Originally Posted by dicktaylor
I'm a newbie seeking information. From what I've read so far, my impression is that a long range hunting rifle must be in a cartridge for which match grade bullets are available, with a high ballistic coefficient. Barrels must be of match quality and long. Actions must be worked over for proper alignment. I haven't figured out the preferred trigger pull weight. The cartridge selected must deliver sufficient downrange energy to kill the animal being hunted (I haven't figured out what the minimum would be for pronghorn antelope or Coues deer, the smallest big game species I might hunt, or for other deer, elk, caribou or moose. I also don't know how far "long range" is for the different species or what scope magnification is required. I know there are numerous and demanding skill requirements for the shooter - just want to clarify equipment requirements.
Any rifle is a long range hunting rifle so long as it fills two needs. One, it can accurately deliver a bullet to an intended target. Meaning not just the animal but the vital area of a game animal.
Two, the bullet is of adequete size and construction at the appropriate velocity to do its job for a humane kill.
I know that is a vaque answer but in all reality, that is it in a nutshell. For one hunter hunting nothing bigger than antelope at no farther than 800 yards obviously his definition of a long range hunting rifle would be different than a hunter who will be chasing moose or elk at 1300+ yards and so on.
First ask what you intend to hunt, then how far you wish to harvest it. Once you determine this, then you can talk about which calibers and scopes will work best for you. It is also wise to start LR hunting with smaller critters at moderate ranges and work up to bigger game at farther ranges. For example. Start with deer/antelope out to 400-600 yards and work up from there. Start with a moderate rifle that you can shoot alot and learn how to develop your skills. Then work into a fire breathing dragon.
Hope that helps!