Bolt vs. Semi-auto hunting rifle?


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Kylaen
November 22, 2010, 03:19 PM
I've thrown out levers since they're too damn heavy for me, even the carbines. I do want a carbine, but I'm caught between a much lighter bolt or a moderately heavier semi. I need the rifle to be left-handed, absolutely. The bolt is much harder for me to operate right-handed. Do they make left-handed bolts, or is semi my only option? On that note, could y'all point me to a light carbine, something tough? Do I want laminated wood or synthetic?

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Coal Dragger
November 22, 2010, 05:09 PM
Yes bolt actions are made in left handed versions. More details are needed to help you though. How about some details on use?

Kylaen
November 22, 2010, 05:25 PM
Terribly sorry. Deer hunting, primarily. I was thinking of a carbine in either .243 or .260.left-handed bots, sign me up.

Coal Dragger
November 22, 2010, 05:41 PM
Well in that case you may have to do some looking, Ruger, Remington, and others make left handed actions but caliber options are sometimes a bit limited.

Be prepared to order it sight unseen, and pay more money than for a standard right handed model.

Spec ops Grunt
November 22, 2010, 05:44 PM
A pump action rifle may be right up your alley.......

MichaelK
November 22, 2010, 06:05 PM
Savage is the maker that left-handers have relied on for generations. Here's a light varminter in .223 that I got for the ground squirrels on my property.
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r55/kawalekm/lefthandedsavage116.jpg
Need more information from you. Will this be a hunting rifle, for target shooting, or casual plinking? Do you want to hunt deer, bigger things, or smaller things? What's your budget? If you just want to hunt empty cans, a Ruger 10/22 will serve you well. Autoloaders in calibers big enough for deer hunting are heavy. My FAL in .308 weighs 10lbs! AR's are much lighter, but so is the .223 cartridge, and you'll have to look far and wide to find anyone that will claim the .223 is a fine deer cartridge.

Maybe a Savage in .243 Win is what you are looking for.

cmdc
November 22, 2010, 06:43 PM
Savage will build you a left-hand 260 Rem. if that's what you want. Excellent caliber. 260 Rem. is a much better all round caliber than 243 Win. Not bashing the 243, but the 260 is much more versatile. Ammo is harder to come by though, if you don't reload.

Yarddog
November 22, 2010, 06:51 PM
A pump action rifle may be right up your alley.......

Not a bad Idea ; )^^^^^^^^^^^^
Y/D

Kylaen
November 22, 2010, 09:07 PM
MichaelK, it is to be used exclusively for deer hunting.

68wj
November 22, 2010, 09:13 PM
Budget? Don't own an AR do ya?

Kylaen
November 22, 2010, 09:32 PM
No, I don't own an AR. Don't think I want one.

Abel
November 22, 2010, 09:35 PM
http://www.ruger.com/products/m77HawkeyeStandardLeftHanded/models.html

http://www.browning.com/products/catalog/firearms/detail.asp?value=001B&cat_id=035&type_id=026&content=a-bolt-micro-hunter-left-hand-firearms

Tirod
November 23, 2010, 08:54 AM
Here's the whole point of bolt vs semi auto: Can you reliably work the action on the bolt, and can you do it for a potential follow up shot as quickly while still staying on target?

Lots of deer don't stop moving, first shots are sometimes deflected, there are any number of reasons why an accurate second shot may be needed. If you are always certain of getting the first shot, then of course, a muzzleloader could be just as much a possibility.

Lots of hunters buy into the sporting tradition in firearms, but they sometimes find themselves shorted when that one buck comes into play, and one more shot would have anchored him. On the other hand, too many buy semi autos to spray and pray. If anything, those two groups need to switch over. It would improve them both.

Self disciplined, careful hunters would be better served with the more reliable semi auto action. They will still choose their first shot carefully, and they will more likely not short stroke the action or get it jammed. Semi autos are usually closed top receivers with only an ejection port. Bolt guns are exposed and vulnerable to the environment.

And, back to that second shot: Do you want to move your head to avoid the bolt while that deer is stepping smartly into the underbrush? Or would you prefer to keep the crosshairs on it?

Again, if first shot hunters are that good, why do they load another round besides one in the chamber? Their bolt gun doesn't need a magazine feed. They are that good.

Or, knowing anything could happen, they prepare for it, and hunt with a gun that minimizes loss of game.

Not the usual view of it, but there is too much complacency and not much thought about what we are really up to.

Daniel Boone
November 23, 2010, 10:00 AM
I will say one thing - Pump Action.

Remington Gamemaster 760
The best built, most reliable pump action rifle ever made.

Water-Man
November 23, 2010, 10:11 AM
Check-out the Tikka T3 Lite. It's accurate, dependable, has a very smooth action and comes in a left handed model.

BrocLuno
November 23, 2010, 10:36 AM
+1 on the Tikka Lite. Left OK (you'll likely need to order it). Lots of caliber choices. Already Syn stock. If you get a stainless lite, it'll be pretty water/snow resistant and carry good resale value for as long as you own it :)

Savage 170 is an older reliable pump action too. Pumps are quick on the follow-up shot. Lots of used ones out there if you look. Try AuctionArms and GunBroker and different searches including "left".

