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So what is the strongest action ever?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by stevekl, Dec 7, 2004.

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  1. stevekl

    stevekl Member

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    Title pretty much says it all. What is the strongest action ever developed? I would guess it's the '98 Mauser, but I dunno.

    Anyone have an opinion?
     
  2. Third_Rail

    Third_Rail Member

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    Ruger No. 1, perhaps.
     
  3. RooK

    RooK Member

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    Mauser 98 is weaker than modern designs due to the split lug.
     
  4. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    If we're talking WW II era bolt actions, the Japanese Arisaka tops all. Read that in Hatcher's Notebook.
     
  5. Third_Rail

    Third_Rail Member

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    Weren't a few Arisakas re-chambered for 30-06 without being rebarreled? Strong, strong actions...
     
  6. pete f

    pete f Member

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    strongest commercial

    I have been told the BRNO Magnum Mauser that was chambered for I think the .505 gibbs was the strongest currently made.

    Weatherby makes some claims that would need to be at least disproved seeing as to the pressures they claim to operate at.

    I too have seen anecdotes about the 6.5 jap. I believe PO Ackley tried to blow a few up and had trouble doing so.

    Years ago I was in the gun shop when a guy came in and said he had jammed his model 700. He said he had shot at a deer but the kick was amazing and then he could not get the bolt open. The smith and I went to the basement to figure it out. We pulled the Stock and it was an ADL and he had three 270's and one 308 in the magazine. Putting the barrel vise on the bench and clamping the barrel into it, the smithy tried to lift the bolt. no go. Getting a leather mallet he tapped firmly on the bolt handle. nope.
    A lead bar and a ball peen hammer finally got it to move, much wiggling up and down finally got it out. The cartridge head was for all intents welded to the bolt head, it would not move. The owner was invited down and shown the relative length of the brass in the bolt and the length of the 308 casing and realized what he had done... slamming the bolt forward had seated the bullet even deeper into the casing and had created enough resistance on the neck area of the chamber to resist the firing pin and allow the primer to ignite.

    The rifle was sent to Remington with questions about was it safe, the rifle returned several months later with a letter saying that the action and barrel had been miked thoroughly and was in spec, They said the bolt was in spec but they had replaced it because the handle was loose and they had scratched it while prying the case head out of the bolt head. We called and talked to one of the techs who had worked on the rifle and he said they had taken a rifle off the line and loaded a 308 into a 270 and put strain guages on it and came up that the peak pressures were in the neighborhood of 110000 PSI and the bullet left the bore at something like 4700 fps. No wonder it kicked.

    I can not find the links now, but I remember reading that certain Ak-47's had been tested to proof loads of over 140 kpsi and had functioned. This would be bourne out too by a video I have seen floating around where a bus drives over an AK and soldier picks the weapon up and in getting up off the ground sticks the barrel in the mud and he then pulls the trigger doing a mag dump. The flash hider gets blown off the rifle but it is loaded and fired again at the end of the video.
     
  7. Khornet

    Khornet Member

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    Across the board,

    all action types and eras, I think the various falling-block actions have proved the strongest. That is, a falling-block for .505 Gibbs is stronger than the equivalent bolt action.
     
  8. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    The weak link in any rifle system is the cartridge case itself. So, for actions with a rotating bolt, a push-feed system is naturally better than a controlled-feed as more of the cartridge case is surrounded by steel.

    A single-shot falling block action chambered for a rimmed case would probably be the strongest, given the greater amount of resistance to rearward shear forces.

    There well could be some other design, of course, but I'm just looking at the more common...

    Art
     
  9. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    F.W. Mann had Neidner build him a multi-lug single shot bolt action they called the Hamburg rifle because the early varmint loads they shot left nothing of a groundhog but hamburger. The lugs were cut as an interrupted thread and literally screwed the bolt up against the casehead, zero headspace. It also had a development of the Neidner gas proof firing pin used on single shots that "took care of the primer" at proof load pressures.
    He said it would fire a load that would bulge the barrel and not even blow the primer. Steels are better now and you run into things like the Remington with the casehead fused into the bolt recesses.

    There is no serious doubt about the .30-06 Arisaka story, the rifle was tested by the NRA and widely described at the time. Thing is, P.O. Ackley ran some tests with oversize bullets and concluded that if the chamber was correct, with a neck diameter that would let the brass release the bullet, that pressure would not be all that high. As he put it, the bullet is sized to fit the barrel by the time it has traveled its own length, which occurs before peak pressure is reached.
     
