Outdoor Life Online Editor

Accuracy: Acceptable out-of-the box accuracy for hunting rifles is about 21/2 inches at 100 yards for five-shot groups. Varmint rifles should group in one inch or better.

Muzzle Brake: Helps to lessen recoil on big-bore- caliber rifles. The disadvantage is that muzzle report is ear- shattering. Hearing protection is highly recommended.

Metal Surface Smoothness: Absence of machine marks and/or polishing ripples.

Sights: Express sights like these offer fold-down leaf sights for shooting at different ranges.

Rifle should be drilled and tapped for scope mounting.

Fit to Metal: The closer the better, except when barrels are deliberately “free- floated” and share no bearing surface with the wood.

Feeding and Ejecting: Rifle should function reliably to feed cartridges from the magazine into the chamber and eject spent cases.

Trigger Pull: The amount of pressure in pounds required to release the sear and fire a shot. A comfortable trigger pull on sporting rifles should be about three pounds.

Stock Configuration: The overall styling and dimension based on the type of use, e.g., a field gun versus a trap gun or a sporter versus a varmint rifle.

Quality of Stock Finish: Depth of the finish, well-filled grain, overall appearance and absence of blunted edges due to heavy sanding.