Bolt-Action Rifles for Zombie Apocalypse Survival
Bolt-Action Rifles Against Zombies
Bolt-action rifles are an extremely common type of firearm. These rifles have a very low rate of fire and limited magazine capacity, but is balanced with it’s accuracy and power. These make bolt-actions excellent hunting and enthusiast weapons for civilians. There is also a stock of surplus weapons that are in the civilian market for weapons enthusiasts. However, modern bolt-action rifles are still used in law enforcement and military units for situations that require these attributes.
I know that everyone wants some kind of sexy, big, black assault rifle that can shoot hundreds of rounds per minute…The truth is, not everyone has access to these for a multitude of reasons. We must be able to make do with what we can reasonably purchase or commonly find. In fact, by not purchasing the Ferrari of rifles, you may be able to afford other much needed supplies, food and implements that will aide in your survival. Remember, bullets won’t keep you fed or hydrated.
So, let’s take a look at the positive features of using a bolt-action rifle in the zombie apocalypse.
- Accuracy: This is very important when fighting zombies. You must be able to achieve a head shot in order to kill the zombie. Bolt-action rifles, especially when paired with optics, can hit small targets at a much greater distance than the average rifle / carbine.
- Power: Power not only gives the weapon range, but it helps punch larger holes in your enemy. Larger holes don’t completely mean an advantage against zombies, but they can help against other threats or prey. However, you can also get bolt-action rifles in smaller calibers.
- Ammo Conservation: Because you must manually chamber each round, it will aide in your fire discipline. Not everyone needs this, but in a stressful situation it is common for rates of fire to unnecessarily increase. This gives a false sense of security. You must ignore this urge and take well aimed shots.
- Durability (Cleanliness): Bolt-action weapons generally stay a lot more clean than a semi-automatic. This is because most semi-automatic weapons are gas operated; meaning that gasses enter the chamber to force the bolt to the rear and chamber another round. After a while of shooting, this builds up carbon in the chamber and can lead to failures to feed / failure to fire. With a bolt-action, the gasses exit the barrel and therefor don’t introduce as much carbon back into the rifle.
- Durability (Construction): These rifles also have a lot less moving parts, meaning there is less that can go wrong on them. For surplus weapons, they are usually built with strong metals and hard wood.
- Melee: You can also use these weapons for melee purposes when needed to. Most surplus bolt-action rifles have attachments for bayonets. They also have (as mentioned before) hard wood stocks that are designed to be able to strike your enemy with them. This is extremely important during the zombie apocalypse.
Now, for the negetives:
- Reload Times: The time it takes to reload a bolt-action rifle can mean the difference between life and death. This is especially true since the ammo capacity is usually under 6 rounds. Military surplus rifles generally make use of ‘stripper clips’ that have the rounds attached to them. They are much easier to reload a bolt-action rifle with one of these. However, this is relatively a slow process compared to doing a speed reload with an assault rifle. There are kits to make some military bolt-action rifles accept magazines. Also, a more hunting and tactical rifles are now fed through magazines.
- Larger Rounds: The most common bolt-action rifles are large caliber. This is not to say that you can’t easily purchase one that uses a smaller caliber, but most surplus rifles are 7.62 and up. The drawback to this, is that you cannot carry as much ammunition. The extra weight and space they take up will decrease your ability to carry necessary supplies. Remember, it’s zombie survival not zombie warfare.
- Weapon Length: Bolt-action rifles generally have a barrel length of over 24″ and the total length is much longer than the average tactical weapon. This makes fighting indoors much more difficult when clearing rooms is necessary. Having to put your weapon that far in front of you, gives your enemy or zombies a heads up you are coming, a chance to get in close and reduces your maneuverability.