Many factors go into deciding what firearm to buy for hunting. Beyond the rifle and brand options that are available to choose from, you also need to think about the type of prey that you are after and even what ammunition is best for your needs. Thinking about all of this can be paralysing for a beginner or even for an experienced pro who has stuck with one rifle for most of their hunting.
Reverse engineering based on what kind of hunting trip you plan to partake in is usually the best course of action. Thinking about the end results that you want to have and the type of hunting that you want to do will let you work backwards to find the options and base rifle type that you want.
If you want to have an informed conversation with the local gun shop owner, then it is best to read up on some of these details ahead of time. So, let’s look at how to choose the right firearm type for your upcoming hunting trip.
Remington 12-Gauge Shotgun
Shotguns are ideal for hunting smaller game; however, it can also be loaded with buckshot which makes it good for larger game such as deer. The versatility of the shotgun makes it one of the top choices for both beginners and experienced hunters alike. The primary disadvantage of a shotgun is that its accuracy suffers at longer ranges. Depending on what and where you are hunting, this may be an important limiting factor.
The Remington is a well-known variant that is reliable and reasonably priced. If you are looking for an ideal all-purpose firearm for your next hunting trip, then consider this option first.
Ruger 10/22 Rifle
If you are hunting at longer ranges, then the .22-caliber rifle is a better bet. With a longer range, you will easily be able to reach your target from a distance. Beyond that, the advantages of a Ruger 10/22 rifle is that it is lighter to carry than a shotgun and far quieter in comparison. This makes it a good choice if you will be trekking through the wilderness for extended periods of time to get to your preferred hunting grounds.
The Remington Springfield rifle is the most popular hunting rifle in the United States for many good reasons. It is a high-quality firearm that has designed to be reliable and accurate. It is also powerful enough to take on a wide variety of prey and at long range.
Points To Consider
Beyond specific rifle variants, you need to consider what you need in a rifle more generally before you make the investment. Choosing between single-shot rifles and repeaters may be more important for experienced pros, though it is something to consider. Depending on your preferences, you also need to think about the action of your rifle. This could be bolt-action, pump-action, lever-action, or even automatic, in some cases.
Do some research on the differences between each of these options before you make a final purchase on a new rifle. Be sure to give some thought to what you want to hunt and how you plan to hunt your prey to narrow down the options.
Ready To Hunt
Reviewing these options and tips will help you to narrow down the options when it comes to buying the right rifle for your next hunting trip. With a little research, and likely some trial and error, you will find a rifle that works well for your needs and one that you can rely on for years to come.
Choosing your rifle for hunting is challenging. Here’s how to do it right!
The choices for hunting rifles are many and selecting one is, at times, bewildering. As the hunting rifle market is competitive, manufacturers always bring new features which aren’t necessarily crucial for a rifle’s performance.
The bolt action hunting rifles represent the top-rated option amongst hunters when it comes to hunting. They ensure incredible precision, reliability, and strength. Several other elements count when selecting your hunting rifle apart from the action. Keep on reading for details.
The cartridge is, also known as a caliber, is essential when selecting your hunting rifle. If you cannot handle the recoil of the gun and cartridge, it will be difficult for you to shoot precisely and humanly. The cartridge has to match your hunting game. For instance, the 223 Remington is highly popular when hunting feral dogs, cats, foxes, and other feral games. When used with the proper bullet and bullet placement, you can use the 223 Remington to hunt wild pigs, large boars, etc. If you hunt deer, the cartridge selection can vary with species. Regardless of the game, you have to pick the cartridge accordingly and say the ethical side when choosing the cartridge and bullet.
Action and bolt characteristics
Action length controlled round feeding, consistent feel when closing/opening the bolt, smooth bolt travel, safety type, and operation are paramount when selecting the hunting rifle. You can start by examining how the bolt picks up the cartridge and pushes it into the barrel chamber. Some rifles ensure reliable chambering of tricky-to-feed cartridges like the new short magnums.
Action length matters because the action has to be long enough to take the cartridge and bullet easily. If the action is longer than necessary, it will add unnecessary weight and bolt travel.
It goes without saying that hunters prefer adjustable triggers to models that need tuning from the gunsmith. Set triggers are available for some rifles and they are recommended for hunting varmints or hunting from the stand/blind. You can adjust the set trigger by pushing forward on it and firing with a heavy trigger.
A smooth trigger with a consistent and crisp inlet off is essential to precision. In some models, the pull weight on factory triggers is heavy, so look for models that enable reduced trigger pulls without altering the safety.
There are numerous options for sights, but the main options are open, telescopic, or both. The game you hunt will impact the sights you can use. For instance, you will need a long-range precision rifle when hunting fast pigs. Open sights are excellent when hunting big games, but not for small games at extended distances.
Aperture sights, also known as “peep” sights, offer a long sighting radius and automatically center the front sight pots in the rear aperture; they provide with fast sight acquisition. Due to the long sight radius, the aperture sights are excellent for long-distance open-sight shooting.
There are two types of telescopic sights: 1st focal plane and 2nd focal plane; there are many variations in terms of fixed and variable power. Also named scopes, the most used telescopic sight is the 2nd focal plane with variable power. There’s no such thing as the 1st focal plane being better than the 2nd, but only some differences are worth considering when selecting.
For hunting, the 1st focal plane scope is the top choice. When hunting on the long-range undisturbed game, the first focal plane scope offers reticles and hash-marks to sustain hold-over for distance and trajectory; it will also ensure hold-off for wind, amongst the other things. If this is your first hunting rifle, the 2nd focal plane of the variable plane will be a better option than the 1st focal plane.
We don’t recommend you buy the most powerful variable model. The rifle has to offer you a balance between appropriate maximum magnification for a long-distance shot from the prone/non-standing off-hand placement/steady rest and a low-power setting for snap shooting at your moving game.
When a rifle doesn’t feel comfortable, the chances for you to shoot it well are slim. The bolt handle, ergonomic controls, magazine release for a separate box or integral magazines matter for effortless use; you shouldn’t look for them when using the rifle. You want the trigger position and trigger guard to feel right for effortless and comfortable snap shooting. The length of pull varies between models for men and women. Also, some models will work better in hot weather than in the winter.
The best way to discover which rifle works for you is to set it to your shoulder. Hold it in one hand and think about how you feel it. Even if some pounds don’t count when you use the rifle for spotlighting from a vehicle, it can become a crucial factor when you carry it on your back for miles in the winter. See how you feel the rifle when you swing it. If you feel it right, its chances to shoot it right are high. On the other hand, if you feel it slow to the shoulder, cumbersome, you have to look further.
Materials and build
Rifles need maintenance and cleaning, so you need to think about how much time and energy you have for both. Even if timber and blued steel look nice, they require proper maintenance. If you like using your time for something other than cleaning/taking care of your rifle, you should opt for stainless barrels and synthetic stocks. Timber socks will wear relatively fast and show scuffs, whereas timber stocks are not highly demanding maintenance.
Don’t forget to check out the bedding as well. Timber stocks will need glass or pillar bedding to place the action and barrel in the stock without variation because of the weather and humidity. On the other hand, synthetic stocks have a free-floating barrel and you can use stock pillars to bed on the action screws. This is all you need to have constant precision on the bush and the bench.
Here’s the top 5 hunting rifles guide from Guns.com: