A shotgun is a versatile part of a hunter’s collection. Not only is a shotgun a great addition to your home defense strategy, but it’s also an excellent gun for beginners, it comes at a variety of price points, and a twelve gauge shotgun is ideal for sport hunting a wide range of game, both big and small.
What You Can Hunt
With the versatility of ammunition, you can hunt any bird, including dove, quail, grouse, pheasant, geese, duck, and turkey. Birdshot in either a 12- or 20-gauge model gives you a deadly shot, and because they shoot a spread of pellets, shotguns are perfect for animals in flight.
You can also hunt small game like rabbits and squirrels, or load your shotgun with buckshot to pursue big game like deer or feral hogs at close range. If you use slugs, your shotgun is capable of hunting the same big game, or perhaps bigger, at longer ranges.
Range and Specs
The range of a shotgun varies depending on the ammunition. Pellets are an adequate shot at about forty yards, and slugs at about seventy-five. The reality is that shotguns will always be less accurate than rifles; however, because they can fire multiple projectiles, they are ideal for small, fast-moving targets.
The two most common gauges are twelve and twenty. The gauge refers to the diameter of the barrel, and the higher the number, the smaller the barrel. A 20-gauge shotgun is slightly smaller than a 12-gauge, is lighter weight, and has less recoil.
Ammunition also comes in gauges rather than caliber like in rifles or handguns. There are several different kinds of ammo you can use to load a shotgun. A shell is a self-contained cartridge loaded with multiple metallic pellets. Buckshot is the same is birdshot, but the spherical projectiles are bigger, so it does more damage and can be used to hunt bigger game. Slug is the term used for a shotgun bullet. It’s one solid lead projectile and is the most powerful ammunition you can buy for a shotgun.
How It Compares to Bow Hunting
Experienced hunters use both a gun and a bow regularly. However, for beginners, or someone wanting to gain proficiency, it’s best to choose one firearm and practice consistently. Focusing on a smaller set of skills enables mastery of those skills more quickly.
The outdoor hunting experience is entirely different from shotgun to bow. Hunting small game with a bow is very challenging, and you’ll be largely unsuccessful unless you have exceptionally good aim with moving targets.
Big game is also hard to shoot with archery unless you’re within thirty yards of your target. Stalking within archery range of elk or deer requires a lot of practice, skill, and sometimes luck. In most cases, a shotgun promotes more frequent success if your goal is to bring home dinner.
Seasons, Tags, and Regulations
Outdoor hunting regulations are complex, and they vary from state to state. Check local rules for where you can hunt, how to obtain tags, and how long the season is. When factoring in some of these things, bowhunters tend to have more of an advantage.
Some land is designated archery only, and many local landowners will only allow bowhunting on their property. If you know someone with land, hunting on private property can be cheaper, so gun hunting tends to be more pricey if you want the exclusivity that private property provides.
Over-the-counter tags are available first-come-first-serve but are the best bet for beginners because you don’t need points to be competitive. More experienced hunters have a better chance at a lottery for obtaining the tags they need.
Archery season is usually longer than gun season. You may also want to consider whether the seasons overlap because many archers don’t enjoy sharing the woods with gun hunters due to a significant disadvantage. It can also be dangerous to have bowhunters and gun hunters in the same area at one time, although incidents are rare, especially if you practice appropriate safety techniques.
Archery season usually precedes gun season, meaning that if you hunt with a rifle, you’re already at a disadvantage before you even begin. Guns often scare off animals, so once gun season starts, it can be hard to bag your limit. However, the earlier in the season it is, the warmer it is, so gun hunters do have a weather advantage later in the year.
Best for Beginners
A shotgun is one of the most versatile guns and performs nearly all functions that a rifle does, with few exceptions. Its ability to shoot a wide range of ammunition makes it useful for almost anything. Small game, large game, and home defense are a few potential uses already addressed. It’s effective at both short and long range.
