Basic Instruction On Hunting Firearms
Using a weapon is the crucial skill in a hunt. We need to understand its structure, how to manipulate it properly, safely and effectively on the hunt.
There are great varieties of firearms, come in different type of cartridge (bullet, shotshell, slug) , barrel (smoothbore, rifle), action (break-action, lever-action, semi-automatic).For hunting purposes, these types are the most popular choices:
· Bolt-action rifle : is the most popular for hunting purpose. While still simple enough for new users, it possesses many advantages compared to other weapons like high accuracy and long range, less recoil, powerful enough for big game like elephant, and quickly kill the animal instead of suffering from wounds. The most often caliber choices are .22 for squirrel and rabbit, .30 for deer, .600 for elephant hunting.
· Semi-automatic rifle is a good choice for skilled hand, as it surpasses bolt-action rifle by the power, rangeand readiness. Its only disadvantage is a high price.
· Pump-action rifle is shorter in range and less accurate compares to bolt-action rifle, and mostly used for big game like elk, moose..
· Shotgun is not a very powerful one, and the smooth bore doesn’t bestow the accuracy quality as a rifle. Instead, its shot shell includes small pellets that spread in order to reach the target without careful aiming. The shotgun is best choice for bird hunting.
·Handgun is preferred for its light weight, high accuracy within not very long range, is not very popular in hunting for its low penetration ability. Even though, it can dispatch a deer quickly if properly shot.
Remember when using a firearm
You can come to a shooting sport store to test and choose the most suitable gun for you, which depends on your physical character (dominant hand, arm length, physical strength) andthe games you will take. You should choose a rifle that you are most comfortable with and can use wide range of calibre so that you can use one rifle for every game.
Remember to take advice from the retailer about the safety andan introduction shooting course in your area. You also need to familiarize with state law about open season for firearm, minimum size of bullet for each type of game, the conservation regulations, and a gun license.
And remember these things when you use a firearm:
1. Keep safety priority in your head while using a firearm.You need to keep it out of unauthorized people, remove all the bullets unless in use, never put your finger on the trigger unless ready for shooting,and never point your gun at any vulnerable point. Use the right ammunition and regularly clean and maintain your firearm before and after use.
2. You should start on a shooting range to get familiar with your firearm. Then alternately switch between on the field and on the range practice .Fire with every position: prone, sit, knee, offhand, from 15 ft to 100 ft, uphill and downhill terrain.
3.Record every shoot you did . Fire several rounds, then stop, check the target, take note of it, so that you will concentrate on every shot as a one-time-event and can analyze it later to find out the inaccuracy reasons.
4. Do not struggle with your rifle, let it be a part of your. Hold it in natural position, let it point the way it should be and slightly lean yourself towards it just like “ resting” on it. Find the most comfortable way to contact with your rifle.
5. The best position on the range or on the field when shooting a rifle is prone, with your both elbows firmly on the ground (youcan also use a sandbag, bipod or your backpack to support your rifle),and this is the position you should start with.
But the most frequent position on hunting is standing position (or offhand shooting) which is the least stable one. Do not try to extinguish the muzzle movement, but control it. Let the unsteady motion become circle, and let it become smaller until it’s right on the target, then fire. No more than 3 seconds, or it will be worse.
6. Adjust your scope before use . Rest your rifle on a steady base (a tripod, a sandbag). Shoot 3-5 times aiming at the target from 25 feet. Check the group.If the bullets are apart, it might be due to your unsteadiness; if they are tightly close and deviate from the target, you’ll need to adjust the cross-hair of your scope (up or down, left or right). Do it several times until the shots are fairly right at the bulls eye.
7. Learn to aim properly .If you use a scope, adjust your head so that you can see clearly through the scope with the target in the center of the reticle.If you use an open sight, the dot of front sight should be at center and aligns with two dots of the rear sight.
8. Keep your body in the most stable condition when firing your gun. Take a deep breath, exhale, and in the middle of it, hold your breath and fire the gun. Your mind and body will be at the calmest state.
9. Pull your trigger slowly and gently so that not disturb the adjusted sight picture, and keep
contact with the trigger until the bullet completely off the muzzle, it means a little bit longer than the moment of pressing the trigger.
10. Practice to perfect your range estimation in various weather condition. Count the wind effect, especially on long range shooting, the weight of the bullet will dramatically pull it down while the wind will deviate its course. And only a skilled hunter can predict and adapt to the movement of the target.
So, basically, remember to keep your body in steady and relaxing position while aiming properly to achieve a correct sight picture and good estimation the surrounding effects on trajectory will help you hit the target. The only thing left is to practice as frequently as possible so that you can master your skill and do not miss when the chance comes.