The Evolution of Man – The History of Hunting

Perhaps one of the eldest activities on the face of the planet is hunting. The history of hunting, as a result, is also one of the most diverse. Hunting for food has always been something that human kind has had to do, dating back to the beginning of any civilizations known to man.

As a result of this, there have been thousands of weapons and devices used to hunt. The history of hunting is far more complicated than any other history in the world, as it stretches so far into the past. In order to understand this history, you need to break down and study each era where hunting has been a major part of life. While there are exact time lines of when certain guns or weapons were produced, understanding the importance of hunting should be done on a far broader scale. There is much more to the history of hunting than when the gun was created.

The First Era, Pre-Civilization

In this time frame, from before great cities to the first starts of basic civilization, the human race survived on their skills of scavenging and hunting. In cultures similar to those of the first era and pre-civilization, women had the roll of caring for the home and preparing the food brought in by the men. Some portions of modern day Africa have conditions similar to this, where they do not have a great deal of money, and a similar style of hierarchy. The men all learned how to hunt, and they held these hunts daily to feed themselves. Unlike today, all hunting was for survival, and none of it for sport. All of the materials from the killed animals was used, from the bones to the pelt. Hunting was also a method of determining who was the bravest warrior. The bravest would hunt the ferocious creatures that lived nearby their homes. These kills were a vital part of the early hierarchies.

A wide variety of different weapons were used during this era, from slings to spears crafted of wood and stone. For large prey, the hunters would work together in packs, similar to how a wolf hunts to bring down their quarry. The only trophies kept were antlers and teeth. Occasionally the skulls would be kept as decoration or as symbols of the clan or family group. This oldest form of hunting was the basis in which the present was formed.

The Second Era, Growth of Civilization

As people gathered together and civilization really began, the role of men as hunters changed as well. Cities, by their very nature, require a variety of people with a lot of skills. There needed to be craftsmen and weavers, animal handlers and other trades so that everyone could have access to everything they needed. Instead of the split between men and women, hunting became the task of those most suited for hunting. These were usually always men, as it was looked down upon for women to participate in this line of work.

This was also the turning point where hunting becoming a sport. Civilizations, such as the Babylonians, the Egyptians, and the Romans all had their hunters and craftsmen. The Romans, took hunting as a sport to a whole new level, capturing prey alive for sale or gladiatorial competitions. Only certain individuals were hunters, allowing the select men to feed those in their community.

The Third Era, The Middle Ages

Perhaps one of the most interesting times in the history of hunting, is the middle ages. This is the period in time where hunting for food was a vital part of life for many, though restricted. Rules on hunting, such as no hunting in the King’s Forest, was the first real restrictions on hunting present in the world. Only the rich prospered, and the surf classes hunted whatever they could, when they could for survival. Hunting, from boar to deer to fox hunting, became primary sports for the nobility of the time frame. This started the trend of organized hunts for sport.

Colonists to the New World required as much hunting skills as possible, during this period of time, although they progressed quickly from relying on scavenging and hunting to creating farms and plantations. Popular weapons for use in hunting during this time period was forms of archery, slings and throwing spears. The gun was also used, although it had not quite yet reached full levels of popularity.

The Fourth Era, The Industrial Period

On the heels of the Middle Ages was the Industrial period. This era stretched from beyond the 1700s until just after the start of the 1900s. The evolution of machines brought about great changes in hunting. Large farms became very popular, where livestock was raised instead of the practice of hunting wild animals, downgrading hunting to only become a past time. Guns, ranging from muskets to rifles, were being to be used extensively. Archery was downgraded to sport use only, though it was very popular for tests of skill.

Present Day

Through these stages of the history of hunting, humans have perfected this activity, with a wide range of weapons. Archers, for example, have many types of bows to choose from. Arrows are just as plentiful as bows, from metal to wood, with many different types of tips. Guns have evolved the same way, with many types of bullets and guns for different types of hunting. Special guns and equipment designed for moose hunting, for example, wouldn’t be the same as deer hunting supplies.

Competitive hunting, such as fox hunting, is still greatly enjoyed by many people who prefer a little more action to their hunting. In the modern world, safety and skill are the requirements for hunting, and it is open for anyone who is willing to learn proper weapon handling and obtain all of the documents necessary to hunt. Regulations on guns and hunting have been developed to prevent species from going extinct. While hunting is still very popular, the modern day has a lot more restrictions that in any other era in the history of hunting.

Each of these eras of the history of hunting have done a lot for the sport and trade, giving it a rich heritage that shouldn’t be forgotten.

Tahr Hunting in New Zealand

About New Zealand Tahr

The Himalayan Tahr, originally from the areas around Tibet, were introduced to the Southern Alps of the South Island of New Zealand around 1904 to 1906. Initially considered a pest, the New Zealand government controlled the Tahr herds with government sharpshooters and aircraft. Over the last twenty years, the Tahr hunting status has changed from being unwanted pests to a manageable, renewable and valuable resource to many local and overseas trophy hunters.

