Can’t Stop A Wave

What began as a trend towards bolt-actions really got going after WWII, became an unstoppable wave in the ’50s and ’60s and achieved almost total dominance by the ’70s. Several factors came into play — the introduction of new magnum cartridges, a tremendous growth in cartridge reloading and increased interest in accuracy. More and more the bolt-action was seen as the choice of the more serious and capable rifle shooters.

An article I read in the early ’60s predicted the demise, within a decade or two, of every action type except bolt-actions and semiautomatics. The bolt-action would be the choice of enthusiasts interested in maximum accuracy, powerful cartridges and reloading. The casual, once-a-year hunters would gravitate to the semiautomatic.

As predictions go this one wasn’t too bad. Pump-action rifles have their devoted followers but in no great numbers. The few new pump guns to appear didn’t sell very well or last very long. The Remington pump rifle remains in production and seems to fill what modest demand there is.