14 Best Big Game Hunting Handguns

The Smith & Wesson Performance Hunter 629 revolver for sale - an awesome hunter's handgun.

Handgun hunting is back in fashion. In part it’s thanks to weird and disparate gun control laws and regulations that combine to outlaw rifles at set times.


So what do you do? Well you could stay home with the family and wait for rifle season. You could cross State lines like The Bandit with a trunkful of bootlegged beer, or you could join the ever growing throng of sidearm hunters


They used to be an odd breed, old colonial types or Grizzly Adams mountain men who would prefer to rip the animal’s spine out, Predator-style. That’s just not true anymore and handgun hunting is becoming a more respectable pursuit.


There are all kinds of firearms to suit your budget, ambition and physical strength. We’ve gone for the big guns this time around, we’ll do the small game hunters another day.


Here are the best handguns for hunting that we could find…


S&W500 Performance Center with 7.5 inch barrel. Is it the world's best hunting pistol for sale?

1. S&W 500 Performance Center

  • Price: $1,519
  • Caliber: S&W 500 Magnum .50 Cal.
  • Capacity: 5 Rounds
  • Barrel length: 7.5 inch
  • Total Length: 15 inch
  • Weight: 4.38lb


This absolute beast of a handgun is perfect forany size of animal. Except small ones, it will just blow them to bits. As far as power goes, this is as far as you ever reasonably need to go in the USA. Or anywhere else for that matter…


Smith and Wesson claims the S&W500 Magnum Performance Center handgun is the most powerful production revolver in the world. And it probably is, with a velocity of around 1800fps and 2000lb/ft of muzzle energy.


Without that compensator, it would be more than a handful. Even with it, you’ll need to learn to deal with the recoil.


It’s a tailor-made, specialist hunter that actually loses out to the simpler S&W 500s if it comes to animal defense or even home defense.


If you want a smaller, more wieldy S&W500, or you even want something with a bit less punch, for your own particular reasons, then Palmetto State Armory has some great deals here.


S&W 500 50 Cal handgun for sale, a hunter and personal defense monster

In the field, though, this is a top of the line handgun for hunting and it’s capable of taking more or less anything you’re going looking for.


Unsurprisingly, there’s a competition shooting niche here as the precision engineering required to contain this level of force means it’s a seriously interesting target shooting pistol.


There’s a certain attraction to taming the 50 cal handgun beast, too, especially when it comes with the 7.5 inch barrel that gives it as much velocity as you could reasonably want.


The barrel and frame are machined from stainless steel and this is a Performance Center handgun, which means a team of expert engineers has balanced the gun and some of the most experienced shooters in the business have helped them refine it for the real world.


The hammer is chrome, so is the trigger and you know you’re going to sit and stare at that proprietary multi port muzzle brake for hours. S&W calls it a 360-degree muzzle brake thanks to the asymmetrical design.


It’s a fantastic feat of engineering. One that just about fits in your hand and yet fires 50 Cal ammo that has been specifically designed for this gun and for dropping animals on the spot.


That makes this the perfect hunting handgun and a firearm that can help push the distances you can reasonably take aim to much more than 100 yards.


Right now, Smith & Wesson reckons most shots actually are in the 50-100 yard region, but this is a new round and the ballistics technology could easily take it further.


This is a State compliant firearm that can redefine the genre. It’s designed to be used with a giant handgun scope and a bi-pod, or you can go for a sling and find your own shooting technique for this SA/DA monster.


Adjustable rear sights and a fiber optic front sights are solid options, but you’ll want to upgrade to a proper handgun scope if you get serious.


It’s a unique handgun, a piece of history and the most powerful Smith & Wesson handgun in the world. It makes Dirty Harry’s .44 Magnum look like a child’s toy and it is fast emerging as the must-have handgun as more and more States restrict hunting with rifles.


The S&W 500 is definitely one of the best hunting handguns in the world and we think it’s the number one.



