Every year millions of Americans take to the field in search of game. For most, this means taking along a smoke pole such as a rifle, shotgun, or blackpowder firearm. For others this means a primitive weapon like a bow, sling, or spear. For a third group, this means the handgun. That is where a Glock can come in.

Why handgun hunting?

The always smiling Elmer Keith relaxes on the back porch of his Salmon Idaho home with. his 7 1/2\" King Short Action .44 Special Colt SAA...

Some of the most famous of American outdoor legends including Elmer Keith, Skeeter Skelton, and Jack O\'Connor hunted deer and other medium to large-sized North American game with handguns. The skill needed to get close enough to make a kill shot into a vital area with a hand cannon is comparable to that of a bow hunter.

The handgun, no matter how bulky and even if it is equipped with optics, is still many times lighter and easier to carry in the field than a rifle or shotgun. This is especially true in harsh terrain such as thick brush, or when climbing broken ground or moving in swampy terrain.

The Glock Model 20 tips the scales at 39.71-ounces loaded with 15-rounds of ammo. As many deer hunters frequently carry a handgun into the woods as well for protection and strong medicine against close encounters with bear, just having a handgun can prove easier in the end.

Now the G20 is larger than most other Glocks we can think of, and it even comes in extended 20L models with stretched barrels and frames.

Further, in many states, hunting deer with rifles is just not allowed-- but handguns are. This gives a chance for the Glock to clock in as a meat getter.

Which model?

While its theoretically possible to hunt with any full sized Glock series handgun, such as the Model 17 (9x19mm), the Model 21 (.45ACP) and the Model 22 (.40S&W), it is the supped up 10mm Auto chambered Model 20 that tends to see the most marketing done towards pistol hunters.

This is because the big ten falls very close to the .357 Mag in relative power, outclassing the other semi-auto choices when comparing full-power hunting loads. Moreover, when compared to a six-shooter in 357, .41, or .44Mag, the Glock has about three times the on-hand number of backup rounds, which is solid comfort when you walk around camp in bear or cougar territory.

Not all states allow handgun hunting and those that do often have very clearly defined statutes on exactly what is allowed. For instance, Iowa only permits straight cased cartridges in calibers of .375 or larger. Luckily the 10mm Auto is .400 in caliber and is straight cased, which means in that state at least, it fits the bill.


Keith Warren taking to the field with a Glock 21 and aftermarket extended barrel to get some time in against some nice looking deer. Longer barrels can help generate a little extra velocity, which translates into more energy downrange.


Typically, the Glock 20 is the designated hitter for handgun hunting with the polymer pistol family of Austrian G-guns. When using 200gr to 220gr hard cast bullets (be sure to keep an eye on your polygonal rifling!) and specialty rounds like the CorBon 200-grain Penetrator Hunter, the comparatively short 4.6-inch barrel can still reach out and touch game very effectively. The CorBon for instance, uses a heavy, full jacket with a hard linotype core, which is great for those dense bone and muscle masses seen in big critters like bear and moose.

(You can even clean up varmints around camp such as this shooter did with his G22 and peskey red squirrels. Which reminds us: Of course always keep abreast of state and local laws when hunting with a handgun and obey all limits and seasons. )

From small whitetails, hogs and predators with 9mm, .45ACP and .40S&W to larger critters with the 10mm, your Glock can pull triple duty in bringing home the bacon as well as making holes in paper targets on the range and keeping the homestead safe.