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I have always been a firm believer that the bolt action rifle was the most accurate of the actions. On the other hand, by my (potentially weak) theory, a single shot or a rolling block would be equally accurate. I guess my thoughts on semi autos being dependent upon springs is what always made me feel this way. A number of factors, including temp, humidity, elevation and who knows what else, makes the metal of the spring react differently to the force of the bolt.

Reason I'm bringing this up is strictly for friendly debate? I see a lot of military snipers using AR based rifles now for sharpshooting purposes, so what gives? Apparently the military is not of the same belief that I am...or are they?

What are your opinions?
 

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Theoretically, a single shot has the most accuracy potential.

A top tier semi auto can't compete with a top-tier bolt action. That said, a top tier bolt action is not necessary to hit a man-sized target.

Often considered the gold-standard of WWII sniper rifles, the Enfield sniper was under 2 MOA at 100 yards. A halfway decent modern AR could do that or less, and can fire a second shot quickly.

Also, sharpshooting is different from sniping. Whereas a sniper might take a shot at 1000 yards, a sharpshooter usually works within 300 yards.
 

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It takes a complete "system" for accuracy, the type of action is just one factor. Most bolt action rifles will be pretty accurate out of the box today, but the same can be said with semi-auto's like a precision built AR platform or M1A.
While some style of single shot rifles can be very accurate, most won't come close to other types of action's because in most cases the barrel isn't free floating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I know sharpshooting and Sniping are different. I find sharpshooter is used in a civilian sense (police sharpshooter) and sniper is used in Military. Not always, but most times.

True Tx! Most of your inexpensive rifles today are single shot/break-overs, made with budget in mind, and are not really accurate. But I believe, if I knew more about building rifles, and I wanted to build the most accurate rifle I could, it would be some type of single shot.
 

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A lot of what we thought we knew bout
I have always been a firm believer that the bolt action rifle was the most accurate of the actions. On the other hand, by my (potentially weak) theory, a single shot or a rolling block would be equally accurate. I guess my thoughts on semi autos being dependent upon springs is what always made me feel this way. A number of factors, including temp, humidity, elevation and who knows what else, makes the metal of the spring react differently to the force of the bolt.

Reason I'm bringing this up is strictly for friendly debate? I see a lot of military snipers using AR based rifles now for sharpshooting purposes, so what gives? Apparently the military is not of the same belief that I am...or are they?

What are your opinions?
A lot of what we thought about accuracy has gone by the way with the advent of cheap AR that group like bolt Guns once did. Buffer spring power does not matter as long as it is the same each time. From a cold barrel thickness/rigidity does not matter much beyond a certain point. Even chamber size and lead does not matter much if the bullet is loaded straight in the case and a factory type crimp is achieved.

What was science for so long may not apply. While we were glass bedding everything and setting bullets .0001 off the grooves Lee invented their factory crimpers and taught us that lead does not matter if the bullets are straight in the case and crimp was equal around the neck. Suddenly good ammo mattered more than other criteria. I once had a Rem 7400 30-06 that would shoot .5 moa with one factory load.

Suddenly $500 ARs would shoot as good as $2500 ARs, only real difference was the triggers on them. Barrels scopes and all that had no value as to accuracy, all contrary to the science of 1970. Spring tension went away as a variable long ago. Us bolt guys hate that. The lock up of a round at firing should matter, but not so much now.

I shoot at 500 yards or less.0-300 glass does not matter in sunlight but neck tension does, go figure. Once we get where every gun shoots one inch does it really matter, except for sniping people?
 

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Gas tuning is the key to buffer / bolt movement . The gas’s to the bcg should not be enough to start the carrier moving before the bullet exits the barrel . I have a 300 Bo and a 6.8 set up with rifle speed gas blocks that allow going from closed to wide open by just turning the sleeve and at 200 yds there isn’t an measurable difference between open and closed. If you have a
an over gassed 5.56 carbine it might be a different story .


