Bolt Action Vs. Semi-Automatics

Bolt Action Vs. Semi-Automatics

This is a discussion on Bolt Action Vs. Semi-Automatics within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I was told this morning that bolt action rifles are more accurate that semi-automatic rifles. CAn anyone tell me why this is? I assumed they ...

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Thread: Bolt Action Vs. Semi-Automatics

  1. #1
    Member Array floridaguy911's Avatar
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    Exclamation Bolt Action Vs. Semi-Automatics

    I was told this morning that bolt action rifles are more accurate that semi-automatic rifles. CAn anyone tell me why this is? I assumed they both had identical accuracy if both rifles were identical, just the semi would fire at a much higher rate than the bolt action. Everyone feel free to elaborate on your opinions.

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Array hsuCowboy98's Avatar
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    Okay, short version:

    When firing a bolt action rifle, the bolt is locked into place, and the projectile exits the barrel using the entire amount of gas from the powder charge. This process happens every shot, making for a very consistant shooting weapon, especially in terms of velocity.

    On the other hand, on a semi-auto (regardless of operation) some gas from the charge goes towards making the action cycle every shot. As the amount of gas that is needed to cycle the action varies, so does the pressures behind the bullet. But: Here is where it gets complicated.....

    Gas pressure between shots does not always equate to better accuracy....there are many other factors involved, rifling, clean barrel, etc.

    Just because a bolt gun is a bolt gun doesnt mean that a semi-auto cant outshoot it, just that it is more consistant in operating factors, giving it the potential to be more accurate.

    That said, I have seen custom bolts put 5 bullets into 1 slightly ragged hole at 200+ yards....a feat I havent seen a semi auto do, but modern semi-autos are capable of incredible accuracy nonetheless.
    I also havent seen a bolt gun put 30 rounds onto a target at 50 yards in less than 10 seconds either...
    Fear No Evil.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Bolt action rifles are typicaly more accurate due to several factors , the action its self is stiffer , the bolt lockup is tighter , and on many the chamber is tighter . Autos on the other hand need looser lockup and looser chambers to reliably function . Some autos can be tuned inn to the point that ammo variances are a bigger factor than the action style , but tend to be somewhat unreliable under field conditions if extra care is not given to them .

    Almost any auto will shoot better than most shooters can utulise them tho , so its not a real world concern for anyone except a select fiew who need the utmost level of precision , heck even the marines are going to an auto for thier scout/snipers now .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
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    Ex Member Array BigEd63's Avatar
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    I would say the rep that a bolt action has is due to the law of averages being greatly on it's side.

    But I have seen and shot several semi-autos that were very accurate with little or no work after they left the factory.

  5. #5
    Distinguished Member Array RSSZ's Avatar
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    All(ALL !!) benchrest shooters shoot a bolt action rifle.-------> Nuff said. --------

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RSSZ
    All(ALL !!) benchrest shooters shoot a bolt action rifle.-------> Nuff said. --------
    As well as Army, Marine Corps & Navy snipers. (Don't know about the Air Force; do they have snipers)?


    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
    And go to your God like a soldier.

    Rudyard Kipling


    Terry

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array hsuCowboy98's Avatar
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    Marine Corp EOD uses M-14's.
    Scout/snipers are switching to modified Ar-15's

    Not bashing Bolt actions, I love bolt guns, but more and more in an urban environment, pinpoint accuracy is second to rapid follow ups.
    Fear No Evil.

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    modified Ar-15's
    Not what i heard , I heard an ar10 variant ( ar/m16 style in .308 )
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
    We only begin to understand folks after we stop and think .

    Criminals are looking for victims, not opponents.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Array hsuCowboy98's Avatar
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    A guy I played football with who is currently in Iraq seving in Marine Recon has in his hands at this very instant a Colt 20'' AR outfitted with a new varible power scope built by Leupold and based on the Civilian 1.5-5x MR/T scope. Traded in his Remington 700 for it.

    The .308 scout may be in the works, but what is on the ground right now is .223 according to my sources. And for good reason, what good is accuracy out to 500-700 meters, if your combat range is typically 30-200.

    In fact many, and I mean alot of battle rifles are outfitted with some sort of optical sight, making in essence almost all rifles fielded in this config. scout/sniper rifles. (at least at urban ranges.) And ACOG's are capable of pretty astonishing accuracy at battle ranges.

