Rifles – they seem so simple, right? You put the bullet in. You pull the trigger. You (hopefully) kill the animal. But there’s a lot of nuance in how a rifle performs, and it can often feel overwhelming to new hunters. This week we’re talking to two experts from the firearms industry: Rachel Schmidt, formerly of Kimber Manufacturing, and Neal Emery of Hornady. 

  • 3:00 – Mushrooms in lasagna? OR CAPERS?!
  • 5:30 – Piscivorous: You were probably missing this from your vocabulary.
  • 7:00 – On growing up in a hunting family, “I never knew there wasn’t hunting.”
  • 14:00 – Rifle calibers… what do those numbers mean? 
  • 15:00 – First off, you don’t need to be a rifle caliber/reloading expert to have enough working knowledge to go hunting. So don’t sweat it. Start with knowing what you want to hunt.
  • 18:00 – Calibers are confusing. It’s like learning the English language… there are some general rules, but lots (LOTS) of exceptions.
  • 19:00 – Hornady website, go to “Rifles” and “Ammunition” for a basic caliber chart
  • 21:00 – Start with the basics: How does your rifle work? What does the firing pin do? How does the safety stop it from firing? Check out this great animation from hunter-ed.com.
  • 27:00 – Caliber is just a size. The same caliber bullets can come in different weights, which are called grains (i.e. 220 grain versus 110 grain)
  • 32:30 – Rifle fit and recoil. Heavier guns generally absorb recoil better (the downside: you have to carry them places).
  • 35:00 – Muzzle brakes screw onto the tip of your barrel, and they dissipate the pressure of the air as the bullet exits the barrel, lessening recoil
  • 37:00 – Recoil pads can go on the back of the gun to soften the recoil impact on your shoulder
  • 37:15 – And different ammunition has different recoil… minimizing the weight of the bullet can reduce recoil some. And different gunpowder has different burning properties that can affect how a bullet feels leaving the barrel. In short: Lower recoil loads exist.
  • 39:30 – Does noise make recoil feel worse? Wear ear protection!
  • 44:00 – Bullet construction: This controls how fast (and when) a bullet opens up…aka mushrooming.
  • 50:00 – How well a rifle shoots certain ammo is subjective. The only way to know what works best for your gun is to try a bunch of different bullets.
  • 1:00:00 – Checklist for choosing a rifle: Game you’re hunting, stock fit against your body, weight of the rifle, budget.
  • 1:04:00 – Length of pull: distance between the trigger to the butt of the gun
  • 1:06:00 – Hornady cheek pieces
  • 1:12:00 – Rifle myth busters: “A good cartridge for women and kids is the .243”
  • 1:24:00 – Marcia’s Moroccan Fish Tagine with halibut.