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Centerfire Rifles - Semiautomatic or Gas Operated Centerfire rifles, carbines and other gas operated rifles.

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  #1  
Old 03-28-2009, 2:25 PM
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Default Bolt action for home defense?

I'm just curious how practical a bolt action rifle (.223/5.56) would be for home defense. Most of the opinions I have seen says that the bolt action is too slow for home defense. What's interesting though is a lot of dangerous/african game rifles these days are based on a bolt action instead of the classic double. Is the bolt action gun really that slow.
I was thinking of a short and light carbine like a Remington Seven with dot sight or ghost ring sight.
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  #2  
Old 03-28-2009, 2:31 PM
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it wouldnt be my 1st choice for HD...not even my 2nd. but im sure u can pick him off at 200 yrds running down the street. i would say in a HD situation you will not be more then 7-10 yrds away. most scopes wont even focus on distances that short
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Old 03-28-2009, 2:31 PM
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At the moment I only have a bolt action, and I can say that I hope I never have to use it. Not just because I just hope nobody tries to break in, but because I really have doubts as to whether I would get a second shot if I needed it.
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Old 03-28-2009, 2:48 PM
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remington 870 12 or 20 gage or 357 magnum
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Old 03-28-2009, 2:49 PM
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I'd rather use a sharp knife than a bolt action.
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Old 03-28-2009, 3:16 PM
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a rifle bearing down on you if formidable. at HD distances, you really are just pointing. if you can see the perp, he can see you and the rifle... if that doesn't scare then away, then after the first shot is fired, they will run..., unless you're dealing with a mentally deranged individual. should you hit the perp, rifle ballistics show that whatever body part you hit will most likely fall off... or if center mass, the perp will be dead.
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Old 03-28-2009, 3:23 PM
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Old 03-28-2009, 3:27 PM
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I guess you technically could.....why you would want to???? I think a 12ga would be better suited for HD. VS. a bolt gun.
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  #9  
Old 03-28-2009, 3:27 PM
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Anything is better than nothing! Many intruders have been neutralized with bolt guns so, they do work!
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  #10  
Old 03-28-2009, 3:30 PM
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Any gun in your hand will do the job, unless you are getting into a running gun battle.
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  #11  
Old 03-28-2009, 3:32 PM
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if you miss with the first shot you always have a big metal barrel to swing around..
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Old 03-28-2009, 3:36 PM
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Bolt action rifles are used for dangerous game because they can handle the powerful cartridges needed to penetrate and stop DG. A large percentage of people who hunt DG for a living use big bore double rifles also because it lets them use the big cartridges needed plus it has a faster second shot.

People are soft targets and don't need a powerful cartridge to stop them.
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  #13  
Old 03-28-2009, 3:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oops View Post
if you miss with the first shot you always have a big metal barrel to swing around..
That's my attitude when hunting with a frontstuffer. I learned quickly that if I wanted to hit something, I needed to do it with my first shot! Hell, many intruders have been neutralized with muzzleloaders so, a bolt gun can't be as bad as some of the mall ninjas think. It's not my first choice but, it's not my last choice either.
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  #14  
Old 03-28-2009, 3:47 PM
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It's better than nothing. My AR is third down the line for my HD. I rather use my Mossberg 500 or Glock 19.
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  #15  
Old 03-28-2009, 3:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgey View Post
a rifle bearing down on you if formidable. at HD distances, you really are just pointing. if you can see the perp, he can see you and the rifle... if that doesn't scare then away, then after the first shot is fired, they will run..., unless you're dealing with a mentally deranged individual. should you hit the perp, rifle ballistics show that whatever body part you hit will most likely fall off... or if center mass, the perp will be dead.
Or, he's a smart criminal, realizes you only really have one shot before he's on top of you at best.

And what if you miss? That high powered round isn't going to magically stop. It's going to keep going through walls until it hits something (brick, several inches of wood, stone, etc.) that's hard enough to stop it. In most residential houses, you have 1/4 drywall usually, maybe some stucco before it's going into the next house over.

God forbid you live in an apartment or a condo.

Also, I don't know what kind of rifle ammo you're shooting, but you summary of ballistic effects are a bit of an exaggeration.

