question about hk-91 style rifles


February 7, 2006, 06:08 PM
this relates to the PTR-91, G3, CETME, etc...

i was wondering - why exactly are they incapable of last-shot-hold-open? is it the way they're built that makes it simple impossible for last-shot-hold-open to be possible? additionally, do you know WHY they were made this way? i'd much rather use a LSHO rifle for use - if i hear a *click*, i don't know if it's out of ammo, it's a squib, misfire, etc, and also, for a reload, one would have to rack the bolt instead of simple hitting the bolt release...


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February 7, 2006, 06:21 PM
I like that feature as well, but apparently quite a few rifles out there don't have it. I am curious if there is any particular reason why they don't.

February 7, 2006, 06:24 PM
The Europeans never really liked it. The G3, AK, L1A1, and a variety of other European weapons lack this feature. The British actually removed the LSHO feature inherent to the FAL/L1A1, feeling that the bolt locking open was an invitation for sand and debris to get into the action.

As for the G3, some variants were made with the hold open. Specifically, the MP5 .40 and 10mm submachine guns, which were intended for the US market. I don't know if it was ever adapted to the G3 rifle.

As for why, say, the JLD rifles don't have question. They're still building rifles from mostly FMP/Portugese parts. Perhaps after they switch over to full US production they can incorporate this feature?

February 8, 2006, 09:15 AM
G3 rifles were designed as full auto.
When it stopped going bang, bang you knew you were outta bullets.
No hold open needed.
German practice after the gun ran dry was to pull the operating handle back and lock the bolt open, drop and reinsert a fresh magazine, slap the operating handle off lock and chamber a fresh round, go back to shooting.

Father Knows Best
February 8, 2006, 10:45 AM
Bolt hold-open mechanisms also mean more parts, which means more cost to manufacture and more things to break. The AK is a hugely successful rifle design that also lacks a hold-open feature.

I've heard (but don't know if it's true) that it was common to load tracers as the first 2 or 3 rounds into a mag. That way, when shooting the mag in combat, if you had a tracer you knew that you were down to your last couple of rounds and it was time to change mags.

February 8, 2006, 10:57 AM
Yeah Father that is pretty common. We did that in my Army days even though, as everyone knows, M16's do have the lock. I really don't mind not having it. Imagine a SHTF scenerio, or TEOTWAWKI. If you run dry during a firefight another member of your fireteam lays down suppressive fire while you reload, and vice versa. If you're out there engaging in firefights without a fireteam the last shot hold open won't mean anything because you won't last long anyway.
February 8, 2006, 05:05 PM
I really don't know about "...a lot more parts..." seeing as how the magazine/ bolt could be designed as such with little if any extra parts. Frankly speaking I've found many European firearm designs to be awkward. The heel clip magazine release is an excellent example of this design mindset. I'm sure they have their reasons but I don't agree with them. Oh and before I forget, the cost of tracer ammo would FAR outweigh the cost of any needed part!

February 8, 2006, 05:10 PM
Having the last-shot-bolt-hold-open-device (geez, they need to come up with a shorter name for that) does speed up reloading, usually. But in the thick of things, when you're really amped up, you might not notice the bolt locking back, and, just as with other rifles, will keep pulling the trigger until it stops going boom.

As I said, British Army doctrine was that such a device would allow sand and debris into the action, so they removed them from their L1A1 rifles. I don't know anything about the manual of arms of the L85 rifle, so I can't tell you if this has changed.

Father Knows Best
February 8, 2006, 05:59 PM
I really don't know about "...a lot more parts..." seeing as how the magazine/ bolt could be designed as such with little if any extra parts.

I didn't say a "lot more", I said "more." And yes, adding a bolt-hold-open feauture does require more parts. The magazines won't generally have more parts, but there has to be at least one moving part that reacts to the (empty) follower and catches the bolt. It has to be installed into the receiver and probably attached/connected with at least one other part. It has to be precisely fitted to work properly. There generally will also then be some sort of release button that results in yet more parts. As with any moving part, a bolt hold open is subject to failure. Failure may just mean that the bolt no longer locks open, but it could also mean that the bolt permanently locks in the open position, rendering the firearm inoperable. That would be bad.

The bottom line is that there is additional cost and complexity in adding this feature. It may not seem like much to you, but it could be significant when you are building hundreds of thousands of copies for use in difficult conditions.

The G3 and the AK-47 both omit the bolt hold open feature, and I believe that omission was the result of conscious decisions to keep the designs simple, which promotes ease of manufacture and reduces frequency of malfunctions. It is an inconvenience to us civilian/casual users, but obviously was not a significant deterrent to the general success of those designs.

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