    And who can forget the Barrett .50 M107 Semi-Auto long range sniper rifle.
    Fear No Evil.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array blueyedevil's Avatar
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    hsuCowboy, There are no plans to phase out the M-40A3 that I'm aware of, They may be catering gear to the mission in some places, like they always have, But the ol' 700 isn't goin' anywhere anytime soon. I have several buddies that are scout snipers, they have only had the A3 for a year or so, and they love em'. As for the SASR, it's application is for hitting armor and other large, hard targets ergo SASR special application sniper rifle. If it's primary mission was to hit man sized targets, it would be a bolt.

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Blue I agree that the " Jarheads " will never be divorced from that turnbolt in one form or another lol , and for good reason since true riflemen tend to truely turn on with equipment they have faith in , I personaly dont know a rifleman who lacks faith in a good turnbolt .
    I did read as posted above that they are going to a platoon level sniper/marksman equiped with an ar10 style , elements of the scout/snipers are doing the " proof of concept " now with them from what i saw . I re read my post , and it didnt quite say what i intended it to , It was not ment to say the bolt is dead for the utmost in precision , it was ment to say that the " rifleman " service is now moving to accept the auto for most " marksman " dutys tho the coming off the 7.62 platform is news to me for them , and frankly i dobut it .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
    We only begin to understand folks after we stop and think .

    Criminals are looking for victims, not opponents.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array hsuCowboy98's Avatar
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    I didnt say anything about getting rid of the venerable 700, just simply that there were other options being presented in the field. Especially when dealing with multiple threats in an urban environment...a very narrow mission specific deployment of these weapons, but still shows a trend in weapon deployment that is increasingly tailored to the mission. Right tool for the job rather than a swiss army knife mentality.

    To be honest, I wouldnt want to be stuck in an alleyway or rooftop having to engage multiple targets with a bolt action rifle sans hard cover. Also, reload speed is an issue in these applications due to the clearance between the scope and the bolt, one that is easily addressed by switching to a semi. Sometime you need speed, sometimes you need accuracy, and sometimes you can have some of both.

    And for the .50... I know it is primarily for hard targets, but I have seen footage of its application against soft targets, and it is devestating. I realy just threw that out for fun, but it is yet another example of the speed vs. accuracy vs. both dilema. The same cartridge, 2 diff. applications, 2 diff. action types. Both are effective for their purpose, and Im sure either could be used to accomplish the other's mission if called to do so.

    This whole thing comes down to this:

    Speed = Semi-Auto/Auto

    Speed and Accuracy = Scoped/Modified Semi-Auto
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Accuracy.
    =Bolt Action
    Consistancy .

    Repeatable Precision. = Modified Bolt Action/Competition Rifle
    (Precision as in: Im gonna hit the top left of that dime, then hit the bottom right, followed by a shot right in the middle)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    You can doubt it all you want to, but Im not going to call one of my buddy in Iraq a liar. He had to come off the 700 after being blown up by a IED in Afghanistan almost 1 years ago to the day, after that point, he was given the option of returning to the 700 and sniping, or of changing squads and running the AR on redeployment this year in urban Iraq. Heres a picture of his HUMVEE in afghanististan, and if you want, Ill get you a link to his blog that he wrote a couple of days ago about surviving the blast.

    Last edited by hsuCowboy98; July 25th, 2006 at 03:50 PM. Reason: Add Picture
    Fear No Evil.

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Speed and Accuracy
    are mutualy exclusive , its just that them boys going slow are faster than the rest of us going fast lol .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
    We only begin to understand folks after we stop and think .

    Criminals are looking for victims, not opponents.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Array hsuCowboy98's Avatar
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    I disagree, speed and accuracy can coexist, speed and precision are mutually exclusive.

    It is very possible to be fast and accurate, it is near impossible to be fast and precise.
    Fear No Evil.

  15. #15
    Distinguished Member Array RSSZ's Avatar
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    hsu, A gas operated 20"bbled,5.56,with a 1.5 X 5 powered scope ???? What do them little tiny pills come poppin' out the bbl at,and what is their BC at even 500m goin' that slow??

    Are we talking about SNIPER WEAPONS here or a weapon that can lay down volumes of cover(or otherwise)fire at simi extended(500m or so)ranges ???

    I bet the Marines don't like that one bit. They will have to change their shooters logo to,"30 shots,1 kill,maybe(??)."

    They will be writeing home for their squirrel gun before long. ------

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