No modern straight pulls?


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Big_E
February 21, 2010, 05:30 PM
I was pondering this when I was bored the other day. Every bolt action on the market is a turn bolt, whereas straight pull bolt actions are reserved to the Ross Rifle, 1895 Lee Navy (?? not sure) and K31.

It seems that with a straight pull you wouldn't need to worry about left hand/right hand models and can provide faster follow up shots than the turn bolt. I know the Ross had problems with the bolt flying out IIRC, and the K31 was the only successful one and is pretty much one of the most accurate mil surps out there.

So why have we not seen straight pulls on commercial hunting rifles or "tactical" rifles. Is it because there were so few designed that many people don't know about them or does a turn bolt offer something better?

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bhk
February 21, 2010, 05:54 PM
Probably the machining required to make a SAFE straight pull would cost much more than that of a SAFE turn bolt. I also think the camming action of a turn bolt to be advantagous to accuracy. This month's American Rifleman describes a Ross straight pull just given to the NRA museum that lost its bolt out the rear and severely injured the shooter. Good read.

rcmodel
February 21, 2010, 06:02 PM
Check out the Browning T-Bolt .22 rifle.
Also the Browning Acera center-fire.

And the Blaser R93, LRS 2, and Tactical 2.

rc

NG VI
February 21, 2010, 06:09 PM
Yep, the two I know of are the Browning T-Bolt and the Blaser

jmorris
February 21, 2010, 06:10 PM
They exist.

http://www.sigsauer.com/Products/ShowCatalogProductDetails.aspx?categoryid=31&productid=246

bernie
February 21, 2010, 06:10 PM
Mauser made one as well, I had a buddy that had one in .308 and it was very accurate and reliable as a hammer.

Big_E
February 21, 2010, 07:10 PM
Yes, the article from American Rifleman helped stir my brain into asking this.

I also know of the Browning Acera but I did not know that Sig Sauer has a rifle made by Blaser.

I think it is a very cool design and I know the only other straight pulls are the biathlon rifles used right now.

R.W.Dale
February 21, 2010, 07:18 PM
The Mauser in question is the M96 FYI

1996 by the way

MikeJackmin
February 21, 2010, 07:30 PM
Just take the piston out of an SKS and you are good to go.

rust collector
February 21, 2010, 07:49 PM
Isn't every gas operated auto a straight pull if you remove piston/tappet/op rod or turn off the gas? Ask any Yugo SKS owner. Takes some juice to open them up, too.

What about the Fortner toggle action biathlon rifles we've been watching lately? For most, seems to be an answer to a question not being asked.

Cosmoline
February 21, 2010, 08:09 PM
Maybe the question should be asked. The straight pull design offers superior speed over traditional turnbolts without the jamming and extra weight of a semi. I believe these are more popular in Europe than in the US. Most folks have never even tried one.

gb0399
February 21, 2010, 08:18 PM
are there any bolt guns with a "rolling locking block" like the mp-5?

Runningman
February 21, 2010, 08:21 PM
So why have we not seen straight pulls on commercial hunting rifles They have, but no one bought them. Just not a popular design in the US I guess. I have a Mauser M96 American 6.5 x 55 in a straight pull. Bought it new around 1996 - 1997 for around $450. They only imported these models for about 1 1/2 years than discontinued them due to slow sales.

rust collector
February 21, 2010, 08:28 PM
I have 7 of them, and have fired 6 (the M95 isn't a sterling example of the breed). Pleasant enough, but I'm not sure there is less jamming than a semi or less weight than a semi. Possibly more jamming and weight than with a Mauser type bolt.

I suspect that most folks attracted to turnbolt rifles are looking for accuracy, reliability, reasonable weight and good value. I'm not sure the straight pull makes the value cut.

I'll sure agree that it would be nice to have more SP options. The Sauer, if I recall correctly, was a beauty with articulated bolt lugs but at a serious cost.

How have T-bolts been selling lately? We all wished we had one when they stopped production (in the 80s?), but if we had bought them production probably wouldn't have been stopped. Have we bought them since?

Savage99
February 21, 2010, 09:11 PM
I never wanted a straight pull bolt action rifle. While I do say I like the 'machinery' of say a pre 64 M70 and like to work the bolt somehow a straight pull gives me the creeps.

I am more of a single shot, aim it well type of rifleman anyway.

To each his own.

R.W.Dale
February 21, 2010, 09:32 PM
The straight pull design offers superior speed over traditional turnbolts without the jamming and extra weight of a semi.

I disagree with this assessment.
The straight pull suffers from all the foibles of a semiautomatic in that is LACKS the powerful camming force on chambering or primary extraction of a turn bolt and unlike a autoloader you don't have a powerful gas operated system doing the chambering or extraction for you. You only have the strength of your arm which is considerably less powerful.

Anything that can potentially jam an automatic will jam a straight pull too. The only difference is you don't have the bolt inertia to jam that dubious round home or the gas driven system to rip it out..........

As to the speed issue compared to turnbolts, having used both actions I don't see any great speed advantage. If anything when compared to the British SMLE it's a good deal slower when you allow for reloads (5 rds vs 10)

Caliper_RWVA
February 21, 2010, 10:19 PM
What about pump action? That's a straight pull of a sorts, and doesn't even require moving your hand to an operating handle so even faster follow-ups. The Benelli Nova even has a rotating bolt head with two locking lugs.

Cosmoline
February 21, 2010, 10:38 PM
You only have the strength of your arm which is considerably less powerful

It's slower than a semi, but I'm not sure what you mean by "less powerful." I've never had a jam with any straight pull, but I've had many with Mauser bolts that required a hammer to open.

As for being slower than the SMLE, you've picked what's probably the fastest of all bolt action rifles. Even so a modern straight pull such as a K-31 is very fast. Faster than traditional Mauser 98 actions for certain.

SlamFire1
February 21, 2010, 10:54 PM
The straight pull suffers from all the foibles of a semiautomatic in that is LACKS the powerful camming force on chambering or primary extraction of a turn bolt and unlike a autoloader you don't have a powerful gas operated system doing the chambering or extraction for you.

True.

One range I used to compete at, it has an elevated long range firing point. Brass ejected forward of the firing point would fall a great distance. Not being a mountain goat, I decided to convert my 308 Garand to a single shot and save my brass. Shooting my 22 rounds in 22 minutes, prone with a sling, I can tell you I missed decent primary extraction. If the round was a little hot, it took a heck of a jeck to get the bolt open. Even normal rounds took a good tug.

I have a M1895 and a K31. The 1895 requires a strong pull and push to make the mechanism function. The K31 is actually quite nice. But my loads are nice too.

While I can really rock and roll on my K31, I would have a hard time saying a straight pull really improves accuracy against time. My M70's are very slick and fast in rapid fire, I have shot any number of cleans. To improve my rapid fire scores, I don't need a straight pull, I need a semi auto. Not having to break position to grab a bolt handle, that leads to extra tight groups in rapid fire.

Cosmoline
February 21, 2010, 11:06 PM
Keep in mind the M1895 is a very primitive design.

jpwilly
February 21, 2010, 11:53 PM
Just take the piston out of an SKS and you are good to go.

If you have a Yugo SKS you don't even need to do that!

Or remove the gas plug from your M1 rifle :)

Hatterasguy
February 22, 2010, 12:04 AM
I like them but I like oddball designs.

jonnyc
February 22, 2010, 12:15 AM
I was watching the Olympic biathalon match today, and I would swear the .22s they were using were straight-pulls.

Runningman
February 22, 2010, 01:29 AM
I was watching the Olympic biathalon match today, and I would swear the .22s they were using were straight-pulls. You seen right they are straight pull 22s.

Kentucky_Rifleman
February 22, 2010, 01:48 AM
I had a K31 for a while. It was a fun oddity of a gun. It was accurate, and I never had any problems with extraction. To answer the original question about why there aren't more straight pull models around, I think it has to do with cost. The K31 bolt assembly was a Swiss-watchmaker nightmare of machining. There were a dozen or so precision machined parts that made up the bolt. Modern turn bolts are infinitely simpler. Also, a turn bolt is a much sturdier design. The K31s wouldn't tolerate the pressures most modern turnbolts would before failing.

As a footnote, the K31 was hell-columbia to put a scope on; it ejected almost straight up, requiring a cantilevered mount, and ejected brass still rattled off the bottom of the scope.

