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Kit Guns, what for?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by dashootist, Apr 10, 2011.

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  1. dashootist

    dashootist Member

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    I don't get the idea of the Kit Gun. It's basically a light weight 22LR revolver. Supposedly, fisherman keeps one in their tacklebox, hikers and campers has theirs in the backpack. But what would they use the plinking round for?
     
  2. CajunBass

    CajunBass Member

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    Just about anything you'd use a small lightweight revolver for. Shooting snakes isn't as environmentally friendly as it used to be thought of as being, but I'll bet that's what most people would tell you they want one for. Self-defense if you accept the idea that the gun you'll carry is better than a gun you won't. Shooting small game (in season of course) for camp meat is another use. Trappers use them for finishing off their catch. I suppose more than one catfish has had a 22 bullet through the head to calm it down at the beach. Just plain plinking is one of the best uses I can think of for one.

    Back when the name "kit gun" was applied to the gun the idea of a "kit" was something everyone understood. Your "kit" is stuff you pack for doing a job. You had a "shaving kit", a "travel kit" and so on. These were items that you kept together and ready to go. A small lightweight revolver fit right into that line of thinking. There is even a song "Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile." (from WWI).

    A Ruger Bearcat fills the bill for me.
     
  3. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

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    An old 22/32 kit gun was not necessarily a small lightweight gun. Some of them had 6" barrels on them. My S&W 35-1 is a J frame with a 6" barrel and is considered a "Kit" gun. I love it, no mag to lose, simple operation, but it likes to be kept clean.
     
  4. sixguns4fighting

    sixguns4fighting Member

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    It is for campers and hunters to put small game in the pot.
     
  5. oldfool

    oldfool Member

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    same as any other j-frame size, but in the smaller calibers like 22rimfire, 22WMR, 32
    traditionally not snubbies per se, not really a prime choice for such as CCW, best suited to small game and/or just fun range shooting
    mostly (but not always) in 3" to 5" barrel lengths (4" versions always appealed most to me); very "handy", easy to tote along

    good ones are every bit as accurate as their larger K/L/N and larger bore SA brethren
    Ruger Bearcats and classic 22 j-frame rimfire S&Ws strike me as being prime examples

    I have a nice little INA 32 S&W snubbie, slightly smaller than "J" actually, but it just never seemed to me to be a good example of a "kit" gun; more a minimalist CCW gun
    "kit gun" is a very subjective term, I guess, but if fits in your kit, it probably qualifies: you could easily include some current versions of smaller Ruger or Buckmark autoloader rimfire 'campers' if so inclined

    I do love my old 4" model 63, just because it adds yet another dimension of fun to range day, and is real appealing to youngsters and ladies with smaller hands, yet can shoot head to head with the "full size" guns of same caliber

    in short, you can do anything with them that you could do with any other of same caliber
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2011
  6. loadedround

    loadedround Member

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    My Ruger Bearcat is a wonderful 22 kit gun. I carry it quite often while outdoors.
     
  7. o Unforgiven o

    o Unforgiven o Member

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    Well whenever we go out on the quads or camping etc. an MkIII 22/45 tags along. I suppose it could fit in my tackle box, then again I have a rather large tackle box...
     
  8. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    I used to cary a Rossi Model 88 as my kit gun years ago. It was stainless steel, had a 3" barrel with a semi-adjustable rear sight, and was chambered in .38 Special. It was a great gun to pack along when I went hiking.
     
  9. Jim NE

    Jim NE Member

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    I have a .32 long H & R revolver that isn't quite the quality of my other handguns. I guess the reason I'm keeping it is because it would play the role of a kit gun better than any of my other firearms. It's probably the lightest weight, has a 4 inch barrel, and I'd definitely not fret as much if it got dropped on a boulder or dropped in a stream.

    What I'd REALLY like to get for the thing are some .32 S&W long shot shells, if such a thing exists. Does anyone know if these are available in this caliber? I would think shot shells would be very practical for a kit gun.
     
  10. Remo223

    Remo223 member

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    kit means gear, or pack. Your "kit" is whatever you pack on your back, or on the back of your horse.

    A kit gun is a small gun you don't mind lugging around in a backpack. But it's got to be accurate enough to hit something at a distance(so its multipurpose) otherwise it's not worth the extra weight.

    Think of it as a survival firearm. Think of the AR-7,but in a smaller handier package...so you are talking about a lightweight long skinny barreled handgun.
     
  11. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Member

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    I've only seen kit guns used for plinking at camp or for finishing off large fish. If you're already carrying a large caliber hunting rifle, a kit gun makes more sense as a sidearm than something in .357 or larger because it allows you to take small game more efficiently. Arguably, you could provide meat for yourself for a long time with one; it's very easy to pack large quantities of .22 ammo.