Hunting with a Glock? Yes you can with the 10mm GLock G40

2. Glock G40 MOS Configuration


  • Price: $699.99
  • Caliber: 10mm Auto
  • Barrel Length: 6 inch
  • Total Length: 9.49 inch
  • Weight: 1.76lb
  • Capacity: 10+1


Handgun hunting with a Glock? Yeah, more and more people are hunting with 10mm Auto Glock handguns. Seriously, they’re hunting deer at 100 yards and taking hogs, too. Not bad for a self-defense round that emerged from the FBI’s discontent with the old 9mm.


If I thought your hearts could take it, the Glock G40 would be the best hunting gun on this list, because it’s more versatile, holds more rounds and is actually becoming the preferred bear defense gun out in the wild too.


So it’s much more versatile than the thoroughbred winner and there are few better home defense firearms while we’re at it. As a nightstand pistol, the Glock 40 has no peer.


The truth is that if you had enjoyed years of hunting with the Glock and were retiring it from field service today, you wouldn’t sell it. There is always a use for a Glock 10mm handgun with an RMR and hunting is just one of them.


So if you’re looking to start going after White Tail with a pistol, but want a general purpose firearm in case it’s not your thing, I’d think about starting here.


The debate will rage forever about 10mm vs .44 Magnum vs 45 ACP in terms of impact or the infamous stopping power, but the general consensus is that a 10mm slots in somewhere between a .357 Magnum and a 44 Magnum round. It’s actually a pretty good match for a .41 Magnum.


That means it’s perfectly good for hunting with handguns, especially if you go for a high-impact round or even a ripper. There are specialist 10mm hunting rounds that come with clever polymer tips designed to tear through flesh and maximise wound cavities and Underwood makes a sinister looking bullet that should be worth a try.


Now you could go out into the field with any 10mm handgun. A Rock Island Armory Ultra FS 10mm 1911 will technically work just fine. There are great 10mm options from Springfield Armory and we did a whole post on the best 10mm handguns for sale in 2019.


The Glock’s longer barrel and slide will give you a little added velocity, some range and the MOS (Glock Modular Optic System) is set up to take a reflex sight or just about anything else you want to put up there.


At 75 yards, which is the longest you’ll really be looking for, a decent red dot site will do the job just peachy. That makes your whole hunting kit fit in your holster, which is pretty cool you have to admit.


There are five different plates to make switching optics a matter of a minute and there’s a lot to love about the sheer convenience of this gun as a hunting package. It isn’t the most exciting weapon, but damn it’s effective.


For older hunters that simply can’t carry a big old rifle anymore, this is a way to get out in the field, carry everything on your person, or in a backpack, and enjoy hunting. It’s also the best hunting set-up if you’re kind of lazy.


Hunting can also be muddy, messy work. Glocks have been designed from the start to be used and abused, covered in mud, dropped in puddles and just keep firing. If you’ve ever had to field strip your 1911 to get it running smooth, that could be all you need to hear to buy a Glock online right now.


The 10+1 mag makes it legal in most States, even the States with the tightest gun control laws. Aftermarket larger mags are easy to find, too. So, if you’re heading to Alaska then an open carry Glock G40 with a 20-round mag could be a bear’s worst nightmare too.


Seriously, Alaskans are abandoning their traditional Rugers packed with .464 Casull for the new breed. Some of them, of course, have simply gone to the S&W500.


But more and more are going for the added capacity of the Glock thanks to the power of the 10mm round and the cumulative damage of 10 or more accurate placements rather than the blunderbuss approach of the revolver.


If you hunt with handguns, you should really try a Glock 10mm. You might never go back…



Desert Eagle 50 AE for sale at the best price. Get bargain handgun deals here.

3. Desert Eagle XIX 50 AE


  • Price: $1,456
  • Caliber: .50 AE
  • Capacity: 8+1 Rounds
  • Barrel Length: 6 inch
  • Total Length: 10.75 inch
  • Weight: 4.5lb


The Desert Eagle is often derided as a movie gun, because it kind of is in the grand scheme of things. As a hunting pistol, though, it’s pretty boss.


Now you’ll end up stripping the gun down in the field at least once or twice a day and it gunges up like a nasal teenager with flu. But the Deadpool 2 gun certainly has the horsepower to take down a Whitetail or hog.