TimboKhan
February 22, 2010, 03:23 AM
I am guessing cost is the major factor, which probably explains why a T-Bolt runs something like $800.00. I don't know that, but it sort of makes sense. Whatever. As much as I enjoy shooting my K31, I can't say that I have truly ever desired another straight-pull. Maybe it's a little close minded on my part, but I just honestly have never shot a rifle and thought "boy, if only this were a straight-pull, that would be awesome".

jbech123
February 22, 2010, 02:26 PM
Mauser made one as well, I had a buddy that had one in .308 and it was very accurate and reliable as a hammer.

I had the M96 american in 243. It was OK but when a part proke it was hard to find, and the trigger was set at 12 lbs from the factory. I ended up selling it because there really was no advantage, since the few tenths of a second to run the bolt faster is not really a factor for the hunting etc... that I do.

paducahrider
February 22, 2010, 10:40 PM
I was wondering when someone was gonna mention the biathlon rifles.
They have been straight-pull for decades, but WHO THE HECK MAKES 'EM???
I've never seen one up close, but those biathletes can operate them quickly with one finger, and they are ACCURATE!
Thanks for your time.

paducahrider
February 22, 2010, 10:48 PM
The biathlon rifles have been a form of straight-pull for decades, but WHO THE HECK MAKES 'EM???
The biathletes can operate the action very quickly with only one finger, and the rifles are scary accurate.
I've never seen one up close but have always thought it would make a heck of a squirrel gun.
Thanks for your time.

ArmedBear
February 22, 2010, 11:40 PM
http://www.championshooters.com/1827-fbig.htm
http://www.raacfirearms.com/Biathlon_7-2.htm
http://www.raacfirearms.com/Biathlon_7-3_7-4.htm

Browning also makes a straight-pull rimfire series, the T-bolt, not Biathlon-style, a regular pull-push straight pull:
http://www.browning.com/products/catalog/family.asp?webflag_=021B&catalog_=B

a T-Bolt runs something like $800.00

Not true. They're not Marlin 60s, but they're not that expensive.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
February 23, 2010, 12:58 AM
They're *generally* more finicky and fragile than a turnbolt. Not nearly as much torqueing power to close and open, and I believe weaker overall. But I still like them. Love the K31. The Blaser is awesome, though don't think I can afford one of those.

DMK
February 23, 2010, 09:04 AM
The straight pull suffers from all the foibles of a semiautomatic in that is LACKS the powerful camming force on chambering or primary extraction of a turn bolt and unlike a autoloader you don't have a powerful gas operated system doing the chambering or extraction for you. You only have the strength of your arm which is considerably less powerful.

Anything that can potentially jam an automatic will jam a straight pull too. The only difference is you don't have the bolt inertia to jam that dubious round home or the gas driven system to rip it out..........I had a K31 for a while. It was a fun oddity of a gun. It was accurate, and I never had any problems with extraction. To answer the original question about why there aren't more straight pull models around, I think it has to do with cost. The K31 bolt assembly was a Swiss-watchmaker nightmare of machining. There were a dozen or so precision machined parts that made up the bolt. Modern turn bolts are infinitely simpler. Also, a turn bolt is a much sturdier design. The K31s wouldn't tolerate the pressures most modern turnbolts would before failing. Actually, the K31 has a rotating bolt. That is what makes it so complicated. It has a camming action that converts the rearward motion of the bolt handle to a rotating motion at the bolt head. The bolt head itself locks up just like a traditional bolt action and once the bolt is unlocked, you are pulling it straight back just like a traditional bolt action.

jkingrph
February 23, 2010, 12:45 PM
Probably the machining required to make a SAFE straight pull would cost much more than that of a SAFE turn bolt. I also think the camming action of a turn bolt to be advantagous to accuracy. This month's American Rifleman describes a Ross straight pull just given to the NRA museum that lost its bolt out the rear and severely injured the shooter. Good read. \

I think you are right on about the cost factor. I have several Swiss K-31's and one 1911, and the machining is something.

So far as accuracy, not many service rifles have been made that can match the accuracy of the Swiss straight pull series of rifles, much less consistantly exceed it.

They do lack the strong camming action of a turn bolt type action and will not as easily chamber an out of spec round as easily, nor extract a round that was loaded too hot. Compare the action with say a M-16 or M-1, which if gas system is cut off are basically straight pull rifles, probably true for most centerfire semi auto rifles as well.

