Straight-pull actions- why not?


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Montbars
November 17, 2010, 11:48 AM
There seem to be only a few good examples of straight pull actions, the most popular being the k 31 swiss. People still love the K 31 and it has a great reputation for accuracy and reliability.
My question is: why doesn't remington, ruger, savage, etc. make a straight-pull action? every year companies churn out more and more bolt action rifles. Since the k 31 swiss was created in 1933, companies should be able to make a much better straight-pull action now! so why don't they?

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pikid89
November 17, 2010, 11:50 AM
the Blaser R8 is a straight pull lol

Acera
November 17, 2010, 11:57 AM
I really like my Browning with a straight pull action. It's in .300 Win Mag, with glass made by Zeiss. While not a lot of them were imported, you can still find them on some of the auction sites, usually for a lot more than they are worth, LOL. For some reason never really caught on here. (sorry for the crappy cell phone picture)

Of course you can always look at the Blaser rifle. Their R8 has a solid reputation. (edit, yeah, just like pikid89 said)


http://i494.photobucket.com/albums/rr301/300Acera/Guns/BrowningAcera300WinMag1.jpg?t=1290009157

LaEscopeta
November 17, 2010, 02:35 PM
I’m guessing design and manufacturing cost of a straight pull are about the same as a semi-auto, and you can sell more semi-autos than straight pulls. I’m also guessing the easiest way for a US manufacture to get a straight pull on the market is to take one of their semi-autos, put a handle on the bolt or bolt carrier and take off the piston/operating rod/gas port and whatever else operates the bolt automatically. If the resulting rifle has 80% or so parts the same as the semi-auto, it might be worthwhile even if they sell only a few thousand a year.

I wonder how many will buy a straight pull vs. the slide actions rifles already on the market?

1858
November 17, 2010, 02:54 PM
Acera, is it easy to pull the bolt back on a fired case on a straight pull action? Have you ever had to struggle with it? I don't know anything about straight pull actions but have to wonder if the bolt is hard to open compared to to a rifle with a 90˚ bolt lift.

:)

GunTech
November 17, 2010, 03:20 PM
Most straight pulls have little or no primary extraction. They're complex and expensive to make and typically not as strong as conventional bolts. Straight pulls have not had a great reputation in combat. The Ross was a disaster, the M95 was not well liked and the K31 never really served. Even the speed of the straight pull is not all that much faster than something like an SMLE.

Since military bolts have had a great influence on civilians bolt guns, it's not hard to see why the straight pull has never been nothing more than a niche rifle.

R.W.Dale
November 17, 2010, 03:30 PM
Straight pull hunting rifles are indeed somewhat common if you bear in mind that a pump action is simply a straight pull turned around backwards (frontwards IMO)

sansone
November 17, 2010, 03:35 PM
yes, and the rem 7600 pump rifle is very similar to the 7400 auto

9mmepiphany
November 17, 2010, 03:38 PM
The straight pull action has never sold very well domestically...it is even hard for manufacturers to get main stream folks to really buy in guns that use a rear lockup (think Remington 788) or retracting lugs (think Colt's imported Sauer rifles)...it is like hatchback cars.

The Browning T-bolt .22lr held a lot of promise...American name, popular cartridge...but still only had limited sales

I think the most common straight pull action are the Olympic Biathlon rifles

The Blaser is an awesome rifle...but this opinion is base on experience with only one example. It was their tactical model chambered in .338 Lapua, was very accurate and the action was the fastest I've handled since an Enfield #4

GunTech
November 17, 2010, 04:00 PM
Good point about the biathlon. But primary extraction of the 22lr is not a big issue.

http://guntech.com/rimfire/bb-action.jpg

R.W.Dale
November 17, 2010, 04:18 PM
Isn't the biathalon considered to be a toggle action rather than straight pull?

cleardiddion
November 17, 2010, 04:19 PM
I've always like the idea of a straight pull rifle; however, it's been hard to find anything that was popular (rifle and cartridge).
Rather like the lines of the Ross rifle, however the idea that parts of the bolt can be reassembled backwards and still fire. Doesn't sound too bad until you realize that the bolt will hunt down your face.

