About Rifle Hunting
Soon after the invention of firearms gunmakers figured out that if you make cuts, or grooves, inside the barrel of the gun, and make these grooves spiral, that would stabilize the bullet and improve the accuracy of the shot. For centuries thereafter a rifle was the domain of a hunter; soldiers marched with smoothbore muskets and the military application of a rifle was limited to a few sharpshooters or guerilla warfare such as in the war of American Revolution. To think that many modern politicians believe that rifles are only “engines of war” and deny citizens their use! But we digress. There are many kinds of rifles that are adapted for different kinds of hunting. Double rifles are basically two rifles, with two barrels and two actions in one stock, which helps dependability, and allows for extremely quick follow-up shots which makes double rifles a sort of a cult thing in dangerous game hunting. It is, however, difficult and expensive to get two rifle barrels to shoot to the same point of impact, so most professional hunters prefer Mauser type bolt-action rifles. A dangerous game rifle can stop not only an elephant, but a small light armored vehicle; a rimfire rifle will not damage the body of the smallest of gamebirds or rodents such as squirrels, and is perfect for building rifle skills. Rifles for mountain hunting must combine low weight (because every ounce you carry is felt very acutely after a bit of climbing at high altitudes) and tack-driving accuracy (as mountain game often has to be shot at long ranges). Semiautomatic rifles are the straw man in modern gun control discourse, and some say they aren’t for hunters; the Inuit with their favorite M14 carbines, the Siberian trappers who kill everything up to and including the giant Kamchatka moose and bear with SKS rifles, and millions of other hunters worldwide disagree. In short, the rifle is a default weapon for all big-game hunting, and a lot of small-game and bird hunts where you don’t have to shoot flying or running game. Any kind of rifle is a highly efficient hunting weapon. With regular practice, anybody can make a 300-yard shot, shooting further on requires the use of specialized equipment such as laser rangefinders, advanced shooting skills, and lots of practice. But even the most affordable of modern rifles, with stock ammunition and affordable scopes, can deliver their deadly message all the way up to 600-700 yards, if the shooter does their part. In fact, the perceived efficiency of rifles made a lot of hunters consider more challenging ways of hunting, such as bowhunting, and some lawmakers to limit their use. Read more...
In many parts of the world, hunters are either not allowed to own rifles at all, or rifles are subject to stricter licensing, or their use is in some way limited. In some American states, for example, in the course of the general deer season you are only allowed to use a “short-range” weapon, such as a shotgun, a handgun, a bow or crossbow, or a muzzleloader. The rationale behind it is that a rifle bullet travels over long distances and in a densely populated area may unintentionally and totally at random hit a person or an object way over the horizon. The hunter must in any case fully realize the responsibility of handling a rifle, and never take the shot unless 100% sure it is safe. In North America, hunters with bows and primitive weapons usually enjoy longer seasons and better options for obtaining licenses and tags. On many deer or elk hunts, for example, archery tags are available over-the-counter, while “any weapon” tags have to be drawn, sometimes at very low odds. In such areas a rifle hunt with a guaranteed tag is usually a rare and highly desirable offer, and North American rifle hunts are, as a rule, more expensive than archery hunts. In South Africa, daily rates appear to be higher for rifle hunts than for archery hunts, while trophy fees are the same. In most countries with hunting tourism, however, rifle hunting is the default big-game hunt, against which all other types of hunting are compared. Hide details
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