If a hunter does not want to lug around a heavy rifle, then the best alternative is often a reliable and sturdy handgun. These firearms have much better portability and durability. They can be carried hands-free with the use of a holster. This makes them an attractive weapon to use when out hunting in the wild. However, like all guns, they have both advantages and disadvantages to consider.
In countries where handguns are legal, such as the United States, many citizens already own this type of firearm. Using a home defence handgun means that you do not have to purchase a new weapon for the sole purpose of hunting. Therefore, you are saving money by doubling up the use of an owned firearm. This makes handguns both economically convenient and durable.
Also, people can hunt a much wider variety of game with a handgun. They can choose a gun calibre which is most relevant to their target. For instance, hitting a squirrel with a rifle runs the risk of damaging the trophy. However, doing so with a smaller calibre handgun means that the damage done to the animal can be easily concealed through taxidermy.
Some people have issues when it comes to lugging around heavy firearms. In comparison, handguns are often very lightweight. The smaller models can be held by anyone without a problem. The weight of a gun also directly correlates to its power. A smaller gun will often give less of a kick. This can reduce the amount of damage done to the body while firing the weapon. If the hunter has a disability, then a small calibre handgun could be their only option.
One of the main problems with a handgun is the restrictive range. Their shots tend not to be capable of travelling as far as the average hunting rifle. This means that the gun user will have to be closer to the animal before taking aim. Doing so runs the risk of alerting and scaring off the target.
There is also the issue of limited ammo. Compared to a high-end automatic rifle, the amount of rounds in a handgun is feeble. The hunter will have to choose their shots very carefully if they want to go home with a trophy.