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Thread: Controlled round feed - how important?

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    Default Controlled round feed - how important?

    I know a lot of hunters and guides recommend controlled round feed Mauser actions. But how important is it really and how many of you actually shoot CRF actions most of the time? I really like the Rem. 700 action and I have never had a problem with it. Never had an extraction failure and I don't know anyone who has ever had problems with it. I just want to be sure that I'm not missing anything. This might be a hot topic with some people but I just want to get an idea of how important CRF really is or is it just a personal preference that doesn't make much difference in actual hunting conditions. Thanks.

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    All I have are mausers and enfield actions, that being said, I have owned many remingtons and savages and never had a feed or extract problem, atleast that wasnt my fault.

    I dont see what the big uproar is all about. To me its like a ford vs chevy thing.

  3. #3

    Question CRF

    I like them and use them. I have convinced my self they are the most reliable, especially when the chips are down. But, a lot of very successful hunters of dangerous game, including African "crop control/culling" officers and Pro Hunters have used "push feed" rifles to do their job. They do more critter shooting then anyone I know of. I know I could hunt the rest of my lfe with a push feed. They both work. In a tense situation the way the shooter manipulates the rifle probably causes more problems then the gun.

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    Default CRF

    I think the controlled round is the most dependable and that is magnified in rough feild conditions. I did have a remington 700 in 7mm mag that would occasionlly fail to extract. I think push feed is just fine as long as you work the bolt correctly. The sako style and ar15 style extractor conversions go a long way toward making the remington 700 more dependable. I wouldn't feel bad carrying the remington if it had a decent extractor on it.

  5. #5

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    I had a couple of later Remingtons in short action that on occasion would jam. The point of the bullet would end up in the lug recess and they would bind up tight. In both cases I was shooting at coyotes and was working the action in a hurry. However I have been operating bolt guns in that manner for ever and have never had a Ruger do that. Several guys in our hunting group use Remingtons and they have never had problems. So I'm guessing it was a fluke.

    Winchester had the answer in my opinion. They had a control round push feed thing going with some of the last guns they produced. They looked like the best of both world to me.

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    Default Controlled Feed vs. Push Feed

    All rifles generally work well when you are seated at the bench or standing up where you can stroke the action fully and postively from closed to open and back. Feeding can be an issue with any style action if it isn't set up right for the caliber and ammo. Even the trusty '03 Springfield can have feeding problems with some softpoint bullets although it works flawlessly with the hard ball for which it was designed. The real curse of the push feed is not their feeding but their ability to feed another round before the one in the chamber is extracted and the ability to eject a spent round and close on any empty chamber.

    The controlled feed becomes important when you are in dense brush or on your back with a bear chewing on your foot or leg. In such a situation you can stroke the action pushing a round from the magazine into the chamber but not closing the bolt to engage the extractor. If you them work the action pulling the bolt back and try to feed another in behind the round already in the chamber you have an instant jam that you can not clear by working the bolt. With a controlled feed you cannot pick up another round until the first one is ejected.

    I've also read of a muber of instances where the gun has been dropped or knocked from the hunters hands by the game or some other reason. If the action was open its the natural tendency to try to cycle the action - with a push feed you could be in trouble if you had already feed a round into the chamber but had not yet closed the bolt.

    Their was fairly detailed story in the ADL in the last year or so about an expereinced profesional guide out of Juneau that jammed up a Remington and nearly got killed by a bear. He admitted what had happened - remember he was a very experineced guide. Anyone can mishandle a weapon under extreme stress.

    Another problem with the push feeds and Rugers with plunger ejectors is that they eject the case before they pick up a loaded round from the magazine i.e you can short stroke the gun. You can work the bolt far enough to eject the fired case but not far enough back to pick up another round then closing on an empty chamber. If a controlled feed gun is short stroked I've found the round will often hit the edge of the chamber and prevent the bolt from being closed but this is not always true.