Kylaen
November 23, 2010, 02:13 PM
Tirod, that was everything I wanted to know, thanks man. How about a semi auto carbine? I still need to decide between .243 and .260.

thunder173
November 23, 2010, 02:34 PM
I shoot southpaw. Have used break action single shots,... right hand bolts,..lever actions,...pump actions and semi-auto's for hunting,...all without issue.

My deer rifles? Winchester 94's in .44 magnum for close work, or a 30/30 for a bit more range,..and a Remington Model 760 pump action in .308. The pump is quick on target,..quick for follow on shots in tough and close cover,...and it is as accurate as I am at 300 yards....

Kylaen
November 23, 2010, 02:44 PM
Ah with pump I'd needa vertical foregrip, so maybe just a semi-auto carbine.

thunder173
November 23, 2010, 02:51 PM
I've used my Reminton 760 for about 33 years, and have taken a lot of deer with it during those years. Never once have I seen the need for a vertical forearm grip on it as a deer rifle......of course,.....if that's what floats yer boat,....maybe the old "trombone" ISN'T what you be needin'................??

Kylaen
November 23, 2010, 03:02 PM
Sir. I have no idea what you mean by "the old trombone".

CraigC
November 23, 2010, 03:14 PM
You're considering semi-autos in chamberings appropriate to deer hunting but lever carbines are too heavy??? What levers have you looked at?

Kylaen
November 23, 2010, 03:22 PM
I looked at a few Winchesters I saw at Wal-mart. There were two .30-30s there, very heavy and hard for me to carry. I'm about 5'5, maybe 165, and these were kinda unwieldy.

chunk
November 23, 2010, 03:32 PM
i can't think of anything more comfortable to carry than winnie 94 30-30... maybe it's just me.

Water-Man
November 23, 2010, 03:34 PM
Kylaen, the advice given you that semiautos are more reliable than bolt actions is wrong and makes me question the firearms knowledge of the person who gave it to you.

thunder173
November 23, 2010, 03:37 PM
"the old trombone" is a euphanism for a pump action long gun...........

i can't think of anything more comfortable to carry than winnie 94 30-30... maybe it's just me.

Me neither,...makes me kinda wunder here,......

Kylaen
November 23, 2010, 03:42 PM
I do not believe bolts are more reliable, I don't think anyone claimed that. But I think the point was that a semi might be generally easier for me to operate without having to worry about the weather or anything else gunking up my action.

hirundo82
November 23, 2010, 03:49 PM
i can't think of anything more comfortable to carry than winnie 94 30-30... maybe it's just me.

At 6.25lbs for a M94 (7.0 for a marlin 336) vs 6.19lbs for the Tikka T3 Lite (not including scope), I'm don't think the weight difference between a bolt and lever is enough to notice..

Water-Man
November 23, 2010, 05:09 PM
Kylean, refer to post #13 if you don't think so. I believe you should do more research before making a decision.

CraigC
November 23, 2010, 05:37 PM
i can't think of anything more comfortable to carry than winnie 94 30-30... maybe it's just me.
I agree, there just ain't gonna be anything lighter 'and' easier to carry. Slap a Williams Foolproof on it and you're set. A boltgun may end up being about the same weight, but nothing is easier to tote than a flat-sided levergun.

rocklock
November 24, 2010, 12:20 PM
The Browning BAR Short Trac semi-auto is available in .243 caliber, among others, and weighs 6 lbs. 10 oz.. The left handed version is only $30.00 more than the right hander. An added benefit is the gas operating system will absorb a portion of the recoil that a bolt action won't, letting you get back on target faster if you need the second shot. Accuracy is more than good enough for big game. The only drawback to this rifle is the high price, but hey, it's a Browning.

MichaelK
November 24, 2010, 12:22 PM
Self disciplined, careful hunters would be better served with the more reliable semi auto action. They will still choose their first shot carefully, and they will more likely not short stroke the action or get it jammed. Semi autos are usually closed top receivers with only an ejection port. Bolt guns are exposed and vulnerable to the environment.


This is about one of the most silly statements I've seen on this board. Personally, I'd say that a very "self disciplined" hunter would want to carry a single shot, not an auto.

Ummm, "Semi autos are usually closed top receivers" Well, my mini-14 had an open topped reciever that last time I shot it. Maybe I better go open the safe and check just to be sure.

I guess that the generation of shooters that have carried a bolt action afield for a century or so didn't realize that "Bolt guns are exposed and vulnerable to the environment". I suppose those hunter planning on dragging their hunting rifles through the mud are really at a loss here.

Kylaen, I think you'd do fine with either a bolt or a lever, because there are a lot more options than you think. If you want a left-handed bolt, maybe a youth model Savage in a lighter caliber like .243, .260, or 7mm-08 would be perfect for you. Another option you might like is a Marlin 1894 in either .357 or .44 magnum. I've carried my .44 afield and a 240 grain hollowpoint plowed completely through a deer at 60 yards. You can scope the Marlin, and shoot either 38 or 44 specials through it for light recoiling practice.

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