handgun and camo holster

Handgun Hunting 101: Gun and Gear Basics

If you’re looking to get started with handgun hunting, you’ll want to be sure you have the proper equipment and skills. So, let’s cover the basics and some tips that will help you lead you to positive results.

Choosing The Right Handgun And Gear For Hunting

minnesota whitetailed buck

The first step in handgun hunting might sound simplistic, but it’s true… you need to select the right gun and gear.

Here are a few factors to consider when choosing a handgun:

  1. Weight And Size

First, you ought to select a handgun that’s the appropriate size and weight for the type of hunting in which you’ll be engaging. Too heavy of a handgun can be difficult to shoot accurately, while one that’s lightweight may be more difficult to control.

If you are building your firearm or accessory, choosing the right polymer frame is important as well.

Various Polymer 80 Frames and those for other pistol types are in the market, so ensure to choose the most suitable ones for your needs..

  1. The Type Of Handgun

When choosing a hunting handgun, consider the type you want. Handguns come in many styles, such as revolvers, semi-automatics, and single-shot pistols.

  • Revolvers
loading revolver

Revolvers are reliable, but can also be somewhat difficult to shoot accurately when hunting.

Revolvers are the oldest and most reliable type of handgun. They have a cylinder that holds the ammunition and a trigger that rotates the cylinder when pulled. Generally, they’re the most reliable type of handgun, although they can be more difficult to shoot accurately.


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  • Semi-Automatic Handguns

Semi-automatic handguns are the most popular type for handgun hunting. They use a magazine to hold the ammunition and the trigger pulls the slide back to chamber a round. They’re more accurate than revolvers, but require more maintenance and can be more difficult to handle.

  • Single-Shot Pistols

Single-shot pistols are often used for small-game hunting. These guns are lightweight, easy to maneuver, and offer a range of ammunition choices. They’re the least expensive type, as well as the least powerful, but they can still be effective when used correctly.

It’s important to use the right gun for the job. Smaller caliber handguns are great for smaller game hunting, while bigger game, such as deer or elk, will require a larger caliber handgun.

  1. Grip
pistol grip

Another factor to consider in choosing the right handgun for hunting is the grip. It’s necessary to select a gun that’s comfortable to handle. It should be the correct size for your hands and the type of hunting you’re doing.

 Here are several ways you can determine the right grip size for your handgun:



  • Feel The Grip

One of the most straightforward ways to determine the right grip size for a handgun is to feel the grip. It should comfortably fit in the palm, and you should be able to wrap your fingers around it with minimal effort.

  • Measure The Hand
hand holding pistol

Measuring the hand to be sure it’s a good fit for the manufacturer’s specs is an important step in choosing the right hunting handgun for you.

And remember, no matter what type of handgun you go for, regular cleaning and maintenance are necessary to ensure its reliability and accuracy during hunting trips.



Other Equipment Necessary For Handgun Hunting

In addition to the gun, several other pieces of equipment are necessary for successful handgun hunting. These include:

  • Ammunition
handgun in bullets

Ammunition refers to the projectiles and cartridges used in firearms. It typically consists of a bullet, primer, powder, and casing.

There are different types of ammunition suitable for handguns and game animals.

For example, hollow point ammunition is a great choice for small game hunting as it’ll expand upon impact and cause less damage to the meat. On the other hand, full metal jacket ammunition is better for larger game as it’ll penetrate deeper and cause more damage.

If you are hand gun hunting for deer, some cartridge choices to consider are:

  1. 9mm Luger
  2. .327 Federal Magnum
  3. .45 Auto
  4. 10mm Auto
  5. .357 Remington Magnum
  6. .44 Remington Magnum
  7. 40 Smith & Wesson


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  • Holster

A holster is a type of accessory typically worn on a belt or any other clothing piece around the waist and is used for carrying a handgun. It’s designed to provide a quick and secure way of carrying and concealing a firearm. 

gun in holster on hip with camo shirt

A holster should be comfortable and secure, allowing easy access to the handgun when needed. It should also be compatible with the gun and the type of clothing worn.


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  • Protective Gear
protective shooting equipment

Eye and ear protection are also a must. Eye protection will help prevent debris from getting in your eyes that may kick up when firing your handgun. This particular activity can also be loud, so it’s important to protect your ears to avoid hearing damage.

  •  Jig

A jig is used to help with precision and accuracy. It ensures the handgun is held in the same position each time, allowing the shooter to make consistent shots. 

The jig typically consists of a base, an adjustable arm, and a clamp to secure the handgun. It also helps reduce muzzle rise and can be used to mount optics and other accessories.

These are the basic items you’ll need to get started with handgun hunting. But, depending on your needs, you might also require other tools, such as a rangefinder for determining the distance to your target, a scope for longer-range shooting, or a bipod for more stability.



