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Old November 23, 2012, 01:02 PM   #1
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.22lr, lever action vs bolt action

Can a .22lr lever action rifle keep up with a bolt gun regarding accuracy? i always use a cz452 american with a 3-9x32 scope for precision shooting and 50 yard hunting and a henry lever action .22 with iron sights for plinking on steel targets and stuff like that.
I like the henry for its fast rate of fire and the cz452 for its accuracy. Maybe a marlin golden 39a with a 2-6x32 sope could do both, fast rate of fire + bolt action like accuracy? Iver heard a lot about this gun being just as accurate as a bolt gun. is it true?
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Old November 23, 2012, 02:09 PM   #2
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I think to really match the accuracy possible with the best bolt action rifles, the barrel would have to be free floating, meaning that you would either have to have a box magazine or a tubular magazine that's completely independent of the barrel.

This five shot 50 yard group demonstrates that non-bolt action rifles can be accurate, this was from a falling block single shot.

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Old November 23, 2012, 11:36 PM   #3
big al hunter
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I love my Henry 22 lever for fun, and like you I enjoy my accurate bolt action. For putting fast shooting and accuracy together in one gun I have been thinking about a Ruger 10-22 accurised. They start out ok but they are capable of more. A new barrel, trigger and a few other options if that won't get it done. I have seen ragged one hole 5 shot groups at 50 yds from that setup. Just not sure if it is worth the money right now. Just a suggestion.
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Old November 24, 2012, 12:08 AM   #4
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The Marlin Golden 39a is very accurate. Not as much as a high end target .22 like the Anschutz, but pretty close to top end production bolt action.
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Old November 24, 2012, 09:08 AM   #5
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Just how fast do you want to shoot.

First off I think the inherit accuracy of a bolt is better then a lever, pump, or semi. A single shot bolt gun is going to be more accurate Inherently then a mag. bolt rifle.

But a semi is going to be faster then a pump, a pump is going to be faster then a lever, and a lever is going to be faster then a bolt action.

So what are you shooting. We have mouse gun matches. I shoot a CZ 452 Shooting steel at close range, 6-8 inch plates, poppers, etc. but then we have golf ball stages, or suckers or golf Tees. The semis and pumps cant compete with the bolt guns.

Try this. Set out some golf tees (not golf balls) at 50 yards. See which gun gets the most golf tees in the shortest period of time.

Better yet use some ISU 50ft small bore targets. See which type rifle can clean the targets, as in an English Match. (the10 ring is the size of a pin head).

I can shoot my bolt gun 22s petty fast, but not near as fast as I can my semi's or pumps, but with it comes to pure accuracy, the semis and pumps cant compete with my bolt guns. But then again I can't compete with the semis in the steel targets mentioned above.

Different tools for different games.
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Old November 24, 2012, 09:55 AM   #6
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In some cases with my style of shooting, a lever action can be every bit as good as a bolt action. However, as distances increase, then you can begin to see where they differ. As an example, my Henry shooting Eley sub-sonic hollow points at the indoor range can hit the tiny center X on the NRA smallbore target every time. But that rifle cannot be competitive in an outdoor rimfire silhouette match going back to 100 meters. In that case, a Kimber bolt action costing 5 times as much is a winner.
Oh, and just the opposite for the lever action Browning BLR-22 I had. That lever action was a big disappointment even at a range of only 25 yards. My low cost base model bolt action Marlin using CCI standard velocity would be a one hole wonder. So I guess that answer is that a lever may or may not be as accurate depending on which particular rifles, ammo, and ranges you have.

Last edited by SteelChickenShooter; November 24, 2012 at 10:01 AM.
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Old November 24, 2012, 10:56 AM   #7
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While my early Marlin 39a can easily keep 5 shots under a dime @ 50yds with it's peeps sight & my 70-year-old eyes, IMHO it's an unreasonable expectation to think a rifle with a two-piece stock can be as accurate as one with a one-piece stock.

My pre-A Model 52 sporter will easily place those same 5 shots @ 50yds in one small ragged hole.

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