The Tahr is a majestic animal found on hillside rocky outcroppings with their long “lion like” mane blowing in the wind. This is truly a majestic sight. When put to chase, the Tahr hunter will be in awe of their climbing abilities in the steep New Zealand Alpines they call home.

The Himalayan Tahr is close relative to the free range mountain goat. A Tahr has relatively short legs and small head with large eyes and small pointed ears. Their hooves have a flexible, rubbery core that allows them to grip smooth rocks, while a hard sharp rim can lodge into small footholds. Tahr inhabits steep broken mountainous landscapes ranging from 3000′ to 8000′ above sea level. Males are much larger and have different coloration and horn structure than the females. Adult Himalayan Tahr can weigh from 300 to 400 pounds and stand 2½ to 3 feet tall. The nannies (females) only weigh 45-55 pounds. This is one of the largest “pair” ratio differences between any mammals in the world. Himalayan Tahr are herbivores, subsisting on tall alpine “tussock” grasses and shrubs. Himalayan Tahr can be found in herds from 2-25 animals and can live up to 14 years old in the wild.

What makes a Trophy Bull Tahr?

A Bull Tahr has horn bases of 8-9″ and a sharp round curled horn of 10 to 14 inches. A Tahr Hunter will judge a good trophy male by its long mane as well as its horns although record book scoring only uses a combination of the base horn diameter and length of both horns. Most Tahr hunting guides will look for horns over 11 inches in length. Tahr horns of 12.5 to 13.5 inches are considered an above “trophy” average and horns over 14″ are exceptional. There have been a few New Zealand Tahr taken with horns over 15″ and these usually fall into the SCI Top 10 Record Category.

When should I plan my Tahr Hunting Trip?

Like Chamois hunting, Tahr Hunting can be done year. The ideal time to hunt Tahr is during New Zealand’s late fall and winter. By Tahr hunting in winter, the Tahr will have their winter coats and manes. A Tahr’s mane can grow 5-8″ in length from February to early June and turn darker in color. Late May, June, July and August are ideal months to hunt Tahr and chamois. The Tahr rut runs late May thru July which usually correlates with the first snow of the season. The rut is an excellent time for Bow hunting. Tahr can be hunted in conjunction with the red stag “roar” or rut in March and April but the hunter will have to work harder to find a Tahr with a long mane at that time of year. The coats will also be lighter in color before winter sets in.

What is the best way to hunt New Zealand Tahr?

Most Tahr hunting mountains are accessible by two-tracks or fire trails up to the tops of the mountains. Hunters usually glass the mountainsides in the early mornings and again in the late afternoon and then hunt down the mountains and are greeted by the outfitters vehicle below. Tahr hunting terrain can range from 3′ tall tussock grass to rock and shale hillsides. In most cases, the physical demand for this type of hunt is a lot less than that of Mountain Goat or Sheep hunting. You should allow at least 2 days for a rifle Tahr hunt (in good weather) and 3-4 days with a bow for a good specimen. If you are strictly record book trophy hunting, you can easily double that time period.

What about Tahr hunting by Helicopter?

Helicopter assisted Tahr hunting enables hunters to access the more remote mountainous areas where there are excellent trophy animals. It also gives greater assurance of success if the hunter has a limited time in New Zealand to hunt. Helicopter assisted hunting can be an exciting alternative with spectacular flights, and the opportunity to take an exceptional trophy. It is important to note that the helicopter is only used as a mode of transportation and animal recovery. Hunters are not allowed to shoot, drive or herd animals from the air. The Tahr hunters spot their trophy from the helicopter and are taken to an area when they can pursue their spot and stalk by foot. This type of hunting does contain a element of caution as you will be exiting a moving aircraft on an unknown mountain ledge.

What do I need to take with me on a Tahr hunt?

Most Tahr hunting is done in the higher elevations of the New Zealand Alpines. Some of these mountains are covered with 2-3′ tall clumps of Tussock Grass and some are rocky outcroppings of rocks and broken shale. Starting in June, these same mountains could also have snow on them. Make sure you have good boots that are broken in. Since you may be hunting in snow, you will want your boots insulated and waterproof. If you are hunting on a mountainside of tussock grass, wear a good pair of gators. The gators will keep the snow or morning dew from getting your hunting pants wet and cold. Premium optics is essential. Buy the best “glass” you can afford. I recommend a binocular harness as it will come in handy when traversing shale and lose rocks. This will keep your binoculars from getting bounced around or worse, banged on a rock. Most Tahr rifle shots will be in the 150 to 250 yard range. A good range finder will come in handy for both rifle and bow hunters. At 300 plus pounds, the Tahr is a good size trophy animal. I would recommend 7mm or larger and 164 grain or larger expandable bullet. A good 3,000 fps.30 caliber with an 180 grain expandable bullet is ideal for Tahr. Your rifle should be equipped with a good quality scope in the 3×9 or 2.5×10 magnification. I would also recommend a good backpack that is capable of carrying your rifle or bow. This will keep your hands free when moving across the mountainsides. If you are bow hunting, a good bow hunting guide can usually get you within 40-50 yards of your Tahr during the rut. Taking a trophy Tahr is quite an accomplishment with a bow. Allow yourself extra hunting days. Your biggest challenges in Tahr hunting are the nannies giving their warning whistle as you stalk your Bull Tahr.

How should I have my Tahr taxidermy mounted?

I recommend that all Tahr hunters, especially first time Tahr hunters, really think about how you want your bull Tahr mounted. A shoulder mount is the most economical taxidermy mount but it really doesn’t give justice to the long hair on the Tahr’s mane. Here is a tip for your first (or only) Tahr Hunting trip.

Have the guide cape it out for a full body mount. It will be 4-months before you get the cape back to the USA and probably several more months before your taxidermist will send it out for tanning. This will give you some extra time to decide (and save up) whether or not you want to do a shoulder mount or a full body mount. If your guide capes it out for a shoulder mount in the field, you are stuck with your choice. The full body bull Tahr mount is spectacular and will be a highlight to any hunter’s man cave or trophy room. You may also want to consider taking a Nanny Tahr. Some outfitters will let you harvest a Nanny for a few hundred dollars in conjunction of taking a bull Tahr at their standard trophy fee. A Bull & Nanny Tahr make a great pedestal mount.

Global Sporting Safaris, a hunting consultant company, offers the best opportunity for Tahr hunting in New Zealand. Whether you are a bow hunter, muzzleloader, crossbow hunter or rifle hunter, we have the locations, guides and experience to put you on the trophy Tahr hunt of a lifetime.

How Do You Maintain The Optimal Humidity In A Gun Safe?

When it comes to firearms, the optimal humidity in a gun safe is zero. Humidity causes rust to form on the steel construction of the guns kept while kept inside the safe; as well as allows moisture to accumulate in the gunpowder inside the ammunition. Neither are optimal conditions for your firearms and both can cause extremely dangerous accidents should you need to fire your weapons. If you use a gun or pistol safe, it is extremely important to take safety precautions, such as using gun safe anchor kits to prevent accidentally turning over the security device.

One excellent, and very popular though hard to find brand, is the Kingsbury gun safe. A beautiful copper finish completes the look. It is fireproof and features 5 adjustable shelves and an S&G lock system. If a vintage model is in your future, you might luck up on a Kingsbury gun safe online for about $600.

Providing the conditions to maintain the optimal humidity in a firearms safe was once nearly impossible, prior to the modern technologies that are available now to prevent it. Depending on the humidity levels in the air surrounding the safe, the steel walls could sweat and damage the firearms and ammunition kept inside. The majority of modern firearms safes are fireproof and waterproof; but don’t let that fool you. That only means that water is unable to enter from the outside of the safe if it is submerged. It does not mean that under the right conditions, the air inside the rifle or firearm safe will not contain moisture and cause the steel to sweat.

There are several products on the market that can be placed inside, with the firearms and ammunition, to insure the optimal humidity in a gun safe. One is a portable mini dehumidifier, which runs on a rechargeable battery and lasts 30-60 days between charges. Recharging releases the moisture trapped in water crystals, and gets it ready to absorb moisture for another 30-60 days. Another option is either a rechargeable desiccant container, or a container that can be placed in the oven to release the moisture from the desiccant crystals; then reinstalled to maintain the optimal humidity in a firearms safe. Any of these options will take care of an inside area of at least 35 cubic feet.

Many gun aficionados ask if an ammunition safe or firearms locker be kept in an unheated garage. The temperature surrounding the firearms safe is not the issue; it is the moisture content of that air. So, can a rifle safe or firearms locker be kept in an unheated garage? The answer is definitely yes, as long as there is a good moisture removal product inside of it. Even in the garage accidents can happen, so don’t forget to use the gun safe anchor kits.

The two most important things to remember about gun or ammo safes are: use anchor kits and secure locks to prevent accidents, and use products to remove odors and moisture inside the safe to maintain the optimal humidity in a gun safe.

Gun Shy Dog – Prevention – Gunproof Your Dog

Almost all hunters and field trial enthusiasts have a fear or at least a concern about the possibility that their new promising gun dog prospect may become gun shy.

Hunting dog owners have over the years exposed their pups at a young age to noise such as banging feed pans at feeding time. they have fired cap pistols and later 22 caliber guns to get them ready for that first critical hunt. Some have played records of distant shots in the kennel during feeding time. Almost all these methods can’t hurt, but all are missing one thing, and that is the unmistakable booming report of a shotgun going off at a fairly close distance to the dog. Whether you have a duck dog or bird dog or a hound, sooner or later your dog will experience that unmistakable sound of the shot gun being fired at a close distance, and none of these other noises will have duplicated the shot guns blast.

