When buying a new rifle for hunting, there are a few key things you need to consider. Let’s talk about five factors to think about when buying a new hunting rifle.

What’s the Best Choice?

If you’re looking to make this choice simple and easy, you’re out of luck. There’s really no standard answer. The same goes for if you’re looking for the “perfect” rifle for hunting. Perfection is elusive.

Too light, and it’s going to kick and be unsteady in impromptu field positions. Even a little too heavy, and it’s going to wear you down. Too long, and a short person will have trouble controlling muzzle direction. Too short, and you’re going to make a sacrifice on velocity.

Whether you’re choosing your first hunting rifle or are looking for a replacement, these factors below are things you need to consider to find the right firearm for your hunting needs.

Research, Research, Research

First, you need to do research. There are many options out there, so going into a shop with a narrowed-down idea of what you’re looking for is helpful for all involved.

Read through forums online, read reviews, look up costs, watch videos, and talk to your friends and family if they’re also hunters. If you don’t have friends that hunt, a gunsmith you trust can also give you opinions about rifles and what they think is best. The more information you have, the better prepared you will be to make the right choice.

Choose the Correct Cartridge

When choosing the right rifle for hunting, you’ll want to choose a gun that works with the right cartridge for your needs. The rifle cartridge, which many people simply call the bullet, is central to any hunting trip and central to any hunting rifle. Every gun is designed to shoot only certain cartridges. So think ahead to what you’ll be primarily hunting. If you’re going to be hunting large game like elk and deer, you need to choose a cartridge that has enough power to take down your game with a single shot. If you’re going to hunt smaller game, you need something just powerful enough that won’t overdo it.

Consider the Size and Weight

One of the most important considerations is the size and weight of the rifle. One size doesn’t fit all, and even if it did, we all have different recoil tolerances.

A heavier, bigger gun will be more difficult to carry but will be more stable. For shooting at longer distances, it will be less likely to be affected by wind. A lighter gun, on the other hand, will be easier to carry but may be less accurate at longer-range shooting. Think about your height and weight (or the height and weight of the receiver if you’re buying for someone else) and what you can realistically handle. It also will come down to your own preference for recoil, your shooting style, and what game you’re hunting.

Consider the Maintenance

Maintaining your rifle is essential for ensuring that it works properly and doesn’t pose a safety hazard. There are several factors that go into figuring out how easy or difficult a firearm is to maintain, including the design and quality of the gun itself. Some rifles will be relatively simple and straightforward to work on, while others may require more specialized knowledge and gear in order to be properly maintained.

Think about what would suit you and your lifestyle more. If this is your first rifle or you’d rather not be spending a bunch of money and time on maintaining your rifle, one that’s easier to maintain may be the right fit for you. If you love the care and maintenance process, a rifle that has a more complex maintenance process could be right. At the end of the day, the rifle you’ll be able to give proper care regularly will be the correct fit for you.

Your Budget

Of course, when choosing the right rifle for hunting, you need to consider your budget. Price matters, but this can be a problem when you’re a beginner and don’t know what you actually need. Try to avoid investing in a costly rifle the first time around, as you need to explore a little and decide if hunting is truly your passion. Passionate hunters or beginners on a budget can also find many rifles that won’t burn a hole in your pocket.

Another tip for newbies: remember to leave a little extra budget for your rifle optics. Think ahead and budget for your optics so you’re not stuck with a rifle you can’t use.

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Let’s Go Hunting

You got your rifle for hunting – now it’s time to book a guided hunt.

If you’re looking to hunt elk or mule deer with professional guides in the mountains of Southwest Colorado, we’d love to be an option you consider. At Soap Mesa Outfitters, we offer quality guided hunts on our 3500-acre private ranch that overlooks Blue Mesa Reservoir. Not to mention we also have a National Forest Permit, which provides an additional 8000+ acres with utter seclusion due to its limited access. Let us show you what you’ve been missing.