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Tips For Successful Handgun Hunting

Here are ways you can ensure successful handgun hunting:

  • Practice Your Shooting

Handgun hunting requires a high level of accuracy, and you’ll need to shoot accurately and quickly to take down game successfully. That said, constant practice is essential to become proficient with your handgun.

man shooting handgun on range

Ensure that your are familiar with your handgun and comfortable with safely aiming and firing it before you ever go hunting with it.

Since you never know what situations may arise when hunting, you should always practice shooting from different positions, such as from a bench, a tree stand, or the ground, while considering the target’s distance, size, and wind direction.

elevate stand fixed position tree stand

Hunting from a treestand can help conceal you from your target animal’s normal line of sight.

One effective technique for handgun hunting is to use a tree stand or blind to help conceal your presence and get closer to the game. This can help you get within range for a successful shot without spooking the game.

Additionally, ensure the gun is always pointed in a safe direction and never loaded until you’re ready to shoot.



  • Adopt The Right Mindset

When hunting with a handgun, approach the hunt with the right mindset. Unlike rifle hunting, where you can take longer shots, handgun hunting requires a closer proximity to your game.

This means you’ll need to be stealthy and patient to get close enough to the game for a successful shot. And, always remember that wind direction is critical to having the best chance to harvest your target animal.

  • Know And Follow All Firearms Laws

Finally, as a hunter, it’s your responsibility to follow all applicable laws and regulations concerning the use of firearms. Make sure you understand and abide by them.



Final Thoughts on Handgun Hunting

Handgun hunting is both challenging and rewarding. It’s important to select the right gun and gear, and understand the basics of the activity before heading out.

With the right knowledge, equipment and practice, you can have a successful, unforgettable, and enjoyable handgun hunting experience.

how loud is a 22 rifle

A Boom Or A Whisper? | How Loud Is a .22 Rifle?

Shooting firearms recreationally can be an enjoyable hobby, but it can also come at a price to your hearing.

Firearm noises can be especially harmful as they have high and low frequencies that can damage your hearing, mainly when the frequencies are sustained at increased volumes.

Exposure to loud sounds over a long period may result in permanent hearing damage. This is why wearing ear protection is essential when shooting any gun type.

How Loud Is A .22 Rifle

But, let’s zero in and discuss one popular gun in particular… the .22 rifle.

The .22 rifle is often used for hunting small game and is common among recreational shooters. .22 caliber firearms produce noise levels ranging from 120 to 140 dB (decibels), meaning they’re louder than everyday conversations, which emit about 60 decibels of sound.

Is a .22 rifle louder than a shotgun?

.22 rifles aren’t as loud as shotguns. A shotgun can go up to 160 decibels, while a .22 rifle goes to around 130-140 decibels.

man shooting shotgun

A shotgun is louder than a .22 rifle, as the air blast it releases is greater when the gun is fired.



How loud is a 9mm vs. a .22?

A .22 caliber bullet is quieter than a 9mm, the most common firearm round.

While a .22 emits about 120 sound decibels, a 9mm produces up to 160 because a .22 has smaller rounds than a 9mm. As a result, the kinetic energy it possesses when fired isn’t as much, resulting in less noise.

9mm bullets

9mm rounds are louder than a .22 rifle, due to their size.

A .22 rifle is an excellent option for those looking for relatively quiet but powerful guns. It’s ideal for small game hunting and target shooting and won’t bother your neighbors as other bigger calibers might.

Although .22 rifles are quieter than other guns, it’s still vital to take measures to protect your ears when shooting one.

Using hearing protection can shield you from the high-pitched noise they produce as it may potentially damage your ears.




How far can you hear a .22?

How far you can hear a .22 varies depending on how sound travels and the environment.

Under perfect conditions, you can hear it from up to two miles away. Nevertheless, in an urban setting with many noise sources and buildings, the distance can be reduced to a few hundred yards.

A classic .22 caliber round emits sound that is comparable, in decibels, to a an ambulance siren or a rock concert.

A .17 HMR cartridge is a quieter option that produces around 100 decibels of noise.




How loud are .22 subsonic sounds?

The decibel scale measures sound intensity. And while a a .22 caliber round is considered a low-intensity round, the decibel level can vary based on the ammunition and gun types being used.

For instance, a suppressed .22 pistol could have around a 95 dB noise level, while the unsuppressed one could go up to 135 decibels.

.22 subsonic round

If you want a quieter round that won’t bother your neighbors, a .22 caliber subsonic round can be the way to go. These rounds move at speed lower than a standard round, significantly reducing noise levels.




How to Protect Your Hearing From Firearm Noise

While you may love hunting, enjoying it without hurting your hearing should be a main focus.

