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Capbyrd

Col. Cooper’s Scout Rifle

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If LPVO’s had been popular in Cooper’s day, would he have accepted them for his scout rifle concept?   One of his reasons for the forward mounted optic was to facilitate the use of stripper clips for fast reloads.  The common use of detachable box mags now negates that need.  He also wanted to avoid scope eye.   And that may be the hang up that he couldn’t get past.  But the ability to use a true 1x as a red dot but also with the most current batch be able to turn up to a 10 power scope might just change his mind.  Oh, and he loved both eyes open so that goes along with the red dot too!  

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A friend of mine relayed to me a story of having dinner with the Col. at SHOT Show in 01. When asked his thoughts on the ACOG he said that if it continued to hold up in combat usage that it would be a passable optic. So I think that he would have approved of the LPVO on the scout rifle as it seems he wasn’t the luddite that some would portray him to be. 

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6 hours ago, Chucktshoes said:

A friend of mine relayed to me a story of having dinner with the Col. at SHOT Show in 01. When asked his thoughts on the ACOG he said that if it continued to hold up in combat usage that it would be a passable optic. So I think that he would have approved of the LPVO on the scout rifle as it seems he wasn’t the luddite that some would portray him to be. 

You get props for the use of a $50 word today!

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2 hours ago, E4 No More said:

You get props for the use of a $50 word today!

Yep, had to look that one up.

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Posted (edited)

Which ACOG?  I'm not an ACOG expert, but I thought most were straight-power.  

I don't think Cooper would be a big fan of a LPVO, depending on how variable we are talking about.  Cooper's original goal for the scout concept was a general-purpose bolt action, compact, lightweight, handy rifle with a forward mounted intermediate eye relief 3x (max) optic and he mentioned that 2x may be even better.  His biggest reason for mounting forward was so the shooter could see the entire countryside as well as the crosshair on target.  He reasoned that this mandates a low magnification to reduce disparity between the two eyes.  This setup, in Cooper's opinion, allowed the fastest sighting arrangement possible.  He mentioned other benefits as well--lower scope mounting, no pinching when operating the bolt, stripper clips can be used, and single-round loading while staying on target is easier.

While he may have adjusted his goals or opinions over the years, everything I've read about him leads me to doubt it.  I don't believe he would find a 1-6 or even a 1-4 very useful on his scout concept.  

Edited by deerslayer
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This dude also chose a bolt action rifle?

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3 minutes ago, broox said:

This dude also chose a bolt action rifle?

Because they work.    I don’t think he would have had a problem with a semi auto if they proved durable enough.  

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8 hours ago, broox said:

This dude also chose a bolt action rifle?

You need to go read up on Col. Cooper.  He wasn't just a dude. :) 

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34 minutes ago, Moped said:

You need to go read up on Col. Cooper.  He wasn't just a dude. :) 

EXACTLY.  

He didn’t rule out a semi-auto, but felt that none available would meet his needs.  A standard AR sized rifle wouldn’t chamber a big enough round and an AR-10 sized frame would make the gun too heavy.  Firepower and capacity were not important; handiness and practical accuracy were paramount.  His essay about the rifle goes into lots of detail:  https://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2014/10/2/throwback-thursday-the-scout-rifle/

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45 minutes ago, deerslayer said:

EXACTLY.  

He didn’t rule out a semi-auto, but felt that none available would meet his needs.  A standard AR sized rifle wouldn’t chamber a big enough round and an AR-10 sized frame would make the gun too heavy.  Firepower and capacity were not important; handiness and practical accuracy were paramount.  His essay about the rifle goes into lots of detail:  https://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2014/10/2/throwback-thursday-the-scout-rifle/

When I read his stuff, I always feel like a 5 year old with finger paints trying to keep up with Picasso. lol

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31 minutes ago, Ronald_55 said:

When I read his stuff, I always feel like a 5 year old with finger paints trying to keep up with Picasso. lol

I think Picasso said it took him a lifetime to learn to paint like a child.

Which is maybe appropriate since so many of us learn on bolt actions before switching to semi-autos, and the good Colonel would have us shooting bolt action scout guns?

