The Best Gun!
When I worked in a gun store, I would constantly have new shooters ask the same two questions.
The first question was always what is the best all round gun that I can get?
Every time I answered this question you could see the look of confusion on their face. It was like I was speaking a different language. Although my answer made perfect sense it went against everything they were hoping to hear! Not only did my answer not confirm that the caliber that they had already pre empted to buy as their perfect all-round gun after many hours of research and conversation on many forums and facebook pages. BUT I also shattered the concept of an all-round gun!
Stop and think about it for just a second. If it was possible to have an all-round gun, then with the current anti-gun politics and constant tightening of restrictions, wouldn’t have the government have limited us to one gun buy now?
It is simply imposable to have an all-round gun. By all means if you only ever had one gun, then you would just have to make it do everything and for this purpose I would go a 12-gauge shot gun as the many different variations of ammunition and chokes can make this gun very versatile for large and small game and even self defence if you live in a country where such thing is legal. But even with the 12 gauge which in my opinion is the most versatile firearm available it still has limitations! For example, it sucks at anything long range.
With the many different reasons, a person may want to own a firearm, comes many different variations of firearms to suit those needs. A very light fluted barrel may be perfect if you are back packing and hunting large deer on the side of very steep hills and are only going to take one or two shoots in a day. That same barrel which is perfect for backpack hunting will heat up super quick and spray bullets left right and center at the range if you try to shoot 20 bullets in a half hour session.
Barrels are only one of many variables that you can have on a firearm all of which will make the firearm more suited to one particular style of shooting over another. For this reason, it is important for a new shooter to do two things. The first is realise that they will end up owner multiple guns and wanting even more! Welcome to the world of a lawful firearm owner and being broke all of the time! The second is have a good hard think about what you actually want your firearms to do. If you are unsure about the style of shooting you like, don’t buy a firearm yet! Try a different style using a club gun or borrow a friends gun (Once you have your licence you can legally borrow a friends registered gun for up to three months lawfully in Queensland.) Once you know how you like to shoot then you can buy the guns that best match your needs.
The second question that I was often asked was, what caliber should I buy?
I have two answers to this question. The first answer is “All of them!”
If this answer doesn’t sit well with you then I assume you are in the same boat as me and have a budget. With this in mind my answer changes to 22, 223, 308 and 12 gauge shot gun. With this answer you need to keep in mind my shooting is mainly hunting. However, I would most likely answer the same for a range shooter as well, but the actual firearms may differ slightly.
A 22 is the best firearm to start with. It is cheap and you can shoot all day for the cost of 20 bullets for some of the fancier calibers. This allows you to shoot more and get pliantly of practice. Also due to the low recoil you can concentrate on your technique and ensure you build accuracy and don’t develop any bad habits. 22 is also amazing for controlling small game and with the wide arrange of ammunition from quiets and rat shot to mini mag rounds they will get a lot of jobs done.
223 is my next choice as sooner or later your 22 is going to feel like a cap gun and you will want more bang. 223 is available everywhere and is relatively cheap compared to similar rounds such as 222. 223 is an awesome target round and is suitable for medium game such as roos, fox, small pigs and even goats.
The 308 is due to the wide availability and the relative cheap price of ammunition while being able to take down some of Australia’s larger game such as red deer and large pigs. This round is also quite suitable for longer range target shooting.
And my final recommendation of the 12-gauge shot gun is due to the easy availability of ammunition and such a wide range of ammunition which makes this firearm so versatile.
None of these calibers are perfect and they all have their limitations but with only four firearms you could pretty much shoot anything game in Australia and take part in any long arm shooting competition. Lack of performance for some of these calibers is more than made up for in the ease of availability even in the dry dusty center of our country and the relative low cost of the ammunition.
I hope I didn’t break too many hearts writing this blog.