Story by Dusty Boddams
Did the rifle make a difference? Having become a shooter, and I guess by accident a collector of military bolt guns, I have been adding to the “collection “ regularly. Probably most real collectors would turn up their nose and depart for greener pastures when they see what I have. My grouping is eclectic.
Not just for five shots but with reload under speed. Do the sights really make that much difference for fast shooting? What about cock on closing compared to cock on opening? Which ones are really faster? Everyone has an opinion, but have they done it or are they guessing? What about left-handed shooters? What’s best for them?
We are going to try and answer these questions plus a few more with this article. Now, this is not a true shootout of
Ammo was kept simple; all the above used lead-gas checked bullets, and all were traveling between 1,500 to 1,700 feet per second. Most all used the same powder, and all used the same
Standard IDPA cardboard targets set at 100 yards
METHOD OF SHOOTING
Seated from stable rest. Rifle supported. Five cartridges in the rifle. Bolt open. Rifle at ready. Timed with a pact timer. At the beep, commence firing – reload – fire. Total of ten shots . Must have ten shots on target or results thrown out. The feeling is
The results working with the bolt guns was a most pleasurable experience. Having the opportunity to compare these side by side, some conclusions were drawn. Of these rifles, the K31 had some issues and it was sidelined. Overall, the left and right hand shooter did best with the R. Farmage Mauser, followed very closely by the 03 and 03a3 for the left handed shooter. Also favorable for the southpaw was the 1891 Argentine Mauser,the K31 Swiss, followed by the Ishapore. The P17 was the next to slowest for lefty, but he shot an amazing 5″ group at speed. The Mosin was his slowest. Captain Jarrett really enjoyed the range time with the battle rifles, as it gave him the opportunity to shoot unfamiliar
The P17 ,1891 Mauser,and 03a3 were all a tie for me. The Ishapore during the test had a hiccup and was slower than four other rifles. I corrected the problem, reshot it and it turned in the third fastest time. The biggest shock of all this testing was the Mosin Nagant. It was one of the last rifles shot on a long morning, and with temperatures approaching the century mark it came in last. Typical rough clunky arsenal refinish with a hex receiver and an abundant amount of shellac. This old rifle was pulled from a crate and shipped to me complete with lots of cosmoline in the bore. Cleaning it all up and putting it to the test at 100 yards, I think my full choked shotgun was tighter. Honest 18″ patterns told the tale.
After spending a lot of time with these rifles and with Capt. Jarrett, the left handed shooter, a few definite thoughts emerged. First, a left handed shooter can be competitive with the right battle rifle. Some designs do not lend themselves as well to a southpaw. The second thought is that if you’re a right handed shooter, all the battle rifles are just about equal.Pardon the pun, but there is no magic bullet. Cock on open versus cock on close is a non-issue for a right handed shooter.DEAD FOOT ARMS