No matter the type of game you target, hunting takes skill, precision, and the proper equipment. While you can purchase pre-made, complete rifles at your preferred sporting goods store, if you want true precision and power for a more effective hunt, a homemade rifle is the only way to go.
Homemade rifles are completely customizable. On a pre-made rifle you can change out the pieces, but when you design your rifle at home, from scratch, you’re in charge of every decision for your homemade hunting gear ideas. Building your own rifle means you don’t have to change out those individual parts, which translates to not having spare triggers, grips, barrels, and more, that take up space in your garage.
For example, when building an AR-10 for hunting deer, elk, or other game, you can choose an 80 percent lower receiver that’s ideal for you. If you need one that shaves off a few precious ounces, you can start there. If you’d prefer one made from a different material, that’s also up to you.
Because ARs are so incredibly adaptable and modular, when designing your homemade hunting rifle, you can change out every part. Swap out your tactical upper receiver for a big-bore-caliber receiver for hog hunting, for example. Mount lights, sights, scopes, or anything else you’d like to the Picatinny rail.
The trigger isn’t necessarily the most important part of your DIY hunting gun, but it can be the difference in your game takedown speed. Make sure your trigger has a crisp, clean pull. Look for a weight between two and three and a half pounds. A good trigger is critical to a successful hunt, so making your rifle at home with an aftermarket trigger is probably your best bet.
Choose your preferred stock, whether it’s fixed or adjustable. Stock length affects length-of-pull, so a fixed stock will be the most rigid option, lacking adaptability to different situations. Depending on your needs, this can be a downside. Adjustable stocks can be ideal for either introducing other shooters into hunting or even to account for various temperatures throughout the year.
Accessories are another place where a homemade rifle is superior. Most people know the difference between red dot, holographic, prism, and rifle scopes. Using a riser to lift the mounted scope to your eye’s natural position can improve speed on target and accuracy, as well as overall comfort in your cheekweld while shooting. If you’re hunting at night, you may need a night scope.
You can get extremely intricate scopes if you’re so inclined. Some scopes include markings for windage adjustments or to assist in following a moving target. Others have large zoom capabilities and effective sun hoods, to prevent glare. Do your research on homemade hunting gear ideas to decide which scope is right for your needs.
Be careful when utilizing sights that have a glass lens if you’re hunting in extremely cold areas. The same goes for battery-powered accessories, as they can be subject to power drain in the bitter cold. Also keep in mind that some states might not allow electronic optics while hunting, so be sure to check your local regulations.
Having a front carry sling can make hunting with your homemade rifle easy and comfortable, which can be key if your firearm is a little on the heavy side. (More on weight below.) With the front carry sling, the weight of the gun is distributed across your shoulders, and with one quick movement, you can be holding your rifle and ready to fire at the first sight of game.
Deciding which caliber bullet you want is essential when building your homemade rifle. If you’re deer hunting, a .338 Federal or a .308 Winchester will work beautifully in your AR-10. You can also use a caliber that’s more available and greater in variety for your state. Some hunters, for example, prefer copper bullets for their penetration. These bullets are also more widely available in classic hunting calibers.
With the right chambering, for certain animals, you could even take your smaller AR-15 into the field. Whether you want to go varmint hunting or deer hunting, you can find a bullet to match. Adjust your rifle to fire a .50 Beowulf or .458 Socom and you’re ready to hunt pigs, for example.
Research the benefits of each type of cartridge and weigh that against the type of game you’re targeting. Your homemade hunting rifle is capable of firing many types of ammunition.
The rapid-fire capabilities of an AR can be vital to a successful hunt. Say, for example, you have a deer downhill, perfectly in your sights. You fire, but the bullet goes just over the animal’s back because you forgot to take into account the elevation.
The ability to quickly fire off a second shot could make the difference between missing the animal entirely and alerting it to your presence or taking home that prize buck. The semi-automatic nature of ARs is also useful when targeting multiple animals, like coyotes.
Additionally, an AR’s detachable magazine is easy to load and unload. If you’re hunting in a cold environment, this feature means you won’t have to fumble to load and unload your homemade rifle with individual rounds like most bolt-action counterparts.
Importance of Camouflage
With endless variety in terms of hunting environments, the appearance of your rifle is key. Depending on your hunting area, a photorealistic camouflage coating is a good idea for your homemade hunting gear and can make the difference between spooking your target or getting the shot.
The forests of Wyoming look nothing like the plains in Montana, so ensuring your rifle doesn’t give you away is another key part of customizing your firearm. You could even try something like the Kameleon Kamo, a holographic finish that reflects light around your rifle, camouflaging it in plain sight.
If you’re concerned about the weight of your homemade rifle, you have a lot of options to consider. For example, you can choose a different barrel. A carbon fiber-wrapped stainless steel barrel is a lightweight option that doesn’t sacrifice accuracy and can withstand the bore pressure.
You can also choose particular barrels for your specific hunt. If you won’t have to be walking as much and can sit in a deer blind, for example, a longer, heavier barrel will have more velocity and sustained accuracy.
A lighter, shorter barrel is better for spot-and-stalk style hunting where you may have to hike for miles before reaching your destination. And trust us, after mile 10, you’ll be feeling every ounce of your rifle.
For handguards, a free-floating one lets your lightweight barrel do its job without interference, increasing your accuracy. You can find these types of handguards in carbon fiber as well, saving you precious ounces.
There are also models that allow for increased airflow, improving your sustained accuracy by cooling the barrel. These innovations allow for more successful and improved hunting.
In addition to weight, your homemade rifle should be well balanced. If there’s too much weight in the tip, while it may recoil less, it will be harder to aim. If there’s too much weight at the stock, it’ll be easier to aim but may drift a bit. Try to balance your rifle’s weight over the magwell.
Homemade Hunting Gear Ideas from JSD Supply
Whether you’re hunting small squirrels, huge hogs, or brazen bucks, making your own rifle at home is the best way to ensure you take back a trophy or put food on the table. The customization options of everything from the receivers to the finish you put on your homemade rifle is unparalleled. Only by building your rifle at home can you achieve the precision you need for a successful hunt.
Building your gun from the ground up means you have a deeper knowledge of and appreciation for your weapon. Literally knowing your rifle inside and out means if something malfunctions while you’re hunting, you’ll know right away how to fix it.
Plus, the benefits of purchasing an 80% lower receiver from which to start your build include the privacy of not having to fill out paperwork. You’re in control of who knows you have your homemade rifle, and there’s no waiting period to get it either.
Speaking of waiting, what are you waiting for? Contact us and we can help you put together the hunting rifle of your dreams.