For fun: do you prefer to shoot handguns or rifles/shotguns more?

Prefer Handguns or Longguns at the range/out shooting

  • Total voters
I ask mostly out of curiosity. My father got me started shooting at the age of 13 after I had proven I could be safe with a bb gun for a year. We went out to my old family cabin in Lassen National Forrest and drove a few miles out to a good spot to shoot. He had my shoot his Ruger 10/22, his Norinco SKS , and his S&W model 66(still the best .357 mag made by S&W imo). I liked shooting the rifles but I was really looking forward to shooting the S&W mod 66(4" barrel on his with pachmayr decelerator grips). He loaded the first cylinder with .38 special for me then I asked to shoot .357 mag out of it, I was surprised by my accuracy shooting the .357 mag loads looking back on that day. I managed to hit a plastic bottle we placed on a tree stump right in the cap!

Ever since that day I've been a big fan of handguns and tend to enjoy shooting them the most. What about the rest of you: what do you prefer to shoot handguns or longguns(rifles/shotguns)?

Feel free to include your first time shooting story if ya feel it had a lasting impact on what you like to shoot most.
I like shooting long guns. Though I wish that the walk to replace targets was....... LOL. Yeah, I'm lazy.


And I only shoot long guns at 25 yards now a days.

Aloha, Mark
Might as well shoot a handgun if you are only going for 25 yards ;)
I get it thought I typically shoot my mp5 at 25yards it is short but basically like a long gun.
I do much more training with my handguns than my smokepoles, so based upon that fact I would have to say pistols.

Started out with rifles and scatter guns as a kid, but I sure do remember my very first pistol...

I was around 21 years old and living in Houston at the time... On my way to work one Friday morning, as I was trying to exit the I-610 Loop, a suit in a BMW was entering the freeway as I was trying to exit. The on and off ramps are really close together, and there's not much space to "make the weave" if two folks were trying to enter and exit the freeway simultaneously. Since I was leaving the freeway, I believed that I had the right-of-way. Mr. Beemer apparently didn't agree. I guess since I was driving "just" a Volvo, he and his shiny new BMW didn't have to yield to the lowly schlub in an old Swedish rig trying to exit the freeway...

Anyway, after a few agitated, then angry, looks back and forth between us, he flips me off. So I flip him off (yeah, I know, road rage in 1980). Then, he draws on me and points his pistol out his window at me! At 60+ miles/hour! Needless to say, I hit my brakes hard, he shoots in front of me, floors it, and was gone. I missed my exit, had to take an exit further down the road, was late to work, and had to check my shorts...

When I finally get in, our elderly janitor, a black man named Ol' Jim, saw me and opined that I looked like I had just seen a ghost. I related my harrowing tale to him, he pondered upon it a bit, then asked me how I was going to remedy the situation. Now, before I go further, I must inform you that Ol' Jim was a lot like Morgan Freeman's character "Red" in The Shawshank Redemption. That is, Ol' Jim could get you things... I said, "I wanna gun!"

"Well, that's not much to go on... What kind o' gun?"
I did not realize at the time that I had just entered negotiations for acquiring my first handgun... "A big one! As big as they come!! A Dirty Harry gun!!!"
"Gimme a few days..."

Fast-forward to the following week, and Ol' Jim whispers, "Meet me in my 'office" in a few minutes..." There, he produces the biggest pistol I had ever seen. It was a blued Ruger Super Blackhawk in .44 Magnum with an 8-inch barrel. It was holstered in an Old West-style, thick-azz leather gun belt, complete with rawhide thongs for the thigh straps, and with cartridge holders all around the belt, like something you'd see John Wayne wear in True Grit. I was aghast, since I never really thought that I had actually asked for this beast. But, the unspoken rule was that if Ol' Jim brings you something, you musta asked for it, and it's poor form to send it back unless it's really not what you "ordered". Clearly, this piece fell into the category of "a gun, a big one, as big as they come." I paid him his $200 asking price with nary a haggle...

So, I told you all that ^^^ to tell you this >>> At some point, I had to try the thing out, so I drove out of town a ways to where I could safely light the thing off. I set up a few targets, and in my very best Dirty Harry impersonation, I stood in front of the target about 20-25 feet away, raised the pistol in my right hand, recited the famous Dirty Harry soliloquy, ended it with an emphatic, "Well, do ya, punk?" and pressed the trigger...

When I awoke, I reached up to feel my throbbing forehead, which was bleeding profusely into my hand. My forensic analysis of the incident would lead me to the inescapable conclusion that upon recoil, the hammer of the Ruger had implanted itself firmly into the center of my forehead, "right between the eyes", as they say. It would seem that whereas Clint Eastwood could single-handedly blast bad guys with a .44 magnum all day long without so much as a sore pinky, I could not obtain the same results utilizing the same technique without burying the hammer deep into my prefrontal cortex. This event served as an early educational opportunity for me about how Hollywood works.

The next day, after I had successfully avoided my co-workers and slinked into the privacy of my office, Ol' Jim sought me out. He knocked, came in, took one look at my forehead with the huge purple dent in the center of it, broke into a sly grin, and said, "Well, Harry, didja git 'im?" We both rolled on the floor laughing our azzes off...
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Whisky Tahoe

I just might have to watch that again tonight.
It's really good given how hard 2020 has been. We still have it better.

I shoot with a retired Salem police officer who's 78.
He still shoots prone and while things ache more, he says he feels compelled to keep shooting.
He's very skilled with all things black powder and a set of those Vernier sights cost as much as a good scope.
I think he said the drop on a .45 90 sharps was 100 feet at a 1000 yards.
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Whisky Tahoe

When I awoke, I reached up to feel my throbbing forehead, which was bleeding profusely into my hand. My forensic analysis of the incident would lead me to the inescapable conclusion that the hammer of the Ruger had implanted itself firmly into the center of my forehead, "right between the eyes", as they say. It would seem that whereas Clint Eastwood can fire a .44 magnum single-handedly and plug the bad guy, I could not achieve the same results utilizing the same technique. This was an early educational opportunity for me about how Hollywood works.
In light of your "introduction" to modern magnum handguns, you might enjoy "The Last Stand"
with Arnie, Johnny Knoxville, and SW 500. It will make you feel better.


I really enjoy shooting my hunting rifles and have been doing a lot more at 200 yards this year. I enjoy all guns but with a bolt I dont have to worry about the brass going all over the place to be picked up. Since I reload on a single stage press I have a tendency to try and make my shots count. I am fortunate that I have a collection to choose from including AR's, FAL's and M1A's but when I dream of shooting I dream of nicely figured blued steel mausers. Some of the deer I have killed still roam my memories.
Regarding trigger time these days, it would be a toss up between:

  1. Handguns, both automatics and revolvers.
  2. Light carbines or carbine-ish things (e.g., registered small SBRs, stocked pistol, submachine-gun, et al.).
I rarely shoot full powered rifles these days.

I haven't actually shot the shotguns in years and have sold off all but those that are practical, NFA, or both.



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