A Push Feed Rifle Or A Control Round Feed Rifle?

Mr. Zorg

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I grew up using a milsurp 6.5X52mm Carcano. I purchased a Steyr Pro Hunter in .30-06 Springfield a while back when I decided to resume game hunting after a long hiatus. I had numerous missed feed and attempted double feed issues with the Steyr Pro Hunter, and I came to the conclusion this push feed system is simply not for me.

Subsequently, I've purchased rifles using commercial FN Mauser actions, and Zastava M70 design bolt action rifles. I have not had any feed nor extraction problems with these rifles, they suit me well.

I agree with @mark-hunter that Zastava for example advertising these bolt action designs as "X+1" magazine capacity in these fixed magazine designs doesn't help matters. Having a "+1" cartridge was never important to me growing up, with the Mannlicher style clip used in the 6.5X52mm Carcano carbine. Outside of a combat situation, I really don't understand a real desire for a "+1" cartridge capacity in general for a bolt action rifle. My perspective is a detachable magazine is a much better design feature / modification to achieve a "+1" carrying capacity than a push feed system.

If a single shot rifle suffices as a minimum for hunting non-dangerous game, and a double rifle suffices at a minimum for hunting dangerous game, I don't see any point for a "+1" cartridge capacity in a bolt action rifle used for hunting. Just my perspective.
 

tunatoy76

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If that was on a non magnum the extractor as well as the bolt face would need to be altered, did the extractor fail from flexing over the rim of the case or did the actual"claw" break?
That's one broken, has anyone had any others fail or pictures of failures? Not being facetious, I'm actually interested
 

mark-hunter

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I prefer 5 rounds in mag, but to be honest I do not remember when I needed more then 2. This is for usual non-DG hunt, Africa or back at home.
Argument could be made on rifle usage on stand in driven hunts, but I am under impression who ever uses more than two rounds in the mag, only increases the wounding rate.
 

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Unmodified 1947 FN Mauser extractor
1646802276.jpg
 
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Kawshik Rahman

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I grew up using a milsurp 6.5X52mm Carcano. I purchased a Steyr Pro Hunter in .30-06 Springfield a while back when I decided to resume game hunting after a long hiatus. I had numerous missed feed and attempted double feed issues with the Steyr Pro Hunter, and I came to the conclusion this push feed system is simply not for me.

Subsequently, I've purchased rifles using commercial FN Mauser actions, and Zastava M70 design bolt action rifles. I have not had any feed nor extraction problems with these rifles, they suit me well.

I agree with @mark-hunter that Zastava for example advertising these bolt action designs as "X+1" magazine capacity in these fixed magazine designs doesn't help matters. Having a "+1" cartridge was never important to me growing up, with the Mannlicher style clip used in the 6.5X52mm Carcano carbine. Outside of a combat situation, I really don't understand a real desire for a "+1" cartridge capacity in general for a bolt action rifle. My perspective is a detachable magazine is a much better design feature / modification to achieve a "+1" carrying capacity than a push feed system.

If a single shot rifle suffices as a minimum for hunting non-dangerous game, and a double rifle suffices at a minimum for hunting dangerous game, I don't see any point for a "+1" cartridge capacity in a bolt action rifle used for hunting. Just my perspective.
Mr. Zorg
Ah , how pleasant to see you commenting on my articles . Your observations mirror my own .
For hunting non dangerous animals , l find a push feed configuration rifle to be perfectly acceptable .
However , when l am hunting something which could potentially hunt me back , that mauser type extracting claw device is very reassuring , to me .
I am a little intrigued when you refer to the Mannlicher rifle as a push feed configuration . During my time , a few of my clients had brought such rifles to India for Shikar : Three of them were calibrated for the .256 bore cartridge , while one was calibrated for the .375 Austrian Mannlicher cartridge .
I observed that all thos models were control round feed configuration .
 

