Goodness, the excitement of choosing a rifle is like a visit to the sweet shop for kids! There’s so much choice out there in terms of design and niche types! But tips from veteran marksman and owner of Marksman’s Nest, Geoffrey Coetzee, should guide you through the process somewhat.

Precision shooting

Remember the type of rifle should be suited to its intended use. For long-range precision shooting, a well-made bolt-action rifle is perfect. Being extremely accurate, they have many configurations, but the technical specs could be quite intimidating. First decide what your price limit is, because some of these have eye-watering prices. Then determine which calibre would suit your needs.

Target rifles generally have heavy barrels and much more powerful stock. Some people like the budget rifles, which are equipped with polymer stocks and magazines, while others simply avoid these.

Many precision shooters have a penchant for chassis rifles, while others opt for traditional hunting rifles. This is basically because some shooters find a chassis rifle comfortable, but others find it a pain. However, do consider whether you prefer a detachable or fixed magazine.

In the end, it’s all up to you. The caveat is: hold the rifle (for quite a while) to determine whether you like the feel. Stock fit and balance always remain personal choices.

Hunting

When choosing a rifle, are you on the look-out for a hunting rifle? If so, the determining factor will be your choice of hunting target(s). Will you be backpack hunting? In this instance,  weight definitely is a huge determining factor.

Another consideration is barrel length, because this can affect balance. Many a hunter shuns longer barrels because of maneuverability issues. Especially so when hunting in thick bush or brush. In these instances, additional velocity really doesn’t make a difference.

Although heavy target barrels don’t heat up quickly, they’re more rigid. As such, they usually enhance accuracy.

Bolt-action rifles usually are favoured for hunting. Considerations are that they should be lightweight, accurate and reliable.

When hunting from a stand, additional rifle weight is definitely not of concern. Heftier rifles invariably settle faster. Therefore, long shots from a stand are infinitely easier.

Finally

Geoffrey has the last word, “Before choosing a rifle, do your research. And do take your time while deciding. Better yet, speak to the experts at Marksman’s Nest. We’d be able to point you in the right direction.”

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