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How To Choose Your First Hunting Rifle

Hunting Rifle

Hunting RifleWhether you are buying a rifle as a present to yourself for the holidays or choosing your first rifle for a future hunting season, there are a few things that you need to take into consideration before making your choice. If you are an experienced hunter most of this information is second nature to you, but for the new guy just getting into hunting and possibly with a limited budget, the choosing of a hunting rifle can be a difficult experience.

Let’s assume you are only going to have one rifle but you are hoping to go on various hunting trips in North America for several types of game, your choice, although maybe not perfect for each species needs to be adequate for your needs and skill level.

The Right rifle for what you are hunting
The first question you should ask yourself is what are you going to hunt? Some types of guns, and by guns we are really saying Caliber can overlap in terms of what they are used for. A caliber that you may use for Hogs and Deer might be also useful for Pronghorn Antelope and perhaps even Elk, but it might be a bit on the light side for Moose and large Bear. A .22 caliber rifle might be perfect for Squirrel but completely inadequate for Wild pigs. Get the Picture?

What Caliber is best?
Each Caliber may have several size bullets for available for it and you may want to consider the weight (grain) bullet that will best serve your needs. Let’s assume you will be primarily hunting Hog and Deer, a 150 grain bullet should be adequate for either so you may consider a caliber that has a variety of cartridges around that bullet weight for it. So now we can narrow down our caliber rifle to the .270 Winchester, .308 Winchester, 30-06 Springfield and perhaps a .300 Winchester Magnum. Now, remember that we mentioned this may be your first gun and the recoil of the gun may factor into your decision. The .270 Winchester will have the lightest ‘kick’ while the .300 Magnum may leave you with a few aches and pains after a lot of practicing. If you really don’t think Brown Bear or Moose are in your immediate future lets cross the .300 of our list, but if you really want to consider the larger North American game then cross off the .270.

Rifle Actions

Pick the rifle action that works best for you and the type of hunting you will be doing. Remember, you may have to do maintence on it.

Experienced hunters can take pretty much all North American big game with either of these guns, but remember, you are not yet experienced. My for a first hunting rifle was the 30-06 mostly because of the wide selection of cartridges for it, allowing me to scale up or down for pretty much anything I needed. Although both the .308 and 30-06 are very popular I just felt that it was more likely that I could find ammunition for the 30-06 easier no matter where I traveled and since I am a fairly large person the recoil wasn’t as much an issue.

What action should you choose?
Rather than go into all the different kinds of actions (method of placing a cartridge into the chamber) that are available, let’s just stick to the two most popular with new hunters, the bolt action and the semi-automatic. The semi-automatic requires the shooter to do little more than squeeze the trigger whereas the bolt action requires the shooter to manually lift a “bolt” and eject and replace the cartridge. Since the bolt action has much fewer parts and it is easily maintained by the new hunter it was my first choice. I also like that the process of chambering a round makes the new hunter think a bit more before firing.

Stock material and barrel length
Barrel length and the material used for the stock of the rifle are really a combination of personal preference and the environment and distances you may be hunting. But when it was all said and done I ended up purchasing a Savage Trophy Hunter 30-06. It gave me everything I was looking for and it came in a Left-handed version. The variety of cartridges available in the 30-06 caliber allowed me scale down for Pronghorn Antelope or up for Elk and Moose while not breaking the bank on price.

All-in all I am very happy with my choice and glad I took the time to figure out what best suited my needs. For small game…well, that’s why god invented shotguns!

Wow, this piece of writing is fastidious, my sister is analyzing these things, thus I am going to inform her diurétique sans ordonnance.

5 Responses to How To Choose Your First Hunting Rifle

  1. ForestRob2 says:

    This article was actually incredibly helpful, I wanted a 30.06 but got a .270 instead and for my needs I’m much more comfortable than my friends whose shots are a bit off from the kick of their guns while I am very at ease.

  2. Michael Case says:

    Great post, I am thinking of getting my first rifle and its really informative.

    • Noah says:

      If it’s your first rifle make sure you have had some training and understand that any firearm is only as good or safe as the person using it. Having said this, my suggestion is to choose wisely as many people tend to purchase much more gun than they really need for the game they hunt. Be safe and enjoy!

  3. My dad wants a rifle because he is thinking of learning to hunt so I am glad that I found this article. I will make sure to ask my dad what he will plan to hunt because different calibers work better for different animals. Also, I will make sure that he gets either the bolt action or the semi-automatic because it is easier to maintain. In my opinion, my dad needs a starting rifle that is easy for him to understand and does not have too many pieces.

  4. It’s important to note that airsoft guns are not recommended for hunting as they are not powerful enough to take down most game animals. However, if you are interested in using an airsoft gun for recreational play or target shooting, here are some factors to consider when choosing your first airsoft rifle:

    1. Type of Airsoft Gun: There are three main types of airsoft guns: spring-powered, gas-powered, and electric-powered. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, so consider which type will best suit your needs.

    2. Purpose: Consider what you plan to use the airsoft gun for. Will it be for recreational play, target shooting, or competitive play? This can help determine what type of airsoft gun will be best for you.

    3. Power and Accuracy: Look for an airsoft gun that has good power and accuracy to ensure that you are able to hit your targets effectively.

    4. Brand and Quality: Look for reputable brands and models that are known for their quality and durability. This can help ensure that your airsoft gun will last and perform well over time.

    5. Budget: Airsoft guns can vary in price from relatively inexpensive to quite expensive. Set a budget and look for an airsoft gun that fits within your price range while still meeting your needs.

    6. Field Regulations: If you plan to play at airsoft fields or events, check the regulations to ensure that the airsoft gun you choose is allowed.

    7. Accessories and Upgrades: Consider what accessories and upgrades you may want to add to your airsoft gun, such as scopes, laser sights, or upgraded barrels.

    Overall, it’s important to do your research and choose an airsoft gun that is suitable for your needs and budget. Always follow proper safety guidelines when using airsoft guns and wear appropriate protective gear.

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