    Plus they're fun. Nice ones are built like jewelry and are a joy to carry & shoot.
     
  12. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Member

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    Remo has the right of it. "Kit" = gear, or equipment. A piece of kit = a piece of gear. A kit gun in the genre that people are talking about was generally a .22 because you could carry a bunch of .22 in your kit without much of a problem for weight and space. .22 revolvers don't have mags to lose, can shoot any regular .22 rimfire you can get your hands on, and are quite adequate for snakes, small game, and plinking -and again, if you have a .22, you can take a bunch of ammo without sacrificing weight and space.

    Even today, if you don't have a good .22 pistol of some description, you ought to get one. It's a very important piece of kit. :D
     
  13. BrocLuno

    BrocLuno Member

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    Yeah, what gun are you packing in your kit bag? My little S&W .22 is fine revolver in it's own right. What's not to like?
     
  14. dashootist

    dashootist Member

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    So if I get lost in the wilderness and I have a kit gun and a brick of ammo, I can survive indefinitely out there.
     
    marcclarke likes this.
  15. joshk-k

    joshk-k Member

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    When I hunt, I carry a .22 pistol and 100 rounds of ammo. I keep it for situations including hunting small game (either by opportunity or by necessity), delivering a kill shot to a mortally wounded animal (as I did this fall on an elk. He fell right where I shot him with a .30-06 and had a broken shoulder and massive damage to his lungs/heart. It was clear when I got to him that he wasn't going anywhere, but was still alive. A .22 to the top of the skull from 20 feet ended it right then.), and signaling. I can fire off 33 3-round volleys as opposed to 3 with the center-fire ammo I'm likely to be carrying while hunting. It's relatively light and easy to pack. Why not?

    Josh
     
  16. clancy12

    clancy12 Member

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    Seriously? My Bearcat is more of a nice looking decoration. Bought it, but haven't put a round through it. Simply too nice of a gun to get beat up.
     
  17. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

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    se fla i love claymores 01/sot
    h&r 999 is a great kit gun also 9 shots
     
  18. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    Ruger Single Sixes are natural kit guns as well. Easy to point but not necissarily light.
     
  19. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    depends on how good of a shot that you are.

    The "kit gun" was, as several mentioned, to have with you at all times. Plinking, small game, etc. Self defense if you had to.

    The theory was kind of like a pocket knife. It is a versatile tool that we use for all kinds of stuff.
     
  20. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    Believe it or not, there is a substantial difference between guns like the Bearcat and other .22's like Single Sixes and K-frames. You can literally carry one anywhere, particularly where larger guns would be inconvenient, cumbersome, or exposed, but unlike the self defense bellygun, they actually have some utility. My all stainless steel New Bearcat is a scant 24oz, deadly accurate within 30yds or so and no soup can is safe out to at least 50yds. Yet it fits easily in my pocket.


    Guess I never understood this logic. IMHO, no gun is "too nice" to be used and enjoyed. I've used mine heavily over the last year or so and never considered that use to be "beating it up".
     
  21. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    Others have dubbed this genre of handguns "trail" guns. My favorite "Trail Masterpiece" is my Smith & Wesson Model 60-4, a s/s, 3" barreled J-frame, chambered in .38 Special; a petite, little revolver with adjustable sights. It has accompanied me into many "wilderness" areas, including several trips deep into the Boundry Waters. I concede that something bigger tags along when I'm in brown bear country...:)
     
  22. mr_goodbomb

    mr_goodbomb member

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    I don't get the resistance to 22lr. I understand it's small and lighter, and often used for practice, but more people are killed by 22lr than any other round, mainly because they're the cheapest, both the ammo and often the firearms that use them, and because people believe they're less than deadly. Add to that, my father, and I'm sure many others, have hunted deer and other animals that aren't small game with 22lr humanely and effectively when other options aren't available. I know that when my father was younger, he didn't own his own gun, and was limited to either a double barrel 12 or a 22lr rifle he could borrow. He hunted, effectively, with both.
     
  23. Saragosa

    Saragosa Member

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    Small, light, handy. Easily fits in a coat pocket. My 63/22 would be the last gun I'd let go of. I wish I had a pressing reason to buy a Bearcat. I'd grab one in an instant if I had a legitimate excuse.
     
  24. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    At my advancing age, I've come to understand that I don't need a "legitimate excuse" to acquire a firearm that I've come to covet. Just buy the darn thing, enjoy it and screw the convoluted rationalizations some apparently still need for getting it! :)
     
  25. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    As Sarah Palin says... "You Betcha!" ... if you're good and lucky.
     
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