Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Bolt Action Rifles as a Survival Gun





    I'm almost afraid to ask, Ferfal, but what do you think about military bolt actions? I'm just not a fan of semi-auto rifles. I like the simplicity, durability, and accuracy of bolt actions. Mausers, Enfields, Mosin Nagants, even the new Ruger Scout Rifle. Do you think they are viable alternatives?
-A

Bolt action rifles are some of the toughest guns you can own. They are chambered for powerful rounds and can be extremely accurate.

Though it is true that bolt action rifles have served in wars well, they do have the obvious limitation of not having a quick follow up shot by simply pulling the trigger.  With practice you can get fast at it but it is simply no match for semi-automatic fire, and this problem is even greater in CQC which is by far the most likely scenario in self-defense.

These days the bolt action rifle clearly has an offensive role in its use as a combat firearm and it is therefore unsuited for defensive purposes.
Having said that, bolt action rifles can be handy firearms, and while not ideal for defense, they sure are better than having no gun at all. As a hunting gun they are an obvious choice.

I would avoid some of the well known Mauser rifles and other surplus guns. While they have been used in combat they are large, heavy and not nearly as practical as the modern rifles on the market. They are not very accurate either.  A modern gun will shoot much better than an old Mauser or Enfield. They have better triggers, better barrels and come ready for optic mounting. They tend to be lighter too.
 
 Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle (above) Steyr Scout (below)


I would go for a light gun in 308W, maybe in Scout configuration with a forward mounted scope. Both Steyr and Ruger have some interesting offerings.

FerFAL

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I recently purchased a Ruger Hawkeye Tactical in .308. and it is a surprisingly nice gun straight from the factory. I wouldn't dream of using it for defense, but it is quite accurate (about .3 moa at 200 yards). I did have to file the internal magazine lips to make it feed more smoothly.

As FerFAL said, wonderful for precision offence but not exactly a defensive weapon except as a last resort.

Joseph said...

I have a several surplus bolt action rifles (Lee-Enfields, Mosins, Schmidt-Rubin) and while they are durable, a few things to remember about surplus military rifles:
1. They are generally long and heavy.
2. They may fire calibers that are not easily available.
3. You may be betting your life on a heavily used weapon that is in excess of 50 years old.
As FerFAL says, one of these is better than nothing. But overall, I think you would be better off buying a used hunting rifle.

falcon_01 said...

I love my Nagant with Archangel stock (giving it 10 rnd capacity via detachable mags), but realize it's still not much more than a novelty that can use lots of cheap ammo when compared with an AR-10 in .308.

Anonymous said...

There are many types of bolt actions. One of my favorites is a M-48 Mauser. It is roughly $275 and takes a 8mm. Rounds are fairly common. Another is an Ithaca LSA 65 a .308 caliber. Accuracy is more than adequate. Even a .22 is better than nothing!

Anonymous said...

There are many types of bolt actions. One of my favorites is a M-48 Mauser. It is roughly $275 and takes a 8mm. Rounds are fairly common. Another is an Ithaca LSA 65 a .308 caliber. Accuracy is more than adequate. Even a .22 is better than nothing!