Beginner Rifles and Calibers, Buying a Rifle and Shooting Tips

Carly Brasseux // September 20

We recently talked about Beginner Rifles and Calibers, Buying a Rifle, and Shooting Tips with Kim Bryant.

You’ll learn:

  • How to pick the best rifle
  • What’s the best caliber for deer hunting
  • Best advice for first-time rifle shooters
  • How to advance your shooting skills
  • How to teach others to shoot
  • Scopes vs. rifle – where should you spend your money

How do you pick the best rifle?

Start with a lighter weight caliber. A 7mm-08 is lightweight with minimal recoil and gets the job done on a deer hunt. Or, a 25-06 or 207 are both great options, also. When choosing your rifle, choose one that is comfortable. Go to a local gun shop and hold different guns. See how they feel on your face and in your hand. Hold it and look down the barrel. Make sure it’s not too long or too heavy.

A local gun shop will be able to listen and advise, as well as have in-depth knowledge as to the best firearms for you versus a big box retailer.

Some ranges even have guns available to try and shoot before you go to the gun shop to purchase.

It’s not about the brand of a firearm, it’s about how it feels to you.

Beginner Rifles and Calibers, Buying a Rifle and Shooting Tips

What’s the best caliber for deer hunting?

A 7mm-08 is lightweight with minimal recoil and gets the job done on a deer hunt. Or, a 25-06 is a great option, also.

What advice would you give someone shooting for the first time?

Don’t go to the range by yourself. Go with someone knowledgeable on guns, someone you feel comfortable with and someone you are willing to take advice from.

Know firearm safety. Safety, safety, safety!

Learn your gun. Know how to operate it. Know what the stock and barrel are and where is the safety (did we mention SAFETY yet?). Do you know how to load and unload the magazine?

And what advice to further your skills as a more advanced shooter?

Practice. For anything you want to master, practice is what it takes.

You can also start trying different ammunition to see what rounds shoot better with your gun. Maybe one manufacturer shoots better or different grain. Try a few and see what works best for you and your gun.

Ammunition is important. Different grains shoot further distances.

What advice would you give to someone teaching others to shoot?

Start with showing someone new the gun. Always start with safety, but showing someone the parts of the gun are a great place to start. Show them where the safety is. Show them how the bolt works. Show them how to load and unload the magazine.

Then, let them see you shoot.

Hearing protection helps new shooters.

Make a new shooter feel comfortable. Get them sandbags so the gun position feels right. Use a gun rest to help with stability and to take away some of the recoil.

Scope vs rifle. Where do you spend your money? How important are optics vs. the actual gun?

Put your money towards a great scope. Optics are the most important part of any gun. If you can’t see what you’re shooting, the gun isn’t very effective, right? Always opt for good glass.

Remember, don’t get discouraged trying to find the right gun, ammo, place to hunt, or hunting gear. That’s why there are so many people available to help you. Most of us have learned the hard way, failed, missed the mark, been given wrong information, made mistakes, felt rejected, let down, and lost. It’s never too late to learn.

{Read: “Get Outside” Your Comfort Zone and Learn Something New}

We should learn something new every time we step into the woods, into a gun range, and climb in the stand. Get involved with groups like Miss Pursuit. That’s why we do what we do, so you can confidently walk into a store buy a gun, ammo, or hunting gear and even travel and hunt by yourself & not be intimidated.

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About the Author

Carly Brasseux

Carly Brasseux is a determined and passionate freelance outdoor writer, published author, business owner and social media/marketing consultant based in Texas. In a world where women are the fastest growing segment of the hunting population, she is a major proponent of those women wanting to learn more about the outdoors and hunting. Her handle, Miss Pursuit, is an expression of her enthusiasm for all things outdoors, from educating women through her experiences learning to hunt over the last decade, to getting out with her kids to explore the wild. Her expertise in social media and marketing, as well as her vast network of people in the outdoor industry, have given her the influence to make an impact for years to come. Member of the Mule Deer Foundation, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Stewards of the Wild and the Texas Wildlife Association.