For law-abiding owners, handguns have three purposes, the first of which is protection of self and property. Self-protection probably caused handguns to be invented more than 600 years ago in the Western Hemisphere, and it is a valid use today. Handguns’ second purpose is target shooting. The days when a pistol could provide an afternoon’s entertainment tumbling soft drink cans in the yard behind the house are probably gone forever in our increasing urbanization. But, there are several handgun target competitions to challenge the skill of marksmen (and their luck) on controlled, safe indoor and outdoor shooting ranges across the nation. These competitive games are becoming more popular, and have influenced the development of new handguns.

The third purpose of handguns is hunting. For many years, hunters have carried handguns in holsters or backpacks as backup guns to dispatch game downed by rifle fire and provide safety around the campsite. However, within the past half-century, hunting with only a handgun has become a very popular sport, not only for small game and medium game like deer and antelope, but for large game like elk and moose, and even dangerous game like wild boar and large bear.

Since about 1960, there have been accelerating, even explosive developments of handguns and associated with handguns. Many new and customized models of traditional revolvers and semi-automatic pistols have been introduced by custom gunsmiths and by established and new manufacturers in this nation and abroad. Several specialized types of handguns have been developed, such as hunting handguns, silhouette guns, “race” guns, and “Cowboy Action” guns. The Remington Model XP-100 single-shot, bolt-action pistol was introduced in 1963, followed by the Thompson/Center Contender in 1967. These handguns made it possible to fire traditional rifle cartridges, and greatly extended the effective range distances of handguns for hunting and the size of game that could be taken. The single-shot pistols have found a home in handgun silhouettes as well.

Sierra’s traditional handgun bullets are offered in most calibers in light, medium, and heavy weights to provide the shooter the best combination of velocity and bullet weight for a specific handgun. But the shooter must make the proper choice. A fast-expanding, light Jacketed Hollow Cavity bullet may be a good choice in a 44 Magnum for larger varmints, but grossly inadequate for elk where deep penetration and smashing power are required. Remember that Sierra’s Ballistic Technicians can offer advice based on both personal experience and experience shared by many shooters like you. Feel free to call us at (800) 223-8799 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Central Time, Monday through Friday. There is no such thing as a “dumb” question. If you have any questions, or you need information or a recommendation, please call.

Sierra offers handgun bullets in two broad classifications: SportsMaster and TournamentMaster. The SportsMaster bullets are primarily for hunting, while the TournamentMaster is primarily for target shooting. Sierra SportsMaster bullets are available in Jacketed Hollow Cavity (JHC), Jacketed Hollow Point (JHP), Round Nose (RN) and Jacketed Soft Point (JSP) design configu-rations. SportsMaster bullets intended for use in revolvers and rifles with tubular magazines have a cannelure to facilitate roll crimping. TournamentMaster bullets are designed and manufactured for exceptional accuracy and are non-expanding at typical handgun velocities. With no cannelure, they are designed for taper crimping. TournamentMaster bullets are available in two design configurations: Full Profile Jacket (FPJ) and Full Metal Jacket (FMJ). They are excellent selections for any type of handgun target competition.

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