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I’m applying for a pistol for the humane despatch of deer

What calibre would you recommend?


George Wallace
Although a .32 would be sort-of adequate for Roe, for larger animals it is not enough gun to be either reliably humane or to provide adequate protection for the operator if the animal still has a bit of fight left in it.

That is why Home Office Guidance to the police says that, “larger calibres may be considered if the applicant has to deal regularly with large or dangerous animals (for example horses, water buffalo, bison, Highland cattle or larger deer species.)

If you feel that you can show the required ‘good reason’ for possessing a pistol for humane despatch, and if you live in a part of the country where your firearms licensing people apply the legislation and Home Office Guidance as they are written, rather than misusing them in an attempt to deter you, then I would suggest a .38 Special or .357 Magnum revolver.

Police generally seem to have less-problem with revolvers than with a semi-auto in .38 or 9mm, although the firearms acts make no distinction between them.

And finally, do not put up with any of that damn nonsense about having revolver chambers blocked off to permit only two rounds in the cylinder.

That has no place in Law, any more than it has with rifles, and there is no justification for butchering an innocent pistol in such a way.

If you can be trusted with one or two shots, you can equally be trusted with five or six.

Say what you think in the Shooting UK forums!

I’m applying for a pistol for the humane despatch of deer