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Girls With Guns: 7 Tips for Women on Buying Your First Hunting Rifle

Image: Girls With Guns: 7 Tips for Women on Buying Your First Hunting Rifle
Female Hunter in Sunset. (Twildlife/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Monday, 02 Mar 2015 03:06 PM

Choosing the right hunting rifle is both an exciting and daunting process as there are a number of variables that will affect not only the fit and feel but also the ability to shoot well. While more women are taking up the sport of hunting, younger generations of girls are as well and "girls with guns" has become the catchphrase of women who are confident with firearms.

According to a 2012 post by Shooter's Log, "Over the past several years, the number of men participating in the sport of hunting has declined, while the number of women has increased. A 2009 report from the National Sporting Goods Association showed a 5.4 percent increase in hunting participation for women compared to 2008 numbers. Currently, women represent about 9 percent of the total number of hunters in the United States. The female huntress is no longer a mystery in our country."

Here are seven tips for women on buying a hunting rifle:

1. Determine the main purpose of the rifle: The size of the game of choice affects the caliber of the rifle needed. Another decision is whether to choose a single shot or repeating rifle. Don't hesitate to have a one-on-one conversation with your local gun dealer - he or she can be a valuable resource and answer many of your initial questions.

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2. Gun Fit: According to Remington, "When shopping for a rifle or shotgun, finding the right fit means determining your preference for the gun’s weight and length of pull, or the distance from your shoulder to your trigger finger. It’s important that you are confident when you shoulder and fire your gun, so you need to be comfortable with the weight and length of pulls."

3. Try before you buy: Many gun ranges and firearm dealers offer gun rentals and it is a great idea to get a hand's on feel after narrowing down the field of contenders. In other words, specifications and static feel are one thing, but live action is the best test.

4. Scope: "When I bring the rifle to my shoulder I want the scope picture to be a completely round circle. When a rifle does not fit, the image in the scope will be half-black or worse. A full scope picture is determined by eye relief, which is defined as the distance from your eyeball to the eyepiece. A rule of thumb requires about two-inches of relief in the standing position," writes Sharon Merriam for Outdoors Weekly.

5. Weight: When choosing a hunting rifle make sure the weight allows for a steady hold and the rifle does not create a sense of unbalance. For petite women or girls, also take into consideration that the rifle will packed over different types of terrain and excess weight could cause fatigue.

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6. Recoil: The kick from a hunting rifle can be remarkably painful. Field and Stream suggests taking the "Too-Much-Gun Test" by asking these three questions, "Very simply, are you afraid of the thing? Do you dread firing it? Do you shoot it poorly, despite having worked to master it?" Don't feel stigmatized by downsizing to a hunting rifle with less recoil.

7. Eye dominance: Make sure you know which eye is dominant, as this will affect whether you shoot right or left-handed. An easy way to do this is to stand with your arms in front of you and form a small triangle by putting your thumbs and fore fingers together. Look through the triangle at a target about 20 feet away with both eyes open. Close one eye and then the other. If the object remains stationary, that eye is dominant. If it moves, that eye is not dominant.

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Choosing the right hunting rifle is both an exciting and daunting process as there are a number of variables that will affect not only the fit and feel but also the ability of "girls with guns" to shoot well.
girls with guns, hunting rifle, women, purchase
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2015-06-02
Monday, 02 Mar 2015 03:06 PM
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