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Straight-pull actions- why not?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Montbars, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. Montbars

    Montbars Active Member

    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?
  2. pikid89

    pikid89 Well-Known Member

    the Blaser R8 is a straight pull lol
  3. Acera

    Acera Well-Known Member

    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)

  4. LaEscopeta

    LaEscopeta Well-Known Member

    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?
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2010
  5. MCMXI

    MCMXI Well-Known Member

    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.

  6. GunTech

    GunTech Well-Known Member

    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.
  7. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Well-Known Member

    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)
  8. sansone

    sansone Well-Known Member

    yes, and the rem 7600 pump rifle is very similar to the 7400 auto
  9. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    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
  10. GunTech

    GunTech Well-Known Member

    Good point about the biathlon. But primary extraction of the 22lr is not a big issue.

  11. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Well-Known Member

    Isn't the biathalon considered to be a toggle action rather than straight pull?
  12. cleardiddion

    cleardiddion Well-Known Member

    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.
  13. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    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
  14. GunTech

    GunTech Well-Known Member

    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. :)
  15. LaEscopeta

    LaEscopeta Well-Known Member

    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…
  16. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    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.
  17. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Well-Known Member

    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.

  18. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    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
  19. Slamfire

    Slamfire Well-Known Member

    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.
  20. pikid89

    pikid89 Well-Known Member

    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

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