Hawk Incorporated The World's Premier Custom Bullet Manufacturer

Hunting With Handguns

Game Laws vary from state to state but the variation in rules governing handgun hunting can create a ballistic challenge. More States are permitting the use of straight walled cartridges of .375 of larger for use while handgun hunting.

The frustrated handgun hunters that have come to us were dealing with one of the following problems.

-Inadequate cartridge power for hunting conditions and game being pursued.

-Poor accuracy at true hunting distances.

-Bullets that fail to create sufficient wound channels, and don’t expend their energy in game.

-Bullets that lack the integrity to hold together, shattering and splintering at close range with hot loads.

One of our clients is a butcher that lives in an area that experienced a boom in development throughout the 80’s and 90’s. This led to a ban of the use of rifles during their firearm season. Hunters now must choose between a shotgun or a handgun. As a butcher, he saw first hand how poorly equipped most handgun hunters were. Accomplished hunters were forced into a learning curve and making a lot of mistakes along the way. A number of the deer he butchered had been previously shot by handgun hunters that failed to put down their game. He found bullets that either lacked the velocity to penetrate and expand or simply wouldn’t on deer sized animals. One of his customers brought in several deer with large wound channels and exit holes. Impressed, he asked what caliber he was shooting. The reply was that it wasn’t necessarily the caliber as long as the cartridge was adequate, but if your bullet won’t perform you still can run into trouble. It’s how well the bullet expends its energy within the game and to do that use a Hawk Precision bullet. A call to us and our butcher friend soon had a load worked up that was accurate, had sufficient energy, and would expend its energy in the animal leaving large exit wounds. He and his son were successful, taking two deer both with one shot. He found that an adequate cartridge with the Hawk Precision bullets not only mortally wounded the deer but put the deer in shock. Neither went very far and the wound channels bled freely insuring recovery.

Among the bullets we’ve tested, most handgun bullets fall into two categories:

chest cavity bullet failing to expand1.) Failing to expand or retain an increased frontal area. At handgun velocities you’ve got but so much potential energy to deliver, but unrealized if the bullet passes through with little or no enlargement. You may have hit the game perfectly, but still have to follow a sparse blood trail a considerable distance before locating the downed game. The bullet expends too little energy in the game, failing to damage organs and tissue outside of the cutting path, and delivers little or no shock to the animal.
chest cavity bullet not holding together coming apart2.) Lacking the integrity to hold together and just fly apart especially at close range. Fortunately some critical organs lie just inches below the surface. A properly placed shot will stop game with this bullet, but under dense hunting conditions, brush can fragment and change the bullets path prior to reaching game.
chest cavity mushrooming bulletThis illustrates the Hawk Precision bullet. Its "soft" jacket expands, stretches back, and the pure lead core flows with it forming a perfect mushroom, expanding in diameter, sending hydro-shock well beyond the cutting path, damaging 5 or more times as much tissue with internal hemorrhaging. High weight retention insures a through and through shot, leaving large exit holes that bleed freely.

The Hawk .025 jackets will work fine at handgun velocities, even on lighter game and/or longer shots, especially if it is a hollow point bullet, as they give the best terminal performance. In the past, hunters of the largest game, have ordered custom bullets using the .035 jackets in flat points, mainly to insure deep penetration and handle heavy bone. This demand has steadily increased so we have made the .035 jackets available in most calibers as a stock item. Our customers report excellent results on a variety of big game from moose to brown bear.

To see what we offer for handgun hunting, visit our Handgun Bullet Selection page.

849 Hawks Bridge Road
Salem, NJ 08079 USA

Tel: (856) 299-2800
Fax: (856) 299-2700

Email: info@hawkbullets.com