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Semi- or bolt-action for rabbit shooting?

PUBLISHED: 09:51 19 March 2015 | UPDATED: 16:27 10 November 2015

Bolt-actions provide accuracy and reliability

Bolt-actions provide accuracy and reliability


I want a semi-automatic .22LR for rabbit shooting, but a few people have told me that they aren’t as good as a bolt-action. Can that be true?

DOM HOLTAM replies: I have always used bolt-actions for hunting. Not only do they have the edge in terms of accuracy (in my experience) but the likelihood of a jam is greatly reduced. Having a malfunction when out night shooting is not ideal.

Semi-auto rifles are great fun for plinking and there are some models out there – Ruger’s 10-22 or Remington’s 597 – that have impressive accuracy. In terms of the fastest possible follow-up shot, 
you can’t beat them. However, a ‘tack-driving’ bolt gun with a smooth action would, on balance, be my choice.


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