Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Rocking the bolty

Here's a skill I've been working on: old-school rapid fire with a bolt gun.

My setup is an SMLE (bubba sporter) with a homemade 3 point sling. A lot of people don't care for the 3 point, others love it (Jeff Cooper says!). I dig it. Once you are set up, you can asjust the length of the sling all day for carrying, and not lose time getting slung up tight. When its adjusted right, the gun is locked on to your support arm, bringing the full weight of your upper body into settling recoil. Also, it allows you to let go with the firing hand and not let the gun slip.

So, you have your rifle slung up tight. Settle it firmly into your shoulder with your support hand. You should be able to let go completely with your shooting hand. Next, grab the bolt handle. Grip it firmly with your thumb and forefinger. There it will stay, for the next 10 rounds (five, if its not a smle). Both eyes open, like you are shooting a pistol. Get on target, and rip open the action and chamber a round. Reach out with your middle finger and pull the trigger. BAM! Rip open the action as soon as recoil starts, slamming it shut as the gun is coming back down, and slap the trigger as soon as the sights come back on target. BAM! Rinse and repeat for ten rounds. Now, grab your stripper clip (note: yes, this is an actual clip. A little spring steel piece that holds 5 rounds in a straight line.) with your shooting hand. Drop it in the clip guide and shove the rounds in. Yank the clip out of the guide and grab the bolt again. Five more rounds on target, then back to the clip. The last five rounds go downrange.

Congratulations, you just put twenty rounds of 174 gr bullets into a man sized target in as many seconds. Thats as fast as many people can run a semiauto, and you've launched the equivalent of 60 rounds of .223 (by weight). By the way, you've just expended $64. Grin in a manic fashion to mask the sound of your wallet screaming.

Fun, wasn't it? During WWI, the German army was convinced that the Brits all had machine guns, they were that adept at firing in this manner. Thats probably no small part of the SMLE remaining on service until the 1960s.

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