Guns Like firearms themselves, there's a wide variety of opinions on what's the best gun.

Help me choose my first pistol.

Old 12-10-2011, 09:29 AM
Fork Horn
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Join Date: Apr 2009
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Default Help me choose my first pistol.

I have been hunting for years .. shotgun... rifles.. muzzloaders.. bow.. I know my game.That said i just got around to getting my pistol permit. I am getting this for primary hunting/ tracking. I am liscenced in NY to track deer and carry a pistol for dispatch.All dogs must be on a leash while tracking. that said im thinking shoulder holster under my jacket.Deer size calibers 45.. 44..41 As far as action i am having a hard time coming up with it.Is it going to be DA,SA,Auto.I have only shot pistols 2 times in my life so i will have to learn how to shoot it .So hit me with recomendations ... I wil;l have to draw one handed and shoot too 50 yds for tracking ... Hunting probly a little farther when im comfortable . Barrel length recomendations would be a help.
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:47 PM
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For somone new to handguns i recommend a 357 with a 4to6 inch barrel. The s&w kand L frame guns are great. Id start there but wouldnt shoot game at more than 30yards. If you must have more power id get a 4to 6inch 44 either smith or ruger and shoot alot of 44specials until your use to it then step up to magnums.
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Old 12-11-2011, 03:56 AM
Giant Nontypical
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I'd second that and also say, pick up a Ruger Mark-II...This is a .22 pistol so you can learn to shoot fairly cheaply...

I've got the Mark-II, Ruger Blackhawks in both .357 and .44 mag as well as a .40 Glock...The .44 is a hand full to shoot, with the .44 Specials it's not bad but with full house loads the .357 is a ***** cat to shoot...

I've had to put down quite a few whitetails while taking guests on our farms...What I've found is if that deer is down and immoble, you can walk up and put a .22 in it's brain...So any of these calibers will work...If that deer is able to still go, you're not getting close enough to dispatch it...It's also very hard to get close enough in the dark, hold a light, see the open sights and finish it off...

All that being said, my deer hunting handgun is the .44...My deer dispatching handgun is whichever I have close at the time, they've all done the job in the past...The .357 would be a good choice and could be used for hunting with the heavier loadings...
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Old 12-11-2011, 05:10 AM
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Location: WY
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Be sure to check your state's game laws prior to carrying a handgun with the intent of "dispatching" a wounded animal, particularly those statutes which may specify a minimum caliber. And always remember that what's legal in your home state (even if it makes sense?) may not be legal on your "dream hunt" in another state.
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Old 12-11-2011, 07:20 AM
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Default Pretty lofty expectations...

For someone new to the handgun world, that's a very lofty expectation. Connecting with a deer's vitals from 50yrds, shooting one handed, unsupported, with an open sighted revolver, is an impressive feat, even for experienced handgunners, let alone while you'll be tethering dogs. The average shooter can pick up an average rifle and put up a 3" group at 100yrds with minimal or no practice. The average shooter, based on 15yrs of instructing handgun courses and competitive handgunning, CANNOT pick up the average deer hunting revolver and connect with a DEER at 50yrds, let alone a deer's vitals. Not without practice.

With that out of the way, I have to agree, the best investment a new handgunner can make is a Ruger Mark III (updated version of the Mark II). Learning how to shoot handguns accurately takes time, and rounds down range. My first handgun when I was a kid was a Ruger Super Blackhawk .44mag. All I learned from that weapon was how to flinch, and how to miss. My 2nd handgun, a year later, was a Ruger Mark II, which is without a doubt the weapon that made me the handgunner I am today. After a few months with the Mark II, I was back on track with the Super Blackhawk.

Beyond that, I would recommend a 6" barrel as a minimum. It's a hunting handgun, there's no reason it needs to be short. The extra barrel length will give you improved muzzle velocity and energy, as well as be more stable in your hand.

Personally, I'd vote for a .44mag, with the .357mag being my 2nd choice. The .45colt is great, but factory loads are downloaded very conservatively, really limiting this cartridge. The .41mag is a good option as well, but ammo availability and ammo PRICE would make me lean away from it, if it were my "one and only handgun" at least.

As for the platform, it's hard to beat Rugers when it comes to wheelguns. The Ruger Blackhawk/Super Blackhawk is a fantastic single action wheel, but the double action Ruger Redhawk/Super Redhawk gives you more options. If you want something lighter, a Ruger .357mag GP-100 is a good option as well. It's not an ideal hunting weapon since it's on the lighter side, but it IS nice as a "camp gun" or "hiking gun", and would serve very well as a dispatch piece for tracking deer.

If I were going to own ONE handgun, which saw more than just the occasional use, I would make sure it was a double action revolver, in .357mag or .44mag (again, my personal preference is the .44mag).

If I had ONE revolver, it would be a Ruger Super Redhawk .44mag.
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Old 12-11-2011, 08:42 AM
Typical Buck
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I'd also suggest getting a decent .22 LR handgun. I love my Ruger MK III, and it helped me to be better with my S&W 327 TRR8. I had better mechanics already down. I just got that revolver this fall, and am still working on my mechanics. When I first fired it I was not terribly accurate over 10 yards. I was not missing at all, but my group was not very tight like it is with my Ruger pistol.

Now I can put 8 rounds into a 1" target at 10 yards every time. My 20 yard grouping needs more work. Can I hit a deer at that range, yes, but would be a kill shot? Maybe, my group is roughly a 4-5" area around the center of my target.

Which is better than my 10 yard group was at first. Granted, I was also getting used to that long DA pull that the Ruger MK III does not have. It's quite a change to deal with at first.

Once I get more range time, and get better at 20 yards, I'll again move out to 30, 40, and to 50 yards. My ultimate goal is to be able to use the revolver for short range (50 yards or less) hunting.

I am not practicing with one handed shooting at this time either. That is a mechanic I need to work on as well.

My first pistol ever fired was a 1911. It was a good, yet awful, experience all at once. Good in that I had fun, awful in that my accuracy was bad. It never deterred me from wanting to use handguns. It just made me realize my limitations at the time, and what I had to do to get better.

The OP may want to consider getting a SA/DA revolver to learn with. That way they can start with the lighter SA trigger pull, and move up to the DA trigger pull once they are comfortable with it. That being said, I have not actually tested out the difference between SA and DA in a .22 revolver so I don't know how much of a difference there is. The difference in my S&W is very noticeable. Using it in SA mode almost makes me feel like there is no trigger pull because it is so light and short.
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Old 12-11-2011, 10:08 AM
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Taurus Tracker in .44mag, .41mag, .357mag?

quite a few options, ideally maybe at least 4" or 6" barrel.
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:01 AM
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Pistol or revolver ??

Pistol - Springfield XD(M) 5" tactical (45 ACP)

Revolver - Ruger 6" Redhawk (.357 or larger)
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Old 12-11-2011, 12:12 PM
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My #1 choice for a hunting handgun: Ruger Redhawk .44 Magnum (hunter model).

My #1 choice for an incredibly, lethally accurate, handgun: CZ 75-B, 9mm.

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Old 12-11-2011, 02:50 PM
Typical Buck
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Well, depending on where the OP lives, I'm not positive suggesting a 9mm is all that great of an idea. To me, at least where I hunt, it's too light of a load for me to go after deer with.

The .357 has far better stopping power, and I would not go with anything less than that for a hunting handgun.

I would also suggest going with a Ruger in the .44 caliber. If you can handle the kick of one, it's the clearly better round for hunting with.
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