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Why an AR over a good bolt gun?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by wickedsprint, May 28, 2009.

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  1. wickedsprint

    wickedsprint Member

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    Besides the cool factor, why the craziness over ARs? Don't get me wrong, they're fun as heck to shoot..but the prices have gotten silly.

    A good bolt-action rifle with irons or a scope with few exceptions will be more accurate.

    A good bolt-action will be more reliable, and at the moment probably half the price.

    A bolt-action rifle does not seem to need much, if any in the way of spare parts for its entire life.

    For these advantages you'll be giving up extra capacity and the ability to dispatch multiple threats running at you at once. You'll also be giving up the ability to easily switch uppers for a caliber swap..but that is not a big selling point since uppers cost as much as a bolt-action rifle.


    If ARs were this spendy and hard to find when I got mine, I would not have bothered.

    So why the continued AR craze in light of recent prices and availability issues?
     
  2. shaggy430

    shaggy430 Member

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  3. Floppy_D

    Floppy_D Member In Memoriam

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    The answer is a Vinn diagram. If you write down all of the reasons people buy AR's in one circle, and all of the reasons people buy bolt guns in another circle, they'll overrlap, but only partially. I'll take both, thanks. :)
     
  4. wickedsprint

    wickedsprint Member

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    If people were being honest with the reasons, they should overlap more than partially, more like mostly.
     
  5. ParaElite

    ParaElite Member

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    ARs have a better resale value. Bolt action rifles take longer to sell than ARs.
    Given the right barrels and triggers, ARs can be just as accurate as a Bolt gun unless you are talking about the gilt edge accuracy of the Bench Rest shooting fraternity's bolt action rifles.
    Have you seen the price of bolt action rifles lately? Check the prices on Remington rifles.
    ARs are semi-automatic which gives them a huge advantage in shooting competitions like 3 gun and the National Matches at Camp Perry where you get to shoot rapid fire sequences. Bolt actions are no match here (pun intended).
    I could go on.
     
  6. RugerOldArmy

    RugerOldArmy Member

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    Come now, you know the answer goes beyond accuracy and semi-auto capability.

    Ironic, isn't it? Sales of AR's go through the roof when a liberal democrat is elected. Yet it makes sense: Folks want to get an AR before any 2nd amendment ignoring Clinton-esque ban on semi-autos is passed by a far left congress, and signed by a presidental democrat from Daley-led Illinois.

    I'd go so far as to say that the shortage of factory ammo and reloading components, as well as the booming gun sales, are the results of the election. The sheeple have elected this president for this ambiguous 'change', he promised, yet fear the change is infringement on their Second Amendment rights.
     
  7. kcmarine

    kcmarine Member

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    1. Semi- automatic
    2. Lighter recoil (depending on what caliber the bolt action is)
    3. More ammunition choices in one platform
    4. Semi- automatic
    5. Parts out the wazoo to make the rifle yours
    6. Newer idea... bolt actions lost their sheen years ago
    7. It's black
    8. Semi- automatic
    9. Actually, a lot of gun for what you pay...
    10. The military uses it
    11. The average new Model 700 isn't that much less expensive than the average new AR-15.
    12. Semi- automatic
    13. Politically incorrect. Whatever is disdained by the anti's the most likely to be embraced by the likes of us. A lot of anti's say they "don't have a problem with hunting rifles". Well, up theirs. We'll get what they DON'T like.
    14. And so on and so forth.
     
  8. jdh

    jdh Member

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    I'll be willing to bet you that if I rebuilt my prairie dog rifle today it would cost as much or more than an AR of equal accuracy.

    Just to buy a Remington action from brownells or midway is $350. Barrel blank $400. Semi-finished stock $200. Good trigger $200. Right there is the price of an AR. Now add in the labor to but it all togeather correctly.

    So far I have just under $750 in parts and have a shootable AR HBAR that I put togeather without paying gobs of maney to a gunsmith for machine work.
     