🤷

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54 minutes ago, Ronald_55 said:

When I read his stuff, I always feel like a 5 year old with finger paints trying to keep up with Picasso. lol

I don’t agree with everything he wrote, but I sure enjoyed reading it.  

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This is my favorite paragraph.  I can just imagine the howling coming from die-hard AR fans. 
 

Much thought has been given by the conference to the subject of semi-automatic actions for scout rifles. If a semiautomatic action were made which was sufficiently compact and otherwise acceptable, it should certainly be considered, but at this time there is no such action available. The whole concept of great rapidity of fire in a rifle has been weighed and found, not exactly wanting, but somewhat inconsequential. About the only circumstance in which a rifleman might need a volley of quickly repeated shots would be in the unfortunate and unexpected event of a "house clearing." Such a problem mightarise for a lone rifleman but the chances are very low. The primary purpose of a rifle is a first-shot hit, whether the target is game or a human antagonist. Semi-automatic fire does not assure this. As a matter of fact it sometimes detracts from it by letting the shooter believe that if he misses with his first shot he can always make up with a second. This is a bad attitude for a rifleman. As a result of these deliberations all prototype scouts will be bolt-actions unless and until something new in the way of the semi-automatic action appears.

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Posted (edited)

I posted a article many years ago, based on the lattitude Col. Cooper left in his definition of what constituted a "scout rifle". Here are two links, one on scoutrifle.org which is now a "sticky" and the other on my blog.

Close inspection of Col. Coopers Scout Rifle Definition....scoutrifle.org  

Close Inspection of Col. Coopers Scout Rifle Definition...libertytreeblogs.blogspot.com

The following is a copy and paste of my blog; don't worry "moderators" I get no financial compensation from the blog. I haven't posted in a long while, but that will change in the near future and I will not be using it for profit, just my way of giving back and moving it forward. The scoutrifle.org thread has a lot of responses that are good reading and will help clarify where Col. Cooper would ultimately land on the subject of red dot's and other long eye relief optics. I personally think that all are within the definition of what a "scout rifle" should be.

I currently have three scout's; two chambered in 6.5x55 and one in .308. All use various Burris scopes; two using older 1.5x scout scopes and the other using a 2.0x handgun scope. At the time I built my first scout rifles there wasn't much available in IER and LER scopes; so I made do and am very happy with the combinations. They are pictured below.

Best Regards

Rod

 

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants" -

 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Close Inspection of Jeff Coopers Scout Rifle Definition

 
CIMG1035.JPG
 
 
 
The dogma and misinterpretation surrounding the definition of the Scout rifle has bothered me for quite some time. So, I felt I needed to give my thoughts and observations regarding the scout concept and how I interpret Coopers beloved rifle. But first, let me toss a few comments out on the "guru" himself.
 
Jeff Cooper spent his life developing shooters into marksmen. Whether it was a pistol or rifle, Mr. Cooper was dedicated to improving the craft and those who practice it. The "general purpose" or "practical rifle" was but one aspect and he defined it as this:
 
"A general purpose rifle is a conveniently portable, individually operated firearm, capable of striking a single decisive blow, on a live target of up to 200 kilos in weight, at any distance at which the operator can shoot with the precision necessary to place a shot in a vital area of the target."  Col. Jeff Cooper " To Ride, Shoot Straight, and Speak the Truth"
 
Mr. Cooper was not interested in developing your skills for any narrow purpose such as long range, target, tactical, varmint, etc. His efforts were concentrated on developing shooters who could cleanly handle themselves in "all" situations. This definition was the start of a quest to develop the ultimate practical rifle, and the "scout rifle" was, in his mind and others, the perfection of the concept.
 
I never knew or met Mr. Cooper, so I can only summize his intentions when it appeared his dogma regarding the "scout definition" would violate the principle(s) of his "general purpose rifle" concept. I believe the key lies with Coopers very definition of the scout rifle. Cooper, as we all know was a wordsmith of which few were equal; his definition contains both broad and specifics, which would allow the originator to narrowly define and the practitioner to build a rifle suitable for his/her needs. He was brilliant. In practice, he was generally forgiving and gave legitimacy to various forms of the scout rifle. In word, he kept to his dogma, I suppose out of fear the concept would loose relevance; or out of a need to keep the concept as pure as possible. Either way, it has allowed the scout concept to be discovered and applied by future generations of "riflemen". Again, not sure, and just an observation on my part.
 