All the motion happens at the rear, too, and the fixed front barrel section is all rail up top. So you can fit a proper scope to the Desert Eagle without worrying about the glass lunching itself on your fast moving slide.


This cool little video shows the insides of a Desert Eagle at work. If anything it looks even more like a slick semi-auto canon.



It’s basic, agricultural and over-engineered. It’s also fun.


The Desert Eagle is too big and clumsy for the real world, even as a home defense gun. But as a gun for taking down proper sized animals, it just about makes sense for handgun hunting.


You just might want to carry a revolver too, for the inevitably times it jams up in the field. Some days it will run like a dream, you’ll have an absolute canon under your control and you’ll get a solid amount of rounds. That day, the Desert Eagle will feel like the best handgun in the world.


The gun pictured is fitted with a compensator and that might be a wise investment if you’re taking your monster of a semi-automatic handgun out in the field. Desert Eagle muzzle climb is a thing…


Watch the Desert Eagle in super slow motion here. It is a thing of beauty when it’s actually working right. It could be a great handgun hunter, or at least it will be entertaining.




Ruger Super Blackhawk Bisley Hunter - An awesome hunting revolver for sale.

4. Ruger Super Blackhawk Bisley Hunter


  • Price: $764.50
  • Caliber: 44 Magnum/ .41 Magnum
  • Capacity: 6 Rounds
  • Barrel Length: 8 inch
  • Total Length: 13.38 inch
  • Weight: 4lb


Ruger used to be a mountain man’s pocket gun with the infamous Ruger Alaskan and the Ruger Super Redhawk that has ingrained itself into the culture. But if you want the best modern hunting revolver from Ruger, then the Ruger Super Blackhawk is the one you need.


The company is also an expert in small game hunting and the Ruger Mk 4 22 is our undisputed champion of the 22 LR pistol ranks and it’s great for much smaller sized game.


The Super Redhawk is still out there, but the new model Ruger Super Blackhawk has caused an almighty stir. You can carry it in the proprietary .480 Ruger or the fearsome .454 Casull, as well as a the more sensible mass market 44 Magnum we’ve got here.


It’s a 4lb hunk of metal that you can buy with up to a 10.5 inch barrel, which will appeal to hunters and long distance shooters alike. It kind of ruins the concealed carry angle, but it wasn’t that strong to begin with.


It has a real old west revolver look and feel about it, especially with that iconic grip profile. The elongated frame helps reduce felt recoil, Ruger says, and a herd of hunters agree with them.


The entire gun is produced from stainless steel and coil springs in the crucial areas help with the gun’s durability and the way it feels in the hand.


The ramp front sight and adjustable rear sights are solid, especially if you are target shooting. But the barrel rib is optic ready and you can mount everything from a reflex site right through to a massive scope up top.


14 Best Big Game Hunting Handguns 1

5. Springfield Armory 10mm TRP Operator


  • Price: $1,708.99
  • Caliber: 10mm
  • Barrel Length: 6 inch
  • Total Length: 9.6 inch
  • Weight: 2.8lb
  • Capacity: 8+1


You can save $200 and get the 5 inch barrel version of the Springfield Armory 10mm TRP Operator, but don’t. If you’re hunting with this gun then you want that additional velocity and punch.


Target shooters have pushed this gun to 300 yards with a simple reflex sight, which is really the best thing to mount on that big slide. Hunters will have a serious weapon at 150 yards, then, which is more than you really need.


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5. Taurus 444 Raging Bull

  • Price: $675.99
  • Caliber: 44 Magnum
  • Capacity: 6 Rounds
  • Barrel Length: 8.375 inch
  • Total Length: 14 inch
  • Weight: 3.94lb


You could opt for the more powerful .454 Casull version of the legendary Taurus 444 Raging Bull for less than $1000, and we’d be tempted, but the .44 Magnum is our budget pick for a heavy-duty hunting revolver.


