(By D Venter)

When we usually enter the world of handgun shooting Dirty Harry with his .44 Magnum Model 29 Smith & Wesson, the iconic .45 ACP Colt 1911 and the larger .500 Smith & Wesson Magnum revolvers are usually first to be discussed.

The most useful, basic, cheap and cost effective .22LR handguns are bypassed and overlooked, purely because they lack the glamour of the large calibers’.  

As with any skill more practice just enhances your skill, this is the reason to give any .22LR handgun a long hard look.

Also remember returning to the basics with any learned skill just betters your abilities.

I would like to share firearm expert Chuck Hawks’s opinion on .22LR handguns and especially Good First Handguns, this would also open your eyes to maintaining skill and most of all having FUN!

Quoted https://chuckhawks.com

Good First Handguns

By Chuck Hawks

“Handgun shooting is widely considered to be the most difficult of the shooting arts. Pistols are relatively light, hard to hold steady and, unlike rifles and shotguns, not supported against the shooter’s body when fired. Concentration and self-discipline are required to reliably hit the target with a handgun.

Persons who cannot concentrate on the task at hand and who lack self-discipline will never become good pistol shots. Even after a satisfactory level of skill is acquired, regular practice is necessary to maintain that skill. Continuing practice is far more important with a handgun than it is with a rifle.

Any attempt to jerk the trigger is fatal to accuracy, yet the compulsion to “get the shot off” when the sight wobbles toward the target is even stronger with a handgun than with other arms. This is because the handgun is less solidly supported than long guns, so the sight spends less time on the target, and moves off target faster.

With standard patridge type iron sights the eye must focus on the front sight, not the target, which is completely contrary to human instinct. One thing the beginning shooter can do to eliminate that problem is to install a red dot optical sight.

To master the difficult art of handgun shooting the tyro needs all the help he or she can get from the pistol itself. The beginning hand gunner needs an accurate gun with properly zeroed adjustable sights, whether iron or red dot. He or she does not need to be wondering if the gun itself was responsible for a miss. Confidence in the weapon is important.

In short, the new hand gunner needs a good quality revolver or auto loading pistol with easily visible adjustable sights and a barrel at least 4″ in length; a 6″ barrel is even better. The aspiring hand gunner also needs a pistol with a trigger mechanism capable of being set-up for a crisp pull in the range of 2.5-3 pounds. Almost all new guns, with the exception of target pistols with user adjustable triggers, will require a “trigger job” from a competent gunsmith to achieve this. Consider it a part of the cost of that first pistol. A target type revolver or semi-auto is an excellent choice for one’s first handgun.


The new handgun shooter also does not need the added distractions of unnecessary recoil and muzzle blast, which inspire flinching. Flinching is natural, but ruinous to accuracy and terribly hard to control.

A good first handgun should be chambered for the .22 Long Rifle cartridge. The .22 LR cartridge combines all of the characteristics most desirable for a beginner’s pistol. It is very accurate, low in recoil and muzzle blast, has a relatively flat trajectory, is inexpensive–thus allowing plenty of affordable practice, and more widely distributed than any other cartridge. And no matter how experienced the shooter eventually becomes, he or she will never outgrow the need for a .22 pistol. No other handgun cartridge even comes close to combining all of these benefits.

Handguns that meet all of the requirements above are usually intended for small game hunting or target shooting. Available types include .22 caliber single action (SA) revolvers, double action (DA) revolvers, and auto loading pistols. Such guns may be purchased new or used, as long as they are in good condition. In fact, some desirable models are only available on the used market.

After learning to shoot with a .22 pistol, the person interested in defensive pistol craft will doubtless want to purchase a second handgun in a service calibre like .38 Special or 9×19. But regular practice will remain necessary, and they will find that shooting their .22 pistol is the easiest and least expensive method of maintaining that hard won proficiency. Somewhere along the way most people also discover that shooting is fun, and that shooting a .22 pistol is the most fun of all.”

6 + 12 =

Dirk Venter

Dirk Venter

Legally Armed Volksrust

Legally Armed Volksrust serves customers in the towns and districts of Volksrust, Newcastle, Ladysmith, Utrecht and Dundee.

As experienced members of the Legally Armed group we offer our clients the opportunity to resolve all firearm related issues and assist with enquiries regarding licensing of any firearm, whether needed for self-defense, hunting, sport shooting or business purposes.

Send e-mail to ronel@legallyarmed.co.za

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