Single shot vs repeater


Mar 8, 2018
It’s probably been discussed before, but I couldn’t find any information on it. I’m looking to get in to recreational ELR shooting, and was curious if there is indeed an accuracy benefit of single shot actions vs repeaters!?
Apr 8, 2010
in theory there is less flex because there is more bottom metal, but between you and me for ELR stuff the accuracy gained is far outweighed by reading the environmentals and proper load development.
and most elr guys are using custom actions that are much beefier than a rem 700 of old.
my benchrest guns are like tanks but that accuracy is not needed for elr.


Lt. Colonel
Mar 16, 2008
Flagstaff, AZ
At times I liked my Surgeon XL repeater more than my single shot because I prefer to get another shot off as fast as possible, especially if I just made a hit. A quick correction can make the difference by getting a few hits when the condition is stable vs a few seconds later when it changes.

I doubt a single shot is going to shoot any better than that XL.


Full Member
Jul 23, 2014
Brisbane Australia
I run both , and struggle to see the accuracy difference up to 375 cal . I don’t
run a 50 , so maybe there is a benifit there . Big step up in energy there .
Having shot single round only range comps a bit , single shot is not a big
handicap for the dexterous .


Swamp Rat
Sep 28, 2012
Central Florida
I have a repeater action for ELR but am loading these suckers looong, so I use it like a single shot. With the rounds kept by my right hand, a repeat shot is not much slower than a mag fed follow up and I don't have to move my cheek weld or come off glass either.
Apr 6, 2014
In my experience there is no difference in accuracy between single shot actions and repeater actions. Although in theory single shot actions increase system rigidity which would favor accuracy potential. However loading single shot is in my opinion the super method for ELR for two reasons. First your not limited to magazine length for seating your long boat tails and secondly you are ensuring pristine ammo, i.e. no chances of dinging nose of bullet. Even a small scratch from ramping up feed ramp on bullet can affect yaw and/or rotational drift therefore increasing your at distance spread. Reapeter actions can be single shot fed but typically do better with a single shot block/sled in magwel to ensure proper feeding
Oct 13, 2017
Tons of awesome feedback here, but hey I will throw in my personal experience....I have both, and both types yield equal accuracy in all conditions I have encountered...I always tell people that if you think something will make your rig more accurate? then by all means do it! Having confidence in your rig only helps to make the end result better!!
Likes: lash


Gunny Sergeant
Mar 19, 2011
Omaha, Nebraska
Like others say, short range benchrest guys can (and do) argue about the difference in accuracy. At ELR, it doesn't matter. BUT... a single shot is a whole lot easier to deal with in my view.

With a single shot:
-You are no longer constrained by what will feed through the magazines - you can load them til they're pracically falling out of the case if you want.
-You don't have to spend money on magazines
-You have fewer areas to clean out and/or malfunction
-You get the option to run without an ejector, which some prefer if you're going to get anal about keeping your expensive ELR brass in good shape.
-only a little slower loading time. You might be surprised how quickly you can load a single shot bolt action. 5-8 seconds between shots is sustainable while prone from a solid support.

Bottom line for me is that I won't use a repeater unless I have to. Otherwise, it's all downside.

Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
Arizona, good place for me...
All my rifles are repeaters, yet I fire most of them single feed (with SLED/single feed followers for my AR's), and build my handloads to within magazine length limits. As such, I still have the option of either mag feeding or single feeding.

I do essentially all my shooting from the bench; at my age, positional shooting has become very strenuous for me.

Because I made the arbitrary decision early on to stick with repeaters, I have no subjective comparison to single shot actions, and don't feel the need for one. My rifles shoot well enough whichever way I need them to, and questions like the topic header never occur to me.