Before you come to blows with your buddies over who has the “Best” rifle, you need to understand two acronyms: bee-cee and em-vee, more commonly seen as BC and MV. These stand for Ballistic Coefficient and Muzzle Velocity. They and they alone determine which rifle/cartridge/bullet combination will yield the best trajectory. They also contribute significantly to POWER, more accurately referred to as terminal kinetic energy.
Mountain hunting is hardly a new pursuit. The Indigenous peoples of British Columbia, the Yukon, and Alaska have well-documented accounts of hunting mountain goats and other game long before Gore-Tex and ultralight gear came into the picture.
I get asked for my thoughts on this so-called debate all the time, and it most often comes from hunters looking to understand what a milliradian is, and why the military and practical rifle competitors prefer it over the minute of angle or MOA.
As the sun poked through the oak limbs, I couldn’t help but smile as the first deer of the morning made her way towards me. The frost glistened on her back from a long, cold night of laying in her bed and the leaves crunched with each cautious step she took.
A lot of folks in this industry ask which is better, first or second focal plane. But the truth is it’s simply a matter of finding the right tool for the right job. Neither one is better than the other. They both have pros and cons based on the application of the system.
Hunting during the prime months of the year—August through October—can have its challenges, but for the most part, the gear list is reasonably straightforward. Depending on species and location, there are a variety of ways to skin the proverbial cat, regardless of the budget you’re working with.
A quandary for many would be Alaska and Canada bound sheep, goat, and caribou hunters is what to do about stopping grizzly and brown bear attacks. Can a light, flat-shooting mountain game rifle also be an effective bear stopping rifle?
At least a couple times a day I answer a question that goes something like this. “Should I just chronograph my loads and give you the bullet speed and ballistic coefficient?” I look at my watch and wonder if I should get into it or just say yes to the chronograph. So far I have never said yes to that question, but rather have taken the time to explain a better way.
Mountain hunting requires that the hunter, and his or her gear, can handle a wide mix of terrain and weather conditions. From the early season to the depths of winter, we must be prepared to survive—and adapt—to everything from layer peeling heat and constant sun exposure, to frigid glassing sessions in subzero temperatures with nothing more than a stunted alpine fir for a windbreak.