You were a very good boy or girl this Christmas. The one thing that you asked for was a new rifle that you had your eye on for the past year or so. Your spouse/significant other/family member/child 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 your local outdoor sporting goods retailer will give you everything that you need.
The first and foremost thing that I recommend all firearm users buy is 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 and makes them an indispensable tool.
Remember, quality is always a better choice, and a few dollars extra spent here will last you many, many years of excellent service well into the future.
Nowadays, most bolt action rifles come with no sights attached to them.
The assumption is that you will be putting some sort of quality optic site onto it to maximize its long range
That is a great idea, but there are several steps you will need to take before putting any scope on.
More and more rifles today 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, many years, but Weaver and Warne also make excellent, firearm specific models to fit just about every gun out there.
Now, it’s time to choose your glass.
There are many quality optics manufacturers out there, and 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 from many years ago has carried forward well, and that is to spend as much on the scope for your rifle as you spend on the rifle itself. Thanks to today’s quality manufacturing, that can mean a great deal less in both areas!
Old-school companies like Zeiss, Swarovski, Leupold, and Nikon have made top line equipment for many, many years.
Meopta, A relative “newcomer” to US market (they’ve actually been here for YEARS, but manufactured products for everyone else) makes some fantastic glass that is priced significantly less than some of the high and European and even American-made optics, and is unusual in that it controls every aspect of it’s product, from the glass to the complete manufacture of each part.
Finally, a good quality sling will help not only in carrying your rifle with your other gear in the predawn darkness, but 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 for accessories for your new Christmas rifle question mark put them in a commentary below.
Links to products:
http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/product/8-MEOP-524360# Meopta Scope
http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/product/2-WR201M# Warne Rings
http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/product/74538 Real Avid Cleaning Kit
http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/product/24971# Comfort Stretch Rifle Sling