What a Good Small Game Rifle Should Be.
Small game hunting involves hunting small animals like rabbits, squirrels, and ducks. Since these animals are small great power is not needed to hunt them. It is better to invest in a weapon that has high accuracy to be able to target the small animals better. Also, the cost of ammunition should be considered since a hunter may take numerous shots in a day.
With these conditions of small game hunting, a rim-fire rifle is a good choice for a weapon to use in this hunting category. When choosing a hunting gun, the following must be considered – its fit, sights, weight, its action and caliber. A gun that fits properly will help you fire more accurate shots.
Ultra light rifles are difficult to keep the balance and make accurate shots, so it is better to get a light gun rather than an ultra light one. An ideal weight may be around 6 pounds. The guns action can either be repeater or single shot as long as it can guarantee a more accurate shot. Barrel length also needs to be considered - more for balance than for ballistics. A medium weight barrel about 20-22 inches in length is preferred.
A good small game rifle should have a small action to match its cartridge and a solid feel. A hunting gun with a smooth action is always good; and a clean and light trigger pull is needed for accuracy. Given the production standards of today, a trigger revamp may be needed for every new gun.
It is more important for a small game rifle to be accurate rather than fancy. There are many different types to choose from: auto-loading, lever, pump, and bolt action repeaters. Among the well known calibers are the .22 WMR, .17 HMR and .22 LR usually from manufacturers like Anschutz, Ruger, Browning, Kimber, CZ, Winchester, Henry, Savage, among others.
Small Game Rifle Samples
- Ruger 10/22. This is a .22 caliber autoloader that has earned its reputation as the most reliable autoloader ever made. This 10/22 is available in .22 WMR as Model 10/22 RBM. The rifle has an 18.5-inch barrel, weighs 6 lbs, has a walnut stock, integrated scope mounts and iron sights.
- Anschutz Model 1717D. The 1717D is the top of the line .17 HMR cartridge model by Anschutz with a premium price. It has a removable box magazine, lowered bolt face, claw extractor, dual locking lugs, and an excellent single stage trigger. It comes with a free floating barrel, checkered walnut stock, and is tapped and drilled for scope mounts.
- Marlin Golden 39A Mountie. This one has a 20-inch long barrel with the usual straight hand stock. It has very good accuracy with most ammunition brands.
A good rim fire rifle deserves to have a good scope. A fixed power scope of about 4 times or a variable one in the 2 to 7 times the range can serve a small game rifle well. Good rim fire scopes are not cheap, but are not overly expensive either.
A fine small game rifle should be:
- as accurate as possible and not necessarily powerful; it can be as powerful as .22LR but no more powerful than .30 Carbine
- light: for carrying convenience and fast handling, but not ultra light
- well balanced and can swing properly
- with smooth action and a stock that perfectly fits the hunter
- with light and terse trigger pull
- with a scope of good quality and medium power
A good hunting gun may be a little too expensive for a novice hunter but its quality will prove to be rewarding in the long haul.
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When carrying a firearm that has a stock that is too short the scope may hit your eyebrow, giving you “scope bite,” while one that is very long might get caught in your armpit if you are wearing a heavy jacket.
A full size stock is best for adult hunters because of its perfect fit. Good balance and stock design is important for a small game firearm so that it can be handled quickly and smoothly. Most shots in small game hunting are done from a short distance where the animal can possibly detect the hunter; and small animals do not sit still for long periods of time.
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How to Zero a Scope
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