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Single shot vs. repeating action rifle

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Old 09-28-2003, 12:28 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 95
Single shot vs. repeating action rifle

I've been deliberating for months now over whether or not I will go with a single shot or repeating action in the 6.5mm rifle I plan to have built in the coming months. But still, I am undecided. I respect the single shot by virtue of the rigidity it lends to the complete rifle. On the other hand, the repeating action provides for quick finishing shots in the event of a first shot that wounds rather than kills. However, last night I heard a rather compelling argument for going with the former type action as opposed to the latter when, in the course of conversation about the matter with an acquaintance who isn't even a shooting enthusiast, I heard this: "If a man so deeply fancies the kind of hunting wherein he uses his rifle to reach out to extraordinary distances, comparatively speaking, to dispatch his game, then it stands to reason that that man should be willing to take his medicine in the event that he fails to do this with only one cartridge. That being the case, why would such a man need a repeating rifle?" (This acquaintance is an Englishman!).

How say you, my friends?

If you can see it, then you can hit it!
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Old 09-28-2003, 07:48 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: lubbock
Posts: 43
Re: Single shot vs. repeating action rifle

That guy sounds like an idiot! If you wound an animal it is your RESPOSIBILITY to take it down quickly and put it out of it's misery. I know " hunters" who hunt for the sake of shooting at stuff and they make me sick. I am not an animal rights activist but I also would get really uppset if someone in our hunting camp told me they wounded one but didn't drop it. I have gone out all night tracking animals before for other people , usualy to find them dead from a slow agonizing painful wound, but sometimes to find them limping around on three legs. I put them down quickly the best I can then beat the tar out of the responsible hunter for not tracking it down himself.
BTW: I use an m-14 type sniper rifle. I usualy go for a hopefully painless headshot but if I do wound at least I can get them with the other 19 rounds in the mag. I thanfully have never had to use more than one follow up shot but just in case they are there.
Ya know my favorite hunters are the ones who bring their hunting rifles to me the week before deer season to clean then as soon as they get it back they hit the woods and never even bother to practice or sight it in. Once a year shooter. There should be a law against it. They wound more animals on opening day than all of us here would in a lifetime.

[ 09-28-2003: Message edited by: m14dan ]
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Old 09-28-2003, 10:36 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 2,124
Re: Single shot vs. repeating action rifle

The FLAW in that statement is that if a poor shot is made and the animal is wounded and left to suffer; who is "taking the medicine", the shooter or the animal?

The answer is: the animal 1st and the entire shooting fraternity 2nd.

Just my 2 cents

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Old 09-28-2003, 07:45 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 95
Re: Single shot vs. repeating action rifle

In the interest of being fair to our Englishman, he was more concerned about the the hunter who takes 'sighter shots'. We'd be naive to think that alot of LR hunters don't do this! To be sure, he meant by saying a hunter should take his medicine when engaged in such a pursuit as LRH in those instances where he completely misses his target with a first shot. Of course, neither of us gave a thought to the subject of dangerous game hunting.

So, assuming that I build the subject rifle around a single shot action (like a benchrest rifle), which I believe makes for a more accurate rifle (the most accurate rifles are invariably single shot rifles), how much does this handicap me in those instances where my first round completely misses the target, but the target can be reacquired for a second shot. (Remember guys, this is something that has happened to me in more than 50% of the cases where I've killed game at > 350 yards.) Or, should I just, as Dr. Field (the Englishman) says, no longer concern myself with it?


[ 09-28-2003: Message edited by: Houston Boy ]
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Old 09-28-2003, 08:14 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: McNeal, AZ
Posts: 368
Re: Single shot vs. repeating action rifle


It sounds to me that your friend, Dr. Field, is a pretty smart fellow.

Follow his advise, go with the single shot and spend the time needed in practice to learn how to make the first shot count.

Never depend on using a second shot to take an animal. Save the second shot for a second animal.

[ 09-28-2003: Message edited by: Tim Behle ]
If I can kill that coyote from here, Will you walk out to get him?
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Old 09-28-2003, 09:43 PM
Posts: n/a
Re: Single shot vs. repeating action rifle

I think that a single shot for longrange hunting isn't a hindrence as you should have enough time to pop in another round without much more time than with a repeater, you just have to be prepared with more rounds close by, JMHO.
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Old 09-28-2003, 11:10 PM
MAX MAX is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 263
Re: Single shot vs. repeating action rifle

Methinks this is a Quality Control issue of sorts. Shoot within the limitations of your weapon and yourself, and the action does not matter. That said, the single shot bolt gun is more accurate in the main, and at long range accuracy is required; more for a prairie dog than an elk at a given range but required nontheless.

"Limitations" is a slippery word BTW. With a little forethought and practice you might surprise yourself with speed of followup fire using a single shot. TOF at long range can be measured in long seconds, plenty for a reload at measured pace. I once jumped a 'herd' of pigs with a single shot H&R .410 in hand and 5 slugs, one in the chamber. I was out of ammo before they were gone and 3 little piggies were headed for the grill. [img]images/icons/cool.gif[/img] As a somewhat more serious note, PH's in Africa often backup with double rifles AND two extras between the fingers of the off hand. In a moment of need they have precious little time to reload, but their speed at doing so can be quite adequate. They have the practiced skill and confidence to play the game on that level, why wouldn't you?

Buy what you like and enjoy. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
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