Hunting with a Glock

This video by OutdoorAdventures demonstrates using Glock pistols for hunting medium-sized game. They are using extended barrels, and I presume the Glocks are loaded with 10mm Auto. (Animals are being shot in the video)

I am not an advocate of hunting with pistols. I don’t believe that 99% of handgun owners can shoot well enough to be hunting with them. Anyone who starts hunting with a pistol should start by using a higher-powered pistol chambered in something like .44 Magnum, .454 Casull or .500 S&W and only move onto lighter cartridges, such as the 10mm Auto and .357 Magnum, when proficient enough to ensure a clean kill.

UPDATE: Clarified by comments on handgun hunting. For the record, I am not against it, but just like I also don’t think 99.999% of rifle owners should hunt dear with .22 LR (but I know a couple who can).

UDPATE: Steve on Handguns.

[Hat Tip: Caleb @ Gun Nuts]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • MarcW

    I love my 10 mm.

  • Matt

    Who are you to judge what 99.99% of hunters should be doing? I’m all for getting clean kills; but don’t come off so judgmental. We’re all on the same team. Would you come down that hard on archery or black powder hunting?

    • FormerSFMedic

      I agree 100% with you Matt. That comment was ill-delivered.

      • I have clarified my comments. Note that I did not say I was against handgun hunting. I was trying to imply that most handgun owners do not have the skill to one day pick up a handgun and go wandering into the woods without training, practice, and in my opinion a bigger caliber handgun.

  • KC

    I don’t think there are any 10mm or .45 auto handgun rounds that’d be be a great hunting round

    you can put anything “in the right spot” to kill something. Doesn’t mean it’s the best or most efficient tool for the job

  • Trev

    If you are going to rag on people hunting animals with a 10mm, then pick on bow hunting as well. I’d argue handgun hunting is far more humane.

    • Ian

      The slightly obvious difference being that using a bow and arrow is decidedly more difficult and generally at shorter distances than using a pistol.

      And those of you with your panties in a bunch about an opinion piece being judgmental, get over yourselves.

    • W

      trev, exactly right. That was a interesting video, because the glock killed a animal faster than a bow did, which usually results in the animal running off. The Glock certainly has more energy than a bow.

      • MAtt

        is the energy analogy correct?

        I think the main difference btw an arrow and a bullet, is that the arrow keep cutting like a saw as much as the animal run, with the arrow shaft keeping the bleeding channel open.

      • W

        I was talking about kinetic energy. There is obviously a difference between a bow and a glock 10mm, though my point with that is if somebody bitches about using a Glock 10mm against a animal, then where are their bitches about using a muzzle loader (emphasis on traditional) or a bow?

        I have been bow hunting for nearly 15 years and never have had a four legged animal drop expediently like what was demonstrated in this video. That was the point I was making. I think many people underestimate proper shot placement and just how effective a pistol can be in a emergency.

  • 6677

    Steve, around the same time they demonstrate the ease of changing a barrel he says that he hunts with a .45 or 10mm

  • mikee

    Horses for courses! This is a bit silly though. Take on an Asian buffalo at Glock range. Now that would be exciting. My money is on the buff !!

  • Bob Z Moose

    Steve, there are some states that have handgun specific seasons. Arizona, for example, has a HAM (Handgun Archery Muzzleloader) season for javelina. Javelina are about the size of pitbull or similar size dog. Their kill zone is tiny. Despite all this, I’ve know several people that have made very clean kills with .357 Magnums on jalevinas. Heck, I’ve got an older Nosler reloading manual that has an essay from a gun writer that talks about taking one with a 380 Auto. It’s all about shot placement and distance. You shouldn’t be taking shots at game at 50 or 100 yards with a handgun, but within reasonable distances it’s perfectly acceptable. Proficiency is the key. Saying you shouldn’t hunt anything (within reason, of course) with any weapon that you have proficiency with is silly. With a scope (which there are a couple of mounts available for the Glock), it almost becomes a moot point. It’s all about the challenge.

