Straight Pull Bolt Action Rifles.


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Beak50
May 9, 2012, 02:57 PM
I'm curious as to why the straight pull bolt action rifle never really caught on with the different military's and hunters.Since the K-31 is a fine gun and you had the Lee Navy 6mm and the Styer ect.They are faster for a follow up shot then the typical Bolt action.You would think before the semi-auto rifle came into being the straight pull would have been a lot more popular especially with the military.

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throdgrain
May 9, 2012, 03:06 PM
It's caught on pretty well over here!


Because that's all we're allowed :(

Owen Sparks
May 9, 2012, 03:11 PM
I passed many Swiss K-31's on tables at gun shows without ever picking one up because they looked so awkward. After trying one though I had to have one.

A word of WARNING:

If you are anywhere beyond average height or have a long neck be carefull!
The K-31 cocking ring will hit you just below the eye if you operate it while maintaining a proper cheek weld. The bone under your eye is nearly as thin as an egg shell and will break easily. These rifles were designed when the average man was much shorter than modern Americans are now. I am about 5' 10" and I have to move my head back a little every time I cycle the action. This is not a tall mans rifle.

That being said, otherwise they are EXCELENT shooters.

Ryanxia
May 9, 2012, 03:12 PM
From what I've read:

"The Mauser, its many variants and a few other turnbolt designs won the reliability and durability tests decades ago because the lugs function as cams that provide mechanical advantage to make it easier to extract fired cases. It's a big advantage when the rifle is dirty from use or is being used in a dusty, dirty environment. An example would be the Ross rifle, a straight-pull design used by Canadian troops in World War I. It was a disaster in the filthy trenches. A lot of Canadians died before they were rearmed with the British Lee-Enfield, a turnbolt design that stood up much better."

wally
May 9, 2012, 03:12 PM
I'm curious as to why the straight pull bolt action rifle never really caught on with the different military's

Pretty short step from straight pull to semi-auto.

Skribs
May 9, 2012, 03:29 PM
I think that's the point, Wally. Instead of 4 motions (up, back, forward, down) you have two (back, forward). This is, I think, why lever actions carbines and pump action shotguns are more popular for self defense than a bolt action.

I had an idea for a gun that could be in a hypothetical future-ish video game (thinking like 2025 or so) that was a select-fire full/semi/straight-pull bolt action, where the bolt-action would grant increased accuracy and damage.

Sam1911
May 9, 2012, 03:36 PM
You can get a LOT of leverage on the bolt handle of a traditional turn-lock bolt action rifle and the camming of the locking lugs produces pretty substantial force which can help a bolt action rifle continue to function under conditions that would almost certainly cause problems for a straight-pull rifle without that massive leverage. Also, the locking mechanism tends to be more complex.

The K-31 was probably the best of the heap, being relatively uncomplicated (though more-so than a Mauser or Springfield) but by the time it was being fielded, most designers were looking to self-loading designs so the bolt-action more or less stopped evolving.

Owen Sparks
May 9, 2012, 03:39 PM
When you really think about it pump action rifles and shotguns are also 'straight pulls' and they are even faster since you use your other hand to cycle the action and never have to remove your finger from the trigger guard. Pump rifles never caught on with the military either.

Sam1911
May 9, 2012, 03:44 PM
Interesting in a way, though, that the "big" concern about them not functioning when very dirty or with low-quality ammo was brushed aside with the advent of semi-autos which all have more or less the same kinds of problems.

I suppose the inertia of a gas-operated bolt slamming against the locking mechanism tends to help with locking and unlocking to a larger degree than can be achieved with a (relatively) gentle pull of a human hand, but the largest complaint about the semi- and full-auto military weapons that we do use today is the same reason usually given for why we didn't go with more straight-pull bolt guns.

Skribs
May 9, 2012, 03:44 PM
The reason pump-action's didn't catch on is because they typically employ a tubular magazine, a design that is bad for pointed centerfire bullets. You can also fit a lot more .30 caliber rounds into a box magazine or internal rotary magazine than you can a tube magazine.