Kawshik Rahman

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If that was on a non magnum the extractor as well as the bolt face would need to be altered, did the extractor fail from flexing over the rim of the case or did the actual"claw" break?
That's one broken, has anyone had any others fail or pictures of failures? Not being facetious, I'm actually interested
Tunatoy76
Thank you for your interest . I will try my best to answer your question . The rifle was a .458 Winchester magnum calibre rifle built on a salvaged military surplus mauser mechanism . It was built by a firm named " Walter Abe " . Perhaps , this firm still exists today ?
The rifle held three cartridges in the magazine . Our client had a propensity to get another cartridge into the rifle by getting the extractor to forcibly slip over the rim of that extra cartridge . For a long time , he was fine ( Two Shikar seasons ) . One the third season , while trying to do this , while our Garo trackers were tracking down a large male Gaur , the ejector of the rifle broke and rendered it inoperable .
To be fair , however , one single incident involving a military surplus mauser mechanism , cannot be a fair representative of it's class . However , it certainly happened .
 

tunatoy76

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Seems the extractor was changed post ww1 to make the rifle usable no matter what. Guess when you have a rifle full of mud or dirt and someone who may not have been trained on the correct single load operation it still needs to work. Or someone that knows more than we do thought it was a good idea and improved the design. Where any of the pre war bespoke sporting rifles made with modified extractors?
 

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I grew up using a milsurp 6.5X52mm Carcano. I purchased a Steyr Pro Hunter in .30-06 Springfield a while back when I decided to resume game hunting after a long hiatus. I had numerous missed feed and attempted double feed issues with the Steyr Pro Hunter, and I came to the conclusion this push feed system is simply not for me.

Subsequently, I've purchased rifles using commercial FN Mauser actions, and Zastava M70 design bolt action rifles. I have not had any feed nor extraction problems with these rifles, they suit me well.

I agree with @mark-hunter that Zastava for example advertising these bolt action designs as "X+1" magazine capacity in these fixed magazine designs doesn't help matters. Having a "+1" cartridge was never important to me growing up, with the Mannlicher style clip used in the 6.5X52mm Carcano carbine. Outside of a combat situation, I really don't understand a real desire for a "+1" cartridge capacity in general for a bolt action rifle. My perspective is a detachable magazine is a much better design feature / modification to achieve a "+1" carrying capacity than a push feed system.

If a single shot rifle suffices as a minimum for hunting non-dangerous game, and a double rifle suffices at a minimum for hunting dangerous game, I don't see any point for a "+1" cartridge capacity in a bolt action rifle used for hunting. Just my perspective.
I am surprised about the Steyr issues. My son has used three Pro-Hunters for many years here and abroad. His first was a .243 that was his first “deer rifle”. He also has an ‘06, and .376. Never a bobble with any of them. My own Steyr “Scout” in .308 is an utterly dependable rifle. One reason Jeff Cooper championed it for that design. Indeed, I have often recommended the rifle to people as one of the real bomb proof and reasonably affordable rifles out there.
 

mark-hunter

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Lets see what modern CRF rifle manufacturers suggest in their users manuals. I took loading instructions for following models:
NEW Mauser 98, made by mauser,
Zastava m70, m 98, made by zastava
Ruger 77
CZ 550

First, for NEW Mauser 98, source from makers web pages:

m98.jpg
 

mark-hunter

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All above are screenshots, from their manuals in pdf format available on internet.

To me it seams that "push feeding" directly into chamber is optional possibility as per most of manuals?
I have to say, if that is true, I am a bit surprised!
 

One Day...

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The Winchester 70 "solution"

By the way, Winchester's "solution" to prevent CRF extractors breakage is quite interesting, and it illustrates how 'twisted' the issue has become.

Using pictures of my own Winchester 70 Stainless Classic .300 Weatherby, made in New Haven in the late 1990's, one can see, as previously illustrated, that clearly this generation of Winchester CRF extractors are not beveled (I do not know for the pre-64 models):

Win 70 non-beveled extractor.jpg


Well and good, right?

Not quite, because Winchester went the other way around and gained the clearance (and then some!) necessary for the non-beveled Winchester extractor to snap over a cartridge head by machining an extravagantly deep cut for the bolt right lug & extractor in the front bridge. Where they needed about 1/32" clearance they cut (at least on my rifle) about 1/8". Paul Mauser must be doing somersaults in his grave, lamenting the front bridge weakening...

Win 70 right lug cut.jpg


In an original Mauser, the extractor is as straight as the Winchester extractor, but the right lug cut shows no extra clearance, which means that the extractor cannot jump the rim of the cartridge head and snap over it. As a result: 1) the bolt cannot be closed over a cartridge in the chamber; 2) extraction power is maximal as an extractor that has no clearance to snap over a cartridge head when closing the bolt ... can also not snap over it when the cartridge is stuck and the bolt open, thereby failing to extract...

So, the Winchester 70 "Classic" generation (re-introduction of CRF) will likely not break an extractor because the design allows for the spring effect when snapping over the cartridge head to distribute over a fairly long shank of extractor (that is the "fix") but the "fix" negates two of the three design characteristics of the Mauser extractor: 1) impossibility to load unintentionally, and 2) fail-proof extraction. Only #3 remains: impossibility to double feed. Each one of us will decide for themselves whether this is "improvement", "modernization", "problem fixing"...

What did Winchester gain in the process? Oh yes, they gained that fabled ease of loading one more round: shove it in the chamber and force the extractor to snap over it; and they gained peace with their customers because they did not manufacture a rifle whose "bolt could not close" and whose "extractor broke." This is yet another perfect example of marketing geniuses destroying good engineering to compensate for failing to educate their customers on how to use good engineering.

Good or bad ?

By the way, this does not make the Win 70 a bad rifle (it is in my mind the best modern American bolt action design; I love mine, and gifted two to my two sons) but it could have been so much greater... The same applies to Ruger, FN, Montana, ZKK, CZ, etc.

By the way, too, I am not attempting to convince anyone. I am just providing the explanation of how and why things came to be what they are. Each one of us will decide for themselves if gaining the ability to use a CRF action as a push-feed action for that mythical additional round was worth killing two of the Mauser action safety designs.

How many did I see break?

I have personally never broken a CRF extractor, but I have seen 2 or 3 over 40 years of hunting.

upload_2019-11-19_10-30-46.png


I reckon that this is probably a rare occurrence with good quality spring steel, but Murphy being the optimist, and as Kawshik Rahman reported, if it happens, it is likely to happen at the worst possible time. But so could a firing pin breakage, a magazine spring follower breakage, or any other type of breakage, etc. I would not worry excessively about it, but I personally do NOT force a CRF bolt to act as a push feed.
 
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Kawshik Rahman

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The Winchester 70 "solution"

By the way, Winchester's "solution" to prevent CRF extractors breakage is quite interesting, and it illustrates how 'twisted' the issue has become.

Using pictures of my own Winchester 70 Stainless Classic .300 Weatherby, made in New Haven in the late 1990's, one can see, as previously illustrated, that clearly this generation of Winchester CRF extractors are not beveled (I do not know for the pre-64 models):

View attachment 314940

Well and good, right?

Not quite, because Winchester went the other way around and gained the clearance (and then some!) necessary for the non-beveled Winchester extractor to snap over a cartridge head by machining an extravagantly deep cut for the bolt right lug & extractor in the front bridge. Where they needed about 1/32" clearance they cut (at least on my rifle) about 1/8". Paul Mauser must be doing somersaults in his grave, lamenting the front bridge weakening...

View attachment 314941

In an original Mauser, the extractor is as straight as the Winchester extractor, but the right lug cut shows no extra clearance, which means that the extractor cannot jump the rim of the cartridge head and snap over it. As a result: 1) the bolt cannot be closed over a cartridge in the chamber; 2) extraction power is maximal as an extractor that has no clearance to snap over a cartridge head when closing the bolt ... can also not snap over it when the cartridge is stuck and the bolt open, thereby failing to extract...

