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Small Game Hunting Weapons - Rifles

Aug 17, 2007
Small game hunting involves pursuing small animals like rabbits, squirrels, and ducks. Since these animals are small, high power weapons are not needed to hunt them. You are better off investing in a weapon that has greater accuracy to be able to target the small game better.

Also, the price of ammunition should be considered, too, since a hunter can take a great number shots in one day.

Under these conditions, a rim-fire rifle would be perfect weapon to use in the small game hunting category. When selecting a rifle, you must consider the following - its fit, sights, weight, its action and caliber. A gun that fits properly will help assure you of getting more accurate shots.

When using a rifle with a stock that is too short, the scope might hit your eyebrow, giving you "scope bite," while one that is too long could get caught in your armpit if you are wearing a heavy jacket.

A full size stock is better for adult hunters because of its perfect fit. Good balance and stock design is vital for a small game rifle so that it can be handled quickly and readily. When you are small game hunting, most shots are done from a short distance where the animal can possibly detect the hunter, and small animals do not sit still for very long once they sense danger.

It is better to get a light rifle rather than an ultra light one, because ultra light rifles are difficult to keep the balance and make accurate shots. An ideal weight should be about 6 pounds. The rifle's action can be either repeater or single shot as long as it gives you a more accurate shot. Barrel length also needs to be considered - mostly for balance more than for ballistics. A medium weight barrel of about 20-22 inches in length is ideal.

A perfect small game rifle should have a small action to match its cartridge and a good, solid feel. A rifle with a smooth action is always best with a clean and light trigger pull, which is needed for accuracy. Given the standards of production today, a trigger revamp might be needed for every new rifle.

It is much more important for a small game rifle to be accurate, rather than fancy. There are various different types to choose from: auto-loading, lever, pump, and bolt action repeaters. Among the widely known calibers are the .22 WMR, .17 HMR and .22 LR, from manufacturers such as Anschutz, Ruger, Browning, Kimber, CZ, Winchester, Henry, and Savage, among others.

A quality rim fire rifle deserves to have a quality scope. A fixed power scope of around 4 times or a variable one in the 2 to 7 times range can serve a small game rifle well. Good rim fire scopes are not inexpensive, but are not overly costly either.

A first-rate small game rifle should be:

- as accurate as possible, but not necessarily too powerful. It can be as powerful as .22LR, but no more powerful than .30 Carbine
- light: for carrying ease and fast handling, but not ultra light
- well balanced and able to swing properly
- with a 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 superior rifle may be a little too high priced for a amateur hunter but its quality will prove to be rewarding in the long haul.
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Learn expert rabbit hunting tips and strategies that will make your next animal hunting expedition much more successful.
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