4 days, 3 hours ago
So back to the bolt action rifles in the original question: there is no reason why such weapons cannot be used to suppress the enemy, particularly if their very nature means you have to be more accurate with them. This exposes the weakness of automatic weapons: if you face someone with uncontrolled automatic weapons, they could be hosing down your general area but not effectively, while you can put one through their eye with your bolt action rifle. That does not mean all automatic weapons are bad, it depends on the operator: a good operator with a SAW firing short controlled burst will kill/suppress well.
Similarly with semi-automatic weapons with thirty round magazines, like AK or ARs, these can be devastatingly effective but in the wrong untrained hands can be next to useless. So a lot of this comes back to quality of the individual and the level of training and experience they have. Once the adrenalin stacks up in a contact situation it is very easy to look over your sights and fire into or towards the enemy, rapidly pumping rounds downrange in the excitement of the contact. You have to mentally get a grip of yourself, re-focus to get a sight picture and get more accurate.
So far I have basically said that you can use a lot of different types of rifles to be effective so long as you are trained to do so, and conversely even if you have the best equipment none of that will help you if you are just a tacticool goon. Yes, a well-trained team will be more effective if they have better equipment, but I am telling you not to give up hope if you have just bolt action hunting rifles. The advancing German Army at the beginning of the First World War thought they were up against machine gun battalions as they pushed the British Expeditionary Force back to the English Channel. No, it was the fire power generated by the British infantryman with his bolt action Lee-Enfield rifle.
Shotguns are a different matter in my opinion, (mentioned in the original question). At least with bolt action rifles you can try and adapt your tactics to take advantage of range and accuracy if terrain allows, but with shotguns you lose range, volume of fire and also accuracy. Useful for close range contacts in close country, historically carried by point men in the Jungle; I’d prefer an AR.
In many of the scenarios we have discussed here I would never even think to equate having a bolt action rifle as being inferior to having an AR, except for CQB. Recall also what Travis Haley accomplished with the use of an AR at long distances.
So even using an AR, a scope, deliberate, methodical fire, and a trained shooter is superior to “tacticool” operators. Furthermore, it seems to me that if concealment didn’t work and you find yourself potentially facing CQB, my 3-e’s are always important if you want to stay alive: egress, evasion and escape. In any of the scenarios we have discussed over the pages of this web site, a bolt action rifle and a good revolver might be more valuable than any other commodity.