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When it comes to shooting rifles, folks can be as passionate about the action type as they are about the calibers they prefer. It seems that each design has a niche, and yet all of them have been used for military, hunting, and target shooting applications. Is there one action type that can rule them all?
When it comes to speed of operation and ammunition capacity, the semi-automatic is king. The flexibility of this action makes it a popular choice in every shooting arena. However, this action type is more complex. As a result, it’s more likely to jam, malfunction, or to be less accurate than other designs. And yet, quality manufacturing combined with a good ammunition match seems to overcome these problems.
Bolt actions provide some of the best shooting there is. This action offers dependable accuracy and the chamber strength needed to handle large, powerful cartridges. The bolt design is relatively simple, which increases its reliability. The sacrifice that comes with this design is slower operational speeds and lower ammunition capacities. This action tends to be popular with hunters and folks who are looking for long range accuracy.
The venerable old lever action, often seen in cowboy movies, is still alive and kicking. Thanks to period reenactment organizations and committed shooters, manufacturers are still turning out these actions. Usually levers are found attached to handy, carbine sized rifles. Though commonly found chambered in .30-30 and pistol calibers, modern examples of this breed chambered in serious hunting calibers can be found in the marketplace.
Pump actions, also known as slide actions, are commonly associated with shotguns. But don’t let the sliding forearm fool you because pump action rifles are still on the shelf. The break actions also evoke visions of single-shot shotguns, but plenty of rifle variants are hanging around. The break action is possibly the most simple and sturdy of the common designs, but it limits the shooter to one shot per loading.
What qualities do you want in your rifle? Does it need to be sturdy, fast, powerful, accurate, or handy? Tell us which actions you are passionate about.
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