Plenty of ink has been spilled and words have been said regarding what is vital to take on a hunting trip. That’s no surprise, considering the number of products available and where you can find them. Hunting gear can be found online, in department stores, and in specialty stores. The market is flooded with so many options that picking the right choice for you can be harder than it needs to be. So let’s discuss how you make the choices you do and then look at some of the best options available to you. But first, let’s answer some common questions people have when determining what gear to bring.
Think About Yourself First
You know yourself better than anyone else does. Think about the qualities you like or prefer in equipment, and search for products that fit those criteria. There is no point trying to fit your needs to accommodate what someone else likes. Find the gear that works best for you.
Camouflage is essential to hunting, plain and simple. It is everywhere you look, though it is the ultimate accessory when you are trying not to be seen. You will have the best luck against your target when you cannot be easily seen by your prey. Camo comes in a variety of patterns, allowing for numerous environments to be reflected on your hunting clothing. Oftentimes it is seasonal, with certain patterns and colors dedicated to winter in Alaska or fall in Appalachia.
How Do I Decide What Gets Packed?
This is the biggest question to answer, and it has many different answers. Depending on where you are hunting and what type of game you are going after, your gear can change drastically. There are, however, a few universal guidelines you will want to follow. Most hunters look for the best lightweight gear they can find in order to lighten the load and alleviate additional stress on their bodies. Another aspect they look for in their hunting clothes is functionality. When your hunting gear can fulfill several purposes in one package, your need for additional equipment goes down. The final factor that is fairly universal among hunters is durability. You want gear that can withstand the rigors of the hunt – and we all know those can be difficult. With these three characteristics in mind, let’s take a look at some gear that will improve your next hunt.
Top Pick for Men
- Browning Hell’s Canyon Speed Shrike Jacket
This jacket hits all the essentials. Warm, durable, and lightweight, this jacket gets the job done. The outer shell is designed to be both wind- and water-resistant, and the sleeves have elastic cuffs to help make sure the elements do not get to you. One of the best qualities of this jacket is its HeroFit design, which enables the wearer to be more mobile. It has multiple front pockets on the chest of the jacket for quick and easy access to accessories. Finally, the exclusive A-TACS camo pattern sets this jacket apart from competition for sure. This is a must-have hunting jacket.
Top Pick for Women
- Browning Hell’s Belles Blended Down Jacket
Your outer layer is the most visible. Having the right jacket is crucial to staying concealed and protected on the hunt. This Browning jacket features blended, water-resistant insulation for optimal warmth. It also helps keep the wind at bay. When your gloves simply will not cut it, the jacket comes with hand-warmer pockets with zipper closures to make sure your fingers are ready to pull the trigger.
Top Pick for Everyone
- Barska Optics Loaded Gear Tactical Vest
This tactical vest does it all. It keeps all of your essentials expertly positioned for when you need them most. It is adjustable, so it can be worn by several body types. There are three detachable sections: heavy duty belt with pouches, three-section pistol magazine/flashlight pouch, and a draw holster. Though this gear is not camouflaged, its tan color blends well with the camo you will be wearing.
Top Pick for Covering Your Legs
- Allen Deepwoods Neoprene Bootfoot Chest Wader
These Mossy Oak Break-Up Country camo waders mean business. Made of out 3.5 mm neoprene, it doesn’t get much better than these for cold water hunting or fishing. These waders also feature a high-back design so you can venture further into the water than with other pairs. With both adjustable suspenders and a waist belt, these will fit nearly everyone. They also come with a feature you don’t find in many waders – a semi-hard toe cap, which is ideal for protecting your feet when you can’t see your footing in muddy or fast-moving water.
Each of these items come with the three major characteristics you want: durability, functionality, and lightweight. Supplement these with a few other great products to optimize your next hunting trip.
Now that you know what you need for your next hunt, you might be asking yourself where is the best place to find all of this equipment? That’s easy: It’s the same place you go to buy guns online. GrabAGun.com supplies their hunters with not only the weapons to take down their prey, but also the gear to help get them to that point. From jackets, to carrying cases, to chairs – if there is hunting gear you need, GrabAGun.com is ready to provide you with all of your hunting, fishing, camping, and firearm needs.
