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5 Tips To Help You Choose The Right Hunting Rifle For Your Needs

Tuesday, May 14th, 2019
man holding hunting rifle

There is no standard “best rifle” because each person will have a different view on what that may mean. All hunting rifles have pros and cons. It isn’t about choosing the one that is objectively better than the rest of the competition but about identifying the rifle that best suits your needs. This post will go over how to think about your ideal hunting rifle. This will allow you to narrow your choices to the handful that are the best for you.

Research as much as you can

First, and this cannot be emphasized enough, do some research. Make a list of your favorite hunting rifles and research them thoroughly. Read reviews, look up the costs, and talk to your friends and family. Ask your local gunsmith for his or her opinion as well. The more information you have the better.

Think about what cartridge size you will need

The rifle you choose is built around the cartridge or bullet. Each hunting rifle is designed to shoot a specific cartridge and can only fire that type. Think about how you want to use the rifle. Do you want to engage in big game hunting? Is it for shooting vermin around your property? Is the rifle a gift for your son or daughter? In general, the bigger your targets, the bigger the cartridge.

If you are just starting out, consider a .30-06 Springfield, .308 Winchester, or .270 Winchester. These cartridges should be able to handle most medium-sized targets. But, if you are going exclusively for small game, you can start with a .22 or .223 Remington.

Choose an action

Action refers to how the rifle kicks back and ejects a fired cartridge. Do you want a repeating rifle or do you want a single-action? A single-action is a rifle in which you need to manually eject each used cartridge to either insert a new one or clear the chamber for the next one from the magazine. A repeating rifle does this automatically, using the force of the fired bullet to eject and clear the action.

In general, single-action hunting rifles are favored by hunters who need to force themselves to make each shot count. Repeating rifles are good for newer hunters who want less pressure to make the first shot. Single shot choices include a variety of action-types such as trapdoor, break-open, rolling-block, and falling-block. Repeating rifles include bolt-action, pump action, lever action, and automatic rifles. It is best to get hands-on experience with a seasoned hunter before choosing your favored action.

Look at the materials

There is a difference between affordable and poor quality. The basis for a good-quality rifle is the barrel and stock materials. Most barrels are made of carbon or stainless steel. Stainless steel is more resistant to rust but if you take care of the barrel, a carbon steel barrel should be fine. As far as your stock, these are usually made of either wood or fiberglass. Both are good choices. But, if you’re choosing wood, pay attention to the species. For example, if you go with walnut, it will be more expensive but will be more durable.

Invest in optics and accessories

Finally, set aside funds for a good set of optics. Scopes are expensive. You can expect to spend between 50 to 100 percent of the cost of the rifle on your optics. Once you get your scope, you need to mount it, site it, and become accustomed to using it. You may need to buy some accessories as well, like a cleaning kit and case.

Buying your hunting rifle at a gun auction

Once you have your ideal rifle in mind, consider checking out a local gun auction. Auctions present a lot of opportunities to get your ideal rifle (or close to it) for a fraction of the price. You can even find accessories for good prices.

Once you know your favorite rifle, research auction catalogs to see if any line up with what you need. Are they working guns or are they collectibles? This will determine the price point they are likely to auction for. Finally, come up with a high number you are willing to pay and don’t go beyond it.

Don’t forget to inspect the rifle when you arrive at the auction. Before the auction, you should be allowed to review and inspect the items. See if you will be allowed to get an up-close look at the guns you are interested in or if any history is available on them.

Gun auctions in the Texas Panhandle

If you want to learn more about gun auctions, call High Plains Auctioneers today. You can reach us at (806) 244-6776 or Contact Us by email for more information about our events and Buying or Selling with us. Don’t forget to check out our Upcoming Auctions to see what we have available!