Crf Rifles Encountered While Hunting?

walk-in

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All of my bolt actions are CRF. I don't necessarily think that PF is a bad thing, but I think that CRF rifles in general tend to be of higher quality than PF rifles. I'm sure some will take exception to this, but if a manufacturer is cutting costs by producing a PF action instead of CRF, they're likely cutting costs in other ways as well. Does that matter for the average hunter (even for dangerous game)? Probably not. 99 times out of 100 (probably more), it makes no difference at all, so if I'm honest about it, that isn't really much of a reason for my preference for CRF. More than anything, I guess it comes down to the fact that I'm a rifle snob. I like what I like, and I'm willing to pay more for CRF, blued steel, and a nice piece of wood. Even in Alaska (contrary to popular belief) you can hunt with an old blued/wood rifle and be just fine.

My neighbor has a new truck about every 2 years. That's just his thing. My 30 year old Jeep Cherokee will get me everywhere he goes in his brand new trucks for a lot less money. He spends his money on trucks, I spend mine on guns. To each his own.
 
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mark-hunter

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Except fore the gentlemen where the money is no object, I noticed on this forum, that many hunters, and safari hunters save money on old car, and invest in safari trips, or better gear (rifles included).
It works for me too. Each of my firearms, when I put it in a trunk, is worth more then my 14 year old car.
 

ChrisG

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Confusing the Mauser external claw extractor with CRF...

The title says it all: many confuse the Mauser external claw extractor with controlled round feeding. This is erroneous.

The only test of CRF is: does the bolt carry the round into the chamber? If the answer is yes, this is a CRF bolt. If this answer is no, this is a PF bolt. The extractor type as nothing to do with CRF. I am tempted to add: period.

For example, here is the bolt of a Steyr Mannlicher Luxus, circa 1970's. As can be plainly seen, the bolt carries the cartridge, but it doe not have a Mauser-type external claw extractor. This is a CRF bolt.

View attachment 382078
Steyr Mannlicher Luxus, circa 1970's, CRF bolt carrying the cartridge.

The 3 telltale signs of a CRF bolt are:
  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, and CARRIES it into the chamber;
  3. It does not have a spring-loaded ejector plunger 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 382079
Steyr Mannlicher Luxus, circa 1970's, CRF bolt showing the 3 characteristics of CRF bolts: bottom cut out, wide tensioned extractor, no spring loaded ejector plunger.

Ruger 77 Mk1 "pretend CRF"...

The first generation of Ruger 77 had a Mauser-type external claw extractor, but they did not have the cut out. As a consequence the bolt did not grab the cartridge from the magazine and did not carry it into the chamber, it pushed it ahead of the claw extractor that jumped the rim of the cartridge when the bolt was closed. This was a "pretend CRF" but actually a PF.

Just like, to this day, the Ruger 3 position safety is a "pretend bolt-mounted, firing pin-blocking safety". It is located on the side, like a Win 70 safety is, and it is made to look like one, but it is not actually mounted on the bolt and it does not actually block the firing pin. It is mounted on the action and blocks the sear, a much less reliable option where a firing pin cocking piece can possibly jump the blocked sear in a hard fall...

Non-Mauser CRF rifles...

A number of well known rifles do not have the Mauser-type external claw extractor but are true CRF: Mannlicher Schoenauer, Steyr Mannlicher Luxus of the 1970's generation, Sako 85, etc.

View attachment 382086 View attachment 382085
Sako 85 CRF bolt (left) and Winchester 70 short-lived so-called CRF PF bolt showing the 3 characteristics of CRF bolts: bottom cut out, wide tensioned extractor, no spring loaded ejector plunger.

CRF function has nothing to do with extraction...


The bottom line is that CRF function has nothing to do with extraction. Its purpose is to prevent double feeding and/or pushing inadvertently a cartridge into the chamber that would stay in the chamber when the bolt is retracted without being closed.

I have converted instantly a number of friends from Rem 700 to Win 70 by demonstrating side by side the Rem 700 PF leaving a cartridge in the chamber and the Win 70 CRF pulling it out. This is a safety issue not an extraction issue. This does not mean that these Rem 700 owners rushed to buy a Win 70, but it means they understood instantly and recognized the superiority of CRF from a safety point of view.

The confusion comes from the fact that the Mauser 98 introduced simultaneously the claw extractor (extraction function) and CRF bolt (feeding function) and many folks merged the two concepts into one in their mind, but this is not the case factually...
1610025990834.png

Every Ruger M77 Action made after the tang safety models is a CRF. I have owned a number of them (Of which the best are the M77 MkII of the mid 90's/early 2000's IMO). The safety in fire and safe/bolt unlocked position do only block the sear. however, in the full rearward position, they completely lock the bolt and secure the hammer in the rear position using the milled groove in the hammer extension (red box in picture) removing any chance of it firing in the event of the sear being dislodged (which wouldn't matter because the bolt is cammed rearward to take the pressure off the sear in the full locked position anyway).