It’s less than $700 for one of America’s favorite handguns for hunting. That 8.375 inch barrel helps generate major energy and muzzle velocity in the Taurus Raging Bull. Factory porting, together with the extravagant logo, give the Taurus a custom gun feel in a bargain basement price range. The longer barrel just looks sexy.


Cushioned grips and that porting help to contain the recoil in the Taurus Raging Bull. There’s going to be a snap and in the dark, with the right ammo, it will light up the night sky with the fireball of a muzzle flash. But this is a balanced big revolver that you’ll have a lot of fun with, at a sensible price.


It’s perfectly capable of taking deer and hog and you can mount a scope right down the length of that monster barrel. Get a decent handgun scope with solid magnification, a steady hand and you really can’t miss. Well you can, but you shouldn’t…


Not everybody loves Taurus, but this is a rock solid revolver with a proven track record. It isn’t the most extreme version, not by a long shot, and that means it’s working with a lot of headroom in terms of engineering tolerances.


In short, the Taurus Raging Bull can handle a 44 Magnum round all day long. Is it one of the best handguns for hunting? Yep…



EAA Tanfoglio Witness Hunter 10mm for sale - a great hunting handgun.

6. EAA Tanfoglio Witness Hunter


  • Price: $1,079
  • Caliber: 10mm
  • Barrel Length: 6 inch
  • Total Length: 10 inch
  • Weight: 2.88lb
  • Capacity: 14+1


The EAA Tanfoglio Witness Hunter is a bigger, more powerful addition to the EAA Witness line. Thisis a custom Italian handgun, for kind of sane money.


It also kicks ass when it comes to capacity. Seriously this is a 14+1 handgun, which could put it on your radar when it comes to home and personal defense. It’s almost a match for the mighty Glock G40 and yet it comes with a proper alloy frame and a hammer.


The tolerances are basically perfect, the EAA has run faultlessly through hundreds of rounds according to the gun reviews online and it’s a gun that holds its own with the best the US can offer. It’s basically a match-grade pistol frame built out to hunter spec.


EAA make some much more flamboyant designs, but this is a gun that will hit the fields and could well be taking a white tail near you in the near future.


The Smith & Wesson 629 Stealth Hiunter is one of the best handguns in the world.

7. Smith & Wesson 629 Stealth Hunter

  • Price: $1,410
  • Caliber: 44 Magnum
  • Capacity: 6 Rounds
  • Barrel length: 7.5 inch
  • Total Length: 12.9 inch
  • Weight: 3.5lb


This is a hunting gun, a competition shooter, a home defense cannon and an ornate custom handgun, all rolled into one.


That’s where the Smith & Wesson Performance Center Model 629 Stealth Hunter wins big: versatility.


This isn’t a one-trick pony. The Smith & Wesson Model 629 is the .44 Magnum revolver you always wanted, and it’s also a great all-round hunter and competition pistol that has taken more deer than you ever will.


So the Smith & Wesson Model 629 is a great hunting with a handgun starter pack if you can handle the recoil of a 44 Magnum revolver from the get-go.


Design wise the Smith & Wesson Model 629 is just different enough to let you know it’s a special handgun. This is a Performance Center weapon, which means it has been through the hands of Smith & Wesson’s master gunsmiths, and they didn’t just graft the 7.5 inch barrel on there.


I mean they did, that’s the essence of it, but there’s more to it than that.


Smith & Wesson inevitably has multiple entries on the list because it is, frankly, the King of the Hill when it comes to big revolvers for hunting.


14 Best Big Game Hunting Handguns 3

8. Remington 700 CP

  • Price: $1,020
  • Caliber: .223 Remington/ 300 AAC/ .308 Win Mag
  • Barrel Length: 10.5-12.5
  • Total Length: 19.75-21.75
  • Weight: 5.95-6.15lb
  • Capacity: 10+1


You either get the Remington 700 CP or you just don’t. It’s a gun that does slip under the handgun hunting radar, though, and it really does feel like an act of subversion hunting with a bolt-action AR pistol set-up in 300 AAC Blackout or even .308 Win Mag.


