What is the Best Hunting Rifle? Lever Action vs Bolt Action Rifle

0 1866 Sep 02, 2022

The right rifle carries many advantages, from accurate hunting to easy handling. Regardless of your specific requirements, you’ll likely be considering either a bolt action or lever action rifle for their reliability and strength.

Both formats have become popular rifle actions, ideal for use at gun ranges and varied hunting applications. Read on to learn the key differences between lever action and bolt action rifles, how they work, and which design is best suited to your needs.

Lever action rifles

A well-known American design, the lever action rifle was first introduced by Colt in the 1800’s. This relatively straightforward design operates by pulling down the lever to move the firing pin and bolt backwards, releasing the empty cartridge and loading a new one into the chamber. 

The new bullet is sent directly downrange toward your target, once the lever is returned to start position and the trigger is pulled, allowing the hammer to strike the firing pin and cartridge primer at force.

Advantages and disadvantages

This effective lever action results in a fast, reliable bullet release, making it a suitable choice when hunting in dense overgrowth. When choosing between types of rifles, it’s worth bearing in mind a lever action can hold a lot of ammunition, operate with a highly consistent trigger, and sit comfortably on your shoulders; ideal for horseback excursions and stalking. 

However there are several disadvantages to a lever action rifle, with lower accuracy than other rifles and plenty of disassembly required for cleaning. The tubular magazine under the barrel makes pointed bullets an issue, with the risk of internal damage or accidental firing if dropped. 

Bolt action rifles 

A German design from the 1800’s, the bolt action rifle boasts a simple yet highly effective mechanism. Reliable accuracy and ability to hit targets from a distance make it a powerful sniper rifle suitable for larger prey or large areas where accuracy is needed over rate of fire. 

The firing mechanism is made of internal tube golding lugs at the front and back, locking the bolt in place during use. Typically the handle is pulled up and back to eject spent casings and forward to load a new one, with the trigger releasing a bullet once the bolt has been rotated down to unblock the firing pin.

Advantages and disadvantages

Anyone looking for highly accurate rifle actions will appreciate the strength and versatility of a bolt action rifle, where a wide range of high-pressure cartridges are suitable for use. With many repeatedly-precise bolt action variations available to suit a wide range of specifications, there’s an easy-to-clean option at Belmont Guns and Ammo to suit your needs.

Typically handles are on the right side, not suitable for some left-handers. However, the main disadvantage of a bolt action rifle lies in its slow cycle due to manual actions required to load and release every round. 

Need more information? Contact Belmont Guns and Ammo

As dedicated providers of wide-ranging rifle actions from reputable brands, Belmont Guns and Ammo are long-standing trusted suppliers of level action and bolt action rifles in Perth. With a focus on gun safety and responsible practices, you can rely on the extensive experience of our knowledge team. 

Contact Belmont Guns and Ammo today with any purchasing queries, or to discuss the best types of rifles for your needs.