The bolt manages the cartridge from magazine to chamber in exactly the same was as my Winchester model 70 CRF in .300 win mag did.

The early 2000's MKII versions also have some of the most accurate barrels I have ever owned on a hunting rifle. My MkII 6.5x55, once it was glass bedded and free floated, will shoot 0.75" groups at 200 yards all day long with carefully loaded ammunition and a lightweight sporter barrel.

Also, from what I understand, the investment casting process used to produce the receivers allows for some geometry which isn't cost effective to mill into a block of metal or is impossible to do. So they are actually some of the strongest CRF receivers on production rifles.

I, for one, won't stick my nose up over the "cheap" Ruger CRF and compare it to a Model 70 or a Mauser 98, as they are two different designs. The Mauser and the M70 are hallowed by their by age and the other deemed a "cheap knockoff". By that metric, shouldn't we all just be driving Model T's and flying planes designed by Sopwith? Ruger came up with a more efficient way to produce a costly CRF and I cannot fault them for that because their design is a good one.

They work every bit as well as the M70 or CZ (I mean... you can actually use them right out of the box. Not something you could say for a majority of CZ550s). Are they a $9,000 custom M98 that has been tuned over months by hand and finished to within an inch of its life? no. But, My MkII, after some use, is slick and smooth and functions as near flawless as I could hope for a human run mechanical device and is a perfectly serviceable CRF rifle.

Now as to the OP, I have to agree with a lot of the guys on here, I see many more Push feed rifles, however, when I was in Wyoming after elk, one of the guides was using a Kimber Mountain Ascent which I really liked. I would have never wanted to shoot it though as it weighed like 6.5lbs and was in .300 win mag shooting 180 grain bullets at like 2900 fps.
 

Stompbox

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As a gunsmith, I owned several Ruger M77 MK II rifles when they first came out. The problem was that the bolts on many of them were improperly machined and were NOT CRF. I have attached a picture from a .223, but have seen it in .308, .30-06, .270 and .338. You can see that the relief in the bolt face should be located about 180 degrees from where it is, there is no way that the case rim can slide up under the extractor. Saw this on a lot of the skeleton stocked models and even bought an older circassian walnut safari model in .270 last year that had a bolt like that. I have had to machine the bolt faces to get them to work properly. Check out your early MK II rifles and see if the bolt is like this. I will also attach a picture of one correctly machined for comparison.

Ruger 77CRF Mistake.jpg
Ruger 77CRF Correct.jpg
 
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Gringocazador

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In the US over the years push feed Remington’s. Now, I’d guess many recent sold guns are Savage and Tikka.

Most hunting guides in Alaska carry CRF Winchesters. In Africa I’ve seen a split between Win and Mauser.
 

ChrisG

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As a gunsmith, I owned several Ruger M77 MK II rifles when they first came out. The problem was that the bolts on many of them were improperly machined and were NOT CRF. I have attached a picture from a .223, but have seen it in .308, .30-06, .270 and .338. You can see that the relief in the bolt face should be located about 180 degrees from where it is, there is no way that the case rim can slide up under the extractor. Saw this on a lot of the skeleton stocked models and even bought an older circassian walnut safari model in .270 last year that had a bolt like that. I have had to machine the bolt faces to get them to work properly. Check out your early MK II rifles and see if the bolt is like this. I will also attach a picture of one correctly machined for comparison.
All of my MkIIs have been true CRF with the milled portion on the bottom of the bolt being flush with the face. I thought that was the distinguishing feature of the MarkII, that it is a true CRF. I know for sure that the original tang safety M77s were push feed with a plunger ejector and the extractor was a big Mauser claw type to maintain the appearance of a CRF rifle but they were in fact push feed. I love my Mark II and it will be the last rifle I ever sell. I have a Hawkeye guide gun as well in .375Ruger which is the same style of bolt... but the fit and finish of the Hawkeyes compared to the original MKII is like comparing a Charter Arms Bulldog to a Dan Wesson revolver.
 

Nevada Mike

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I use mostly CRF rifles from .257 Roberts to .404J. Mostly Dakota 76, Winchester M70, Mauser and Ruger M77 Mrk II - which IS a CRF action with claw extractor and blade ejector. The original M77 was a bit different which may be why some people call it 'semi-CRF'.

My friends and hunting partners mainly use CRF models Winchester M70 and various Mauser based customs. However, very few American arms companies bother to build or import CRF rifles any longer. Cheap and easy to manufactured guns to sell at low prices dominate the market.
 

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