Semi-automatic sniper rifles?

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by 17thfabn, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. 17thfabn

    17thfabn New Member

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    Most sniper rifles today are bolt action. As I understand it bolt action rifles are more accurate than semi-auto rifles. How much more accurate is the best bot action rifle versus the most accurate semi-auto rifle?
  2. cycloneman

    cycloneman Active Member

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    Hk makes a heck of a great auto load rifle. The 91's are very accurate. Not actually a snipers rifle but will stand up to bolt actions. Especially if you install a set trigger. If you find an original today your looking at 2500.00 easy. The problem with these rifles is that I believe the bbls are 16.71" which translates to some 2450 fps in velocity with 150gr bullets. The actual HK snipers autoloading rifle the PSG1 is the ****. With about a 26" bbl it will give you the most out of the 308 that you can get. Probably in the neighborhood just under 3000 fps. The rifle weighs some 18 pounds. Nice piece wish I had one. You would pay dearly for that one.

    The only rifles out today that will give you good accuracy are the AR styles such as the lr308 from dpms. Good rifles. As far as how much more accurate a bolt action is to a autoloader, here is my take. Accuracy is consistancy. As long as a autoloader is consistant with it's delivery than IMO there is no difference. You would need a crony to check said autoloader for consistancy. Of course you also need match ammo.

    Yes generally speaking i do believe that bolt actions are more accurate than cheaper or poorly engineered autoloaders. But IMO I can tell you i have seen first hand there are some autoloaders that fill the bill, no problem.

    You need to give specifics blank bolt action vs blank autoloader for guys with wisdom to speak out. For ex any bolt action should beat the heck out of a factory mini 14.

    A good rifle that is consistant reguardless of action is going to give you accuracy. There are more factors to this but i would not hessitate to purchase a good proven autoloader for accuracy.

    did that help?
  3. cycloneman

    cycloneman Active Member

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    One more thought. Reguardless of what type of rifle you use the ammo is very important. I have seen as much as 200 fps difference in factory ammo from one round to the next in the same box.This was high quality ammo also. If you want accuracy you would be suprised what the chrony will tell you. Most people who don't shoot past 300 yrds will never know this and don't need to. Most rifles can shoot 250yrds point blank, so what's the point, right? If your looking to shoot past 350 yrds you will be very concerned about the ammo you shoot. But your asking and looking to open up a can of wormes. :D:D:D:D Most people would do so much better if they used match ammo or in some cases v-max ammo for accuracy.
  4. BillP

    BillP New Member

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    Realisticly, the accuracy difference is not enough to make either the semi-auto or bolt gun a better sniper rifle. More important is the accuracy of the first (cold bore) shot. Snipers (real snipers in the USA & USMC version) use bolt guns for reasons other than accuracy. Noise other than the shot, movement of an action and a brass case fliping into the air, and the ability to remove the spent case and not having to go looking for it, are as important as any last mm or two of accuracy you might get from a bolt gun.

    Other millitary shooters who's role requires long range accuracy but not stelth, do just fine with accurate versions of standard semi and automatic rifles.
  5. LurpyGeek

    LurpyGeek New Member

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    Well said, cyclone.

    There is a perception out there that bolt actions are more accurate because they are simpler and have fewer moving parts, but that isn't really correct. If an auto-loader mechanism is reliable, consistent and well made, then all other factors considered (barrel quality, ammunition quality / consistency, environmental conditions, etc) it is on the same playing field as a bolt action.
  6. Tom Militano

    Tom Militano New Member

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    In Vietnam the Marine snipers used bolt guns and the Army snipers used M21's. The M21's were actually heavy barreled national match rifles with an automatic ranging scope on them. They started with the ART 1 and then went to the ART2 which I don't think was as good as the ART1. The ART1 was fixed power and the ART2 was variable. National match M14's have won the national championships over bolt guns on more than one occasion back up until the late 1979's. I retired then and don't know when the All Army Team went to the M16's. By the way, I hate the M16.
  7. bcj1755

    bcj1755 New Member

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    cycloneman, you're rigth about the PSG-1. That is one gorgeous piece of rifle right there. Don't forget about the militarized version, the MSG-90. Another VERY accurate semi-auto HK rifle.:D
  8. Millwright

