What Are The Best Firearms for Hunting by Species

With a variety of rifle calibers & shotguns to choose from for every type of game, you may question which gun is right to bring along for your next hunt. You may ask fellow hunters and quickly come to realize that everyone has their own preferences. While the best gun to hunt with truly comes down to personal opinion, the experts at NEMO Arms have created a guide that will help you determine the best caliber rifles and shotgun gauges for hunting any species of small and big game.

Rifle Hunting Game Chart

If you live in a flat area, where you will likely be taking long distance shots, which means you will need a rifle for hunting. It should be noted that there are some places where it’s illegal to hunt with a rifle, in which you may want to opt for a shotgun with slugs instead.

Short & Medium Range


.243 Win, 30-30, .300 Savage


.17 HMR, .22 Hornet

Small Game

.22 LR, .22 WMR

Long Range

Deer, Sheep & Goats

.25.06 Rem, .270 Win, .308 Win, 30-06, 7mm .300 Win Mag, 6.5 Creedmoor


.223 Rem, .22-250 Rem, .220 Swift, .243 Win

Elk, Stag, Plains Game

.270 Win, .308 Win, .30-06. 7mm, .300 Win Mag

Black Bear

.30-30 and up, .444 Marlin, .45-70 Govt

Shotgun Hunting Game Chart

​​Shotguns are some of the most versatile weapons. By simply switching up your shotshells, you can hunt birds and big game with the exact same weapon.


Shotgun Gauge




12, 16

Dove, Partridge, Grouse

12, 16, 20

Duck, Goose

10, 12, 16


12, 16

Quail, Snipe, Woodcock

20, 28

Rabbit, Squirrel

16, 20, 28, .410


10, 12, 16

Now that you know which guns are appropriate for hunting various species, it’s time to get out in the field and determine what your unique preferences are. We offer a variety of firearms, ammunition, as well as cleaning kits to get you ready for the season. To browse our selection of premium firearms and gear, visit our website at www.nemoarms.com.

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