There are however some steps that you can take to prevent “gun shyness” from happening. So let’s get started.

Step number 1

Make sure your dog has bonded to you, and knows you are his or her master. This means spending time with your dog. You should be the one feeding and training and doing most of the care giving.

Step number 2

Do not be in a hurry to introduce gunfire. It would be preferable to wait until your dog is at least six months old and has developed a strong desire to hunt and enjoys his training trips afield. Once your dog knows you as his master, enjoys his trips afield, and is excited about the game you are hunting, whether it is rabbits, birds, ducks or some other game, now is the time for the next step.

Step number 3

Plan a trip afield with a leash, a 20 gauge shotgun, your dog, one of his favorite treats, or his favorite game in a cage, and a friend of yours who is a stranger to your dog and now you are ready for your next step.

Step number 4

Once you are afield, have your “stranger friend” take your dog 100 yard away as you try to call him back to you. After your friend is 100 yards away and your dog most likely is straining to get back to his master, fire your shotgun into the ground. As soon as you fire, have your friend release your dog as you excitedly call him back. After your dog runs back to you, give him his treat, or let him smell the game you have brought with you and get him excited. Make a big production out of what has just happened, and let him smell your gun if he is interested.

Next, repeat step 4 at a closer distance of let us say 50 yards.

If all goes well repeat step 4 at a closer distance of let us say 25 yards.

Now that you are finished introducing your dog to gunfire, what you have really done is implemented a psychological principle of association. You dog now associated the firing of a shot gun with things that bring him pleasure-not only has he got back to the master he loves, but he has also associated gunfire with his favorite treat, and if you have it, his favorite game that he loves to hunt.

Step number 5

Your dog is now as they say “gun proof.”

Take your dog on his very first hunting trip with out the worry or concern of that “gun shy dog”

Happy hunting!

Airguns for Hunting in Mississippi

No matter if it’s a BB gun or pellet rifle, the air gun is a fundamental building block of marksmanship training for hunters of all ages. Not only that, in Mississippi there are worthwhile opportunities for hunters to take their air guns to the woods. With the escalating cost and limited availability of ammunition lately, those nice big tins of pellets are looking more and more attractive with each passing day.

Marksmanship Training

BB guns are low powered but are great for learning the basics of marksmanship (grip, sight alignment, trigger control) cheaply and in the comfort of your own home. Modern air rifles of good quality are by nature far more accurate than most 22LR rimfire rifles. Rimfire rounds are by nature handicapped because of low quality control when firing bulk grade ammunition and the use of a heeled bullet. In comparison even inexpensive cast pellets and BBs are more aerodynamic and coupled with a modern air rifle will deliver consistent performance.

Air guns are so popular for training youth in shooting basics that most of the hunter’s education courses being taught in the state use one for the mandatory live fire section of the course. They are cheap to shoot, accurate, and limited in range.

Pest Control

During the winter especially, there are always issues with mice, rats, and other little creepy crawlies that are classified as pests. A good pellet rifle even in.177 caliber can take care of these without much issue. Be sure that you obey local laws as some cities in the state have town ordinances about shooting an air gun in the city limits, but otherwise feel free. Obey your basic firearms safety rules with pellet guns as they can still inflict bodily harm, shoot out windows, and generally disturb the neighbors. For these types of vermin as well as nuisance birds, a good quality, medium weight, wad-cutter (flat tipped) pellet will minimize the chance of over-penetration.

According to state laws, “all species of blackbirds, cowbirds, starlings, crows, grackles, and English sparrows may be killed without a permit when such birds are committing or about to commit depredations on shade or ornamental trees or agricultural crops.”

It’s best to remember that Mississippi is home to a number of endangered species of bats, turtles and rare snakes they are best to be avoided if you are unsure of the exact species in your sights.

Small Game

It’s legal according to MDFWP regulations to hunt all small game (rabbit, squirrel, bobwhite quail, raccoon, possum, and bobcat) with air rifles during the normal season by a licensed hunter.

While almost any BB gun or pellet rifle will take vermin sized animals (mice, rats) and pest birds such as sparrows, you will need a high-powered air gun that shoots pellets only to go after anything larger.

These hunting level guns start at about $59 and go rapidly up from there. To make sure you have a strong enough air gun, make sure that the FPS (feet per second) rating is 700+ for a.22 caliber, or 950+ for a.177 caliber gun. Benjamin Sheridan pump line and Daisy’s cock-action Powerline series can be had new for about $100. Slightly better rifles such as the Gamo Big Cat and Crosman Vantage are just $30 more expensive but deliver a lot more performance. Moving up the scale are Ruger Air Magnums, German-made RWS guns, Hatsans, Sumatras, and the Benjamin Marauders that go for as much as $400.

