On the Range: Jan. 2020

A Smith & Wesson Performance Center .44 Magnum and a Ruger GP100 in .357. Both would make excellent hunting revolvers.

By Chuck Papp, Contributing Writer

With the deer season ending, it is time to start thinking towards next season. For a true hunter it is a year round activity.

Now some of the guys I hunt with are getting a little bored with their rifles. Not that they don’t want to hunt anymore, it’s just not that challenging to take a deer at 100 or 200 yards anymore. According to almost every Fish & Game Department out there, the average distance a hunter in this country takes a deer with a rifle is 100 yards. I know there are guys who think they are snipers and can take their rifle with their scope out to a range, get a good rest and hit a steel plate at 500 yards. There are drastic differences in the range and the woods. Try making a shot past 200 yards in an elevated deer stand, wind blowing in every direction, finding a rest to take the shot that gets you a solid position, with your heart pounding and not being seen by the other deer out there looking in the stands direction. Any ethical hunter also knows their limits, and for most it is the 200 yard mark.

If you want to give yourself a challenge this upcoming season, get yourself a hunting handgun. You must get close, generally 50 yards and under. It also gets you into the woods and out of the fields which will give you a different look. Packing a handgun is easier and lighter. It gives you use of both arms because you aren’t slinging a rifle, making it safer to climb your stand. If you have a disability with one of your arms, with practice and patience you can be very successful by using one arm to hunt.

A good .357 or .44 Magnum with a 6 inch barrel can be had for around $500 to $600. For most hunters the .357 will do just fine down south. The .44 will be better though, if you should travel north for bigger game. One of the biggest advantages for the handgun hunter is you can generally practice at any indoor range. Outdoor ranges can be rare, so being able to go to your local indoor range and practice all year round is a great advantage. There are plenty of options out there. Do some research or go down to your local shop and see what is available. We have about 15 to 20 great choices for the handgun hunter to pick from. Don’t just stick with deer either, hogs or bear can also be taken with great success with your handgun.

Chuck Papp, Manager

Delray Shooting Center • (561) 265-0700