Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by WoodchuckAssassin, Feb 5, 2014.
Plenty of high priced national match semis will outshoot run of the mill bolt guns, but there are also plenty of bolt guns that will outshoot semis.
It is an empty argument to make claims about ultimate performace/accuracy unless you're focused on that area of shooting.
The important question is what type of shooting do you want to do and what sort of firearm is best suited for it.
In general your Grandpa might be right especially if he has shot some war time manufactured semi-autos. Like mentioned above, try and tell me a National Match M1 Garand isn't accurate because they are at the top IMO.
As for the SKS, I own one and it's fairly accurate, more so than my AK-47 for the most part. It's a well made semi-auto that has some weight to it and it's a longer rifle so it's easier to shoot well. How about the FAL? Those are very accurate rifles as are other "well made" battle rifles. (I focused on battle rifles because you mentioned the SKS)
It would be Chinese, the Japanese never made SKS's.
And 2" with an SKS and open sights is pretty good.
On the other hand, I'd give the edge to bolt actions overall. Just my opinion.
Your bar is set too low
I used to shoot a Russian SKS back in the 90s out to 200 with irons, reliably hitting a 4" gong. They're not tack drivers - they weren't ever made to fill that expectation - but those suckers are far more accurate than most give them credit for, and enough to 'get the job done' at a decent range. 75-100? Easy!
As for the general action comparison, I think it's hard to do that without understanding more about the requirements of the task at hand. I shoot a semi-auto at 200, 300 and 600 yards and know that if I do my job, it does its job really well. However, semi-autos usually need sloppier tolerances to accommodate a violent and imprecise action, along with an expectation of dirt, oil, and other rough operating conditions. The best bolt-action, made for the pristine bench environment with classical music playing in the background, is going to outperform a semi-auto in a pure tack-driving exercise all day long.
So, I think your grandpa's right, in a vacuum. The rifle itself may be more accurate, but perhaps not as "effective" in different conditions as a semi-auto or lever action.
yes there are a lot more moving parts on semi autos which can affect how the ammunition reacts and some semis are just not made to the same standards as others. now a lot of AR15s made today are more than capable of 1 inch groups and there are bolt actions that can't do better than 3 inches at 100 yards.
now since you specifically referenced the SKS in the title I will tell you my personal experience. MY sks is a lot more accurate than most people think. my older brother and brother in law grew up in a time where SKS cost about $90, the ammo was cheaper than 22LR is now and everyone and anyone that owned one slapped on some plastic dragunov stock, bolted on a scope to a non-stable part of the rifle, threw in a modified AK47 magazine, and expected good accuracy, and decent reliability from them. most were disappointed when they were making 3-4 inch groups and jammed every other shot. this lead them and all their friends with the cheap commie guns to assume that all SKS were inaccurate and unreliable.
fast forward about 12 years and I bought my SKS for $240. I tried to keep it a secret from them since I didn't want to deal with the ridicule and sure enough they found out and I haven't lived it down since. however the sights on the SKS are not easy to shoot accurately with and the stock on mine was unserviceable due to shrinkage so $160 later I had an SKS with a different set of sights and a very nicely fitted stock. my brother in law brought out some tannerite a few weeks back. after filling a number of medication bottles with tannerite, he asked me to grab a rifle that could hit a pill bottle at 75 yards that had a velocity of at least 2000 feet per second. he was irked when I grabbed my SKS but I stuck with it and since he doesn't have the combo to my gun safe he had to just deal with it. every shot hit each pill bottle and with every pull of the trigger another explosion rang out as the tannerite ignited. he has since, not said a single word about my inaccurate, piece of junk SKS, I think he is starting to see that there is a difference between a well accessorized SKS and a well configured SKS.
im just not that good or other posters here have that internet exaggeration going on. or they used match ammo they didn't mention?
i figured a scope on the sks would improve things but i'll get a bolt action or break open rifle with scope for long distance.
deleted> at 50. this guy with a h&r 45/70 break open had bullet holes touching at 25 and 50 yards. he would not try 100 yards no matter how much i suggested it.
in general maybe you can say bolts are more accurate, but there are many exceptions..
I had a mini-14 and a BAR that were very disappointing @ the bench. likewise I've never seen a SKS or AK that did any better.
I just sold a Ruger M77 because my AR10 shot MUCH tighter groups
Small group paper punching just isn't what my SKS was built for.
as for the guy that lives in a place devoid of marksmanship skills, I feel sorry for you. many of the people where I'm from won't shoot less than 100 yards unless they are just trying to get their gun on paper. I normally shoot from sandbags while I'm at my local range since they require you to shoot from the bench and very few of my rifles are incapable of less than 5 inches at 100. now shooting freehand that is all a different story but that is not a representation of the rifle's accuracy but rather, mine.
At this short a range my experience has been anything that is safe to shoot is fine for about anything other than bragging about how small your group sizes are off a bench rest.
I love it when people assume things they can't know. You weren't there the last time I shot my SKS at 100 yards. At least I didn't see you there. Were you hiding in the weeds?
You and your "certified expert" opinion obviously don't know what an SKS is capable of doing. Unless you're shooting one with the trigger fixed to factory standards you won't shoot groups like that. But that trigger makes a huge difference. I've been shooting off hand all my life. Maybe I'm not certifiable like you but I can shoot a rifle. I have the record to back that up too since we're dragging that stuff into the discussion. Where do you live? Maybe you can stop by and I'll give you a demonstration.
be careful with that slippery slope.
I think that over the past decade, maybe two, great strides forward have been made in the pursuit of extreme accuracy. Semi automatic AR15 type rifles have reached a level of potential that their M16A1 progenitors could not have imagined. They have become quite accurate.
But then progress has not exactly passed bolt actioned rifles by either... Here in the last couple decades we have the introduction of some fantastic rifles capable of the 0's or low 1's. A BAT or Stolle Panda, or any of several other bolt actioned rifles can be an amazing experience.
It may be talking out of school, but I have not yet seen a semi automatic rifle capable of that kind of accuracy consistently. So, while accurate rifles have become more accurate, whether bolt actioned or semi automatic, and the bar has been raised consequently, I hazard to say that OP's grandfather is probably right.
SKS's come in all kinds of conditions ranging from unfired to shot out, and from various countries with varied build qualities. I have a 1951 Russian that will shoot 1.5" groups @ 50 yards (with HORNADY ammo, from a bench) all day long and effortlessly, and I had a "paratrooper" Norinco that had lived a long hard life and shot 4-5" patterns at 50 yards, no matter what you fed it. So there is so much variation within SKS's, that just trying to determine "how accurate is an SKS" is an endless discussion all by itself.
So the closest thing to a reasonable comparison would be to specify an SKS country of origin and year of manufacture, and then attempt to find a comparable (quality and use) mil-surp in a bolt action from a similar year and country of origin, and then see how their accuracy compared. Otherwise, we're just throwing stuff at the wall.
SKS carbines were designed as sturdy combat rifles. Expecting target grade accuracy is unrealistic.
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