So You Got Your First Rifle

Things to Know About Rifles
Photo by Alex Andrews:

Do you want a gun with a more extended range that can hit distant targets? The gun industry is full of rifles you can select! However, choosing your first rifle can sometimes become a daunting task. Fortunately, you can start by learning about the basics. 

Ever since gunpowder became mainstream, you will notice many rifles already existing in our history. You might picture the first rifle models firing the famous metallic musket balls with vast plumes of smoke. Today, parallel to ballistics development, you can choose any rifle for any purpose! 

Things to Know About Rifles

Our modern technology gives humanity an edge when developing the latest weapons. By far, there are many gun models and variants. Typically, guns can come either as a pistol, rifle, automatic firearm, or shotgun. We will now focus on modern rifles, what they are, and how they operate for rifle enthusiasts.

When selecting your first rifle, there are multiple models—one crucial factor in choosing the right type of ammunition that meets your preferences. Let us remind you that while there are many rifle models, there is also a wide range of ammunition calibers. Each caliber that a modern rifle uses serves a different purpose, performance, and ballistic characteristics.

Combining all the traits of your rifle with the ammunition it uses affects how you can hit a target. Conventionally, a rifle is a gun with a long barrel for hitting distant targets. You will notice the exact mechanism with other firearms. Examples are:

  • Trigger assembly.
  • Reloading mechanism.
  • Aiming sights (iron sights).
  • Rifle’s Butt
  • Support: Other rifles come with bipods for canceling aiming shake. 

Inside a rifle’s barrel is what we will call rifling. The barrel’s internal rifling is a series of etched lines resembling a spiral. A rifling aims to spin the bullet while it travels inside the barrel. After you fire your rifle, the bullet spin will increase your accuracy, range, and target penetration.

Since the early 1980s, gun manufacturers have been looking for ways to enhance the accuracy of firearms. It is how the Picatinny rail came into existence. You can now choose rifles with Picatinny rails for attaching optics and telescopic sights. Attaching scopes will help you calculate the range of your target and make all the adequate adjustments necessary for hitting it.

Tips for Selecting Your First Rifle

Getting a rifle is exciting if a person is already a gun or rifle enthusiast. Other people receive their first rifle at a young age since they have to shoot and hunt for food.

No matter the situation, whether a newbie or a gun lover, here are some tips we have for selecting your first rifle:

Determine its Purpose

Since there are many rifle models in gun stores, selecting your first rifle cannot be very clear. It is why you should first determine what purpose your rifle will serve. Will it be for hunting, sports, target shooting, or personal defense? Once you have an answer, selecting a rifle will be a more straightforward process and won’t leave your head spinning.

Select an Action

The ‘Action’ means a rifle model’s mechanism for reloading a bullet. Here are the different types of rifle action:


A semi-automatic gun has the fastest firing rate in modern rifle models. Semi-automatic rifles rely on the gas pressure of your bullet’s cartridge. After you fire, extra gas will eject the spent bullet casing out and reload a fresh round. We recommend using a semi-automatic rifle if you want a faster firing rate.


All the lever-action rifles you see are typical old western models famous in cowboy films. Lever-action rifles require you to crank a lever behind your trigger guard. As a result, the spent casing will eject while a new cartridge replaces it. The fresh cartridges come from a tube magazine below the rifle’s barrel.


You might already be familiar with pump-action guns popular with shotgun designs. The pump-action/slide mechanism is also famous with rifles. You have to pull back a pump to eject a spent bullet casing so you can reload a new cartridge.


Also famous with shotgun models, break-action guns require the shooter to flick a switch to expose the reloading chamber. As a result, the rifle’s barrel will fold from its butts via a hinge. You can now remove spent casings and load fresh ones. Let us remind you that break-action rifles are great for hunting but have a slow rate of fire.

Choose your Caliber

The ammunition caliber means the diameter of the bullet your rifle is using. Rifles famous for hunting, shooting, and target practice use a 0.22 caliber bullet. Small caliber bullets are great for piercing the skin of small game animals. For more range and stopping power, you can opt for hunting rifles with larger calibers, such as 7.62 mm (0.3 in) bullets.


It can be an exhilarating experience when gun enthusiasts receive their first rifle. They can now use many rifle models for various purposes. Let us remind you that several rifle models utilize different types of ammunition that perform differently.