A Push Feed Rifle Or A Control Round Feed Rifle?

mark-hunter

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@One Day...
Excellent answer, thanks!
To summarize, following CRF rifle models are identified till now: mauser 98 (in many versions), sako 85, older Steyr manlicher luxus.

Another question has been brought up:
Issue of safety!

Are we now talking of the rear - third locking lug on m98 bolt?

I was always under impression that due to accident Paul Mauser had, injuring his eye and hand, while testing some of the early semi auto designs, was the reason of adding third locking lug on the rear of the bolt of m98.
But, following this thought I went to quick search for double checking, and it looks like he had this accident in 1901, while m98 was designed few years earlier. Two facts are not connected in that way, as I thought so.

Nevertheless, m98 bolt has two front locking lugs, one rear locking lug and CR feed system on long claw. All together really sounds very very safe.

In any case, for safety features of m98, control of ruptured casings and overpressure gasses release, pls let us have your comments, I believe we will all appreciate. No need for another thread! many thanks in advance!
 

TOBY458

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Those of you that say the extractor should not be able to snap over the cartridge rim if you single load a round, have obviously never had a cartridge jump in front of the extractor while feeding from the magazine. When this occurs, you will inadvertently push the bolt forward and jam the cartridge into the chamber. Now....with your extractor that won't snap over the rim, you will be forced to say "hang on Mr. Carging Lion, while I go find something to stick down the barrel to push this cartridge out!".
I had this happen to me on a Kimber 30/06. Luckily I was only deer hunting. So a trip back to the truck was only an inconvenience, not life threatening.
 

TOBY458

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Gents,
Lets not forget "new kids in the block", after so detailed analysis of old mauser system.
(beating mauser to death, actually :) and forgetting new designs)

New kid in the CRF block is sako 85. Advertised by maker to be controlled round feed.

Short extractor, easy and (mechanically) safe "+1" option, bolt operation mimics mausers operation, in a way that linear action of bolt is sufficient to extract chambered round, without need for locking the bolt by turning. (it has to be turned and locked for firing, of course)

But.... there is no long mauser extractor and no wide extractors claw.
In my view for better part of cartridge travel to the chamber it is still on push feed.

So, can it be described as CRF or not, in your view - especially in a perspective of DG hunt requirements?
Photo of bolt head from internet.

Another question: is there any other rifle on the market, CRF of non-mauser type, worthy of consideration?

View attachment 315238

Here's a short video I made about the ejection issues that some Sako 85s have. It also clearly shows that the action is indeed CRF. Notice I don't have to close the bolt everytime I eject the rounds. The cartridge is picked up from the magazine and rides up under the extractor as designed.
 

CoElkHunter

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Here's a short video I made about the ejection issues that some Sako 85s have. It also clearly shows that the action is indeed CRF. Notice I don't have to close the bolt everytime I eject the rounds. The cartridge is picked up from the magazine and rides up under the extractor as designed.
Nice video! Very interesting!
 

Wyatt Smith

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My pre 64 30-06 snaps over the rim as easy an a Remington 700 but my new production 375 take a bit of force. However since I’ve been taught I don’t do it to either.
 

Tokoloshe Safaris

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We have CRF client rifles that never jam for me, but certain clients have found ways to make then jam. I believe short stroking is always the cause. I have one M-70 (deadly accurate) and dependable. I can put it in the hands of one repeat client and he will never have a problem and he has had at least one very stressful buffalo fight and won! I have another, again a repeat client,in the field somehow he manages to jam the rifle every time. I think he could jam a double!
 

sestoppelman

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I’m assuming your talking about your 375 safari express, if so, I load mine with 4 round all the time.
Load your three in the magazine, the place the fourth on top of the stack, press it down, then push the bolt forward and let the fourth round up under the extractor. It easy and safe for the extractor.
That is exactly how I have always loaded my Whitworth .375 mag. It is safe for rifle and shooter.(y)
 

sestoppelman

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Does controlled round feeding (CRF) require a Mauser-style external claw extractor?

To address the question prompted by Wyatt Smith in regard to the Winchester "Controlled Round Push Feed" design (circa late 2000's if memory serves?) and mark-hunter regarding the Sako 85, let us continue our discussion - with the full acknowledgment that its interest is more academic than it is practical, because darn few of us are going to rush to replace our battery regardless of which conclusion we draw from our virtual fireside electronic discussion...
:A Camping:

What defines controlled round feeding is NOT the SHAPE ("claw", "C clip", etc.) NOR the LOCATION ("external" to the bolt, "internal" to the bolt head, nested in the lug, etc.) of the extractor, it is the FUNCTION of the extractor. The one question that defines controlled round feeding is simple: does the bolt & extractor CARRY the round into the chamber?

