Firearms

Choosing A Gun

Ask MeatEater: What are the Best Big Game Rifle Calibers?

Big Game

Ask MeatEater: What are the Best Big Game Rifle Calibers?

At least a few times day, we get asked: “What is the best rifle caliber for big game hunting?” There’s no one answer to that question, and rifle caliber and cartridge  selection is and will always be one of the most contentious debates in the hunting world. That’s not surprising considering the...
Brody Henderson Nov 13, 2018
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Becoming a One-Rifle-Hunter

Big Game

Becoming a One-Rifle-Hunter

If you could only pick one, what rifle caliber should you choose for big game hunting in North America? This is a question we get over and over here at MeatEater, and the good news is that the average hunter can pretty much do it all with a single rifle. As fun as it might be, it’s really not...
Brody Henderson May 16, 2017
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The 5 Guns Every Hunter Should Own

Firearms

The 5 Guns Every Hunter Should Own

We know you already have a list in mind. This is how we came up with ours. Coverage is the name of the game. These five firearms allow hunters to pursue everything from wingshooting to small game to big game. The calibers we chose are relatively common and inexpensive, but also panic-proof. If you...
Jordan Sillars Sep 1, 2020
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The 3 Most Underrated Hunting Calibers

Big Game

The 3 Most Underrated Hunting Calibers

Rifle calibers are kind of like craft beer (hear me out). You might start your journey into the outdoors with something common, safe, and recognizable. Maybe a .22LR, .223 Rem., or a .30-06. But after a while, you’ll want to expand your horizons beyond the Pabst or Budweiser your dad first shared...
Jordan Sillars Jul 20, 2020
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The Best Deer Cartridge You’ve Probably Never Shot

Firearms

The Best Deer Cartridge You’ve Probably Never Shot

Remember that old children’s story, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears?” Some take the moral as a warning against breaking and entering, but most folks probably remember the story’s lesson about moderation: not too hot, not too cold, not too hard, not too soft—just right. The .257 Roberts is the...
Jordan Sillars Mar 18, 2021
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Is Your Deer Gun Overkill?

Firearms

Is Your Deer Gun Overkill?

Does the gun you use on deer have too much power? The answer may be more complicated than it sounds. Is your deer gun capable of taking a whitetail quickly and cleanly with minimal meat damage? Yeah, probably. Are you capable of using your deer gun to take whitetail quickly and cleanly with minimal...
Jordan Sillars Nov 10, 2020
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3 Best Rifle Calibers for Youth Hunters

Firearms

3 Best Rifle Calibers for Youth Hunters

If you have kids you want to get hooked on hunting, it’s important to think carefully before choosing their first rifle. Throwing them to the wolves with a .300 Winchester Magnum might make for a funny story when they’re older, but it’s a terrible way to recruit a future hunting buddy. There are...
Jordan Sillars Apr 7, 2021
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Caliber Battle

Caliber Battle: .22 LR vs. .17 HMR

Firearms

Caliber Battle: .22 LR vs. .17 HMR

This week’s Caliber Battle pits the old school against the new. The .22 Long Rifle (LR) has been around since your grandfather’s father was cutting his teeth on squirrels and rabbits. Developed by J. Stevens Arms & Tool Co. in 1887, it’s become the most highly developed and widely used rimfire...
Jordan Sillars Oct 26, 2020
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Caliber Battle: .223 Rem. vs. .243 Win.

Firearms

Caliber Battle: .223 Rem. vs. .243 Win.

Introduced only two years apart, the .223 Remington and the .243 Winchester couldn’t have come from more different neighborhoods of the firearms world. The .223 Rem. is a classic Army brat. It was developed in 1957 for an experimental rifle known as the AR-15. That gun’s modern military counterpart...
Jordan Sillars Oct 6, 2020
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Caliber Battle: 7mm Rem. Mag. vs. .30-06 Springfield

Firearms

Caliber Battle: 7mm Rem. Mag. vs. .30-06 Springfield

In his excellent handbook, “Cartridges of the World,” Frank C. Barnes describes the .30-06 Springfield with the kind of reverence usually reserved for religion, mom’s cooking, and secret hunting spots. “The .30-06 is undoubtedly the most flexible, useful, all-around big game cartridge available to...
Jordan Sillars Dec 9, 2020
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Caliber Battle: .30-30 Win. vs. .35 Rem.

Firearms

Caliber Battle: .30-30 Win. vs. .35 Rem.

The .30-30 Winchester and .35 Remington won’t break any speed records—there’s no doubt about that. Still, much like the old man who can rattle your teeth with a punch, appearances can be deceiving. The elder statesman of the deer woods, the .30-30 Win. hit the market in 1895 paired with Winchester’s...
Jordan Sillars Feb 3, 2021
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Caliber Battle: .300 Win. Mag. vs. .338 Lapua Mag.