People who use firearms are at a greater risk of experiencing tinnitus, hearing loss, and other hearing problems.

Exposure to more than 85 decibels may result in noise-induced hearing loss. The loud sound can permanently destroy the hairs in your ears that stimulate the auditory nerve fibers.


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Other factors contributing to harmful noise levels when using a firearm may include gun modification mechanisms like muzzle breaks or discharging the firearm where sounds can echo or reverberate.

Hearing loss also impacts how you hunt, and may be tied to cardiovascular disease, depression, cognitive decline, balance issues like falling, isolation, social withdrawal, and other challenges.

Good hearing promotes situational awareness, which is crucial in the field. Hearing protection ensures that attention is present when you need it the most.

Understanding hearing protection and hearing enhancement will help you better protect your ears. Outlined below are ways to protect your hearing from firearm noise.




Use earmuffs

Earmuffs are personal protective gear meant to protect you against excess noise pollution. They’re made of sponge and thermoplastics and have a pair of cups. The cups are usually attached to a steel or plastic headband’s outer ends to fit over your ears’ top while covering them tightly.

You can wear acoustic earmuffs alone or with earplugs, reducing dangerous noise that can potentially damage your hearing.



Try earplugs

Earplugs come in various types, and this is why you should consult a professional to identify a proper hearing protection solution. Some may include:

  • Custom earplugs: They contain special filters for an accurate, even noise reduction level. You can have custom earplugs programmed to lessen sounds by the necessary amount and filter specific sound types more than others. They’re made with molds of your ear by a skilled professional, ensuring they’re a perfect fit and seal your ear better than standard earplugs. They’re comfortable and ideal for wearing for longer hours  
  • Electronic shooter earplugs: Electronic earplugs can listen to the noises around you, offer automatic protection from impact noises like gunshots, or gradually turn up a reduced protection noise reduction rating in response to background sounds slowly increasing to hazardous levels. They offer you the protection you require from one moment to another without removing or fiddling with your earplugs. Electronic earplugs can let lower decibel sounds pass while blocking harmful noises.
  • Reusable shooter earplugs: They’re an effective way to reduce sound levels, protecting from high shooting decibels. When looking for reusable shooter earplugs, note that various reusable earplugs have different noise reduction ratings. The higher the ratings, the better the noise reduction level provided it’s a good fit for your ear. Reusable shooter earplugs are durable and can be used multiple times

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Endnote

While a .22 is not as loud as many other rifles, it can still be pretty loud, impacting your hearing. So, consider using hearing protection each time you use any gun, to prevent permanent hearing loss and other impairments.

Safe and happy shooting!

why is ammo so expensive

Skyrocketing Prices! [Why is Ammo So Expensive?]

Skyrocketing prices continue to influence our lives, from the food we eat to the gas we put in our cars.

The shooting sports have been hit hard as well.

Record-breaking gun sales and global supply chain breakdowns have contributed to escalating ammo prices. 

During and post-COVID-19 pandemic, ammo quadrupled over their pre-pandemic prices.

ammo bullets

Ammo scarcity and shortages has resulted in some retailers limiting how many boxes you can purchase at a time.

Prices for firearms have not gone above the manufacturer’s list price because they are durable goods that last for years and even a lifetime.

On the other hand, ammunition is intended to be used up. The scarcity of ammunition has resulted in some retailers rationing customer’s ammo to a few boxes at a time.

You might be wondering, “Why is ammo so expensive?” Read on and find out!



Raw Materials

Several factors contribute to the rising ammo prices, including warehousing, transport, and raw materials.

Copper is an essential ingredient that is highly sought after in the global markets.

copper pipe

Copper, which is essential to ammunition production, is also needed in other industries, increasing demand and limiting available supply.

Olin, which carries the Winchester brand, says they compete with hundreds of other companies demanding the metal. Wiring, electric vehicles, semiconductors are all part of the soaring appetite for copper.

In 2020, the average closing price of copper was $2.80 per pound. At the time of this article, it has more than doubled, reaching all-time highs!



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Supply Chain

Head to any grocery store and scan the bare shelves, and you have experienced the fault in our supply chains.

The nationwide supply chain chokehold has impacted every industry. Goods and raw materials are simply not moving fast enough to alleviate the demand.


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There is a shortage of 80,000 truck drivers in the United States alone, and port backlogs are getting worse.  Manufacturers have expanded production, but customers suffer if the goods can’t move.

Intensified firearm demands, and the increase in raw components also contribute to the short ammo supply. Some local stores around the country are reporting that ammo is selling out in minutes once it reaches the shelves.

hinterland ammo online

With ammo supply getting harder to find, many have turned to online sources.

