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500s&W hands down. Although a 357 is lethal, I personally wouldnt handgun hunt with anything less than a 44mag. I had a 480 Ruger and loved it, but let it go about 2years ago when I found out they were going to cut back/quit making the guns and ammo would be limited. Afterall, the 454 Casull was close in competition to the 480 and the obviously superior round was the 454. A 500 S&W with proper port work, trigger work, optics, and quality ammo is lethel out to 100-125yrds. I wouldnt shoot a 357mag over 50yrds for large game even though it might be accurate beyond that.

I vote that you should look at a 500 S&W or a 454 Casull. If you go with the 454, take a very close look at the beefy Taurus Raging Bull with an 8" barrel in stainless. It is a quality wheel gun that is very accurate, durable, and with Taurus' lifetime warrany and excellent customer service (from personal experience), it would be a firearm you can keep for the rest of your life. I don't recall if Taurus makes a Raging Bull in or revolver in 500SW. At least they didn't two years ago.

FYI, I love my friends S&W in 500SW. He had extensive port work, cylinder work, trigger work, and it was polished and brushed in a custom pattern, cost him near $1,800. We were shooting 450gr rounds out of it and the kick was no worse than a non-ported 44mag. He hunts with 375 hollow points out of it and it is his only weapon of choice in the shotgun zone firearm season. It has taken many deer.

And as far as optics are concerned, I would recommend a variable handgun scope in 1.5-4x for the 500 or 454, with the 357, you could get away with a non-adjustable scope at 1.5x
 
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