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Single shot vs. repeating action rifle

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Unread 09-29-2003, 05:15 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 95
Re: Single shot vs. repeating action rifle

To my gracious LRH comrades,
Thank you for your advice and encouragement. And know that it really is the stuff on which I rely to make tough decisions such as this. Of course, when I submit questions to this forum, I do so without trying to lead anyone into arguing for or against one or the other side of the case. But now that it seems the single shot would be the honorable LR hunters choice, I just wanted to list the reasons why I have struggled with the decision to make this next rifle (which will probably be my last for many years) a single shot versus a repeater.

Single shot actioned rifles are more rigid/stronger than repeating actioned rifles by virture of the much greater amount of continuous steel in them. Also, we are required to remove far less material from the action area of our stock when bedding such an action, making for a much greater stock to action mating surface. Interestingly, a single shot rifle is easier to maintain as well, since it isn't prone to receiving debris, lubricants, and cleaning solvents below its lug raceways and chamber. On the other hand, a repeating actioned rifle facilitates being able to take quick, follow up shots (not a terrible thing in the event that the target game animal wasn't struck at all by a first shot) assuming that it doesn't run off - and we all know that when they hear the report of the rifle from hundreds of yards away, long after the little projectile has struck the earth just beyond them, they tend to freeze. Whereas they run 20 miles if both are heard at pretty much the same time (as in short range hunting). Also, repeating actioned rifles provide for taking that really nice wall-hanger that just happens to be sleeping in the bush when we come diddly-bopping along, whereupon it freaks out and jumps up, running at > 40 mph, less than 20 yards in front of us. I think this is because we can quickly chamber a round that has been sitting safely below the bolt much faster than one which has been sitting in a shirt chest pocket. This is to say that the repeating action rifle can actually be carried around with rounds in it, whereas a single shot rifle cannot (At least not by me; I just refuse to do it. I don't trust safety mechanisms!)

So I guess the only legitimate reason for a dedicated LRH to build an expensive rifle around a repeating action is so he won't as easily miss that accidental, but almost invariably occurring, instance wherein the nicest animal he may ever kill will be killed at short range! I mean, life is just that way, isn't it?


PS - I know we all have really accurate repeating actioned rifles, but the last rifle I had built for myself is built around a single shot action and it's the most accurate SOB I've ever owned. With certain loads, it'll go toe-to-toe with the best benchrest rifles I've ever seen shoot!!!
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