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What was the first handgun that you used to take an animal with? Whether it be a varmint, or a game animal.

Mine was my grandfather's Colt Woodsman .22 lr. I shot a beaver with it when I was just 19 (before they changed the handgun laws and now you have to be 21 to get a pistol permit) at about 20 yards away.

 

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I never used a handgun to take game yet, but that might change in the near futher. I did take various small game with a pellet pistol thought.
 

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My favorite hunting which I haven't been able to do in many years was shooting brown rats at the dumps. My first pistol was a Ruger Standard and accounted for a lot of rats. I then tried the same gun on grey squirells and shot a few but my mother did not like cooking them even when I cleaned them. I shot a woodchuck with Ruger and one shot killed it dead. A month or so later I saw another running and I had my Colt .357 and that one took 3 357 mag rounds before he gave up. Does that mean that .22 LRs are 3 times as effective as .357 Magnums?? njgapjgj I haven't shot any other small game in quite a while. ' klmgzdo;
 

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This for me is a great subject, with a lot of sentiment.
I am almost 50 now, but when I was 17 I got a Ruger Standard auto, short barrel version, in partial payment for helping my brother build his first house. A couple of years later I went to hell, medically. I ended up getting 4 surgeries in just over 1 year's time, and it took 5 years to recover afterward. over those first few years I spent a lot of time with that pistol, shooting almost daily with it, and I got to be a darn good shot (how often I wish I could still shoot like that). I hunted all sorts of small game, some for the pot and some varmints. A lot of varmints actually, including rats at the dump. In the fall I shot grouse with it, not flying of course, but I'd shoot for the head-miss and they'd usually get away clean, but if I shot just a little low in to the neck, the shot would almost always drop them as quick as a head shot would. And no I never felt unsportsmanlike, as shooting a quarter sized object at 40 or 50 feet isn't easy to do, especially when it is animate.
At this time I was reading everything I could get by Bob Milek, and learned most of what I know from his typewriter. Handgun hunting was a huge part of his life, and I found the idea very interesting and quite a challenge. back then, nobody else I knew hunted with a handgun, and the guys I hunted with used to think I was some kind of trick shot, even though nothing like that was the truth.
During the winter I'd strap on the snow shoes after a fresh overnight snow fall, and literally walk out the door and in to the woods, looking for fresh rabbit tracks. When I would find them I would then try and track the bunny down, to get close enough for a head shot. Often times I'd be so hungry by the time I killed it, I'd skin it up on the spot and roast it on a stick over a fire, right there in the forest. I'd pack something to drink, and a little seasoning for the rabbit. I'd also pack a couple of sandwiches, and on plenty of hunts I ate them instead. Success or failure, I had a ton of fun and always found my way home eventually, although on some days I was out there way after dark.
In my mid 20s I shot a few deer with a 44 magnum, and 1 or 2 more in my early 30s. None of them were long range shots, here in NH the average forest shot is at 50 feet or less. probably 70 feet is my longest handgun shot on a deer. I carry a revolver quite often during deer season, and it is only a matter of time before I take another with this cartridge. I just bought a used TC Contender in 357 maximum, and I plan on having this ready for the fall deer season here. It came with a scope, but it is a Bushnell, a brand I am not confident can hold a zero well. I will put it through its first paces soon enough and see what I need to do.
I can't see open sights like I once could, same situation as all of us here are in. They don't make glasses that work like an eyeball that has 20/20 vision, so though at one time I eschewed handgun scopes, I am finding that the idea of a scope is becoming more and more attractive to my mind.
 

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Mule deer in Idaho, New Mexico and Texas. Coastal White tail in California. Same gun, different environments. A Smith & Wesson Model of 1950 .44 Special. 240 gr. LSW cast from Lyman #2 over 7.5 grains of Unique. I've shot other animals with different guns and calibers over the years, but the first was a Mulie in the hills behind the house I lived in while growing up in Idaho. A spike buck at 50 long paces. Tasted pretty good.

In Vietnam, I used to shoot rats out at the dump past the 155 howitzers with a 1911A1. Me and my platoon sergeant had a running bet on who could shoot the most rats. Sometimes I won, sometimes I lost.

Lately, I shoot at rabbits with a handgun. A Colt Woodsman or a S&W K-22. Sometimes I hit 'em, most of the time I don't. I don't care if I do or not. Daisy the Chihuahua does, though. She likes rabbit for dinner.
 

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I shot a wild hog with a Ruger 44 mag Bisley for my first handgun hunt. Always enjoyed shooting my pistols more than my rifles, and got pretty good with them. Last huntong season, killed a big whitetail doe with a M-29 and Speer 270 grain Gold Dots. One shot at 25 yards, and she dropped in her tracks, literally. Best shot I made on game with the short gun. This year, it's a Bisley in 45 Colt that will accompany me to the Upper Peninsula of MIchigan for deer season. And a M-17 for the snowshoe hares that run the property we hunt on.
 

