Pushing through myths and misconceptions: The Push Feed Action

Velo Dog

Silver supporter
AH legend
Joined
Mar 27, 2014
Messages
3,379
Reaction score
4,972
Location
Anchorage
Media
58
Hunting reports
Africa
1
USA/Canada
1
Member of
NRA Life Member.
Hunted
Africa 5 times, USA - most western states including Alaska and Hawaii.
Gents,

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.

Cheers,
Velo Dog.
 
Last edited:

lcq

AH elite
Joined
Nov 30, 2013
Messages
1,493
Reaction score
1,286
Media
10
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
4
Member of
NRA CSSA
Hunted
Canada, RSA
Gents,

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.

Cheers,
Velo Dog.

Trigger replacement. an assembly line droid got a little too generous with the thread lock. Lost my gun for 2 months
 

JTEX

AH veteran
Joined
Jun 5, 2014
Messages
164
Reaction score
146
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA, TSRA
Hunted
USA, Mexico, Argentina, SouthAfrica, Zimbabwe, Tanzania
A very good write up! Open minded too.

I have the same experience with pushfeeds, I like 'em just fine. The push feed actions you mention PLUS the Remington 700 are the easiest actions there are to get the most accuracy out of for exactly the reasons you stated! Much more metal and much more rigid. Topping up a Mauser "magazine" is quicker, but single loading a Remington is faster than single loading a Mauser, unless the extractor has been monkeyed with. Once you monkey with that claw then it's not near as reliable for sticky cases as you pointed out.

I find it ironic that the same people that bad mouth Remington 700s will buy a CZ knowing that it will need good bit of work to function correctly.

The CRF thing is blown all out of proportion in my opinion. But what do I know?

Again very good write up!

.
 

Ado

AH veteran
Joined
May 25, 2012
Messages
150
Reaction score
138
Location
Melbourne Australia
Media
1
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
SSAA, RW, SCI
Hunted
Australia, South Africa, NZ
Hi All,

I thought the only reason that the push feed was created was that it was cheaper to make than CRF?

Is that correct?

Also, I have a CZ550 in 375 and 458, both were great out of the box needing no work at all...

Ado
 

TokkieM

AH fanatic
Joined
Aug 4, 2012
Messages
996
Reaction score
1,508
Location
Sweden/South Africa
Media
63
Articles
3
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Hunted
South Africa,Zimbabwe,Sweden
Hi All,

I thought the only reason that the push feed was created was that it was cheaper to make than CRF?

Is that correct?


Ado

Ado not so sure that was the only reason, I think Paul Mauser just designed a rifle that could better handle the rigors of battle. There were many push feed rifles around before CRF became such a big thing. I am sure though that today it is a mayor cost consern, even with CNC machines it is a lenghty process to produce a CRF rifle.
CZ and Ruger got around it by casting the action, they are not machined actions(y)
 

Brian

AH veteran
Joined
May 16, 2008
Messages
158
Reaction score
89
Media
6
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
2
I appreciate this aricle very much.
I understand the theory about CRF but in practice I think that a Tikka/Sako feeds those big sharp shouldered cases very smoothly and reliably.
I have used a Tikka T3 on three safaris in South Africa. Once with a 7 mm Rem mag and twice with a 7x64. I never had a snag cycling the bolt fast. In fact I have never heard of a feeding problem with a Tikka/Sako. ( Maybe I need to get out more.)
I like the CRF mauser action but I think that it's advantages over a push-feed action are over emphasized, and it's disadvantages are only spoken of in whispers.
Brian
 

TokkieM

AH fanatic
Joined
Aug 4, 2012
Messages
996
Reaction score
1,508
Location
Sweden/South Africa
Media
63
Articles
3
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Hunted
South Africa,Zimbabwe,Sweden
Brian, the Tikka/Sako rifles are very good. In all honesty I have to admit that my Sako did have a problem with the ejector from new and a friends had another issue with its safety catch. Like you say, sometimes the advantage of CRF rifles is blown out of proportion:)
 

colorado

AH elite
Joined
May 8, 2011
Messages
1,109
Reaction score
1,096
Media
59
I have a Rem 700 BDL in 270 I bought in 68. It has had thousands of rounds through it, never any failure to function, total tack driver. It's seen probably 500 days hunting, my son has it now. A truly great rifle. I also have a CZ 550 in 500 Jeffery, took three gunsmiths to get it to feed and function right, but now it's flawless. I love that rifle too. There are good ones and lemons amongst both the CRF and push feed, once you get a good one hold on to it!
 

Ado

AH veteran
Joined
May 25, 2012
Messages
150
Reaction score
138
Location
Melbourne Australia
Media
1
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
SSAA, RW, SCI
Hunted
Australia, South Africa, NZ
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?