If the answer is yes, the rifle is a controlled round feeding (CRF) rifle, REGARDLESS of whether or not it has a Mauser-style external claw extractor. For example, my Steyr Mannlicher Luxus rifle (circa 1970's) IS a CRF rifle despite looking anything like a Mauser rifle:

View attachment 315299

This is because the bolt on this generation of Steyr Mannlicher Luxus (not true in later generations) CARRIES the round from the magazine into the chamber, i.e. it "controls" the feeding of the round:

View attachment 315298

And it does this because the bolt has three characteristics:
  1. It has a cut-out at the bottom of the bolt head in order to allow the cartridge to slide under the extractor as the cartridge comes out of the magazine;
  2. It has an extractor wide enough and tensioned enough to secure and hold the cartridge as it comes out of the magazine;
  3. It does not have a spring-loaded ejector protuberating from the bolt that would prevent the cartridge from sliding under the extractor, and that would prevent the extractor from holding the cartridge.
View attachment 315300

Notice how the Steyr bolt above, and the Sako 85 and the Winchester bolts (below) illustrated by Wyatt Smith and mark-hunter offer the same characteristics and perform the same function, even though each of the three features a distinct engineering solution, all three different from the Mauser engineering, to accomplish the same function:

View attachment 315305

View attachment 315303

So, the answer to the question is "no". Controlled round feeding does NOT require an external Mauser-style claw extractor (y)

As to whether Winchester clarified or muddied the issue by calling their design "Controlled Round Push Feed," everyone will have their own opinion. It seems to me that, by definition, any bolt "pushes" the cartridge forward, whether it controls it or not :E Rofl:

As to "one of the main advantages of a push feed (being) the enclosed bolt head" as questions wisely Wyatt Smith, I submit to the readers' consideration that this is a legend born of Remington's clever "3 rings of steel" marketing, when they had to come up with a rationale for their design, which would not simply acknowledge a cost-cutting focus...
As illustrated in the following cut-out picture, in reality, where a push-feed (PF) bolt head fully encloses the cartridge head, is where it is the least likely to rupture, below the powder chamber, around the rim, itself separated by a lot of case material from the primer pocket:

View attachment 315310


I personally suspect that a CRF or PF bolt head is not going to make much of a difference one way or the other in case of cartridge casing rupture. Where and how the jet gases resulting from a ruptured case are redirected away from the shooter's face and hand is likely much more important (another issue about which the Mauser design shines, but this is for another thread ;)).
OH GREAT! Now there is one more thing I have to look for!:whistle::eek::rolleyes::D
 

sestoppelman

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Does controlled round feeding (CRF) require a Mauser-style external claw extractor?

To address the question prompted by Wyatt Smith in regard to the Winchester "Controlled Round Push Feed" design (circa late 2000's if memory serves?) and mark-hunter regarding the Sako 85, let us continue our discussion - with the full acknowledgment that its interest is more academic than it is practical, because darn few of us are going to rush to replace our battery regardless of which conclusion we draw from our virtual fireside electronic discussion...
:A Camping:

What defines controlled round feeding is NOT the SHAPE ("claw", "C clip", etc.) NOR the LOCATION ("external" to the bolt, "internal" to the bolt head, nested in the lug, etc.) of the extractor, it is the FUNCTION of the extractor. The one question that defines controlled round feeding is simple: does the bolt & extractor CARRY the round into the chamber?

If the answer is yes, the rifle is a controlled round feeding (CRF) rifle, REGARDLESS of whether or not it has a Mauser-style external claw extractor. For example, my Steyr Mannlicher Luxus rifle (circa 1970's) IS a CRF rifle despite looking anything like a Mauser rifle:

View attachment 315299

This is because the bolt on this generation of Steyr Mannlicher Luxus (not true in later generations) CARRIES the round from the magazine into the chamber, i.e. it "controls" the feeding of the round:

View attachment 315298

And it does this because the bolt has three characteristics:
  1. It has a cut-out at the bottom of the bolt head in order to allow the cartridge to slide under the extractor as the cartridge comes out of the magazine;
  2. It has an extractor wide enough and tensioned enough to secure and hold the cartridge as it comes out of the magazine;
  3. It does not have a spring-loaded ejector protuberating from the bolt that would prevent the cartridge from sliding under the extractor, and that would prevent the extractor from holding the cartridge.
View attachment 315300

Notice how the Steyr bolt above, and the Sako 85 and the Winchester bolts (below) illustrated by Wyatt Smith and mark-hunter offer the same characteristics and perform the same function, even though each of the three features a distinct engineering solution, all three different from the Mauser engineering, to accomplish the same function:

View attachment 315305

View attachment 315303

So, the answer to the question is "no". Controlled round feeding does NOT require an external Mauser-style claw extractor (y)

As to whether Winchester clarified or muddied the issue by calling their design "Controlled Round Push Feed," everyone will have their own opinion. It seems to me that, by definition, any bolt "pushes" the cartridge forward, whether it controls it or not :E Rofl:

As to "one of the main advantages of a push feed (being) the enclosed bolt head" as questions wisely Wyatt Smith, I submit to the readers' consideration that this is a legend born of Remington's clever "3 rings of steel" marketing, when they had to come up with a rationale for their design, which would not simply acknowledge a cost-cutting focus...
As illustrated in the following cut-out picture, in reality, where a push-feed (PF) bolt head fully encloses the cartridge head, is where it is the least likely to rupture, below the powder chamber, around the rim, itself separated by a lot of case material from the primer pocket:

View attachment 315310


I personally suspect that a CRF or PF bolt head is not going to make much of a difference one way or the other in case of cartridge casing rupture. Where and how the jet gases resulting from a ruptured case are redirected away from the shooter's face and hand is likely much more important (another issue about which the Mauser design shines, but this is for another thread ;)).
What type of ejector does it have and where is it?
 

One Day...

