A bolt action rifle will be a suitable firearm for years to come if you pick a durable and dependable model. These rifles are renowned for their overall power, accuracy, and applicability for hunting various types of game. Here are five tips you need to know to buy a great bolt action rifle for your purposes.
Which Bolt Action Rifle to Buy?
Make Sure the Rifle is Chambered for the Right Cartridge
First and foremost, double-check that you look for a bolt action rifle that's suitable for your favorite hunting cartridges.
The good news is that you can find bolt action rifles suitable for most popular hunting cartridges from top firearm sellers, both in person and on the Internet.
The chambering of a bolt action rifle will determine what types of hunting you’ll be able to enjoy most often.
For instance, .223 Remington cartridges are old staples and perfect for general hunting or target practice.
Meanwhile, 6.5 Creedmoor cartridges are exceptional for long-range shooting.
Action Type Matters
There are two main types of bolt action rifles', well, actions: push feed and controlled feed.
Push feed bolt action rifles use a newer system that lets you push cartridges forward into your rifle’s chamber more quickly, without having to hold onto the cartridge with the bolt.
This results in faster and easier operation.
However, make sure that you buy a rifle with good materials, since poor materials may cause the magazine rails not to match up with the case properly.
On the flipside, controlled feed systems use an extractor that holds the rim of the cartridge very tightly as it moves into the chamber.
It physically pulls the case clear until it’s removed out of the action by the built-in ejector.
Either way can work for your purposes, but consider both types of systems before making a final choice.
Choose Your Bolt Size Carefully
Similarly, there are several sizes of bolts you can pick with a bolt action rifle, especially if you buy from a vendor that lets you customize the build.
Generally, rifles with larger bolts provide smoother bolt throws, meaning you’ll be able to take faster follow-up shots.
Other bolt action rifles that have smaller bolt diameters will feature shorter bolt lifts.
There’s no right or wrong answer here, but it’s something to keep in mind as you browse all the excellent bolt action rifles on the market.
Always Buy a Rifle Made with Good Materials
It’s imperative that you buy a rifle made with top-tier materials.
While budget-friendly rifles do exist and are great for general fun or for beginner shooters, if you want an excellent bolt action rifle, you'll prioritize guns that are made with stainless steel, carbon steel, select polymers, and so on.
Material durability plays a huge role in overall firearm lifespan and accuracy.
Durable rifles won’t suffer from corrosive damage and will be more resistant to malfunctions when used in inclement weather.
Meanwhile, there is a marked difference between a barrel made of carbon steel and a barrel made of regular steel in terms of accuracy at a distance.
Make Sure It Can Accept Optics
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Lastly, we’d recommend that you consider whether a given bolt action rifle will accept optical attachments.
Some excellent bolt action rifles may even come with a scope built into the frame, although customizable rails or mounting systems are preferable since you can combine the rifle with your favorite optic.
Regardless, your bolt action rifle will be more accurate, and you’ll enjoy hunting much more if you can pair the gun with a great scope.
All in all, there are tons of excellent bolt action rifles out there. Keep these five tips in mind as you browse to make sure you grab the perfect gun for your needs.
What's the bolt action rifle you've been eyeing on? Let us know in the comments section!