Since the self-loading rifle appeared, it has been assumed that that while as a service rifle it has many advantages, for tactical precision missions, it isn’t in the same league with the time-proven bolt-action. And, considering that the self-loader is more complex with more moving parts and more contact between parts, it’s easy to see how this belief came to exist.
However, the performance of the M1 Garand showed during WW II showed that a self-loader could indeed rival the bolt-action (in this case the trusty M1903 Springfield) in accuracy, mechanical reliability and, under a number of tactical circumstances, actually out-perform it.
Yet, those comparisons deal with the two designs in a general-purpose mode and, though they’re sufficiently valid in that mode, it has always been assumed that in a tactical precision role, the bolt-action could be made to perform to levels not possible with a self-loader.
Since the self-loading rifle appeared, it has been assumed that that while as a service…
by Paul Markel / Jun 21, 2008