Semi auto vs bolt action accuracy

FEENIX

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never said its do or die thing.Just stating I want all I can get ,as is human nature. Do I expect to achieve 5 in 1" at 300,not really. That remark was simply reply to question and my way of saying I aim for perfect even if its not obtainable. Hey a direct shoulder shot at aby range will do the job if good bullet and not so far out its lacking power .The desire for perfect just adds to ablity and confidence in firearm.
After I get a very good combo working as close as Possible to great. I will keep trying different loads to see if I can improve and even tinkering with gun some. As a drag racing crew chief its just my nature to try and improve anything I work with. There is not lot you can do with AR to improve accuracy except barrel and trigger. Always fun to try new things,plus good reason to do more shooting.
Like I said, good luck with your quest.
 

Okanogan

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I can't say I routinely shoot 0.3 MOA with either my custom bolt guns (mostly GAPs) or my AR platforms (GAP and Craddock Precision uppers). I can generally get 1/2 MOA out of both after tuning loads though. What I like about the precision ARs is the ability to put additional precision uppers on the lowers for less money than a complete custom bolt gun. I generally shoot the ARs suppressed because the barrel profiles are heavier and accommodate the suppressor where my bolt rifles tend to have smaller barrel profiles for less weight.

As pointed out previously, the ARs seem to be more limited in caliber selection and it is also typically more difficult to adjust seating depth when trying to tune loads. The last two deer I have taken have been with AR platforms and the ARs work great on steel from the backyard at ranges under 400 yds.
 

Pro2A

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Some what of loaded question. In general what would you say accuracy potential differences there is between a bolt action and a well tuned semi auto.? Semi auto in question AR10 in 7mm-08 McGowen 24" ss heavy barrel. 1:9 twist floating handguard with bi pod. New build and have not tuned in any rounds yet. Shooting under 1" at 200 right now with starting loads. 4th grouping was 5 shot with 3 making one big hole,4th just out side of touching and 5th I screwed up on. Trigger was probably best money spent on gun or at least equal to barrel .

Yes I know hard to make blanket statement that covers all guns here. Just wondering how much tighter the closed action of bolt is over action with everything moving around after the hammer drops.
I'm a "have your cake and eat it too" kinda guy whenever possible. Why not have the best of both worlds......semi-auto fire and bolt accuracy......in one gun. When shooting for best accuracy, I'm not typically going to be needing rapid fire capabilities. USSOCOM has bought into the concept that when shooting ELR waiting for impact to make follow up adjustments allows the running of the bolt and getting back on target to see impact. So, the semi-auto is not an advantage in firepower over the bolt gun when shooting for accuracy at ELR. One of several reasons the Barrett .50BMG semi-auto is being phased out in favor of the MRAD MK22 bolt gun for ELR anti-material role. I install an adjustable gas block on my "accuracy" ARs with easy adjustment....only looking for on/off positions. For best accuracy, turn gas system off. Run as a straight pull bolt action via standard AR style charging handle, or use a side charging bolt/upper design. For fire power, turn gas system on. Easy peasy; best of both worlds. In general a bolt should have more accuracy potential than an AR style due to the true free float of the bolt barrel versus the gas system junk hanging off the AR barrel. Of the AR designs, the Direct impingement has less junk hanging off the barrel than a gas piston system....DI may deliver better accuracy of the two. But, the ON/OFF gas block gets rid of the clickety-clackety slamedy-bangedy of the ON AR gas system. Just a really, really old guy's experience. YMMV.
 

Pro2A

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I can't say I routinely shoot 0.3 MOA with either my custom bolt guns (mostly GAPs) or my AR platforms (GAP and Craddock Precision uppers). I can generally get 1/2 MOA out of both after tuning loads though. What I like about the precision ARs is the ability to put additional precision uppers on the lowers for less money than a complete custom bolt gun. I generally shoot the ARs suppressed because the barrel profiles are heavier and accommodate the suppressor where my bolt rifles tend to have smaller barrel profiles for less weight.

As pointed out previously, the ARs seem to be more limited in caliber selection and it is also typically more difficult to adjust seating depth when trying to tune loads. The last two deer I have taken have been with AR platforms and the ARs work great on steel from the backyard at ranges under 400 yds.
A change barrel gun, such as the Barrett MRAD, give the same caliber/barrel length/twist flexibility using only one scope........avoiding the expense of a scope mounted on each AR upper. Best of all worlds for my money. Equal firepower, when accuracy matters, as semi-auto at ELR.
 