9mmepiphany
November 17, 2010, 04:37 PM
Isn't the biathalon considered to be a toggle action rather than straight pull?

I don't think it was that clearly defined on the OP

I was just addressing the question as whether the bolt handle is lifted or moved backward without lifting

GunTech
November 17, 2010, 04:40 PM
True, the biathlon is a toggle lock. But I suppose you could argue that the K31 is really a rotary lock with a straight pull cam actuator. I was thinking in terms of the movement of the lever, which is pulled rearward in the K31, Blaser, Ross, M95 and even the BB, as opposed to being rotated before being withdrawn in a conventional turnbolt.

Not to split hairs or anything. :)

LaEscopeta
November 17, 2010, 05:33 PM
Wait a minute.

Most gas operated semi-auto rifles have a rotating bolt, that locks and unlocks like a manual bolt rifle, do they not? The operating rod pushes back on the bolt carrier, which rotates the bolt (during the first inch or two of travel) then when the bolt is unlocked the bolt and bolt carrier continue to move back as a unit, opening the breach.

The Remington 7600/7615 slide action rifles (pump rifles) work the same way except the manual slide pushes back the bolt carrier, not a gas piston and operating rod, correct?

I assumed a straight pull rifle works the same way; the handle is attached to the bolt carrier and the manually pulling back on the handle pulls back the bolt carrier, rotating and opening the bolt. Is this not the case?

I’m just asking…

Jim Watson
November 17, 2010, 05:42 PM
In most of the later designs, yes, your pull cams a bolt into rotation. Some older straight pull rifles had tipping bolts and locking blocks. See the Winchester Lee Navy and some of the OLD Steyr designs.

The 96 Mauser was a straight pull that was mechanically functional but a sales flop.

So it is all your fault, Montbars, they have been made but you did not buy enough of them to get them established on the market.

NCsmitty
November 17, 2010, 06:10 PM
The main problem with straight pull actions is the lack of leverage to cam a round into the chamber. Under combat conditions especially, debris can prevent the action from functioning properly.
The K31 is a beautifully designed rifle for target shooting, but add a little mud to the equation and you'll likely have a problem feeding rounds through that tight action.

The M98 Mausers are much better at dealing with war time issues like mud and weather.




NCsmitty

9mmepiphany
November 17, 2010, 06:16 PM
I assumed a straight pull rifle works the same way; the handle is attached to the bolt carrier and the manually pulling back on the handle pulls back the bolt carrier, rotating and opening the bolt. Is this not the case?

I’m just asking…

Not on the Blaser, pushing the bolt handle forward causes slotted collets expand, locking the bolt body to the barrel/action with almost 360 degress of contact...like a molly bolt

SlamFire1
November 17, 2010, 06:20 PM
As a military rifle, the “speed” advantage of a straight pull does not out weigh the complexity and cost of the things.

I had to twice show a retired Major, Vietnam Veteran how to reassemble his Mosin Nagant. . Imagine all the fun you will have with knuckle draggers who have no mechanical aptitude, getting them to understand how to reassemble a M1895 or K31 bolt.

( Disassembly/reassembly of a M1895 bolt is not obvious, I recommend everyone try it without written procedures.)

As a sporting rifle, straight pulls are still more complex and more expensive and sensitive to the quality of ammunition.

On these forums you are always reading of reloaders who have problems with insufficiently sized cases in bolt rifles, or over pressure rounds, and don’t know it, and don’t think the problem was caused by them. Give that population a straight pull action and the rifles being sent back to customer service will overload the transportation industry.

pikid89
November 17, 2010, 09:40 PM
If im not mistaken, Ruger sells the Mini 14 in england with the gas system sealed so that it functions as a straight pull bolt action

Caliper_RWVA
November 17, 2010, 11:32 PM
If you have an action set up as a straight pull, why not run an rod and make it pump action? A pump has got to be faster then even a SMLE and it could still have the accuracy of a rotating bolt. It could still feed from a box mag to allow detachable mags and freedom of bullet choice.

desidog
November 18, 2010, 12:02 AM
My question is: why doesn't remington, ruger, savage, etc. make a straight-pull action?