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Hello sestoppelman,
The ejector is a rod that is inserted in the bolt hole and that slides back and forth in this hole, and behind.
It is held in place behind the bolt face by a screw that slides in a grove at the bottom of the bolt, and that also acts as a bolt stop. When the bolt is retracted, the screw that holds the ejector rode is blocked against the front of the trigger and as the bolt continues to go back for about 1/4" inch, the screw holding the ejector rod slides forward in its grove and causes the ejector rod to slide forward within the bolt and to protuberate from the bolt face, where it acts the same way a typical spring loaded ejector does.
When the bolt is moved forward to reload, the ejector rod slides back inside the bolt head and allows controlled round feed.

upload_2019-12-2_22-5-22.png

In simpler terms (maybe?) think of it as an plunger ejector that is not constantly popping out under spring tension, but that is only pushed out by an internal rod when it needs to be out to eject a cartridge.

FYI, this feature only exists on the Luxus series of the 1970's - 80's Steyr Mannlicher rifles, those with metallic in-line 3 rounds magazines. All contemporary Steyr Mannlicher with macrolon (plastic) 5 round detachable rotary magazines have a push feed mechanism, and to the best of my knowledge CRF was dropped on the more recent Luxus series.
Apparently, virtually no one knew what they had in their hands (not all that uncommon is it?), and it seems that Steyr figured in the 1990's they could discretely drop the feature without dropping market share. Sadly it seems they were right...
Thx
P
 
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sestoppelman

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Thanks for that explanation, makes sense to me now. If that's possible...:rolleyes::D:D
 
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Thank you for an always pleasurable read Kawshik Rahman.

I tend to agree with Red Leg that the Mauser extractor vs. Remington extractor debate is one of these endless debates that is getting a little more confusing with every passing year. Not because it is obsolete, mind you, but mainly because people gradually forget the three benefits of the Mauser extractor system and generally over-simplify the debate by reducing it to a single issue of extraction power.

In a way, your article itself illustrates this trend. It thoroughly discusses two characteristics: the issue of extraction and double feed, but it is silent on the issue of unintentional loading...

Three characteristics of the CRF (controlled round feed) Mauser action

When the German military commissioned the development of what became the Mauser 98, some of their specifications were:
  1. better extraction (a classic problem with earlier soft copper metallic cartridge casings and dirty black powder);
  2. no possibility of double feeding (a classic problem when not fully cycling the bolt under duress);
  3. no possibility of unintentionally loading the rifle (a classic issue when closing a push-feed action unknowingly on a loaded chamber).
These were rational requests indeed, since #2 and #3 continue to happen with boring regularity with push-feed rifles to this day, and occasionally #1 continues to happen from time to time with dirty rifles or hand-loads over pressure.

The famed Mauser "claw" extractor accomplished all three objectives:
  • By riding outside of the bolt and capturing the cartridge out of the magazine under the extractor and literally carrying it into the chamber, the bolt cannot unknowingly leave a cartridge in the chamber if it is retracted before it is closed. A push feed bolt will leave a cartridge in the chamber unless the bolt is actually closed on the cartridge and the extractor is snapped over the cartridge head to capture it. The external claw extractor captures the cartridge as it comes out of the magazine, before the bolt is closed. The claw extractor therefore makes it virtually impossible to double feed a second round behind the one already in the chamber because it cannot leave a round anywhere in the raceway or chamber after taking it out of the magazine.
  • To strengthen the extraction AND to prevent closing the bolt unknowingly on a loaded chamber Mauser designed a massive extractor that COULD NOT SNAP over a cartridge head. Repeat COULD NOT. The design was a very wide extractor, outside the bolt head, that was tightly maintained against the bolt head and the cartridge head by the internal wall of the front bridge of the action, without the mechanical possibility of snapping over the head either when extracting a stuck case, or closing the bolt over an unseen round in the chamber.
Original Mauser military rifles have a non-beveled extractor that cannot, by design, snap over a cartridge head. They must be loaded from the magazine, hence the cartridges must be engaged under the extractor before they get to the chamber. NO possibility of double feed. NO possibility to close the rifle on an unseen cartridge already in the chamber. NO possibility of failed extraction, unless about a third of the cartridge head at a minimum is ripped out, which is uncommon.

Misguided "modernization"

Just like Browning misguidedly "modernized" (read: destroyed) the wonderful Mauser fixed blade ejector and bolt stop, as discussed by Red Leg, sadly, when Mauser actions reached the commercial market and became widely distributed to not-so-proficient and not-so-knowledgeable mass hunters, darn few sales people took the time to explain this to customers, or likely even knew it themselves, and darn few customers read the user's manual, or listen to 'manual of arm' explanations anyway. As a consequence, a number of folks started to complain that their bolt could not close...

Manufacturers started to "fix" the "problem" and modernize (?) the design by beveling the extractor so that it could snap over a cartridge head and the bolt could always close. This creates stress on the extractor that was not designed to do this, and sooner or later the extractor will break. This also negates a wonderful safety feature of the original Mauser action (the impossibility to close the bolt on a loaded chamber and to unknowingly load the rifle). This also negates most of the fail-proof extraction capability of the action, although this is rarely a problem with modern ammo...

And when butchering (sorry! I should have said beveling) the Mauser extractor made it incidentally possible to load one more cartridge in the chamber on top of a full magazine, another misguided practice took on a life of its own...