Active shooters need to find productive channels for their rifle and handgun ammo needs. Several online sources, like Hinterland Outfitters, are emerging as great places to do business, while gun shops and sports retailers love to service regular customers.



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Pandemic

The ammunition industry is highly cyclical and prone to shortages. However, gun sales spiked since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to a report from the National Shoots Sports Federation, nearly 5.4 million Americans purchased their first gun in 2021 alone In addition, 2020 was a record year for the firearm industry as a whole. 

pistol with bullets on table

With the pandemic of 2020, it was certainly a year that will not easily forgotten. It will not quickly be forgotten by the gun industry either, with nearly 5.4 million Americans purchasing their first guns.

The recent surge of gun buyers was seen as a reaction to the widespread unrest and rising crime that began in 2019.

Many saw the gun surge as an arrival of government change in Washington DC., with some conspiracy theorists claiming that the government engineered the ammo shortage, even though the shortage has crossed over two diametrically opposed administrations.




Consolidation

In some areas of the country long lines of ammo buyers are waiting in line at their sporting goods retailer for the weekly shipment of ammunition, which usually sells out in minutes. Any other day and the shelves are bare.

empty ammo shelves

Empty ammo shelves affect more than just hunters and recreational shooters. It seems that law enforcement agencies are affected as well.

From an outside view, there are boundless outlets to find ammunition. But, twists and turns of corporate greed and financial engineering forced Remington into bankruptcy, after handing over millions of dollars to a private equity firm.

Consolidations, mergers, and acquisitions have resulted in two names controlling the small arms ammunition market; Vista Outdoors and Olin Corp.


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lots of bullets

While profits are being generated from ammunition-producing companies, they are not necessarily resulting in more ammo being made.

Olin and Vista Outdoors do not necessarily reinvest profits into more plants and personnel, which yields more ammunition. Annual reports state these companies are focused on providing “long-term shareholder value.” These companies are after top-line growth, not short-term demand.



Meanwhile, ammo shortages are not only affecting hunters and competitors, but the DOD, FBI, and others. Olin contracts with the FBI, Secret Service, and Border Protection. Olin reinvented government-owned ammunition facilities in Salt Lake City with the government owning and operating 84 ammunition facilities. They are now down to 14.  



What is the Answer To Higher Ammo Prices?

Popular calibers continue to spike, such as the 22 LR, 9mm, and 5.56. When do shooters say; enough is enough, and I am not buying any more ammo? Range owners are sadly looking at their patrons and saying that it’s a buck and a half every time you pull the trigger.


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Buy in Bulk

Consider the savings; the cost of 1000 rounds of 9mm ammo will typically be about 10% less than buying in 50 round boxes.

Bite the bullet, as they say, buy bulk ammo in your favorite calibers, and store it for future use. Buying in bulk locks your cost in right now, so you save money if prices continue to rise. 

lots of bullets

Buying ammo in bulk can save you money now, and even more as prices rise.

Here are some advantages to buying rifle and handgun ammo in bulk.

  1. Negotiate; if you go through a lot of ammo, wholesalers will talk terms 
  2. Save on shipping; buying in bulk; you realize savings on items such as shipping charges
  3. Deals are everywhere; buying in bulk means wholesalers have a lot of lucrative deals to offer


Reloading

A number of shooters believe the only way to go is reloading; in some situations, this may be true.

The first argument against reloading is the significant start-up costs and ongoing expenses. However, reloading saves money if you shoot ammo that is not cheap, like the 44 magnum or 40 S&W.

30-06 casing

While reloading can save money over purchasing new ammo, it can be expensive to get started.

Reloading expenses to consider

  1. Reloading press; a good press can go as high as $1500, with an average of around $500 to $700
  2. Crimpers and dies; some presses require additional equipment
  3. Recurring supplies; gunpowder, bullets, brass cases, primers, reloading dies

Never skimp on reloading supplies unless you prefer inferior ammunition. Once you start reloading, you head to the range more often, which means more brass, gunpowder, bullets, etc. In the long run, shooters who reload can save money with no increase in shooting. It takes a few months to recoup expenses once everything is in place.



Additional ways to save money on ammo

  1. Always look for online and in-store sales
  2. Gun Shows 
  3. Big-Box retailers
  4. Storage


Final Word On Why Ammo Is So Expensive

The days of strolling into your local sports retailer to pick up a box of your favorite ammo at a discount are over, and some say it will never come back.

Shooters must start thinking outside their comfort zone to find the best deals on ammo.

If you shoot one of the premium calibers, a long-term perspective needs to be implemented. Constantly scouring the ads and online stores may now be commonplace. Some calibers like the 9mm are always in stock because of so many firearms that use the cartridge.

Changing your firearm to a readily available cartridge may be the answer if you just love the sport of shooting.

Happy shooting!