Here’s how to choose the right gun for handgun hunting.
While there are few constraints on how big of a rifle a person can fire regardless of their physical form, there are some very real limitations on the size of a handgun someone can handle.
The simple fact of the matter is that if your hands aren’t big enough to get a proper grip on a handgun, you’re never going to shoot it very well.
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Some revolvers like the S&W 29 or Ruger Super Blackhawk have grips that are really only fit for those with catcher’s mitt-sized hands. These grips can be reduced in size, but the shooter will quickly discover that they’re now focusing more force into a smaller area and recoil becomes excessive.
If you have smaller hands, then finding a gun with enough power to take down big game can be tricky.
Fortunately, there are a lot of handguns on the market designed to fit the average person’s hand; all that remains is to find one that fires a cartridge with enough “oomph.”
In my experience, one cartridge that fits nicely here is the 10mm Auto. The 10mm has never been one of the most popular cartridges in America, but it does have two major advantages that are hard to beat: the 10mm possesses enough muzzle energy to bring down deer-sized game and it fits nicely on 1911-style frames.
The 1911, as just about everybody knows, was America’s service pistol for a very long time. The 1911’s size is derived from what was considered a good compromise to fit most shooters, and oftentimes, even folks with really small hands can fire a 1911 well.
Being an autoloader, the 1911 bleeds off a little bit of the recoil when higher-powered rounds are fired, and the weight of the gun’s all metal frame calms things down even further.
These advantages come together in a gun that is still incredibly slim and can be used by the vast majority of the shooting public.
The combination of the 10mm Auto, which can propel 180gr bullets up to 1200fps, and the 1911 platform makes for one of the slickest handgun hunting rigs to ever come along.
Making things even easier is the fact that 1911s in 10mm are currently making a bit of a comeback. Colt originally brought the 1911 and 10mm together in the form of the Delta Elite pistol, but it never really caught on.
These days, several other companies are taking a whack at selling 10mms on 1911 frames.
Kimber offers an extremely nice 10mm that will probably offer the best accuracy, Dan Wesson offers the Razorback RZ-10 which is a pleasantly understated and wonderfully reliable rig and Rock Island Armory has recently released a budget 10mm.
Although the Rock Island gun is the least expensive with an MSRP of roughly $550, most 10mms will normally run north of $1000. My advice in this regard would probably be to check out a cheaper model first, and then upgrade later if you find the 1911 and 10mm to be a good fit for you.
Regardless of the 1911 you decide to try, you’ll be amazed how much better you can shoot with a big gun that actually fits.
Featured image via gunbroker.com