The reason why it is a bad idea to snap the extractor over a cartridge head in the chamber, even those extractors machined from spring metal (never mind those cast from pot metal), is that the stress is applied to lift the extractor head away from the bolt head, which the entire design of the extractor was intended to prevent to begin with. Notice that the extractor's entire body is rounded to ride the round bolt. To snap over a cartridge head, the metal is asked to flex to the outside of the rounding radius. Never a good idea...

That darned "one more round" syndrome...

IvW and I, each in our own words, have explained several times how those who absolutely want one more round in the chamber should load it: load the magazine to capacity; control feed one round from the magazine into the chamber; engage the mechanical safety and point the rifle in a safe direction; flip the rifle upside down; open the floor plate; drop one more cartridge in the magazine well; close the floor plate. That is the ONLY way it can be done without damaging the extractor. How important is one more round to each one of us, each one will judge for themselves.

People who owns a rifle with a 3 round magazine capacity likely have a better case to make than people who own a rifle with 6 round magazine capacity, but in any case, it is a mistake to load that one more round by snapping an external claw extractor over it in the chamber.

So, how relevant is the Mauser action today?
  • Extraction: The large "Mauser" extractor offers more surface contact on a cartridge case head that any other type of extractor. It is a fact. And I will hasten to add that - to me - this is likely the least important characteristic as extraction failures are relatively rare with modern rifles and modern cartridges. In a worst case scenario a Mauser extractor can fail to extract by ripping the rim or the entire head out of a stuck cartridge. People who let their chamber rust and who overload their hand-loads can make something like that happen with a Mauser extractor. There is a limit to what clever engineering can do to overcome human stupidity... How real is the Mauser extraction advantage to each one of us, each one will judge for themselves.
  • Double feed: Any push feed action, including the most modern ones, among which stands the beloved R8, can produce a double feed jam. A true controlled round feed action such as the Mauser and derivative (Winchester 70, ZKK 602/CZ 550), but also the Steyr Mannlicher Luxus (circa 1980's) or the Sako 85, etc. can essentially not produce a double feed jam. How important is this feature to each one of us, each one will judge for themselves, but this is a fact.
  • Unintentional loading: Any push feed action, including the most modern ones, among which stands the beloved R8, can produce an unintentional loading if the action is closed on an unseen cartridge in the chamber. A true controlled round feed action will not leave a cartridge it carried into the chamber when the bolt is pulled back, and a true Mauser action with beveled extractor cannot close the bolt on a round in the chamber. Misguidedly beveled extractors will at least resist closing as they snap over the cartridge head... How important is this feature to each one of us, each one will judge for themselves, but this is a fact.
What I can tell you is that as already related in another discussion on CRF (
https://www.africahunting.com/threa...ag-vs-cz550-458-lott.51054/page-4#post-555947) four years ago in the Eastern Cape one person inadvertently loaded a gun in a discussion about cartridge length by pushing into the chamber the one cartridge that was in the magazine; forgot about it in the flow of the discussion; and handed the rifle, bolt open, to someone else who, seeing no cartridge in the magazine or the raceway, believed the rifle was empty, but in fact closed the bolt on the loaded chamber and put the rifle on the back seat of the truck. The next person who grabbed the gun from the back seat depressed the trigger while doing so, and the gun fired. One woman died. I personally know the people involved, this is a true story. Of course there was a long list of gun safety violations along the way, but a CRF action would likely have prevented them from resulting in a death. A CRF bolt would have been carrying that cartridge back out of the chamber even if the bolt had not been closed during gun manipulation. THAT is the primary benefit of a CRF on a hunting gun.

My own view point...

So in conclusion, and to answer your question Kawshik Rahman.
  • I am personally not overly concerned about the extraction discussion.
  • I do believe that the double feed jam prevention is a nice feature, for beginners as well as pros.
  • Having had the sad privilege of witnessing in my past military life, and shooting competitor life, a few accidental discharges (thankfully no one was hurt, but it was deeply shocking!) I personally like a lot this almost forgotten characteristic of the true Mauser action: it is very difficult to load one unintentionally. The extractor will not leave a cartridge in the raceway or the chamber; a non-beveled Mauser extractor cannot close on a cartridge in the chamber; and even a misguidedly beveled extractor will resist somewhat closing the bolt .
For CRF owners out there who see value on the point I am making, if the extractor was beveled on your CRF action (Win 70, Montana, Mauser 98, Santa Barbara, Zastava, etc. clones, ZKK 602, CZ 550, etc.) and if it can snap over a cartridge head, therefore negating most of its extraction power, and negating the safety feature of not being able to close on a cartridge inadvertently left in the chamber, you can fix this easily by purchasing a non-beveled extractor and replacing it. True gunsmith legends to this day do not bevel their extractors, an I am curious to ask Red Leg, if in your modern Stalker, Rigby/Mauser sacrificed to the market fashion and beveled the extractor or maintained the true Mauser functionality with an unbeveled extractor that cannot close over a round in the chamber?

