Unless you are a skillful archer capable of pinning a fly on the wall with an arrow, like Robin Hood or Legolas, you will need proper hunting weapons, loaded with lethal ammo to overpower any prey that comes your way.
In all fairness, you could be skilled with both bow and arrow and a rifle, but in this article, we will entertain the idea of the top three firearms every hunter should have in their collection and provide you with useful tips on the best ammo that goes along them.
- .22 caliber rifle
- Long-range rifle
- 12-gauge shotgun
Let’s get prepared for outdoor adventures!
1. .22 calibre rifle
We are starting our journey with a .22 caliber rifle. This lightweight weapon is best used for hunting small games such as rabbits or squirrels.
.22 rifle comes in just about any action available, including semi-automatic, bolt, lever, and pump action. The ultimate choice comes down to your personal preferences and needs.
To help you reach a more informed decision, we will list the three most popular .22 rifles and their main characteristics.
- Ruger 10/22 Takedown is a semi-automatic, customizable rifle that offers great reliability and accuracy. What separates it from other rifles in this category, is its simple mechanism that allows you to detach the barrel from the receiver for easier transport.
The only downside to this weapon is that the blowback action tends to get very dirty, very fast.
- Henry Classic Lever .22 Carabine is, as its name suggests, a lever action rifle that can hold up to 15 rounds in its tubular magazine. With its western-style blued steel, this robust rifle is a real eye candy that can be scoped but is not suppressor-compatible.
- Savage Mark II FV SR is a bolt action rifle that might not be as pretty as Henry Classic, but what it lacks in looks it makes up in great accuracy and effectiveness. Because of its short barrel and adjustable trigger, this rifle is a great choice for hunting small game.
What might be its biggest drawback is its inability to hold more than a 5-round magazine.
When it comes to the best ammo for a .22 caliber rifle, the most popular rounds are .22 Long Rifle, .22 Winchester Rimfire Magnum, and Ruger 10/22. You will find that most of these rounds are generally inexpensive, lightweight, and readily available.
2. Long-range rifle
You won’t always have an opportunity to sneak up close to your prey, so it is a good idea to have one of the long-range rifles in your gun collection. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as killing a deer or an elk from 500 yards distance.
The three long-range rifles that made it on our list are:
- Remington 700 5R is an extremely reliable and accurate rifle that can hit the target from as far as 1000 yards. It is equipped with the X-Mark Pro trigger but doesn’t have a detachable box magazine. Remington 700 5R can be loaded with .223Rem, .300 Win Mag, or .308 ammunition.
- Howa HCR is a rifle made in Japan. It offers the shooter a choice of six positions of adjustment in length of pull and a cheek weld that can be adjusted for both left-handed and right-handed shooters. Howa HCR rifle can hold .308 Win, .243 Win, 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .300 WinMag rounds.
- Bergara B14 HMR rifle is manufactured in Spain. Because it is both lightweight and rigid it is a great choice for hunting purposes and is extremely versatile as it can hold seven different round types including 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win, and .450 Bushmaster.
When choosing the right ammo for your long-range rifle, bare in mind that small shots travel less distance (200-350 yards) than larger ones (600 yards and more).
3. 12-gauge shotgun
A shotgun is an inevitable part of any gun collection. A 12-gauge shotgun, in particular, is a weapon so versatile that you can hunt anything from a squirrel to a bear. The two 12-gauge shotguns that set themselves apart from the competition are Remington 870 and Mossberg 500.
Remington 870 has been around for more than 50 years and is truly an American classic. This pump-action shotgun has a four-round capacity and a single-bead sight, and it weighs around 7.25 lbs. It is a very reliable, beautiful weapon extremely well-balanced with natural pointing qualities.
Mossberg 500 shotgun offers military-graded reliability and it can be easily converted into a tactical model by adding accessories such as extra barrels or chokes. It is simply do-it-all weapon with one, single flaw – strong recoil power.
Depending on what type of game you are going after you can load your 12-gauge shotgun with 12-gauge shells that come in three types:
- Birdshot – best for small game and waterfowl hunting.
- Buckshot – best for medium game hunting.
- Slug – best for large game hunting.
All of the weapons we have mentioned in our article would look good in your gun cabinet, but your ultimate choice should match your personal needs, preferences, and purchasing power.
We hope we provided you with a good starting point for expanding your firearm collection; the one you can be proud of.