A Quick Guide to Hunting Guns

hunter, hunting, rifle.

If you are interested in the popular sport of hunting, one of the first things you need to know about is the gun you should use. There are many different types of hunting rifles, and your choice will depend on many factors. Some of those factors include the size of the gun, the speed and energy of the shot, the level of accuracy you need, and the type of prey you are hunting.

Hunters love the thrill of their pastime. They also love the firearms they use while on a hunt. There are plenty of different firearms that can be optimized while hunting, though some are better for certain situations than others. From rifles to shotguns to handguns, there is a place for each depending on where and what you are hunting. A closer look at these three firearms can help determine which gun is right for you in your hunting environment. Below are a few pointers about the main types of hunting guns people regularly use: rifles, shotguns, and handguns.


Perhaps the staple of all hunting firearms, rifles are powerful and easy to reload. They are all built based off of the same design, and are versatile by nature. They can have barrels that accommodate different calibers of ammunition. There are also different types of rifles, including semi-automatic rifles and lever action rifles.

That makes rifles very accessible to hunters of a variety of different game animals. They can be used for faster prey, like deer, feral hogs, and boars. Hunters of exotic game – rhinos, tigers, and leopards – and larger North American game – elk and bears – are also avid users of rifles for hunting. They are also useful for smaller prey, like rabbits, foxes, coyotes. The rifle is an adaptable firearm that can be used in many hunting situations.


Shotguns are also a versatile hunting firearm due to the variety of shells they can use. They can be loaded with ammunition that is better for fowl or other birds, or they can be loaded with rounds that are more suited for larger animals. Shotguns are generally pump action firearms, but can sometimes be found as a lever-action shotgun or semi-automatic shotgun.


These firearms also come in a variety of sizes and calibers that make them versatile in many hunting situations. They are limited in the range of their accuracy, however, and are not ideal for ranged shooting. The amount of recoil and kick you are able to handle will also dictate which handgun you will be able to accurately shoot.

Which Firearms Work Best for Different Sizes of Game

Now that you have a better understanding of the most common firearms used in hunting, we can cover which firearms you should take with you based on what type of animal you are hunting. This will be a basic overview, as the range of firearms available for your needs could fill books.

●     Smaller Animals

Smaller prey such as rabbits, squirrels, and other tiny creatures need a firearm that will not completely destroy them when it makes contact. Smaller caliber rifles are the most common gun used for this game. A .22 caliber cartridge is the ideal shell you want to use. Be careful when you choose your bullet, though: some are designed for quick expansion and are only intended for use on varmints (animals you do not intend to eat and that are a nuisance). For animals slightly larger than these – the predators of these animal such as foxes, coyotes, and feral cats – you will want to use a more powerful caliber.

●     Medium-sized Animals

Medium-sized animals range from 51 to 300 pounds, and hunting them requires more energy from the firearm and bullet. At impact, the bullet should be at least 800 ft. lbs. Bullet sizes used range from .24 to .40 caliber, depending on the size of the animal.

●     Larger Animals (Big Game)

Big game animals range from 301-1,000 pounds in weight. If you are a big game hunter, you are after animals like elk, musk ox, wildebeest, zebra, kudu, and moose. Because of their size, you will need premium bullets in order to achieve the right amount of impact for a successful and ethical kill shot. The range you should target if you’re hunting big game is .27 to .375 caliber.

While the information provided here is a great place to start, there is a lot more to being a skilled, knowledgeable, and responsible hunter. Picking out the right gear is an absolute must, and Grabagun is the right place to find everything you need.

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