Now, lets move on to the "Scout Rifle" definition and my observations.
 
 
Weight-sighted and slung: 3 kilograms (6.6 lb). This has been set as the ideal weight but the maximum has been stated as being 3.5 kilograms (7.7 lb).
 
Surprisingly there is considerable wiggle room in the weight of the rifle. Here the words "set" "ideal" and "stated" are used. The word "set" denotes finality and "ideal" relates to perfection or "to attain". It means the rifle "can" weigh less or it "can" weigh more. But, the "ideal weight" will always be 6.6 lb; it is set. In order to keep the weight from getting to far from the ideal he "states" a maximum weight of 7.7 lb. A statement has no finality. It is merely what a person "says". A statement can be changed for further clarification; and Cooper did just that concerning the weight of his Steyr Scout.  Essentially we really do not have a maximum weight by Coopers own definition. I believe this was Coopers way of keeping some level of control so weight would not stray to far from "ideal". Brilliant. 
 
So, what we have is a "ideal weight range" of between 6.6 lb - 7.7 lb that allows the rifle to weigh a little more or less outside the "ideal range".
 
 
Length: one meter (39 inches)
 
This is the only specification of the Scout concept or definition that is set. Not much to discuss here. I find it odd that the length is the spec few give much regard to. Most agree it shouldn't be longer, but if it is a little shorter I see no purists shouting "it ain't a scout". I figure it's because it's harder to make "length" rhyme with "fate".
 
 
Nominal barrel length:  0.48 meter (19 inches)
 
Cooper uses "nominal" twice in his definition. Nominal is quite possibly the most ambiguous word in the english language. It can be minimal, small, figurative, less than, meaningless, inconsequential, etc. Examples in use would include "The club has a nominal fee for entry"; "The candidate for office is a nominal choice"; "The queen of England is a nominal head of state".   You notice Cooper did not use the word "ideal" here. That is because barrel length actually effects performance. I am sure barrel length was a hotly debated topic and I assume that most in the conference followed the 1980's conventional wisdom that barrels should be no less than 20" in length. Cooper was less dogmatic about barrel length; but was more concerned with practical results. I personally believe 19" was a compromise and his choice of "nominal" allows the barrel to be  a little shorter or longer than 19" and most cases to err towards longer. Currently we know that shorter barrels do not effect practical results in a defensive rifle. So Cooper was yet brilliant again. 19" is "nominal"
 
 
Sighting system: Typically a forward and low mounted (ahead of the action opening) long eye relief telescope of between 2x and 3x. Reserve iron sights desirable but not necessary. Iron sights of the ghost ring type, without a scope also qualify, as does a low powered conventional position scope.
 
I am going suggest you read the above carefully. There are a lot of options here. As I understand it, the rifle can have a forward or conventionally mounted scope with or without iron sights. If you choose to have reserve iron sights there is no specification as to what type; you choose. If you do not want a scope on your scout it will qualify for a scout if it uses ghost ring aperture sights. If you use a telescope it should be of low power. Forward mounted scopes typically being 2x to 3x(fixed assumed); traditional mounted scopes of low power(low power is generally considered 1x to 4x fixed) Notice there is no mention of variable in the definition. In the 1980's low powered variables were few in number and Cooper considered a variable scope, because of it's typical high end magnification, a liability for dangerous game and self defense. But things have changed. Low powered variables are pouring into the market as well as red dot, illuminated reticle and holographic sights. By Coopers open ended definition and his use of the word "typically" any of these sight options and in various combinations would qualify on a scout as long as the magnification does not exceed the accepted low range of 1x-4x(this is assumed). Cooper again was brilliant in his choice of words because he knew technology would change and was seeing it evolve shortly before his death.
 