Much apology for such a long post. Those uninterested likely did not read it. Those interested hopefully found value in it :)
One day and friend Ponton
Both of you have given very good reasons for and against both types of mechanisms.
I for one use both CRF and push feed. The CRF if properly done, non bevel extraction can control the cartridge better but it all comes down to knowing your rifle.
I personally clean all my rifles especially the push feed with a tooth brush on the bolt face. One small brass shaving can put one out of action. Snapping a beveled CRF extractor over a case can lead to disaster, I have seen one snap half way along the bolt rendering the rifle useless.
As to whether one feeds better than the other is open to debate. It is possible to chamber a cartridge in a push feed rife even turned upside down.
Just my opinion if you are willing to keep your rifle of choice clean and well maintained, are familiar with the operation of it and use ammunition especially hand loads that have been cycled through your rifle beforehand to check operation is flawless. You shouldn't have any problems hunting the game you choose even DG with either type of mechanism.
It is a debate that has raged since the introduction of push feed rifles and will always continue.
Just my 2 cents worth, I'm comfortable with both and have no preference for one over the other.
Cheers
Bob Nelson
 
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Broke an extractor on a BSA CF2 around 30 year's ago, lots of rounds through it without cleaning on a hot day, finished the day off with a Parker Hale military Sporter, lots of rounds and no cleaning and no problems. They were very abused rifles used for culling feral pigs and kangaroos. I'm quite sure that I got some brass mixed up which contributed to the jamed case and it was not a fault of the rifle, could just as easily have been the Mauser that jammed, though chances are it would have extracted it. For what it's worth I even feed my m70 push feed from the mag, really can't think where I would need to use six quick shots anyway.
Tunatoy
Mate many a time I've used all 10 shots in my 303, dropped the mag slapped a fresh one in and kept shooting for another 5 or 5 rounds on big mobs of pigs.
Those days are long gone, this was pig hunting in the late 70s.
Bob
 
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Here's a short video I made about the ejection issues that some Sako 85s have. It also clearly shows that the action is indeed CRF. Notice I don't have to close the bolt everytime I eject the rounds. The cartridge is picked up from the magazine and rides up under the extractor as designed.
Toby458
If the rifle was designed properly you wouldn't have to turn the scope 90 degrees to sole the problem.
What would be wrong with relocating the ejector.
Bob
 

TOBY458

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Toby458
If the rifle was designed properly you wouldn't have to turn the scope 90 degrees to sole the problem.
What would be wrong with relocating the ejector.
Bob
I agree. But there's no way to relocate the ejector on these rifles. Sako would need to do a complete redesign. Which might not be a bad idea. But there's no way to retrofit the existing model 75 and 85 rifles. I have a 85 in 9.3x62 which works perfectly, so it's not a problem with all rifles in the line. The extractor seems to fit the case head a bit tighter on the 9.3, so perhaps a tighter fitting extractor would benefit my 375 Sako. But since this works so well, I really don't worry about it much.
 

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Thank you for taking the time to put together the information you presented and thorough written information.
 

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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.
Since we're still going with this, any pics of them broken at the typical rupture point?
 

Doug Hamilton

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As l read many of the excellent discussions carried out on African Hunting forums , l see that there is one topic above all others , which is the most passionately debated among my respected forum members : Is a push feed rifle superior to a control round feed rifle , or is a control round feed rifle superior to a push feed rifle. A little prologue is requisite here . A control round feed rifle is one which has a mauser type extracting claw device, while a push feed rifle lacks any such mauser type extracting claw device . I would like to express a word of gratitude to fellow forum members , Mark Hunter , Shootist43 and Hoss Delgado for helping me learn many of the appropriate terminologies used here. Without their assistance, my article today would be far more grammatically incorrect than it is now . I would also like to add that every photograph used in this article is my personal possession and therefore mine and mine alone. Finally , before we commence , l would like to request my dear readers not to treat anything l have written here as authoritarian. I do not consider myself to be an expert on the subject , and far more experienced and well gentlemen contribute to these forums than l , with a greater deal of knowledge . I am merely laying out my own personal experiences and things the way l personally perceived them to be at the time. If l have made any error in my writing , please forgive me and do not hesitate to correct me as l always consider it a privilege to be enlightened by the more knowledgeable .
Let us begin dear readers .
Below , l have complied a small rough count of the general consensus on these forums which took me two days to make a count :
At least 423 forum members here are vocally outspoken critics of the push feed mechanism for dangerous animals. .
At least 264 forum members here are very vocal proponents of the push feed configuration.
In order to make a fair assessment of each configuration and it’s benefits and weaknesses , we must firstly , avoid making any blanket statements to generalize one configuration as being superior to the other or vice versa .
During my career as a professional Shikari in Darjeeling, India from 1962 to 1970 , more than 60 % of my clients coming to India , for Shikar would bring a push feed configuration rifle for Shikar. Around 35 % would come to India with a control round feed rifle .
Some of the common push feed rifles present in our time brought by clients were :
Remington model 700
Winchester model 70 ( new pattern)
Birmingham Small Arms ( new pattern )
Browning Hi Power
Weatherby rifles

Some of the common control round feed rifles present in our time were :
Winchester model 70 ( old pattern )
Birmingham Small Arms ( old pattern )
Custom made mauser rifles
French Brevex mechanism
Springfield model 1903
Enfield model 1917

There were six dangerous animals in old India , which could legally be hunted at the time :
Royal Bengal tiger, leopard , Gaur , Asian sloth bear , crocodile and Darjeeling bush boar ( even though they are not considered very dangerous by many seasoned hunters , l still label them as dangerous animals , because these beasts tend to go for the femoral artery in one’s leg if they charge at you with their tusks ) .

Now , l can assure you all with my testimony and photographs , that a great deal of dangerous animals were slain by my clients , using push feed rifles . The bulk of them did not suffer any problems . Pay close attention to the word “ the bulk “. We shall expand on that further down.

