How To Pick A Pistol For Hunting | Advanced Tips And Tricks

Bullets and guns – these are trades of the braves. When it comes down to hunting, you need to be a person who has a bold spirit. Besides courage, hunting deserves three P’s – Practice, Persistence & Patience.

Do you know, no matter how hard you have been practising with patience or determination, you can’t make a successful attempt if you don’t have a perfect pistol. All your efforts will go in vain. 

To make these efforts flawless, a hunter has to select the ideal firearm. You need to know the process of selecting one.  For this reason, I have written this piece on how to pick a pistol for hunting.Pistol For Hunting

Pro Guide On How To Pick A Pistol For Hunting

Pistols come with various configurations. Revolvers, semi-automatics, single-shots, bolt & actions – these types are basically used for handgun hunting.

However, experienced hunters not only use single-shot and long barrel pistols or magnum revolvers but also utilize competition handguns like R1 Tomasie custom chambered. You can also check the best .40 pistol guide for better understanding.


Revolvers are incorporated in straight-walled pistol calibers. They are available as single action and double action. As for single action, the hammer needs to be manually cocked for each shot.

For double-action, this action & firing is done by pulling the trigger. Many hunters go for a single action. This one is handy while the double action is heavier. Although double-action has its benefits too. Successive shots can be done faster with double-action revolvers.

pistolIn terms of accuracy, single-shot is the most popular. However, adding a gem to the double action makes it surprisingly accurate. Many hunters use rim-fire revolvers to suit their preliminary hunting sidearm for offseason pursuits.Affirming the name, single-shot pistols offer only one round of shooting. This type is famous for generating stunning velocity. Single-shot has more flexibility in cartridges. Some of the cartridges are similar to rifles. The design of the single-shot pistols makes it perfect to add an optic. However, it will become heavier, and you will need to shoot off some sort of rest.

Bolt actions

Bolt action pistols are a miniature of bolt action rifles. They have shorter barrels attached to a pistol stock. There are also some bb guns with bolt action and Co2 power rifles and guns with this technology. 

This type of pistol offers the best accuracy. They provide a wide range of cartridges. They have quite similar advantages and disadvantages to the single-shot handguns.


Semi-automatic handguns are sometimes ignored as a hunting handgun. But an experienced hunter can make the best use of it. Semi-auto provides incomparable firepower due to its design. Semi-automatics are chambered in potential hunting rounds. Attaching optics could be tough for semi-autos.

In terms of precision, some polymer semi-automatics are somewhat difficult to handle. However, many companies solved this issue over the past decade. They are light-weight & easy to fire without the help of a rest.

Choosing Calibers

Choosing the caliber depends on the type of pistol. In addition to that, use your common sense to select the right caliber.For bolt action & single-shot pistols, keep in mind, a short barrel will possess lower velocity than the long-barreled rifles. For a dear sized game, 0.243 bullets should be taken as the minimum.

Any good rifle cartridge can be used for these types of handguns. Most of the bolt action pistols utilize 308 length cartridges. Many single shots are found in the .30-06 and.270 Winchester. You can go for other large calibers if you feel that you can handle them. Some specialized firearm makers produce powerful handguns having capabilities to hunt down the biggest animals.hunting pistolFor revolvers, 0.44 magnum could be your best choice. The old-style.41 magnum is quite a good choice too. It gives a good trajectory. A straight wall pistol cartridge should generate 500 ft-lbs of energy at its muzzle. 0.460, 0.500 Smith & Wesson. 0.454 Casull & 0.357 Magnum are also good selections for revolvers. Another aspect is – the size of the game. For example, for hunting deer or antelope, 0.357 magnum is a minimum requirement and for larger but savage games 0.44 mag would be better.

Barrel length

Firing with a short barrel is harder than the long ones due to the smaller sighting radius. They also kick harder than the long barrels. However, walking with a long barrel handgun hanging down the waist could be painful. So, choose wisely. Also, there should be enough space to put a proper thermal hunting monocular or binoculars for better vision. 

In short, if you pass most of the time sitting while searching for the game, then choose the long barrel pistols. And if you have to walk for a long time, go for a short barrel.

Getting accessories

Invest in buying a good holster for your pistol. It keeps the pistol safe and leaves your hands free. You can easily move through bushes and climb trees. Bolt action & single shots come with sling studs for making use of a sling.

For better aiming and accurate shooting, you can mount a scope on your pistol. For revolvers, 2x and 4x power scopes suits best, while for bolt actions and single shots, 2x-7x scopes or even more powerful scopes (if you can spend more) would be a better choice.

Moreover, when you mount a scope, it definitely adds more mass that also helps to manage the recoiling. Take your time to get used to it. When you become habituated using a scope, it will be a wonderful tool for your hunting. To mount the scope perfectly, good quality ‘mounts and rings’ is a must. For games like huge bores, install an extra ring to keep the scope in place.

To boil up

Picking up the perfect pistol for hunting is quite a tough decision for beginners. I suggest you go and hunt with an experienced hunter at first. Get involved with hunting circles. Learn more about guns. As a basic handbook, keep this guide on how to pick a pistol for hunting.

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