  • Ben

    I wonder if a hot loaded .460 Rowland would be a good hunting round for pistols? Even better would be something like a revolver in .45 Win Mag, you already get great stopping power and you’d get good velocity from a 5″ barrel, so it’d be almost definitely a quick and clean kill on the animal

    • MarcW

      10 mm already penetrates through the broad side of a moose, what additional effect do you expect from a hot .45? You won’t see permanent stretch cavities until you get into .460 territory.

      • Ben

        Well the .460 has around the same energy as a .44 magnum, so a hollow point would be great for taking most game. I never said I didn’t like the 10mm for hunting, just that I was wondering about other possible choices 🙂

  • Frank W. James

    I find your statement about handgun hunting extremely judgmental and poorly informed. I’ve taken over 20 whitetail deer with a conventional handgun (one even with a 10mm) and I did it when my home state prohibited the use of a conventional rifle. The only tools that were allowed at the time in Indiana were archery, primitive firearms, shotguns with slugs and handguns in specified calibers. They have since added a new class of specified carbines in handgun calibers. Before you go shooting your mouth off with ignorant opinions you might check the various laws and regulations put forth by various Departments of Natural Resources in many of the mid-western states. Handguns in a number of different calibers are legitimate tools for ‘hunting’ or animal depredation.

    All The Best,
    Frank W. James

  • Komrad

    I think I’d trust 10mm to down game humanely, plus the ability to fire quick follow up shots.
    I’ve seen youtube videos where hogs survived (and suffered through) multiple hits from .50 AE. It’s all about shot placement and adequate penetration (which 10mm is able to provide).
    Sure, there are more powerful calibers, but you can’t beat a $500 Glock or $700 EAA Witness in 10mm.

  • Sian

    .40 S&W out of a T/C is easily enough for close-range Whitetails, from personal experience. Granted the extra barrel length and non-moving action probably lets it hit at least as hard as a 10mm out of a normal pistol.

  • Howa

    If you go out and point a stupid glock at a deer, increasing your chance of causing it terrible suffering and losing it altogether just to prove your tactical prowess to yourself and the deer, we are not on the same team.

    • Other Steve

      Slow your roll buddy.

      I think 10mm as a human defensive cartridge is dead and pointless. However, I do see its use as a hunting and wilderness defensive round.

      You could carry a small revolver with 5 shot or a larger one with 6 shots of 357 or 44mag, and have much slower magazine changes, or the Glock 20 with 15+1 rounds or the Glock 29 with 10+1 in a smaller package and be able to very very quickly un/reload if needed.

      If you are trained in defensive handgun, or everday carry a Glock, or just have limited experience with revolvers, it starts to make sense to carry a 10mm Glock.

      I don’t think 10mm has a future anywhere but hunting and outdoors, but at least I can recognize it does have legitimate applications.

  • vamtns

    so a Glock in .45 & 10mm is perfectly OK to shoot humans in self defense but are inhumane to shoot a deer or Elk with? huh?

    in Va the law is: ” Pistols and revolvers are lawful for deer and bear hunting only in those counties where hunting deer and bear with rifles is lawful. Cartridges used must be .23 caliber or larger and have a manufacturer’s rating of 350 footpounds muzzle energy or more. ”

    Actually a 10mm out of a 5-6″ barrel is probably equal to a .41 mag out of revolver.

    I’ve shot a 120 lb doe with a .357 mag. from about 20 yards, 1 shot kill. 158 grain SP

    I’ve seen guys make clean kill shots at over 50-60 yards with a bow, I wouldn’t trust my ability to do that, but I’m not going to judge them according to my ability.

    • 6677

      I guess if the guy is proficient enough with a bow to hit a target at that range he can probably hunt a deer with it.

      Some longbows can actually have an extraordinary amount of energy behind them, they are more than suitable in my opinion. Its shot placement, shot placement and a little more shot placement.