Sam1911
May 9, 2012, 03:49 PM
The reason pump-action's didn't catch on is because they typically employ a tubular magazine, a design that is bad for pointed centerfire bullets. You can also fit a lot more .30 caliber rounds into a box magazine or internal rotary magazine than you can a tube magazine.


By far the most popular centerfire pump rifles in the hunting fields are the Remington 760/7600 series. They use a box magaine. As does the 7615 that uses AR-15 mags.

They have been used for law-enforcement purposes, but have fallen by the wayside, even though they can use any ammo that fits.

Owen Sparks
May 9, 2012, 04:09 PM
I once saw a pump action .223 that used standard AR magazines.
It was made in some country, (South Africa maybe?) that had outlawed semi-autos.

Sam1911
May 9, 2012, 04:17 PM
I once saw a pump action .223 that used standard AR magazines.


DPMS made the "Panther" pump-action version of an AR-15: http://www.proguns.com/dpmsarms-pumpactionrifle.asp

But the best known is still the Remington's 7615 (http://www.remingtonle.com/rifles/7615.htm):

http://www.remingtonle.com/images/rifles/m7615c.jpg

LJ-MosinFreak-Buck
May 9, 2012, 04:47 PM
I passed many Swiss K-31's on tables at gun shows without ever picking one up because they looked so awkward. After trying one though I had to have one.

A word of WARNING:

If you are anywhere beyond average height or have a long neck be carefull!
The K-31 cocking ring will hit you just below the eye if you operate it while maintaining a proper cheek weld. The bone under your eye is nearly as thin as an egg shell and will break easily. These rifles were designed when the average man was much shorter than modern Americans are now. I am about 5' 10" and I have to move my head back a little every time I cycle the action. This is not a tall mans rifle.

That being said, otherwise they are EXCELENT shooters.

I have to move my head as well, we stand the same height.

Kleanbore
May 9, 2012, 04:57 PM
The reason pump-action's didn't catch on is because they typically employ a tubular magazine, a design that is bad for pointed centerfire bullets.Unless the designers figured out a solution. See this (http://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/remington-141-gamemaster-rifle/).

AethelstanAegen
May 9, 2012, 05:54 PM
For what it's worth, the straight pull action on my M95 Steyr is quite stiff and so it really doesn't amount to much faster follow up shots than I'm able to do with my M24/47 Mauser (a turn bolt). It's so much stiffer in fact that several friends and family have had trouble operating it so I could see how after it got a bit dirty, it would become a useless club to some shooters. So I think there really isn't much of an advantage in quicker follow up shots between a straight pull and a turn bolt.

On a side note, I really need to pick up a K31. I've heard great things.

SlamFire1
May 9, 2012, 06:56 PM
I shot Lee Enfields and K31’s and Swiss M1911’s.

Sure the K31 might be a little faster than a Lee Enfield but not by much. The Lee Enfield is the faster turnbolt I have shot. Without a doubt a K31 is faster than a M98 type. I have to agree a M1895 Mannlicher is a stiff action and I would not categorize it as a speed demon.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Lee%20Enfields/ReducedNo4Mk1LongBranchrightreceive.jpg

Compared to a Garand, all these manual bolt rifles are tortoises in terms of lead down range.

The differences in rate of fire between turnbolt actions had to be inconsequential in terms of combat effectiveness.

I am of the opinion that while straight pull actions are interesting mechanisms, the lack of primary extraction is and was a problem, the complexity of the things is a real problem. Until you talk to Officers who have led draftees, you cannot comprehend just how stupid the bottom of the barrel draftee can be, and those are the ones who go into the Infantry! (There is a reason they are called "knuckle draggers"!). The difference in intelligence, the amount of training it takes to do minimal tasks, the speed of learning between draftees and our current all volunteer force which requires a minimum of a High School degree, I have been told it is amazing. Even the Officer core has its issues. I had to reassemble a couple of times a Mosin Nagant bolt for an ex Major. The Major could take it apart but he could not get it back together. He is not stupid in any way, but he sure is not mechanically minded.

Straight pull actions are by nature more complex than a turnbolt. That is very, very, bad.

Another fault, they are expensive to make. The Swiss are a rich nation and they make expensive weapons. Not every nation wants to put that much time and money into a service rifle.