Firearms

Caliber Battle: .300 Win. Mag. vs. .338 Lapua Mag.

Many cartridges that have become popular with military snipers have also made the jump to outdoor sports (and vice versa). The .300 Winchester Magnum and the .338 Lapua Magnum are among the best examples. The .338 Lapua Mag. was developed in 1983 as a long-range sniper cartridge, and it was used in...
Jordan Sillars Jan 19, 2021
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Caliber Battle: .308 Win. vs. .270 Win.

Firearms

Caliber Battle: .308 Win. vs. .270 Win.

Ask any American hunter to name his top three big game cartridges and chances are good that at least one of those will be the .308 Winchester or .270 Winchester. Winchester launched the .270 Win. all the way back in 1925 for the Model 54 bolt-action rifle. At the time it offered better long-range...
Jordan Sillars Nov 17, 2020
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Caliber Battle: .375 H&H Mag. vs. the .416 Rigby

Firearms

Caliber Battle: .375 H&H Mag. vs. the .416 Rigby

For many hunters, a Hemingway-style African hunt is the stuff of daydreams and social media envy. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start planning. The .375 H&H Magnum and the .416 Rigby have been taking down large and dangerous game since their introductions in the early 20th century. Either would be...
Jordan Sillars Apr 26, 2021
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Caliber Battle: 6.5 Creedmoor vs. .264 Win. Mag.

Firearms

Caliber Battle: 6.5 Creedmoor vs. .264 Win. Mag.

When the 6.5 Creedmoor hit the shelves in 2007, it was met with the same mixture of acclaim and contempt that welcomes all new cartridges. Now, like it or not, the 6.5 CM is here to stay. It’s cemented the 6.5mm as a legitimate, effective caliber for U.S. hunters, and it’s by far the most popular...
Jordan Sillars Feb 16, 2021
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Gear and Accessories

The Hardest and Easiest Ammo to Buy Right Now

Firearms

The Hardest and Easiest Ammo to Buy Right Now

Gun owners are at the point in the ammo shortage when they’d be happy to find something—anything—to shoot. What started as a COVID-induced blip has turned into the worst ammunition shortage in recent memory, and industry insiders are predicting it will last through the end of the year. Hunters and...
Jordan Sillars Mar 23, 2021
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When Will the Nation’s Ammo Shortage End?

Firearms

When Will the Nation’s Ammo Shortage End?

For every American, 2020 will be remembered for COVID-19 and an insane presidential election. In addition to that, gun owners will recall 2020 (and spoiler alert, 2021) for more: the worst ammunition shortage in recent memory. Desperate gun owners have driven hours to pick up just a few boxes of...
Jordan Sillars Jan 12, 2021
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The Total Guide to Buying a Suppressor

Firearms

The Total Guide to Buying a Suppressor

Once the territory of only the most dedicated gun nuts, suppressor use in the United States is on the rise among casual shooters and hunters alike. “This year has seen the highest demand that we’ve ever seen, and we definitely expect to see an increase in demand around November,” said Knox Williams...
Jordan Sillars Aug 5, 2020
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How to Choose the Correct Rifle Scope

Firearms

How to Choose the Correct Rifle Scope

I killed my first Pennsylvania buck with a well-used .30-06, topped with a cheap fixed 4x scope. With only a few minutes of daylight remaining, I made a fairly long shot during a blinding, lake effect snowstorm. Between the small antlers and my limited visibility, it’s doubtful I would have even...
Brody Henderson Jul 19, 2019
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How to Choose a Big Game Bullet

Big Game

How to Choose a Big Game Bullet

A collection of bullets I’ve recovered from big game animals rests on a bookshelf in my house. They bring back memories of hunts past, but each one also tells a story of bullet performance. Missing from the collection are the bullets that fragmented into tiny pieces or passed clean through. I can’t...
Brody Henderson Jul 30, 2019
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Shotgun Shells and Shot Size: Everything You Need to Know

Hunting

Shotgun Shells and Shot Size: Everything You Need to Know

A new hunter walking into the store can be overwhelmed with the obscene amount of options on the shelf for shotgun shells. There are countless options to choose from and many people may not know where to start their search for what shells to buy. Here is a summary of what you need to know about...
Steven Rinella Mar 13, 2018
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Getting Dialed

Shooting Positions for Rifle Hunters

Firearms

Shooting Positions for Rifle Hunters

The only way that you’ll ever reach a high level of proficiency with your firearm is through trigger time. An intimate understanding of your weapon’s capabilities and limitations will teach how to place the bullets where you want them, The more time you spend with your gun, shooting from multiple...
Steven Rinella Oct 11, 2018
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Video: How to Sight in a Rifle

