Bolt Action

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Are bolt-action rifles inherently more accurate?

I have read many things about accuracy and most (although NOT all) seem to favor bolt-actions. Is this a true picture?

Can semi-autos or even full autos have high-grade accuracy? What about lever actions?

What about so-called "sniper rifles" like the Soviet Dragunov and U.S. M-14 -- aren't they semi-autos? What about the new Barrett .50's -- some of them are semi-auto, and considered very accurate.

Is this common opinion just a prejudice?

When you close the action on a bolt rifle, you are really clamping the bolt to the receiver very tightly.... as the bolt lugs lock onto their lands.

This creates a 'rock-solid' chamber in which your cartridge fires.

If you know about gun physics, you understand that the more rock solid the components are mated together, the less movement there is and the more accuracy can be potentially attained.

Now, in many autoloaders the bolt really isn't locked rock-solid like that, due to the fact that it has to fly open by iteself and eject the spent round and load a new one. This creates a "sloppier" chamber that has some inherent movement.

The challenge in designing an accurate auto or semi-auto is to create a bolt that locks the chamber momentarily, then releases the lock.

On very simple semi-autos, like an SKS or an AK, there is no rotation of the bolt and it really does not "lock up" tight. The chamber is just held closed by a spring. Hence (combined with a reduced power and less accurate round) less accuracy.

On more sophisticated actions, like say the M1 Garand and it's offspring the M14, etc. the bolt actually rotates and locks to some degree, giving more potential accuracy.

So some autos and semi autos CAN reach the same potential chamber dynamics of a manual bolt action.

These have to be more complex designs naturally and that in itself has drawbacks in manufacturing costs and potential things that can malfunction if not perfectly maintained.

So the AK, as you have probably heard, is more 'reliable' in a "zero-maintenence" scenario, where the action has not been properly cleaned and lubricated and may be full of dirt, but the design does not produce an accurate result.

I've kept this simple....perhaps oversimplified....to demonstrate the point. There are a lot of other factors that affect accuracy, but the action of the bolt and how tight it locks is one of the basics.

Find Bolt Action On eBay Below:

Redfield Bausch Lomb Browning Sako Short Bolt Action Rifle Scope Bases
Redfield Bausch Lomb Browning Sako Short Bolt Action Rifle Scope Bases
$19.00
REDFIELD SDT base set for SAKO bolt action Finnbear Forester
REDFIELD SDT base set for SAKO bolt action Finnbear Forester
$27.50
REDFIELD SR 541 base set for REMINGTON bolt action 22 caliber plus +
REDFIELD SR 541 base set for REMINGTON bolt action 22 caliber plus +
$22.50
Redfield JR BBR Browning Bolt Action Rifle Scope Mount Base 511290
Redfield JR BBR Browning Bolt Action Rifle Scope Mount Base 511290
$14.99
Marlin 900 Series Rimfire Bolt Action Rifle Scope Mounting Bases
Marlin 900 Series Rimfire Bolt Action Rifle Scope Mounting Bases
$9.95
Warne 1 High Single Lever Quick Detachable Scope Rings CZ550 Bolt Action Rifles
Warne 1 High Single Lever Quick Detachable Scope Rings CZ550 Bolt Action Rifles
$49.95
Browning A Bolt Action 1 Diameter Scopes Model KSC A BOLT
Browning A Bolt Action 1 Diameter Scopes Model KSC A BOLT
$3.95
Ironsighter Lightweight High See Thru Scope Mount Remington 7 Bolt Action 707H
Ironsighter Lightweight High See Thru Scope Mount Remington 7 Bolt Action 707H
$24.99
Redfield JR BBR Scope Mount Base 511290 Browning Bolt Action
Redfield JR BBR Scope Mount Base 511290 Browning Bolt Action
$19.95
Keystone Sporting Arms Crickett Stationary Mount Base Scope Chipmunk Bolt Action
Keystone Sporting Arms Crickett Stationary Mount Base Scope Chipmunk Bolt Action
$19.11
Burris Supreme Scope Mount Base 410214 For Browning Bolt Action Rifle
Burris Supreme Scope Mount Base 410214 For Browning Bolt Action Rifle
$20.00
Kwik Site See Thru Mounts Model KS A Bolt Browning A Bolt Action
Kwik Site See Thru Mounts Model KS A Bolt Browning A Bolt Action
$9.75
Warne Maxima 2pc Steel Scope Rails for Savage long  short bolt action M898 936M
Warne Maxima 2pc Steel Scope Rails for Savage long short bolt action M898 936M
$24.50
Kwik Site See Thru Mounts Model KS A Bolt Browning A Bolt Action
Kwik Site See Thru Mounts Model KS A Bolt Browning A Bolt Action
$7.99
Chipmunk 22 Single Shot Bolt Action Rifle Base w screws
Chipmunk 22 Single Shot Bolt Action Rifle Base w screws
$14.50
KS MAS Kwik Site Large See Thru Scope Ring For Mauser Bolt Action H
KS MAS Kwik Site Large See Thru Scope Ring For Mauser Bolt Action H
$27.44
KWIK SITE  MODEL KS BBR  BROWNING BBR BOLT ACTION SEE THRU RINGMOUNT  22100
KWIK SITE MODEL KS BBR BROWNING BBR BOLT ACTION SEE THRU RINGMOUNT 22100
$5.99
KWIK SITE  MODEL KS A BOLT  BROWNING A BOLT ACTION SEE THRU RINGMOUNT  22101
KWIK SITE MODEL KS A BOLT BROWNING A BOLT ACTION SEE THRU RINGMOUNT 22101
$5.99
Gun parts Mount base 4 chipmunk 22 caliber single shot bolt action rifles
Gun parts Mount base 4 chipmunk 22 caliber single shot bolt action rifles
$7.99
Mosin Nagant M44 Bolt Action Cleaning Kit and M44 Scope Mountlong
Mosin Nagant M44 Bolt Action Cleaning Kit and M44 Scope Mountlong
$15.95
REDFIELD JR 513 steel base for all old REMINGTON Bolt Action 22s
REDFIELD JR 513 steel base for all old REMINGTON Bolt Action 22s
$27.50
early Patent No REDFIELD JRFN base for bolt action FNMAUSER  store brands
early Patent No REDFIELD JRFN base for bolt action FNMAUSER store brands
$27.50
Patent No REDFIELD JR 75 steel base for old WINCHESTER Bolt Action 22s
Patent No REDFIELD JR 75 steel base for old WINCHESTER Bolt Action 22s
$24.50
REDFIELD JR 788LA for REMINGTON 788 bolt action 22 250 223 and 30 30
REDFIELD JR 788LA for REMINGTON 788 bolt action 22 250 223 and 30 30
$22.50
Ruger D 71H High Scope Rings for Ruger M 77 Bolt Action Rifle NIP
Ruger D 71H High Scope Rings for Ruger M 77 Bolt Action Rifle NIP
$9.99
KWIK SITE Rings 1 See Thru For Remington Sportsman 78 Bolt Action KS 78
KWIK SITE Rings 1 See Thru For Remington Sportsman 78 Bolt Action KS 78
$17.00
peep sight version REDFIELD JR 800 base for MOSSBERG model 800 Bolt Action
peep sight version REDFIELD JR 800 base for MOSSBERG model 800 Bolt Action
$47.50
Holden Ironsighter Model 702 Browning A Bolt Action Rifle See Thru Scope Mount
Holden Ironsighter Model 702 Browning A Bolt Action Rifle See Thru Scope Mount
$17.95
BROWNING SU BBSA scope base Burris made Model BBR Bolt Action Short Action
BROWNING SU BBSA scope base Burris made Model BBR Bolt Action Short Action
$24.95
VINTAGE WEAVER SCOPE SIDE MOUNT W 1 RINGS FOR BOLT ACTION
VINTAGE WEAVER SCOPE SIDE MOUNT W 1 RINGS FOR BOLT ACTION
$95.00
BKL 3 8 or 11mm Dovetail to Weaver Adapter 4 Long For Bolt Action Guns Matte Bla
BKL 3 8 or 11mm Dovetail to Weaver Adapter 4 Long For Bolt Action Guns Matte Bla
$42.95
PICATINNY SCOPE RAIL fits Remington 700 Long Action Long Range Bolt Action RM700
PICATINNY SCOPE RAIL fits Remington 700 Long Action Long Range Bolt Action RM700
$26.99


