HUNTINGsmart! USA Knowledge Base

Module 05 - HANDGUNS 101


Illustration of a man in a one handed handgun stance at a shooting range.

Although much more popular as a self-defense weapon and much more accurate when used at close range, some highly skilled shooters enjoy the challenge of hunting with a handgun. The shorter barrel makes accurate shot placement more difficult.

So, when will you be ready for the challenge? When you can consistently hit a target the size of a paper plate from a distance of 40 yards (this is slightly less than half a football field). Until you master this skill test, you won’t be able to fire an ethical shot at a game animal using a handgun. You’ll be more likely to only injure the animal—if you can even get the bullet that close. So, if you aren’t hitting that paper plate, you have no place hunting with a handgun. 

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