What to consider when purchasing your next rifle.
There are loads of criteria (see what I did there?) to consider when purchasing a new hunting rifle. Plus, the list of options is almost endless. The question of what gun to buy next could literally have thousands of potential answers. So, where do you start? Here's a list of questions to consider to help you make the right call.
What caliber should you choose?
How you answer this question is up to you. The filtering process to determine this answer is riddled with another series of questions. For example, Is your new rifle going to be used to pursue one specific type of game? Do you want a multi-purpose round that can be used for various game? What other calibers do you currently own? Do you want a different caliber to expand your capabilities? Or, do you want the same caliber to save on ammo costs?
You'll also want to consider ammo quality and availability. Some newer high performance rounds shoot lights out. You might love the idea of shooting a 6.5 Creedmoor but a trusty .308 might just do the trick instead. And have ammo that's much easier to come by.
What range do you hope to shoot?
Speaking of caliber, a more appropriate first question might be what range you're hoping to cover. If you're a long range guy, you'll be looking for different requirements than someone who's shooting shorter range. What's the quality and useful life of the barrel? How readily available are aftermarket parts for this rifle? And how easy is it to work on? Want a good laugh? If so, click here to see what happens when you use a long gun up close.
What will be the gun's primary use?
If your new boom stick is going to sit in the safe or ride under the back of your truck seat 360 days per year, you probably aren't as concerned about weight. If you plan to carry this thing on a 3 week big horn sheep hunt high in the mountains, that's a different story entirely. Consider the elements in which you you'll be operating the firearm. What material construction should you be looking for in the new gun? Also, give some thought to how demanding you're going to be of the gun and set your standards accordingly.