From top to bottom :
1) Client with Weatherby push feed configuration rifle , calibrated for .300 Weatherby magnum , about to shoot a leopard .
2) Client with his leopard trophy , secured by using a single 175 grain soft nose cartridge from his Remington model 700 push feed configuration rifle , calibrated for 7 millimeter Remington magnum cartridge .
3) Client taking aim at a brace of mouse deer , with a push feed configuration rifle , calibrated for .22 Long Rifle cartridge . I should have paid attention to which firm built that little rifle .







View attachment 314610 View attachment 314611 View attachment 314612




At the same time , my clients who used to bring control round feed rifles were , for the most part highly proficient with their rifles , and attained enviable degrees of success with their rifles.

View attachment 314616
Hoss Delgado's grandfather , Don Fernando Delgado and a with a leopard , taken my Fernando's old pattern control round feed configuration Winchester model 70 rifle , calibrated for the .375 Holland and Holland magnum cartridge

View attachment 314617
Happy European client with his dear wife madame and a Royal Bengal tiger killed with a single soft nose bullet from his 9.3 millimeter mauser bolt operation control round feed configuration rifle.
View attachment 314619
Our middle eastern client resting with his two rifles on the side :
A .348 Winchester calibre under lever Winchester rifle , and a .375 Holland and Holland magnum calibre Brevex mechanism control round feed configuration rifle .

View attachment 314618
Two of the three Royal Bengal tigers present in this photograph , were taken with the .375 Holland and Holland magnum calibre Brevex mechanism control round feed configuration rifle ( seen in the previous photograph ) and 300 grain Winchester silver tip cartridges .
The location is what is now known as Buxa tiger reserve .

View attachment 314620
Our respected American client , with a .30-06 Springfield calibre model 1903 control round feed configuration rifle .

View attachment 314621
The rifle in the bottom is the same model 1903 Springfield rifle , calibrated for the .30-06 cartridge as picture in the hands of my client , above . For five decades , l have always tried to find out what the rifle exactly above it ( with the removable magazine ) was . I only know that it was calibrated for the .30-06 Springfield cartridge. I should not have neglected to ask this question to my client . However , l still have a vague hope that some one on these forums can identify the rifle someday .
This photograph was taken in the balcony of Darjileeng Circuit House , after a successful leopard Shikar .




So , which configuration is better ? Let us do a break down. Neither will determine how the rifle is being fired . They come into play , with how the rifle extracts empty cartridge cases .
A control round feed configuration rifle has an extracting device.This extracting device grabs on to the rim of the cartridge and guides it into the chamber. Where ever that bolt goes , the cartridge goes.

In a push feed mechanism , the bolt does not have complete control of the cartridge and merely “ pushes “ it into the chamber .
A little known fact ( except among those Shikaris who actually use push feed rifles ) is that the push feed bolt has an extracting device too. However , instead of being a stationary piece in the receiver part , it is a small spring loaded piece on the bolt face , itself. Such an extracting device is far smaller than the one on the control round feed rifle variety.

Let us discuss a strength of the control round feed configuration rifle , shall we ?
That large claw type extracting device is an added insurance to remove empty cartridge cases in almost any scenario . Why is this an advantage ? We will get to that momentarily.
Let us discuss a perceived “ weakness “ of the control round feed rifle .
The traditional mauser rifles ( the definitive control round feed ) of my time were designed to strictly feed only those cartridges which were loaded into the rifle THROUGH the magazine . If you fill the magazine and then attempt to load one extra cartridge from the top by trying to get the ejector to slip over the rim of the extra cartridge , then you will probably be fine for a while...until you eventually break the extracting device . This is because , whenever you are attempting to get the ejector to slip over the rim of an extra cartridge , you are placing increased strain on the ejector , which can never be a good thing.

Let us discuss a strength of the push feed configuration rifle , now .
The push feed configuration rifle , on account of the lack of the mauser type extracting claw device, lends itself to a simpler loading by putting cartridges directly into the rifle from the top , without the need for the cartridges to always necessarily come vertically up through the magazine always.

Let us now discuss a perceived " weakness " of the push feed configuration rifle . Push feed mechanisms are susceptible to a type of double-feed malfunction that does NOT occur with controlled feed mechanisms. In a push feed rifle, if the bolt goes MOST of the way forward, but not completely, it is possible to bring the bolt back (leaving the cartridge sitting loosely in the chamber) and start feeding another cartridge. The result is a double-feed where the second cartridge is blocked by the first cartridge .

Now , under most normal circumstances , this will not occur . Under what circumstances then , can this problem occur ? The answer is STRESS .

If you introduce stress , into the equation , then it becomes evident how a shooter may operate the bolt erroneously in a highly stressful situation .
Allow me to elaborate , dear readers .
If you are shooting targets at the local firing range , one is typically relaxed and is operating his rifle in a calm , collected manner .
The same applies when one is in a macchan ( or " blind " ) and calmly taking a shot at a Chital deer or Sambhar deer . As challenging as these situations are , they are not typically stressful situations .
A push feed configuration rifle here will certainly not leave anything to be desired .
However , suppose you are now pursuing a 200 pound leopard , 500 pound man eating Royal Bengal tiger or a 2000 pound Gaur , and you ( by some misfortune ) are suddenly facing a charging beast. Very ugly and very determined to exterminate your life . Unless one is an unusually cool customer who has years of practice of operating that bolt instinctively , under his belt , chances are that stress becomes an uninvited guest to your otherwise finely tuned senses . This is where one might experience errors in operating the bolt of his rifle and a double - feed problem may invariably occur .
Sadly enough , this is the one situation where your choice of a push feed rifle may lead to your death or injury or a similar fate to anyone in your party .

