85 Mark Cammacio gives an overview on how to choose a hunting rifle
Mark Camoccio is helping us to choose the right hunting rifle – part one
L ast month we looked at choosing the right airgun for juniors. Now it’s time to look at the options available if the main aim is hunting. It’s a far thornier issue and one not to be rushed into so before I run through the options kit-wise, I think the subject demands a considered overview since it has such a huge bearing on any final decision made.
Choice of airgun will be dictated by our decision to shoot live quarry because the level of performance basically needs to be up to the job, and that applies equally to us as well as the gun! Hunting can be a highly satisfying activity. Just being out in a pleasant country location, can sometimes be reward enough; and that’s an aspect maybe lost on the uninitiated.
Just observing and being at one with Mother Nature, can be an uplifting experience in itself with simple pleasures, such as the warmth of the evening sun, just adding to the whole occasion. In this scenario, any subsequent successful hunt could well be considered a bonus, but let’s face it, hunting might not be for everyone. Whilst controlling vermin is undoubtedly a necessary requirement in many scenarios, taking the life of a living creature can still divide opinion. For instance, many shooters thoroughly enjoy inanimate target or competition shooting, yet the idea of shooting anything live, simply does not appeal.
Leaving aside the issue of ethics, many shooters might just consider the preparation of game, with all the associated messiness involved, just a step too far, and give up on hunting for this reason alone. If that aspect doesn’t prove off-putting, then investment in a suitable hunting knife and a robust pair of kitchen scissors is a good place to start for swift and effective game processing.
For those of us so inclined, where vermin control is justified, despatching all the airgunner’s favourite quarry such as rabbit, crow, rook, squirrel etc., can lead to exciting forays. As responsible airgun shooters, though, it falls upon us to promote the sport in the best way possible, by striving to improve our shooting, and respect our quarry at all times. Of course, many of us feel the adrenalin rush when in hot pursuit of some wily prey; and the satisfaction gleaned from successfully applied fieldcraft takes some beating, and yet it’s fair to say that the whole exercise shouldn’t be entered into lightly.
A misplaced shot on a steel or paper target is neither here nor there, but where live quarry is concerned, a badly taken shot can end in misery. Clean kills are what it all comes down to, and that requires
I happy just being out hunting whether I bag some quarry or not