      • charles222

        The original English longbows had enough penetrating ability to go through light steel, as the French found out to their misfortune. I’d sure they’ll work on deer just fine.

        …With proper shot placement.

    • Lex

      I’m pretty sure they’d let you use a pistol to defend yourself against an elk.

    • floppyman6

      “Actually a 10mm out of a 5-6″ barrel is probably equal to a .41 mag out of revolver.”

      I was thinking the same thing, but did a little checking..

      Here are the absolute fastest loads per Hodgdon’s website comparing 10mm and .41 mag.

      10mm – 200grain bullet at 1172fps ~ 610 ft-lb
      41mag – 210grain bullet at 1631fps ~ 1240 ft-lb

  • Mike Knox

    Tried hunting with an M1911 one but ended up forgetting about it and used a Model 700..

  • Howa

    You’re entitled to your opinion, I’m entitled to mine.

    I’m not saying that an animal that you gun down with 1-15 rounds out of a tactical handgun won’t die.

    Just saying it’s stupid and creates a good potential for needless and unintended cruelty to ensue.

    For example: we all know that it’s easy to pull your shots with a handgun, especially when you’re deer hunting and the ranges are closer to 50 yards than 7.

    If you blow a deer’s jaw off, and it lays in the bush for days writhing in agony, do you still get tactical operator points if you were pretending it was a terrorist when you squeezed off?

    Hunting medium sized game with a Glock “just cuz you can” is stupid.

    • Other Steve

      Relax…. Everyone here agrees you are entitled to your opinion that although it to be based upon nothing other than Glock == Tactical, Tactical != Hunting, Hunting with semi auto handgun == Uncommon, Glock == Bad.

      That’s good, because I’m not saying you should shoot an animal 15 times. Even though that is the capacity of the large 10mm Glock. How about a a rabid or just angry charging animal like a Moose or Bear? You sure of your aim under stress on an animal that’s many times larger than you moving at you at 35mph? As a defensive weapon on a large target, the 10mm does actually make sense to carry.

      You seem to be OK with revolver hunting, but fail to realize that the same reasons people/mil/police ditched revolvers in favor of semi auto can apply to all types of carry as well. What is it you think a 357 or 44mag can do better than a 10mm glock? What? Have more or as much recoil, less ammo, more time to reload, more time to unload/make safe, longer and heavier trigger pull, less familiarity with an everyday carry auto???

      Any type of hunting “creates a good potential for needless and unintended cruelty to ensue”, however, more so with less effective weapons like low capacity firearms in a defensive situation, or archery, spear, or blackpowder in traditional hunting, but you’re fine with those it seems. I have seen people use FMJ 223 hunting deer and wound animals, that had nothing to do with the tool used, just the ass behind the trigger. Apparently to you, a 10mm glock with hunting/defensive rounds is less favorable to a 223 fmj. Just because one is a handgun and one is a rifle.

      “Do you still get tactical operator points if you were pretending it was a terrorist when you squeezed off”… Nevermind… Post Over. I didn’t realize you’re a fu(king moron…. My bad. I was replying as if you were a normal person. You’re still entitled to your opinion of course.

      • Howa

        My opinion is based on accuracy and ballistics at hunting ranges. Not comparison to any other weapon.

        The accuracy and ballistics of a 10mm coming from a 4″ barrel with no stock or foreend make it unethical for hunting medium sized game at hunting ranges.

        If a Canadian CO saw you pointing that at a deer he would shove it so far up your ass that your dentist could field strip it.

      • charles222

        Jack o’Connor had a story about how he gut-shot an antelope with a .270 Winchester; the antelope lept reflexively, got his intestines snagged on a cactus he leapt over and was disemboweled. Said antelope kept running for nearly a mile before death.

        A messy kill is possible with just about any firearm.

    • David/Sharpie

      Seeing as how you mentioned Canadian COs, I’m guessing you’re Canadian?

      The reason he you shove it in your ass is because handguns are RESTRICTED and you therefore cannot use them anywhere but the range, LEGALITY not LETHALITY.