Honestly, both those rounds make the 10mm and 44 Magnum look a little on the puny side. You can obviously get a better grip on this Remington 700 pistol chassis than you can with a 1911 and with a sling, a brace, a bi-pod or just about anything else you want, this is an absolute beast of a hunting gun.


Remington always had a thing for bolt-action hunting handguns and the pioneering Remington XP100 is a cult classic. It was always a niche gun, but with State laws proving increasingly restrictive to handgun hunters, well suddenly a market has presented itself for this oddball weapon. The new rules have played into Remington’s hands.


It’s a modular system that you can dress up any way you want, but I’d be tempted to keep it light and lean, with a red dot sight or a scope that takes you right to the heart of the beast. With those calibers, anything up to 300 yards is a legit target and that makes it a way more effective hunting handgun than any of the others if we’re honest.


So why didn’t it win? Because life is not fair and some people just hate the idea of this gun. It is a perversion, a cunning piece of trickery that helps skirt the handgun hunting laws and does give you a competitive advantage in the field. You’ll either love that or hate it.


Either way you get a Picatinny rail up top and an M-LOK handguard, so you can mount what you want on there. Remington’s adjustable X-Mark trigger system joins forces with a Magpul MIAD pistol grip and this is a wicked bad platform on a purely technical level.


Could you do it? Well that’s down to you, but if you find yourself driven towards handgun hunting but you don’t want to give up your rifle’s functionality, then this is one answer.



Kimber Target Long Slide - A semi automatic hunting handgun and a match grade pistol for sale.

9. Kimber Target Long Slide


  • Price: $948.00
  • Caliber: 10mm Auto
  • Capacity: 7+1
  • Barrel Length: 6 inch
  • Total Length: 9.75 inch
  • Weight: 2.63lb


If you love the functionality of the Glock 40, but you just can’t cope with its abject lack of heart and soul, then the Kimber 10mm Target Long Slide could be the gun for you.


The frame, barrel and slide are manufactured to match-grade standards from stainless steel. It’s got all the old-school 1911 goodness, it’s just stretched out to 6 inches.


So the velocity and muzzle energy is going to be more or less a wash with the Glock. You can pack in less bullets, but unless you’re ambushing and slaughtering generations of hogs in one hit, you probably won’t notice it out in the field.


This is a light, compact hunting handgun, although you’ll have to add a little weight for a scope mount unless you want to rely on the competition shooting iron sights. Some people find they genuinely can and then you’ve got a 2.5lb hunting 1911 with a punch that matches almost anything here.


Nighthawk Tactical Custom Korth Super Sport revolver for sale - $4,799.

10. Nighthawk Custom Korth Super Sport


  • Price: $4,799.99
  • Caliber: .357 Magnum
  • Barrel Length: 6 inch
  • Total Length: 11.02 inch
  • Weight: 3.64lb

We love Nighthawk Custom guns round these parts, even if we can’t really justify the cost. They’re made on US soil, by master gunsmiths, but still this is insane money.


Competition shooters swear they are worth it, and that nth degree of engineering does tend to shine through under the spotlight of competition. As a hunter, it would just be an epic thing to own and enjoy.


You get adjustable rear sights and an adjustable front sight too. So you can get really precise with the iron sights or mount a red dot up top and go high-tech.


It’s a stupid accurate handgun, a great revolver in the hand and the roller trigger is reckoned to be the smoothest on any revolver out there right now. A Lothar Walther cold-forged polygonal barrel is the best of the best.


You can get a 9mm conversion kit, too, although that’s not really a hunting round and it’s aimed more at the competition shooters that need a 9mm revolver in their arsenal.


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11. Magnum Research BFR


  • Price: $990
  • Caliber: 45-70 Government
  • Capacity: 5 Rounds
  • Barrel Length: 7.5 inch
  • Total Length: 15 inch
  • Weight: 4.3lb


Do you spend your life leading secret missions to Jurassic Park? Or wandering the Savannah? you’re going to need an absolute hand cannon. For them, what could still be the most powerful handgun in the world is waiting…


Most of us just don’t need this kind of firepower. Once the novelty has worn off, the Magnum Research BFR will become one of those collector’s pieces guns that you’re happy to own but don’t fire that much anymore.


