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In the search for a suitable pistol, sports shooters as well as hunters encounter a wide variety of types and models - whether among new or used guns. There are a variety of different pistols that are manufactured for quite different purposes.

Therefore, when buying a pistol - similar to any other hunting or sporting weapon - it is advisable to make sure that it really serves the purpose for which you want to purchase it. Whereas pistols are mostly used by sport shooters for competition shooting or training, the hunter can use a pistol to protect himself against defensible game at short range during the hunt and also use the pistol for the catch shot. For the latter, the pistol can be used both for tracking and trapping. Here, different characteristics such as the condition or type of the pistol as well as the caliber play an essential role.

Particularly with regard to the various uses mentioned, the caliber used varies greatly.

Just as with long guns, with handguns, especially pistols, you can spend a lot of time in one of the "caliber discussions" that are notorious in most forums. Now these are not always uninteresting, but they are often exhausting because you end up realizing that taste is a matter of debate.

There are many different calibers. However, these calibers can often be grouped into certain groups. These groups usually stand for calibers of a certain size and thus also for a certain purpose for which they are suitable.

One of the classic calibers, which is very popular with sport shooters for training and competition and with hunters for catch shots on sick game and for their own safety against defensible game at short range, is known under the following different designations: 9x19/ 9 mm Para / 9 mm Luger. This caliber is also used in tactical and military applications. It is one of the best known large "universal calibers" for pistols.

One should not confuse the caliber 9mm Luger/Para with the caliber "9 mm short", also called " .380 ACP". This caliber is similar to the caliber "7.65 mm Browning," somewhat weaker, but is nevertheless popular in the tactial field as well as with sport shooters.

If you really want a lot of power, go for the 10 mm Auto caliber. Cartridges of this caliber are very powerful and combine good ballistics with high stopping power. Ideal, therefore, for bringing down sick wild boar, or for fending off the strong boar at close range.

The exact opposite can be found in the caliber .22 lr/ .22 lfb. This caliber is characterized by very small bullets and is used mainly in the field of sport shooting (for example, biathlon or "free pistol"). In the context of hunting, this caliber is suitable only for small game, often in trapping.

If you search online, for example on, for used pistols, you will quickly see that there are thousands of different offers for used pistols. The prices also vary greatly. This is mainly due to the fact that there are different models and also the conditions of the weapons are very different.

One of the most frequently traded used pistols is the Walther PPK. If you don't mind a few traces of use, you can buy an old Walther PPK for around 150€.

Lovers of a new Desert Eagle, on the other hand, usually have to be willing to invest a four-figure sum to acquire one.


How far you can shoot with a pistol depends on various general conditions. In particular, the used laboratory equipment, the firing angle as well as the environment are relevant for the maximum firing distance.

If you want to cover the longest possible distances with a pistol, you should make sure that you choose a pistol caliber that is as fast as possible, that the environment is as windless as possible, and that you fire the bullet at an angle of 35°.

Whereas in shooting sports, pistols are often fired at longer distances, the use of pistols in any context is usually limited to a distance of up to 20m.


Many hunters of the old type would answer this question with a clear "no". After all, the forefathers have already accomplished great hunting deeds only with a rifle and a bare blade.

But nowadays there are good reasons for hunters to buy a pistol. On the one hand, some hunters like to carry a short-barreled weapon with them in order to be able to defend themselves against defensible game (boar, wolves, etc.) at short range in an emergency, and on the other hand, the pistol is useful for trapping for the purpose of a catch shot.

According to the legal regulations in Germany, the pistol may also only be used on small game (e.g. rabbits, predators) at close range. Especially for trap hunting, the use of a pistol therefore makes sense. In contrast to shotguns or rifles, there is no great danger of severely damaging the trap or the interceptor basket, and the catch can still be hunted down in a manner that protects the animals.

There are therefore good reasons for hunters to own at least one short-barreled rifle / pistol and to carry it on the hunting ground.


Whether a hunter carries a pistol or a revolver on the range is ultimately a matter of taste. Both types of handguns are available in a wide variety of calibers for a wide variety of uses.

Only with regard to the various load sizes are there serious differences in terms of usability. While revolvers can hold between 5 and 10 cartridges in the drum magazine, modern pistols with special magazines can hold up to 30 cartridges in the magazine.

There are also small differences in terms of disassembly and cleaning requirements. The pistol is easier to disassemble than the revolver, but the latter is somewhat easier to clean, since there are not so many different parts that can get dirty.

Here you can find more information about the topic "pistol or revolver".


There are many well-known manufacturers for pistols. In the following we want to briefly introduce you to a few of the best known and largest:

If you think that there is THE one standard pistol for police and security authorities in Germany, you are far wrong. In the different federal states and with the different units are just as different pistol models in use. Most models come from the manufacturer Walther and are based on the almost legendary Walther PPK.

In many federal states, for example, the P229, P30 and P99 Q models are used by the state police.

But models from other manufacturers are also used by police and security authorities. In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Lower Saxony, for example, police officers carry an SFP9 from the German manufacturer Heckler&Koch.

And Saxony-Anhalt also has its unique selling point in the form of the Glock 46.


In Germany, only those who are in possession of an acquisition authorization are allowed to purchase weapons in principle. As a rule, only sport shooters, hunters or employees at special security agencies and companies possess such an acquisition authorization.

As a hunter with a valid hunting license, one is entitled to acquire and possess up to two handguns after a pre-registration from the appropriate authority without giving special reasons. There are also hunters who own more than two handguns. These have then received the appropriate clearance from the relevant firearms authority for each additional handgun, stating a special need. Such a reason may be, for example, the need for different calibers due to intensive trapping.

Hunters and also sport shooters who wish to acquire a handgun with such a preliminary entry must be in possession of the Green Weapons Possession Card.

A so-called weapons license, with which one may also acquire, possess and also carry weapons, does exist, but this is only issued to special persons under very specific circumstances.

The normal citizen only has the possibility to carry a weapon outside of his own home, business premises or fenced property with the help of the small firearms license. But even here, there are strict regulations on where these permit-free weapons may or may not be carried.

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