    Millwright Active Member

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    I'd opine semi-autos are probably more prevalent, (and increasing), in the world's armies in the "sniper" role. Contrary of PO, not all or even most sniper shots are long range. Not that range is a problem for today's semis or accuracy. Plus a good semi offers the option of quicker second - or more - shots without a lot of physical movement causing loss of position and sight picture.

    I'm sure there will always be some bolt guns in service - if only because service armourers can "roll their own" - and for the speciality operations where rapid follow-up shots aren't a factor. >MW
  9. TOOHSOTKIL

    TOOHSOTKIL New Member

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    There are several self loading rifles that will fit the bill, some eastern bloc too. The cold shot is not nearly as important (exceptions exsist) as it once was when using self loaders, several shots in a row can be delivered on target with more speed and very little loss of accuracy-should the first shot stray.
    Not every first shot is a hit...

    Nearly all milspec self loaders will deliver MOA with the ammunition designed for it and some will closely match that with matching field fooder of lessor weight in a pinch.

    Old styles still in service, that are fresh in the mind.

    FN/FAL-HB
    Draganov SVD
    China Tiger
    Zastava 76
  10. USMC-03

    USMC-03 New Member

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    But that is the standard to train for.
  11. 1 CAV

    1 CAV New Member

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    The CheyTac M200 is reported to be one of, if not the, most accurate sniper rifles across a spectrum of ranges. It can reportedly take down targets at a mile and a half. It's bolt action. There's a case to be made for the semi-auto rifles I suppose. I have a good Mini-14 with a scope and while I wouldn't by any means call it a sniper rifle I can put a full 30 round magazine in the head of a man size target at 200 yards with no problem. I think I'd rather have the M200 though. LOL

    [​IMG]
  12. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    It's a fact that semi-autos have been edging out the bolt-actions for several decades. Most of our former enemies were ahead of us in getting semi-autos in the field.

    There's a small fact becoming known inside the proponent regarding modern semi-auto AR style sniper rifles though. Once you build one that is at the cutting edge of accuracy, unless we redesign it; it will still never have a trigger on par with an M24.

    This applies to AR (SASS), M21, M14 (most are just a 600m DM rifle: not a sniper rifle) , FN FAL, SVD Draganov (and it's copies like the Tiger and Zastava M76). Because they all use a hammer.

    The M24 uses the old tried & true striker: The pre-set striker is unquestionably superior to the hammer. It's the same applied design in your bolt-action deer rifle or Glock. For long range precision, the striker will give you more forgiveness at half the effort, no matter how slicked a hammer assembly has been made.

    The big question floating around is why does the M107 have a sweet striker group while the M110 showed up with a hammer/4.5 lb disconnector.

    So, it depends on the rifle design.

    Only a very few semi-autos are on par with a new US bolt-action sniper rifle. That will not stop semi-autos from gaining ground though....it'll just eventually mean future SASS will be striker fired like a Rem 700, Ruger 77 or Win 70 etc....or a Barrett:)


    Side note...But then, last summer there was a kid at Ft Cambell consistently hitting an 800 meter steel target with an M4 topped with an M68. When you figure that on some of those old M68's (they've been around 12+ yrs, going on 4th generation now) the dot can cover 4 MOA with the dot turned at lowest visible setting, (it's a "close combat optic") and an Army silhouette is only 19" across, and a M855 is moving subsonic at 800m, that's pretty friggin impressive. Nobody could say that boy didn't have his dope plugged.

    Most of the time, however, either a semi or bolt will usually out-shoot the firer.
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