Shotguns are also relatively inexpensive, so they’re not a huge investment for those wanting to learn. Shotguns circumvent a lot of legislation where handguns and rifles are concerned, and they’re easier to acquire.
It’s easy to transform a shotgun to a home defense role or make it a bird-blasting gun for the field. With an endless line of aftermarket accessories, you can tweak a shotgun to make it comfortable for anyone.
Shotguns are versatile, and you have a lot of options for comfort, size, and ammunition, making it one of the best guns for hunting. Grab A Gun has shotguns for sale, and you can order shotguns online on their website. If you’re looking to take up outdoor hunting, shotgun hunting is the perfect choice.
“Ya better say your prayers, ya flea-bitten varmint … I’m-a-gonna blow ya to smithereenies” From the wise words of Yosemite Sam to your author’s humble keyboard it's hard to find truer words. If you haven’t guessed it from my apparent affinity for Looney Tune’s quotes today we are talking about varmint hunting.
Courtesy Warner Brothers
Varmint hunting is unique in its own right. Most of the time varmint hunting isn’t necessarily done for meat, but for what’s basically pest control. Don’t get me wrong, some varmints are quite tasty… But many of them are complete and utter pests. They often breed so much, and so fast you must hunt them to just control their population.
Varmint hunting isn’t typically associated with the seriousness of deer, elk, moose, or bear hunting. It’s often more sought for the challenge than the trophy. Outside of the challenge many do it simply for pest control.
While varmint hunting may be a necessity, that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. We’ve picked our top 5 favorite varmint and the calibers and guns perfect for blowing them to “smithereenies.”
Good ole’ tree rats, the bane of many a bird feeder. Squirrels are one of the few varmints that are nice and tasty. They can be gamey, but toss them into a stew or fry them in a cast iron pan and you’ll have a nice dinner. Squirrels can be a major pest for those in the countryside. They can chew their way into attics, destroy insulation, and leave a mess. They are nightmares in a barn, especially if you keep corn, horse feed, and similar feeds stored there.
He Looks a little squirelly - Courtesy US Fish and Wildlife
So, you gotta take ‘em out. Squirrels can be easily dealt with a 22 LR but I’ve always stuck to a shotgun for safety reasons. Since squirrels tend to keep to the trees I don’t want to be shooting rifles in the air and risk a miss. The old adage of what goes up must come down is important to remember. The 410 is my preference due to its small size and low recoil. You don’t need anything more powerful than a lightly loaded 410 and good point shooting skills. The 410 is strong enough to kill them, but weak enough where it won’t damage the squirrel past the point of edibility.
The Budget Gun
The classic budget shotgun has always been and likely always will be the single shot shotgun. The H&R Pardner series has been the go to choice for cheap, but well-made single shots for decades and I’d hate to break from tradition. This super lightweight shotgun is easy to point and is perfect for younger shooters. It has a 3-inch chamber, is hammer fired, and features classic wooden furniture. It’s also a sub 200-dollar gun.
The Fun Gun
The Mossberg 500 in 410 is hard to beat if you need to take multiple shots in a short amount of time. The pump action ensures you aren’t dealing with a finicky semi auto action, while providing 5 rounds of rapid fire potential. It’s easy to pump and dump on multiple squirrels and the ribbed barrel and bead sight keeps things simple. The gun has a 3-inch chamber, a 24 inch barrel, and a full choke. It might as well be called the squirrel blaster.
Oh coyotes, they were one of the first animals I successfully hunted. They just happened to be hunting a friend's calves and terrorizing the chickens. This is common coyote behavior and they are spreading fast across the southeast United States. They are vicious scavengers that can even be a threat to young children and domestic animals. Coyotes breed very fast, and if you’re hunting them you want something that takes them down without issue. A wounded coyote can be a very dangerous animal. You want a round that can take them out without much effort.