One of the most common rifles on the market needs no introduction. The AR – short for its original manufacturer ArmaLite – has been a staple of rifles around the world for decades. Though initially considered to be a flop, a lot has changed since its inception. It is now popular internationally, and for good reason.
Because of this popularity, the AR10 and AR15 have numerous myths and facts that surround them. Sometimes, it is hard to differentiate between what is true and what is not. So to help keep you focused on what is important (or interesting) and also true about an AR, here are seven things you need to know before buying an AR.
- 1. ARs are completely customizable.
One of the most exciting aspects of owning an AR is the ability to outfit your weapon to your precise specifications. The barrel, stock, grip, receiver, and handguard can all be replaced to make your rifle unique. To add another layer of customization, the receiver is often split into an upper and lower section to allow for even more ways to adjust your AR to your personal taste.
- 2. They make excellent hunting rifles.
Think about some aspects of a weapon you would like to have when hunting. Light so it does not slow you down. Rugged and durable so it can endure harsh conditions. Most importantly, accuracy, so you will go home with the prized kill more often than not. ARs are ideal for hunting small game like coyotes and other feral animals.
- 3. Law enforcement utilizes their defensive capabilities.
Police use some of the most advanced weaponry available to help keep our communities safe. The AR continually makes the list of arms that officers carry. Weapons that are used for that level of defense and security should be optimal for home defense weaponry as well.
- 4. They come in a range of calibers
The range of calibers for an AR are numerous. Because of the different sizes of barrels, the functions of the weapon are even more diverse. Sport shooting, home defense, and a wide variety of hunting can all be performed with an AR and its generous range of calibers. This also means that different types of bullets will be used, depending on the caliber of your weapon.
- 5. The AR is a semi-automatic version of the M16
The M16 has been one of the most common weapons used by U.S. armed forces since its inception. The M16 is a fully automatic weapon that keeps soldiers of the United States military safe. The AR is modelled off of the M16 as a rifle to help private citizens feel safe and protected.
- 6. Sport/target shooting is a common pastime with an AR
Sport shooting often requires your weapon to be accurate and lightweight, two characteristics that the AR offers. For rifle competitions, the AR is more often than not the weapon of choice and typically the rifle that wins the event. Most marksmen would agree that the AR is a vital weapon for anyone wanting to get involved with sport shooting.
- 7. There are multiple versions of the AR
The two most common ARs are the AR10 and the AR15. Each have variations in their capabilities, and both are useful and versatile rifles. Analyzing your needs will help determine which type of AR will best work for you. Consider how you want to use your next rifle, then gauge the pros and cons of the ARs that fit those needs.
With the extreme versatility of the AR, it is an ideal rifle to purchase for all types of gun owners. It still sits atop the list of modern sporting rifles due to its extreme flexibility as a weapon. This list gives you an introduction to why the AR is so popular. It also gives you an understanding of how the AR can be utilized in your arsenal. Continue to research your state’s laws and the different types of ARs available, and you will be able to find the rifle that works best for you.
There are many heated topics of debate surrounding firearms. One of the most contentious discussions involves concealed carry laws. Concealed carry – or carrying a concealed weapon (CCW) – is the exercise of carrying a weapon in public in such a way that it is hidden. There are no mandated federal laws for concealed carry; the right to issue such permits lies in the power of the state. Whether or not your state allows for concealed carry, there are several guidelines to keep in mind so that you will properly conceal your gun once you obtain your permit (check your state’s laws to see what process you need to go through to obtain one).
The primary (if not only) way to conceal a weapon is using clothing. Therefore, the more clothing you wear, the more options are available to you for hiding your weapon. The weather – or conditions of the environment – that you find yourself in will influence your ability to wear multiple layers of clothing. It’s not easy to wear a jacket and pants in 100-degree temperatures. Some of the most common articles of clothing to use for concealment are:
- Coats and jackets: This is probably the most convenient way to conceal a weapon. Larger than shirts, a coat or jacket provides added thickness against concealed weapon detection. Additionally, a weapon positioned correctly underneath your jacket can be easy to access, an attribute many concealed weapons lack. A major downside for concealing under a jacket is be the limited availability of weather conditions.
- Shirts: Another popular way to carry a hidden firearm is underneath a shirt. Generally, shirts that are loose and baggy are better at shielding weapons from detection than form-fitting or tight shirts. Weapons are often holstered within the waistband. A major aspect to consider is if you wear your shirt tucked-in or untucked. How you chose to wear your shirt will have a direct impact on your ability to access your weapon.
