Enemies of Liberty are ruthless. To own your Liberty, you'd better come harder than your enemies..

Friday, March 21, 2014

Bolt skills...

**NOTE**  I published this piece 14 months ago, during the hysteria following Sandy Hook.  Interesting how the predictions turned out, eh?  Anyway, I'm dusting it off because American Mercenary just published a piece on the bolt action, complete with a few videos showing various techniques.

I wonder how many people who read this last year actually have taken the time to turn their bolt skills into combat-ready bolt skills...

Here's the Am Merc piece.


There are six gun control stories currently running on the front page of Politico.  Stories focus on everyone from Gabby Giffords to Bloomberg to Stanley McChrystal.  I hope you can see the between-the-lines coordination of this push across MSM.   CNN has 4 stories (I stopped counting).  MSNBC has 6+ (I stopped counting there, too.) 

Buchanan warns of Revolution.

I'm reading a lot of not one more inch rhetoric across many blogs again, with the typical rahrahrah rabblerabblerabble hell yeah!  I'm with you! in the Comments sections.  OK.  Sure.  I'll believe it when I see it.  What I have seen (So have you), time and again, is that such chest-thumping episodes fold every single time.  This time is different?  We'll see. 

Here's what I recommend: Work on your bolt action skill set.  I know most of you just rolled your eyes, made a face, maybe even chuckled.  Bolt action?!  I don't need no stinkin' bolt skills, I got a Slicked & Tricked (TM) AR/AK, baby!  Cold dead hands!  Wolverines!!!

Humor me.

If you do happen to find yourself in a combat situation with nothing but a bolt gun, you can put enough well-aimed rounds on target to make the guys with semi-autos take notice, if you build your skills.  You can work that bolt during recoil and by the time your front sight (or reticle) comes back on-target, you can be ready to pull the trigger again.  I'd rather put 10-15 aimed, skilled rounds down field than dump a 30 round mag in spray & pray.  To paraphrase Colonel Cooper: May all of your enemies have full auto.

The first rifle I was taught to shoot, many moons ago, was a bolt action.

In combat one cycles the bolt with little more than wrist and fingers, with the bolt handle (smooth and round, please - leave the fancy shapes for the hunting trip or the safe queens) sliding in your palm.  Your elbows barely move.  Here's how you do it if you are a righty: Put a round down range.  As your rifle flows through recoil, use your left hand to rotate the rifle toward the right a few inches, pushing the bolt handle into your right palm.  Work the bolt with a smooth motion, allowing the bolt handle to slide in your palm - you do not grasp and hold the bolt handle.  If you do not roll your rifle offline a bit, you will open the bolt into your nose.  Not fun.  As your rifle comes out of recoil, you'll be closing the bolt and rotating with your left hand back into position.

The stock never leaves your shoulder.  Your eyes never leave the target, except for whatever flinch and blink you go through.  As your right hand rolls the bolt handle back into place and then slips back to the trigger, you are searching down range for the next target, or putting another round into the target you just engaged, if he happens to be tough, or your marksmanship could use a bit of work.  ;)

End of lesson.  (Lefties - read everything I just wrote in the mirror  ;)

I will not bother outlining all the possible ways you might lose that Slicked & Tricked (TM) semi. 

Have a back-up skill set.  If it has been many moons since you last worked a bolt action, or if you've only ever worked a bolt action against a Bambi that will not shoot back - work on it.



  1. Or try a pump .223 with an 870 action




  2. I heard the Devil Dogs at Belleau wood worked their bolts so fast the Krauts thought they all had automatics ..

  3. Uh... What do we do when they want the bolt guns?

    Everybody does understand that these people work incrementally, yes?

    When a design is evinced...

    1. Hey Alan, don't bring down a perfectly fine topic. Nobody's gettin' nothin', and all those tricked semis are staying right where they are. Thank goodness.

      Once this is over, and it shouldn't be long whichever route the idiots choose to go, we won't have to deal with this "issue" again for many, many generations.

      I'd mark the scorecard now--first big one for the good guys--but I don't want to jinx anything. Even better will be to where it could lead, but I don't suspect those nimwits are bright enough to learn the lesson.

    2. Haha! Yeah, I think they want the bolt guns too,.the dumb bastards

  4. Oh, they'll want the bolt guns right now if they think they can get them. My point is how many guys with high-dollar ARs will turn them in - that isn't going to be a small number.

    Add to that all the rat-fucks who will "See Something & Say Something" on their neighbors, ex-boyfriends, et cetera. So the guy who thinks he'll be using his slick AR in "The Big Fight" might come home from work one day and find it was taken by .Gov - but they left his deer gun. ;)

    1. If they show up at your house, I don't see them leaving you anything. Guns, ammo, web gear, bullets, powder, primers, reloading machines, all gone. And if you're home, you're going too assuming you don't DIP.

      This just seems to me that we're talking about another "submit moment". Give them or let them take your black rifle, be thankful you get to keep your bolt, then go back to the keyboard to express your outrage at another violation of your rights.

      Seems kinda like battered woman syndrome to me.

      Is that what we've become?

    2. I'm certainly not advocating people fold on this one, but I admit I remain cynical about how many people will actually stand up.

      We'll have answers soon enough, and we'll get a good temperature in April. I hope I'm wrong and we get swamped. Craig's petition for the III Congress is up to 11,000+ signatures - which I admit does surprise the hell out of me.

    3. "This just seems to me that we're talking about another 'submit moment'. Give them or let them take your black rifle, be thankful you get to keep your bolt, then go back to the keyboard to express your outrage at another violation of your rights."

