If I am trap, skeet or sporting clays shooting should I reload?
Shotshell reloading of 12 or 20 ga. to save money doesn’t make a lot of “cents”. The price of shotshells by the case versus the cost of lead, primers,etc. have never been closer. 28 ga and .410 may save you some money because the shells are more expensive and when you are reloading you use less lead and powder. Some reloaders claim better quality is possible. Maybe.
How much should I spend on a scope?
If you are buying a scope for your favourite 22 plinker, a 1” rx or 3x-9x 32mm for $50 - $100 will more than fill the bill. If you are going on your annual moose hunt or your once in a lifetime elk hunt, you may want to consider a much bigger investment. A lot of hunters think nothing of spending $800 - $1500. on a centrefire rifle and$100. - $3000. for the trip, but quite often chintz out on a scope. Leupold, Zeiss, etc. in the $500 - $800 range may be appropriate. The scope should be variable to 8-10x. Once again, more magnification may not make the target clearer or brighter.
I want to buy one rifle for deer and moose. What’s a good caliber?
This choice is very difficult. The most popular are 270, 308, 30-06 and some 300WinMag. I think the best choice might be 7MM Magnum. It’s a long range cartridge, medium recoil and there is a large assortment of bullet weights. Use a standard Remington core-lokt or Federal soft point in 150 gr. or 175 gr. load for deer or bear. Buy a premium 175 gr. Nosler Partition or equivalent in case of a shoulder shot on a moose.
I haven’t hunted for many years and I have ammunition that is ten to fifteen years old. Can I use it?
Usually ammunition which has been stored in a cool, dry location is good to shoot. I would use it for practice. You should shoot 2 to 3 boxes of centrefire ammunition before you go hunting to familiarize yourself with your rifle and to make sure it’s functioning properly and it is sighted in.
Why can’t I seem to kill ducks or geese as well as I could with my old full choke shotgun with lead loads?
Unfortunately, steel shot does not have the energy at longer distances that lead shot has. The payload is lighter and faster from a 3” 12ga steel load but you will never achieve the results at longer ranges. Federal Black Cloud and Winchester Blindside tend to do a little more damage to the bird. In most cases, however, you must reduce your kill zone. You need better calling, better decoys, better camo and more patience.