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Types of Handguns - Which One is Right Weapon for You?

Updated on June 6, 2017
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Christina Riverra is a safety adviser as well as a passionate blogger. She made thousands of articles related to safety tools & weapons.

Types of Handguns - Which One is Right for You?

When choosing a handgun first you need to consider its purpose. A handgun used for hunting will be very different from one used for personal defense. With hunting you are looking for a gun that can kill a target, whereas with personal defense you should be looking for a gun that can discourage an attacker, not kill them.

Once you have considered the handgun’s purpose you should look to its size. A larger handgun will have less recoil and therefore greater accuracy and a smaller handgun will be easier to conceal and lighter to carry.

For hunting a larger handgun will be preferable, as you will usually be making more of a considered shot, whereas for personal defense a smaller handgun will allow quicker drawing time, which is important in an emergency situation. The psychological impact of a large gun should not be overlooked though; an attacker may be discouraged simply by the sight of a big gun.

The caliber of a handgun is another important factor to consider. Larger calibers will inflict more damage per round, meaning that you will need to fire less shots to stop an assailant or prey, but smaller calibers will have less recoil, increasing the accuracy of your shots, which will also reduce the amount of shots you need to fire to stop an assailant or prey.

For hunting a larger caliber handgun will be preferable, as you will want to kill your prey and for personal defense you should choose a smaller caliber weapon as you only want to discourage, not kill, your assailant. If an attacker is particularly persistent you always have the option to fire more shots if you choose a smaller caliber.

There are two main types of handgun, revolvers and semi-automatics. Revolvers are the more reliable of the two, being the victim of jamming much less frequently. Semi-automatics are much quicker to reload or clear if there is a jam and so are most useful in prolonged gun-fights.

For the majority of situations that a civilian will encounter where a handgun is needed, such as hunting or personal defense, a revolver would be the handgun of choice. The Police and soldiers will most often use semi-automatics because of their propensity for getting into gun-fights, where quick-reloading is a necessity.

When choosing a handgun you should try always to purchase a quality product. You may wish to save money, but it will be at the expense of your safety. Cheap handguns will jam more frequently, be less accurate and in some cases can even harm the user.

When purchasing a handgun always research as much as possible before you buy and if possible get down to your local range and talk with the range-master, who will usually be more than happy to discuss your needs and give you some advice.

© 2017 Christina Riverra


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      Mahayer Westin 9 months ago

      Thanks for the details. You did a great job, Jenifer. I really appreciate it.