Brace yourself for an unflattering perspective. We humans are among the least dangerous animals. No claws, no battle-ready set of teeth, and we’re among the weakest athletes in the animal kingdom, pound for pound. Grizzly bears weighing 700 pounds can accelerate to 35 miles per hour. Can you imagine champion strongmen weighing half of that running half as fast? Well, neither do we. In the wild, anything the size of a Labrador or larger can kill us in a close encounter. Maybe that’s why big-game hunting is so archetypic. Think David v Goliath. Think myths of Cyclopes and Minotaurs. No good adventurous story happens without overcoming impossible odds. Well, not impossible anymore. Not with all the goodies we’re offering.
Like anything you want to succeed in, hunting requires thoroughly done homework. That’s why our ancestors came up with stuff to even the odds. Traps, spears, bows and arrows. Gunpowder revolution. Advanced optics. Anti-Tank Guided Missiles. Probably you shouldn’t use the last one when hunting, I’m just pointing out the power and precision we have today before we go into details about it.
Firepower: Guns and Ammo for Big Game Hunting
Guns and ammo is the most obvious part when getting ready to hunt. Imagine a set of sharp, curved four-inch claws. Imagine two fully grown grizzly bears using those against each other with bad intentions. Compared to that, you won’t do a whole lot of damage to them with a .22 LR shot. There are too many options for hunting big game to list all. When in doubt, go for bottleneck cartridges with pointed bullets of .30 caliber or larger. Bottleneck cartridge means proportionately large propellant load. Pointed bullet maintains its velocity longer.
1800gunsandammo offers rifles chambered in powerful cartridges like .30-30, .30-06, .300. Those are great entry big-game options. As you scale up, check out .338 Lapua, .338 Winchster Mag and .358 Winchester. And there’s always cannon-power rounds like the .50 BMG for those who don’t want to take chances.
No need to list ammo separately. If we offer a firearm, we offer ammunition to feed it.
Binoculars for Big Game Hunting
Maintaining binocular vision is a big deal. Perception of depth and the very fact of observing with both eyes open brings you closer to how you observe with bare eyes. When stalking prey, you might spend hours observing from far away. Doing so with binoculars will put less stress on your eyes leaving them fresh for when it’s time to aim and shoot.
Spotting Scopes for Big Game Hunting
A very overlooked class of optics. Everyone knows what binoculars and riflescopes are for but not so many know the value of a spotting scope. Binoculars are basically two well aligned telescopes, or spotting scopes. First, there’s twice as many of every part. Second, aligning two scopes together is a precise and difficult enough job on its own, and synchronizing their magnification is yet another challenge. As you understand, this does not drive the cost down. On average, if you take a pair of binoculars and a spotting scope of the same price, the spotting scope’s max power will be much higher, and likely with decent zoom ratio (binoculars with well executed variable magnification are rare and expensive).
Riflescopes for Big Game Hunting
Recently, we published an article on Nikon rimfire riflescopes, read it if you prefer small calibers. But here, we’re talking about shooting something powerful, often from a huge distance, so we suggest going for scopes with the power to cover long distances and spare rigidity to withstand heavy recoil.
If you happen to be a brand loyalist of Nikon, Leupold or Vortex, the good news is they have wide ranges of models stretching from budget versions all the way to high grade entries. They all offer clarity and precision sufficient for most distances. If you have what you need, however, and want to enjoy the picture while you’re aiming, try fancier names like Zeiss, Leica and Swarovski. They drive clarity and color transmission to make the process of aiming weirdly enjoyable.
Most of us start shooting at moderate distances and gradually progress farther away. At distances around 100 yards and less the bullet’s drop and time of travel are negligible. As distance grows there are more and more things to consider. It’s a whole science of its own but knowing the exact distance is a good starting point. Knowing the incline/decline angle is a great addition. Laser rangefinders at 1800gunsandammo.com include models to suit everyone. Our most budget-friendly entry is the Redfield Raider 650 Duplex costing just above $100 and measuring as far as 650 yards (hence the name) away. Higher tier models include options by Sig Sauer, Leica and Leupold ranging 2400, 2800 and even 3000 yards away. It’s very unlikely you’ll have to measure such distances when hunting but who knows.
Hunting wakes up something primal and long forgotten in us. And when hunting big, you should pack accordingly. High power binoculars and spotting scopes. Long range rangefinders. High impact rifles and ammo to feed them. 1800gunsandammo.com has your back with all those and more. Don’t forget to shop our website for a bigger selection of hunting goods.