No hunting is complete without a quality gun. Therefore, many hunters want to know how to Choose Hunting Rifle to have the best variant. Some choose a weapon for the price — «the more expensive, the better», some for the famous brand, others rely on the advice of friends «who have the same».
It makes no sense for a hunter to purchase a very expensive piece of shotgun: its power is either slightly better than that of a common one or precisely the same. Balance and toughness are of paramount importance for hunting shooting, so you should strive to get a gun that has good or at least average performance.
The benefits of having one rifle
In its overwhelming majority, on the shelves and in the windows of hunting stores, weapons are provided only of two types:
- Rifled-barrel. These are, of course, fittings, carbines, rifles. And since this weapon shoots exclusively with bullets, its aiming range is extensive. It will not work with them to hunt a hare since the result will be zero.
- Smooth-bore weapons are divided into two main groups. First, with a non-folding barrel, or as they are also called self-loading. But they are a little less in demand, and they are much more expensive. And fractures, that is, with reclining barrels, which are the most common weapon among hunters.
The main benefits are ease of use and unpretentious maintenance, which play a significant role in hunting enthusiasts.
Having a gun of any type for a hunter has many advantages. For example, it gives the chance to hunt animals more easily without using traps. It’s also training your shooting skills. Do not forget that the presence of a gun makes hunting a more exciting process, which makes you feel like a real getter.
Consider the Game
What caliber of the gun and the accuracy of the weapon to choose depends on the game that the hunter is mainly going to hunt:
- To shoot wild boars, wild goats, deer at distances of up to 50 m, you can shoot bullets from smooth-bore guns of 12 and 16 calibers.
- The shooting of roe deer at distances up to 35-40 m is carried out with small smooth-bore weapons of 12 and 16 calibers.
- It’s preferable to shoot wolves and lynx from smooth-bore 12-gauge rifles at distances up to 30 m with cartridges equipped with small buckshot.
- For shooting squirrels at a distance of up to 100 m, small-caliber carbines or combined guns are used. One barrel is rifled, caliber 5.6 mm, and the other is smooth small caliber.
- Game birds are shot with a shot from smooth-bore weapons.
The Right Caliber and Bullets Matter
When fans of the 24th argued with the owners of the 28th and 32nd, the old variety of calibers was long gone. Even the once most popular 16th almost completely surrendered its positions.
Nowadays, 12 gauge has become the de-facto standard:
- It’s the most powerful of the common types and the most versatile in applicability.
- It’s easiest to find any necessary cartridges on sale.
- If you run out of ammo while hunting or at a shooting range, there will always be someone to share with you.
20-gauge is much less common and specific in its application — as people say, «for an amateur». And the caliber 410 (Anglo-Saxon system, in fractions of an inch) is mainly suitable for shooting with a bullet — it gives a very scanty shot talus, limiting its applicability in hunting.
Know What Accuracy You Need
When choosing the best option, you need to pay attention to accuracy and caliber. The purchased weapon must be universal and suitable for hunting almost any game. The length of the barrel and its density also affect the accuracy of a hunting rifle. These include a double-barreled 16-gauge and 12-gauge or an automatic magazine or «pump-action» 12 gauge. What exactly to opt for is a matter of taste for each hunter and his available financing.
Build and Materials
Hunting equipment is made of different materials, so you should pay attention to them when buying:
- Shotguns are mainly made from ordinary and laminated wood.
- They also use plastic and fiberglass.
- Walnut is often used as a raw material for making a hunting rifle as it’s a rigid material. The walnut shotgun has an aesthetically pleasing look.
- The most durable raw material is laminated wood. It’s more effective to use, albeit heavier.
Synthetic materials are also popular due to their low cost. They are not affected by dampness. Although it should be noted that walnut wood is preferred for its strength, hunting rifles with lighter weight have more recoil than heavy rifles, so this fact is a disadvantage of a lightweight rifle.
Rifle Buying Mistakes
The desire to acquire what you want often interferes with choosing the best, so a future hunter should not rush when choosing, and in general, with a trip to a specialized store. First, you need to take into account the mistakes that inexperienced buyers often make.
Way Too Powerful Rifle
The terrain in which you are going to hunt is of great importance for the choice of weapon power. In swamps, in the mountains, in the steppe, and in the forest, a specific type of weapon is required. For example, when tracking a small animal, a 5.6 mm rifled barrel is perfect. But when hunting for a giant game, you need something more powerful, such as a 7-9 caliber carbine.
If you are going to hunt in the mountains, it would be preferable to buy a powerful and long-range rifled gun. The fact is that the animals there, for example, the goats or other animals, are cautious, and it isn’t easy to get close to them. Choosing the wrong power can ruin the hunting experience, so it’s essential to take this choice seriously.
Experienced hunters say that the ideal ratio is 22% of the owner’s weight. Beginners should choose lightweight models — 2.6-3.3 kg. Remember, you should feel comfortable with such a unit in your hands.
It can be raised and lowered several times. If you feel physically tired or have a rapid heartbeat, this is not your gun. The rifle should suit your weight:
- For the average man, the optimal weight of the weapon is equal to one twenty-second of its importance.
- The shotgun must be applied, i.e., the gun must match your anthropometry and have the right balance.
Too Complicated Rifle
The rather complex mechanism of the weapon requires precise work. Therefore, you need to buy such guns only from the production of well-known and proven companies, which have proven themselves from the good side.
Choosing the wrong scope can be a problem. Based on the shooting distance and the size of the game, the scope is selected. In addition, the speed of movement of the target and the suddenness of its appearance affect the magnification of the scope. So, the hare and the fox will not wait for you to aim, and the bird that flies out from under your feet will instantly disappear.
Hunting is one of the most popular hobbies among men. Hunters spend quite a lot of money purchasing a license, on transport to the hunting place, hunting equipment, and, of course, the most necessary attribute — weapons. However, it is often difficult for a novice hunter to decide which gun is best for hunting.
Choosing a gun is an essential part of every hunter’s life. The choice should be taken seriously. There are many characteristics to consider, such as weight, weapon material, and caliber. It all depends on the specific situation and the preferences of the hunter.