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Short Bolt Travel and fast follow-up?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by boyanzhu, Nov 29, 2004.

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  1. boyanzhu

    boyanzhu Member

    Oct 6, 2003
    I only have semi-auto rifles, example is FAL in .308. To me, the second follow-up shot is only fast and accurate if I keep my cheek on the stock in recoil. I never lose the view of sight (scope) in the semi firing cyle; I track the sight take off and return to target in recoil process.

    I don't have a bolt rifle yet, would like to buy one in .308 or comparable caliber; and I wonder what features/models should I look for in a bolt rifle that would let me keep the cheek on stock in recoil (and manual operation of the bolt) process.

    Here's what I found out so far:

    1. A rifle with bolt totally encased and traveling inside the stock, like TUBB 2000 will do the trick. I was hoping for a lighter, more traditional rifle...

    2. For some reason bolts with rear locking lugs have shorter bolt travel and may not hit/reach the cheek of the shooter when fully open.
    Classic example is Einfield, modern example is Sauer.

    What is this reason BTW? Why do rear-locking bolts have shorter travel?

    My other questions are:
    Assume one buys a specific-length action, like a Win 70 short that accommodates .308 Win. One then rechambers for a shorter cartridge, like 7mm BR or 6.5 Grendel. Is there a way to shorten bolt travel since the cartridge OAL is shorter? If yes, what needs to be done?

    Is there any other way to keep cheek weld in recoil (and bolt cycling) with a bolt rifle?

    Thanks, and advice is appreciated.
  2. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy Member

    Feb 25, 2004
    If your head is properly positioned on the stock, you don't move your head during bolt operation even with a Mauser or Mauser-based rifle (Remington 700, Savage, Winchester 70, etc).

    I have a Lee-enfield, but I don't move my head on the stock for any bolt operation with any bolt gun.

    Edit: Read "Art of the Rifle" by Jeff Cooper. Much about bolt guns, and much about everything rifle related.
  3. Kor

    Kor Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Tucson, AZ
    Front-locking lugs vs. rear-locking lugs: In front-locking bolt-guns, the bolt has to come all the way back past the cartridge base, and push it forward into the chamber past the receiver recesses for the locking lugs. In other words, the bolt-travel equals the length of the cartridge plus the length of the locking lugs, with a skosh more for fudge factor and tolerances. Rear-locking bolt-guns like the Enfield, MAS 36 and (IIRC) Remington 788(?) only have a bolt-throw as long as the cartridge itself(again, with maybe a skosh more for fudge factor). Personally, I appreciate my Enfield's short bolt-throw, but the rifle's cock-on-closing action tends to pull the butt out of my shoulder at the worst possible time if I'm trying to fire a quick follow-up shot. I'd like to get a MAS 36 in .308 someday, but just as a cheap plinker.

    You can't shorten the length of bolt travel on a rifle without moving the bolt-stop forward, which in turn would mean re-machining the entire receiver. Even if you were given the original, long-action rifle for free, the cost of re-chambering plus re-machining would more than exceed the cost of simply buying a short-action rifle in the caliber you wanted in the first place. When gunsmiths build .308 sporters on surplus Mauser long-actions, they usually put a spacer in the magazine box to keep the shorter rounds positioned correctly, and leave the gun with a long bolt throw.
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