  9. Kindrox

    Kindrox Member

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    What KC said. Your question though seem more about semi-auto than bolt versus ar15 since I think most any rifle with ar15 similarities has probably seen the same price inflation.

    The AR15 base price must be rooted in reality, since there is a lot of compitition in the space and prices of a good basic ar15 have never really dropped below $800 or so since I have been a shooter.

    The price inflation is demand brought on by fears of a ban.

    But why the ar15? The ar15 is America's rifle.
     
  10. Arbor

    Arbor Member

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    You can fire it thirty times in a row instead of one. There's nothing about that I don't like.
     
  11. RugerOldArmy

    RugerOldArmy Member

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    There's a lot of truth in that too. AR(s) are the Harley-Davidson of rifles. There is a HUGE array of parts to customize your AR. There are a lot for a Rem 700 too, but the availability of options for an AR drawfs that of the 700.
     
  12. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    Take away the political stuff and there are still plenty of valid reasons.

    I saw a post earlier this week from a guy who put his first AR together for $600-700. That's not bad at all.

    As for bolt guns being "more accurate" there comes a time to ask, so what? For most purposes a 2MOA gun is sufficient. You can hunt, protect yourself, and have a great time at a 100 yard range with a 2-3 MOA gun. Accurate is "better" exactly how? For real life use does it matter? More fun maybe, but more useful? I don't see it.

    Spare parts? Oh I dunno. Most shooters don't shoot AR's or any gun enough to wear things out. Heck, I have an old Bushmaster with several thousand rounds through it that's never needed a spare part. And really, a spare kit is a few bucks and a ziploc bag anyway.

    Even removing the tacticool and political stuff I can still see plenty of reasons to consider the AR or other mag fed semi over a bolt action.

    Not to take away from bolt actions, certainly have their place just like anything else, but for what most people use rifles for I can't see any advantage the bolt has.
     
  13. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    The AR15 is probably the most widespread semi-auto rifle in the USA and has been used by the military for what, 50 years now? Why would anyone not want one?

    I don't really get the original premise of the question. If you want a semi-auto, get a semi auto. If you want a bolt gun, then get one. They are two entirely different designs. I'm sure I'm not the only one who owns both. Occassionally their use case may overlap (small game hunting?) but overall I'd say that is not the rule, but the exception.
     
  14. Arbor

    Arbor Member

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    My $919 Stag Arms AR is capable of shooting right about 1" at 100, which is definitely bolt gun territory and actually better than most of them.

    With cheap ammo.
     
  15. RockyMtnTactical

    RockyMtnTactical Member

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    This is kind of a silly question.
     
  16. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    A Venn diagram is a terrific idea.

    It all depends on your priorities. I think a sturdy bolt-action somewhere in the 7.62x39mm to 7mm Remington Magnum range is a terrific choice for many things. One of the best things about such a rifle is familiarity. If you're used to carrying such a rifle through the woods for a few weeks every year looking for big game, it may be perfect for even your proposed defensive needs.

    If I want a "do everything" rifle, I'll grab my 1903 or 1917. If the Khoikhoi are over-running my boma, I'll take a high-capacity autoloading carbine or rifle, thank you.

    J
     
  17. wickedsprint

    wickedsprint Member

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    I expect nothing less than this response based on your screen name :)


    As far as the prices for a bolt gun, compare the cheapest Remington 700 to the cheapest AR..the 700 is going to be significantly cheaper.

    I'm merely asking why people keep buying them when their prices have sky rocketed...considering a Bolt-action will be more practical for most people, even in the civil unrest situations they fantasize about :)

    So it seems the real answer is not one of practicality, it's simply desire, which is perfectly acceptable. For the record I also have both...but I certainly don't like it enough to pay today's prices.
     
  18. Still Too Many Choices!?

    Still Too Many Choices!? Member

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    Simple enough to answer,ROF - rate of fire...
     
