I like Burris and especially Leupold 4x on my handguns. Some people think 4x is too much power for hunting, but I use them for deer and at the range with no problem. Some like the 2x and I've used the 2x Leupolds in the past, but I don't think they have enough magnification especially for hunting. I would check out evilbay for used. You can pick one up there fairly reasonable and both Burris and Leupold have lifetime warrentees.
I tried a bunch of them and the ones I liked the most was Nikon and Weaver. Both had very long eye relief (more than Burris or Leupy) and the eye box was not as critical as most. I like a 2x for a handgun.
I had a Buchnell Sportsman in a 2-6x32. It was a good scope. I think they are going for a little under $200 right now.
I like the higher magnification to sight in, and the 2x was perfect for hunting. I didn't carry it any higher than that because it was all but impossible to get anything in the scope. Moving shots are difficult at best with a handgun with a scope IMO.
IMHO, Been hunting for deer with handguns for over 20 years. Just handguns, no rifles. I have used all types of handgun scopes. In my opinion, a Leupold 2X is not enough power. It is only 1.3 or so power. I would go with at least a 4X. I have a Freedom Arms 44 mag and it is mounted with a 2 1/2 X 8 Leupold handgun scope and it works very well. Doc in Pa.
well its a hard call thers basicly 3 choices you can go...
straight power, vai powered, & Red dot
best thing i can say is go to some were that sells them if your around pgh gander is prob your fast choice...
ask for all 4 a 2x,4x, and a vai and a red dot....
keep them at arms length and move with them see what you can keep your eyes on target with...
i have a lot of different handguns i hunt with from revolvers to single shot cannons... i first started with a 44 mag it was toped with a 4x leupold it was nice but i found it a little too much power and hard to keep on a target when it was moving... so i swaped it out with the best value for the money on the market bushnell trophy pistol scope about 150 ish an its a 2-7 power.. had it on 2x for the most the time but it was semi big for my ruger super black hawk then i put it on some thing else and tryed the red dot thats were i found the best set up for pa hunting with the brush and no shots longer then 75 - 100 yards...
so now after 5+ years it still sports that red dot it has a 4 min dot ie it takes up 4 inches at 100 so its a deers heart at 100 yards..
if i was doing it again i would look in too the bushnell red dot its about 120 give or take but it can go red or green and all so has 4 retical changes on the side you can have a dot circle with a dot cross hair and circle with a circle i beleave
i think for a start that is your best bet
the bigest thing i would change if you did get the red dot spend a few extra dollars and get a good set of rings
all so get two extra batteries with it and mark them use the same one all the time when your at the range but when hunting put a new one in and keep the other two on you i put mine in a old plastic baggie and kept them in my lic holder
I had 2 scoped handguns. The first was a S&W 629 with a 1 1/2 to 4 power Burris.
And I put a Bushnell Holosight on my Taurus .454. I can honestly say that although I really liked the Burris, That Holosight is the ticket.