Coyote Courtesy US Fish and Game
Coyotes are also pretty dang suspicious of humans and tend to be skittish. It’s a lot easier to hit them from a hundred yards and beyond than trying to get them in shotgun or rimfire range. Plus, it's a lot more challenging the further out you go. I like the 22-250 for popping coyotes. It has enough oomph to take a coyote down with a single shot to almost any part of the upper body. It’s also less affected by wind than similar cartridges. It’s flat nature and hard-hitting power makes it a great coyote round out to even 500 yards.
The Savage Axis series are renowned for their quality and affordable price. You aren’t getting a rifle neutered to save a few dimes. You are getting a very competent rifle equipped with a free-floating barrel, sling swivel studs, a steel magazine, and their silky smooth bolt action. The rifle is drilled and tapped for a scope mount and ready to terrorize the next coyote that has the unfortunate luck to meet you and your Savage.
Lever gun? More like lever fun. Okay I’ll put the lame marketing jokes away now. In all seriousness the Browning BLR is one of my favorite lever guns. Instead on using a tube to hold ammo they use a rotary magazine that allows the gun to use spitzer (IE pointy) based cartridges. The BLR’s lever action is smooth and rapid. The 22-250 is a short round so there isn’t a lot of movement necessary to work the action. This gives you a lightweight, easy shooting gun with the ability to cycle rounds rapidly if needed.
Prairie dogs hardly seem to be a pest, but just a hair of research tells you just how destructive these creatures can be. It’s not uncommon for large animals like cows and horses to stumble into a prairie dog den. This often results in an injured animal, and some serious vet bills, or having to put the animal down. Prairie dogs also breed faster than rabbits and spread almost like a disease across the land. Taking them down fast and hard is the name of the game.
Courtesy US Fish and Game
Prairies dogs are basically the same size of squirrels, but live on the ground. You won’t get too close without having them scatter to their den. Hitting them from a hundred yards off with a good rimfire rifle is the way to go. The 17 HMR is an ultra-modern rimfire round from the minds at Hornady. It’s flat shooting, fast as lightning, and smashes into prairie dogs with ease. 17 HMR offers much better ballistics than 22 LR and is a more modern choice with more modern hunting projectiles offered. It hits harder, shoots flatter, and flies faster than 22 LR ever will.
The Mossberg 817 is about a cheap of a 17 HMR as you can find. This bolt action repeating rifle comes in at under 200 dollars and for that price it's a steal. It has a short 14.25-inch length of pull and weighs only 4.8 pounds. This makes it an excellent youth rifle and a lightweight prairie dog reaper. It’s ready for a scope with its Weaver style scope bases. This magazine fed rifle has a unique pistol grip and stock combo and even comes with a forward picatinny rail for mounting a bipod.
I like lever guns, and the fact that Henry introduced one in 17 HMR wasn’t lost on me. The Henry Varmint Express holds 11 rounds of 17 HMR allowing you to load it on Sunday and shoot it all week long. The adjustable semi buckhorn rear sight and beaded front sight makes it easy to split prairie dogs down the middle. Also, I chose the octagonal barrel model because let’s face it, looks matter. Get your wild west fantasy on and send them varmint packing.
Rabbit is our second tasty treat on the list. Great for cooking in the crock pot or in a stew as flavoring. Rabbit are one of the easiest creatures I’ve ever hunted. Often, it’s as simple as walking, watching one run, and then picking it off when it stops ten feet later. Rabbit are like prairie dogs in the fact that they breed fast and can invade an area quickly. They love to destroy crops, and will eat a home garden to bits and pieces.
He Looks Rascally… Courtesy US Fish and Game
Rabbits are social creatures, and it’s not unusual to find them in groups of 2 or 3. You need an easy shooting, common caliber that’s small enough to avoid damaging the meat of a target. I like the 22 LR. There’s a few reasons, first it’s close range, so the long-range potential of the 17 HMR simply isn’t needed here. Second, the semi auto designs are affordable, widely available and reliable. The third reason is 22 LR is cheap, and easy to buy in bulk.
