Are you or someone you know absolutely crazy about hunting, and you are looking to get some helpful information to help you improve your success rate out in the bush? Maybe you have been a hunter for years now, and you are always keeping an eye out for new ways to improve your skills and equipment loadout? Perhaps you are just beginning your career as a hunter, and you want to ensure that you have all the proper information before you start purchasing your own equipment and weapons? If any of this sounds like you, then keep on reading in order to learn some useful information. This article will break down what the top guns are for hunting, and provide you some details about how each weapon can improve your hunting experience. 

Pellet Gun

The first gun that man hunters get in order to hone their skills and get a feeling for shooting a gun is often the pellet gun. These guns generally operate using compressed air and are able to deliver a small lead or metal pellet to your target. While these types of guns are not that good for hunting anything with thick skin, they can be extremely useful at giving beginner hunters a way to start out in a safe and controlled manner. 

.22 Caliber

Many people who enjoy hunting prefer to go after smaller types of game animals, such as rabbits, raccoons, squirrels, or other common pests that might be invading your garden, or going through your trash. For small animals like these, you will not want to use a large caliber hunting rifle, or shotgun, since this can cause quite a mess, and is generally overkill. One of the most popular calibers of weapons that hunters use for these smaller animals is the .22 caliber. This type of gun is usually smaller and lighter than larger calibers and will give you more control as you try to take out smaller, faster animals. 

12 Gauge Shotgun

Are you the kind of hunter who absolutely loves going after different kinds of fowl-based game animals, such as ducks, turkeys, geese, or doves? If this sounds like your kind of hunting experience, then you will probably want to look for some kind of shotgun in order to maximize your chances of landing a shot. The 12 gauge shotgun is by far the most popular option for hunting birds, and also for sports such as skeet shooting. Shotgun shells generally come in two different kinds of sizes, known as buckshot and birdshot. Buckshot contains a ‘slug’ or in some cases many large pellets, which are meant to increase stopping power. Birdshot, on the other hand, contains many small pellets, which are meant to spread out and give your shotgun a wider range to hit your target. 


One of the more modern gun designs that exist on the market nowadays is the semi-automatic model. The main difference between semi-automatic weapons and conventional hunting rifles is that a semi-automatic weapon uses the blowback from firing the first shot in order to set the hammer to deliver the next one. This allows users to simply pull the trigger in order to shoot another shot, rather than using something like a pump or bolt action mechanism to ready the gun for another shot. Some of the most common semi-automatic rifles include the AR-15, AK-47, and M-14 models. Most of these guns have their roots in military services, and can sometimes be difficult to obtain in certain states or countries. Be sure to always get a proper license and do your research before purchasing any firearm. 

Bolt Action

Another incredibly common type of firearm that many hunters like to use on a regular basis is the bolt action rifle. This kind of gun uses a bolt mechanism in order to load your next shell casing into the chamber, which readies it to take another shot. Bolt action rifles are a very common choice for deer hunters, and there are many famous rifles that have been designed using this style. If you have never tried firing a bolt action rifle before, then you should absolutely try one out in order to see if it is something that works for you. 


Although technically not a gun, any article about hunting weapons would not be complete without mentioning the usefulness of bows in certain hunting situations. Bows come in a number of different styles, and can even be custom made in order to suit your specific needs for any given hunt. Bows are popular for hunting large game such as white tail deer, elk, and even caribou. There are lots of different kinds of bows to choose from, such as the compound bow, which uses mechanical advantage in order to get a more powerful and consistent shot. If you prefer to use a scope when hunting, then you can even get a crossbow with a scope attachment, giving you the accuracy of a rifle, with the precision and stealth of a bow. 

.30 Caliber

The most popular standard caliber for hunting large animals is the .30 caliber rifle. The size of this rifle is generally great for medium sized game, such as deer or mountain goats. If you have one hunting rifle in your collection, there is a very good chance that it is the .30 caliber. 

After reading through some of the information included previously, the hope is that you have come away with a better sense of what hunting rifles are preferred by the pros, and which ones will be best for your area, and game of choice. Having the right tool for the job can make a huge difference in the amount of success you have when hunting, regardless of your experience level. You do not want to be stuck out in the woods trying to hunt deer with a shotgun designed for duck hunting, and conversely, you do not want to try and take down a flock of geese with a bow and arrow. If you use the tips and tricks provided above, then you will be able to find a weapon that is perfect for whatever type of hunt you are going to participate in. 

Photo by Stephen Baker on Unsplash




I've been writing since 2008 about a wide range of topics. I also love making furniture in my spare time, and birdwatching with my wife near our home in southern England.

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