What are Bolt Action Shotguns Used for?

What are Bolt Action Shotguns Used for?

Bolt Action Shotguns

Bolt action shotguns are typically used to hunt deer and small game. They are an economical alternative, preferred especially by those new to hunting.

Bolt action is a type of action that requires the user to manually manipulate the bolt using a handle to load cartridges into and out of the gun’s barrel chamber. The handle is most commonly situated on the right-hand side of the shotgun.


Most firearms that use a bolt action mechanism are rifles, with some shotgun variants, and even a few handguns. The first bolt-action rifle was manufactured in 1824 by Johann Nikolaus von Dreyse. Von Dreyse’s rifle, called the Needle Rifle, was perfected by 1836, and the Prussian Army later adopted it.

Starting with the late 19th century, and all the way through the World Wars, bolt guns were the standard infantry firearm for most of the world’s armed forces. Later, these have been mostly replaced by selective-fire and semi-automatic firearms, except for the sniper sector. Snipers still largely use bolt action designs due to their naturally better precision. They’re also very popular for non-military use, specifically target shooting and hunting.


Other manually operated actions exist, including the lever action and pump action mechanisms, but the bolt action is superior to them in several aspects. Bolt action guns offer a greater balance of strength, allowing the use of powerful cartridges. They are rugged, reliable, and very accurate. They are lightweight and cost much less than self-loading firearms. Due to less stress being placed on the shooter’s trigger hand and fingers, bolt action shotguns have become popular alternatives to level action shotguns over the years.


Bolt actions have been commonly used for .410 entry level shotguns and for affordable 12-gauge shotguns. One of the most advanced and recent bolt action shotgun model is the MASS (or M26 Modular Accessory Shotgun System). MASS was designed to be attached to an M4 carbine or an M16 rifle using an under-barrel mount, but it can also be used as a standalone weapon with the standalone kit.

Last Word

To sum it up, there are several advantages that come with a bolt action mechanism. Perhaps the most important one is increased accuracy, followed by their low cost, light-weight build, and the powerful cartridges the guns use.

If you want to hunt deer and small game, and/or if you are novice hunter, a bolt action shotgun might be the right weapon for you.

There are several good retailers that offer bolt action shotguns for sale online at a reasonable price.

Find the model that best suits your needs and enjoy an even more pleasant hunting experience.

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