Ado
 

TokkieM

AH fanatic
Joined
Aug 4, 2012
Messages
996
Reaction score
1,508
Location
Sweden/South Africa
Media
63
Articles
3
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Hunted
South Africa,Zimbabwe,Sweden
Ado, a few actually, Sako's,Weatherby's and some Steyr rifle too. The greatest misconception out there is that all PH's chose Brno/CZ rifles when they bought a DG rifle, the truth is that durring SA's embargos and sanctions, they were pretty much the only rifles that came into SA with magnum size actions. I have a few CRF rifles and love them, but they have their down sides too:)

Best is always that the hunter/shooter knows his rifle and his abillity with it, also always good to know the limitations of your equipment;)
 

drew416

AH veteran
Joined
Jun 15, 2012
Messages
135
Reaction score
54
Media
12
Hunting reports
Africa
2
Member of
SSAA, SCI
Hunted
Zimbabwe, Namibia.
The only times I have seen or experienced feeding issues with both fine CRF and push feed rifles is when the action is not cycled correctly.
This is taking into account that the firearms are in good working order and all ammunition is consistent reloads OR factory made.
We were taught in the Army not to "pussy foot around" when working the bolt to cycle the action.
It has to be up, back, forward and down in sharp actions that develop into one singular movement with practice.
 

Velo Dog

Silver supporter
AH legend
Joined
Mar 27, 2014
Messages
3,379
Reaction score
4,972
Location
Anchorage
Media
58
Hunting reports
Africa
1
USA/Canada
1
Member of
NRA Life Member.
Hunted
Africa 5 times, USA - most western states including Alaska and Hawaii.
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?

Ado

Hi Ado,

My chime-in here is that of the dozen or so PHs I have spoken with on this subject, who were also licensed for the guiding of DG Hunters - *pretty much 100% of them were using some version of CRF (*except one who always carried a Merkel .470 NE when guiding Elephant Hunters).

Regarding the bolt action guys - all but *one, had either a .458 Lott or .458 SA Express 3" except that *one had a custom built for him Model 98 Mauser, in .416 Rigby but again, all of these, regardless of caliber were CRF (and all were gone through by proper Gunsmiths to make sure of reliability, as well as cut the barrels to the owner's preference, etc).
My conversations with these very interesting fellows is but a microscopic pip of the total numbers of African PHs so, hopefully others will submit what they know about this as well.

Cheers,
Velo Dog.
 

ZG47

AH fanatic
Joined
Jan 20, 2015
Messages
505
Reaction score
381
Location
Wellington, New Zealand
Member of
NZDA, NZMSC
Hunted
New Zealand
Guys, please bear in mind that CRF was created by Paul Mauser to eliminate the risk of a double-feed resulting in a 'breech-explosion' which was a standard term used in the late 19th century, to describe one of the major causes of accidents with the new bolt-action repeating rifles coming into military service.

Matt Grant did, however, write about the way that the Mauser claw works in a genuine 98 rifle, manufactured fully to spec. If you look at the extractor you will see a hooked projection behind the actual claw that moves in a specially engineered and machined groove.

As Matt explains it, the hook backs out of the groove when a round is placed in front of the bolt, allowing the claw to move outward and grasp the round. when the bolt is pulled back to extract the round or fired case, the same engineering detail causes the extractor to tighten its grip on the case!

You might be able to track down Matt's original article in The American Rifleman, probably late 40s or early 50s, otherwise his son Bruce put together a compilation of their work; and published it after his father's death. The title is ... The Sharp Shooter: How to get the best out of rifles and ammunition. Either the original 1972 edition, that I have; or the later edition will suffice.
 
Last edited:

JTEX

AH veteran
Joined
Jun 5, 2014
Messages
164
Reaction score
146
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA, TSRA
Hunted
USA, Mexico, Argentina, SouthAfrica, Zimbabwe, Tanzania
Most of the PH s I have hunted with........dangerous game and plains game have carried rifles I wouldn't be seen with. They could shoot them all right, but I wouldn't have carried them. I think on average most PHs don't have the money or the access to rifles that we do.

.
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2018
Messages
2,696
Reaction score
3,773
Location
Wyong new south Wales Australia
Media
6
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
SSAA
Hunted
Australia
I 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.
@TokieM
I own custom rifles in both push feed and CRF and can't tell the difference in feeding, functioning and reliability. The CRF is more accurate but that is due to the cartridge, both group less than an inch.
Personally I think it makes no never mind.
Bob
 

Forum statistics

Threads
35,579
Messages
663,918
Members
60,250
Latest member
ImaEhrhart
 

 

 

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

Tally-Ho Hunting Safaris wrote on jfowler812's profile.
hi Mr fowler

im happy to do these deals for 2021

i will knock off 10% off each deal if you take 2 so $18000 per package

look forward to your response

regards
Mule deer and Colorado elk seasons almost done! Hunters driving farm roads, looking for racks, their PH driving them along, I ask that you not pull into my drive. The buck behind me, on the boundary line of the GMU somehow knows. The hunter laughs, I would invite you in to see my Searcy rifles but social distancing prevails, darkness arrives and the buck slides away into secret tree grove...
Boyd Brooks wrote on Skinnersblade's profile.
Ellwood Epps has 1 box of 25-20 in stock. Look them up on the web. They are located in Orilla Ontario.
Lkhntr wrote on Warpig602's profile.
On the vx6 2-12 what does the zl2 stand for?

Thanks, Oliver
bowjijohn wrote on AfricaHunting.com's profile.
Many thanks for re formatting my article for the forum

I served my time in both the bush and during the bush war

I hope it did it justice

Education is where it is at - without it the wild places are history

You - sir - are well placed to make a difference

J
 
Top