Advantages of a Bolt Action Rifle vs Semi Auto for Precision shooting

Discussion in 'Non-XD Handguns' started by Odin, Dec 24, 2006.

  1. Odin

    Odin XDTalk 500 Member

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    Why is it that when you see most precision rifles, they are usually some kind of bolt action rifle? I am not saying that semi autos are not but stuff like bench rest shooters, snipers and so forth usually just shoot bolt action sticks? Is there a advantage?
     
  2. joshs21

    joshs21 XDTalk Member

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    Fewer moving parts during the shot?
     
  3. Chewie146

    Chewie146 XDTalk 500 Member

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    Well, one reason is that it is incredibly hard to get a high precision semi-auto rifle to function properly. They tend to be picky about dirt, etc. Another reason is it is incredibly expensive to get a semi-auto rifle to shoot "precision groups."
     
  4. sharpstick

    sharpstick XDTalk 100 Member

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    To date most all semi autos use a system of bleeding off small amounts of hot gas to unlock a breech and allow the gun to cycle. This means that they have to have some sort of gas tube or gas piston tube contacting the barrel directly, this causes strange harmonics in the barrel and that vibration can change the impact of the bullet. Most semi autos use a piston to unlock the breech, not not only in the vibration in the barrel bad but the increased weight of the opperating rod causes more vibration and more recoil.

    The fit on the moveing internal parts of the auto loader generaly need to be looser then that of bolt guns. the auto loader has to unlock and cycle before the bullet has gone very far to best use the extra chamber gases. The bolt gun can be cycled in a few deliberate actions. This is not so much true in modern autoloades , with the quality being made today the auto can be just as acurrate as the bolt.

    Alot of just plain common thought dispite it being accurat or not has set a trend. Most decent autoloaders out now can pass the test, I really see no reason to get a bolt gun unless you bring budget in to play. A good accurat bolt gun is much cheaper then an auto of comparable accuracy.
     
  5. tsi1989

    tsi1989 XDTalk Newbie

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    [​IMG]


    The Barrett M107 is a semi-auto Sniper rifle used by all branches of our armed forces. As fast as we build and ship these rifles, they are going into the field in Iraq and Afghanistan. These rifles are very accurate. The guy that does our Armorer's Training was a sniper in the Army and had been deployed to Afghanistan. He holds the longest known kill with one of our rifles....2500 meters. That's reaching out there.
     
  6. Corey G

    Corey G XDTalk 500 Member

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    I'll take 2 just as soon as I win the lottery.
     
  7. Majk

    Majk XDTalk 3K Member Founding Member

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    +1 Amen.;)
     
  8. Odin

    Odin XDTalk 500 Member

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    So how much of a difference is there? Between the two in terms of acuracy at around 100 yards?
     
  9. sharpstick

    sharpstick XDTalk 100 Member

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    well accuracy is very dependent on both the shooter and the individual gun. Much more goes in to shooting a small group then how accurate the gun is, how comfortable is it to shoot, hows the trigger break,hows your cheek weld? How much accuracy do you need?


    The accuracy of the bolt over the auto really must be judged on a one gun at a time basis. As a standard bolt guns arnt built to take combat grade ammo, there chambers are often match size not mil spec.There ammo is generally match grade or fancy factory loaded stuff, for this reason they are pretty tight shooters often sub MOA. They are also available in some more exotic rounds that have more power to reach farther, as well as pack a mean punch when they get there.

    AR15 and some other auto loaders can be just as accurate given the same care, I have seen mil spec 20in ar15 shoot sub MOA all day long with mil spec ammo. There are a few other auto loaders that will work as long range rifles no problem though I wont go in to that.

    How far can you shoot? I shoot allot and as of yet still cant out shoot my carbine AR15.
     
  10. limblessbiff

    limblessbiff XDTalk 100 Member

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    It isnt so much accuracy as it is that Bolt guns dont fling brass everywhere that tells everyone where you are, true Bolt guns are more accurate but that by far isnt the only reason why they use them. there are some damn accurate semi auto rifles out there, cost may also be another reason, its probably alot cheaper/easier to build an accurate bolt gun than to make a semi auto sniper
     
  11. Odin

    Odin XDTalk 500 Member

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    I dunno, I have seen some single shot custom rifles that were going for 3-4k. Accuracy International Rifles go for 4K+.
     
  12. Krackels

    Krackels XDTalk 25K Member Founding Member

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    I'd wager that if they were using accurrized bolt action .50BMGs the longest known kill might even be longer than 2500 meters.

    I think the best bolt actions will outshoot the best semi-autos any day.

    I think it's also cheaper to get a bolt action to shoot <1 moa past 100 yards than it is for a semi-auto.
     
  13. vafish

    vafish XDTalk 1K Member

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    I think that's the real reason.

    But,

    Look at what the bench rest shooters use.

    Go over to Rimfire Central and read the posts by the frustrated guys that tried to shoot custom 10-22's against bolt guns in bench rest matches.

    Look at what the long range target shooters use. You don't see many semi autos on the 1,000 yard firing line.
     
  14. Krackels

    Krackels XDTalk 25K Member Founding Member

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    I agree. Most long range shooters will sneer at the notion of a semi-auto precision rig.
     
  15. tsi1989

    tsi1989 XDTalk Newbie

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    Bolt guns are more accurate. The Barrett M99 and M95 .50BMG's are far more accurate than the M82A1(M107). At work, I have seen the semi-auto hold a 1 inch group at 100 meters with 10 rounds. With the bolt actions we make, I have seen a 3 shot group in 1 hole at 100 meters. For whatever reasons, our government wants the semi-autos. I guess so they can get off 10 deadly shots before anyone ever hears anything.

    One of the guys that does some our long range testing took a M99 chambered in the new .416 Barrett out to the NRA range in New Mexico. It held a 5 shot group in 10 inches at 2000 meters. That is what I want.
     

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