I imagine it is because they don't care to pay R+D money for something untried; much like Hollywood would rather make a remake than a straight up new movie.

For example, Remington has had a loooooong time to fix their 700 trigger....but that's too much cost over profit for them...and to design a whole "new" system... well, lets just say that if these companies would spend a little more time and money on research and development, instead of marketing old designs, imagined before their board members were born, then we'd all be arguing about the merits of 40- vs. 60 watt plasma rifles instead of 80+ year old designs. IMHO.

/I love my K31s.

GunTech
November 18, 2010, 01:16 AM
I think Remington's problem is that if they admit a problem with the trigger, and fix it, they open themselves up to a huge number of lawsuits involving past ADs. The actual engineering to fix the trigger is, I expect, negligible.

As far as straight pull rifles, if anyone believed there was an actual demand, someone would build them. But there would have to be enough of a demand to amortize tooling and production costs and still turn a profit.

Uncle Mike
November 18, 2010, 05:32 AM
We are trying to get the Blaser, Mauser and Sauer line in at the shop. The Blaser, as far as we were told by the rep, has not had, or has no problem with extraction of stubborn cases, and he tells that the first little bit of movement of the bolt handle which is actually rotational, in the rearward direction, unlocks the collet cam and provides extra 'pull' on the spent case, after that it's all up to the shooter.

All I know is, the Blaser rifles are nothing but sweet, IF a man can afford them!

Like I mentioned the other day, most of the European designed bolt action rifles utilize a barrel extension for the bolt to lock into, instead of the bolt locking into the receiver, this is by far a superior way to lock the bolt into battery, as far as I'm concerned.

The Blaser, Sauer and the new Mauser MO3 use a barrel extension, allowing for caliber and barrel changes in mere couple of minutes, without any specialized tools or processes, and it can be done in the field, if so one desires. Also, this allows for the receiver to be made from aluminum for decreased weight, if that's your fancy.

Pete D.
November 18, 2010, 08:07 AM
A pump has got to be faster then even a SMLE
Now that'd be an interesting experiment. Firing each for speed and accuracy. The SMLE can be fired amazingly quickly. Quite a few YouTube videos show almost machine gun rapidity.
I have two SPB rifles - one is the K31 and the other is an Anschutz Biathlon rifle with a Fortner straight pull bolt.
I have found it difficult to operate the K31 bolt without moving my head away from the stock.
The Anschutz is a remarkable gun and can be fired, if so desired, nearly as quickly as a semi-auto. One uses the trigger finger and the thumb. The gun is fired and the wrist rotates up and back a bit less than 90 degs. Doing this allows the trigger finger to catch the bolt handle and pull the bolt out of battery, ejecting the spent cartridge. The thumb has been riding the flat rear of the bolt and pushes the bolt forward, loading a new new round as the trigger finger drops on to the trigger. It can be done about as rapidly as you can rotate your hand up and down.
Pete

Tirod
November 18, 2010, 10:12 AM
The reason makers don't offer a straight pull action is simple: The public will not buy them. Gun buyers are steeped in tradition, not engineering, and could care less about the improvements made over the last 100 years in rifles.

Ask a bolt gun buyer if they would consider an AR in the same caliber, you get bruquesly dismissed. What where you thinking?

And yet, the Stoner bolt design would be great for a straight pull. Add a side charger handle to the bolt, like the ASA design, remove the gas, chop the bolt carrier to expose the firing pin, use a trigger group with hammer, 3-5 round mag well in the stock, voila, straight pull action that rotates the case and draws it from the chamber easily. You even get the light weight of the barrel extension design, and can use an extruded bolt guide "upper" receiver to help attach the stock. With classic styling, some people would be hard pressed to see much difference.

Given some finesse, reversible ambidextrous action with right or left eject should be easy. With a bit of spring power, retract the bolt full to the rear and let go. It chambers without the additional push forward. Very fast.