For hunting these tree rats and flop ears, look for a good quality, medium weight, domed pellet like the Crosman Premiere Light, RWS Superdome, or the JSB Exact. These can be had extremely cheap, the 7.9 Grain Crosman Premier run about $25 for 1250 pellets for example. Gamo has a new 0.36 gram.177 pellet that can penetrate 1.5mm rolled galvanized steel sheet and keep going. Called the “Lethal,” it’s a two-body design pellet with ultra-high ballistic coefficient, more terminal penetration, a stable flight trajectory, and a polymer skirt. These top of the line pellets cost about $20 per 100. With high-end pellets and a high-powered air rifle, lethal shots as far as 50-yards out are possible.

When going after bobcats, raccoons, and possums, 22 caliber or 25 caliber pellets from high-powered air guns should be the minimum.

With all small game taken with an air gun, it is absolutely required to get good, accurate shots in the small 1-2 inch kill zones of your target to ensure it goes down. Headshots are the rule to live by. Unless you can hit a nickel sized target repeatedly with your air rifle at 25-yards, practice until you can before heading to the woods.

Nuisance Animals

The State of Mississippi by Public Notice LE6-3779 lists beaver, coyote, fox, nutria, skunk, and wild hogs as nuisance animals. As such, the hunting of nuisance animals is allowed during daylight hours on private lands with no caliber restrictions–, which include air guns. While.177/22 caliber guns can take polecats with no issue, going after some of the larger game on this list may be problematic unless you have a big bore air rifle.

Speaking of which deer and turkey hunting with big bore air guns, while practiced in some states, is currently off the board in Mississippi– for now. In 2007, an Alabama man took two deer, including a trophy 9-point with a.50 caliber air rifle and one 200-grain pellet. With precedents such as that one, it’s likely just a matter of time before whitetails are being taken with air guns in this state as well.

Just be sure you don’t shoot your eye out.

Pros and Cons of Bow Hunting vs Rifle Hunting

Most rifle hunters say that bow hunters should rifle hunt while bow hunters say that rifle hunters should pick a bow. In the end do what makes you most happy and most comfortable.

1. Pros-Bow Hunting: Bow hunters definitely don’t have the crowd that rifle hunters have to deal with. Bow hunters rarely see anyone else and being surprised if they do happen upon another bow hunter. Your chances of seeing bigger and more animals increases by 3 times. During the bow season elk and mule deer tend to stay out longer during the morning and come out earlier in the evenings increasing your odds for success. Hunting with a bow requires skill on many levels therefore making it more rewarding in a bow hunters eyes. The weather is better during this season.

2. Cons-Bow Hunting: Bow hunting is difficult. Your percentage for success is much lower than a rifle hunter. Bow equipment is more expensive than a rifle equipment. It can be very frustrating at times, I’ve talked to bow hunters who have spent all day stalking a trophy buck only to get within 70 yards and have the deer catch wind of the hunter and they vanish like a fart in the wind.

1. Pros-Rifle Hunting: Shooting a rifle through a scope at long range is fun and can be challenging especially if you’ve got buck fever. Your success for harvesting an animal increases greatly because of the distance the rifle has that the bow doesn’t. Rifle hunting doesn’t take as much practice as a bow does. It’s cheaper and more people can enjoy and go rifle hunting. The leaves have fallen off the trees making it easier to see the game from longer distances.

2. Cons-Rifle Hunting: Lots of people. Last year I counted 50 trucks coming into the mountain where I was hunting mule deer. Luckily I was already sitting in my position when the rest of the hunters started up the hill. The weather can be horrible and nasty. Many hunters love the cold, snowy, freezing weather because it brings out the deer however some people beg to differ.

Nikko Stirling Platinum Nighteater 1-Inch 4-16×44 Mil Dot Review And How To Find The Best Deals

If you’re in the market for a high quality rifle scope at a very good price then one well worth having a look at is the Nikko Stirling Platinum Nighteater. It is as at home on a springer air rifle as on a centerfire rifle and, depending on model can suit a wide range of hunting or target shooting needs.

In this article I am going to specifically look at the Nikko Stirling Platinum Nighteater 1 inch 4-16×44 model (mil dot) and tell you how to look for a good deal on one.

Nikko Stirling Platinum Nighteater 1 inch 4-16×44 Review

If you don’t know what those numbers mean by the way then I’ll briefly explain.

The 4-16 bit refers to the magnification. In this case 4-16 means that it can magnify anywhere from 4x to 16x. You d this simply by hand turning a dial on the scope body to change the level of magnification.

On the Nikko the 4-16 variable is nice and wide and will suit you for shooting anywhere from about 8 yards to, well, a lot further than most of us or our rifles can shoot anyway!

