What Firearm Should I Buy?

Rule Number 1 when talking to someone new… don’t talk about religion or politics. When it comes to Hunting In Virginia Rule number 1… Don’t get between hunters and their firearms. There are as many opinions on this subject as there are firearms on the market.

To answer that question with a stock answer would bring out nothing but controversy to this post. In other words, its a no win situation for me.

The Ride On The Slippery Slope…

I am going to sidestep the question a little and take a bit of a common sense approach. First, when choosing a firearm it depends on a lot of things — How much disposable money do you have? If you saved for years and your loaded like our new family member Mike C. well hell buy one of each and you will be covered.

If your an empty nester, around 45 yrs old or older have a good job then you may want the good looking high end stuff so your cabinet looks good. If your in your mid 30’s facing 2.5 kids getting ready for college you may need to get a bag of rocks and a sling shot.

Here comes my sidestepping… in order to cover the fun hunts like squirrel  hunting you need a good 22 long rifle. It doesn’t have to be fancy, a simple bolt action with a tube magazine will do with a good scope and you should be fine. If you have $150 you can find a good used semi automatic with a scope and your off to the races.

When I was a kid my father would take a long neck pepsi bottle and stick it in the fork of a tree. He had a spot about 50 yards away… he would stand there and with open sites would shoot through the neck of the bottle and knock the bottom out. It’s not the gun... its the shooter that makes things happen.

The Go To Gun

Now if you want to do some rabbit hunting or wing shooting (dove, quail etc) your going to need a 12 gauge shot gun. The most common 12 gauges are a Mossberg 500 or a Winchester 870 pump. They are around $350.00 and a bit cheaper if you catch them on sale.

If your new you may want to get a 12 gauge semi automatic. There are way too many of these to mention just one or two. This will depend on your budget. I have suggested a few models to some of the guys that come hunting here that I thought were reasonable only to have them go out and buy a $1400 shot gun. Hell, I give up.

Now when it comes to a rifle it depends on your budget and what your hunting. If you can afford 2 guns I would suggest you buy a good mid grade what we call “varmint” guns and a bigger caliber for deer.

A .223 or 243 caliber rifle is good for this. If you want something that shoots flat and fast I like the 22.250, and if you have a large budget I like Weatherby brand rifles. They will reach out and touch something at great distances.

If your deer hunting or predator hunting in Virginia don’t over look the 12 gauge we talked about above. If your in a hunt club where they hunt with dogs around here most use a number 1 buckshot. If your still hunting (sitting in a stand) you might want to step up to a 00 buck (double ought buck).

If you want to step it up even more then you have to buy a new barrel and shoot slugs. The new rifled slugs of today are really good compared to the hunk of lead they shoved in a bullet 15 years ago.

Some Counties Permit Rifles For Virginia Deer Hunting

If you live in a county that permits rifle hunting for deer there are many calibers hunters use around here.:The most common calibers are: 270, 308 and 30-06. If you can only afford one rifle or if your young and just getting started a Savage bolt action 270 will do everything you need.

If your older and only want one rifle I would suggest a .308 caliber. This will do everything you want to do with it and not blow the deer apart. Better yet you can use it for varmint hunting too. Depending on your budget, you will have to decide on the manufacturer and the features that come with it.

Practice On The Cheap

Having a nice .22 a 12 gauge and a 270/308 in your gun cabinet, to start out will carry you a long way. The one thing I would suggest with the rifles would be keep them the same type. If you have a bolt action 22 get a bolt action in your other rifle choice. Develop muscle memory in everything you do.

Use the .22 to practice. Breathing, finger control, moving from shot to shot and most of all making the gun become part of your body. Even though this caliber is being horded by sportsmen it is still cheap to shoot and practice with.

There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to Hunting In Virginia and picking a firearm is only one of those moving parts. Not being proficient with your firearm will make your success rate miserable. I know, because as I explained in my About Me page my Dad’s buddies were shooting machines. They couldn’t help it nor were they going to change their ways to let a kid get a shot.

They explained it to me this way: If we change what we do so you can get a shot, then it will mess us when when we are shooting in competition…. and that is not acceptable. Your on your own kid.

Don’t get caught up with over thinking this subject… Use what you have already and build from there. Most of all…. Have Fun Hunting In Virginia!

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