Picking The Right Pistol by Shane Hurkmans
There are many different handguns on the market. Picking the right one for you takes a little forethought and consideration. First ask yourself what will the main role of the handgun will be, home defense or hunting. If hunting is the answer then you must consider what type of game you will be hunting.
In a home defense situation that weapon will be stored in a place so that it can be obtained if the situation of self-defense comes into play. Storage should also be a consideration. Ok fine, everyone knows that, so what do you get for caliber and what is the right gun for this. Most people that I talk to have a 45 ACP or some other big caliber like that. I also have a gun that is in a big caliber for home defense. To be fair, I did do some calling around and talked to a few people that knew more about it than I did. What I found out was, that big is not necessarily what you want for home defense. Smaller calibers such as the 9mm and 38 special are more suited for indoor protection. It also may be said that the 40 cal. Smith and Wesson, or a shotgun, have their place in home defense.
The reasons for the smaller calibers strictly deal with penetration, first and foremost. You do not want a bullet to go very far in the home because of other people and loved ones in the home. If kids are in their rooms at night you do not want to have a bullet going through the wall. As for shotguns, people might think you need to use double 00 buck for defense but for inside work it is too big. Consider the size of the average interior room, light loads such as 7-½ or 8’s will protect you very efficiently. There are even safer rounds for a shotgun as well. You can get beanbags, pepper balls, and rubber projectiles that can be used to stop someone that has unlawfully entered your home without penetrating through the walls. In most cases, if an intruder just hears the universal language of a pump action shotgun being racked, it means get out and get out now.
The other reason for the small calibers and loads is other people in the home can use them without a lot of training. What weapon fits your needs? Semi autos are on the top of my list for ease of use by everyone in the home plus most auto loading pistols have large capacity magazines. Then I would pick the shotgun, it has many uses. Last but not least are the revolvers. A revolvers one drawback is that you only get six rounds.
When you go to look at pistols, look at a lot of different ones and find something in your price range that is going to fit your needs and take the time and learn how to use it. Be sure to read your state and county laws before buying a handgun of any type. Have a place you’re going to store it and make sure the little ones cannot get at it. There are small safes you can buy to keep your guns in.
Now on to the hunting pistols, what are we looking for here and does it have the power for bringing down the game you’re after? If small game is what you like then the 17’s and the 22 calibers are just what you’re looking for. It is a lot of fun and very challenging trying to hit an old brushy tail with a pistol and you can pay for your ammo while you do it if you can find places that buy the tails.
If bigger game is the ticket then we have to look at bigger guns. For whitetails, I would start with the 45 ACP and up, with 357s, 44mags, and 480 Rugers being my favorite calibers. We can’t forget the big single shot pistols either. The TC is a great why to have a few guns in one frame. Myself, I find hunting with a revolver great fun and carry one with me most of the time. I have taken game with semi autos, single shots, and a few bolts.
All these guns have their place so pick the pistol out that fits your taste. Shop around and do research on the types of guns others are using for hunting the game you are after. You can get revolvers in big calibers such as 454 Cassul up to the big dogs on the block like the 500 Smith and Wesson and 45-70 Government. If you’re into having something special, there are a few pistol smiths that will make you what you want.
For the varmint hunters there are pistols just for you like the Raging Bull in 22 hornet plus there are other small centerfires out there just for you. I myself have carried a XP 100 in 22-250 for shooting chucks and prairie dogs a few times. It’s a blast to try to hit them with a handgun. You can have a lot of fun shooting but remember to always keep safety first.
Next time you step out into the great outdoors take a child with you and show them the wonders of nature.
Remember to keep it fun, keep it safe.