On some scopes, especially budget ones with large magnification ranges you may find that the higher magnifications produce a less than perfect image. In the case of the Nikko Platinum range this is not a concern as I explain below.

The Lens

The 44 means the “big end” lens size diameter in millimeters, or, as it’s known technically, the Objective. As a rough rule the bigger the better in terms of light capture, transmission and ability to acquire and track a moving target.

At 44mm this Nikko Platinum has a good all purpose medium to large lens which is ideal for hunting at all common ranges from 8 metres to 800.

Nikko lenses are well known for quality, made as they are in Japan to a very high, grade A, quality level so you know you will get excellent vision.

As one user comments “The scope is VERY clear and lets in plenty of light even when zoomed in all to way” So, as noted above, there is no problem as with cheaper scopes with clarity of vision even at the maximum zoom.

The Nikko 4-16×44 also comes with parallax adjustment by way of an easy to use side-wheel. Parallax, or rather the parallax effect, if you don’t know is where, targets will often “seem” to drift or wobble against their background making locking on them very difficult.

Parallax adjustment solves this by eliminating the wobble meaning you will shoot a lot better. The Nikko has a range of distance settings from 10 metres upward and is very easy to adjust.

Zeroing

Easy to use finger click windage and elevation turrets.

Windage basically where you can adjust the crosshairs left and right and elevation means up and down. So when you are setting the scope up you will take a number of shots at the same target point and depending on where they actually fall adjust the dials so that the shots go where the cross-hair says they will.

Looks Physically, it looks the business. It’s what is known as a full size scope so not one for juniors or small carbine rifles. Is very well packed and presented and also comes with quality flip up caps to protect the lenses.

How to Get a Good Deal on the Nikko Stirling 4-16×44

Prices are very reasonable for what you get with the 4-16×44 Platinum Nighteater. Expect to pay £140-170 for a new one in the UK and a similar Dollar amount in the USA. To find a good deal shop around online. On Google these days shopping results and prices appear very prominently so you will have no problem comparing results.

Just be sure you are buying from a reputable seller, check that they have stock, what their returns and support policy is and how long it will take to arrive. As ever online be sure to pay by credit card or Paypal so that you have maximum protection in the event of a problem.

How To Pick The Best Sniper Paintball Gun

The ultimate paintball sniper can turn the tide of a game by picking off key players with precision shooting. From long ranges and hidden vantage points paintball snipers can thin the ranks of an opposing team with very little ammunition. Unfortunately, average, basic model paintball guns lack the range and accuracy to be effective weapons for the paintball sniper. Proper sniping requires very specific equipment, mainly a sniper paintball rifle.

Take your time shopping for the best sniper paintball rifle however as there are many to choose from. Paintball sniper guns run a wide gamut of pricing, ranging from less than $300 to as high as $1300+. This leaves the novice with many questions as to which sniper tactical marker is better? Unfortunately, the old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ does not always apply when it comes to these types of paintball guns; price alone is not the best way of determining which sniper rifle is best for you.

When comparing prices of sniper paintball rifles, most shoppers think the highest priced markers are the most accurate with the farthest range. The fact is amongst snipers, this is not necessarily true. Considering that all paintball guns (sniper rifles or not) shoot the same type of ammo (a round paintball) and use the same type of power source (either CO2 or compressed air), they generally shoot about the same distance. Most paintball guns shoot an accurate distance of 150-200 feet, no matter what kind they are.

There are however upgrades and accessories that can be added to basic model tactical style paintball guns that will help it become more accurate and shoot farther. These items also happen to be the same equipment used on the best sniper paintball rifles that sets them apart from the average marker. Adding a lengthier barrel, sniper scope, sight, laser, bipod or even higher velocity in your paintball gun will definitely add range and precision to any marker; they will also turn your gun into the ultimate paintball sniper rifle!

Comparing sniper paintball guns to regular paintball guns (non-sniper), you will find the snipers shoot considerably farther than basic models. However as long as the sniper rifles have certain specific accessories, they will outperform guns without them, but not necessarily amongst each other. When comparing sniper paintball guns to each other, they perform about the same; not one paintball sniper rifle is more accurate or much better than another, despite the wide differences in price.

When looking for the best scenario sniper paintball rifle, make sure it has specific characteristics for the ultimate performance. While nearly all paintball sniper guns have lengthy barrels 18 inches or longer, barrel length is somewhat controversial. Some nay-sayers feel barrels longer than 8-12 inches cause too much drag on the paintball reducing it’s velocity. While purists are convinced the longer the better, the reality of the matter is paintball barrels 18+ inches may add some distance and accuracy to your shot, however very little.

If you want the best performing sniper paintball gun, choose one with a rifled barrel. Barrel rifling in paintball guns is very much like what’s used on barrels of actual firearms. These are barrels with tiny grooves inside that reduce resistance and act to guide and glide the paintball for a straighter, farther shooting projectile. A sniper paintball rifle (or any paintball gun for that matter) with a rifled barrel is terrifically more accurate than one without.