Well this one was incredibly easy. Of course, I am going to choose the Ruger 10/22 as my 22 LR rifle of choice. The Ruger 10/22 is a lightweight, easy shooting rifle that’s ubiquitous. You can build and accessorize the 10/22 to your heart's content. The rotary magazine and finely constructed action ensures reliability. In my opinion there really isn’t a finer semi-auto 22 LR rifle for plinking, target practice and hunting. Plus, it’s extremely affordable and comes in a variety of different configurations.
If the 10/22 is the finest semi auto 22 LR rifle I couldn’t possibly suggest another rifle right? So, I won’t and take an alternative route and suggest the Browning Buckmark Contour model. This semi auto 22 LR handgun is plenty accurate for popping rabbits, but using a handgun is always more challenging than a rifle. The Contour model is equipped with a scope rail across the top which is perfect for a red dot. The Browning Buckmark is an easy shooting and reliable little gun that gives a new edge to rabbit hunting.
Hogs aren’t traditionally treated as a varmint animal, but in the southeastern United States their behavior and the laws regarding hunting them are becoming more varmint orientated. The feral hog population is exploding in the South East and its moving north every year. States are deregulating the hunting of these animals and making it legal year-round to exterminate them. Feral hogs destroy everything, from crops to yards. They are aggressive and can easily harm people and domestic animals.
Example of a Feral Hog in Florida - US Fish and Wildlife
You need something potent to take them down and you have a number of choices. I like the 7.62x39mm. It’s a moderately powerful caliber that’s excellent for taking shots under 300 yards. There are plenty of different rifle options for the round. Its moderate recoil makes follow up shots possible, which is important because hogs rarely travel alone. You also may need that quick follow up shot if a hog decides to charge you.
Caliber 7.62 x 39
Confession time, I love CZs. CZ has a brilliant and subtle marketing tool that boils down to “Come for the famous pistols, stay for the fantastic rifles.” The CZ 527 Carbine is one fantastic rifle. It’s built for hunting and is one of the finest rifles out there for under a grand. The CZ 527 is a bolt action rifle, with an 18.5-inch barrel and a 5 round magazine. This is one of the few bolt action rifles that comes equipped with iron sights, and is still scope ready. It’s a great brush gun, and with its iron sights you can hit a close-range target fast and accurately.
I know AKs aren’t hunting rifles I get it. But listen to my logic. Hogs are an invading force and as hunters we are brave partisans who must resist the tyranny of the hog. Why not use a gun renowned for its presence in the hands of partisans throughout time? That same gun just so happens to be a great hog gun. Why? It’s fast shooting, accurate enough and perfect for dealing with angry hogs. The Arsenal SAM-7 is one of the most well-made AKs on the market and if you are going big, go really big. Just remember after shooting a hog with an AK it’s mandatory you hold your gun above your head and shout, “Wolverines!”
Hunting varmints is a blast, both literally and figuratively. Having the right gun and right gear makes it easy to be successful. Varmint hunting is a little less serious and to me more fun than deer hunting. It’s perfect for new hunters or someone tired of the deer blind. You are also providing a service to the environment by controlling the population of pests. So, Grab a Gun, grab some ammo, and get out there.
Choosing a hunting rifle is a lot like choosing a car. You are surrounded by options for each and every niche, and it can get a bit confusing. That’s not a bad thing because the more choices the better. A lot goes into choosing a hunting rifle, and it should be a decision you make consciously.
A good hunting rifle will last you your entire life, so think of it as an investment and not a purchase. To make things just a bit easier for you we’ve gathered our top five hunting rifles by category. These rifles are aimed at hunters in the Americas and to work within your average hunter’s budget.
You won’t find an H&H Drilling that costs as much as a car on this list. What you will find is five rifles from five distinct and common categories that are all top notch hunting rifles.
The Best Budget Hunting Rifle
Budgets are tight all over and working within a budget doesn’t mean you have to compromise to succeed. Right now, the firearms industry is a buyer’s market and companies like Ruger are producing high-quality firearms at a good price.
