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  • Pistol hunting

    Hello, I was wondering if and what anyone uses for pistols for small game. I just bought a Browning Buckmark 4" bbl specifically for birds and rabbits; took it out and was shooting 4" groups at 50 feet open sights with the first 100 rounds, so it definetely has potential. I am debating whether to mount a scope or not, I think I will see how accurate I can get with open sights with a little more practice, as it would be nice not to have to plop down more money for a decent pistol scope.

  • #2
    I just bought that same pistol last week brand new and I took it with me last weekend when I was out looking for bears. I noticed mine was shooting a little high when I was firing at a grouse, but I got it dialed in and it shoots great. I strictly shoot CCI Velocitor ammo and my pistol seems to like it. Where did you get yours at? Is has the bull/target barrel, right?

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    • #3
      Got mine at Gunrunners, slightly used, and yes it has a bull barrel. At first try I found it picky with ammo, and had many failure to eject jams. After a very thorough cleaning I found it likes the Remington hyper velocity (yellowjackets I think) and the high velocity hollow points that come in a 550 brick for $10 at wallyworld, and CCI mini-mags and stingers. I have read to avoid lead bullets and stick with copper plated. I also read that the gun works best when drenched in oil, so I have been lubing it to excess and it has functioned flawlessly.

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      • #4
        I have a Browning Nomad I picked up last year. One of the things I've learned about rimfire pistols is they tend to be picky about ammo.

        I spent a lot of time trying to find something that would group consistently from my considerable supply of bulk .22 lr. I then bought a box of several brands and types and tested them.

        I found that my pistol likes subsonics. The CCI subsonic 40 gr HPs did the best and I can shoot a 25 yrd 5 shot group that touches. The other load that did okay was the CCI SGB. Both suit my purposes just fine.

        I gave it a good barrel cleaning and shot about 25 rounds to settle it in again and shoot nothing else through it.

        One of my buds bought a Browning Buckmark Camper a couple months ago and we're still trying to figure out what it shoots best.
        Now what ?

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        • #5
          Spruce hens and hares

          Spruce hens and hares are a good place to start. Hens don't fly very far and usually sit for a couple of shots. The old standard ammunition with solid bullets may be best for hens as less distructive. Hollow points are probably best for hares. I use a Colt Woodsman Target Match with a 6" barrel. May have to change to my AMT with a scope as the trifocals just do not align with the Woodsman sights anymore.

          Patriot Life Member NRA
          Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
          Life Member Disabled American Veterans


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          • #6
            I have hunted small game with handguns for almost 40 years- everything from cottontails, jackrabbits and squirrels in the lower 48 to snowshoes, grouse and ptarmigan up here. Also did a whole lot of big game hunting with handguns.

            But age eventually caught up with my eyes and the sights started getting fuzzy. I've slowed down a bit on the handgun hunting, except an old Contender with a scope. I've hated scopes on semi-autos and revolvers due to issues of speed, bulk and weight, but am being forced to reconsider.

            I've got a very light Smith stainless 4" J-frame 22 revolver (can't remember the model # at the moment) that has been my constant companion since the model came out something like 20 years ago. Very sensitive to variations in grip and trigger squeeze, but a tack driver when you do your part. It's so light and compact that it's my favorite for carry.

            Next in line is an older 5" bull barrel Ruger 22 semi-auto. Probably the most accurate and easiest to shoot well. Not too bad for carry, but heavy.

            Followed closely by my Smith K-22 with all the target trimmings. Great to shoot, but bulky.

            Finally is that old Contender- all barrels scoped. The 10" 22 barrel is an honest 100-yard beer can gun, it's so accurate. I've got a 256 Win barrel that's a stone killer with 75 grain Speer FP bullets loaded down to around 1300 fps, the same bullet and velocity I like with my Marlin 25-20. Most entertaining is a 357 mag barrel loaded with 38 Spec wadcutters at around 700 fps. Darn near silent and "one hole" accurate out to almost 50 yards. I tried the 44 Hot shot barrel and later a 45LC/410 barrel, but I'll take a shotgun instead any day.

            Most-used handgun of all? An old Daisy 177 target pellet pistol. It's death on voles and snowshoes around the yard, plus fine for indoor shooting. How accurate is it? On my 20' indoor range, the best thing to do is shoot a hole in the paper, then shoot at the hole. If you miss, it's your fault and not the gun. Haven't bothered to do the math on how many shots, but I've always saved the empty pellet cans. Even though I've pulled some out for other uses, there's still a full plastic grocery sack of empty cans.
            "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
            Merle Haggard

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            • #7
              Ive been using my smith and wesson model 41 with a 7 inch barrel. I put a nikon 2 power scope on it. I have a red dot for it as well but I like the precision a scope offers. It is a blast to have when snowmachining to bag some ptarmigan or what not. I dont even use a rifle any more.

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