Why are so many sniper rifles bolt action rifles and not sem Jan 4, 2020 23:53:48 GMT
Post by magnum on Jan 4, 2020 23:53:48 GMT
Why are so many sniper rifles bolt action rifles and not semi or fully automatic
As a sniper, many answers here are good, they are close but not close enough.
The main reason why is because unlike semi-automatic rifles, a bolt action rifle has only one direction in which to vent all the gasses when the weapon is fired. Semi automatic weapons require some of the gasses to cycle back into the weapon to chamber the next round. This causes less consistent muzzle velocities compared to bolt action rifles which tremendously affects accuracy for precision shooting.
The next reason is the fact that semi automatics have more moving parts which affect the weapon’s harmonics(vibrations when the weapon is fired) which will greatly affect accuracy as well.
Bolt action rifles are not necessarily more rugged or solid and from my own experience, a lot of semi automatic rifles are in fact more rugged and less fragile.
The main ‘pro’ of bolt action rifles is accuracy, it is simply so much better than a semi automatic.
Bolt action rifles are also significantly cheaper than semi automatic sniper rifles. For example, the TRG-22, a bolt action system, retails at about $5,000–$7,000 with militarised optics and accessories. Compare this with another top of the line semi automatic system, the 1.3 MOA M110 SASS which costs an estimated $20,000-$30,000 per set(rifle, optics, accessories) last I checked. Keep in mind these are military grade systems designed to be bashed about, soldier proof, long lasting and still retain extreme accuracy.
In the civilian shooting world, I will admit my knowledge falters with the hundered and thousands of different rifles and variants. But from comments and from my own further research, there are rifles along the lines of a 16″ 1 MOA AR-15 for as little as $1000, but compare it with similar civilian/LE bolt action systems, that pales in comparison when you can buy a 1 MOA capable bolt action rifle for as little as $300 i.e the Savage 110.
Bolt action rifles are also so much easier to clean and maintain than a semi automatic rifle due to the lesser amount of parts. The amount of celaning involved in a bolt action rifle is minimal, basically wipe down the bolt and pull through the barrel a couple of times.
The semi automatic is as bad as cleaning your service rifle, you might end up spending hours cleaning and still never getting all of the carbon out. This is due to the gas being cycled back and getting stuck of the more numerous parts in the semi automatic system, even if the rifle uses a gas piston, some fouling will still get back into the weapon.
The biggest con of a bolt action rifles is that it is slow. Having to cycle the bolt manually and reaccquire the target will cost you about 3 seconds with practice, in my country its the minimum requirement for a follow on shot at the same dope. With the semi automatic rifle, you can make rapid follow on shots and not have your position or sight picture change.
Semi automatics are mainly used for urban engagements where target engagement distances are shorter and faster. They are also used as a defensive weapon in a sniper team(in my country at least) should the enemy attempt to assault your location, you have a very accurate rapid fire weapon system that can buy you time to extricate.
I must emphasise that most modern semi automatic precision sniper rifles are very very accurate and not in the same class/role of an assault rifle, you would be comparing accuracy of sub 1.5 MOA to assault rifles that have 5 MOA, go figure. But for extremesub 1 MOA accuracy, nothing can beat a bolt gun.