One such rifle is the Ruger American Rifle Ranch in 300 Blackout. This light and handy rifle is remarkably affordable but doesn’t sacrifice quality. This lightweight rifle features a 16-inch barrel, comes with a scope rail, and a threaded barrel.
The 300 Blackout as a round is somewhat new but is perfect for a short barrel, lightweight carbine. Unlike the 223 the 300 Blackout won’t experience ballistic sacrifices from a 16-inch barrel. It’s made for short barrels and it’s also made to be suppressed. While most budget hunters aren’t looking to spend the extra money on a can this gun is the perfect host for one later on down the road.
The 300 Blackout round is versatile and can be loaded with supersonic, or subsonic loads. With subsonic ammo and the right can this gun would be exceptionally quiet.
300 Blackout has tons of appropriate hunting rounds available and is a good hunting round inside of 300 yards with supersonic loads. It also has very light recoil and is a great option for new shooters not accustomed to heavy recoiling rifles.
The rifle is made in America but remains remarkably affordable without having to cut corners. It uses a single piece three lug bolt designed to chuck brass fast and hard. You get plenty of scope clearance and topping it with something like the Nikon Monarch would be perfect.
The gun comes equipped with Ruger’s adjustable trigger system that lets the user adjust the trigger pull from 3 to 5 pounds. It also features a free-floating cold hammer forged barrel and Ruger’s own bedding system. It’s not just a cheap hunting rifle, it’s an excellent hunting rifle that just happens to be cheap.
Best Youth Hunting Rifle
One key to getting a young hunter comfortable with hunting is a weapon that fits them. A weapon they can control and handle, and confidently shoot. The Mossberg Patriot Youth Super Bantam is one of the best deer hunting rifles for young shooters, or for smaller shooters. The Mossberg Patriot Youth Super Bantam is a mouthful, so to keep things easier I’m just going to call it the Super Bantam.
Mossberg has been using Bantam to describe their smaller guns for some time and I finally looked into what a Bantam is. I was not disappointed. A Bantam is a small, but ferocious chicken that walks around with its chest puffed out. It’s a good name for Mossberg’s smaller rifles and shotguns.
The Super Bantam comes in a few calibers, but for youth hunting, I’m going to suggest the 243. The 243 is an outstanding medium game round that’s perfect for deer, hogs, and coyotes. It has very low recoil and popular enough you can choose a custom tuned load for your game of choice. It’s also a short action that’s easier to cycle.
The Super Bantam’s most defining feature and the reason it’s the best youth hunting rifle is the adjustable length of pull. You can easily shrink or grow the stock by adding a series of spacers to it. This allows you to adjust the length of pull for a young shooter and allows the rifle to grow as they do. The gun also features a compact 20-inch fluted barrel and altogether weighs less than 7 pounds.
The Super Bantam comes with Mossberg’s LBA adjustable trigger that allows you to adjust the trigger from 2 to 7 pounds. Although for a youth hunting I’d go with 5 or so pounds. The Super Bantam comes ready for a scope with a mounted scope base, and something like the Bushnell 3-9x would be a great fit. As a final note, we offer the always cool Kryptek camouflage model if the young shooter in your life want’s their rifle to stand out.
The Most Modern Hunting Rifle
If price isn’t a major concern, and you really want to top out on modern features the Savage Model 10 FCP-SR is the rifle for you. While this rifle is designed for tactical use at its heart it is a bolt action 308, which has long been a fantastic choice for hunting. The Model 10 FCP-SR combines a number of desirable features to produce an extremely accurate and modern rifle.
The 308 Winchester has long been a choice for hunters looking for a powerful and versatile cartridge. It offers excellent ballistics at ranges up to 800 yards and is one of the more powerful short action cartridges out there. It’s potent and has no issues taking most North American game. One of the biggest benefits of going 308 lies in its popularity. Because of its popularity, you have ammo loadings for just about anything.
The Model 10 FCP-SR is rocking a free floated 24-inch barrel that takes the perfect length for a 308 Winchester. Its long enough to take advantage of the powerful cartridge, but far from unwieldy. The barrel is also threaded for either a recoil reducing or flash suppressing muzzle device or a sound suppressor.
