Squirrel, you wouldn't happen to be related to my wife?
With a blowback operated rimfire, where the bolt starts moving aft almost as soon as the bullet launches, you may indeed be losing some energy to operating the bolt. In a gas operated centerfire, there's enough of a delay before the bolt is unlocked and startes traveling rearward that I doubt the difference is noticable. I should pull out my chronograph and check some of my .22's. It would be interesting also to chrono a centerfire semi-auto with the gas system disabled (in effect, a straight-pull bolt action) against the same gun operating normally to see what the effects were.I have however shot a lot of rim-fire 22lr. I have a 10/22 and a cz 452 varmint. The barrels on these guns are very close to the same length and I shoot the same ammunition in them. With both guns zeroed at 75 yards the 10/22 drops 8-10 inches more at 200 yards than my bolt action CZ.
This is my thoughts on this and it could be wrong, but the energy that moves the action back and forth has to come from someplace. Now if that energy was just the energy that was otherwise just going to give you more kick then it shouldn't make any difference but if some of that energy was going to be used to propel a projectile then it could make a difference.
Now you're talkin! Autos are for folks who lack confidence (or skill) in their first shot.i think i'll just get a 7 mag bolt action.
All other things being equal, the bolt-action has several advantages over a semi-auto, for hunting purposes. They are lighter, so they're easier to carry over hill and dale. They are typically a bit more accurate, making longer shots possible, if you practice quite a bit. Finally, they do not compromise on performance in any way, nor are they prone to getting dirty, the way some semi-autos are. Plus, they're usually a bit less expensive, if you're comparing quality rigs.i think i'll just get a 7 mag bolt action.