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Thread: The smoothEST bolt action.

  1. #1
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    Default The smoothEST bolt action.

    Yentlemen:

    In your opinion, and as far as "Feeding" is concerned, what is the smoothest bolt action out there?

    This is something that isn't that apparent when examining a rifle in a gun store, because you aren't feeding live ammo through it. Most of the ones I've tried are not impressive.

    I have a cupla Mausers, a 95, and a 98. (both CRF, of course)

    The 95 is slick and works perfectly, but I can feel it.

    The 98 is rough.

    My wife's ruger, (PF) is smoother, I THINK.

    BUT, I have TWO EARLY Model Rem 700s, a standard, and a magnum, and they are slicker than owl poop. I can hardly tell if the round is chambered, if I don't look. By comparison, the Mausers are noisy and clanky.

    Somebody that knows about/used the various bolt actions,,,, Are the Remington actions the smoothest, and quietest, actions out there?

    Is this even an issue for you, assuming they work reliably?

    Is there a lotta difference in individual rifles, or is the action design the key to smooth feeding?

    I would appreciate your thoughts on this, as it's something that isn't often mentioned.

    Thanks

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I'll beat Wildalaska to this one and say that a Blaser is the smoothest. After that, I have to agree that my early Model 700 30-06 makes my Rugers sound like cement mixers.
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    Premium Member shphtr's Avatar
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    Of all the rifles I have cycled, Jim Borden's Timberline Mag. is the smoothest and most solid feeling I have experienced ... to date.

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    Tikka T3 lite. First time I chambered a round I had to open the bolt and visually check to see that it really pushed a round into the chamber.

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    While I'm no gun nut, all toys are utility in nature- my Ruger .243 Stainless Compact is smoother than a babies ass.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Mannlicher-Schoenauer,
    My brother had one, 30-06 and from what I remember you could have the barrel pointing up with bolt open and all the way back, squeeze the trigger and bring the barrel down........The bolt would slide forward and close...... and lock...............no round in the chamber of course.............I thought that was pretty slick....!

    I know........... we werent feeding a round but it was a pretty smooth bolt action
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    I can't argue that every Remington I have played with was real smooth. Sometimes a rifle will surprise you though, I have a poorly sporterized VZ24 in 7x57. The bolt has a lot of play in it and in general it is not very nice, yet when I load it and cycle the bolt the cartridges seem to just leap into the chamber, I can not even feel them feed.

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    My cooper is the best cycling bolt action that I have work.

  9. #9
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    A friend's well worn M70 Pre 64 in .300 H&H.... slicker than snot on a brass doorknob. That long, tapered case is amazing in how little effort is required to feed.

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    For production rifles, I'll second the Tikka and Sako actions. The T3 is wonderful but the old .30-06 I have in Tikka 658 is like greased owl poop!! My 1965 vintage Sako Forester is just about as good as a well used pre-64 Model 70...but not quite.

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    Probably the smoothest is the old 30-40 Krag action but it wouldn't be my first choice for a rifle. I also have a pre64 in 300H&H and it is smooth. Also have a 700 Rem in 223 that you really can,t tell if it loaded a round or not without looking.

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    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    I do not have a rifle with what I would call a rough action, in fact all of my rifles are what I would define as slick. If they're not that way originally I find a way to make it happen or they go down the road.

    I do know that the SMLE in .303 British has a reputation as being smooth and fast. My grandfather hunted with one for years and loved it. I shot the gun several thousand times with surplus ammo and while it never was the rifle for me, that was about the slickest bolt action I've ever fondled. In addition to my grandfather's rifle, I do not recall ever having handled a rough Enfield.
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    Member The Kid's Avatar
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    If you want smooth a Krag is gonna be about the smoothest "Turnbolt",(that excluding the Blaser since it's not a "turn" bolt), but a close second would likely be an old Springfield 03 not the A3. The Sakos also feed smooth generally speaking. One thing to consider as others have suggested is case shape, a 300wsm is not going to slide up the ramp as smoothly as a 300 or 375 H&H. The old Super Thirty is shaped just so that it slides out of the box and into the chamber like it's on ball bearings.

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    As already noted, my Krag infantry rifle is VERY slick. Many a time I've thought that it didn't feed when it actually did. Beside that, a colt/sauer is VERY smooth.
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    The P-14 action my Hannibal is built around is smooth enough that when I flip the bolt handle up, the firing pin spring will throw the bolt back to the stop forcefully. Tilting the rifle forward and it slides home. It is amazing.
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    Default slickest bolt action

    The Krag is hard to beat - it was built of very hard carbon steel and doesn't have a magazine follower to drag on the bolt. The orginal Mannlicher-Schoenauer is also very slick - probably the slickest factory commercial bolt gun. The M-S does not have a extractor or magazine follower to drag on the bolt and is very well made to boot.

    The early low numbered and double-heat treated '03s are also very hard and very slick. The nickel steel late actions are softer and more sticky in comparison, likewise the 1917s. The 03-A3 aren't bad as they have a very hard surface treatment although the machining is more coarse.

    I have a couple of early Mdl 700s and they are fairly slick but can bind the bolt if you put any up or down force on the knob. My friend later 700 has the notch on the bottom of the right lug that ride the right rail like the later Mdl 70s - I guess the patent ran out and Remington finally copied them. The later 70s with the guide notch are also very slick after they are broken in a bit.

    As to Mausers - the German made Mdl 95 is abut the slickest with the left lug riding the rail in the left lugway. A lot of the better Mauser 98s like the FNs are smooth and precise but the metal is generally too soft to be really slick. The Weatherby guns built on the Supreme FN actions are usually better- I think Weatherby had them hardened or something.
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    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    Some of slickest the I've used:

    1.) 30-40 Krag... very slick.
    2.) one 70's era 700 30-06 that has been very well used over the years.
    3.) a late 70's push feed Ruger 30-06. Not so much for the slickness of the actual bolt, but for the ease of action camming and feeding. I can work this gun from my shoulder faster than any bolt I've ever owned.
    4.) Tikka's


    Some of the worst I've used include a 50's era Rem 721 in 300 H&H. Lots of bolt drag on that one for some reason. Also some of the war years mausers are just sloppy and rattle. One of the ones I disliked the most was a Sako 995. Even though it had very good machining, and super smooth bolt travel fore and aft, the camming action was very much "straight up - straight back" which made for a very abrupt transition when worked from the shoulder. The feeding from the mag was reliable, but very noisy with a pronounced "TING!" when the shell came free of the feed lips.

    As a general rule, I've observed that a well used blued gun is usually slicker than stainless and when it comes to feeding, standard > magnums > WSM's

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    I've never held a Blaser, which has an entirely different mechanical means of operation from other bolt actions. I can't comment about it at all. But of all other bolt rifles I have ever held or shot, not one even comes close to a Mark V Weatherby. With the 9-lug design, it has much less bolt lift and throw than any of those listed above and cycles effortlessly compared to others IMO. Smooth almost is an understatement when describing a Mark V action.

  19. #19

    Default .338 rcm

    Smooth because its so so short. Hasn't been mentioned so far because it's a new round/gun.
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    If you include military, K31's and the Swedish 6.5x55 Mausers (better I think than the German or knock-offs) are pretty sweet too and rank right up there with the Krag and MS 6.5x54.

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