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Old March 15, 2013, 07:42 PM   #1
Nickel Plated
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Bolt action vs pump action.

So both shotguns and rifles have been available in both bolt and pump actions.

I've always wondered why is it that pump became the popular and quintessential action for the shotgun yet bolt for the rifle?

I mean pump-action is generally faster than bolt-action so why didn't rifle design go that route for the most part? Or why not bolt-action for both?

Sure there's a couple of examples of one actuion going onto the "other" gun but they're pretty few and far between. Why the divide?
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Old March 15, 2013, 07:47 PM   #2
hardworker
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Most pump guns have tube magazines. That doesn't work well with most rifle rounds. Bolt guns are designed to be fired from a rest if need be. No need to lift the gun to chamber the next round. That is not necessary for a shotgun. Pump guns work better for firing quickly on your feet. Thats good for hunting with a shotgun and not useful for a rifle.

They make guns both ways but once you handle them you realize why everything is made the way it is
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Old March 15, 2013, 08:03 PM   #3
Niantician
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Re: Bolt action vs pump action.

Rem 7600 has a box mag. I had one in 308 and even found 10 rd mags for it. I sold the gun to a friend who loves it. I found the gun to be one of those middle of the road things that does everything, but nothing well. Wasnt as accurate as a bolt action, wasnt as fast as a lever due to tighter tolerances. I just didnt like it. And yes the action is faster than a bolt gun, but it wont cycle rounds like an 870 will.

I think the rifle would make a good starting point for a scout rifle though.

Last edited by Niantician; March 15, 2013 at 08:11 PM.
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Old March 15, 2013, 08:30 PM   #4
jmr40
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Rapid repeat shots are necessary with wingshooting, not so much with a rifle. Especially with any degree of accuracy. While it is possible to get off repeat shots much faster with both a pump or lever action rifle when compared to a bolt rifle, when you start adding an accuracy requirement, the advantage is not as great.

Pump action rifles are not quite as rugged or dependable as bolt rifles and as a rule the triggers are much worse which hurts accuarcy potential.
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Old March 15, 2013, 09:31 PM   #5
Newton24b
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the only successful pump action rifles have utilized a removable box magazine. the other pump action was the remington 14 and 141. those were not good. lots of issues. nothing like having a rifle lock up when a bear is charging....


to make a bolt action shotgun economical to make and own, it needs a box magazine. a tube magazine, aka a kropatchek rifle, well isnt so good with a large diameter shell.

it does come to preference but in the end we have what we have. custom shops will make you what you want. if you have money
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Old March 16, 2013, 01:54 PM   #6
McShooty
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A bolt action shotgun is, of course, a lot slower than a pump for repeat shots. Where I grew up in farm country, however, the bolt action was the cheapest way to get more than one shot from your piece. No matter, you still can't get a second shot at a pheasant with one. Mostly, they ended up behind the kitchen door for use on pests.

Recently, an attack of nostalgia caused me to buy a used J.C. Higgins 20-gauge bolt in beautiful condition. It works perfectly and quite smoothly (They were made either by High standard or H&R, I think). All steel with a nice, straight-grain, walnut stock. It actually handles pretty well - I could bust hand flung clays with it.

Some possible uses:
Squirrels in the high tree tops.

Perhaps in a duck blind when hunting with a group, though most would be embarassed to use such.

Self defense. Take the plug out. I think laying down five rounds of buckshot as fast as you could work the bolt would be rather discouraging to a malefactor. Was that what you had in mind, Mr. Biden?
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Old March 16, 2013, 05:11 PM   #7
Jack O'Conner
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Remington has been building slide action big game rifles for many decades. These rifles are consistantly good sellers to satisfied customers. The models 760 and 7600 feature a roating bolt operated by the slide action. Very strong and dependable. Also immensely popular with Pennsylvania woodsmen.
The photo below shows me with my older 760 in .243 and a pronghorn antelope taken at long range. If this rifle was inaccurate, I'd have traded it off a long time ago.

Remington pump action rifles are keepers!

Jack

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Old March 16, 2013, 09:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Also immensely popular with Pennsylvania woodsmen.
That is very true because PA does not allow semi-auto rifles for hunting anything. My Dad carried a Remington 760 in 30-06 and had a it's predicessor in 35 Remington. It sure was a meat getter and my Dad seldom missed even on jump shots that you aren't supposed to take in the woods.

Basically, slide action rifles have been around for a long time. They tend to not be as accurate on average as compared to a bolt action rifle (turn bolt). Mossberg made inexpensive bolt action shotguns for years. I could never see the point when you could get a good pump that was a lot quicker for small game or for that matter, deer hunting with slugs. But the point was "price" just like single barrel shotguns were inexpensive.

