Shoot Safe: An Introduction to Short Guns

FALL RIVER COUNTY, S.D. — NewsCenter1’s Anna Hamelin headed out to the Fall River Gun Range to learn about the different types of short guns, and what purposes they serve for hunting and recreation.

Target PracticeOfficer Chris Dekker with South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks started by discussing the features of a pistol.

“We’ve got a couple of pistols here today. Pistols are going to be your typical short gun,” he explains. “What we have is we have a semiautomatic .40 caliber Glock, very similar to what a lot of law enforcement officers carry – this is a subcompact version.”

Officers like Dekker carry a full-size version. Officer Dekker also brought a revolver, “chambered in a .22 caliber, and .22 is one of the most popular calibers in the world,” he explains.

It’s so popular because it’s inexpensive and serves a variety of purposes in both hunting and recreation.

“It can be used for varmint and some small game. So rabbits, squirrels, you know, if you’re around your farm, or around your ranch, if you’ve got varmints, that would be, you know, rats, mice, gophers, ground squirrels, whatever that you’re trying to take care of, .22 is going to be an easy, easy caliber to do that.”

It’s also convenient for target practice, as Dekker explains.

“What is really cool – even my Glock here, you can get a version of that that’s chambered in a .22 caliber. So, you know, for a law enforcement officer that needs to stay up to date and wants to be proficient in the use of their weapon, they can use a .22 caliber version of their duty weapon and stay proficient without having to spend a lot of money on ammunition.”

22 RevolverHowever, different types of ammunition are used in a practice setting versus a hunting setting.

“We’ve got some .22 solid rounds…that is something that’s really good for target shooting. Now, if I were to be using this for small game, I would want a hollow point round. They make .22 hollow point rounds…and what that hollow point does, it expands when it hits the animal and is more efficient at putting that animal down,” Officer Dekker explains.

He also adds that the main difference between short guns and long guns is barrel length.

“It is harder with a rifle or a long gun to point it in a direction that you don’t want it to be. It’s very obvious when you’re pointing it in the wrong direction. A pistol, on the other hand, it’s really easy to point in the wrong direction.”

Officer Dekker reminds those out on the range that safety is the most important part of the experience.

Categories: Connect With Us – Segments, Evergreen, Local News, South Dakota News