View Full Version : bolt-action for self-defense?

July 25, 2002, 07:33 PM
Why not?
You can get about as fast with a bolt as a slide, and those magazines might come in pretty handy.
Find you a slug that only penetrates about 16" at 25 yds, and you're looking pretty good.

Who makes good bolt-action slug guns?
I know Mossberg has one.


Dave R
July 25, 2002, 07:49 PM
I think you've got to be pretty well trained to operate a bolt as fast as a slide. I've shot both, and I am much faster with a pump.

July 25, 2002, 08:31 PM
I am sure there are some that can operate a bolt gun, from different stances reasonably rapidly.......
WITH well aimed shots....

But I have yet to meet one.


July 25, 2002, 08:54 PM
It just seems to me that bolt action would be inherently slower because you have to use the same hand both to operate the bolt and the trigger...a lag factor that could be significant in a self-defense situation

Savage (I assume by association also Stevens/Springfield/Fox) made a lovely bolt-action SG, far prettier than any Mossberg...I still see them now and then on Auction Arms.com and Gunbroker.com

Dave McC
July 26, 2002, 05:20 AM
The big 9 point rack over the fireplace was taken with a Mossberg bolt gun. One of my earlier ventures into gun mods, this had the bbl cut to 18" and some trigger work.It handled like a carbine.

In my long lost youth, I got to shoot a number of milsurp rifles, including 03s, P 17s, a couple of Mausers, and a fine handling Jungle Carbine. I got pretty good at cycling those fast, using the heel of my hand and palm to do the work,with the weapon kept ready and mounted.

I could work that Mossie about as fast as most of the rifles. I couldn't cycle it as fast as I could pump.

I like B/A shotguns. They tend to be sturdy, reliable, and good knockabouts. For HD or other WIHTF crises, I'd rather have a pump.

The first rule of gunfighting is, "Have a gun". If a boltgun's all that's available, use it.

July 26, 2002, 07:39 AM
But I'd still be real concerned about doing it fast when under "high-adrenalin" situations... Pump is more "intuitive" to me...Autoloader even better , if reliable, then you only have to work the trigger (and I suspect, if I need it, I'll be in "spray and pray mode" whether I like it or not!)

July 27, 2002, 03:55 AM
One could make good use of a bolt - God knows I use it as my mainstay rifles ..., but, even that said, worse case, I'd use a pump (a 760), & especially for a shotgun.

Main answer is that "you can get about as fast as with a pump" .... I cut my teeth with a pump & cannot yet shoot anything as fast, or as quickly accurate (they are different).

Assuming triggers are the same, give me a pump.

July 31, 2002, 06:36 PM
I would agree that if all you can get your hands on is a bolt action, well, that's better than nothing. But for pure speed and almost instinctive handling, the pump is IT. Nothing faster exept the autoloader.

July 31, 2002, 06:46 PM
" ... the pump is IT. Nothing faster exept the autoloader."

& I'd argue that (regards the autoloader).

Maybe in the hands of a tricked out SA, some may be faster, but I've yet to see it. (I don't get around much. ;) )

Anything I've yet seen shows that a pump can be operated faster than a semi-auto.

Semis are relegated to their cycling speed where a pump can be worked as fast as a human can.

In any event, you still have to bring the firearm out of recoil to have the next decent, aimed shot. If any action can cycle another round into battery before that happens, what difference?

Still, all comes down to who's using it & how much they've praticed with that they've got.

& too, how many times you think you'll have to shoot someone with a shotgun in a home defense scenario? ;) Once really ought to do it ....

edited to change my first statement to:

Anything I've yet seen shows that a pump can be operated faster than a semi-auto.

Pumps are faster for those who know how to use 'em. I have seen some pretty darned fast semis (muzzle-breaked, etc.) though ....

July 31, 2002, 06:51 PM
Once will certainly do it. However, consider the possibility of missing with your first shot, or even facing multiple attackers.

kahr Carrier
July 31, 2002, 09:20 PM
If you like a shotgun with a box mag try a Valtro Pm-5 :D

July 31, 2002, 10:51 PM
The pump is capable and has demonstrated higher cyclic rates of fire than any auto made yet. The Benelli M1 is the fastest of the autos on the market right now, but it is still short of a pump.

There is NO comparison in speed between a pump and a bolt, in either sheer speed or aimed fire. The auto will hold the edge for 99% of people in aimed speed. Personally unless a bolt was all I had I would use a pump for defense.

October 5, 2004, 08:48 PM
gotta love the sound of the pump sliding as a self defense-scare the guy factor..

October 8, 2004, 08:12 AM
In a self defense situation I would much rather have a good pump shotgun.
In the hunting woods I like my Marlin 512 bolt action. With a 4x scope and sabot slugs the 512's rifled barrel is very accurate. It has done well at keeping my freezer stocked with the fixings for venison stew and chili.

October 8, 2004, 11:17 AM
If it is what you have, well...."Run Whatcha Brung"

But I still prefer the pump-action shotty. I have used a bolt gun a few times but it felt a bit strange to me. Seems to me that Marlin used to make a bolt shotty, too. Not sure if those are still in production.

October 12, 2004, 09:52 PM
Sorry labgrade, . . . not all autos are quite equal.

My Beretta holds 7 rounds, 2 3/4 inch, 12 ga. I can have at least 5 and if I hit it just right, . . all 7 empties in the air at the same time from a hip stance.

Like a Kodak camera, . . . just point and shoot.

May God bless,