow point good enough to take down a deer?

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  • Why isn't a 9mm hollow point good enough to take down a deer?

    I see a lot of opinions that a 9mm is worthless for deer hunting, but why? It will stop/kill humans and at 15-25 yards has more Kinetic Energy than an arrow at that distance which will kill a deer. If you have any information or links that will help, thank you.


  • #2
    Because in hunting the goal is the animal dead very quickly.
    Police and war efforts are not based on sportsmanship.
    Policing is to stop a threat. War, threats come in various forms and bullets used to be good across the threat spectrum, are not ideal for specific
    shot and drop. Wounding can be fatal rather quickly, or take some time.....and time uses up other resources.

    Kinetic energy is but one measure of a projectile. Arrows have momentum.
    I blow through deer with low KE traditional archery setups.

    So KE aint all that.

    By my state's law...........9mm is legal for deer hunting. Not 9mm Luger, but 9mm Winchester Magnum (case length requirement). Yes they made such a thing.

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    • #3
      My guess is 9mm HP ammo if for defense, where over penetration is seen as a risk to others.
      In hunting a hole in and out is best (with decent damage in between). Makes it easier to find the dead critter.

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      • #4
        9mm will kill a deer, just depends on what your State requirement is. For example in Ohio a hand gun with less than 5" barrel can not be used, what about a 4.5" barrel? A .38spl can be used and that is probably the least allowable. Just depends on your State. A rifle with straight wall case can be used - just a subjective guideline as there are many bottle neck cartridges that are fine for deer. Plus, anything can be used for groundhogs - go figure.

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        • #5
          Worthless?
          Well, no. A 9mm is more than capable of taking a whitetail...within the working range of the 9mm cartridge.
          From a whitetail perspective, "working range" is extremely limited.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by jhjimbo View Post
            9mm will kill a deer, just depends on what your State requirement is. For example in Ohio a hand gun with less than 5" barrel can not be used, what about a 4.5" barrel? A .38spl can be used and that is probably the least allowable. Just depends on your State. A rifle with straight wall case can be used - just a subjective guideline as there are many bottle neck cartridges that are fine for deer. Plus, anything can be used for groundhogs - go figure.
            jimbo, in Oklahoma, you are restricted to a case that is at least 1.25" in length.
            The .357 Mag is legal. The .38 Spl is not. (1.15")

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            • #7
              I would be much more comfortable with the idea of a 9mm out of a carbine for deer. I think it will kill a deer, but I don't think it would be a quick kill, and I think that should be the goal of all responsible sportsmen.

              I think it should be noted that deer are much tougher than people. I have seen a deer get arrowed through both lungs and run 300 yards. I doubt there is a person alive that could run 300 yards with two punctured lungs. So while 9mm may seem adequate for police and military use, I don't think it quite fits the bill for hunting.

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              • #8
                If You hunt Florida You Can! In most states Barrel length of 6"+ and Caliber of 44Mag or better is Law. So why limit your self to 25+Yd. On a buck of a life time at 75+yd with a 5" 9mm/Gov,mod 1911"just saying". It not the bullet, It the Placement and Power of a 9mm Pistol round.

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                • #9
                  .357 mag is legal here in Indiana for deer, handgun or rifle.
                  38 spcl is too short (we have a min cartridge length of 1.16").
                  Guys I know run rifles in .357 mag, claim 180 grainers work great 100 yards and in.
                  I've only shot one deer with a .357 handgun and placement was such, anything would have done the job (shot him in spine of neck looking away).

                  Placement placement placement........but that assumes you have enough oomph to do the job where you placed it, and have some insurance in case it doesn't go perfectly. Too many variables in hunting to ride the ragged edge. While a 9mm Luger might work for some, esp those popping little deer at spitting distance......I think the choice to be substantially less than responsible.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jhjimbo View Post
                    9mm will kill a deer, just depends on what your State requirement is. For example in Ohio a hand gun with less than 5" barrel can not be used, what about a 4.5" barrel? A .38spl can be used and that is probably the least allowable. Just depends on your State. A rifle with straight wall case can be used - just a subjective guideline as there are many bottle neck cartridges that are fine for deer. Plus, anything can be used for groundhogs - go figure.
                    Groundhogs are varmints. They are rather tough for their size. Score as a miss if he gets hit and dies down in the hole.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by OutdoorTeacher View Post
                      I would be much more comfortable with the idea of a 9mm out of a carbine for deer. I think it will kill a deer, but I don't think it would be a quick kill, and I think that should be the goal of all responsible sportsmen.

                      I think it should be noted that deer are much tougher than people. I have seen a deer get arrowed through both lungs and run 300 yards. I doubt there is a person alive that could run 300 yards with two punctured lungs. So while 9mm may seem adequate for police and military use, I don't think it quite fits the bill for hunting.
                      Good point about the toughness and tenacity to life that wild animals have.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        In WV minimum legal handgun cartridge is 357mag. On top of that, a 9mm defensive handgun is to stop a threat at very close range, in hunting you want to solidly kill a tough animal as quickly as possible. Also an arrow kills deer by causing a hole and bleeding them out and/or collapsing the lungs when a hole is created. A gun kills through hydrostatic shock shutting down vital organs.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          A 9mm pistol bullet is traveling too slow to inflict any nervous or hydraulic shock damage thereby allowing something as strong as a deer to escape before killing them. They can punch a hole but so could a paper punch. They also slow down very fast due to their poor aerodynamics. This limit range. They don't create extensive tissue damage in most shots. Humans can be hurt with a pellet gun. Deer are quite a bit more resilient. Although under the right conditions and with a perfect shot, you could take a deer. The pistol cartridge is just on the low end of usefulness for deer hunting.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Outlaw View Post
                            In WV minimum legal handgun cartridge is 357mag. On top of that, a 9mm defensive handgun is to stop a threat at very close range, in hunting you want to solidly kill a tough animal as quickly as possible. Also an arrow kills deer by causing a hole and bleeding them out and/or collapsing the lungs when a hole is created. A gun kills through hydrostatic shock shutting down vital organs.
                            IIRC hydrostatic shock comes when bullets have a contact velocity over 2K FPS.
                            Not all bullets do that, yet they kill. That's because a hole through the vitals screws them up and bleeding shuts things down.

                            The concept of hydraulic shock is different. Some folks use the to terms interchangeably (hydraulic and hydrostatic), but a long time ago some folks posed that a high V bullet slamming meat would actually pull on blood vessel fluids and cause a hydraulic shock,

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by OutdoorTeacher View Post
                              I would be much more comfortable with the idea of a 9mm out of a carbine for deer. I think it will kill a deer, but I don't think it would be a quick kill, and I think that should be the goal of all responsible sportsmen.

                              I think it should be noted that deer are much tougher than people. I have seen a deer get arrowed through both lungs and run 300 yards. I doubt there is a person alive that could run 300 yards with two punctured lungs. So while 9mm may seem adequate for police and military use, I don't think it quite fits the bill for hunting.
                              agree, I have a seen a whitetail that was hit with .50bmg exit would was big enough to put your fist in, but the dang thing still ran 40-60yds.

                              Last deer I took, doornail dead; but leg muscles were still trying to go

                              Comment

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