How to Properly Shoot a Hunting Rifle
If you’re hunting big game, you need to be able to properly shoot your rifle. You don’t want to miss a vital shot, and you certainly don’t want to end up with a groaning, bloodied animal. You need to know how to wrangle your rifle, find the right caliber for the animal you’re hunting, and get good shots without flinching.
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The first thing to do is to test-fire the firearm at a local gun store or range. This will give you a feel for the weight, ease of use, and recoil. Then, you’ll be able to make an informed decision on whether or not this is the rifle for you.
When choosing a firearm, consider its caliber and type of action. Some hunters prefer single-shot rifles, while others like repeating ones. If you’re going to be using your hunting rifle primarily for smaller-game hunting, a lower-pressure, single-shot rifle will be more suitable.
A well-made rifle will be durable and easy to keep in good condition. It’s also important to choose a stock that’s made from durable materials such as wood, fiberglass, or carbon steel. If you’re not sure which of these materials is best for your hunt, ask a local gun dealer about the durability of different stocks and materials.
If you’re hunting in a humid climate, it’s important to select a barrel that’s corrosion-resistant and easy to clean. Stainless steel is the most common material, but you can also get barrels that are made from carbon steel or alloys.
Rifles that are crafted from carbon steel can rust more quickly than stainless steel, so you’ll need to take care with maintenance. It’s also a good idea to choose a quality stock made from high-quality materials such as walnut or other premium species.
The next step is to set the gun up correctly and practice with it. This can be done with a scope, a bipod, or a fixed point. Start slowly and work at it until everything is in place and your shots are smooth and fast.
Sighting is a critical skill that should be learned quickly. Ideally, a rifle should be so stable that you don’t even have to think about it when aiming. Once you can get the scope to center effortlessly on an object, it’s time to practice finding targets from different field positions.
Prone Positions: The Stablest Field Position
Properly shooting a rifle from the prone position is arguably the most critical skill for a hunter to have. The rigidity of this position makes it the most stable, but also the most difficult for many shooters to master. This is why it’s so important to practice shooting a rifle from all four field positions, including prone before you head into the field.
If your prone position isn’t as stable as you’d like it to be, try the Hasty Sling technique that creates tension between your arm and rifle. This can be used in every shooting position and is an excellent way to ensure that your prone shot is steady and accurate.