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Thread: Humane dispatch pistol

  1. #1

    Humane dispatch pistol

    Strongly considering getting a pistol mostly for putting down cattle. The practice I work for has one anyway (I believe) but I was wanting to ask a few questions on here first.

    1) how do you get on with them and how often do you use one? I could get my own one so that I could use it when required but also use it for stalking. They seem to be 3-5 hundred pounds which is slightly prohibitive and as I currently only shooting a handful of deer in a year, probably not worthwhile.

    Any makes/models/calibers you would recommend?


    I'll probably send my certificate off for a variation anyway. It's just whether it's worthwhile having my own one to use as I want and how beneficial they really are for stalking anyway?


    Any experience from on here is appreciated!

  2. #2
    I think if somebody is guiding a lot of clients especially on Sika with ground that
    has dense thicket/rhodis etc then climbing in after a wounded stag it might be a nice option to have one.

    Some guys feel a use for one is justified and others will say they've managed to stalk the last 90 years without one..

    Each to their own regarding stalking but you have the added requirement for humane slaughter of cattle..

    Most fellas I know have a .32, 38/357
    Blessed be the sheeple for they shall inherit bugger all...

  3. #3
    Thanks for the reply! Pretty much sums up how I feel about having one for stalking to be honest. Suppose if I'm getting one anyway it would make sense to put deer down on the ticket. Appreciate the reply!

  4. #4
    SD Regular Mr. Gain's Avatar
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    My feeling is that what you may need for despatching livestock in a pen and what you may need for despatching a wounded wild animal in thick cover is likely to be rather different.

    Personally, for the latter, I'd want a more powerful cartridge and a semi-auto with room for more than 2 rounds in the magazine.

    PS1's example of guides who frequently need to go after sika in dense forestry/brush is spot on.

    For the rest of us, it comes down to whether the hoop of applying, expense of purchasing, and extra weight of taking a handgun along on every outing are worth the benefit of having such a tool to hand on the infrequent occasions when things go properly pear-shaped.

    Even small deer can present a danger on recovery. Not long ago I had to work my way into a steep-sided gully filed with dead-fall, holly and brambles to retrieve a muntjac. It was dead, but I remember thinking as I wriggled my way in (a) that muntjac tusks are not to be trifled with and (b) that my rifle would have been no use at all as a mean of delivering a coup de grâce in such a tight spot. As such, I'd have been glad of a pistol... that as things turned out I didn't need.

    That said, I've carried a couple of fire extinguishers in every car I've owned for the last 35 years without ever having to discharge one but have no plans to do without them.
    "Docendo discimus" - Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC – 65 AD)
    “Comodidad, tranquilidad y buena alimentacion” - A Spanish recipe for contentment that oddly omits hunting.
    "I'm off to spend some time at the top of the food chain..." - (after) Tulloch
    "Oh [dear], they probably heard that in the village!" - RickoShay

  5. #5
    As an easier to purchase alternative, buy a folding .410, easy enough to carry in roe sack, cheaper to buy, cheaper to feed, no need for special condition on ticket, safer distance from anything pointy, and if you chop the stock within legal requirement quite compact (although not as compact as a pistol)

  6. #6
    I know from previous conversations that my opinions differ regarding the suitability of 32 calibre pistols for humane dispatch. I think that the 32 is marginal for cattle, especially in a single shot Cash with generously oversized bore that I had the misfortune to have to use. If I were looking for a pistol for HD I would look at a 38/357 that readily allows the use of softish 38 loads for up contact distances and snotty 357 jacketed hollow points where shots are taken from a few yards away. Don't forget this remains a game of precision and not a game of spray and pray

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Akeld View Post
    As an easier to purchase alternative, buy a folding .410, easy enough to carry in roe sack, cheaper to buy, cheaper to feed, no need for special condition on ticket, safer distance from anything pointy, and if you chop the stock within legal requirement quite compact (although not as compact as a pistol)

    +1
    Perfect HD tool excepting Horses.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by srvet View Post
    I know from previous conversations that my opinions differ regarding the suitability of 32 calibre pistols for humane dispatch. I think that the 32 is marginal for cattle, especially in a single shot Cash with generously oversized bore that I had the misfortune to have to use. If I were looking for a pistol for HD I would look at a 38/357 that readily allows the use of softish 38 loads for up contact distances and snotty 357 jacketed hollow points where shots are taken from a few yards away. Don't forget this remains a game of precision and not a game of spray and pray
    Agree with your points except that a .410 'expands' better and the .357 you have to be totally accurate which takes a lot of practice....

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by srvet View Post
    I know from previous conversations that my opinions differ regarding the suitability of 32 calibre pistols for humane dispatch. I think that the 32 is marginal for cattle, especially in a single shot Cash with generously oversized bore that I had the misfortune to have to use.
    I would politely disagree with you there. We have 2 in .32 calibre and I have put the biggest bulls down many times. Never felt under gunned.

    I once had a farce with some crappy ammo and a sheep (3 shots at point blank - first two sheep sat there looking at me). The proper loads from Kynoch in Suffolk kill exceptionally well.

    We also have a .410 pistol that is a useful tool.

    The .32 looks like:


    Section 161 of the Highways Act 1980 (England & Wales) makes it an offence to discharge a firearm within 50 ft of the centre of a highway with vehicular rights without lawful authority or excuse, if as a result a user of the highway is injured, interrupted or endangered.

  10. #10
    Addendum to note that free bullet is my method of choice for both cattle and horses. I have a captive bolt under the seat in my car and that gets a bit more use as it lives in the car.

    Absolutely worth having as a vet. Very much doubt you need it stalking. Far from my first choice when it comes to RTA deer.

    Section 161 of the Highways Act 1980 (England & Wales) makes it an offence to discharge a firearm within 50 ft of the centre of a highway with vehicular rights without lawful authority or excuse, if as a result a user of the highway is injured, interrupted or endangered.

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