Many things make a good hunter, and having the right hunting rifle is up there on the list.
Using the perfect rifle makes a massive difference in your hunting experience. So, lets take a closer look at some of the best hunting rifles of 2021.
But before that, let’s quickly go through some of the factors we considered when coming up with this list.
Hunting Rifles Buying Guide
Below is a list of things you should consider before buying a hunting rife:
1. Type Of Gun Stock
There are generally two types of rifle stocks to choose from: Synthetic and wooden stocks. Each comes with its own pros and cons, so it’s all a matter of picking your poison.
The advantage of synthetic stocks over wooden ones is they are usually lighter, so the rifle won’t be as cumbersome. Synthetic stocks are also more resistant to harsh hunting conditions.
Rifle stock can be wooden or synthetic and each has its own pros and cons.
On the flip side, the synthetic stocks are nowhere near as aesthetically pleasing as a nicely finished walnut stock.
And, while wooden stocks are usually more beautiful, they tend to be heavier and more sensitive to scratches, cracks, and discolorations.
So, you should consider how much value you put on the aesthetics of a hunting rifle before deciding.
2. Barrel Length
Shorter barrels are a favorite of most hunters since they usually make the rifle lighter and more maneuverable. On the other hand, longer barrels may make a gun cumbersome, but they typically provide better velocity.
Some people would also argue that longer barrels are more powerful.
Weight is a crucial factor in rifle selection, since it directly affects your ability to operate the gun. Different people will have different preferences based on their level of fitness and other factors.
As we’ve already pointed out, the type of stock and length of the barrel you choose will also affect the overall weight of your gun.
If you want a lightweight rifle, look for something with a short barrel and synthetic stock.
The Nosler M48 Mountain rifle was first introduced in 2019. This rifle is made using lightweight materials for better handling while delivering exquisite performance, making it one of the best guns for hunting, and the 2021 version of the gun has seen an introduction of two new chamberings.
The rifle is built around the Nosler M48 action, integrated into a carbon-wrapped barrel for insane sub-MOA accuracy.
The mountain hunter stock is finished in an elegant granite green, while the steel surfaces are covered in tungsten grey, giving your rifle long-term protection against harsh weather conditions.
The gun weighs only 6 pounds and is perfectly balanced for enhanced maneuverability.
The Weatherby Vanguard is the affordable alternative to the famous Mark V from the same manufacturer. Don’t mistake its affordability for weak performance, though. The rifle guarantees considerable power coupled with sub-MOA accuracy for the ultimate target hunt down.
The rifle is built using lightweight polymer stock. The material does a great job of handling tough hunting surroundings and extreme weather to give you an excellent feel and performance for years to come.
The barrel is 24 inches long for non-magnum and 240 Wby Mag, which is just enough for most hunters.
This is without a doubt the most innovative hunting rifle we’ve come across in 2021.
It may look like a regular bolt action gun, but there is nothing regular about the speed of the follow-up shots it provides.
Savage has utilized the Hexlock straight-pull action to reduce the time it takes to make subsequent shots. This makes the Impulse Big Game one of the most instinctive hunting rifles on the market.
The rifle is built with a medium-contour fluted barrel to balance the weight. It’s available in different mags, including the .243Win, .300 Win Mag, .308 Win, and .300 WSM fed through a flush-fit detachable box mag. A sleek hazel green cerakote covers the metal surfaces.
At 8.8 pounds, the Impulse Big Game is heavier than the two rifles discussed above. However, its ingenious design achieves a remarkable balance that makes operating the gun feel effortless.
The Ruger Mini-14 Ranch rifle is an excellent option for anyone looking for a versatile semi-automatic gun. The action is based on the M1 Garand and the M14, but it is scaled down to make the gun easier to handle and use.
There are multiple calibers to choose from here, including the .300 blackout and the .223 Remington. It comes with an intuitive iron sight, but there is also the option of mounting a scope.
Remington 700 SPS Varmint is a budget-friendly hunting rifle that performs well where it matters the most. Besides predator and varmint shooting, the gun is also great for long-range tactical shooting.
This rifle comes with a non-reflective barrel and receiver for perfect concealment and a blind mag to increase reliability. The fore-end of the contoured barrel is ventilated for better heat dissipation. It’s also drilled for easy scope mounting. The Model 700 SPS Varmint weighs around 8.5 pounds.
That’s pretty much it for the best hunting rifles for 2021. These guns tick all the boxes from accuracy and power to durability, and that’s why they are highly recommended to both beginners and seasoned hunters.