- Pants: Pocket holsters can keep your weapon concealed in your pants, but they can often have a bulge, depending upon the size of your weapon.
Your weapon will be kept within a holster when concealed underneath your clothing. Some of the most common types of holsters for concealed weapon carrying are belt holsters (outside the waistband), belt holsters (inside the waistband), shoulder holsters, ankle holsters, clothing holsters, purse/bag holsters, and pocket holsters. Find the holster that feels right for you and can accommodate the weapon you typically carry.
In addition to your clothing and holster, there are many considerations and unwritten rules you want to follow when you carry concealed. Many experts would agree that avoiding these six bad habits will help you better conceal your weapon.
- Using an inferior holster: This is ultimately where your weapon will be kept. You want something that will keep it secure, but also comfortable and accessible. Something to keep in mind is that you won’t have one holster for all your needs; having several is typical.
- Wearing improper clothing: This can lead to printing (the outline of your weapon being visible). You can find clothes that fit your style and your weapon.
- Adjusting in public: This is the easiest way to tip-off other people that you are carrying. Adjusting your weapon or constantly checking it takes away from what you are trying to accomplish through hiding it in the first place. There are much better places to readjust if you need to, including bathroom stalls, your vehicle, or another private area.
- Only carrying some of the time: When you make the commitment to carry, you need to be all-in. When you don’t carry all the time, you can forget aspects and the mindset that go along with it. Continually carrying concealed will keep you on point to all the responsibilities that go along with it.
- Not being aware of firearm laws: When you carry concealed, it is your job to understand the laws of the area in which you are carrying. Regulations across the country vary as to what is acceptable. Do your research and be in the know when you are carrying in a place you are unfamiliar with.
- Not being mentally prepared: People who carry concealed need to be responsible and exhibit control and intelligence when carrying. You have your second amendment rights, but it is your duty to be safe with your firearm.
Understanding and following some of these rules will help you better conceal and carry. It doesn’t matter your age, gender, or race: following these rules can benefit everyone. Concealed carry holsters help you carry the firearm you want, but practice the same precautions you do when operating your firearm. Be safe, be responsible, and enjoy exhibiting your right to conceal and carry.
If you’re like me, then you constantly want to expand your knowledge of firearms. Collecting them is what you like to do, but knowing about them gives you an edge over your competition. And nothing is better than having bragging rights among your fellow marksmen. Knowledge and understanding of your firearms is not limited to just the weapon itself: it extends to everything your weapon needs to function successfully. A major part of that is its ammunition. With a well-rounded understanding, you can be confident when you buy ammo, reload supplies, or reload bullets.
Because ammunition plays such an outsized factor in accurate firings, let’s take a look at some of the handgun ammunition. Most handgun ammo can be broken down into four major components: case, bullet, powder charge, and primer. The case holds the bullet in front of the powder charge so that once the primer ignites the powder it will be positioned to exit the barrel of the weapon in a straight and accurate path. A common word associated with ammunition is “caliber.” The caliber of ammo correlates directly to the firearm it will be shot from. The internal diameter of a weapon’s barrel is referred to as the caliber, just as the external diameter of a bullet is.
If you’ve been around several types of firearms, you’ve probably noticed that each uses a slightly different variation of bullet. Shotguns use shells or slugs, rifle bullets tend to be long and thin, and handgun rounds tend to be shorter and wider than rifle ammunition. Though rifle ammunition can often be found in the same caliber, adjustments are made in large part due to barrel length and the amount of pressure each uses to operate. The barrel and gas pressure from combustion are critical to the firing process. The pressure from ignition of the gun powder creates the force propelling the bullet. Two key velocities are also taken into consideration: muzzle velocity and bullet velocity. The rate at which ammunition leaves the muzzle is muzzle velocity. Bullet velocity is the mass of the bullet, its drop in elevation, and velocity when leaving the firearm calculated together. Variables such as these impact what type of ammo can (and should) be used for each weapon.
In general, muzzle velocity for a handgun is less feet per second (FPS) than for a rifle. Due to this issue, bullets often have to make up their effectiveness another way. There are several ways to go about attempting this:
- Increase the weight of the bullet. This is often done by elongating the bullet. The issue with this is muzzle velocity will often drop. Though longer, heavier bullets sound effective, they have the potential to come out too slow.
