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Bolt lift

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by PWC, Oct 15, 2020.

  1. PWC

    PWC Member

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    The Springfield 03 is cock on open and the Enfield is cock on close. Cock on open has a heavy bolt lift, cock onclose, not so much.

    In all the threads I read, I seldom hear if the new rifles, 6mm anything et. al., are cock on open or close. Bolt lift is discussed in relation to headspece/shoulder bump, but I don't hear about when firing mechanism is installed and it is cocked.

    Granted, my Anschutz .22, is a forefinger lift and close, but my 03-A3 is really a heavy lift. I have no other rifles to compare to, so I don't know. What should it be like?
     
  2. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    Most contemporary actions are cock on open. The effort to open the bolt can vary considerably between action makes. It partly depends on design decisions on the amount of camming force available for primary extraction, and partly on the stiffness of the firing pin spring and the distance the cocking piece is moved back during opening.

    BTW, don't judge action smoothness entirely by just working the bolt on an empty rifle. Fire some heavy loads and see how smoothly the bolt works when feeding cartridges and extracting expanded cases.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2020
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  3. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Most 700 footprint actions are (predominantly) cock on open.

    An exception to this are the Seekins Havak and Havak Element. The Havak design is heavily cock on close.

    This can be exceptionally annoying and a considerable hindrance when shooting certain specific disciplines - for example, in PRS competition where a heavy cock on close causes the shooter to push the rifle off of target, costing precious time on the clock and stability on long range targets. The bolt always feels great while opening, and ANY sticky case extraction is immediately recognizable, but it’s alternatively quite difficult to decide whether you’re simply cocking the striker, jamming a bullet, or crushing shoulders while closing, and challenging to feel whether a round was fed into the chamber or not due to the increased “noise” lost in the force required to close the bolt. It’s not prohibitive, but it’s certainly inhibitive when you’re trying to run fast and smooth on long range targets.
     
  4. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    We had a Lee Enfield .303 when I was growing up, never got used to the cock on close.
     
  5. Mr. Zorg

    Mr. Zorg Member

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    So did my father, I also never got used to cock on close.

    I had a 6.5X52mm Carcano carbine back then, and the vast majority of the bolt action rifles I currently own are cock on open Mauser 98 style design (Zastava, Whitworth, Interarms Mark X).

    Not counting any.22RF rifles owned & used back then and now. I honestly haven't paid attention on those.
     
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  6. Picher

    Picher Member

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    Cock on opening actions tend to provide the operator with information as to whether the next cartridge is fed properly, or not. If an action cocks on closing, a misfeed might be made worse by operator expectation that normal closure will require extra force than with other actions and that may cause jams to be worse than with cock-on-opening actions.
     
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  7. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    Never thought about that. Good point Picher.
     
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  8. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Trivia: Many British Best shotguns offer "easy opening." Most require additional parts but the Beesley patent Purdey is inherently an easy opener. That means "hard closing" mechanically but these guns are so smooth and balanced you probably get used to it readily.
     
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  9. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    You’ll feel a misfeed during bolt travel, regardless of cock on close of open design. Double feeds or short stroke chokes will happen long before you’re anywhere near closing, and will preclude closing into battery far enough to be even remotely close to closing. Cock on close can hide shoulder crush, bullet jam, or a missed pick up, but it can’t hide a double feed or cartridge jam malfunction.
     
  10. taliv

    taliv Moderator Staff Member

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    Agree with varmint mostly but I still prefer cock on close because gravity is helping and I disturb the sight picture less

    cock on open has another advantage though that you can put your thumb on the back of the action and use a bit of leverage knifing your fingers up under the bolt handle and be more stabilized to mitigate the additional force required to open.
     
  11. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    Ive always preferred the straight bolts some of the old Mausers have, and find they are much easier/faster to work.

    I also learned to not "grab" the bolt with my fingers and use my palm for the whole operation. Its much stronger, faster, and smoother to work the bolt, and more like your "massaging" it as you work it.

    It works well with bent bolts too, just not quite as fast.
     
  12. Mosin77

    Mosin77 Member

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    +1. There are definitely guns that feel smooth as silk when empty. Get ‘em warm and try to extract a spent cartridge, and you’re reaching for the nearest 2x4, or cursing the “ergonomic” turned down bolt that won’t let you get anything except a finger or two behind it.

    The rifle reflected in my username wouldn’t have anything to do with this phenomenon, however. Not a thing.
     
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  13. PWC

    PWC Member

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    I've always used my first 2 fingers with my thumb on the bridge, don't know why I never used my palm. Next chance I get, I'll try that; sounds too simple.....
     
  14. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    Now all you need for that 03 are some proper strippers, and youll be smokin'. :D
     
  15. PWC

    PWC Member

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    Got'm...
    Range pick-up years ago....
     
  16. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    It's a mix of experience and expectation.
    No one "right" way.
    Both can be shown to have pluses and minuses. Just that neither represents an overwhelming superiority.

    There's a theory that you are more likely to need to muscle open a spent round, so your expectation of muscle use is greater on open than on close. Maybe. Perhaps.

    My SC 03A3 is like glass, so I may not be able to offer much advise.
     
  17. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    Jeff Cooper had a pretty good "how to" when it came to shooting/working bolt guns in one of his books.

    He pointed out that when you worked the bolt, it is done forcefully and deliberately through the whole stroke. You dont simply just lift the bolt and slowly work the action. Its a pretty violent maneuver.

    And of course, the gun remains in your shoulder while you do it.
     
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