Recently Purchased Bolt Action:


ruger d71h high scope rings for ruger m77 bolt action rifle nip, redfield jr 788la for remington 788 bolt action 22250 223 and 3030 , patent no redfield jr75 steel base for old winchester bolt action 22s, early patent no redfield jrfn base for bolt action fnmauser amp; store brands, redfield jr513 steel base for all old remington bolt action 22s, kwiksite model ksa bolt browning abolt action see thru ringmount 22101, kwiksite model ksbbr browning bbr bolt action see thru ringmount 22100, chipmunk 22 single shot bolt action rifle base wscrews, redfield jr bbr browning bolt action rifle scope mount base 511290, ks110 kwiksite seethru mounts for savage bolt action, warne 1 high single lever quick detachable scope rings cz550 bolt action rifles, kwiksite scope mount bolt action ksatr, redfield rh scope base for mauser 3000 amp; 2000 bolt action w leupold rings, marlin 900 series rimfire bolt action rifle scope mounting bases, redfield bausch lomb browning sako short bolt action rifle scope bases, redfield sr541 base set for remington bolt action 22 caliber plus , redfield sdt base set for sako bolt action finnbear forester , wideview see thru scope mount for browning f n bolt action amp; interarms mark x , clear view see thru scope mount model csmas browning bolt action new 44404, new ironsighter base set for browning abolt action model irabolt, new ironsighter base set for savage 110 bolt action ir110lm, leupold style 1 rings and bases for savage 12 ga bolt action matte , redfield srcs base set colt sauer sigarms model 90 and 200 bolt action , redfield jrsk scope base for early sako amp; bsa short bolt action 22 hornet , weaver scope mount combo fits browning bolt action gloss, redfield jr abla for browning abolt action rifle la 1 piece scope base nib , redfield jr43 steel base w rear peep sight for old winchester bolt action , redfield junior 2130 base 60s voere shikar 80s kleingunther k14 bolt action, redfield jr300 scope base for post 73 hamp;r ultra 300 301 333 medium bolt action, redfield jr3000 rh scope base for a mauser 3000 amp; 2000 bolt action , kwiksite base set for browning bolt action ksbbbr , kwiksite ks78 remington sportsman 78 bolt action, kwik site see thru scope mount remington 700 sportsman 78 bolt action high mt, peep sight version redfield jr 800 base for mossberg model 800 bolt action , keystone sporting arms crickett stationary mount base scope chipmunk bolt action, browning abolt action 1 diameter scopesmodel kscabolt, utg scope mount for remington model 700 short bolt action rifle mntrm700s, utg scope mount for remington model 700 long bolt action rifle mntrm700, new leupold scope mount qr traditions inline and bolt action 52315 black matte, weaver 5 side mount base 48405 for browning bolt action and more, gun parts mount base 4 chipmunk 22 caliber singleshot boltaction rifles, ksmas kwiksite large seethru scope ring for mauser bolt action h, warne maxima 2pc steel scope rails for savage long amp; short boltaction m898936m, kwiksite seethru mounts model ksabolt browning a bolt action, kwik site see thru scope rings ksptra s lighting bolt action rifles finish, new remington rings and base set 700s bolt action 1 medium 19425 , weaver top mount aluminum base 45 browning bolt action marlin 455 gloss black, ironsighter scope mount model 120 for husq lt samp;w bolt action a b c d e, bkl 38 or 11mm dovetail to weaver adapter 4 long for boltaction guns matte bla, burris supreme scope mount base browning bolt action subba 410214, keystone sporting arms crickett chipmunk bolt action rifle stationary mount base, marlin 707146 2piece scope base 900 series rimfire bolt action rifle blued, lot 922 new redfield scope mount for browing bolt action 511290, lot 922 redfield scope mount for browning bolt action 511290, vintage marble arms game getter scope mount mossberg 800 810 bolt action rifles, redfield jr bbr scope mount base 511290 browning bolt action, kwiksite see thru scope rings browning bolt action mauser 98 model ksmas