It could even become a centerpiece, because it is historically significant and a fantastic thing to look at.


Well, the version with the vented rib is fantastic to look at. Without it, the gun is awkwardly proportioned if we’re honest. It’s still fascinating and functional art because of what it is, but the Taurus is a prettier handgun.


It’s a pretty minimalist revolver when you look up close and you can see how functionality has been sacrificed for stability and basic survival. To reload, you flip open a hatch and the wheel rotates in place. There’s no flicking the wheel out here and it’s things like this that put the Magnum Research handgun into perspective.


You don’t need this much firepower for the most part and it’s not the most convenient gun in the field. The Smith & Wesson is a better compromise of power and accessibility, and unless you patrol the African plains and want to fell safari sized animals with a revolver, this one is really functional art that probably won’t be the first hunting handgun you reach for.


It’s a cool thing, though, and you’ll always be glad you own it.


There’s a rumor going round that BFR, which has come to mean Biggest, Finest Revolver, started out as something much ruder. It is, after all, a Big F***ing Revolver.


You can get basically the same gun chambered in 480 Ruger/.475 Linebaugh and now the S&W 500 round, which actually makes more sense. But you still have to have a reason to buy this over the S&W and I just can’t make a good case for it.


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12. Rowland 460 FNX Tactical

  • Price: $1,546
  • Caliber: 460 Rowland

This is an insane conversion of a fairly basic polymer handgun that gives it twice the energy at 150 yards than the original handgun had at the muzzle. The actual muzzle energy has increased more than 300%


460 Rowland is actually the theoretical bullet we’ve been talking about for a while. It’s LeHigh’s Xtreme Penetrator turned into a 200gr cartridge with devastating impact.


It’s proprietary ammunition and that is never going to be cheap, but Rowland Conversions has made a serious impact on the hunting community and a lot of people are going for the conversion.


You don’t have to start with an FNX, the company offers conversions for the Sig P220, a variety of 1911s that includes the Remington R1 and there’s even a Glock 21 in there. Check here for the full range of custom guns for hunting, and concealed carry.


Dan Wesson 715 revolver for sale - a great hunting handgun and a beast for personal defense.

13. Dan Wesson 715


  • Price: $1,207.99
  • Caliber: .357 Magnum/38 Special
  • Barrel Length: 6 inches
  • Total Length: 11 inch
  • Weight: 2.94lb
  • Capacity: 6 Rounds


If you’re not going for the biggest game and you’re happy with deer and lesser creatures, then you might prefer the size, weight and reduced recoil of the .357 Magnum.


This is a solid home defense revolver if you don’t want the full weight of the .44 Magnum, and the long barrel gives it serious physical presence that you just don’t get with a Glock.


It’s a CZ at its heart, but Dan Wesson has gone to town to create a stylish, elegant revolver that is about as precise as it gets with a 6-inch barrel. It’s an SA/DA revolver, but for precision work you would want to cock the hammer and go single action only.


In the field this is a seriously powerful handgun that is more than enough for anything up to mid-sized game. It’s also a sleek revolver that you’ll never regret owning, whether you take it hunting or not.


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14. Remington 1911 R1 Hunter



  • Price: $1026.99
  • Caliber: 10mm
  • Barrel Length: 6 inch
  • Total Length: 9.5 inch
  • Weight: 2.56lb
  • Capacity: 8+1

The Remington 1911 R1 Hunter 10mm handgun is a pretty solid effort all round. It’s match-grade 6 inch barrel made from stainless steel and you also get match-grade and fully adjustable LPA sights.


The frame and slide are also pretty decent stainless steel and the whole gun gets a Flat Dark Earth cerakote finish.


At the end of the day, Remington guys will buy this gun anyway, no matter what I say, and they will rave about it on gun forums and say how much more awesome it is than a Springfield Armory. And most of the rest of you won’t.


There are better guns on this list, but the Remington 1911 R1 is still worthy of a place here.

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