How much do you know about hunting guns?


By: John Miller

6 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Whether it's benign bunnies or man-eating bears, many Americans love to hunt and most hunters use firearms to kill their prey. How much do you know about the following hunting guns?

You'd be most likely to use a .22-caliber rifle for which sort of hunt?

The .22 rifle is an iconic rifle that shoots smaller cartridges that are best used for small-game hunting. Squirrel hunters often prefer .22s for their prey.


Quail are small game birds that often flush in large groups called coveys. What sort of gun do quail hunters use?

Shotguns are best for quail hunting. Hunters use light loads in their shotguns because it doesn't take very much lead to knock down these small birds.


Combination guns combine shotguns with ______.

A combination gun combines a shotgun and rifle into one weapon, making them useful for a wide range of game. They aren't common guns, but when you find them, they are always in a break-action style.


What common hunting gun is often called a "scattergun"?

Scatterguns are better known as shotguns. Shotguns shoot bunches of small pellets that are effective for small game hunting.


What sort of gun is a .30-06?

The .30-06 isn't a gun, it's a type of cartridge used in a rifle. It's a .30-caliber round that's been used for more than a century for large game like deer and elk.


What sort of gun do hunters use to hunt turkeys?

Most hunters rely on shotguns to hunt turkeys. They typically use heavy loads in order to kill the famously resilient birds.


"Choke" is a term that applies to which type of hunting weapon?

A choke is a constriction at the end of the barrel (the muzzle) that tightens the pattern of the pellets from a shotgun shell. A "full" choke creates the densest pattern; an improved cylinder choke creates a sparser pattern.


What is the most popular big-game cartridge in the world?

The .308 Winchester (or just "three-oh-eight") is the most popular big-game cartridge in the world. Introduced in the 1950s, it's powerful enough to kill big animals but doesn't have excessive recoil.


Why do many hunters prefer bolt-action rifles?

Bolt-action rifles are renowned for their accuracy, and they are generally more accurate than other guns. The downside? They require manual bolt operation, which makes them slower, a drawback in fast-moving situations.


What sort of hunting weapons often have a pump-action?

Pump-action guns require a pumping motion that ejects spent ammunition and then loads a new shell. They're a very common and reliable type of shotgun action.


True or false, can hunters fire solid (non-pellet) loads using their shotguns?

For large game, hunters can load solid metal loads -- called slugs -- into their shotguns. Slugs are very lethal for big animals such as deer and elk.


Which of the following guns would be best-suited to rabbit hunting?

The .950 rifle or .357 would blow a bunny to bits. But a .410 shotgun, with its relatively light loads, would be about right for rabbit hunting.


Which sort of hunting weapon uses a so-called "3-inch magnum"?

3-inch magnum shells are a high-performance shotgun load, slightly bigger and more powerful than a standard 2 3/4-inch shell. Many hunters prefer 3-inch magnums for bigger, more resilient prey that can withstand smaller loads.


Which of the following shotguns has the most powerful punch?

The lower the gauge number, the bigger the shotgun blast. 10-gauge shotguns are powerful but unwieldy; 12-gauge and 20-gauge versions are much more common.


Rimfire cartridges are declining in popularity, but they are still very common for which hunting rifle?

The classic .22 rifle uses pretty low-powered cartridges. That's why it's still common for the .22 to use good old rimfire cartridges.


Why are rifles banned for hunting purposes in some populous parts of America?

In areas where there are a lot of people, the long range of rifles is a liability. Stray bullets are much more likely to hurt someone. So in many places, there's no rifle season for big game.


The .45-70 Government was first made by Sharps in the mid-1800s. It was used to hunt which animal nearly into extinction?

In the days of the Old West, the .45-70 Government was a big rifle that was deadly on large animals like the bison. Commercial hunters killed millions of them and nearly drove them into extinction.


Which style of rifle cartridge is most commonly used for big prey?

Rimfire cartridges are mostly an obsolete technology. Centerfire cartridges, which have a separate primer in the middle of the cartridge, make up the vast majority of hunting rounds.


True or false, can handguns be used to hunt the biggest game animals on Earth?

Modern handguns can be used to kill huge animals, from bison to elephants. They have the power and bullet heft to kill even from hundreds of yards away.


True or false, are .44 Magnum cartridges only used in hunting handguns?

The .44 Magnum cartridge was first made for handguns, but since then it's been put to use in many hunting rifles. It's range, however, is comparatively short due to the bullet's large size and heavy weight.


Hunters have traditionally used lead shot in their shotgun loads. Why have many switched to non-lead loads?

Waterfowl often gobble up lead shot that they find in ponds and lakes, and it's very, very bad for them. Many hunters use non-toxic loads either by choice or due to strict regulations.


Handguns are becoming more common for hunting. Whats a notable trait of hunting handguns?

Many (but not all) hunting handguns have longer barrels. Most also have advanced (LED) sighting systems, and they often fire more powerful cartridges, too.


What sort of gun is the No. 10-Weatherby Mark V?

The No. 10-Weatherby Mark V is a legendary hunting rifle. It was introduced in the 1950s with high-strength components made to withstand pressures of bigger, more powerful cartridges.


Which style of hunting gun is generally faster to operate?

Bolt action guns are slow. Lever action guns are faster, but not quite as fast as pump actions, which are very good for fast-moving prey like pheasants or woodcock.


What's one big advantage of single-action hunting guns?

Single-action firearms are slower than other gun types, but they are easier to manufacture, too. That means they're inexpensive compared to semi-automatic or automatic weapons.


True or false, have hunters used air rifles for hundreds of years?

Air rifles are not a new invention, and for more than two centuries hunters have used them to take down prey. Modern versions are even deadlier and well-suited to small game like rabbits and squirrels.


Which sort of handguns are most common for hunting large game?

Due to their reliability and strong components, single-action handguns are the most common type of handguns, particularly for large game. But in recent years, some hunters have adopted semi-automatic versions for big game.


Which handgun was the first to be accepted by 20th-century hunters for hunting purposes?

The .44 Magnum was first manufactured in the 1950s. Its heavy, hard-hitting bullets are suitable for all big game that you'd find in America or Canada, although with a handgun you necessarily have to get closer to the animal to make a clean kill.


Why is a shotgun with "improved cylinder" choke inappropriate for hunting large game?

Shotguns (with pellet loads) generally are not powerful enough to kill large game. Improved choke, with its spread-out shot pattern, would be particularly ineffective against big animals.


True or false, do you need a very long-range rifle to hunt pronghorn antelopes?

Pronghorns are fast and live on the open plains where they can see hunters coming. But it's a misconception that you need a powerful rifle to hunt these creatures -- instead, it's best to stalk them until you're very close, or even call them to you.


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