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Straight Pull Bolt Action Rifles?

JuggernautJuggernaut Member Posts: 719 ✭✭✭✭
edited July 2012 in Ask the Experts
Looking for information from those that actually own Straight Pull Bolt Action Rifles and what they think of them.
Recent interest in Austro-Hungarian and Swiss Straight Pull Bolt Action Rifles have started me to research both rifles being somewhat unfamiliar with them and had some questions in regards to the same?

How many locking lugs do Straight Pull Bolt Action Rifles have and how safe is this type of action in comparison to the Turn Bolt Action Rifle such as the K98?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the Straight Pull Bolt Action Rifle as opposed to the Turn Bolt Action Rifle again such as the K98?

Thanks

Comments

  • beantownshootahbeantownshootah Member Posts: 12,776 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Just to go a little off topic, the modern German Blaser bolt rifles use a straight pull design, and these are really nice guns.

    And they ain't "cheap". . .typically they run about $4000 each.

    I don't own one, but I have a pal who let me shoot his, and its super nice.

    Nice wood, good trigger, smooth fast pull on the bolt, and IIRC, caliber conversion is relatively easy (though again, not cheap).
  • p3skykingp3skyking Member Posts: 25,750
    edited November -1
    The Steyr M95 is a straight pull design. To wrap your mind around the principle, imagine it as an automatic rifle that fires and the retraction of the bolt is accomplished by arm pressure instead of gas or recoil. The bolt in a straight pull can be compared to a bolt carrier.
  • yoshmysteryoshmyster Member Posts: 19,954 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    About 10 years back Sommer Und Ockenfuss had a straight pull bolt conversions for Rem. 700. I didn't pick it up because it was an odd caliber or something.
  • 11b6r11b6r Member Posts: 16,725
    edited November -1
    The Swiss K31 is similar to the auto rifle w/ charging handle. VERY strong action- it is in the .308/ 30-06 power range. Not all straight pull rifles used the same mechanism to operate the bolt. While most high pressure cartridges used a turning bolt design (Canadian Ross rifle among others) a few used a wedge lock system- like this one- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1895_Lee_Navy
  • agostinoagostino Member Posts: 414 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I was told by someone at the NRA that the leading expert on the Lee Navy was killed when a bolt from one blew back through his skull. I advise friends of mine who have them not to shoot them.
  • TfloggerTflogger Member Posts: 3,056 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by agostino
    I was told by someone at the NRA that the leading expert on the Lee Navy was killed when a bolt from one blew back through his skull. I advise friends of mine who have them not to shoot them.

    Properly assembled rifles are no problem when used with the right ammo. The Canadian Lee Metford could be wrongly reassembled and do what you described.
  • JuggernautJuggernaut Member Posts: 719 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    How many locking lugs do Straight Pull Bolt Action Rifles have and how safe is this type of action in comparison to the Turn Bolt Action Rifle such as the K98?

    And what are the advantages and disadvantages of the Straight Pull Bolt Action Rifle as opposed to the Turn Bolt Action Rifle again such as the K98?

    Regards
  • jonkjonk Member Posts: 10,121
    edited November -1
    The number of lugs varies by the gun, but in general it is two opposing front lugs. On some designs these are integral with the bolt body much like a Mauser (the K-31 for instance) and on others are on a separate body (like the M.95) and are more Mannlicher style.

    The guiding principle is that they are essentially a semi automatic bolt in a manually operated configuration, with the pull backward via various methods forcing the bolt to unlock, and then travel rearward. This might be via cams and grooves or pressure from guide ribs or whatever. Depends on the design. However the lock up is otherwise of normal type. As such they are as strong as any other Mauser or Mannlicher design, respectively.

    Both are notorious for being a little prone to dirt and having lack of camming action to start case removal- so a clean chamber and ammo is a must. The Swiss action is a bit smoother than the Mannlicher in general.

    Now the Ross and Lee Navy get into a whole other set of conditions (as do the older Austrian 1886 and Swiss 1889) so unless you are buying one of those, I won't get into it.
  • 1fisher1fisher Member Posts: 1,012 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have a Swiss k31, so I can talk about that gun - I don't really know anything about any others.

    It has two (big) locking lugs, and is plenty strong for any cartridge in the .30-06 or .308 class. The Swiss kept them as their main battle rifle for decades, so safety is not an issue. They are VERY well built and are great shooters!

    The idea was that a straight-pull should be a little faster and easier for a soldier to operate, especially if fired from the prone position. In reality, there is not enough of a difference to matter, and a turn bolt action is easier and cheaper to build.
  • Hawk CarseHawk Carse Member Posts: 4,320 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    There are a number of different designs, several rotating bolts like the Schmidt-Rubin family from the 1889 to the K31, the Steyr 95, and the Ross, plus the modern 1996 Mauser; a separate locking block in the Steyr 88/90, and the rocking bolt of the Lee Navy. It is hard to characterize the weird expanding bolt head of the Blaser
    The number of locking lugs varies from one to multiple.
    Strength runs from slight to as good as a turnbolt.

    The main drawback of any straight pull action is the lack of camming for primary extraction. A Mauser cams the bolt back slightly as you lift the handle, breaking the empty case loose from the chamber with a lot of leverage. A straight pull depends on the contraction of the brass after firing and the strength of your hand pulling straight back.
  • JuggernautJuggernaut Member Posts: 719 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thank you to everyone, some really good information here that I would have had to glean from several places to get specifics and helps a great deal.

    I think that I like the Swiss Rifle design here for a Straight Pull Bolt Action imho although the Austro-Hungarian rifles are fine as well.
    The Swiss bayonets are wicked looking to say the least; for neutral people they are quite efficient killers if need be to war as the entire country will come at you, but a great people as well.

    I will have to check into the Austrian 1886 and Swiss 1889 mentioned as I am not very familiar with those either but I have always been intrigued by the older C&R firearms.

    Regards
  • laxcoachlaxcoach Member Posts: 1,296 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Hawk Carse casually mentioned one that you ought to consider--- the Mauser 96 imported in the late 90's, chambered in .270, 25-06, 30-06, and 7mag. It has 16 locking lugs, and all I've seen are very accurate. They were bought out by Blaser who promptly discontinued it, probably because it competed with Blaser's straight-pull models at less than half the price.
    Two advantages to this particular rifle---height of scope rings were not an issue, and they could be reloaded for a second shot without dismounting the gun.
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