 
Action: Magazine fed bolt action. Detachable box magazine and or stripper clip charging is desirable but not necessary
 
Notice, short or long action is not specified; we assume it should be a short action because Cooper preferred them and it was easier to make ideal weight. Detachable box mag's and striper clips are not required, nor is a magazine cut off. We make too many assumptions regarding action. The only requirement is that it be a magazine fed bolt action.
 
 
Sling: Fast loop-up type, ie Ching or CW style.
 
Many assumptions made here. Just because Cooper gave 2 examples does not mean these are the only choices for a quick loop up style sling. It also doesn't mean a scout rifle has to have 3 sling swivels. A Ching requires 3 but a CW uses 2; one at the forend and one just in front of the magazine well. I personally can think of at least 5 to 6 more "quick loop" style slings that I like much better than the the Ching or CW; and they only require 2 sling mounts. My personal favorites are the Allen slide loop nylon sling and the Hunt sling made of leather. In my opinion they are faster; easily adjustable and won't hang up on brush when carrying the rifle off the shoulder. These two slings were not available when Cooper put the conference together; he just preferred the Ching and CW. Only requirement here is a fast loop style sling and enough sling swivels to make it work.
 
 
 
Caliber: Nominally .308 Winchester(7.62x51). Calibers such as 7mm-08 Remington(7x51mm) or .243 Winchester(6x51mm) being considered for frail individuals or where "military" calibers are proscribed
 
There's that word "nominally" again. Cooper preached the .308 and short action because he felt it was the best overall combination to achieve scout rifle specs and effectiveness. But the definition does not require it. I believe in this case Cooper wanted the smallest most effective family of medium range cartridges available. Nominally here refers to the .308 family. You ask how can you say that? because just after".308 Winchester" he gives two examples in the cartridge family that denote "range". He also uses the phrase "such as" which is the equivalent to "for example". This leaves all cartridges below .243x51 out; and those cartridges above it as viable alternatives for the scout rifle. This would include long action medium range cartridges as well. Cooper knew the .308; although widely distributed thru out the world; is not available every where. Cooper couldn't tell a Swedish or Norwegian citizen that they really can't have a scout rifle because the most plentiful ammo available is either 6.5x55 or 7.62x54. I don't believe we have that right either. So, from Coopers designed choice of ambiguous language, cartridges greater than .243 Win and up are good to go. Even Cooper's own rhetoric did not completely limit the scout to only three cartridges; he preached it in order to keep the purity of the concept; but practically, he changed it when it suited him. I think "Lion Scout" comes to mind.
 
 
 
Built in bipod: desirable but not mandatory
 
Enough said, I'll move on.
 
 
 
Accuracy: should be capable of shooting into 2 minutes of angle or less(4") at 200 yards/meters (3 shot groups)
 
Accuracy for the scout is a practical issue and does not require sub moa. Although, most of us desire a rifle more capable of 2 moa just for bragging rights. I just want to remind everyone that  tack driving is not required of a scout rifle.
 
 
 
 
 
Couple of other features or lack of them that are not required of a scout rifle.
 
1. Synthetic stock; you mean it's not in there! yup. Cooper preferred them but it's not required.
 
2. Threaded barrel and flashhider; yes Virginia, there is a santa clause; and there will be a sound suppressor under the tree for your GSR. Cooper had no use for any of them; but by definition they can be included.
 
3. Magazine cut-off; nope still not there.
 
4. The list could get long so I'll stop.
 
I hope many of you will see my point. We tend to be far more dogmatic than we should regarding what does or does not make a scout rifle. I find it interesting that Cooper preached a narrow scout definition while alive; but chose to leave the characteristics of the scout as a concept. I say again, the man was brilliant.
 
CIMG1037.JPG
 
rgsr.1.JPG
 
rgsr.2.JPG
 

2 comments:

  1. zFdxGE77vvD2w5xHy6jkVuElKv-U9_9qLkRYK8On

    The most comfortable Gun i must say, There is nothing lack in this riffle.

