What to Consider When Choosing a Hunting Rifle Action
Some questions to ask yourself before choosing which hunting rifle to buy is, which game animals will it be used for, at what range will it be used at, and how important .38 special ammo are quick follow-up shots?
The bolt action is the most popular action available. It is the strongest and generally the most reliable, and comes in the most available chamberings. It’s also the most inherently accurate action, so is best suited for hunting where long shots may present themselves. When fitted with a quality scope of moderate to high power, and chambered in a flat-shooting cartridge such as 25-06 Rem, 270 Win, 30-06 Springfield, or 300 Win Mag, a bolt action rifle can be used out to 300 yards and beyond, for game such as deer, pronghorns, elk, bear and mountain sheep. The bolt action also makes the most sense as a varmint hunting rifle. They will deliver the fine accuracy needed for these small targets, which are usually shot at long distances. Some fine varmint chamberings are 17 Rem, 204 Ruger, 223 Rem and 22-250 Rem.
The strength of the bolt action, makes it the best choice for hunters who intend to handload their own ammunition. When a hunter loads his own ammo, he is in-fact producing ammo tailor-made for the rifle it is being used in. The result is usually considerably more accurate and powerful loads, at a cheaper cost.
Some people may be quick to say that a bolt action is slow to fire for follow-up shots. The fact is that in the hands of a well-practiced bolt gun user, the difference in speed between it and other actions such as pump action, lever action and even semi auto, is slight. For quick shooting with a bolt action, the rifle should not be brought down from the shoulder between shots. Instead the action should be work immediately after the trigger is released and while the gun is still in recoil. When used this way, the bolt action is plenty fast for most situations.