      Chill. I don't have that bolt move Sam's talking about, not to mention I don't see so great any more, so I need the semis. I guess that might leave me dead, but it won't leave me handing over anything.

      Better news...I'm really, really sure I'm not the only one like that. And I'm really, really sure that those who paid through the roof for their new semis, won't be too quick to hand 'em over either.

      Best news...the ones that might? We want them to!

      This is all fantasy anyway, and here's the real reason. In a thousand years, those cowards aren't going to leave themselves in the position of not being able to trust their guards. You heard it here first.

    4. "Add to that all the rat-fucks who will 'See Something & Say Something' on their neighbors, ex-boyfriends, et cetera"

      Make lemonade out of lemons...look at the bright side. Think of the hours of boring research that'll save.

  5. Thanks Kerodin

    you know i was thinking of putting my bolt action 308 on backpage to sell it since, Hell, I got the AK, the semi auto 308, so what do I need a bolt action for?

    Ill be taking your advice to the range with me on Friday along with that bolt action 308

  6. "The Old Contemptibles" were capable of putting 25 or more aimed shots per minute from their Enfields in WWI.....

    For the rest of us, everyone else has a surplus '03A3, P-14, or .303 Enfield, and several hundred rounds of ammunition, right? Right???

    Just askin'

  7. Lever actions are also a good option if one is inclined. An example:(out of stock, no surprise)


  8. Part of the rant on my blog today. Even a 10-22 in the right hands is deadly.

  9. so, if i read this correctly, if one had at least one each of semi-, bolt-, and pump action long guns, one would be "in the running" so to speak for adaptibility... he he he, i love it when a plan comes togteher...

  10. $2K will buy 10K rounds of ammo and 10 Mosin-Nagants.

  11. Man, I own a 22-250 bolt rifle for hunting coyotes. I am far deadlier with that then I am with my semi-auto. Better velocities, more positive lock-up and good old fashion faith in the rifle.
    Let me put it this way - I regularly get coyote kills at 300+ yards with my bolt rifle, yet I wouldn't even consider shooting at one that far away with my semi-auto 223.
    If I live long enough to purchase another rifle I'm looking at Ruger's Scout Rifle, a 308 bolt rifle based on the thoughts of Col. Cooper.

  12. It can be done. For a lark one day just to see how fast I could work the rifle accurately I put 5 rounds down range on a silhouette @ 100 yd. in less than 10 seconds from the prone. Left the support arm in place while I worked the bolt, canted rifle to the right (I am right handed) so the bolt would clear my nose and tried to recover from recoil as fast as possible.

    Results were a pattern @ center mass that I could cover with the span of a hand. Good enough for combat shooting I guess. You wont be driving tacks unless all you can see is a small piece of body.

    Ruger Model 77 with a 3X9 Redfield scope in cal. 270. That was first time without practice and practice makes perfect. Git yer bolt guns out and practice. Use multiple targets so you have to change sight picture. Do some jumping jacks and push ups and then fire to induce simulated stress. Be creative.

    I too will be looking @ Ruger's Scout rifle in .308. I like the box magazine concept.


  13. Now Mossberg has come out with its bolt action in .223/5.56 and uses standard AR15 magazines... talk about firepower! Google-fu the Mossberg MVP series.

  14. Love my GSR. Did you see the new 18" stainless version. .1 of pound heavier. .308 easy to reload, keep the brass.

  15. My father was a competition shooter. He would never use a semi auto because of what he called their "Inherent inaccuracy". Not many people are capable of the type of shooting that he performed, but I will venture a guess that the ones who are prefer a bolt. Even in combat he quite successfully used an outdated army issue bolt action. If I learned nothing else from him, I did learn this...There are some people you don't want shooting at you with an accurate rifle.

  16. Don't forget that a bolt gun will throw a projectile that weighs ~3x with double the effective range of an AR.

    No, a bolt action isn't perfect; no rifle is. But consider the psychological/tactical effect of being able to shoot at OPFOR (however one chooses to define that term) while denying them effective return fire.

    Mauser style: cock-on-opening. Stronger action means higher operating pressures and longer range.

    Enfield style: cock-on-closing. Much faster rate of fire, but due to the action, shorter reach (650yds vs. 800 for the Mauser (FYI: these are the effective ranges as stated by the Brits and the Germans. You can do better, especially with handloads))

  17. A little late to mention, but it's worth bringing up: In the 1960's the Indian Army produced a number of Lee-Enfield clones chambered in 7.62 NATO, dubbed the Ishapore 2A rifle. A bunch of these were imported into the states and are available for sale for around $300-400.

    A small number of them were retro-fitted (professionally) to look like the Jungle Carbine variant of the Enfield by some of these importers. I bought one of these a couple years back for $350. The only problem with it: The safety selector switch snapped off. I still have it, just needs to be fixed. That's what's prevented me from getting the old bolt-action out to the range. I guess the point of all this is for those who like the Ruger Scout but don't want to sink that much money into a .308 bolt gun, look into the Ishapore.(I still want a Scout, though. Mr. Cooper had a solid concept when he devised the scout rifle)

  18. I've been shooting the O3-A3 and M1 Garand since boot camp. I bought both rifles for under $500 back in the day. I've owned and shot about everything out there. These two will do.
    Semper Fi

  19. As a point of interest in shooting bolt actions...
    At an Appleseed I attended a 14 year old girl shot Expert score useing a 40 year old single shot .22 bolt action Winchester with open sights. That's ten MOA accurate shots a minute from three positions.
    Just imagine what you can do with a repeater bolt action with a scope.


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