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  2. zFdxGE77vvD2w5xHy6jkVuElKv-U9_9qLkRYK8On

    My recollection is that the forward mounting extended-eye-relief 'scout' scope was initially intended to preserve stripper clip loading. Once just about everyone went over to box magazines, it seemed to stick around because it looked different and 'tacti-cool'. Unfortunately, when people started proclaiming imagined advantages to placing the scope far far away, it muddied the waters on what really was a better solution; an intermediate-eye-relief scope which placed the ocular bell just forward of the bolt handle. The IER scope eliminates bolt handle interference while giving a substantially larger sight picture. Oddly, Cooper used a Noske IER scope on his Canadian hunt many years before the Scout era; the pictorial evidence is on the Jeff Cooper website (and, he did it while sporting what appears to be a Boer War British pith helmet, go figure). Anyhow, the scout scope highjacked the term intermediate eye relief, and none of the makers currently offer what I believe to be the better solution. Although Redfield briefly offered the 1-4x IER SHOTGUN Scope; Bob Bell custom mounted on on a 98 Mauser in the 1980's, and wrote a Gun Digest article up praising its qualities; yeah Redfield marketed it as a shotgun scope, no wonder they went tits up.

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Edited by rodteague
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I think the scout is very cool and great for an individual BOB but in all practicality semi-auto is just a lot better for a multitude of reasons...first and foremost you find yourself fired on first a bolt action is about the last thing I would want if my position is known.  Modern day semi-autos have proven to be extremely reliable and if you want to keep the weight down a KS47/Mutant in 7.62x39 will give you the extra power at 200yds without the weight of a 308 sized frame.  Or a piston driven small frame 308 will do the trick if it must be 7.62x51 or better and still under 7ish lbs.  not saying he was wrong then but progress happens. 

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52 minutes ago, Magiccarpetrides said:

I think the scout is very cool and great for an individual BOB but in all practicality semi-auto is just a lot better for a multitude of reasons...first and foremost you find yourself fired on first a bolt action is about the last thing I would want if my position is known.  Modern day semi-autos have proven to be extremely reliable and if you want to keep the weight down a KS47/Mutant in 7.62x39 will give you the extra power at 200yds without the weight of a 308 sized frame.  Or a piston driven small frame 308 will do the trick if it must be 7.62x51 or better and still under 7ish lbs.  not saying he was wrong then but progress happens. 

What rifles are available that offer x51 and under 7 pounds, besides bolt guns?  

The rifle wasn't an end all be all.   That was never the intent.   And as Rod Teague pointed out, we are talking about the concept originating pre-1990 and it did evolve after that. 

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Everything is application driven. Never lose sight of that and a lot more things make sense.

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1 hour ago, Capbyrd said:

What rifles are available that offer x51 and under 7 pounds, besides bolt guns?  

The rifle wasn't an end all be all.   That was never the intent.   And as Rod Teague pointed out, we are talking about the concept originating pre-1990 and it did evolve after that. 

My adams arms small frame piston driven 308 AR is right at 7.5lbs with the magpul furniture.  Or you can go with a KS47 which depending on barrel length is well under 7lbs depending on what you hang on it and will easily reach out and kill at 200yds.

 

Also again I realize we are talking about a pre-1990 concept that's why I said "progress happens".  

 

DaveTN I understand the application driven aspect that's why there are situations where a 22 makes the most sense ;-D

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41 minutes ago, Magiccarpetrides said:

My adams arms small frame piston driven 308 AR is right at 7.5lbs with the magpul furniture.  Or you can go with a KS47 which depending on barrel length is well under 7lbs depending on what you hang on it and will easily reach out and kill at 200yds.

 

Also again I realize we are talking about a pre-1990 concept that's why I said "progress happens".  

 

DaveTN I understand the application driven aspect that's why there are situations where a 22 makes the most sense ;-D

KS47 is not an acceptable caliber.  I also had to look that up as I didn't know what it was.  I was just looking over the Adams Arms site and I didn't see anything under 7 dry.   Once loaded and with optic, you will be outside of the weight range.   

I'm sure that something exists, I just haven't seen it.  

