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From: (Bart Bobbitt)
Subject: Re: Want recommendations for .308 Self Loaders
Organization: Hewlett-Packard Fort Collins Site

Frank Crary (fcrary@ucsu.Colorado.EDU) wrote:

: I'd expect the main problem in durability to concern the accurizing, not
: necessarily the action. Why would an accurized semi-auto be less reliable
: or durable than an accurized bolt action?

Because semiautos have more moving parts that have to go back to the
exact same place for each shot, the probability of this happening for
all shots for the life of the barrel is unlikely.  The most accurate
semiauto rifles built today are the M14 (and very few M1A) competition
rifles for military rifle teams.  Virtually every team member has two
of 'em; one to shoot while the other is being worked on or ready to
replace the one that is currently being shot.  I don't know of any
semiauto, highly accurate rifle that hasn't gone in for work of some
kind at least once or twice during the life of the barrel.  And a lot
of 'em go in to get fixed a lot more than that.  But if you don't want
them to shoot sub-MOA through 600 yards, then you don't have to have
them fixed and checked out all the time.

About the only time a bolt action rifle goes to the 'smith is to have
its worn out barrel replaced.

: Couldn't you get the trigger pull lightened? Although that would, of
: course, make it more of a target gun than the implied, durable hunting
: gun...

It sure could.  But doing so usually makes the rifle difficult to keep
from light-trigger doubling.  This happens when the trigger is mashed
off on the next round as the rifle moves forward after recoiling from
the first round.  The reason competition service rifles must have a
4.5-pound trigger pull is to virtually eliminate this.  And a 4.5-pound
trigger pull is very, very difficult to shoot accurately with; it takes
about 5,000 rounds of practice to do good at it.  Of those who want to
do good at it, only about 10 to 20 percent of them end up doing good.

If this person wanting a super-accurate hunting rifle for use at several
hundred yards, he needs a rifle that shoots as well as a target job.
That is if he expects to have a very high probability of hitting a big
game animal's vital area with his first shot.

Here's my reasoning; shoot holes in it if you like.  Let's say a deer
size animal has a 10-inch diameter vital area in the front of its chest
cavity; its heart is in the lower part of this vitals area.  Very good
hunters can hold point of aim in about a 1 MOA area.  If our deer is
nice and standing still, our hunter can take a prone position or rest
his rifle on something and aim at our deer that's 400 yards away.  His
movement with the rifle covers an area 4 inches in diameter.  Now his
rifle is super-accurate, like at its worst, shoots 3-inch groups at
400 yards.  With the hunter's 4-inch holding area, we add the 3-inch
grouping ability of the rifle and our hunter can now place his shots
within a 7-inch circle inside the 10-inch diameter vitals area.  But
the wind is blowing and a 165-grain hunting bullet drifts about 1.5 in.
for each mile per hour of cross fast is the wind blowing?
And what if the range isn't really what our hunter estimated it to be;
won't his shot go either high or low?  So, I think we've pretty much
filled up this 10-inch diameter vitals area.

But if our hunter isn't interested in making clean kills, then he'll
probably take something into the woods he sighted in 2 inches high at
100 yards, not knowing how well it shoots at 400 or so yards, aim at
our standing-still deer, move the sights somewhere over its back,
jerk the trigger and hope he hits something alive besides a tree.  And
it doesn't matter to him where the deer gets hit; just as long as it
is hit.  I wish I had a dollar for every one of these `situations' some
hunters pride themselves with..........I'd buy everyone on this net
two rifles of their choice.....................well, maybe only one.

: Why would the magazine effect accuracy?

Many M14/M1A competition service rifles do not shoot to the same point
with different magazines.  The reason is the magazines do not pre-load
the receiver with the same amount of pressure at the same points for
each one.  Tests have shown that some rifles will change point of impact
as much as 1 MOA between magazines.  You need to get a few magazines that
let your rifle shoot to the same point of impact.  Plus, it's difficult
to keep the magazine in exactly the same place from shot to shot.  Other
tests have shown that M1A/M14 rifles shoot more accurately without the
magazine installed.  Even the M1 Garand shoots better without a clip in
it; just used single-shot.


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