How to Choose the Right Hunting Rifle For Your Needs

Hunter Posing With Deer and Rifle

Hunting at Tioga Ranch is a fun experience. That said, what kind of rifle is right for you to use on your hunt? Well, there are several things to take into consideration when choosing your rifle.

Caliber

For starters, there’s the caliber, which refers to the diameter of the gun barrel, aka the tube through which a shot is fired. When hunting deer, for instance, the .243 caliber is one of the most popular calibers of all time, so that’s a fine choice. When hunting larger game, consider using a .270 or .300 caliber. 

Frame Fit

Next, you want to use a rifle that fits you. It shouldn’t be too long or too short for your frame. If the fit ain’t right, the felt recoil will increase and that can lead to bad shooting habits forming– yikes! Ideally, look for a rifle with an adjustable stock. Check out how it feels on your shoulder– does it fall into place naturally in your shoulder pocket? When your cheek touches the stock do you have to bend your neck at an uncomfortable angle? If so, that’s not a good fit. Does your eye line-up with the sights or the scope such that you’re not having to move your head back and forth to get the right sight picture? That’s good. Look for different stock shapes and styles and find the one that fits best. 

Right Action

What kind of action do you need? If you want long-range accuracy then use a bolt-action rifle. For short, quick-handling shots you’d want to use a lever-action gun. Want a bit of a challenge? Use a break-action, single-shot gun. 

Finish and Ammo

Think about bullet availability. Ideally, you want to use a rifle for which you can easily and readily find ammo! If ammo is available for your particular rifle at sporting goods stores or country stores, you should be fine. 

Finally, keep in mind that the finish of the rifle matters. If where you’re hunting experiences a lot of rain or temperature swings, then choose a rifle with a synthetic stock and waterproof finish on the exposed metal. This is better than a rifle with a wooden stock, which tends to swell on wet or rainy days, changing the point of impact on your rifle.