 

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I've played with the scout rifle in a couple of configurations as a hunting rifle. I've run both the Ruger Scout and now the Steyr Scout. With the Steyr I tried a forward mount setup with the "proper 2x scope" and found it very easy to use... a perfect solution for anything inside 200 yards in a "pre red-dot" set up. Target acquisition was almost as fast as a red dot. That being said, I pretty quickly switched out the optics for my standard dangerous game set up - a high end illuminated 1-6x scope mounted in a traditional position.  At 1x it works just like a regular red dot but the extra magnification let's me reach out if I need to.  IMO a scout rifle is ideal for hunting... lightweight, nimble, compact in the stand and with all the stopping power needed on anything in North America... except maybe a moose. Not sure how the COL would feel about it, but it works for me.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Capbyrd said:

KS47 is not an acceptable caliber.  I also had to look that up as I didn't know what it was.  I was just looking over the Adams Arms site and I didn't see anything under 7 dry.   Once loaded and with optic, you will be outside of the weight range.   

I'm sure that something exists, I just haven't seen it.  

 

Your not 308 but your well within 200lb killing range with a 7.62x39 at 200yds...so that would bend the rules a smidge but definitely work.  As far as my small frame 308 They don’t make a stripped version like mine these days I can weigh it later but it’s under 7.5lbs for sure now I’m curious how much lol.  

Edited by Magiccarpetrides
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1 hour ago, Magiccarpetrides said:

Your not 308 but your well within 200lb killing range with a 7.62x39 at 200yds...so that would bend the rules a smidge but definitely work.  As far as my small frame 308 They don’t make a stripped version like mine these days I can weigh it later but it’s under 7.5lbs for sure now I’m curious how much lol.  

Cooper specified a 200 kilo target, which would be about 440 pounds.  

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I like the idea of a short, light, powerful rifle with a good set of sights; albeit irons or low power optical stuff with long eye relief.   I like the turnabolt idea for several reasons:

1.  The action is short...  It takes an additional cartridge length plus for a semiautomatic action... Shorter, lighter.

2.   A turnbolt simply doesn't jamb.  

3... Great accuracy.

4.   Did ya ever think..? Professional game hunters.  Turnbolts and double rifles only.  The first shot had better be good.  The hide ya save could be your own...

I find the semiauto rifle " crude n vulgar " for the abovelisted reasons...  HEHEHE...

" Bawana " leroy...

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26 minutes ago, leroy said:

I like the idea of a short, light, powerful rifle with a good set of sights; albeit irons or low power optical stuff with long eye relief.   I like the turnabolt idea for several reasons:

1.  The action is short...  It takes an additional cartridge length plus for a semiautomatic action... Shorter, lighter.

2.   A turnbolt simply doesn't jamb.  

3... Great accuracy.

4.   Did ya ever think..? Professional game hunters.  Turnbolts and double rifles only.  The first shot had better be good.  The hide ya save could be your own...

I find the semiauto rifle " crude n vulgar " for the abovelisted reasons...  HEHEHE...

" Bawana " leroy...

I've seen plenty of bolt action rifles jam. They don't do it as easily as an auto, but they do jam.

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On 5/27/2020 at 9:53 AM, alleycat72 said:

I've seen plenty of bolt action rifles jam. They don't do it as easily as an auto, but they do jam.

I’m 73 and have burned lotsa powder... Probably in the high thousands or low 10,000’s of everything from 222 Remington to 375 H&H thru turn bolt rifles. I don’t know what a jammed bolt gun looks like.  I ain’t ever seen one, but that’s just me...  

I’ve seen folks try to shoot bad reloads or not fully resize or not trim their brass n not be able to close the bolt on a round.    I’ve seen fired hot loads stick in the chamber and the extractor jerk a chunk out of the rim and block the action.   All these are reloading problems with the ammo, not the rifle... 

We used ta reload and shoot only neck sized brass target loads in 222, 223, 308, and 300 win mag without any jamming problems as long as the same rifle was used, it’s an old target n bench rest trick that basically tailors your brass to a particular rifle’s  chamber.   

 I’ve never seen correctly loaded and sized rounds not chamber.  If they will pass a SAMMI gage, they will chamber n fire... To believe that somehow, someway, a bolt gun is less reliable than a semi of any flavor is to believe a fairy tale...

Your mileage may vary.

leroy.

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