On this subject, contained within the excellent book "Africa's Most Dangerous", by Dr. Kevin "Doctari" Robertson, Chapter 6, on Page 72, there is a photo worth looking at and about a paragraph attached to said photo worth reading (the whole book is waaay worth reading in the first place).
Likewise, Page 78 has interesting information on which rifle designs were still fully functioning at the end of The Zimbabwe PH Training School, in which Dr. Robertson used to teach (perhaps still does ?).
Also, do a web search for:
Remington 700: Massive recall for most popular U.S. gun
I realize this recall has nothing to do with the extractor design but, it should be of interest to Model 700 owners.
I still own one Remington 700 and it is definitely of interest to me.
I thought the only reason that the push feed was created was that it was cheaper to make than CRF?
Is that correct?
I guess the other thing to add is confidence with CRF... That niggle that a push feed may fail when hunting DG is too much for me.
Here is a question - what percentage of PH's use push feeds?
@TokieMI am the other kind of stupid, the kind that takes nothing at face value and seldom believe everything unless I have tried it or done it myself, in short I like to learn the hard way. Up until a few years ago I believed that the CRF rifle was superior in many, many ways to the Push feed rifle, too many books and opinions were taken as the gospel as far as the topic was concerned, I don't know how it came about, it may just have been that stubborn streak of mine, but for the past six years I have tried to break the mold on the superiority of the CRF rifle in my mind. What I have found is limited to rifles I have owned or rifles that I have used extensively, it is not hear say it is thousands upon thousands of rounds of testing and observation. I own several rifles, both in CRF and Push feed, each of them have a specific task and they all get the job done, both types have let me down and both types have never failed me, below is my take on a few misconceptions out there regarding Push Feed rifles.
Let’s start with the most common reason for the anti push feed rifles, reliability. The simple reason for Mauser type rifles being seen as unstoppable lies in the design, you just need to pick up a old M98 and open the bolt to find it is probably one of the most sloppy and loose bolts you will ever find on a rifle, the amount of bolt movement left, right, up and down is simply astounding, but close that bolt and it locks up as tight as a vault. The ability for the CRF rifle to function under the most extreme conditions is exactly its design features; the tolerances are tight in the only area it matters, the lock up. Dust, dirt, mud and other things simply do not jam the action it needs less maintenance to keep going. No doubt that it will keep working with almost no maintenance and that use to be its great selling point, times have unfortunately changed. There are very few rifle owners around that do not take care of their rifles, many clients now bring along rifle cleaning equipment and almost daily take care of their rifles before the next day’s hunt. In short rifles do not receive the pounding they did years and years ago. I have yet to see a clients rifle fail while hunting.
I have seen Sako/Tikka rifles run strings of 2000 rounds with no cleaning except for a wipe down. The same rifles had their barrels cleaned for the first time at around 4000 rounds, at no stage was the action cleaned up until the rifles were retired at 12 000 rounds. The only failures that come to mind was the plastic magazine of the Tikka that stopped feeding. Setback on the Tikka recoil lug, a common problem with the standard aluminum recoil lug. The rifles were all fired in rapid strings of 20 to 40 shots per session, time in between strings was around 5 minutes. I ran another CRF gun next to the Sako/Tikka rifles, after 2400 rounds it failed to eject, new extractor was fitted and gave no problems after that, rifle retired at 4000 rounds. I have had a new Sako fail to eject and I have had a new CZ fail to feed.
It is common to hear that a CRF rifle will feed upside down and at any other possible angle you may find yourself in, unfortunately it is not only the CRF that will feed like that, the Push feed action will do exactly the same, I have tried this with Sako, Tikka and Sauer rifles, they feed at any angle.
Then there is the good old argument that during reloading the CRF action will hold the cartridge in place when the shooter is swinging the rifle from left to right or the other way around, now I have tried on more than one occasion to purposely make a loose round drop out the Push feed action rifle by swinging it both left and right. I tried this both slow and fast, what always happens is that the force generated by the swing forces the cartridge to travel forward and into the chamber of the rifle, if anything it only assists the push feed rifle.
Another common argument for the CRF action is that it is stronger than the Push feed action. I find it very hard to believe by simply comparing a CRF rifle next to a Push Feed rifle you will notice that the Push Feed rifle has way more metal around the body, often just the ejector port cut out that stops the Push feed action from being totally enclosed, compared to the CRF there is way more metal to take the stress on a Push feed action.
Push feed rifles are inherently more accurate than CRF rifles, although this has very little impact in hunting situations. Both are more than accurate enough in a given caliber for hunting it all will come down to the ability of the shooter. I owned a FN Mauser action rifle that would shoot 10mm 5 shot groups at 100 meters and have a Push feed rifle that shoots 3mm 5 shot groups at 100 meters. The Push feed action normally has a far larger bottom surface area which makes it easier and more stable to bed. As above the enclosed action is also more rigged, making it a more stable platform to launch a bullet from.
All Push feed actions are not created equal, I owned a Sauer 202 rifle that was the smoothest action I have ever had the pleasure to shoot, no doubt the smoothness was due to the very tight tolerances within the action and the full size bolt body.. The same thing that made it good, also made it bad, a bit of dust and dirt and the action would grind closed and it would feel like I was dragging a spade across a concrete surface. The Sako and Tikka rifles I own have a more mechanical smoothness, it is simply because they run on the lugs and have an undersized bolt body, dirt and dust does not affect them in the same way it did the Sauer. Another example of tolerances being too tight was with a Steyr Mannlicher rifle, due to extreme climate changes and humidity, the wood stock managed to distort in such a way that it cracked both the trigger guard and magazine to such an extent that the rifle was useless, it did not help that they were in plastic.
For all the good things a CRF brings to the table, it also has some short comings when it is compared to the modern Push feed actions. It has longer lock time and takes more skill to shoot more accurately. Bolt throw cannot compare to the latest offerings in Push Feed rifles and in general scopes can be mounted lower on Push Feed rifles. Follow up shots are quicker with a Push feed than with a CRF rifle, I can bang 4 rounds down range with a split time of 1,24sec with a Push feed, it takes me 1,6sec to do the same with a CRF in the same caliber, this is for aimed shots at 80 meters. Push Feed actions come in specific caliber size actions, Sako make actions caliber specific in length, most CRF actions come either in Medium or Magnum actions, rifles can be built lighter on caliber specific actions.
I agree the non rotating extractor on a CRF is hard to beat with a sticky case; you are also less likely to double feed with a CRF action if you short stroke the bolt. It is far easier to load a CRF action from the top without taking your eyes off the target than trying to get a round into the narrow ejection port of a Push feed action. It is also easier to get your fingers into a CRF action if there is a problem than with a Push Feed action, that is if you do not have a scope mounted. There is no doubt in my mind that there are advantages to both types of actions just as there are disadvantages to both. The gap is however not as great as many make it out to be. The best would be to know your rifle and stick with it.