The rifle has a honker of a bolt handle that’s easy to manipulate when wearing gloves, which may be a consideration for my northern brethren. The Savage Model 10 FCP-SR is outfitted with two front sling swivels, which looks odd but serves a purpose. It allows you to mount a bipod to the forward sling mount, and still utilize a sling on the rear mount.
The Savage is ready for a scope and a nice long range capable scope from a reputable company like Leupold would be perfect. You’ll be stacking deer out at quite a distance with a good bipod and scope setup. Additionally, the rifle features Savage’s accutrigger that’s one of the best on the market. It’s so light, with very little movement for it to break. It really helps reduce and calm flinch, especially when buck fever sets in.
The Best Long Range Hunting Rifle
If you told me, you wanted to hit an animal at long range I could suggest to you any number of different rounds. We could go with the 300 Win Mag or the 338 Winchester Magnum, but you may say you it in a short action and in a lightweight platform. After much soul searching I’d go with the 6.5 Creedmoor. The round is easy, but what rifle? Well, I’d mix a new round with a classic rifle, the Remington 700.
The Remington 700 is the flagship of Remington’s rifles and is well respected across the world. This bolt action rifle comes it dozens of different calibers and tons of different variations. I prefer the SPS or Special Purpose Synthetic. It’s lighter, and the synthetic stock is better suited for dealing with the cruel beast we call nature.
The Remington 700 SPS in 6.5 Creedmoor is more than capable of reaching out and touching a target. The round stays supersonic past 1,200 yards and the long and svelte 6.5mm round has a nice ballistic coefficient. It’s accurate and takes some time to run out of steam. It can humanely take game at long ranges. The Remington rifle is also well suited for long range shooting, and it’s the choice of the Marine Corps Scout Snipers.
The gun features a 24-inch barrel for exceptional accuracy and to maximize the 6.5 Creedmoor’s velocity. The rifle is drilled and tapped for scope mounts and you’ll want something tuned for ballistic drop, with a mil or moa dot reticle for bullet drop. Something like the Bushnell Legend in 4.5-14x would be perfect.
The rifle is outfitted with the X Mark Pro adjustable trigger and comes set at 3.5 pounds from the factory. What’s really cool about this trigger is that it’s externally adjustable. There is no need for a gunsmith to adjust your trigger. Although 3.5 pounds seems just about perfect for me.
Overall, it’s a light and handy little rifle that’s great for taking those long-range shots. The 6.5 Creedmoor round is somewhat new, but have proven popular enough to have a few different hunting loads available. It’s an excellent combination of gun and round.
The Best Brush Hunter
The 30-30 is an American classic. It’s likely killed more deer than any other round in the United States. The 30-30 is most commonly found in lever action rifles like the Henry listed here. The combination of the round and the lever action platform makes a very potent brush hunting combo.
Brush hunting is typically hunting that occurs in thickets, often on the ground. Brush hunting is unpredictable and the ranges can vary between shotgun range and rifle range in just a few minutes. You need a gun that points quickly like a shotgun but has the extra range of a rifle. The Henry Lever Action 30-30 is that gun.
The open iron sights make it quick and easy to get on target for close range shooting and are dynamic enough to allow a shooter to hit targets at 200 yards. The sights are adjustable and are a semi-buckhorn design. This means the rear sight has a wide set of ‘ears’ for close range shooting and a more precise smaller notch for long range shooting. The gun also has a brass beaded front sight that’s easy to see and reflects light for low light shooting. The Henry lever action is also drilled and tapped for a scope rail. I’d mix a little bit of new with old world and go with a miniature red dot sight personally.
The Henry’s short 20-inch barrel keeps the weapon lightweight and maneuverable in thick brush and makes it easy to move over long distances without getting fatigued. The rifle weighs only 7 pounds and has an overall length of only 39 inches.
