Blue Flower

The first thing you should know about choosing a hunting rifle is that it takes experience hunters many years to find a rifle custom tailored to their needs (both to their own & their hunting situations). And if you're reading this blog, it's likely that this isn't you. So, if you're a beginner, starting with a basic hunting rifle (as opposed to a tactical rifle)is a very practical first step. This way, you can get used to the kind of rifle you like, how it reacts to you, how it performs in the various situations you require of it, etc. You will naturally upgrade to incrementally better models as time progresses and you increase in skill as a hunter. An excellent rifle in the hands of an average skilled person is just a rifle.

However, if you are still interested in some tips and making sure you get a good rifle early on, here's some things to be aware of:

(1) What kind of game do you intend to hunt? This will significantly narrow down the enormously large selection of rifles you're looking at in a store or magazine catalog. A .22 isn't going to do it if you're hunting elk. This will get you to the right bullet caliber & cartridges your gun will need. Any other considerations past this particular point are likely to be just speculation.

(2) Are you looking for single-shot or repeaters? Some hunters feel that single shot rifles have sleeker, more elegant designs & a nostalgic feel to them. It also ups the pressure on the hunter's ability to take the game down in one shot. Repeaters do just what they say they do: you can fire repeatedly before having to reload.

(3) What kind of action rifle are you looking for? For single-shot rifles, do you prefer: falling-block, rolling-block, break-open, or trapdoor? For repeating rifles, do you prefer: bolt-action, pump-action, lever-action, automatic?

(4) How much weight are you looking for? Depending on your own strength and/or preferences, a heavier (or lighter) gun may be the way to go. The material of the barrel, length of the barrel, material of the stock, accessories, etc. will all be a factor in this. A stainless steel, 26 inch barrel, wooden stock barrel is going to weigh more than a carbon fiber ar barrel with plastic stock.

(5) Is water resistance an important factor to you? If so, look into getting a stainless steel gun. It's more expensive, but resists rust better than carbon steel. However, you should also look into chemical treatments, coatings, and blueing.

(6) What looks good that makes you happy? There are endless amounts of guns & styles to look at. And you might not find one that has everything you like, in which case, you can make your own custom rifle. But the only way to know what you're going to like is to start looking, so, consider starting with here: