06 January 2019


InRange has demonstrated that bolt-action rifles are obsolete as main battle rifles.

I think people are wrapped around the axle over this because they've equated obsolete with useless.

I think they also take it as obsolete for all uses.

For pleasure shooting there's no such thing as obsolete.

If your goal is to go to a two-gun match with your Gew.98 and have fun, it's still serving its purpose.  Not its designed purpose, granted, but...

I am not really certain that hunting guns ever really go obsolete.  The rules, regulations and laws about hunting practically insure that even the most hoary antique still has a valid role in harvesting game and keeping their populations in check.  For heaven's sake, even bows and arrows are still valid hunting tools!

But not so useful for war.  Sure, any firearm can have a martial function even if long obsolete or unintended for combat.  We've only to look at the Warsaw Ghetto and other resistance movements in World War Two.  While you're looking, though, note that those inappropriate guns were used to seize state of the are military weaponry from dead soldiers.  There have even been purpose built "worthless" guns made for such a role, such as The Liberator pistol.

I love my old guns, but I don't expect to prevail in a firefight using a Mosin or Enfield.


  1. Ha! Surprised you didn't follow this up with a GURPS side by side comparison of hits and damages. Anticipation of that CMP 1911 is getting to you, man.

  2. I think Old NFO nails the Obsolete comparison.


  3. Also even in a military setting, i have read many stories of Coalition troops getting a lot of trouble from insurgents with old bolt guns.

    But the end result was not taking ground, but simply taking a few of them at the shooter's expense, and slowing progress. Under our definitions, that's a military defeat. But they might see it differently.

  4. You're right. A group armed with bolt action rifles could never prevail against one armed with semis - in a fair fight.

    1. If you're not cheating, you're not winning. Don't fight fair.

  5. I think that some of the critics are conflating 'obsolete' with 'useless'. Bolt guns do still have some uses, but they are not the equal of semi autos in most uses.
    As far as I know, the occasions where they are better are usually because of legal limitations (like hunting or weapon bans) or for other limitations, such as cost or availability. Where those limitations don't exist, the choice is for semi autos, which are really a limitation also since we are US focused and full autos are limited/ banned/ expensive, otherwise we would be having the same discussion about semi versus full auto.


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