View Full Version : Another Learning to Shoot Q: semi or bolt action?

12-06-2005, 4:07 AM
Should young shooters start with a bolt action before graduating to a semi? There are numerous benefits, such as building discipline around shot placement rather than the ability to peel off rapid follow up shots; the disruption of manually cycling the action provides more opportunities around target acquisition; and a better fundamental understanding of how firearms actually function. What's the down side (other than the potential extra expense)?

12-06-2005, 6:33 AM
I started off with a semi, then went to bolt action. With the semi I prefer to get the feel of a trigger pulling. Building up my finger muscle if there's any. Then I went with bolt action where my trigger pull would be half way or let it go off base on confident towards a target.
Either one would be fun. Just my .02

12-06-2005, 8:32 AM
It depends how young they are.

I like the single shot bolt action rifles like the marlin because they shoot 22 short, 22 long, ans 22 LR. They are real easy on the shoulder and generally have great iron sights llike the Henry.

12-06-2005, 9:58 AM
I'd say bolt action, but a nice precision semi with low recoil (say a heavier brake'd AR) isn't bad either.

Scope 'em both. Bolt .22lr is about the best teaching tool out there.

12-06-2005, 10:03 AM
I'd say bolt action, but a nice precision semi with low recoil (say a heavier brake'd AR) isn't bad either.

Scope 'em both. Bolt .22lr is about the best teaching tool out there.

Why put a scope?

I put the question of learning with iron sights vs a scope on a poll, and so far it is 20-0 in favor of iron sights.

The NRA doesn't even allow optic sights for small bore in thier training programs:


My poll:


12-06-2005, 11:02 AM
John Plaster, the famous Sniper, wrote in his book "The Ultmate Sniper"....

"In the early 1960's, I pooled money with my boyhoood squirrel-hunting companions, Joe and Vic, to buy a bolt action 22 rifle. Our arrangement was that one of us stalked forward until he had a shot, then turned the rifle over to another.If you missed it could be an hour before it was your turn again, and any bushy tails you saw during the interim laughed at your predicament. No unarmed boy likes being the butt of squirrel humor.

Seriously, though, shooting in such disciplined circumstances meant each shot counted and resulted in one squirrel bagged for each .22 round we fired. It was phenomenal shooting.

A year or so later, when we all had part time jobs, we purchased a .22 automatics -- Joe got a Ruger, Vic had Browning and I a Remington and our shooting went to hell. We'd lost the mental focus for one shot hunting.

There is something psychological about bolting a rifle -- a kind of finality, a bonding of spirit with task that isn't present with any other rifle action."

I just bought my boy a bolt action and plan to keep him on that for many years before he gets a semi-auto.

12-06-2005, 11:52 PM
I'm so old, I learned to shoot with suction cup dart guns, squirt guns, sling shots, thrown rocks and even water hoses. From those I learned how gravity and wind affect projectiles moving through the air and how to adjust the trajectory to hit my target. At seven I was shooting relatives BB guns with pretty good accuracy. At ten I shot my cousins .22 rifle. By then I had the basics down. Got my own pellet rifle around eleven or twelve. I started shooting my brother-in-law's hunting rifle when I was thirteen and didn't shoot a pistol until I was 17.

I learned much the same way; water pistols, water cannons, pellet rifles, souping up my pellet rifles for flatter trajectory ;)

12-07-2005, 6:17 AM
I learned in a similar way, but I discovered real bows before I found pellet rifles. so really, untill this year, it was all about 100 yard archery matches for me.

12-08-2005, 1:27 PM
I learned on a bolt action 7.5 mm French MAS, my true love is for the lever action Marlin in 30-30 and 45-70 and Savage model 99 in 308. I also have a pump action Remington model 760 in 30-06. I like the semi auto 22's but prefer the bolt actions for hunting game.
I never had a BB Gun just real firearms till a few years ago. I would suggest a bolt action with open sights and then one of each other every 3 weeks or so till you own them all.:D