If you want to look at a good design for a service rifle, look at the HK91. Simple to take down, simple to operate and very cheap to build. I believe the rifle was considered disposable as being able to make mass quantities is a better idea in a war, than spending the time and money recycling old rifles. After losing Armies of millions of men with all of their equipment in Russia, that lesson was well learned by the post war German designers of the HK91.

The Swiss continue to make some of the finest, most expensive service rifles on the planet. According to this, the last war the Swiss fought was in 1515, http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_was_the_last_war_that_Switzerland_fought_in, if you ignore some inhouse fights between Catholic Swiss and Protestant Swiss in 1847.

LJ-MosinFreak-Buck
May 9, 2012, 06:56 PM
K31's are smooth, and require only little applied force to function. Which allows for a faster cyclic rate. I love mine :)

Sam1911
May 9, 2012, 08:07 PM
K31's are smooth, and require only little applied force to function. Which allows for a faster cyclic rate. I love mine


Yes. When I've brought mine out for rifle side matches it has earned the nickname "that darned bolt-action machine gun!" ;)

Having said that, an Enfield is very, very fast in the right hands.

'Course there's no bolt-action RELOAD as fast as K31 stripper clips either, which helps.

LJ-MosinFreak-Buck
May 9, 2012, 08:13 PM
Yes. When I've brought mine out for rifle side matches it has earned the nickname "that darned bolt-action machine gun!" ;)

Having said that, an Enfield is very, very fast in the right hands.

'Course there's no bolt-action RELOAD as fast as K31 stripper clips either, which helps.

Haven't been able to put mine through a match, yet. Soon, though. And I have yet to pick up some stripper clips as well, there are some sitting in my LGS but haven't asked about price.

Claude Clay
May 9, 2012, 08:37 PM
i very much enjoy my k31. and is older two versions--though they came to me with cut stocks having served to put meat on someones tables.

mechanically they are works of art and all are very accurate and easy to reload for.

Beak50
May 10, 2012, 06:45 AM
Thanks everyone.For your knowledge.One thing is I have the cardboard speed loader for my K-31 and I also got a box of ammo on stripper clips until the replies I got I figured the cardboard loader was all you could use until I looked at the grooves for the stripper clips that I thought was for the loader.I have never seen stripper clips for the K-31 for sale.I learn something everyday on this site.

Sam1911
May 10, 2012, 09:05 AM
Those cardboard stripper clips are AWESOME! They're far and away the easiest and fastest design out there. And, for being cardboard, they're really pretty durable. You can (supposedly) soak them in water and it won't hurt them at all.

LJ-MosinFreak-Buck
May 10, 2012, 04:18 PM
Well I read somewhere that they weren't cardboard but more like a Bakelite. I cannot verify this, nor can I remember where I seen it.

Disassembly of the rifle is extremely easy, cleaning? A breeze. The Swiss don't recommend the use of a bore-brush, but I do use one after about every 500 rounds, using Hoppe's #9, to get rid of metal fouling. Yes it works. Just slowly.

Mikee Loxxer
May 10, 2012, 04:59 PM
I have several of the GP11 chargers. They are wax coated cardboard and tin. They work really well too!

Sam1911
May 10, 2012, 05:06 PM
Nope. I've got bakelite stuff and K31 strippers. They aren't anything like bakelite. Waxed cardboard is the best description I could give. Not corrugated cardboard, like a cardboard box, more like what they'd make a shoebox out of, but waxed heavily and tougher.

Vern Humphrey
May 10, 2012, 05:08 PM
One point should be made -- the straight pull rifles that actually saw combat were generally failures. The Swiss straight-pulls never saw combat -- we don't know how they would fare with substandard, war-time ammo under filthy, muddy conditions.

LJ-MosinFreak-Buck
May 10, 2012, 05:32 PM
Okay, we'll just said I read it somewhere but couldn't verify. Lol.

And Vern, unless you wanna do some battlefield testing to let us know how it fares, I don't plan on beating or abusing mine.

Vern Humphrey
May 10, 2012, 05:47 PM
I don't have a K31. I do have an M1905 Canadian Ross.