      I have no reservations that many large calibre handguns could take medium sized game from close range.

      • Howa

         Nope, COs do not enforce the firearms act, only the wildlife act. They would certainty call the rcmp after they were done with you… if there was anything left of you to arrest.

        You cannot achieve hunting accuracy (3-4 moa will do) from field positions at hunting ranges with that firearm. So arguments about shot placement are out. 

        And you cannot deliver enough energy with that cartridge, particularly if you have already handicapped yourself by choosing a gun that cannot reliably place rounds in the small boiler room of a small deer.

        What little energy your pistol bullet has left after 50 or 75 yards is just as likely to be wasted on a gut shot or maiming a shoulder as it is to be delivered to the heart or lungs. Don’t worry, though, you have 14 more rounds in the mag and can keep spraying. So it’s all good. 

      • David/Sharpie

        Howa, they will still hold you for the Jackboots. Not to mention it’s illegal to hunt with handguns…..

        Maybe you just suck at shooting? Practice, practice, practice.

        With big bore handguns there will be plenty of energy.

  • Randel

    I cut my teeth hand gun hunting rabbits with .22lr pistols: a buffalo scout 6 shooter and AR-7 pistol…..It’s not about the size of the gun. Everyone should know you don’t hunt tiger with a .22lr or rabbit with a .50EA.
    but you can hunt anything with a pistol. It is the skill to hunt with a pistol many are lacking. Don’t blame the gun for not serving you dinner.
    I read it is all the rage to hunt pig with a knife…’s the skill not the tool.

    • Reverend Clint

      in russia they hunt bears with basically a pitch fork and a bowie knife.

      • Brian

        In Norway they primarily use a spork and whoopie cushion.

  • John Doe

    The average 10mm Auto load is a tad more powerful than the average .357 Magnum load. If you can get shot placement down, you can take most animals you’ll come across in North America. Except polar bears, since those are some vicious beasts.

  • Tinkerer

    Shot placement, shot placement, shot placement.

    People have been known to shoot with a Weatherby and miss.

    And people have been known to shoot with a .22 LR and get a clean kill. Hell, I’ve seen a high powered spring-loaded pellet gun used to hunt small boars.

    The tool you use is important, but using it with proficiency is more important yet. And quite frankly, a 10 mm from a long barrel is hardly an underpowered round. If I am proficient with it, then I can use it for clean one shoot kils -if I do my part and provide a good Shot Placement.

  • Ryan C

    I guess I’ll step in and defend the bow since most of the above comments are referring to archery as the less effective comparison…. a modern compound bow (important distinction) can quickly dispatch deer or elk at yardages up to 100 yards accurately when using the proper equipment and sights. The old reputation of bowhunters having a 30-50 yard range limit is completely invalid with the newer gear available today (and plenty of practice). As with handguns, its all about practice and shot placement. A broadhead arrow that is razor sharp will cause incredible destruction of the heart and lungs. Sharp cuts will bleed more profusely, which will get the quarry into the back of your pickup alot quicker. I’ve seen some deer drop instantly from a well-placed arrow, just as I’ve seen deer shot with rifles run off up to and over 100 yards before falling over. In the field everything is circumstantial and never clear cut.

    As for hunting with handguns, its our responsibility as hunters to be ethical and make every effort possible to successfully harvest our game with as little fuck-ups as possible. If you won’t take the time or spend the money to practice and have confidence in your handgun and shooting abilities to take an animal with one clean shot, you sure as shit better not go into the field, PERIOD.

    • Josh B

      Damn well said!

    • Other Steve

      Ok, I’ll call bullshit.

      Yea… “modern” archery and all, your range calculation at 100yards has to be DAMN spot on or you’ll miss and wound the animal. That’s just physics of time of flight and the velocity of the arrow. I think you’re greatly exaggerating ability here…

      Just with a basic calculator, figuring a 400gr arrow at 250fps which would be a carbon arrow from a bow with a pretty serious draw weight. Figure a kinetic energy for big game… Even with the MOST optimistic arrow design, the drop at 100y would be around !!! 350 inches !!!