SheepSeeker

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A rifle that will shoot 1" @ 100 will also shoot 10" @1000. "Minute of Elk" is a lot more than 10". Unless you shooting crows 1" will kill anything that walks.
 

gvjm

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Some what of loaded question. In general what would you say accuracy potential differences there is between a bolt action and a well tuned semi auto.? Semi auto in question AR10 in 7mm-08 McGowen 24" ss heavy barrel. 1:9 twist floating handguard with bi pod. New build and have not tuned in any rounds yet. Shooting under 1" at 200 right now with starting loads. 4th grouping was 5 shot with 3 making one big hole,4th just out side of touching and 5th I screwed up on. Trigger was probably best money spent on gun or at least equal to barrel .

Yes I know hard to make blanket statement that covers all guns here. Just wondering how much tighter the closed action of bolt is over action with everything moving around after the hammer drops.
I have both and I can tell you that I can get 1/2 MOA from both. It’s all in the barrel and trigger.
 

Paper boy

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Some what of loaded question. In general what would you say accuracy potential differences there is between a bolt action and a well tuned semi auto.? Semi auto in question AR10 in 7mm-08 McGowen 24" ss heavy barrel. 1:9 twist floating handguard with bi pod. New build and have not tuned in any rounds yet. Shooting under 1" at 200 right now with starting loads. 4th grouping was 5 shot with 3 making one big hole,4th just out side of touching and 5th I screwed up on. Trigger was probably best money spent on gun or at least equal to barrel .

Yes I know hard to make blanket statement that covers all guns here. Just wondering how much tighter the closed action of bolt is over action with everything moving around after the hammer drops.
I own 2 AR10'S. Both are used for wild hog and do a great job. Multi fire capability comes in handy with multi hogs!
 

J E Custom

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Some what of loaded question. In general what would you say accuracy potential differences there is between a bolt action and a well tuned semi auto.? Semi auto in question AR10 in 7mm-08 McGowen 24" ss heavy barrel. 1:9 twist floating handguard with bi pod. New build and have not tuned in any rounds yet. Shooting under 1" at 200 right now with starting loads. 4th grouping was 5 shot with 3 making one big hole,4th just out side of touching and 5th I screwed up on. Trigger was probably best money spent on gun or at least equal to barrel .

Yes I know hard to make blanket statement that covers all guns here. Just wondering how much tighter the closed action of bolt is over action with everything moving around after the hammer drops.

In general a fixed action is normally more accurate because there are fewer moving parts when fired to add to the harmonics. Many semi auto can be very accurate, But the chances of a bolt action being accurate is greater. You won't see many, if any semi auto's used for bench rest or long range shooting for a reason. More predictable, consistent and easier to tune loads for.

The bolt actions are the most predictable because nothing moves but the bullet when fired. the semi auto's have many moving parts that can/are affected by slight changes in pressure and velocity effecting accuracy. When everything is set up perfect and the ammo is tuned to the rifle, they can be very accurate.

J E CUSTOM
 

CHRIS MCBRIDE

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SO any ABA test with adjustable gas block that gives better accuracy. Yes I understand its probably minor but if its there those minors add up to biggy after a while. Gas tube length have any effect. It would seem the longer ones would put bullet closer to end of barrel while adding to cycle time. Again very small. but isn't that what tuning is all about. Again the Funny car crew chief thing coming out. Oh yea we also tend to over analyze things at times too.LMAO
 

Hawkeye Pierce

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There has been a lot of good information on this already.
The short answer is no you are probably not going to get any better. Doesn't mean you can't try.
With the technological advances in manufacturing, material selection and tuning. The semi auto has gotten incredibly accurate in the distance that matters. Which is within 1000 yards or so, because at further distances the accuracy of the gun holding 1MOA becomes secondary to the shooter abilities of understanding external ballistics ( wind). Inside that distance the ability of follow up shots on "targets ", and being able to stay behind the gun to see your own splash puts the semi ahead of bolt.
If you are at 1/2 MOA I say load it up and enjoy, spend the time shooting and less time tinkering ( and that's coming from a guy who loves to tinker). Hope that helps.
 

CHRIS MCBRIDE

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Got some play time this weekend and had 4 out of 5 groups that where in 1 inch or less at 200 yrds. That other groups was loose nut not doing his job on the trigger and 2 out of 5 where out in left field.
 
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