In states that allow semi-auto rifles, the Remington was always a serious meat getter until AR's arrived on the scene in the last 15 years (in terms of popularity). They really took off during the first AWB and the populrity continued to present day.
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Old March 18, 2013, 12:32 PM   #9
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Jack O: Great witness for the slide action rifle and great pic! Didn't know they had pronghorns in Lancaster County
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Old March 18, 2013, 12:36 PM   #10
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I once read an article in "Weapons and Tactics for Military and law Enforcement" that postulated a good patrol set up would be a Remington 870 and a Remington 7600 in .223, both with rifle sights.

I was always sort of intrigued by the idea.
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Old March 18, 2013, 09:45 PM   #11
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The 7600 or 760 are hunting rifles versus target rifles. They are the kind of rifle you get out in September and shoot a bit to check sights and functionality for deer and bear season. They work very well for deer hunting. They are plenty accurate for deer hunting.

I have always chuckled as my Dad could never see the point of a semi-auto for hunting (in particular ARs and so forth), and yet he bought just about the fastest shooting rifle made that was not a semi-auto for his deer hunting in PA.
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Old March 18, 2013, 10:11 PM   #12
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They don't call it the 'Pennsylvania Machine Gun' for nothing.
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Old March 19, 2013, 12:41 AM   #13
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Newton,

I have never heard that complaint about the 14-141s, what are you basing that on ? I have a 141 in .35 Remington, it is a great rifle in my opinion. I am not saying you are wrong, just wanted you to elaborate on them being "not good". I prefer them over the 760-7600 design, as they just feel so much slicker and more solid, no rattle and slop to the forearm.

I am aware that the 141s can not handle hot handloads as well with their locking system, but used with ammunition loaded to factory specs, I have never experienced or heard of any problems. None of the pump rifles are ideal for those wishing to push the envelope with handloads.
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Old March 19, 2013, 11:51 AM   #14
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I have a pair of 12GA bolt action, box magazine, "goose guns". I always forget the manufacturer and model. They are the same model but one has the long barrel and the other is shortened but has a choke.

I'll never use them but I have been keeping them hoping someone in the family will show an interest and want them.
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Old March 19, 2013, 12:31 PM   #15
Glenn E. Meyer
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The 223 pump rifles were introduced in part to have a politically correct rifle in that caliber. Some locales thought AR platforms were too militaristic.

Didn't Taurus, Rossi or IAI (I forget) have pump 357s?
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Old March 19, 2013, 02:25 PM   #16
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Just tossing this in here, but IIRC Remington made a model of their 7600 that used AR style magazines. I think they called it the 7615.

Interesting gun and of most use in places where a semi auto AR may not be a wise or legal idea while also maintaining the ability to have decent magazine capacity or just more commonality with an AR platform. It was something of a homologation of the 870 shotgun and AR-15. They billed the police version as having commonality with the manual of arms of the 870 while giving the officer a more accurate longer range weapon than the shotgun. To my knowledge they aren't still making it.

Yup... found it.
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Old March 19, 2013, 03:11 PM   #17
Glenn E. Meyer
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The commonality argument was baloney. It was really a PC gun as I said above. Same rationale as the Ruger 9mm and 40 carbines. NOT an AR to scare the populace.
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Old March 19, 2013, 03:54 PM   #18
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Glenn, I know Action Arms made the Timberwolf in .357 mag and it was a pump gun.

My barber had one behind the door that he was selling for about $100 bucks and I kick myself sometimes for not leaping at it.


The 7615 was the rifle I was talking about that was to be pared with the 870 for a patrol officer.
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Old March 19, 2013, 06:55 PM   #19
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A major reason for the bolt/pump popularity was WWI.
Up until then THE American rifle was a (usually) Winchester lever action, and the most popular repeating shotguns were pump actions, with Winchester's Model 1897 and Model 12 leading the pack.

During WWI many American men were introduced to the high power 1903 Springfield and 1917 bolt action rifles.
When they came home from the war, many sportsmen went to the more powerful, more accurate bolt action rifles they'd become familiar with during the war.

If they had no exposure to repeating shotguns before the war, their first exposure with one in the war would have been the military Winchester Model 1897 and Model 12, so when they came home it was natural to buy the pump shotgun.
It became ingrained that a rifle was either a lever action or a bolt action, and a repeating shotgun was to be a pump action.

In the same way, during WWII many American's were exposed to the semi-auto M1 rifle and Carbine, and when they came home the demand for semi-auto hunting rifles exploded.
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