      For perspective, that’s the drop of a 223 from an AR at around 600 yards. But instead, of a clean trigger with a bipod through a scope, pull you have a 60# draw, free hand, with at best a basic iron sight with a few inch sight radius.

      Now, 5 yards or 15ft off on your range estimation would be (very) roughly 325inches…. So in 5y off you COMPLETELY missed any vital zone and that’s with absolutely perfect aim otherwise.

      YOU may in fact be that good, but I’ll argue that for most humans and non-olympic archery marksmen, it would FAR more humane to use a 10mm glock that would have a drop of a WHOLE 5 inches and hit with 13 TIMES more energy.

      • 6677

        Yes but if you had no skill with a bow why would you hunt with it?

        I wouldn’t hunt with a bow simply because I’m a god awful shot with one. This guy may well be proficient enough with a bow that he can, and will, do it.

      • Other Steve

        6677, that’s fine. My main point was solely in range estimation you’d have to be exceptionally skilled, not mentioning the aim or ability to draw 60lbs and satay on target perfectly, etc

        It would be far more forgiving to use a 10mm Glock than a bow regardless of who was behind it, that’s something that you could learn to do with moderate practice. Hunting with a bow at 100y would require serious dedication. This entire thread is mostly about the people who might lack that dedication choosing a handgun to hunt with, my point is that FAR better than an arrow.

      • W

        other steve, like i said before, ive been bow hunting for 15 years and dont shoot at a animal with a bow over 50 yards because everything beyond that distance is a crap shoot. Its no different than making 300 yard shots with a muzzleloader.

        Im glad somebody else is making that point. Perhaps the Glock 10mm is more humane than a bow…(flame on).

  • Tinkerer

    Just a little something: in Germany, hunting laws allow for a hunter to carry a sidearm, for giving wounded animals the coup de grace and end their suffering -and I assume that also can act as a backup in case your main firearm fails you in some way, and you’re facing some unfriendly animal. For that market, Walther developed the P99 La Chasse.

  • Shilka-Gunluvr

    I know u handgunners luv and swear by your Glocks but there are just some things that aren’t done nor should they be. The only person who can get away with doing it is Larry Weishuhn and he’s not shooting a Glock.

    • W

      did you read the article and watch the video?

  • 10mmgoodness

    Hey, Shilka, while you’re at it, you had better let uncle Ted know that Larry Wieshuhn is the only person who can get away with hunting with a Glock.

  • evilgenius1313

    10 mm is enough gun. I remember years ago the argument was “is 38 special enough gun?” Ask Jerry Miculek and about a hundred years worth of NY city police and yes it is…if you put the pill where it has to go! stupid argument. 10mm has plenty of energy for decent kills, at DECENT range, In an accurate firearm. Every shooter must discover for himself what his own limitation’s are, and as the great Poet said “A man’s got to know his own limitation’s.”
    I would have no problem hunting at short range with a G20. But I would leave the G29 at home. G20 has plenty of accuracy for me till about 35-50 yards (MAYBE depending on conditions) range. but not for a dangerous animal. No Buff, or Grizzly, but at short range inside camp or across the yard, a G20 would be very comforting on the hip for defensive purpose against anything you’d likely encounter, puma, wolf, coyote, feral dogs, rabid anything, black bear, criminals. 15 +1 could solve some problems, and bag some meat for your freezer as well. Not a popular cartridge, but a hardcore following keeps it chugging along. I think it deserves more attention from the shooting public.
    What I REALLY want is a 10mm carbine like an mp-5, or a thompson chambered in 10! now a 16 inch barrel and things begin to get really interesting. 200 grain really good softpoint, or even better a good hardcast flatpoint. I’d hunt with that, and defend the homestead with no second thoughts whatsoever.

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