The Henry’s smooth lever action allows the shooter to make rapid follow up shots to compensate for a miss or to even take multiple animals. The 30-30 round isn’t a long range cartridge, but within its effective range, it’s a hammer. It hits hard, and with the right ammo will expand rapidly and put an animal down quickly. What you lose in range you make up for with moderate recoil, which goes back to the ability to make rapid follow up shots.
Henry’s lever guns look as good as they function. The American walnut stock and rich bluing are certainly a throwback to simpler times and simpler rifles.
Over and Out
These are my favorite hunting rifles and I stand behind each selection. The big question is for our readers, do you agree? Disagree? Tell us why and let us know. We all always like to hear from you. What’s your top five hunting rifles?
Not all hunts are the same. There are some vast differences between hunting bears and hunting elk. But it isn’t always the type of game you are after that defines your adventure. The firearm you use can completely change your hunting experience.
Increasing numbers of hunters are choosing to explore the challenges associated with handgun hunting. There are several reasons why. The challenge of handgun hunting from a distance. The thrill of being close to your prey. The ability to draw your weapon quickly. Not being loaded down by a sling. Whatever your reason, handgun hunting is a thrill unlike any other.
Here are a few tips you will want to follow to help you be a more successful handgun hunter:
- Exercise your trigger finger.
- Perfect your trigger squeeze so that it flows perfectly and uniformly every time.
- Keep a firm – but not too tight – consistent grip.
- Plant yourself before you shoot.
- Reduce anticipation and get rid of your flinch.
Each of those tips will help you be a better shot while handgun hunting. But before you rush out into the field with only an insatiable desire to take down your target with your .44 Mag, you will want to do a little research on what you should have with you to increase your enjoyment and your chances of actually having a successful hunt.
First and foremost, you need the right handgun. There are a wide variety to choose from, though not as many calibers as rifles have for actual hunting. Four particular handguns are especially good for hunting: the .480 Ruger, .460 Smith & Wesson Mag., .44 Remington Mag., and the 10mm Auto. There are plenty to choose from, but starting with one of these four will help you get a good feel for your specific handgun style.
After your weapon, the second-most important aspect of handgun hunting is your grip. Something that you should consider essential for every handgun hunting trip is gloves. They may not sound essential, but your grip drastically changes your handgun hunting accuracy. A good set of tactical gloves will do so much for you, from helping with your grip, to keeping your hands warm, to protecting them while shooting.
You’ll also want to have a few specific pieces of equipment with you on the trip to help you become a better handgun hunter. These are three specific hunting accessories you will want to have as part of your hunting gear.
Sportear Ghost Stryke II
If you’ve ever shot a gun – or been around when someone was shooting – then you know the importance of proper ear protection. With all of the difficulties associated with handgun hunting, you don’t want to add to your stressors by having inferior noise dampers. That’s why a pair of Ghost Stryke II would be ideal for any handgun hunter. Not only do they enhance beneficial noise up to 6x the normal levels, but they also suppress damaging wave lengths, up to 3” db of noise reduction.
Leupold FX-3 Silhouette Scope
The ever important scope is doubly significant when handgun hunting. One of the best you can find for this style of hunting is the Leupold FX-3. This scope is made for everyone who wants a traditional and functional fixed power scope. This scope is widely known for being durable, exceptionally clear and bright, and very simple to operate. You can’t go wrong have those qualities backing all of your shots.
Peltor XF4 Safety Glasses
Eye protection is vital to being able to hit your target. If you can’t see, you aren’t going to shoot with any sort of accuracy. Shooting glasses are your best choice out in the elements. These adjustable safety glasses are both stylish and effective. If you are able to block debris from interfering with your eyes than you have a better chance of taking home the trophy. But don’t let the toughness of this eye protection make you think that they are not comfortable to wear. They are contoured to fit snugly on your head, and they come with soft nosepieces so they will rest easily on your nose for extended periods of time.
Follow the tips, get the gear, and enjoy the hunt.
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.
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.