The hunt for the right rifle can be daunting, especially when you’re new to the world of guns. However, with proper research in online resources you can trust, like Exile Machine and other blogs by gun experts, you can be confident in getting the right rifle for you. This article can be your starting point, and hopefully, this helps you decide on whether to get a bolt action or semi-automatic rifle.
First and secondly, the caliber and model are just preference and usually a person’s preference is influenced by friends or family so those are usually going to be a given. What it really comes down to is a choice between bolt action or semi-automatic rifles. Let’s explore the good points and bad points of each and why each can be a dependable choice for a hunting weapon.
The semi-automatic rifle is probably the most maligned weapon used in hunting today but that said, it is the preferred weapon of a huge percentage of today’s hunters. Almost all semi-automatic rifles are grouped into one main category by anti-gun activists and that is the “assault rifle”. Nothing could be further from the truth! Just because a rifle will fire several rounds (usually 5 or 6) continuously as long as the trigger is pulled and released doesn’t make it an assault rifle!
Many hunters believe that while it is their intention to make a clean kill there are many intangibles when it comes to hunting. In deer hunting, for example, a movement or sudden wind direction change can cause a deer to detect the hunter’s presence and start his retreat just as the trigger is squeezed. This can cause the hunter to miss altogether or worse, just wound the deer.
Many times without the advantage of the immediate second shot the hunter goes home empty handed or the wounded animal escapes only to die from infection or blood loss. Although this is not a waste as many would think (nothing is wasted in nature, coyotes, buzzards and many other scavengers have to eat also) it is a waste to the hunter who planned to have fresh venison in his freezer.
The bolt action rifle is, to me, the more accurate of the two rifles. While there is something to be said for the availability of a second shot almost instantaneously, the actual availability of that second shot will put a false sense of “security” into the mindset of the hunter and thus many first shots are missed because not enough care is taken in making the shot. Even with all of the intangibles I still prefer the bolt action simply for accuracy. With the bolt action I know that all of the energy expended goes right down the barrel pushing the projectile and none is used to eject the spent casing. This comes into play especially in shots of distances greater than 100 yards.
As with the selection of caliber, make and model, ultimately it will come down to personal preference. I would recommend to anyone considering an investment of money as great as this to make it a point to test fire both types of gun several times and see which one best suits you. No matter which you choose always make safety your first concern.