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Thread: Semi or Bolt?

  1. #1
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    Default Semi or Bolt?

    .300 Win Mag, Leupold VXL 3.5x10. Shooting within 300 yards. Is what little I lose in accuracy with a semi-auto compensated by the speed of follow up? What about reliabilty? Opinions on semi-autos. Thanks for the input. This rifle will be used for Black Tails to Bears.

  2. #2
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Just make sure the first shot is a good shot, and your golden with a bolt.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Default Auto's

    I have a bad back, and I love to shoot but those belted mags kick my but. I just could not stand the recoil. I only weight about 160lbs so recoil was a factor for me. I wanted something that I could hunt Brown Bears with, after hours of reading I decided on a Benelli R1 with ComforTech with Leupold VX-L 3.5-10 x 50mm (B&C) using low mounts. I shot a Ram at 400 yards, a moose at 325 yards and a Bou at about 50 Yards. My R-1 will shoot about MOA at 100 yards. The recoil is about the same as a 308. I can stay in the scope thru the shot, this allowed me to make a follow up shot on my ram. Had rained for days and after the scramble to get into shooting range my range finder was fogged, Ram was getting ready to climb out of view. My spotter guessed the range at 300 yards. I used my B&C reticle and lined him up for 300 and shot. I was able to see the round strike under his belly, I raised the rifle up to the 400 yard line on the scope and put a barnes X bullet into his shoulder. The moose came out at 325 and I put 4 into him when he turned broadside. The Bou I had come down the river while I was washing dishes. We were both running flat out and I was able to put one in as well, no way could I have actioned a rifle while I was running and jumping rocks and brush. Not as accurate as the bolts, but for me the lite recoil and and being able to put 4 180 grain barnes X bullets into a pie plate at 400 yards is Fine with me. The rifle weights in at 10lbs with scope, sling and 10 rounds of ammo. Guns are like opinions and everyone will have one, My R-1 is a great rifle and will be going with me to the peninsula this fall. I'm retired military and shot semi rifles allot. The R-1 is a quality rifle, but like all auto's it must be cared for. I have carried this gun from PWS to the sheep mountains and the rivers in between and it has been a great gun. When I look thru my scope, I know that I can put a Barnes bullet into a 4 inch target out to 400 yards. I have shot over 400 rounds with this gun and I'm very happy with it.

    Steve



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    Great reply stid, very helpful

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    I've guided two clients with autos, one for brown bear and one for goat. the brown bear hunter had a browning BAR in 338 if i recal correctly and his gun jammed four times in a row, needless to say we didn't get that bear. the goat guys gun worked fine, it was some sort of remington i think and he burned up alot of shells, wasn't in shape either..bad situation all the way around,but he did get his goat.
    I would never own one, but my guns see alot of dirt and brush and mud, the more moving parts you have the more that can go wrong so i don't mess with them. some guys love them...until something happens. i think alot depends on how you use your guns and how much you use them...my gun is in the field from april till december every year so it gets manhandled alot and very few cleanings, i don't think a auto would hold up to that kind of lifestyle.
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
    Master guide 212

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    Your hunting rifle in Alaska is no different than a hammer to a Carpenter; throw it on the ground, drop it in the snow & mud, clear some brush with it, AND still EXPECT it to work flawlessly when pounding nails, or making a critical shot on a nice trophy.

    ...> A semi-auto does NOT have the absolute reliability that a bolt has<...

    Something to be said for having good-tough equipment that you KNOW you can count on, consistently, every time!

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    Wink chocie of actions

    a good semi auto action if the best for alaska, if you are duck hunting.

    a bolt action is inherently more accurate, reliable and safe for big game hunting. the ability to keep the chamber empty and be able to quietly chamber a round should not be overlooked either. most guides would not allow nor appreciate a client walking and climbing with a round in the chamber. it is an accident waiting to happen.

    the first shot or cold bore shot is what counts. someguys call it the cold zero.

  8. #8

    Default Semi vs bolt

    Stid said it right on the head. A semi requires you to take care of it. So does a bolt gun, but not to the same critical level. If the bolt or action in a semi is dirty, it has the potential not to load. If a bolt or action in a bolt action is dirty, you can usually force the bolt to close on a round and be ready to fire. Both need to be kept clean and cared for in the field. Some auto's I own or have seen are extremely accurate with the right bullets. Some bolts are also finicky, but the solid lock-up of a bolt gun usually means a bit better accuracy.

    Bottom line in this day of excellent products from most gun manufacturers is to choose whichever you are most comfortable with and spend a LOT of time at the range trying different ammo to find what your particular gun likes. This is as important with a bolt as it is a semi, but the semi's can normally be a lot more fickle with what they digest. I have 2 buddies that carry nothing but semi's and are some of the most successful hunters I know in Alaska. Both own Browning BAR's in .338. Both shoot extremely well with certain ammo, terribly with the same weight but different manufacturers. One has a gun that will digest anything made by Winchester without fail, but will not load Federal ammo without jamming. We got together and I reload his ammo now. It has never jammed once we dialed in the right loads for it. The other guy's gun will digest any and all that you put through it without fail. Just the way guns are.

    One word of advise if you do go to the semi-auto. Get all of the oils and grease out of it and lube it with graphite or synthetic dry lube. This is critical for cold weather usage. This applies to all types of semi's, not just rifles.

    More than anything else, practice, practice and practice some more until the gun is second nature to you whatever type you choose.

    Isn't it a great life to have such a dilemma????????
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???

  9. #9
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Default Short Stroke

    I agree that an auto loader is less accurate and less reliable than a bolt. I keep my R-1 very clean. I bought several boxes of ammo and tried them at the range. My Bennelli did not like all ammo, some would jam others just would not group. This is true of all rifles I have fired bolt or auto. Everything in life is a trade off. I like being able to stay in my scope and shoot it until it goes down. I'm not saying just start shooting several times hoping to hit your prey. I mean well placed killing shots meant to kill as quickly as possible. All weapons have thier faults, I have seen this happen more times than I can count, and that is short stroking a bolt in the excitement after the first shot. I know others out there have seen it also. The bottom line is you have to shoot more than a box of shells to be able to place the rounds where they need to go. The more recoil the less people will shoot. I shoot allot and I know what my tool will do. Get something that you can enjoy to fire, either bolt or auto. Go out and shoot as much as you can, and when it counts the rest is easy, just smile for the camera.

    Steve

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