- Increase the length of the barrel. When this happens, the convenience of an easy-to-carry side arm diminishes. Keeping its size to something with a barrel eight inches or smaller tends to be most efficient.
- Increase the bullet caliber. This makes the pressure generated from firing exert more pounds per square inch on the bullet. Remember that the caliber must be able to fit within the barrel of your weapon. This method will create larger holes in your targets and might not be a viable option if you are hunting small game, since you may completely destroy it.
- Use alternative bullet designs. Manufacturers offer a variety of case and shell designs that alter how ammunition reacts on impact.
- Increase the operating pressure of the cartridge. There are plenty of variables that go into this; be sure to check with your state’s regulations on what is acceptable.
- Improve the gunpowder used with your bullet. Technology is constantly advancing, and our firearms and ammunition are no exception. Perhaps with further advances, we might start to see a shift from the traditional short and fat style of handgun ammunition.
Handgun ammunition will continue to change as new developments are made. As of now, handgun rounds tend to be smaller and wider than rifle rounds. Remember to always consider the type of shooting you most often do, then try some rounds out at the range to see how you like firing them. Be safe and enjoy discovering your own personal preferences for handgun ammunition.
Anyone who has ever owned a weapon knows the desire to be able to shoot with greater accuracy. The most basic way to improve your accuracy is through practice. But sometimes that just isn’t the best way to improve your firearm handling. Taking your abilities to the next level sometimes requires improvement of your firearm to take your shooting to the next level.
The addition of gun optics can be what you need to achieve the next level. Handgun scopes, Nikon scopes, and other scopes can all improve the weapons they were designed for. But how do you utilize this technology to help mold you into a better sharpshooter? Let’s take a look at some popular scopes, how to determine which one fits your needs, how to calibrate them, and how to maintain them.
No scope can perform well in every situation. Many scopes have their capabilities written on them that people can interpret, but unless you are well-versed in their meaning, you probably won’t have an idea what they mean.
A basic inscription on a scope could be 12 x 40. In this example, the 12 refers to the magnifying power of the scope and the 40 indicates the diameter in millimeters of the object lens (this is the end that you do not look through). When you use a higher magnification, less area can be viewed through the scope, and the amount of light that enters the scope is limited. Working against the light restrictions of magnification is the diameter of the object lens, which allows more light to pass through the scope, brightening images. Remember to consider the power ratio between power versus diameter. 4 x 32 is brighter than 12 x 40, even though the diameter is larger on the 40. Because of these problems, many scopes can now be found with variable power settings. This aspect helps adjust your optics on the fly so you can react to your environment as it changes.
Your crosshairs, or reticles, also play a vital role in the accuracy of your optics. They are generally one vertical and horizontal line that intersect. Where the lines cross should be the center point for where you are attempting to aim. The most common type of crosshair today is a duplex reticle, due to its ability to fit multiple needs. When you focus your scope, you will want to aim it at a light-colored wall and adjust the scope until the reticle is in sharp focus.
Ultimately, though, how do you select a scope that is right for you? Like other technologies, there always seems to be a better or different model available soon after you make your purchase that has some feature you would want to have. You must remember that scopes can always be adjusted and replaced, so you are not making a lifelong commitment.
Above all, remember to keep in mind the type of shooting you will be doing with your weapon. For target hunting, you will want a scope that is good for aiming at moving targets, like low-powered scopes tend to be. Target shooters might use a higher powered scope due to the lack of movement in the shooting style. No matter if you buy a Carl Zeiss scope, an EOTech scope, or any other scope on the market, here is a short checklist of how to accurately use your new scope.
· Determine how far away pellets land
· Tune the elevation and windage for the particular condition
· Adjust the parallax
· Set crosshairs to the focal point of the target
For bore sighting your rifle, here is a helpful guide to get you going.
At a range, set two targets at 25 meters and 100 meters respectively. Use a tripod or other securing mechanism to keep your rifle from resting on a hard surface. Remove the bolt or action. Adjust the rifle stand so that the 100-meter target is centered when looking through the breech end. Without adjusting the position, make sure your cross-hairs are aligned in the center.
Enjoy your new optics and learning how to use them to increase your accuracy. Remember to practice all the other rules of responsible gun ownership once you have become a better shot.