Important Gun Preparations with Colonel Smoothbore
By Kelsey

Posted: September 30, 2012


As the antelope rifle season, then the big game general hunting season approaches, let’s take a quick peek as some very important preparations all hunters should undertake.

First we have to choose the ammunition we’re going to use when hopefully we find our big game quarry. All too often ammunition is nothing more than an afterthought for many
hunters. Just run to the sporting goods store or any other ammo retailer, grab a box of whatever is cheapest, and off to the wild the hunter goes. That is a lousy plan. Just think of all the time, planning, supplies, and MONEY you put into your hunts and ask yourself, “Do I really want to risk my trophy to cut rate ammunition?” I hope not. Like most everything firearms related you can research ammunition choices quite thoroughly on the internet. Manufacturer’s sites, blogs, chat rooms, and gun magazine reviews will all provide you with numerous great ammo options for your hunt. For a little extra money, I suggest you buy ammunition loaded with premium bullets. Hornady, Nosler, Federal, Winchester, Remington, and a host of other manufacturers load premium bullets that provide great accuracy. Winchester Supreme with a 180 grain Nosler Accubond gives me sub MOA groups out of my 300 WSM. It ain’t cheap, but boy it really works.

When you purchase your ammunition make sure you check the container. Doing so will tell you just what type of game the bullets and ammunition is designed for. Varmint ammo on an elk hunt could result in total disaster.

Secondly, sight in your rifle. Go to a range or gun club that has target backers at well-defined and measured distances. Get on paper at 25 yards, and then move your target to 100 yards. Be sure to take your time and work at getting good accurate groups.  Check the ballistic table for your load and adjust your zero accordingly. Shoot several groups to verify your zero. Make a couple of trips to the range on different days under varying weather conditions. Practice at longer distances (200, 300, maybe even 400 yards), try several shooting positions, and improvised gun rests. Be prepared for that big muley or that six point bull. This preparation WILL put meat in your freezer.

Next week we’ll go “Out of Africa.”

Be safe and good shooting.

Colonel Smoothbore