Buying a new rifle for hunting deer is a lot harder than it sounds. You can’t just walk into a sporting goods store and point to the first one you see. Hopefully the clerk will stop you if you do since chances are it won’t be the best one for you. While I’m certainly not an expert I have been deer hunting for years, and I’ve even been pretty successful at it so I’ve decided to share some of the things I’ve learned to make it a little easier for you.
One of the first things that I learned was weight really matters, and that it does affect accuracy. A long range rifle is more accurate, but they are heavy and awkward to carry due to the long barrel. If you don’t have to walk very far to the hunting spot this rifle might be the perfect choice for you, but if you are looking at a long hike then you’ll probably want to choose one with a short, lightweight barrel. If you’re worried that you might be sacrificing accuracy, just keep practicing target shooting and the aim will come to you. There are also scopes and sights that can be mounted on most short and long barrel rifles to help improve aim and accuracy.
Rifles can also be lever, bolt or pump action, along with semi automatic, and all are perfectly acceptable for deer hunting. I personally prefer to use a bolt action rifle since it is a little more accurate. It is also the best choice for a beginner. The other types of rifles can be just as accurate, though it will take some practice.
You will also want to consider the caliber of the rifle, and it is important to remember that velocity and range go together. As the velocity increases so does the range, but when you’re deer hunting you are rarely firing at anything that is farther than 200 yards away. That is why I use 120 to 150 grain bullets. They are capable of traveling up to 2,500 feet per second and are remarkably accurate up to about 200 yards. Anything farther away than that is probably not worth wasting ammunition on.
Now we come to the rifle’s appearance, and this is often a matter of personal preference. I love the look and feel of a wood stock, but it doesn’t work well in humid climates. The wood can warp, which can throw off the rifle’s accuracy. If you want a stock that is lightweight and durable in any type of weather I suggest choosing one that is constructed from Kevlar. Trust me when I say that it can survive almost anything.
Hopefully my advice makes it a little easier for you to choose a new rifle for hunting deer, and I wish you lots of success on your next trip.