Sniper’s Choice: Bolt vs. Semi-auto Precision Rifles

Discussion in 'General Firearms Discussion' started by tallbump, Dec 3, 2014.

  1. tallbump

    tallbump Supporting Member

    There is an ongoing debate as to whether someone should purchase a semi-automatic rifle or a bolt-action rifle for long-range precision shooting. There are a few key variances in both which make them very different, and probably contribute to the wide divergence in opinion. Typically, the bolt-action precision rifle is considered more accurate than a semi automatic. However, this depends on numerous factors with regard to both firearm and ammunition, and modern semi-automatic rifles can be exceptionally accurate when designed with long-ranging shooting in mind. Some of the factors that precision shooters take into consideration when accuracy is discussed between the two platforms are:

    Gas release
    Moving components
  2. undeRGRound

    undeRGRound ROLL wif Da MOLE! Supporting Member

    2 of those 3 seem to favor an autoloader...

  3. Hermitt

    Hermitt Hey! Get Off My Lawn! Member

    The M1 Garand is a decent argument for a semi-auto..... ;)

    My dad, (retired Air Force small arms instructor/21 years), shot a Navy prepared Springfield in competition for many years.
  4. Depends on the semi auto, a AR is extremely accurate and would be a great light caliber sniper. AK's are not accurate enough for a sniper, but very reliable. Sniper rifles have very tight tolerances, being bolt action they feed reliably. Semi autos must have enough clearance to function reliably. If you are talking thousand yard shots I would go with the bolt. For 500 yard range the semi will do just fine.
  5. Bull

    Bull Just a Man Supporting Member

    I believe a tricked out M1A is more than capable at 1000 yards..... But several bolties can get the job done for considerably less money.....
  6. planosteve

    planosteve Lifetime Supporter

    H&K PSG1 was developed to be as accurate as the US Army and Marine M40's. It was very accurate but was heavier and cost a bunch more than the M40. If you want one they run about 10K for one in very good condition.
  7. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

    NE Utah
    The guy is a hack.
    Apparently, he thinks all semi guns are AR's.:rolleyes:

    And he thinks that shifting where the upper and lower meet will change where a bullet goes, despite the fact that the lower has no effect on where the bullet goes, other than variances based on trigger pull

    Not to mention, I can't recall any AR I've handled recently that had ANY slack in the top to bottom lock up.:rolleyes:

    "As the shooter begins to fire or begins to perceive recoil, the shooter may cause the upper and lower receiver to shift where the two components meet, thus causing a change in desired point of impact when the rifle is fired. To the untrained or novice shooter, this may seem like a “sloppy gun,” or a rifle that is unable to achieve 1MOA."

    And finally...there's SO MUCH more to the precision rifle equation, than gas, recoil, and what moves.

    There's chamber dimension, leade, throat and muzzle geometry, barrel quality and resistance to heat, plus harmonics; not to mention things like type of rifling, head space, and lock time in the FCG.

    Seriously...this guy just wrote crap to make an article people would click on. It's mostly pointless.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2014
  8. SWAGA

    SWAGA No longer broke... Lifetime Supporter

    There's a 4 part series on snipers and their 'world cup' on Netflix.
    They shoot everything, bolt and semi.

  9. MaryB

    MaryB Supporting Member

    For myself I am leaning semi auto to cut down on the recoil of the big cartridges. Leaning towards 338 Lapua, about 2/3 the cost per round as a 50bmg but just as effective for long range use. Not as effective against vehicles though.
  10. SteveC

    SteveC Member

    So what are you going to use against vehicles?
  11. SWAGA

    SWAGA No longer broke... Lifetime Supporter

    Good enough for me...

  12. Bull

    Bull Just a Man Supporting Member

    That's what improvised ground munitions are for...
  13. planosteve

    planosteve Lifetime Supporter

    I found that this works well on vehicles. M-136 AT4

    Attached Files:

  14. Bull

    Bull Just a Man Supporting Member

    ImageUploadedByHi-Point Forum1417658809.229066.jpg ..............
  15. planosteve

    planosteve Lifetime Supporter

    Bull I did not know you had a problem with overkill. LMAO
  16. Bull

    Bull Just a Man Supporting Member

    On the contrary!...... That was a thoroughly satisfied that'll do!......
  17. planosteve

    planosteve Lifetime Supporter

    Sorry me bad, I never saw the movie you are referencing.
  18. RedRaptor22

    RedRaptor22 Member

    Personally prefer a bolt action with fair amount of weight to it to reduce recoil and help keep things steady, never really shoot more than three or four hundred yards since the terrain here doesn't usually allow for it, but even at that range bolts seem to be a bit more accurate to comparable semis.
  19. Bull

    Bull Just a Man Supporting Member

    Oh my.... No kids?..... Babe is a must see!....
  20. moona11

    moona11 King of you Monkeys Lifetime Supporter

    AT4 works just fine for those pesky vehicles. My sniper rifle would be a M2 so I could shoot hit everything I see and don't see. :-D