So, the Winchester 70 "Classic" generation (re-introduction of CRF) will likely not break an extractor because the design allows for the spring effect when snapping over the cartridge head to distribute over a fairly long shank of extractor (that is the "fix") but the "fix" negates two of the three design characteristics of the Mauser extractor: 1) impossibility to load unintentionally, and 2) fail-proof extraction. Only #3 remains: impossibility to double feed. Each one of us will decide for themselves whether this is "improvement", "modernization", "problem fixing"...

What did Winchester gain in the process? Oh yes, they gained that fabled ease of loading one more round: shove it in the chamber and force the extractor to snap over it; and they gained peace with their customers because they did not manufacture a rifle whose "bolt could not close" and whose "extractor broke." This is yet another perfect example of marketing geniuses destroying good engineering to compensate for failing to educate their customers on how to use good engineering.

Good or bad ?

By the way, this does not make the Win 70 a bad rifle (it is in my mind the best modern American bolt action design; I love mine, and gifted two to my two sons) but it could have been so much greater... The same applies to Ruger, FN, Montana, ZKK, CZ, etc.

By the way, too, I am not attempting to convince anyone. I am just providing the explanation of how and why things came to be what they are. Each one of us will decide for themselves if gaining the ability to use a CRF action as a push-feed action for that mythical additional round was worth killing two of the Mauser action safety designs.

How many did I see break?

I have personally never broken a CRF extractor, but I have seen 2 or 3 over 40 years of hunting.

View attachment 314954

I reckon that this is probably a rare occurrence with good quality spring steel, but Murphy being the optimist, and as Kawshik Rahman reported, if it happens, it is likely to happen at the worst possible time. But so could a firing pin breakage, a magazine spring follower breakage, or any other type of breakage, etc. I would not worry excessively about it, but I personally do NOT force a CRF bolt to act as a push feed.
One day
You may actually have caught on to something . That mauser which had the ejector break , did not originally have a bevelled extractor.
Our client told us that he had the " extractor opened up by Walter ( the gun smith) " what ever that means.
 

Mr. Zorg

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Mr. Zorg
Ah , how pleasant to see you commenting on my articles . Your observations mirror my own .
For hunting non dangerous animals , l find a push feed configuration rifle to be perfectly acceptable .
However , when l am hunting something which could potentially hunt me back , that mauser type extracting claw device is very reassuring , to me .
I am a little intrigued when you refer to the Mannlicher rifle as a push feed configuration . During my time , a few of my clients had brought such rifles to India for Shikar : Three of them were calibrated for the .256 bore cartridge , while one was calibrated for the .375 Austrian Mannlicher cartridge .
I observed that all thos models were control round feed configuration .

This article should bring you up to speed on the Steyr Pro Hunter.

https://www.gunsamerica.com/digest/hammer-forged-steal-steyrs-850-pro-hunter-full-review/


@Red Leg, I took the NRA Basic Rifle course after I purchased the Steyr Pro Hunter as the last time I had been on a,hunt was about 4 decades ago. These issues also occurred when my instructor tried my rifle at the range. My rifle is stainless with synthetic stock. The Steyr Pro Hunter just isn't a good fit for me, there are plenty of good reviews from other purchasers like your family, one of the factors in my decision to purchase the rifle.
 

Kawshik Rahman

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This article should bring you up to speed on the Steyr Pro Hunter.

https://www.gunsamerica.com/digest/hammer-forged-steal-steyrs-850-pro-hunter-full-review/


@Red Leg, I took the NRA Basic Rifle course after I purchased the Steyr Pro Hunter as the last time I had been on a,hunt was about 4 decades ago. These issues also occurred when my instructor tried my rifle at the range. My rifle is stainless with synthetic stock. The Steyr Pro Hunter just isn't a good fit for me, there are plenty of good reviews from other purchasers like your family, one of the factors in my decision to purchase the rifle.
Mr. Zorg
Why , they made the rifles push feed configuration now !
 

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