A prototype could be homemade from existing parts in a very few days. How YOU react to the concept is exactly why it doesn't sell. Most would see it as a AR upper smashed down onto a stock and dismiss it, that gun is already out there. What it would look like if each part was purpose built to the design is what it can be.

You don't have to turn the bolt, try to sell one that doesn't.

leadcounsel
November 18, 2010, 10:51 AM
Pumps are great, but try working a pump while laying prone, which is where Soldiers spend much of their time in combat.

I'm a big fan of the K31 style straight pull, and it's no more complex in my view than the rotating/locking semi-auto bolt.

R.W.Dale
November 18, 2010, 12:20 PM
Pumps are great, but try working a pump while laying prone, which is where Soldiers spend much of their time in combat.

I'm a big fan of the K31 style straight pull, and it's no more complex in my view than the rotating/locking semi-auto bolt.
Myth!

Firing a pump action prone is easier to do than with any other manually operated action. When prone you cycle the slide lifting the muzzle and your body slightly, gravity then forces everything back down where it was before and closing the action in the process. Your hands never change position in relation to the stock.

I should know I fired a 7615 one year in our local CMP matches, and did well I might add.


A k31 is just like an autoloader except if lacks the speed of fire and the powerful gas system of one helping you with chambering and extraction. In other words all the disadvantages of an automatic with none of the advantages.

LaEscopeta
November 18, 2010, 01:30 PM
If im not mistaken, Ruger sells the Mini 14 in england with the gas system sealed so that it functions as a straight pull bolt actionCorrect, at least they used to:
http://www.deactivated-guns.co.uk/live-firearms-and-shotguns/ruger-mini-14-straight-pull-rifle/prod_176.html


...the Stoner bolt design would be great for a straight pull. Add a side charger handle to the bolt, like the ASA design, remove the gas,...Great idea, already been done:
http://www.riflesintheuk.com/ar15.htm

briansmithwins
November 18, 2010, 01:45 PM
A k31 is just like an autoloader except if lacks the speed of fire and the powerful gas system of one helping you with chambering and extraction. In other words all the disadvantages of an automatic with none of the advantages.

Agreed. Straight pull actions offer most of the complexity of a autoloader w/o the benefits of a autoloading rifle.

As far as shooting pump guns prone: I've done it and it sucks. I'd rather run a bolt gun from prone if I had to go manual action and I would really rather have a autoloader to handle all that for me.

Here is a video form our rifle shoot on Saturday.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HOCQH9rPfs

The last stage (last in the video) had us shooting from prone and roll-over prone. Autoloaders are very nice when it comes to unusual shooting positions.

BSW

Acera
November 18, 2010, 02:00 PM
briansmithwins, loved the part on the video when the AK jambs and the graphic after, LOL.

Caliper_RWVA
November 18, 2010, 07:02 PM
The last stage (last in the video) had us shooting from prone and roll-over prone. Autoloaders are very nice when it comes to unusual shooting positions.

BSW

Any kind of manual action would be rough to work in that roll-over prone shot!

briansmithwins
November 18, 2010, 07:37 PM
The guy running the AK that had the stoppage is the same guy that put the video together. That AK usually works 100% so I'm not sure what happened there. The HK-93 that folded the brass in half also had its only stoppage on that same stage.

Rollover prone is very useful in certain situations but you have to practice it, like anything else shooting related.

BSW

Hatterasguy
November 18, 2010, 09:50 PM
Straight pulls cost more to build, the machine work needs to be precise and well done. Also the ammunition needs to be of high quality since they don't have the extraction power a bolt does. If you look at GP11 the overall cartridge length and round diameter are just about the same from round to round, they held them to target round specs. Much harder to do, and requiring a good industrial base. A country like Russia in 1940 did not have the manufacturing base to make a straight pull and issue it on mass.

On the plus side with GP11 and if you know how to use a K31 they can put lead down range faster than just about any bolt gun, save for the SMLE.


The Swiss used them for almost 100 years with great results. I love the straight pull Swiss rifles, I'll put my 1911 or K31 up against any modern $1k bolt rifle at the range.

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