Firearms

Video: How to Sight in a Rifle

Getting a new gun zeroed in or on target is not as complicated as some folks might believe. But it is easy to get a few crucial steps wrong. The proper equipment will make the process easier and more reliable. First, there’s your rifle and your scope. You can mount the scope yourself and use a laser...
Janis Putelis Jul 14, 2020
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4 Things Hunters Can Learn from Competitive Shooters

Firearms

4 Things Hunters Can Learn from Competitive Shooters

The first time Steve and I met, we sat on a patio discussing competitive shooting and hunting. The conversation was exciting as we connected the dots on how closely related the two really are. Competitive shooters and hunters tend to exist in separate worlds, but many of our methodologies can be...
Taylor Thorne Feb 19, 2021
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How to Mount a Rifle Scope and Bipod

Gear

How to Mount a Rifle Scope and Bipod

Properly mounting your scope is an important step in building an accurate hunting rifle. This is how to level the scope, set your eye relief, and torque the mounts. Additionally, a bipod improves accuracy in a variety of different shot scenarios. This video also shows the proper way to mount the...
Ryan Callaghan May 29, 2020
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How to Pattern a Shotgun for Turkey Hunting

Turkey

How to Pattern a Shotgun for Turkey Hunting

When it comes to turkey shotguns, modern choke-and-load combinations are capable of throwing ultra-tight patterns out to 40 yards or more. At the same time, turkey hunters should remember that a properly outfitted scattergun’s pattern is likely no larger than a baseball at 10 to 15 yards. I learned...
Andrew Johnson Mar 4, 2021
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Ask MeatEater: Will You Shoot at Running Game?

Big Game

Ask MeatEater: Will You Shoot at Running Game?

You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers (and if we don’t, we’ll make them up). Every day, fellow MeatEaters send us more than 100 emails regarding hunting, fishing, cooking, conservation, and more. So, we decided to publish a series dedicated to our favorite FAQs. This is Ask MeatEater. Several...
Brody Henderson Oct 7, 2020
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Off Range

What the “Universal Background Check” Bill Means for Gun Owners

Firearms

What the “Universal Background Check” Bill Means for Gun Owners

Most hunters know that purchasing a firearm from a licensed dealer requires the purchaser to pass a background check conducted through the federal instant check system. In many states, however, purchasers can also buy guns in private transactions that do not require the buyer to pass a background...
Jordan Sillars Mar 16, 2021
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The Guns of the American Mountain Man

Firearms

The Guns of the American Mountain Man

John Colter wasn’t about to lose his gun. The now-famous mountain man was travelling on the Lewis and Clark Expedition in May of 1806 when his horse slipped and fell during a difficult, deep-snow trek over the Bitterroot Mountains in the Idaho panhandle. Man and horse fell into a stream, where they...
Jordan Sillars Sep 28, 2020
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The History of Wildcatting in America

Firearms

The History of Wildcatting in America

The term “wildcatter” is most frequently used to refer to oil prospectors from the late 19th century who drilled exploration wells in search of new petroleum fields. But the word also refers to another group of optimistic entrepreneurs, folks who hope to strike it rich (or at least become famous) in...
Jordan Sillars Apr 2, 2021
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An Ode to Department Store Guns

Firearms

An Ode to Department Store Guns

It’s hard to believe today, and even harder to explain to someone under the age of 50, that there was once a time when firearms were regarded as sporting goods by major retailers. They were basically treated like baseball bats or golf clubs—selling in huge department stores that appealed to the...
David Maccar Dec 2, 2020
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Ask MeatEater: Pistol or Bear Spray in Grizzly Country?

Firearms

Ask MeatEater: Pistol or Bear Spray in Grizzly Country?

You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers (and if we don’t, we’ll make them up). Every day, fellow MeatEaters send us more than 100 emails regarding hunting, fishing, cooking, conservation, and more. So, we decided to publish a series dedicated to our favorite FAQs. This is Ask MeatEater. I have...
Sam Lungren Aug 20, 2020
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3 Things You Need to Know About President Biden's Gun Orders

Policy & Legislation

3 Things You Need to Know About President Biden's Gun Orders

President Joe Biden launched his first salvo at curbing gun violence this month with a slate of six executive orders aimed at regulating gun ownership, addressing mass shootings, and installing new leadership in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. In a speech announcing the orders...
Jordan Sillars Apr 20, 2021
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Ask MeatEater: What Do You Need to Know About Flying with Guns?

Firearms

Ask MeatEater: What Do You Need to Know About Flying with Guns?

I’ve flown with firearms over 60 times in the last few decades. Let me start by telling you this: It’s OK. Airports are accustomed to it and ready for you. Although some terminals are easier to work with than others and policies vary among airlines, it’s actually pretty simple. Here’s what you need...
Janis Putelis Sep 18, 2020
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