Hunters take the subject of rifles so seriously that arguments about calibers can literally destroy friendships. People are willing to come to blows in defense of the reputation of their favorite weapon, and I guess for good reason. Your rifle is one of the most important pieces of your big game hunting gear. If you do not have faith in the ability of your rifle to shoot accurately and accurately, it becomes difficult to perform all the work necessary for a successful hunt. While there are many styles of rifles on the market, including a growing range of AR-format weapons, the tried-and-true bolt-action rifle remains the standard weapon for serious big game hunters.
“Don’t be intimidated by anyone’s experience, including mine. There have been and still are some good writers with vast experience in the field of firearms. There are also a lot of old suckers who write about guns and shooting, and a lot of younger suckers too. Gun writers, especially those who have to produce a regular column, love controversy. That column becomes a beast that must be fed every month, so the columnist is always hungry for something to write about and controversial ideas generate interest and response from readers. Perhaps it is understandable that sometimes they go overboard. Just don’t go overboard with them.” –Chuck Falcons
Properly tuned and equipped, and with a disciplined and well-trained shooter, a high caliber bolt action rifle with a variable power scope can handle 95% of the big game challenges this continent has to offer. For maximum versatility and ease of finding ammo, stick to the common and proven big game calibers such as .270, 7mm Rem Mag, 30-06, .308 Winchester and 300 Win Mag, plus short magnum versions of these same calibers.
These might seem a little heavy to a North Carolina whitetail deer hunter, and some might be a little light to an Alaskan hunter eager to tangle with a coastal grizzly bear. But they are all great weapons for a generalist hunter who wants to be ready for anything without spending his salary on an arsenal of weapons. After all, the North Carolina hunter might eventually come across one of that state’s 500-pound black bears, and the Alaskan hunter might tire of snipping around the fist-sized exit holes gaping in their meat. hunting for a mule-kicking elephant gun.
A: Vortex HS LR 4-16×50 scope.
B.: Handmade sling with neoprene shoulder pad and braided paracord strap. An average hunting rifle weighs about 9 pounds. Carrying that amount of weight all day can be annoying and exhausting. Don’t skimp on slings. The cheap ones fall apart. This type of lanyard gives you emergency access to over a hundred feet of 550-pound test cable.
C: Vortex viewfinder cover. An essential but often overlooked piece of equipment. Scopes are expensive and you don’t want the lens to get scratched. Also, it is difficult or even impossible to aim when snow or excessive moisture obscures the lenses. Neoprene “visor socks” are another good bet because they are inexpensive, durable, and provide some impact protection to the body of the visor. Oilcloth “bikini-style” covers are great at keeping moisture out, but they tend to fall apart. The same goes for flip-top visor covers. If you’re sitting on a blind, these are fine, but backpack hunters often find flip-caps easy to demolish.
D: Heavy Duty Harris Bipod. Perfect for long-range shots from a prone position, but hardly essential in areas where long-range shots aren’t likely. This type of bipod can be folded forward out of the way when not in use. The downside is that they are a bit heavy and tend to hang up when walking through thick brush.
me: Snipe-pod bipod. A lightweight, detachable bipod that can be worn on a belt and quickly attached to the rifle before firing. The downside is that it is not as stable as the Harris bipod.
F: Folding ammo wallet. Keeps ammo organized and prevents the annoying rattling of loose cartridges in your backpack or pocket.
GRAM: .270 WSM cartridges loaded with Barnes 129-grain LRX bullets.
Muzzle cover: A rifle muzzle that is clogged with mud or snow is very dangerous, as the barrel could break when fired. Cover your muzzle to prevent mud, snow, dust or moisture from intruding into your barrel using a piece of tape or, better yet, a small, sturdy latex finger cot. Wearing a muzzle cover has been shown to not affect the point of impact, as gases moving in front of the bullet remove any muzzle cover.
Gun sock: This model is the Solo Hunter Gun Cover. Keeps your firearm protected from snow and mud while out in the field and still allows immediate access.
travel case: A good travel case protects against bumps and scratches from travel. As well as cosmetics, this ensures that your scope doesn’t run out of scratch. Hard cases, like those from Pelican or Boyt, come with a protective foam insert that can be cut to fit your specific firearm. Airlines require this type of rigid suitcase and require that the suitcase be closed.
As the picture shows from left to right,
The Light Side: .243 Winchester, .25-06 Remington
The middle ground: .270 Winchester, .308 Winchester, 30-06 Springfield, 7mm Remington Magnum, and 300 Winchester Magnum
The Heavy Side: .338 Winchester Magnum, .338 Remington Ultra magnum, .375 Holland & Holland magnum