Rifles And Shotguns

When it comes to hunting guns, hunters have a variety to choose from. Depending on what you hunt and the hunting regulations of your state, the four types of calibers available are:

  • bolt-action
  • lever-action
  • pump-action
  • semi-automatic.

Bolt-Action Rifles


These rifles are known for a “”bolt,”” or loading mechanism that extends from the side. Bolt-action rifles are among some of the strongest models on the market.

  • Savage Model 110: This attractive rifle is known for its strength, accuracy and affordability. It has a barrel locknut, adjustable trigger and a three-position thumb safety. The 50-caliber rifle also claims to have the world”s first smokeless powder muzzleloader, so it can use both smokeless and black powder.
  • Winchester Model 70: Known as the “”Rifleman”s Rifle,”” this rifle has many of the same features as the Savage (like the barrel locknut and adjustable trigger). However, instead of a thumb safety, the Winchester 70 has a three-position bolt safety. The military used this rifle until 1964 when they replaced it with the Remington Model 700.

Lever-Action Rifles

These rifles are distinct in that they have a lever by the trigger guard that loads fresh cartridges into the gun”s chamber. Lever-action rifles are well-suited for hunting larger animals such as deer or bear. However, they are not as strong or durable as bolt-action rifles.

While they”re popular with civilians, lever-action rifles aren”t generally used by the military because they”re hard to shoot from cover or when lying down.

  • Browning BLR: This rifle is notable for its drilled and tapped scope mounts, adjustable sights and a rotating bolt.
  • Marlin Model 336: The Marlin 336 holds a 6-shot tubular magazine that makes it lightweight and easy to shoot.


A semi-automatic gun is easier to shoot than a bolt-action or lever-action rifle because it requires only that you pull the trigger, rather than cock it first, provided the bullets are in place.

  • Browning BAR: This rifle was one of the first semi-automatic hunting rifles. The design of the barrel minimizes vibration, making this rifle both accurate and consistent.
  • Remington Model 7400: This durable rifle uses gas-powered action to smooth out the recoil. Best used at close-cover, the Remington Model 7400 can endure extreme temperatures. As a result, it is one of the most popular semi-automatic rifles used for big game hunting.

Pump-Action Shotguns

This type of gun requires a pumping on the handle in order to shoot. Characterized by its distinct barrel shape and loading system, the shotgun tends to work best with small, fast-moving targets.

  • Remington Model 870: This pump-action shotgun is Remington”s best-selling rifle. Used frequently in law enforcement, the Remington Model 870 loads from the bottom and has dual action bars. Parts of this rifle can be interchanged with those of the Remington 1100 semi-automatic rifle.

The Best Gun for the Hunt

When choosing the right gun for your hunting trip, consider a number of factors, including where you”re hunting and your personal preferences.Before selecting a gun, check out the area in which you plan to hunt. Areas packed with underbrush need a short, fast-handling rifle, like a semiautomatic or a lever-action rifle.

Another consideration is what feels right to you. Handle different types and brands before you purchase a gun. Certain hunting rifles have a definite kick or recoil that may spoil your aim and cause you to miss your target. Before you spend hundreds of dollars on a hunting gun, practice shooting it and make sure that you enjoy handling it.


About (2007). Deer and Big Game. Retrieved December 4, 2007, from the About Web site: http://hunting.about.com/od/deerbiggame/a/aa063098.htm.

About (2007). Top 5 Semi-Automatic Deer/Big Game Hunting Rifles. Retrieved December 4, 2007, from the About Web site: http://hunting.about.com/cs/guns/tp/tp_auto_rifles.htm.