Top 5 Mistakes When Selecting a Firearm for Hunting

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Just like any other activity or practice, hunting requires a solid background based on thorough research in the field. No matter if you are interested in purchasing your first firearm or you want to know how you can take up hunting, you need to do your homework and build your knowledge base.

Before you even begin to consider purchasing a firearm for this purpose, it is fundamental to gather as much information as possible about hunting beforehand. It is highly recommended that you attend an education or safety course for hunting so you can learn the basics about how to stay safe and how to get started with this activity. In addition to this, future hunters are encouraged to learn from an experienced hunter; this is usually regarded as being an apprentice. After you learn the basics, you can proceed with purchasing your firearm for hunting.

If this is the very first firearm you will purchase, however, you need to be aware of several aspects related to the buying process. Selecting a reliable, best value firearm requires background information so you can make the right investment. Amateur hunters tend to make selecting and buying mistakes due to lack of knowledge and this can not only end up in poor shopping decisions, but also in potential safety issues. In this regard, this article aims to present the five most common mistakes when selecting a firearm for hunting.

1. Caliber

By far, one of the most frequent mistakes that beginners make when getting their first firearm is choosing the wrong caliber for hunting. Even though there is not an ideal caliber for hunting in general or for a specific animal, there is a range that you should take into consideration. This means that you need to know the difference between a .17 HMR and a 577 Nitro Exp, as well as when and how to use them. An infographic created by Hunter Ed supports the fact that you should choose the right caliber depending on the animals you will hunt:

  • Varmint hunting: .22 Mag, .22 Long or .17 HMR are all suitable for hunting small animals.
  • Deer Hunting: you can look into .22-250, .223 or .243 Win for hunting deer.
  • Big Game: for hunting bears or elk, choose .338, .300 Win Mag or 7mm Rem Mag.

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2. Ammunition

Another significant aspect you need to remember when selecting a firearm for hunting is your choice of ammunition. First of all, not all ammunition works for all types of firearms, so you will need to ask what ammunition will be suitable for the gun you are going to buy. Choosing the proper type of ammunition has critical safety aspects involved; if you select the wrong kind you will not only be wasting money on ammunition you can’t use, but you will also be putting yourself and the ones around you in danger. Always double check with the company you plan on buying your firearm from to see if the ammunition you get on the side fits and works for your choice.

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3. Scope

Most beginner hunters get excited when buying their first rifle and tend to forget about an essential component: the scope. You could spend a considerable amount on your rifle, not get the right scope and ruin your hunting experience from the beginning. Optics are just as important as the firearm you choose and also a basic part of the firearm selection process that many tend to overlook. The best way to avoid this mistake is to organize your budget with both the firearm and the scope in mind in advance.

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4. Investment

Speaking of budget, this leads us to yet another common mistake when buying hunting firearms. Those who lack hunting experience might end up purchasing a firearm that is way over their budget. This results in not having enough money left for accessories (such as the scope we were speaking about earlier) or for carrying out the practice afterwards. You should always weigh your options and search through various sources before ordering or buying your hunting firearm from a store. If you decide to purchase your hunting firearm online, it is recommended that you search for a particular model through at least three sources to see where you can get the best deal.

5. Complexity

Last but not least, complexity tends to be a trending mistake among amateur hunters. This mistake can equally go two ways; a hunter can either purchase a firearm that is too complex for his or her level of training and knowledge at that moment, or they can get a gun that is too basic and won’t meet their needs. Be aware of your level as a hunter and choose the complexity of your firearm accordingly.

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