Another characteristic to look for in the best scenario sniper paintball rifles is a sniper scope. While optical accessories such as scopes and sights are great for helping you dial in your target for better precision shooting; their usefulness is somewhat limited on a paintball gun. Even with a rifled barrel and higher velocity, paintball markers will still lack accuracy after a certain distance making it hard to pinpoint exact precision targeting with highly detailed long range optics.

Beware of the sniper paintball gun with extremely long range hunting scopes! While these accessories may give your sniper rifle a fierce look, their range is often much farther than what the gun can shoot. High magnitude sniper scopes can also be more expensive, driving the cost of your sniper paintball gun up unnecessarily. The best scopes for paintball sniper guns are lower magnitude hunting scopes, sniper scopes or red dot scopes; these are also often cheaper and much easier to use.

Sniper paintball guns that come with accessories that help you stabilize your shot for better accuracy are also a good choice. Bipods are easy to use, fold up when not in use and are terrific for keeping your paintball sniper rifle still while targeting or studying your opponent through your scope. Most tactical paintball markers include a buttstock of some sort, however the adjustable types are best to customize its size for a perfect fit against your shoulder or cheek.

While most paintball guns have an adjustable velocity, some tactical markers offer a higher range than others. These are preferred if you want a farther shooting sniper paintball gun however higher velocity performance often comes at a price. Realize that paintball guns are designed to shoot within a certain pressure range; when you exceed that pressure (or operate at its highest ranges), it’s much harder on the gun often leading to more frequent maintenance and sooner breakdowns. Shooting higher velocity paintball guns can also limit the amount/types of paintballs you can use; tournament grade paint or paintballs with fragile shells will frequently break in guns with too high a velocity.

In conclusion, don’t choose the most expensive tactical sniper paintball rifle thinking it’s the best because it costs the most. Realize the expensive price tag may be due to more costly accessories that might make the gun look cooler, however do very little to improve its accuracy or range. For the best performing sniper paintball rifle, choose a gun with a rifled barrel, low/moderate range scope or red dot sight, a bipod, adjustable stock and an adjustable velocity you can turn up for the occasional ultimate long range shot.

3 Best Muzzleloaders For Under $300

The cost of hunting and shooting supplies continues to rise, so finding a bargain is important to the dedicated outdoorsman. Muzzleloader hunting provides the opportunity to enjoy shooting while spending less money. This makes muzzleloaders a very cost effective hunting and shooting option.

Modern muzzleloaders have come a long way. Today’s inline muzzleloaders are much easier to use and are much more reliable than those made even just a few years ago. In order to help keep your costs down, we have reviewed the 3 best muzzleloaders for under $300.

1. CVA Optima Muzzleloader– This is an overhauled version of CVA’s original design. Sporting a 26″ fluted stainless steel barrel, weighing just under 7 lbs and having a breech plug which requires no tools for removal, the Optima is a rock solid gun for its price. This break barrels action is smooth and it’s out of the box trigger pull is just about 2.5 lbs. At about $275, this is a great muzzleloader option for the hunter how wants to invest in just one muzzleloader for their arsenal.

2. Traditions Pursuit Ultralight Muzzleloader– Weighing in at just over 5 lbs., the Ultralight has a 26″ chrome fluted barrel with a CeraKote corrosion resistant finish. The trigger breaks at about 3 lbs. of pull and the breech plug comes out with a few twists. With an average price of about $290, this muzzleloader option is a good choice for the hunter who finds himself hunting in the thick woods as this lightweight gun is quick and easy to shoulder.

3. Thompson Center Impact– The TC Impact Muzzleloader is a break action muzzleloader weighing just about 6.5 lbs and sporting a 26″ barrel. The break barrel mechanism, which doubles as a hood for the closed breech along with the hammer not accepting a spur makes it difficult to mount a scope on the Impact. The most expensive of the list coming in at about $300, Thompson Center Impact is an ideal gun for a beginner or youth hunter due to its adjustable stock.

Muzzleloader hunting provides the outdoorsman with several wallet friendly options to keep them shooting. The advances in projectiles and propellants as well as the accuracy and handling characteristics of these guns, combined with affordable prices help to keep avid hunters in the fields longer during the season.

The 3 best muzzleloaders we have highlighted above represent the hottest bargains in shooting available. As a dedicated hunter, you should own at least one.

Burris Eliminator: The First Rangefinder Scope With BDC

Several years ago a number of well-known manufacturers of the rifle scopes have decided to move into a new direction. They were going to integrate laser rangefinder into a rifle scope.

The main idea was to make a shooter’s life easier by excluding extra equipment. Besides such rifle scope allows to measure the distance to the target almost instantly and shooter can use this information for ballistic adjustments.