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MSR Shooter and Builder, Precision Bolt Action Rim & Center Fire enthusiast. Glock & 1911 pistoleer
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And in retrospect if accuracy was the goal above all else you could get a 3-4" diameter BA barrel blank and make a chassis for it where Action type may not matter.
Although I don't know how a semi auto would function with such a barrel.
But the idea is minimal and consistent vibration.
The rest has been mentioned above
However realistically these are not typical hunting or law enforcement or military rifles.
 

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Gas tuning is the key to buffer / bolt movement . The gas’s to the bcg should not be enough to start the carrier moving before the bullet exits the barrel . I have a 300 Bo and a 6.8 set up with rifle speed gas blocks that allow going from closed to wide open by just turning the sleeve and at 200 yds there isn’t an measurable difference between open and closed. If you have a
an over gassed 5.56 carbine it might be a different story .


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
That’s the big thing right there. If the action hasn’t started to move until after the bullet exit, the semi is still a locked action for the whole bullet path thru the barrel. Springs make zero difference, they don’t hold the action shut.
The quality of the bolt fit to its locking lugs could be a factor. Any action can suffer from worn lugs or excessive headspace, though semi-autos are likely to fire more rounds, inviting faster wear. But modern semi-autos are easy to rebuild.
 

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i use an AR-15 type rifle as my varmint rig.
i like it so much i simply had another upper built and added on the same scope.
bang bang bang pop 2 pins throw on the other upper and bang bang bang again.
no muss no fuss, and the barrel doesn't get too hot.
they both shoot 0.5" no problems, and the ammo is easy to make, as are the bullets they both use when sierra has the jackets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
i use an AR-15 type rifle as my varmint rig.
i like it so much i simply had another upper built and added on the same scope.
bang bang bang pop 2 pins throw on the other upper and bang bang bang again.
no muss no fuss, and the barrel doesn't get too hot.
they both shoot 0.5" no problems, and the ammo is easy to make, as are the bullets they both use when sierra has the jackets.
I’m with you Run, I recently purchased an AR pistol in 6.5 Grendel. It has a 10” barrel, and I would bet I could shoot .5” or better, all day long at 100 yards. Firearm quality has really picked up in the last 10 years, especially in the AR apartment.
 

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I got this off another forum (don't remember which one) quite a while back and this prompted me to purchase the 223 Wylde barrels for all my builds. You might find it useful when discussing differences.

View attachment 177138
The reason a lot io guys buy the 223 instead of the 5.56 or the Wylde chamber is because of the old myth that only when the bullet actually touches the lands will it have it's best accuracy. Weatherby and their half inch guarantee proved that false. My 257 Weatherby has a gap of 0.378 inches and my 300 has a jump of 0.361 inches before the bullet hits the rifling and starts the spin. Some of the Wby have a 3/4 inch jump. My 257 will do under 0.5 inches and the 300 which has had well over 1000 rounds will get under 1 inch. It is the concentric neck and crimp that solves that problem., in my opinion.

I like the 5.56 chamber best but understand why many prefer the Wylde. I have a bolt gun in 223 and cannot make it shoot any better than the 5.56 guns. I also have a single shot in 223, but do not find it any better than the 5.56. So, my take is with Weatherby, it is the bullet that matters, not the lead or extra space in the chamber.

We have a local police agency that insisted on the Wylde chambers in their guns recently. Lots of people preferr them. Opinions vary.and I really do not think it matters in terms of accuracy. But None of mine are Wyldes, So I really only know what I read.

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My hangout gun store gunsmith operator/owners are long range shooters. It is also the cracker barrel hang out for most local long range shooters. One of the operators is a close pal and is my retired Provost Marshal where I work.
In short, both the fellas shoot long range AR platform rifles.

Our sniper rifles at work were Ruger 77s, .308s. They sufficed for quite a few years until we were furnished with Army issued sniper bolt action .308 Remington rifles. Yes, they are very accurate and we like the adjustable stocks.

My personal rifles are accurate and I have both semi and bolt rifles. Some did require some after market squeezing to reach what is acceptable but that is pretty much the norm if one doesn't have thousands more to invest in more expensive rifles.

Two of my most accurate rifles are Savage and I have a third Savage on order.
 
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