View Full Version : Hunting sidearm?

January 15, 2001, 09:48 AM
Since I can remember, I've never taken a pistol with me to hunt. I've always dropped the animals with good shot placement, thus no need for one. This time I started to think while sitting in a tree that a decent rimfire pistol or revolver might be useful for other purposes though. I've yet to sit on a stand when I didn't see upwards to a dozen squirells, and I started to think that maybe I could just go ahead and leave the stand with one or more if I had a rimfire pistol (30-06 seems to be too much gun for the common gray squirell!). For next year, I plan on purchasing a pistol for this purpose, and so I was wondering if anyone had opinions on a decent inexpensive, new or used pistol/revolver for hunting? My list so far includes:

Ruger MKI
Ruger MKII
Ruger 22/45 (all the rugers with the bull barrel)
Browning buck mark?

Any other suggestions?

January 15, 2001, 10:02 AM
Yup, I always see and take lots of small game when deer hunting. And like you I think 30-'06 is a bit much, and noisy too. My constant companion to my 30-'06 is a 10" bbl Ruger MkII. I choose the 10" version because it is much quieter than the 5" - 6" versions (to me anyway). Accuracy is no better as they all shoot better than I do. I think any of the pistols you listed would serve you well. One type you may also want to consider is a long barreled revolver like a Ruger single six. You can shoot low velocity shorts and dispatch small game at short range (head shots only with these) with very little racket.

January 15, 2001, 10:37 AM
I'd quit carrying a handgun while hunting long ago - didn't see the point re the extra weight.

Year or two back we picked up the S&W (I know - that was before) 317. At 11oz, 8-shot, I never go without it now.

Nice thing (as mentioned) about revolvers, you can stick in a couple CB caps (really quiet) for those close-in head shots & still have a few LRs ready to go for either bigger game or a further shot.

Something even lighter is make up a few (if you reload) gallery loads for your rifle. Coupla grains of Bullseye & a suitable caliber round ball stuck in the case neck & you have an adequate short-range quiet round for small game. 'Course, it'll shoot to a different point of aim than your standard loading. Practise a bit to know the diff & you'll be all set.

January 15, 2001, 03:10 PM
I used to carry a ruger 5.5 inch bull barrelled mk2 for a long time as a small game/signaling device, then I remembered I was in the woods to elk hunt.

I generally always have a pistol with me in the woods and every handgun I have has made the trip hunting at least once, from 22's to 44's. Sure they add weight, but i'm used to it.

My fave load for the ruger is federal 38 grain copper washed hollowpoints in 22lr. Nice small game bullet.

January 15, 2001, 03:54 PM
Our family has 1 ruger MKI, 6 ruger MKII's, and 1 ruger 22/44.

I myself have 2 MKII's, one is the anniversery issue, which I will never shoot, the other is my constant partner while out in the woods. Usualy I don't pop small game with it, such as squirrels, while on the hunt, but mostly grouse/ptarmigan, etc. The ruger MKII will last foreever. It shoots good, has good balance, and I've never had a problem with mine(bought it when I was 12)....(but I'm only 18 now:D).
My belt holds probably 50 .22 bullets of different variety. I have some CCI stingers, some mini-mags, some hollow points, some shot shells(shot shells in .22's suck, by the way.) and a few CB caps. Mostly I use the caps while hunting bigger game. They sound like a twig breaking, and I've dispatched rabbits from 15 yards or so with them.

January 15, 2001, 11:39 PM
All great replies but all lacking definate direction. I was hoping that someone could point out a major flaw in any of the small .22's, but now it seems as if they are all wonderful little guns. I guess I'll make my decision on politics, and that being the case, I will go with Browning over Ruger. I do love the Rugers, but I also think the Brownings are pretty neat too. Maybe I'll just get both and give the one I don't like to my son when he's old enough. For sure I want the 5" bull bbl, and some decent sights, but aside from all that, I guess that I come out a winner either way.