LJ-MosinFreak-Buck
May 10, 2012, 06:01 PM
Well that hardly counts, doesn't it? I keed, I keed lol.

But you should remedy that! Pick up a K31! Lol

Edarnold
May 11, 2012, 03:09 AM
Owen Sparks commented:
"The K-31 cocking ring will hit you just below the eye if you operate it while maintaining a proper cheek weld. The bone under your eye is nearly as thin as an egg shell and will break easily. These rifles were designed when the average man was much shorter than modern Americans are now. I am about 5' 10" and I have to move my head back a little every time I cycle the action. This is not a tall mans rifle."

I grew up when bolt-action rifles were not just the norm, but pretty much the only option for a civilian target shooter. With any centerfire bolt action (M1903, M1917, Winchester M70, Lee-Enfield, etc. ) operated from the shoulder, there is no such thing as 'maintaining a proper cheek weld' while working the action. You pull back the bolt, and your head comes up off the stock to clear the back end of the bolt. You push the bolt forward, and your head drops back to sighting position. Takes a bit of practice, but it's the way to shoot bolt-actions rapidly and well. The straight-pull actions such as the Swiss 1889 and K31, the M95 Mannlicher, and the Ross 1910, all of which I have owned and shot, are no different in this regard. You just need to have learned the reflex of getting your delicate cheekbone out of the way of the machinery.

Sorry if this sounds snarky, but I am getting SO sick of seeing posts where the secret of all rifle marksmanship is achieving the holy 'proper cheek weld'. Short of a fully adjustable Olympic-style stock, or a custom stock built to your dimensions for one particular shooting position, the perfect stock fit that puts your face in the ideal alignment with the sights just ain't going to happen. IMHO, marksmanship is learning to shoot well with whatever hardware you have, rather than insisting that 'you can't hit anything unless you have a proper cheek weld on your hand-built famous maker rifle with the trigger than breaks like a glass rod and has a scope that costs at least as much as the gun'.

sixgunner455
May 11, 2012, 03:37 AM
On the K31 cocking ring issue - there have always been tall men around, especially in the more affluent European countries (Switzerland) of the 20th century (K31 officially adopted in 1931).

I am also 5'10". I bought my K31 a number of years ago, and rapidly learned that when shooting it quickly, the little head bob described above was a necessary part of the bolt manipulation cycle.

I've been shooting a LOT of .22 bolt action lately, and hadn't had my K31 out to the range since last summer, but a few weeks ago, I took it along to put a couple of boxes through just for fun.

First time I cycled the bolt, I whacked myself good on the cheekbone. Didn't break it, but it left a nice bruise. :D I didn't do that again - the head bob quickly made its return to my bolt manipulation.

Love that rifle. Whether or not it would have made it as a war-time rifle is interesting, but really immaterial today. Mine's a range toy that might get to shoot a deer or an elk sometime. :D

LJ-MosinFreak-Buck
May 11, 2012, 05:56 AM
Mine has taken a deer before, and did a pretty good job at it, too. I've gotten into the habit of tilting the rifle away from my cheek, keeping my head in the same spot, more or less. I've done that with all my rifles, except my Savage and my Marlin (bolts).

I agree though, marksmanship is the ability to be able to fire ANY sort of firearm accurately, and adapting to the different positions without issue.

Bushpilot
May 11, 2012, 09:51 AM
+ 1 for Sam1911. I've had both the Ross rifle and a K31 and never had any problems with either. But, I would hate to try and extract a stuck case from a dirty chamber with either of them compared to a Mauser. The slight advantage in the speed of the straight pull does not make up for the loss of leverage when extracting a sticky case. Semi-autos do have the same problems but the autos speed advantage is great enough to make it worth the compromise.

SaxonPig
May 11, 2012, 09:59 AM
My only experience with a straight pull bolt gun is the one M95 Steyr I own. Pulling the bolt is very hard because you have to overcome the locking tension. With a turn bolt you have the leverage of the rotating bolt handle. The pull type is interesting, but I think the turn type is superior in just about every way.

LJ-MosinFreak-Buck
May 11, 2012, 03:13 PM
While I agree that a Mauser-type action is better, and stronger, I have never had an issue with sticky extraction.

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