Finding the right single shot bolt action rifle can take a bit of looking, and a lot of thinking. Most of it has to do with deciding what you want the rifle for, and your preferences for it.

Will you want a scope? How powerful a caliber are you looking for? What will you be hunting? These are all questions that should be answered before you buy, so your hard earned dollars go towards the best rifle that matches your personal needs.


You’ll need a rifle that you can get a solid, comfortable cheek weld with. One that’s a good weight. If you’re planning on doing a lot of walking, lighter is better. If you’re planning on shooting from a rest that doesn’t take a hike to get to, you’ve got a wider range of options.

Type of Cartridge

The type of cartridge will determine the range you have for your shots. A rimfire cartridge is generally a .22 caliber or less and is for lighter shooting and small game hunting.

For all higher caliber cartridges, you’ll be looking at a centerfire rifle and cartridge. Some of the most popular bolt-action cartridges are the .308 Winchester, the .270, at .25-06, and a 7mm-08.

Figure out roughly what range you want to be shooting at, and what game you’re most likely to hunt, and decide on your caliber from there.

Advantages of a Bolt Action

These are very reliable rifles that have been known to work in tough circumstances. Made famous for their uses in war during the early 20th century, bolt actions are already field tested in all situations, and the actions have barely changed over the years.

They’re accurate, affordable, and most, if not all, are very easy to mount scopes on. Their ability to use a wide variety of calibers makes them a popular choice, particularly for those who enjoy long range shooting.

They’re also good for first-time shooters all the way through to experts and don’t require a lot of time to learn how to use. Their simple action makes them easy to maintain as well.


After every shot, you need to work the bolt before you can reload and fire again. The main problem is that it drastically slows down a second shot. If you need to make a follow-up shot, it will take time.

Whether you’re an experienced shooter or want to dip your toes in at the rifle range, a bolt action rifle is an excellent choice. Just make sure you know what you want before you go looking at a single shot bolt action rifle for sale. Knowing what you want ahead of time will save you a lot of headache.