I usually have a S&W (pre ugliness days model) M19 that I usually have along in my day pack with .38 shot-shells, but a .22 seems more practical. If I could have shot half the squirells I saw the past month, I would have probably added an extra 40lbs of meat to my freezer. I have an advantage in that my grandmother who was raised in a large family during the depression is still alive. I kill 'em, clean em, and rinse 'em, and give them to her. I swear she could make a skunk taste awsome! She said during the depression that they ate almost anything they could scrounge up.(op)Possum, Coons, Squirells, Rabbits, Turkeys, deer, hogs, and just about everything else to include horse, mule, and ass. Many of you may have relatives who had similar experiences, and can really make wild game taste better than filet mignon. I digress.

I'll be more prepared next season to kill all sorts of opportunity's.

Thanks for the advice.

January 16, 2001, 02:22 AM
Yep, the depression was bad times. My grandparents told me about hunting back then. Red-tailed hawk was on the menu a few times. When they couldn't buy bullets they used to hunt cottaintails and jackrabbits with barbed wire. They chased them down a hole, and threaded the wire down it, then twisted it around and around until it became tangled. One would pull it out and the other would club the bunny as it came out.
For more info about the depression, ask Art, I think he was about middle-age then, and probably remembers it well:D:D:D

January 16, 2001, 08:00 PM
We have a few grouse in our area and I sometimes pack a D-Max .410 revolver.(Now sold by Magnum Research as a BFR) Works great on grouse or snakes.

January 21, 2001, 12:51 AM
Browning Buckmark Camper is one of the most accurrate pistols right out of the box. It has a bull barrel.

Dave R
January 21, 2001, 01:01 AM
On a recent trip to the range, the guy next to me was shooting a Browning Buckmark Camper he had purchased the day before. He was making teeny little groups with it.

January 21, 2001, 02:33 AM
Speedy: Do you know if D-Max has a web site? That revolver .410 sounds like some kind of a gun!!

Art Eatman
January 21, 2001, 12:41 PM
I've always been partial to carrying a .22 pistol along with me during deer hunts--for the "coup de grace", if nothing else. In most western Texas hunting, though, there is not much pistol-sized game of the sorts mentioned above.

I was born in 1934; most of my memories have to do with not much cash. My grandfather bought .22 shorts because they were cheaper. Saving and scrimping and not-wasting stuff. Folks today don't have a clue about "re-cycling". On a Saturday afternoon, for instance, my grandfather would spend an hour hammering bent nails out straight so he could then add to a barn, or build another feed trough. New lumber? What's that?

Then WW II came along; with rationing, lots of stuff was still in short supply. During the Depression, you couldn't afford "stuff"; during the War, it wasn't available.

But nobody gave a hoot about a kid on a bicycle with his .22 rifle. I remember riding a city bus, taking the barrelled action of my 1917 Enfield to a gunsmith for some work. The bus driver's only comment was, "Do you mind taking the bolt out?" A lady passenger asked what kind of rifle was it, and was interested that I was already handloading.


January 21, 2001, 07:46 PM
Wouldnt the noise of a .22 scare the deer away i know they dont make much noise but, still

January 21, 2001, 10:23 PM
It is possible that a .22 would scare any big game away, but so often I just sit there and just know that I'll never see anything so I might as well have something else to do to keep the mornings from being completely wasted. I don't want to carry a .22 rifle and a large caliber rifle when I go hunting so I figured if I could find an accurate little pistol like a Browning Buckmark it might fit that situation well. Sometimes I am surprised at what won't scare away deer. I've seen more deer while working a chainsaw than I ever have on the deerstand. I've also had stellar success at killing deer when I'm just out enjoying a walk and a smoke (I quit the smoking). It seems those little "sneaky" noises worry them more than the loud, obnoxious ones. Of course, I'm not out to set any B&C records, just fill my freezer with all the free or dirt-cheap meat I can.

Art Eatman
January 22, 2001, 12:01 AM
Some wildlife biologists believe that "casual" spooking of a deer affects him for some twenty minutes or so. After that, he resumes normal activity. Bad Medicine's idea of the CB cap is good. If the deer doesn't see you moving around, he won't associate that little sound with dangerous humans.

Even with a Long Rifle, if you don't jump up and run to the squirrel/rabbit/bird, the woods will settle down fairly quickly. Wait until you see small-game movement resume and very slowly and quietly retrieve your kill...


Hard Ball
January 22, 2001, 12:39 PM
I like a Smith&Wessn Kit Gun .22lr revolver. Small, neat, compact and reliable.