Closing bolt while holding down the trigger?


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stevekl
November 26, 2004, 10:41 PM
What would happen if you did this to a bolt-action rifle:

a) Chamber it (without turning/locking the bolt)
b) Pull the trigger and hold it down
c) Turn the bolt down

Would it go off? If not, is it safe to carry this way? Is it safer than carrying with a cocked bolt, full chamber, and safety on?

Thanks!

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Northwest Cajun
November 26, 2004, 10:49 PM
That what I do when I store my bolt action rifles before putting them in my safe UNLOADED. I feel it keeps the tension off the spring.
I'd never try that manauver with a round in the chamber.
The only firearm that stays loaded (cocked ans locked)is the 1911 springfield compact that stayes in the fingertouch quick opening pistol safe in the bedroom.
When I'm out in the woods w/ a bolt rifle, I'll use the safety or have a round in the chamber but not have the bolt down all the way. For my lever action rifle I'll have a round in the chamber with the hammer at 1/2 cock.

Cajun

rbernie
November 26, 2004, 11:00 PM
Would it go off? If not, is it safe to carry this way? Is it safer than carrying with a cocked bolt, full chamber, and safety on? It should not go off, so long as holding the trigger keeps the rifle from cocking. (The trigger releases the cocking mechanism that allows the firing pin to spring forward thru the boltface and impact the primer - if the firing pin was never cocked, it can't protrude from the boltface.) This is easy to check - just do this with an unloaded rifle and see if the bolt cocking mechanism is activated or not.

But I have to ask, as a digression - why is green earth would you want to do this? It's probably faster and easier to cycle the bolt and chamber a round than it is to try and manually cock the weapon, and it's a LOT faster and easier to just disengage the safety than to do either.

But back to the questions. Having a round chambered with the firing pin not cocked is still LESS safe that using the safety on a loaded-n-cocked action, since the safety should (in most bolt-actions, anyway) both block the trigger group as well as block the firing pin. Not using the safety with a round loaded will potentially expose to a slam-fire, should you drop the rifle.

stevekl
November 26, 2004, 11:26 PM
Well I figure that it's easy to cock a (mauser style) bolt by just lifting it up and pushing it back down.

cracked butt
November 26, 2004, 11:43 PM
Don't do it if the rifle is loaded. On most bolt actions, the firing pin will protrude- there might not be enough momentum to fully dent the primer if you let the bolt handle down slowly, and it might only take a slight bump or jolt to the rifle to set it off.

IT IS NOT A SAFE WAY TO CARRY OR HANDLE A BOLT ACTION.

Would it go off? If not, is it safe to carry this way? Is it safer than carrying with a cocked bolt, full chamber, and safety on?

With a mauser safety, it would take some serious breakage for the rifle to fire with the safety on.

Gewehr98
November 27, 2004, 12:04 AM
The striker (firing pin) on a good portion of modern bolt-action rifles protrudes from the bolt face once the trigger sear is released, allowing the striker spring to decompress. All you're doing when you're holding the trigger back on bolt closing is slowing down the striker's forward velocity. So now you have a round chambered with the striker pushed forcefully into the primer, albeit slowly. I sure's heck wouldn't dare you to butt-smack that rifle in said condition. :what:

If it's a Mauser-type action, the bolt shroud wing safety actually locks the striker in the rearward position via a cam on the wing safety and a corresponding notch cut in the striker tail. That's about as reliable as one can make a safety, short of leaving the chamber empty.

cracked butt
November 27, 2004, 01:29 AM
Another serious problem I just thought of:
If the rifle were to go off before the bolt was shut all of the way.
On a bolt action the lugs cam into the lug recesses in the receiver thrusting the bolt forward as it locks down. If the cartridge were to go off while "letting the firing pin down" it could happen before the bolt is fully locked which is a bad thing in itself, but is even worse when you have created an excessive headspace condition because the bolt is not cammed all the way forward. :eek:

If you value your life and all of your body parts, don't even try this.