Range estimation is very helpful for the shooter. If you ever shot at the distance of 300 yards and further – you will agree that serious experience and trained eye are needed to accurately determine the distance. Even though you have the distance you still need to spend some time to make the elevation (trajectory) adjustments because the range of adjustments on rifle scope is limited. Let’s take a look how it works.

You have estimated the distance to the target and are starting to turn adjustment turret to the right direction. If turrets are opened then you are lucky. If they are covered with the protective caps then there is a possibility that your targeted animal will sneak out.

That is why Burris went even further in the developing rifle scope with built in rangefinder. In their Eliminator scope Burris have implemented ballistic calculator. It simply calculates ballistic trajectory for your specific caliber and shows you illuminated aiming point for that precise distance.

There used to be three different models of Burris Eliminator scopes: Eliminator, Eliminator 2 and Eliminator 3. However in 2014 Burris has discontinued Eliminator 2 since they have introduced the new Eliminator III 3-12×44.

Basic Eliminator model

The first model of Eliminator series is pretty simple, so I will just briefly review it. Burris Eliminator comes with magnification range of 3.5-10x zoom. Its objective is 40 mm in diameter. This scope has range estimation and bullet drop compensation ability for the distance up to 550 yards.

Despite the fact that Eliminator 2 manufacturing has discontinued, it is worth to review this scope as it is still on the market.

Burris Eliminator 2

Burris Eliminator 2 is the rifle scope with magnification of 4-12x and objective diameter of 42mm. It has built in rangefinder and the ballistic calculator. The maximum estimated distance is 900 yards. The list with ballistic data of more than 1500 factory cartridges is included.

All you need to do is to find your cartridge and enter the data to the scope’s menu. The data you should be looking for is the bullet drop value in inches at 200 yards when sighted in at 5o yards or the drop at 500 yards when your gun sighted in at 100 or 200 yards. If your cartridge is not on the list you need to find its ballistic data on the box with ammo or at the manufacturer website and simply enter them to the scope.

I am not going to duplicate the user’s manual here but if you want detailed instructions on how to program Burris Eliminator 1 or 2 scopes visit the Eliminator’s product page at http://www.GGRifleScopes.com/Burris-Eliminator-1/.

After you entered the needed data the procedure is following: you are placing the rifle scope’s crosshair at the target and push the bottom to turn on rangefinder. Then illuminated dot will appear on the vertical post of the reticle. You need to use this point for hold over. Note that with Burris Eliminator scopes bullet drop compensation technology works at any magnification.

Burris Eliminator 2 allows you to estimate the distance and compensate for the bullet drop at the distance up to 1000 yards. Second model has remote control that you can use for more convenient shooting. Burris Eliminator 2 has build in inclinometer that allows shooting at any extreme angle.

As a matter of fact Burris Eliminator 2 and Eliminator 3 are unique rifle scopes. It is very innovative functionality to the rifle scope that nobody had ever implemented before. Even more expensive competitor’s scopes look pale comparing to Eliminator scopes.

Of course many of the professional shooters will not throw away their favorite analog rifle scopes. However they buy Burris Eliminator scopes constantly for their collection and just for fun shooting. Main buyers are those who want to reduce the efforts and resume the accuracy or those who just don’t want to waste time preparing for the shot and carry additional equipment.

Windage adjustment is one more thing that takes time to prepare for the shot. The experience and trained senses are required to choose holdover point even if you know the wind speed and its direction. Burris has decided to take care of this problem as well.

Burris Eliminator 3

Burris offers innovative system for windage compensation in its Eliminator 3 models. There are two models of this scope: Burris Eliminator 3 3-12×44 (new release in 2014) and Burris Eliminator 3 4-16×50.

These scopes allow you to make precise shot at the distance up to 1200 yards. Eliminator 3 has built in rangefinder and it automatically calculates trajectory of the specific cartridges that you use. After that it shows you illuminated holdover point.

New X96 reticle allows you easily compensate for the wind. However windage compensating system is not fully automatic. You still need to determine the speed and direction of the wind.

Burris Eliminator 3 requires some thinking from you. X96 reticle has mil dots from the left and right side of vertical post. These dots are used for holdover to compensate for the wind. X96 reticle will display windage compensation value for 10 MPH wind in addition to the distance. This is the value of the dots on which you need aim left or right. You still need to determine the wind speed and direction. Then you can use dots value for 10 MPH wind as a guideline to determine holdover for the current wind.

Note that with Burris Eliminator 3 windage compensation method works at any magnification. Burris Eliminator 3 has adjustable objective that allows you to adjust parallax from 50 yards to infinity, remote control and build in inclinometer for shooting at any extreme angles.

The last but not least question you might have about Burris Eliminator is on what type of weapon you can mount it? All Eliminator models easily calibrated for muzzleloaders, slug guns, rim fire or center fire rifles.