My learned fellow professional hunter and fellow forum member , the White Hunter , IvW is vocally outspoken against the push feed configuration rifle being used for dangerous animals . I try to be more forgiving in my views. However , l have seen a few push feed configuration rifles in my time , which did experience a failure in extracting the empty cartridge case .

I will attempt to list them out below :
One Remington model 700 , calibrated for .375 Holland and Holland magnum.
One Remington model 700 , calibrated for .458 Winchester magnum
One Remington model 700 , calibrated for .30-06 Springfield cartridge .
Two Winchester model 70 rifles , calibrated for the .458 Winchester magnum cartridge .
Two Winchester model 70 rifles , calibrated for the .308 Winchester cartridge .
One Weatherby rifle , calibrated for the .300 Weatherby magnum cartridge .

In all fairness , these rifles could all function properly again after a good thorough cleaning . More to the point , these rifles were generally the exception and not the rule . There were dozens of Remington model 700 rifles , Winchester model 70 rifles and Weatherby rifles brought by my respected clients into old India , which successfully laid low the six listed dangerous animals , with impunity .
While the extraction problems have occurred from time to time over the years , they happen a lot less than people will have you believe .
Should a few rifles of this class be a fair representative of the push feed configuration rifle , as a whole ?

Perhaps not , but my young friend and fellow forum member , Hoss Delgado showed me a particularly disconcerting article a few days back . It detailled the death of a most unfortunate White Hunter , named Mr. Ian Gibson . The poor gentleman faced a very angry bull elephant and shot it , with his .458 Winchester magnum calibre Winchester model 70 push feed configuration rifle . When the wounded animal charged at him , he attempted to operate the bolt on his push feed configuration Winchester model 70 , but could not clear the empty cartridge case . The results , for this poor gentleman , were grisly and most unfortunate.

Even though the extraction problems of a push feed configuration rifle are unlikely to happen, they still can happen , have happened and do happen from time to time. Nine times out of ten , an average hunter will not experience anything of the sort. But what if , that one time , you happen to be facing a very angry , wounded six ton bull elephant ?

On the other side of the spectrum , there have been a few mauser mechanism rifles which l have seen in my career , which failed disastrously in the Shikar field , to extract empty cartridge cases .
Living in the post second World War era , l can personally attest to the fact that salvaged military surplus mauser mechanisms were extremely popular for building custom made rifles in my time . I was told about this phenomenon by more than one American client and l witnessed it myself . As a professional Shikari , my reception to this , was mixed . You see , many of these custom pieces were excellent and flawless , including a beautiful .458 Winchester magnum calibre bolt operation rifle , made by a gun maker named " Fred Wells " .
However , many of these rifles built on military surplus mauser mechanisms were most foul weapons and unrivalled in terms of their constant extraction problems . It should be borne in mind that most of these military surplus mauser mechanisms were originally built to handle a 7 millimeter or an 8 millimeter cartridge . Merely attaching a .458 bore barrel to it and modifying the mechanism a little does not make it a rifle calibrated for .458 Winchester magnum . No. The amount of work that needs to be done to the feeding ramp rails , and ALL other parts of the rifle must be of surgical precision . It is imperative .