Okiecruffler
November 27, 2004, 01:36 AM
Last year he bought one of my M44's from me. Tried it at the range with the mosin and blew a rather scary hole about 2 inches in front of his foot. He changed his ways and underwear that day.

buttrap
November 27, 2004, 02:09 AM
Been doing that for over 40 years and have not had a problem yet, but a lot of folks cant lower a hammer on a loaded pistol too without shooting a foot.That is how a lot of bolt guns ane made to be operated and the proper military method too. I may add that in that mode it is not a good idea to drop the rifle though.

Sunray
November 27, 2004, 02:32 AM
I'm guessing here, as your question is kind of vague. Depending on the rifle, pulling the trigger while closing the action may or mat not just release the hammer spring. Leaving you unready to shoot if and when you need to. The hammer/striker won't be ready to make the rifle go bang.
Some rifles, only need the bolt lifted and closed to cock the hammer. Others need a full operation of the bolt. Cocked on opening or closing.
What rifle? They don't all work the same.

c_yeager
November 27, 2004, 04:17 AM
On a bolt action the lugs cam into the lug recesses in the receiver thrusting the bolt forward as it locks down. If the cartridge were to go off while "letting the firing pin down" it could happen before the bolt is fully locked which is a bad thing in itself, but is even worse when you have created an excessive headspace condition because the bolt is not cammed all the way forward.

Not only that but if such an event were to happen you are holding the unlocked bolt in your HAND at the time too. Doesnt sounds like much fun to me.

Smokey Joe
November 27, 2004, 03:19 PM
Agree w/NW Cajun--that's how to STORE a bolt gun. However, as has been pointed out, with a round in the chamber you're resting the firing pin on the primer, and AFAIK, that's just an accident waiting to happen.

If it hasn't happened yet, that's just luck. DON'T CARRY ANY WEAPON LOADED AND FIRING PIN DOWN ON THE PRIMER. EVER.

Bolt rifles are made to be carried chamber loaded, cocked, with the safety on. And of course, like any firearm AT ANY TIME, pointed in a safe direction. The safety will keep the rifle from going off if the gun is dropped or other similar mishap. Keeping the muzzle pointed SAFELY AT ALL TIMES will ensure that if all else fails, and the gun goes off, nothing happens except startlement and embarrassment.

Besides the safety concerns, when hunting, you don't want the extra motion of hands cocking the gun, cycling the bolt to chamber a round, etc, etc. Nor do you want the mechanical noises involved. The "click" the safety makes as you slip it off is thunderous enough to spook game; you certainly don't want any more than that.

As has been pointed out many times, by wiser people than me, the most important safety device on any firearm, under any curcumstances, is that big nut located at the back end of the stock.

rust collector
November 27, 2004, 09:11 PM
Most modern guns have been designed to avoid any chance of contact with the primer unless the trigger is deliberately pulled. The butt of the gun striking anything would tend to move the striker back through inertia, and then forward by spring power just as if the trigger were pulled.

Safety wouldn't help you because most just block the trigger, and those that lock the striker do so only when striker is cocked, in my experience.

Modern metallurgy probably makes relaxing the spring unnecessary, but I still do it out of habit and consideration for my old milsurps. Just make sure the chamber is empty or a snap cap is in place.

JNewell
November 28, 2004, 06:25 PM
This is so inherently dangerous that I'm going to add to the pile-on here -- do not ever do this. If the rifle doesn't fire as you close the bolt (which would likely happen with the bolt only partly into battery), it may fire if the rifle is jarred, since the firing pin will be resting on the primer. If you want to test this, I suppose you could try an empty primed case, but I wouldn't even perform that experiment myself -- and remember that some primers are harder (or softer) than others, so even if a CCI primer doesn't go bang, a Winchester primer might (just inserting random names there -- real world primer hardness may be different).

Heavy Barrel
November 28, 2004, 06:37 PM
Why would you want to anyway? :confused: When you open the bolt you will eject the loaed round unless you just lift and close it again.Use the safety,thats what it is there for.

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