Bolt action rifles are durable and reliable. They are ideal if you need a rifle that will serve you for years. If you’re looking for the best hunting rifles, then consider action bolt rifles. The rifles are accurate, powerful, and pretty versatile for various types of hunting.
However, you must first know how to choose the best bolt action rifle for shooting. I know deciding on the ideal action rifle can be a challenging process. There are several choices on the market to consider.
One of the best ways to choose a bolt action rifle is to use the backward induction. This is theoretical reasoning where you look at the end result and choose the most fitting rifle. Below are some steps to follow when choosing a bolt action rifle.
The first and most important consideration is the rifle cartridge. You need to make sure the rifle is chambered for the right cartridges. The ideal bolt action rifle should match your hunting cartridges. Most people confuse bullets with cartridges. Bullets form part of a cartridge.
There are varieties of rifle cartridges on the market. Luckily for you, most bolt action rifles fit a wide array of cartridges. You’ll find cartridges labeled caliber which goes to show the diameter of the bullet.
Generally, the chambering of the action bolt rifles will determine the kind of hunting or shooting you’ll perform. For example, the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridges are ideal for long-range hunting. If you’re looking to hunt big game, then consider rifles that support big bullets and cartridges.
Rifle action type and materials
Next, you need to consider the rifle action type and materials. Rifles can be divided into two main categories. These are the single shot and repeaters. A single shot, just as the name implies, is a rifle that allows you to fire a single shot before putting in a new cartridge. It’s also known as a push feed rifle.
We also have the repeater rifles which can hold several cartridges at once. Action rifles just as the name suggests have actions through which they eject cartridges.
Single-shot rifles tend to be sleek and appear elegant. Some hunters like them for their sleek and stylish looks. Single-shot action rifles are more like the historical rifles used in the old days. They create a feeling of nostalgia which some hunters like.
However, single-shot action rifles are not the easiest to use. They pose some challenges which some hunters prefer. In addition, single-shot action rifles can be categorized further into more classes.
The repeating action rifles also come in different classes. These include pump action rifles, bolt-action rifles, and automatic and lever-action rifles.
If you’re a beginner and choose a bolt action rifle for the first time, then consider a repeating action rifle. While single-shot rifles are accurate and elegant, you need skills and experience to handle them correctly. Shortly, I will discuss the experience as a consideration.
Apart from the rifle type, you also need to consider the materials used in construction. Bolt action rifles feature different construction materials. You can choose stainless steel or carbon steel materials.
Stainless steel action rifles are the most durable and reliable. However, they tend to cost more than carbon steel rifles. Rifle stocks also feature fiberglass or wood material. Different materials impact guns differently. For example, wood offers a unique feel in your hands. Make sure you choose a bolt action rifle that feels comfortable in your hands.
The current level of experience
Your experience level is another important factor when choosing a new rifle. If you’re relatively new to shooting, then consider a light bolt action rifle. There are several small bolt action rifle calibers on the market to consider.
For example, the .22 caliber is recommended for new shooters. It is easy to use and quite affordable. The rifle can offer you a great experience before choosing higher caliber rifles.
Any beginner rifle needs to be easy to use and maintain. You don’t want a high-caliber rifle that will be difficult to operate at first.
You also need to choose the right bolt size. With bolt action rifles, there are different sizes of bolts to choose from. Bolt size is crucial especially when you want to make changes to your rifle. Are you looking to customize your rifle further?
Rifles with small bolt action diameters offer short bolt lifts. Rifles with a larger action bolt on the other hand offer smoother throws. There is no wrong or right bolt size. It all comes down to what works in your situation.
You’ll need to use optics when in the field. Does the rifle accept optics? Whatever the purpose, make sure you choose a bolt action rifle that supports different optics. The ideal rifle should support various optic attachments.
There are action rifles that even feature a built-in scope frame. Such rifles allow for easy optic fitting and shooting. This is important especially if you’re using rifles for long-range hunting.
Make sure you determine the purpose of the rifle before making a purchase decision. Bolt action rifles come in different calibers to suit different needs. You can only choose the right caliber when you understand the purpose.
For example, a .50 caliber works perfectly for deer hunting while a .30 caliber works for squirrel hunting. On the other hand, a .22 Magnum is suitable for rabbit hunting. As you can see, different gun calibers are best suited for different uses.
There are also bolt action rifles best suited for survival situations.
You’re not going to make a decision on the right bolt action rifle without considering your budget. How much are you willing to spend?
However, the good news is that most bolt-action rifles are affordable. You can get a pretty decent rifle for long-range hunting at less than $300.
Well, that’s it from me! I hope you can now confidently choose a bolt action rifle. Knowing what to consider when making that decision is crucial. Make sure you understand the rifle purpose, cartridge chambering, rifle action, materials, bolt size, and if they support optics.
You can be sure of finding the best bolt action rifles by following our comprehensive guide.
Source: https://www.barrettrifles.com, https://www.wikipedia.org, https://www.fieldandstream.com