  19. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    a bolt action isn't more practical. that's an absurd statement.

    people are buying them because they think the prices will go even higher. it's no different than asking why some people are still buying gold over $900/oz. they think it's going higher. duh.

    or, maybe they are just willing to pay for the FUNCTIONALITY you can't get from a bolt.

    fwiw, I haven't paid extra for the ARs I've purchased since the election.
     
  20. xbox360

    xbox360 member

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    Do I need one? No. Do I want one? Oh yeah!
    go get an enfield,mosin nagant,german mauser kar98k

    any one of those is so much fun to shoot [bolt action :D]
     
  21. wickedsprint

    wickedsprint Member

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    So outside of wars and LEO use, how exactly is an AR15 more practical?
     
  22. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Because an AR is a toy that appeals to the videogame generation, and to people like me just because I can...

    I don't actually USE the things very often any more due to ammo costs. (Okay, my .22LR upper gets some rounds through it!)

    For reloading and accuracy-per-dollar, I'll take a good bolt, thank you.

    If you handload your ammo carefully, and know enough about guns to care about your barrel, the appeal of spraying a few hundred rounds in a few minutes fades rapidly, at least once you've "gotten it out of your system" as Mom used to say...

    A bolt gun is actually more "practical" in a lot of ways. Which one has actually brought home dinner more? Bolt action sporters, or ARs?

    WRT sales, remember, most ARs sold in the past 6 months probably haven't been sold to people like those who hang out here and shoot at targets a few hundred yards out.

    Go to a range, and you'll see the broken target frames at 25 yards, the yahoo behavior, etc., and you'll see two things: a lot of people can't shoot worth CRAP, and there's a REASON that experienced shooters are sometimes not excited when someone shows up with an AR (until he/she proves to be a competent, safe shooter anyway). The slang term for the things that I've heard? "Noisemakers."

    So it's a mixed bag.

    Nothing against the AR platform. However, if you think that everyone buying one since Obama got elected can keep 10 rounds on paper at 100 yards, or knows the difference between rifle shooting and noisemaking, you need to get out more.:)
     
  23. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    as has been stated repeatedly

    it has a higher rate of fire
    you don't have to move your hands or head between shots
    it is lighter than most bolt guns
    it is more maneuverable
    it has less recoil than most bolt guns
    it has more capacity
    it is shorter and easier to carry
    it is modular and easily adaptable to almost any use


    you have yet to offer any support for why a bolt gun is more practical. it sounds like you're just whining about the price of AR15s.
     
  24. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    AB, i agree with most of your posts, but anyone who has ever shown up to a public range the month before deer season knows that the vast majority of bolt-gun shooters can't even hit a paper plate at 25 yards.

    i don't see much truth behind any sort of claim that AR shooters as a group are less safe or accurate
     
  25. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    That's also true.

    My point was not that AR shooters as a group as less safe or accurate, though many think so, and with good reason. (Comment to me after someone saw my target: "Well, you're someone with one of those things who can actually shoot it. That's a good thing!") Maybe where you shoot, everyone is a competitive shooter and has an AR. That's not my world, nor the world many of us live in.:) And if there's no kernel of truth to this, why do you find the immediate need to respond defensively?

    My point was this:

    1. Most people who are buying ARs like hotcakes right now are not buying them because they're practical. They certainly haven't carefully compared ARs with bolt guns and made a thoughtful choice. Maybe they'd all choose ARs if they did, but that's not my point.

    2. If only serious competitive shooters in the US would be buying the ARs, the only company selling them would still be Colt, with some cottage-industry custom 'smiths on the side. There wouldn't be enough business to support what we see today.

    3. You can see it right now at the range, just like you can before deer season with bolt guns, lever guns, whatever.

    So, trying to figure out why people are buying ARs like they are right now by assuming that they're making educated, rational decisions about high-end firearms won't work. That's not what's happening.:)
     
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