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H&R Model 923, a 2 3/4" 9-shot 22. At the age of 9, my father took me hunting for the first time and let me carry his revolver. He had let me shoot it for the first time when I was 4. So, I had 5 years experience with it. My first "game" was a turtle. In the following years, I shot all sorts of small game with that little .22 lr. I've handgun hunted all my life, basically. Even when a shotgun or rifle was the primary weapon, there was always a handgun along for the ride.

For years, my hunting "rifle" was my 8 3/8" nickle Model 29-3. It wears a Nikon 2.5-5x and will still shoot 1 1/4" groups at 100 from the bench.
 

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A pre-model 17, K-22 Masterpiece. My buddy and I were usually in the woods every weekend with our 22's strapped on
and a great deal of plinking and improptu shooting matches were enjoyed. We carried our 22's when hunting small game for pot meat, feeling it was better to use one 40 grain bullet rather than a multitude of #6 pellets on edible game when a chance shot was offered us. . .Biting down of a piece of missed #6 shot in the game we were eating was a painful reminder of the better choice of a 22, not to mention the fun of connecting with a handgun. . .I can't remember which animal I took first, might have been a groundhog. But I did shoot a couple of ringneck pheasents, sitting of course and a multitude of small game animals. I have seen groundhogs take several 357's and keep going, hardy little rascals and have seen them dropped in their tracks with a double tap with a 22. I popped a weasel with the K-22, he went up a sappling and ran out on a branch at me with bared teeth, gutsy critter, sorry I shot him afterwards, but the weasel who killed all my uncles hens wasn't remorseful, so I got over it. . .Hank
 

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My first handgun hunting/shooting was with my Dad when I was about 7 or 8. He had a beautiful K22 6" that we used to hunt moles with in the backyard. We'd stand near a dirt hump, for what seemed hours, and wait for it to move and "Bang"! Got another one!

Then later in my life I started Whitetail hunting with my 686 then moved to the 629 Classic Hunter 44 mag and got a real nice 8 point at 90 yards with it. I use Rem 240 gn Soft Points for deer hunting.

I love to hunt with that gun.

Dave
 

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Before I leave this post, I recall a shot that changed the weaponry I carried. My friend had just acquired a Ruger Black Hawk with a 4 and five eighths inch barrel, this was in the late 50's. He was carrying it on a small game hunting foray we had made to our favorite hunting spot. . .Well the short of it is he shot a ring-neck phesant with it. I remember the two of us crawling on our bellies through a corn field using stacked corn stalks for cover to get in handgun range. With the shot the bird dropped like it was hit with the hammer of Thor, no flopping of wings or kicking of the legs, just instant dead. . .The 357 was kinda new to us and was considered a real powerhouse even though the 44 mags were starting to show up on dealers shelves, so I thought the velocity of the 357 might have turned much of the bird into mush.
Not so - when cleaning the bird that evening we found a 36 caliber hole in and a 36 caliber hole out. The 158 grain Winchester Lubeloy bullet whistled right through the light skinned bird without any expansion, but had done a masterful job of dropping our quarry. I now wanted a S&W 357 Magnum.

To further whett my appetite for a Smith 357, when we ate the bird I could eat right up to the 36 caliber hole without munching on a piece of #6 shot. Visions of duplicating my friend's shot gave me a case of the gottahaves - I just wished I coulda hung on to my 4-screw N-frame. And yes, I did duplicate my friend's shot with the Smith. We took our share of birds on the wing, me with my model 12 Winchester and my pal with his humpback Remington, but handgunning these good eating game birds, although rare, added to the hunting experience.
 

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S&W XVR in 460. Last year I was bow hunting and somehow managed to loose my balance and shatter both bones in my right wrist. So I decided if I wanted to go deer hunting I better start practicing left handed.
I ended up shooting a young buck at 110 yards off hand with a cast on the other arm.
 

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I started handgun-hunting late in life,28 years old. First handgun that was mine was a 6-inch M28-2. First animal I killed was a big, fat Groundhog. about 30 yards,used a 125gr, Fed.SJHP. Red fog! He was standing up in front of his hole and I was laying in ambush. Caught him square in the chest between the shoulders. Kinda gory.

I went on to kill 12 Whitetails with that gun, 10 bucks and two does. The first ten with Rem. 158gr.JHPs, the scalloped ones., Last two with 160 gr.hardcast SWCs and 14.8 gr.2400. Longest shot, just shy of 130 yards (SWC load), shortest, about four feet! Fell asleep against a tree, woke up feeling something nudge my right knee. opened my eyes and it was a Doe, grazing right by my knee. I'm a southpaw so, I just raised the gun and Brained her. Wierdest thing that ever happened to me hunting.
 
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