Armory, Self Defense, And EDC > Firearms Advice For Beginners

Hand Gun or Shotgun or Rifle?

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I don't know when your hunting seasons are in DE, but I would imagine they're coming to a close soon, aren't they?  If you're not going to get a chance to use it for hunting any time soon, coupled with the potential for new handgun laws in your state, I'd go for a handgun.  In your situation, I'd probably go for a full-size semiauto first, just because it seems like the higher-capacity semis are the first guns they target when they pass stupid laws.

bdhutier's idea of a revolver + lever gun pair is a great one, though.  Very reliable combo, and you never have to worry about buying magazines for them.

Unless you are a great shot I would upgrade to a larger bolt action rifle for hunting. They're cheaper and very accurate with a scope. I purchased a Winchester 30-06 bolt action with a scope and soft bag for just $399. Shoots very accurately at 200 yards. Much better than my M&P 15 semi automatic using .223 rounds.


You need to buy the handgun due to the legal issues.

Buy now what you will not be allowed to buy latter.

it would not be my first choice on practical measures, but the legal situation in your area demands this move.

You can get the shotgun next due to the lack of threat to it now and down the road.

And when you pick the handgun choose something that will not be banned by your state, or the magazines it uses banned.

The present legal situation favors 6 shot revolvers being the handguns least feared and threatened by TPTB.

Only revolvers and ss pistols are allowed for hunting in your state, and the barrel must be 6".

Delaware is a shotgun only deer hunting state so considering a center fire rifle is not an option if you want something you can actually use and not just look at.

My .02. . . .  Buy according to specific use and need, even if it means you need a dozen firearms.  You'll enjoy each and every one of them that much more. 

     I live and hunt in Wisconsin, where we have a very strong deer hunting tradition. Originally, deer hunting zones were designated as shotgun only (usually near urban areas) and rifle and shotgun zones. Not to many years ago, pistols were also approved for deer hunting. I also hunt with a blackpowder muzzleloader (we have a special season for those). Now, rifles, pistols and muzzleloaders are allowed anywhere. I originally started out with a Remington 870 pump 12 gauge, with a smoothbore "slug barrel. Shooting 1 oz. lead "pumpkins" (slugs) was pretty ineffective over open ground; better in brush. I bought a rifled slug barrel and that made a great difference with sabot slugs. About that time the rules changed and I haven't used the shotgun on deer since.
     I switched to a Remington 700 bolt action in 30-06. and had great success for years. I picked the caliber because it is common and easy to reload. It will drop anything found in our State. I put a high end scope on it. A .270 caliber will shoot flatter, but I have my 700 sighted in and I'm comfortable with it. I have a number of pistols, both revolver and semi-auto. I was lucky and most of my purchases were made off the record from private individuals. For small game you can't beat the Ruger 10/22.
     If handgun restrictions coming your way are an issue, by all means purchase one first, hopefully from a reputable individual. Think carefully about what you will use that handgun for and buy appropriately. Just as in buying "a" boat, there is no one firearm that will do it all. Prioritize your purchases based on use and anticipated future restrictions. 


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