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Bolt vs. Semi-auto hunting rifle?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Kylaen, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. Kylaen

    Kylaen Well-Known Member

    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?
  2. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Well-Known Member

    Yes bolt actions are made in left handed versions. More details are needed to help you though. How about some details on use?
  3. Kylaen

    Kylaen Well-Known Member

    Terribly sorry. Deer hunting, primarily. I was thinking of a carbine in either .243 or .260.left-handed bots, sign me up.
  4. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Well-Known Member

    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.
  5. Spec ops Grunt

    Spec ops Grunt Well-Known Member

    A pump action rifle may be right up your alley.......
  6. MichaelK

    MichaelK Well-Known Member

    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.
    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.
  7. cmdc

    cmdc Well-Known Member

    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.
  8. Yarddog

    Yarddog Well-Known Member

    Not a bad Idea ; )^^^^^^^^^^^^
  9. Kylaen

    Kylaen Well-Known Member

    MichaelK, it is to be used exclusively for deer hunting.
  10. 68wj

    68wj Well-Known Member

    Budget? Don't own an AR do ya?
  11. Kylaen

    Kylaen Well-Known Member

    No, I don't own an AR. Don't think I want one.
  12. Abel

    Abel Well-Known Member

  13. Tirod

    Tirod Well-Known Member

    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.
  14. Daniel Boone

    Daniel Boone Well-Known Member

    I will say one thing - Pump Action.

    Remington Gamemaster 760
    The best built, most reliable pump action rifle ever made.
  15. Water-Man

    Water-Man Well-Known Member

    Check-out the Tikka T3 Lite. It's accurate, dependable, has a very smooth action and comes in a left handed model.
  16. BrocLuno

    BrocLuno Well-Known Member

    +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".
  17. Kylaen

    Kylaen Well-Known Member

    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.
  18. thunder173

    thunder173 Well-Known Member

    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....
  19. Kylaen

    Kylaen Well-Known Member

    Ah with pump I'd needa vertical foregrip, so maybe just a semi-auto carbine.
  20. thunder173

    thunder173 Well-Known Member

    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'................??

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