You were a very good boy or girl this Christmas. The one thing that you asked for was a new rifle. Your spouse, significant other, child or really good friend decided that they were going to be your hero and buy it for you. So now what? Well, the good news is that you will need to take a trip to the store or at least spend some time online. A visit to www.cheaperthandirt.com will give you everything you need.
First and foremost, I recommend all firearm users buy a good quality cleaning kit designed specifically for your caliber rifle. There are many out there, but some are of lesser quality than would be desired. The last thing you need is a jammed cleaning jag, or broken cleaning rod to be your first interaction with your shiny new toy. I also recommend you have both a one-piece cleaning rod and brushes that are caliber specific, as well as at least one of today’s new flexible cleaning systems from Otis Technologies, Remington or Real Avid.
The convenience factor of these new systems adds to your ability to take them with you wherever you go making them an indispensable tool. Remember, quality is always a better choice, and a few dollars extra spent here will protect your investment in the years to come.
Optics and Mounts
Nowadays, most bolt-action rifles come sans sights. The assumption is you will add a quality optical sight to maximize long-range accuracy. That is a great idea, but there are several steps you will need to take before scoping your new rifle.
Increasingly, rifles are coming with their own set of scope rings that are made to fit the gun. Many still do not. In some cases, the rings that come with the gun are of lesser quality or strength than you would desire. I have been a big fan of Leupold bases and rings for many years, but Weaver and Warne also make excellent, firearm specific models. Now, it’s time to choose your glass.
There are many quality optics manufacturers. The number one thing that you will get when buying a scope for your rifle is increased quality with increased price. A good rule of thumb is to spend as much on the scope as you spend on the rifle. Thanks to today’s quality manufacturing that can mean a great deal less in both areas.
Old-school companies such as Zeiss, Swarovski, Leupold, and Nikon have built a reputation based on quality equipment for many years. Meopta, a relative “newcomer” to the U.S. market, makes fantastic glass priced significantly less than some of the high-end European and American-made optics. An interesting factoid is that Meopta controls every aspect of its product, from the glass to the complete manufacture of each part.
Finally, a good quality sling will make carrying your rifle much easier, and when used properly will significantly increase the accuracy of your shooting. One of my favorites is the Alaskan Comfort Stretch Sling from Butler Creek. The stretch in the neoprene enhances comfort while reducing fatigue.
Have some other tips regarding accessories for your new rifle? Share them in the comment section.