Sometimes, it’s not just your skills that are a problem, it’s your equipment too.
Any hunter will tell you that investing in the right rifle and scopeis a must if you want to get good shots while out hunting. It’s not always about buying the most expensive tools too.
Be sure to do your homework and choose a rifle scope that is versatile and will be a good fit for your specific type of hunting.
Before you buy a rifle, read a lot of reviews about it. Check for important factors such as its weight, grip, and overall feel.Don’t be afraid to ask your local gun store about which guns are the best for hunting as they’ll most likely suggest the best models for you.
As for the scope, make sure to get one that’s versatile. This refers to a scope that can provide a good view from various ranges. Keep in mind that some scopes are best partnered with certain guns so again, complete your due research about guns and scopes before you make a purchase.
It may not seem like much but your breathing does affect your aim to a degree. As you aim, your body moves– your arms and shoulders included. While minimal, the movement is enough to affect your accuracy while taking aim. As such, it’s important that you practice controlling your breathing.
Ideally, you should hold your breath while aiming and while you are taking a shot. When you are still aiming down, relax and stay calm. Take slow and deep breaths so that your heart rate doesn’t get too affected.
Controlling your breathing before pulling the trigger is a critical component of shooting accuracy.
Hold Your Gun Properly
Rifles release a lot of backward force when they are fired.Those new to firing a gun are often caught off guard by exactly how powerful the firearm recoils after being fired.
It’s nearly impossible to avoid this recoil,but you can control it effectively with proper gun handling.
For starters, make sure to rest the stock of the rifle on your shoulders firmly. This somewhat controls the forceas the bullet is fired. As for the trigger, make sure to squeeze it tightly and use the force on your wrist and fingers as well.
If you are planning to hunt at night, you will need a thermal or night vision scope to be able to acquire the target successfully. But, while both of these devices will allow you to see at night, there are differences between the two.
Each has its own dedicated application, and each has pros and cons.
Let’s take a look at the differences, so that you can easily choose the best option for you.
You need to know the basic difference between thermal scopes and night vision scopes so you can choose the one that’s perfect for your hunting situation. Hopefully, the following section will make the differences between the two clear. So, keep reading!
Thermal Scopes And How They Work
The word “thermal” refers to anything related to temperature or heat.
Thermal scopes detect the heat or temperature of the target and use the radiation to generate the image.
Thermal scopes detect the heat of a target and use radiation to generate the image.
The image can be generated in black and white or various colors depending on the device. The image will becomes lighter or darker with the increase or decrease of its radiation. Therefore, warm objects look brighter through the scope.
Unlike night vision devices, thermal scopes can be used both in the day and at night. And, because they use radiation or heat source to render the image, you can easily detect objects even if they are hiding or camouflaged.
Some thermal scopes render images in colors.
In addition, thermal scopes can cover a larger distance than night vision scopes.
On the down side, during extreme cold, thermal scopes become blind.
Additionally, thermal scopes are heavier and more expensive than night vision scopes.
Night vision scopes work quite differently than thermal scopes. Some night vision scopes render images in a green hue and rely heavily on a light source to render them. The light source can be ambient, like that of the moon, the stars, or the surroundings.
If there is no light at all, the infrared illuminator (IR) is used to generate light. Luckily, the IR is not visible to the naked eye. Therefore, your prey will not be alerted.
Pros And Cons Of Night Vision Scopes
Night vision scopes are lighter and also less pricey than thermal scopes. They are available in various models and generations. Therefore, you can easily choose one according to your budget and requirements.
Night vision scopes rely on a light source like the moon or stars.
Since night vision scopes rely on an available light source, an unfavorable environment can affect the visibility. For example, in the fog, rain, snow, and dust, night vision devices are not as effective.
Additionally, night vision scopes can’t cover long distances as well as thermal scopes can.
While hunting at night, you need to identify the target as your desired game animal, otherwise, you may end up shooting something else. And the choice between night vision and thermal scopes depends on the shooting environment.
Thermal scopes can detect animals from long distances, but could be confusing for hunters if there are other moving targets in the field of view.
Thermal scopes can easily detect animals or moving objects from a long distance whether it is day or night. Their detection is better than night vision scopes. Even in the roughest weather, they can help you see (except in extreme cold).
However, one thing to keep in mind is that thermal scopes render images in black and white, or in shades of multiple colors, which may be confusing for hunters and shooters if there are other moving objects in the target area. If this is not going to be an issue for you, then a thermal scope would work fine.