The 7 Essential Traits of a Great Hunting Rifle

Nov 9th 2022

Long time Timney friend, Richard Mann, sat down to discuss the fundamentals qualities of a great hunting rifle...

Man holding a great hunting rifle in a desert

Great hunting rifles come in many configurations. There are lever guns, bolt guns, pump guns, semi-autos, and single shots, even muzzleloaders. Some are plain, some are fancy, and some are somewhere in between. Cost can be an indicator of a great hunting rifle but it’s not definitive. I’ve seen some great hunting rifles almost stolen on the used market for a couple hundred bucks. And I’ve seen some magnificently expensive rifles that were remarkable, as well as some that just plain sucked.

During a week at deer camp, I asked custom rifle builder Melvin Forbes (The man behind the fabulous rifles of New Ultra Light Arms, which was recently acquired by Wilson Combat) to help me define just exactly what the characteristics of a great hunting rifle are. We came up with seven criteria that must be met—regardless of make, model, or style—before a hunting rifle could be considered great. Does your rifle make the cut?

1) Flawless Fit

A great hunting rifle will fit you. It might not fit your buddy, your buddy’s buddy, or your father, but it will fit you. The length of pull will not be too long for......

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