  10. BigG

    BigG Member

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    The 7.7 Arisaka runs .303 bore .311 groove, IIRC. .308 bullets should not cause a lot of trouble, imho.
     
  11. captain obvious

    captain obvious Member

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    The story goes that the 30-06 rounds were fired out of an unmodified 6.5 Arisaka, not the 7.7 version, if I recall correctly.
     
  12. Gewehr98

    Gewehr98 Member

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    BigG, that's all well and good, but...

    P.O. Ackley ran his tests on the earlier 6.5x50 Arisaka, the other Arisaka found in WWII. Essentially, he fired .30 caliber bullets through a 6.5mm bore, after reaming the Type 38's chamber to accept the 63mm-long .30-06 round. The actions survived, and the recovered bullets looked impressive after they were swaged from .308" down to .264". As he progressed with the experiment, he got the rifle's barrel to launch downrange eventually, but the receiver was still essentially intact afterwards. (As an aside, I highly recommend the Ackley books, Vols. I & II)

    The Type 99 Arisaka was the one chambered in 7.7x58 Jap. A lot of those bringback Type 99's were rechambered to something called a .31-06. ;)
     
  13. SkyDaver

    SkyDaver Member

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    I would think that the Navy 16" would be the strongest ever. They WERE rifled, after all.

    :neener:

    Although on second thought, didn't the IJN battleships have 18" guns?

    (I'll go back to lurking now.)
     
  14. Bwana John

    Bwana John Member

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    Didnt the Germans have 22" guns on the Bismark and Graf Spree?

    Id always heard about the Arisaka, Id probley vote for the Ruger #1 in man portable, at a reasonable cost.
     
  15. Scottmkiv

    Scottmkiv Member

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    Wouldn't one of the single shot 50 bmg rifles bein the running? Something like the Serbu?
     
  16. buzz_knox

    buzz_knox Member

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    No navy has ever used a 22" naval rifle. The largest were the 18.1" on the Yamato.

    The Bismarck carried 15" guns. The Graf Spee was a smaller class (a pocket battleship) and carried 11" guns.
     
  17. nbkky71

    nbkky71 Member

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    I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the Remington Rolling Block action...
     
  18. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

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    There's always the French 520mm Schneider howitzer. :eek:
     
  19. RooK

    RooK Member

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    Speaking of Arisakas, I have my grandfather's WWII Type38 (6.5) capture he got from somewhere in the Philipines...

    [​IMG]

    It's definately a stout action, yet the bolt is one of the simplist designs I've come across. They also have this unique bedding that involves a couple seperate peices of metal lying under/on top of the receiver or trigger guard.
     
  20. Clean97GTI

    Clean97GTI Member

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    I recall reading of tests done on all bolt action rifles of WWII.

    The Arisaka's outlasted others on sheer round count as well as insane proof loads. Other rifles were utterly destroyed while the Ari's kept on firing. Shame that so many of them were made so cheaply.
    I've got a nice mum-intact 7.7 Arisaka that is unsafe to shoot. The quality of the steel just isn't very good.
     
  21. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    The Mauser 13mm anti tank bolt action.
    The Steyer anti material rifle action.
    The Barnett M82 for a semi auto action.
    For a sporting rifle it would have to be the Weatherby.
     
  22. 41mag

    41mag Member

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    What about the rotating breech of the Magnum Research Lone Eagle?I know that it's a handgun[well,sort of],but IIRC,the action deseign was marketed as being the strongest out there.

    Beings that it's based on a cannon design & all.
     
  23. tex_n_cal

    tex_n_cal Member

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    I recall the Winchester High Wall was commonly used for laboratory proof testing in the early 1900's, even though they weren't made of terribly high strength steel - they were virtually impossible to blow even with deliberate proof loads. Hard to imagine what they'd do with modern steels, like a Carpenter Custom 465 that yields at 200,000+ psi :eek:
     
  24. Jonathan

    Jonathan Member

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    Production, commercially available?

    Probably one of the falling blocks. The 1874 Sharps has some serious overkill, as does a highwall thickside. Remington and Ballard just aren't in the running, sorry. :D
     
  25. Coltdriver

    Coltdriver Member

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    Gewehr98 does not do PO Ackley justice!

    Ackley set out to discover which of the available bolt actions were the strongest. He loaded them in a methodical and progressive way.

    He purposefully loaded them with heavier and heavier loads until they blew up!

    Ackley concluded that the very best among them was the Japanese arisaka.

    I would also vote for the Ruger #1. If you look at the high end of the 45-70 loads you can put through it there is not much that will survive those pressures.
     
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