One of the most common questions in every hunting education course is, “What should you check before choosing a firearm for hunting?”

Do you know the exact answers?

Then, it is recommended by the Hunter-ed to:

  • Meet all legal projectile requirements in terms of gauge, caliber, the energy produced, etc. The firearm should be powerful enough to knock out the games while it does not cause tragic accidents for you and other innocent people.
  • Select one hunting firearm according to your physical condition. Then, better to try various guns before you end up buying one.
  • Get a moderate amount of recoil, if possible. That way, you can practice and shoot proficiently.

In reality, buying a hunting firearm is more complicated, and you should read on the following carefully to pick up the right.

What Should You Check Before Choosing a Firearm for Hunting?

Hunting firearm laws

Never hunt with a firearm without knowing whether the weapon is lawful – we mean the type of firearms and their sources.

Know it or not, one-third of hunting guns found in the U.S were stolen. Thus, better to buy from a reputable local vendor or trustful brand. Not only can you get helpful and accurate information about how to use the firearms in hunting, but you are also back up by papers when it comes to replacement or maintenance the guns.

More importantly, the branded firearms are supposed to meet the industry’s requirements and safety regulations – for your sakes!

Types of hunting firearms

The second knowledge is,

Not all hunting firearms are the same. In fact, they come in different sizes and technologies!

Generally, there are five types to consider:


The two outstanding features of hunting rifles are the cartridge called bullets, and the internal grooves cut into the barrel to improve the distance and accuracy of ammo shoots.

Most rifles using .22 caliber ammo and larger are commonly-used for small hunting games.


Different from the rifles, shotguns shoot ammo coming in a shell. For that reason, the barrel is required to be smooth for slug ammunition.

Happy to know that the hunting shotguns are often versatile enough for small to large game or birds. Nontheless, the shotguns are usually prohibited in some states and time of year.


Rather than a hunting weapon, handguns are often for defensive purposes. Simply, the short size makes it harder to shoot for targets over distances. As a result, we would recommend having a concealed handgun to protect you from a short-range attack.


Muzzleloaders, as the name suggests, will load the weapon through their muzzle. This makes it hard for hunters to shoot with the muzzleloaders.

Nowadays, people might use either rifles and shotguns instead.


You might wonder: What Is The Most Powerful Air Gun For Hunting?

Hunting air guns are supposed to be more accurate than other firearm types, at a distance of 50 yards and less, and more importantly, those weapons are comparatively quiet. Unfortunately, if you miss the first shot, you will be less likely to scare off the game, such as birds, squirrels, rabbits, waterfowl, etc.

Based on your skills and target, you can then narrow down the option of firearm type. Even then, it would be better if you tried several sizes so that you can find out the most suitable weapon based on your physical.

Rifle cartridges

The chosen type of hunting firearms will narrow down the options for cartridges. Some might call them bullets or calibers. For example, most airguns support one among .177; .20; .22; or .25 calibers.

The powerful cartridges will kill the animals right away, but they might also damage those animals’ bodies. Meanwhile, weaker ones cause animals to suffer more. Usually, you will know the power of the cartridge just by looking at its name.

The recoil amount

For those who might not know, the recoil is the reactive momentum of a rifle, or equally, the velocity of powder gasses and cartridges ejected from the barrel. This rate is significantly affected by the rifle weight and design.

The more weight, the less recoil – and usually, the less powerful cartridges or less sturdy rifle construction.

For those reasons, no need to trade-off the power of shooting for the amount of recoil. Instead, hunters should get a moderate amount of recoil that is around 10 to 15 fps. Then, you can feel a sharp rap on the shoulders instead of an abrupt push.

Rifle actions

Not only does the types of firearm matter when it comes to asking, “what should you check before choosing a firearm for hunting?” but you should also remember that each type possibly supports different actions.

With a single-shot hunting weapon, you can firee the rifle one by one. That way, the guns are often more compact and elegant.

Moreover, the single-shot comes in different styles, mechanisms, and actions, such as the falling-block, rolling-block, break-open, or trapdoor single-shot action. The action reflects how to load and unload the rifle. Nonetheless, please be focused when you aim with only one shot.

For the beginners, we will suggest the repeater that includes the bolt-action, pump-action, lever-action, and automatic actions so that you can easily handle the rifle.

Last Thoughts

Above are some prevalent factors to answer your frequent question, “What should you check before choosing a firearm for hunting?” Truth be told, you should spend more time learning more in-depth about those factors so that you can buy the most suitable hunting weapons for successful hunting!

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