I had one interesting client who proved ( much to his consternation ) that both a control round feed and a push feed configuration rifle can fail you . This gentleman was a repeat client of my outfitting firm and was extremely passionate about the art of shooting Gaur bison . When l first met this gentleman , he was using a custom made .458 Winchester magnum calibre bolt operation rifle made on a military surplus mauser mechanism . The maker of this rifle , was a firm named " Walter Abe " . The rifle held three cartridges , but one more cartridge could be added to the rifle by feeding it through the top of the rifle ( as opposed to the magazine ) by getting the extracting device to slip over the rim of the extra cartridge ... or so we thought. For two Shikar seasons , our respected client had no problems whatsoever .He had always managed to successfully secure a large male Gaur. It was the third Shikar season , when a problem occurred in the Shikar field .
Our respected client , my late Shikari partner, Karim Chowdhury , myself , our two loyal Garo trackers and our coolies were pursuing the tracks of a large Gaur , when our client decided to add the fourth cartridge to his magazine , as always . Why , he broke the ejector ! We weighed in , our possibilities . Our client also had brought along a beautiful model 1917 rifle made by the firm , Enfield calibrated for that definitive American cartridge , the .30-06 Springfield . As anyone hunting Gaur buffaloes will tell you ; attempting to hunt one of these 2000 pound thick skinned beasts , nicknamed by us local Shikaris , as " Chai Bhoot " ( Grey ghosts of the forest ) with a .30-06 Springfield Calibre rifle , is something best left for someone who does not value self preservation .
Thus , our client had to content himself , for that Shikar season with a large Sambhar deer and a male leopard . However , the Gaur Shikar was not to be . The American gentleman certainly was not longer fond of the mauser mechanism at all.
The next Shikar season , he came to Darjeeling once again. This time , he brought a brand new Winchester model 70 bolt operation rifle , calibrated for the .458 Winchester magnum cartridge . The gentleman was singing praises about the push feed configuration and proudly advertised that this rifle could easily allow one extra cartridge to be loaded into the rifle without the " nasty claw getting in the way ". We simple minded local Shikaris , merely nodded in approval thinking that nothing can go wrong , this time . We went out with the respected client , our loyal Garo trackers and our coolies for a two day Shikar in the hills . Our quarry was a Sambhar deer and the customary Gaur . Our client wanted redemption for failing to secure his Gaur last season . On the first day , that model 70 rifle worked perfectly and secured the Sambhar deer without any problems.
On the second day , when we finally found our Gaur , we brought our respected client into a side way position of the beast . Using a 510 grain soft head expanding cartridge , our client let fly at the lungs of the beast. The bullet pierced both lungs of the massive bovine and he began to run , coughing blood . Our respected client hurriedly began to operate the bolt of his rifle to extract the expended cartridge case . Why , the rifle was not extracting !
Had that Gaur decided to turn towards us and charge , then the experience would have definitely been more life threatening . However , the first shot placed by my respected client was true . That soft nose 510 grain bullet had pierced and opened up inside both the lungs . And a Gaur with two pierced lungs will seldom think of charging ( unless some one in your party co-incidentally happens to be in it's path ) . After going fifty yards , blowing blood about like a macabre water fountain , the great beast dropped lifeless on the Indian forest ground , never to raise it's head again.
Upon examination of the model 70 Winchester rifle , it was discovered that the rifle was infact quite dirty. It had been left uncleaned from the first day , when our respected client had secured his Sambhar deer . A good cleaning in the Shikar camp that night and firing a few test cartridges at a few empty bottles of Gool ( local palm wine ) , proved to our respected client that the Winchester model 70 push feed configuration rifle , was in full operating order again.
In retrospect , l have always wondered why our respected client was always so keen on being able to keep four cartridges inside his rifle . He never seemed to need more than three shots for any animal that he had opened fire at .
Thus , what is my conclusive view on this passionately disputed topic ?
Considering the fact that military forces all over the world , use push feed configuration rifles ( including our very own Bangladesh Rapid Action Battalion who opts for the 7.62 millimeter Remington model 700 push feed configuration rifle ) , they certainly are not a bad design.
For a deer hunting rifle or a small game rifle , a push feed configuration rifle is a completely acceptable format , l should think .
However , to my old eyes , the shooting of dangerous animals , is best served by a control round feed configuration rifle . The mauser type extracting claw device is certainly added insurance during those stressful situations when adrenaline pumps all over your entire body and you are operating that bolt quickly . And what could be more stressful than hunting something which can potentially hunt you back ?
Of course , the expert can use any configuration of rifle with clear effortlessness . Indeed , l have seen dozens of well discliplined shooters lay low all manners of dangerous animals with push feed configuration rifles , without any concern about extraction problems. However , these gentlemen ( and four ladies ) were extremely cool customers and certainly the exception to the rule .
For us ordinary mortals , l would prefer the control round feed configuration , with the French Brevex mechanism being a personal favorite of mine . I still consider it , to be the King of all bolt operation rifle mechanisms .
And in all seriousness , how many of us really need that one extra cartridge so badly that we need to risk harming the extractor of our rifle , at any rate ?
With a magazine capable of holding anywhere from three to six cartridges ( depending on make of rifle and calibre , of course ) and the philosophy that our first bullet must be well placed and our aim correct , l doubt that for the purposes of Shikar , yet another cartridge can have any practical benefit to the Shikari who already has from three to six cartridges , in his rifle.
Do l think that the push feed configuration rifle will be completely cast aside , for the purposes of shooting dangerous animals ?
No . Push feed configuration rifles are much more economical to manufacture and l think that many client Shikaris coming to Africa for Shikar will continue to use push feed configuration rifles with great success even on the largest bill elephant of six tons .
However , the off-the-shelf options on the market today are endless compared to the rifles of my time . The firm Winchester has recently reintroduced the old pattern control round feed configuration model 70 ( l believe since 1992 ? ) . No decision could have been wiser , in my view .
There is also another rifle called the CZ model 550 , which certainly seems very much talked about , on these forums . Then , there are excellent control round feed configuration rifles made by Blaser , Heym and so many other excellent firms . Certainly , the gentleman desiring a control round feed configuration rifle today , is unlikely to be held back by reasons of parsimoniousness or false economy .
And for the professional White Hunter , l consider the control round feed configuration rifle to be a desirable weapon in every way. One which can work flawlessly , despite the level of stress felt by the operator .
I am of view that no matter how cool a customer , an operator is , one bad day with a dangerous beast , can quickly tilt the scales of fortunate against your favor . And that day , may very well , be your last.

I would like to conclude my article by apologizing to any one , if l have sounded authoritarian in my views . I do not consider myself to be much of an authority on the subject and merely laid out my own opinions on the matter , by describing my personal experiences in the Shikar field .
For those of my dear respected forum members , who prefer the push feed configuration rifle for Shikar , please do not hesitate to continue . It all comes down to preference .
At any rate , if you place your first shot correctly in a vital region of your intended quarry , then push feed configuration or control round feed configuration , is of little consequence .
I would also like to apologise to forum member , Mark Hunter for taking so much time to write the article on Indian snakes and reptilian creatures which he requested .
I am currently in the process of identifying all of the English names of all of the snakes in India and Bangladesh . It is not a quick task.
 
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