By Eric J.
As someone who’s only recent stumbled into the world of hunting with a centerfire rifle, I thought I’d offer my observations on what is apparently an ideal hunting rifle, from the perspective of an outsider reading fora and online gun rags . . .
1) It must shoot sub-MOA
If it can’t shoot sub-MOA, you may as well be using an unloaded blunderbuss. Fortunately, every single sponsor’s gun ever reviewed by an editor at a firearms magazine has shot under 1 MOA, regardless of conditions and clearly has the capability to do yet better under ideal conditions.
2) Magnum is the new minimum
It’s unfortunate that we live in a world of steel deer and elk with reactive armor, but it is what it is, and old standards like the .30-06 just aren’t cutting it anymore. And don’t even get me started on the .243 winchester, and how it just ticks whitetails off.
3) A newer cartridge is a better cartridge
Most folks drive recent cars, use recently designed golf clubs, etc. So why would anyone want to use some rifle cartridge designed in 1895? .30-30: don’t you realize that 30 minus 30 is zero? Now a short ultra magnum, that’s the ticket! You can’t be inconvenienced with the long bolt-throw of the .30-06, and anything under 3500 ft lbs of muzzle energy? Fuggedaboudit!
4) Walnut and blued steel
If a gunstock isn’t walnut, it might as well be made of baked raccoon dung. Anything less is Eurotrash styling or cheap and completely, utterly non-functional. Stainless steel? Are you kidding me? Do you want to give away your position by blinding every game animal within three degrees of longitude? Any designs other than old-fashioned aesthetics are emetics!
5) Detachable Magazine
In this modern era of particularly nasty game animals (see #2), you need to be able to reload in a heckuva hurry if you want to survive an oncoming battalion-wave attack of antelope. Not to mention hordes of zombies. A detachable magazine is the only way to go! Don’t forget six spares!
As for the ammunition:
1) It must penetrate indefinitely
Obviously, a bullet has to get to something vital to do its job. Sufficient penetration is a must! From what I’ve read, the ideal bullet must be able to bust brush, blast through a tree trunk, lance through a car body, and transfix a wayward battleship hull plate on its way to penetrating through the skin, fat, muscle, shoulder blade, and ribs of a hadrosaur. Or three.
2) It must have stupendous expansion
The more damage a bullet does and the more energy it transfers, the more likely it is to destroy something vital in an animal. From some helpful advertisements, I’ve learned that the ideal hunting bullet expands to approximately 30x its normal diameter upon striking a game animal, and does so while retaining 256% of its mass.
3) It must have a very high ballistic coefficient
In order to penetrate and expand, a bullet must get to the target first. Fortunately, I’ve been enlightened to the fact that firing a bullet with a G2 BC of less than .550 is likes trying to push an umbrella through molasses. That bullet will simply never get there.
4) It must be highly “accurate”
If a bullet can’t group into less than 1″ at 100 yards in my rifle, then I might as well use a shotgun with a single pellet in it. In order to score a humane kill, I must be able to select exactly which hair on the animal’s hide I want to split with my bullet’s ballistic tip.
5) It must be bonded
I’m not sure why the bullet doesn’t need to be licensed, certified, and insured as well, but I guess being bonded is secure enough.
Well, that’s what I’ve learned about hunting equipment from advertising and punditry. For my next endeavor I intend to educate myself about which handgun caliber is “best” based upon the arguments in online forums. I’m sure it’ll be just a straightforward process.