My advice to the OP- find a decent quality used 12ga. Almost any you find would be better for HD than a bolt gun. I personally have two handguns ready to roll at any one time, one of which stays in the nightstand every night.
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  #16  
Old 03-28-2009, 4:07 PM
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$325 for a 12ga (or less if bought used) is not a bad investment if you're thinking HD. Worth way more than it's value when it comes to your peace of mind. A bolt action gun will work but it's not very considerate to your neighbors. Also, one must be quick enough to cycle the bolt for follow-ups.
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  #17  
Old 03-28-2009, 4:11 PM
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Monsin Nagant, with bayonet attached?
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Old 03-28-2009, 4:14 PM
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Get a bolt gun with a straight pull and iron sights.
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  #19  
Old 03-28-2009, 4:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by proudamerican831 View Post
I have an 870 for HD. My two concerns for a bolt action is followup shot time and missing your intended target. Where did the first shot go?
Here is a good article.
http://www.scottsdalegunclub.com/faq...enetration.php
You make a good point....I have read many strings about HD weapons and only a handful of replies mention the shooter's responsibility for every round that leaves his/her weapon......I believe this point is overlooked too frequently in these types of discussions
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Old 03-28-2009, 4:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casual Observer View Post
I'd rather use a sharp knife than a bolt action.
Throw the bolt action at your threat, and then rush in with a knife.... or just fire 1 round of the bolt action, just to shock and awk ur threat (oh that better be a blank tho), and then again, rush in with ur knife...
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  #21  
Old 03-28-2009, 4:17 PM
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Shotgun or .45 handgun 5" hands down. Either one is gonna do some damage.
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  #22  
Old 03-28-2009, 4:25 PM
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Baseball Bat > Bolt Action
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  #23  
Old 03-28-2009, 7:07 PM
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Bolt action flame thrower is best, followed by chainsaw-crossbow.
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  #24  
Old 03-28-2009, 7:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgey View Post
a rifle bearing down on you if formidable. at HD distances, you really are just pointing.
Point shooting is the reason I like rifles and shotguns at close range. Forget the sights, just focus on where you want to hit and fire. You'll hit it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tragic Image View Post
Baseball Bat > Bolt Action
I'd take almost anything over a baseball bat. How much room does it take to swing? How fast can you wind up and swing? And I have news for you, there's a really simple tactic that allows someone to negate all the force of your swing and get into striking distance. Know what it is? A simple step forward.

The handle of the bat isn't going to carry much force, and you're going to be hosed if the BG has a knife, because now he's in prime cutting range.
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  #25  
Old 03-28-2009, 7:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tragic Image View Post
Baseball Bat > Bolt Action
A baseball bat is a large stick.

A bolt action rifle is a large stick that can also be used to shoot things.

I would take my bolt action over my baseball bat.
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Old 03-28-2009, 8:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by proudamerican831 View Post
I have an 870 for HD. My two concerns for a bolt action is followup shot time and missing your intended target. Where did the first shot go?
Here is a good article.
http://www.scottsdalegunclub.com/faq...enetration.php
Depending on the caliber you should be concerned about where you round went even if you do hit your intended target
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Old 03-28-2009, 8:29 PM
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Yeah, I'd only use my bolt gun (.270) if I lived alone and had no neighbors within a half-mile radius.
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Old 03-28-2009, 8:32 PM
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Didnt read all of the replies, but a bolt action is better then NO action in my opinion. I used my stevens 30/30 bolt before i had anything else, then got a .45ACP and used that, and then an remi 870 which i still currently use. Im sure a bolt will put the fear in someone better then a knife or bat, but any defence (bolt, bat, or whatever else) is better then nothing!
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Old 03-28-2009, 8:45 PM
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Didnt read all of the replies, but a bolt action is better then NO action in my opinion. I used my stevens 30/30 bolt before i had anything else, then got a .45ACP and used that, and then an remi 870 which i still currently use. Im sure a bolt will put the fear in someone better then a knife or bat, but any defence (bolt, bat, or whatever else) is better then nothing!
You used them all?

I think after the second time, I'd just move!
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Old 03-28-2009, 8:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evan69 View Post
At the moment I only have a bolt action, and I can say that I hope I never have to use it. Not just because I just hope nobody tries to break in, but because I really have doubts as to whether I would get a second shot if I needed it.


A gun is a gun! You would be pretty suprised how fast you can cycle a bolt action. I can get a few shots off with my Rem700 in 30-06 within seconds. I went to the range recently and i was hitting the 100steal plates pretty quick, just standing and shooting as quick as i could hit the plates. A bolt action can by cycled about as fast as you can pump a shotgun
A bolt action is quicker than a single shot shotgun.
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Old 03-28-2009, 8:51 PM
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BAD idea, a bolt action will go thru several walls, probably thru 3-4 apartment units.... BAD idea, spend $250 on a handgun or shotgun.
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Old 03-28-2009, 8:59 PM
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A bolt action would work for HD, but the BIG BUT of it is, most bolt actions are setup for hunting. This means long barrels and scopes that aren't quite right for close range and possible a caliber that is inappropriate for urban home defense.

The styer scout, savage scout and the ruger frontier would all be good foundations for a utility rifle that is a bolt action. If you practice you can work the bold quick enough to make the bolt action effective for HD. After all people use pump actions and lever actions for home defense and they are not all that much faster then a factory bolt action.
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Old 03-28-2009, 9:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superjc View Post
BAD idea, a bolt action will go thru several walls, probably thru 3-4 apartment units.... BAD idea, spend $250 on a handgun or shotgun.
WRONG....and right.

Wrong..in the sense just being a bolt gun does not give the gun extra super powers. A bolt gun in say .223 isn't more "risky" then say an AR for home defense. The action in it's self isn't the issue. it's the caliber that you need to stay focused on.

Right...in that bolt guns tend to be setup for hunting and that could mean something like 7mm magnum. which would be a bad idea for urban home defense.

