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Straight-pull actions- why not?

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

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  1. Montbars

    Montbars Member

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    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 Member

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    the Blaser R8 is a straight pull lol
     
  3. Acera

    Acera Member

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    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)


    [​IMG]
     
  4. LaEscopeta

    LaEscopeta Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    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 Member

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

    [​IMG]
     
  11. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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

    cleardiddion Member

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    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

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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.




    NCsmitty
     
  18. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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
     
  21. Caliper_Mi

    Caliper_Mi Member

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    If you have an action set up as a straight pull, why not run an rod and make it pump action? A pump has got to be faster then even a SMLE and it could still have the accuracy of a rotating bolt. It could still feed from a box mag to allow detachable mags and freedom of bullet choice.
     
  22. desidog

    desidog Member

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    I imagine it is because they don't care to pay R+D money for something untried; much like Hollywood would rather make a remake than a straight up new movie.

    For example, Remington has had a loooooong time to fix their 700 trigger....but that's too much cost over profit for them...and to design a whole "new" system... well, lets just say that if these companies would spend a little more time and money on research and development, instead of marketing old designs, imagined before their board members were born, then we'd all be arguing about the merits of 40- vs. 60 watt plasma rifles instead of 80+ year old designs. IMHO.

    /I love my K31s.
     
  23. GunTech

    GunTech Member

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    I think Remington's problem is that if they admit a problem with the trigger, and fix it, they open themselves up to a huge number of lawsuits involving past ADs. The actual engineering to fix the trigger is, I expect, negligible.

    As far as straight pull rifles, if anyone believed there was an actual demand, someone would build them. But there would have to be enough of a demand to amortize tooling and production costs and still turn a profit.
     
  24. Uncle Mike

    Uncle Mike Member

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    We are trying to get the Blaser, Mauser and Sauer line in at the shop. The Blaser, as far as we were told by the rep, has not had, or has no problem with extraction of stubborn cases, and he tells that the first little bit of movement of the bolt handle which is actually rotational, in the rearward direction, unlocks the collet cam and provides extra 'pull' on the spent case, after that it's all up to the shooter.

    All I know is, the Blaser rifles are nothing but sweet, IF a man can afford them!

    Like I mentioned the other day, most of the European designed bolt action rifles utilize a barrel extension for the bolt to lock into, instead of the bolt locking into the receiver, this is by far a superior way to lock the bolt into battery, as far as I'm concerned.

    The Blaser, Sauer and the new Mauser MO3 use a barrel extension, allowing for caliber and barrel changes in mere couple of minutes, without any specialized tools or processes, and it can be done in the field, if so one desires. Also, this allows for the receiver to be made from aluminum for decreased weight, if that's your fancy.
     
  25. Pete D.

    Pete D. Member

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    Now that'd be an interesting experiment. Firing each for speed and accuracy. The SMLE can be fired amazingly quickly. Quite a few YouTube videos show almost machine gun rapidity.
    I have two SPB rifles - one is the K31 and the other is an Anschutz Biathlon rifle with a Fortner straight pull bolt.
    I have found it difficult to operate the K31 bolt without moving my head away from the stock.
    The Anschutz is a remarkable gun and can be fired, if so desired, nearly as quickly as a semi-auto. One uses the trigger finger and the thumb. The gun is fired and the wrist rotates up and back a bit less than 90 degs. Doing this allows the trigger finger to catch the bolt handle and pull the bolt out of battery, ejecting the spent cartridge. The thumb has been riding the flat rear of the bolt and pushes the bolt forward, loading a new new round as the trigger finger drops on to the trigger. It can be done about as rapidly as you can rotate your hand up and down.
    Pete
     
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