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bitmasher's picture
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Thoughts on semiautomatic big game rifles

Ok Don thanks, that is what I needed to know. I suspected the "noise" introduced from going to semi-auto would be less than the "noise" from other controllable variables.

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Thoughts on semiautomatic big game rifles

I haven't had a lot of experience with them, but have used my Dad's .22 (horribly unreliable) and several military rifles.

However I have recently changed my opinion. For me the greatest attraction is lower recoil. It can allow you to fire a heavier calibre and escape the kick. The follow up shot is a definite bonus, if it doesn't jam.

For me the greatest drawbacks are cost (they're more expensive) and although they are much more reliable than they used to be, the do jam more than other action types. In my experience that one in a million jam has happened when I needed it.

[ This Message was edited by: saskie on 2003-11-12 13:28 ]

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Thoughts on semiautomatic big game rifles

Semi-autos also have the advantage of being able to take a second shot without having to make noise when cycling the action. This is important when you want to take more than one deer from a group at short range; usually in the woods from an elevated stand.
Deer cannot always tell what direction the shot came from b/c it is so loud that it echoes from all directions. A softer sound like the cycle of a bolt or pump will give you away.

mcb
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Thoughts on semiautomatic big game rifles

I would also say that I have seen people use other actions to spray and pray. I fell victim to that this year hunting deer with my lever action. I got a bad case of buck fever and emptied all three rounds faster than I should have. http://www.biggamehunt.net/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=2560&forum=17&2 for the full story. I have also seen guys with pump guns spray and pray. Bolt gun are by far less likely to be used in a spray and pray experience but if it holds more then one round its always a possibility.

My big fear with buying a semi-auto big game rifle would be weather or not it would be legal in all the states I might hunt in. You buy the gun for a hunt in a state were it is legal but then the following year to find that the state your hunting in does not allow semi-autos.

mcb

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Thoughts on semiautomatic big game rifles

Another point....when reloading for a bolt, you can just neck size with a carbide die and avoid the lube. I like that.
Semi-autos (I've not loaded for one due to the low price of 308 ammo) are said to require full length sizing.

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Thoughts on semiautomatic big game rifles

Take a semi auto and a bolt gun to the range. Shoot them at the same distance. First at 100 then at 200 then at 300 and you'll see the difference. Then you can make up your own mind. If you shoot at 50 to 100 yds then it won't make much difference especially if you shoot off hand. If you have a cronograph availabe then check the bullet speed which in turn impacts your trajectory and energy. Barrell length will make a difference in this area.
The outcome of this test will show you results not give you an opinion.

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Thoughts on semiautomatic big game rifles

I find it hard to believe that action type has anything to do with field hunting accuracy, to a given range within the calibre's performance level. Semi Auto rifles usualy have less recoil than their bolt action counterparts, therefore may have an advantage. It would be very unfair to judge the usefullness of an action based on hunter skill, that's redundant. The auto could make follow up shots quicker in certain types of terrain. In heavily wooded areas where a rapid shot may be needed, I'd certainly go for the auto, or lever action. If shooting out in the flats, open areas, or dangerous game I'd prefer the Bolt.

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Thoughts on semiautomatic big game rifles

Quote:


On 2004-02-18 08:10, elkster wrote:
I find it hard to believe that action type has anything to do with field hunting accuracy, to a given range within the calibre's performance level.

Are you saying there is no difference in accuracy between bolts and semis? If you are then we will have to agree to disagree. In my experience bolts shoot much more accurate on the whole than semis ever dream of doing.

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Thoughts on semiautomatic big game rifles

I don't think elkster is saying that semis are the same as far as precision goes. I think the point is that how many times in the field do you get a shot like you do at the range, with sandbags and time to spare? How many of us can shoot 1" groups shooting offhand? I can't. My BLR is not the best grouping rifle I own. It is pretty good, but probably not up to the same standards as a bolt. However, it is the rifle that I shoot best offhand. What is more important in a field situation? Getting your first bullet within an inch or two of your aim point reliably, or being able to put 5 shots within a 1" circle from the bench? If long shots with rests are your thing, then you would probably notice a difference, depending on the rifles of course.

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[ This Message was edited by: mister_venison on 2004-02-20 03:44 ]

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Thoughts on semiautomatic big game rifles

I agree but if your rifle doesn't shoot 1" groups off the bench it sure as hell isn't hitting within an inch or two off hand. Some rifles can have 2.5" or worst groups off the bench and are going to shoot atleast that bad in the field. I'm not suggesting you need a 1/2" MOA to big game hunt but the better your rifle is off the bench the better your chances are of hitting where you aim no matter which type of shooting you do.

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