Also, note...just because it's a handgun doesn't mean you can stop worrying about rounds going through walls.
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Old 03-28-2009, 9:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgey View Post
a rifle bearing down on you if formidable. at HD distances, you really are just pointing. if you can see the perp, he can see you and the rifle... if that doesn't scare then away, then after the first shot is fired, they will run..., unless you're dealing with a mentally deranged individual. should you hit the perp, rifle ballistics show that whatever body part you hit will most likely fall off... or if center mass, the perp will be dead.

Are you serious? You're counting on them not being mentally deranged and having the fear and presence of mind to run after the first shot is fired? Don't underestimate the will to live and the size of the fight in the dog. Research the 1986 FBI Miami shootout and how Matix and Platt was shot multiple times, fatally even, but they just weren't dying fast enough.

And body parts don't just fall off when hit with a rifle round. There are plenty of vets from Iraq and Afghanistan that will attest to that.

I say if you're in an HD scenario, your life and those of your loved ones are most likely on the line. My advice is to use a sufficient amount of gun to incapacitate the threat as quickly as possible, taking into consideration accuracy, engagement speed, reload speed, etc. I 2nd the recommendation for 3" 12 gauge 00 buckshot in your choice of pump or semi-auto flavor.

Whatever you decide to go with, train train train. A bolt action is deadly in the hands of someone who knows what they're doing. Look how many people died at the hands of the Germans in close range engagements during WWII.
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Old 03-28-2009, 9:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CABilly View Post
You used them all?

I think after the second time, I'd just move!

Lol, i would to! I have "been prepared to use" all of the above for HD
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Old 03-28-2009, 11:16 PM
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Default Shotgun or 1911

If all you have is a bolt gun, that will have to do. Speed of working the bolt isn't the issue, handiness of the weapon (and power/penetration of the round) is the larger concern.

I think there is something about a pump shotgun or a 1911 being racked that would put the Fear of God in anyone in my house who didn't belong there.....

With handguns, you can use one of the frangible loads that won't penetrate walls as much as hardball will, but will deposit all their energy in a soft target (i.e., the bad guy). Also, if you select something heavy and slow (like .45 ACP instead of 9 mm), you have a better chance of it not going through the wall into your kid's bedroom. There are also lockable cases that have "speed lock" buttons that allow you to get into it quickly, but keep children out.

Use the right tool for the job. If you're hunting dangerous game in Africa, use a high powered bolt gun. If you need to repel boarders in California, use a pump shotgun or handgun.
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Old 03-28-2009, 11:30 PM
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Swiss K-31 with straight pull can be fast on follow up.
Mount some red dot and it should be formidable.
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Old 03-29-2009, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1859sharps View Post
WRONG....and right.

Wrong..in the sense just being a bolt gun does not give the gun extra super powers. A bolt gun in say .223 isn't more "risky" then say an AR for home defense. The action in it's self isn't the issue. it's the caliber that you need to stay focused on.

Right...in that bolt guns tend to be setup for hunting and that could mean something like 7mm magnum. which would be a bad idea for urban home defense.

Also, note...just because it's a handgun doesn't mean you can stop worrying about rounds going through walls.
A .223 round is much more powerful than you give it credit. It WILL penetrate a stucco wall, drywall or a flack vest! The only reason I won't use a rifle is strictly SAFETY concerns for my neighbors and other family members who dwell in my house. I use a .380 for home defense. Positively DEADLY <10yds under almost ANY conditions. It's not as clumsy as a shotgun and even though a .380 will penetrate some walls, Enough energy will be dissipated to make a lethal stray unlikely.

On the other hand, If a rifle is all you have, It's the best weapon for home defense!
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Old 03-29-2009, 1:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by civilsnake View Post
Bolt action flame thrower is best, followed by chainsaw-crossbow.
A chainsaw isn't a bad idea, actually. Knives have been shown to produce more intimidation and fear than guns, and a chainsaw would scare the crap outta young punks fed on a steady diet of the latest horror movies.

Just the sound of one starting up would cause anyone but the most determined, hardened criminal to run in terror, and there's not likely to be any gun charges (shooting within city limits, etc.) brought up by a over-zealous DA against a homeowner who just happened to grab the nearest implement available: his chainsaw.
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Old 03-29-2009, 1:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragunov View Post
A .223 round is much more powerful than you give it credit. It WILL penetrate a stucco wall, drywall or a flack vest! The only reason I won't use a rifle is strictly SAFETY concerns for my neighbors and other family members who dwell in my house. I use a .380 for home defense. Positively DEADLY <10yds under almost ANY conditions. It's not as clumsy as a shotgun and even though a .380 will penetrate some walls, Enough energy will be dissipated to make a lethal stray unlikely.

On the other hand, If a rifle is all you have, It's the best weapon for home defense!
No, I understand the power of a .223. What I was trying to address is the comments that are saying "bolt action to powerful". What I was getting at was the type of action isn't what makes something powerful. IF (just an example) an AR in 223 is a perfectly ok HD choice, then a bolt action in 223 isn't any more risky. It's not the action. it's the caliber that makes something "powerful".
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