There has not been the interest on this side of the Atlantic to develop them for precision target shooting as for turnbolts. From what I have seen there is a good bit of interest in Switzerland but I do not know if that goes as far as our precision bench rest type shooting. There are some target/match type rifles made on the K-3l platform, but more for what we call positon shooting, I think.

R.W.Dale
February 23, 2010, 01:00 PM
Actually, the K31 has a rotating bolt. That is what makes it so complicated. It has a camming action that converts the rearward motion of the bolt handle to a rotating motion at the bolt head. The bolt head itself locks up just like a traditional bolt action and once the bolt is unlocked, you are pulling it straight back just like a traditional bolt action.

Yes but our point is that because you're rotating the bolt on a K31 via a cam instead of a lever sticking off the side which in turn rotates the bolt and then cams the lugs into place in their raceways you're at a marked mechanical disadvantage for rotating that bolt when it needs the most force to be rotated on initial chambering or extraction compared to a traditional bolt action.

Even note how a boltaction can rechamber a fired piece of brass that was fired in that gun but other rifles can not! It's because between the leverage on the bolt handle and the camming force of the bolt lugs wedging themselves closed you have enough force there where you can actually crush the brass into a size that'll chamber. A K31 has this turned around the wrong way for mechanical advantage.

Straight pulls never caught on because on the miniscule speed of fire advantage over a turn bolt is vastly offset by the much more serious potential of the firearm not working at all in battlefield conditions and lets face it VERY few firearm operating systems have made much of a splash with sportsman when they weren't widely used in warfare as well

Maverick223
February 23, 2010, 01:05 PM
Yes but our point is that because you're rotating the bolt on a K31 via a cam instead of a lever sticking off the side which in turn rotates the bolt and then cams the lugs into place in their raceways you're at a marked mechanical disadvantage for rotating that bolt when it needs the most force to be rotated on initial chambering or extraction compared to a traditional bolt actionI disagree, I believe the K31 has camming action equal (or of negligible difference) to the standard turn-bolt.

There are only two good straight pull designs IMO. The K31 (and to a lesser extent the 1911) and the Biathalon type rimfires made by several companies (and to a lesser extent the T-bolt). All others are inferior to a standard turn-bolt rifle IMO. The K31 is an engineering marvel.

:)

ArmedBear
February 23, 2010, 01:08 PM
It might be noted that the BLR is essentially a straight-pull centerfire bolt design with a lever attached. Leverage hides a multitude of sins.:)

R.W.Dale
February 23, 2010, 01:17 PM
I disagree, I believe the K31 has camming action equal (or of negligible difference) to the standard turn-bolt.

NO it does not! Not even close!

ArmedBear
February 23, 2010, 01:25 PM
WRT the K31, krochus is right. Just think about it for a second. I've rammed some pretty tight brass into a standard turnbolt (heavy crimp, not incorrect size). There's no way I could have applied the same amount of pressure to a straight-pull while holding the gun horizontal with no support. The physics don't work out.

R.W.Dale
February 23, 2010, 01:26 PM
It might be noted that the BLR is essentially a straight-pull centerfire bolt design with a lever attached. Leverage hides a multitude of sins.:)
as is the rem 7600

it's a straight pull with the handle in the front, that actually likely has the most in common with the K31 of anything being discussed here, one of which is the ability to be locked up tighter than a drum if fed ammo with any kind of dimensional issue or if the chamber gets rather crusty.

ArmedBear
February 23, 2010, 01:31 PM
LOL

You can do a lot worse: the PAR-3!

(For those fortunate enough not to live in California or remember the AWB very well, it's an AK-47 receiver with no gas port, and a slide added to work the action -- no camming or leverage, just an action bar attached to a moving AK foreend!)

Cosmoline
February 23, 2010, 01:34 PM
Straight pulls never caught on because on the miniscule speed of fire advantage over a turn bolt is vastly offset by the much more serious potential of the firearm not working at all in battlefield conditions

They didn't catch on because they're costly to build. The turnbolts are much more primitive and less costly to make on a large scale.

ArmedBear
February 23, 2010, 02:05 PM
They didn't catch on because they're costly to build.

I have an old Steyr-Mannlicher, and it's basically a Garand without the gas system. With a similar parts count and probably less precision, you can have a more rugged semiauto for the the same money. That's why they were never a common military weapon.

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