    In bear country I'll stick with the controlled feed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    In bear country I'll stick with the controlled feed.
    Lots of feedback by both users anywhere and true it maybe but..........I have sold by the way my push feeds and that is the way it is. I have kept one push feed, a L61R as it was a gift by my father when I was 16, a .338 win mag. I go thru the brush and crap I want my rifle to feed and Paul Mauser done it best when he initially designed the rifle for Military use-in the trenches with a control fed bolt/rifle.

    To me the claw missing on any rifle seems like the rifle is incomplete-ha. The CRF is just as accurate and perhaps more with some rifle as the push feeds.

    Carlos Hatchcock used a pre-64 .30-06 hunting the most dangerous species in existance and survived, then....out comes the push feed 700. Military is still using them..........

    In bear country(like where I live) I choose a CRF.

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    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    I got both..............and..........suprise, suprise, they both work great. My techneque for working the bolt is a bit............ well..........rough. I slam it open and slam it shut, every time, at the range, hunting, what ever.......whack it back and then whack it shut, they will both feed just fine. It does pound the bolt stop a bit after a few years but what the hey, I have NEVER had one jam, push feed or claw! Now, that being said, if you want to really see the difference, cycle a round with the rifle up side down..........not really applicable to my style of hunting but interesting.
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

  9. #9

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    Thanks for all of those insights about CRF vs. push feed. I have used Remington 700 and Howa 1500 push feeds for all of my big game hunting so far. I am now at the point where I'm ready to try a larger caliber and I think I will buy a CRF action in .375 H&H or maybe .416. I'm not ready to buy now but just thinking about a future hunt. I have never had a problem with my push feeds and that is probably because they are second nature to me and like Alangaq, I never short stroke them. But then again, I have never had to chamber a round lying on my back with a grizzly chewing on my leg as tvfinak mentioned. So far, all of my shooting has been at game that is not hunting me. I don't want to fix what is not broken but you guys definitely make some good points and I appreciate your experience and insights.

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    I had a life long love affair with Remingtons which are push feeds. I never once gave it any thought which was better, PF vs CRF.
    The after buying my first classic Winchester about 13 years ago I have slowly changed my opinion that a CRF offers better ejection simply due to how well the extractor is made and how it grabs onto the base of the case.
    Does this mean I will only use a CRF action? No, but I now perfer them.
    However I wouldnt hesitate to use any PF as long as it performed well.
    The only time a PF has failed to eject a case for me was once when I was deer hunting and I suspect I had gotten water or something in the barrel which created sky high pressures and the bolt would not move. When I beat on it long enough to get the bolt open the case still would not eject and when it was finally out I noticed I blew the primer due to excessive pressure.
    Not sure if a CRF would of ejected the case but I have never had a CRF fail to eject.
    Either can be made to work 100% and either can fail.
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    Putting the technicalities aside, I would think that once one has developed a certain way to load/unload the chamber so that one always, under stress or not, loads/unloads the chamber in the same manner, a push-feed or CRF action makes no difference. However, I learned to shoot a CRF rifle, and haven't practiced enough with my son's push-feed rifle. Maybe because of that I catch myself not bringing the bolt fully rearward with the push feed. Every now and then I start a jam on my son's rifle by short stroking it (just a bad habit, I guess)

    I like only CRF big game hunting rifles, but I am certain that those who use push-feed rifles have no problems whatsoever with theirs.

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    Member Darreld Walton's Avatar
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    Default I think that...

    If two neophytes each bought one rifle, one a controlled round feed, the other a push feed, and then used them for the rest of their lives without hearing of this controversy, they'd both die happy Gents.
    Having said that....I HAVE busted Remington extractors, have had them gum up with crud and gunk, as well as the ejectors, and had to pull the bolt completely down and replace parts (NOT an especially easy task unless set up to do it!) to get the rifle to function again. You're NOT going to get that task done sitting on a rock in the field eating a sammich and having a smoke!
    I have busted exactly ONE 1903 extractor in the field. I opened the buttplate, pulled the replacement extractor out of my 'survival' kit, and before I could get a second drag out of the smoke, the extractor was replaced.
    I'd say that if you have a Remington, or other type with 'push feed', and are trying to justify having a CRF rifle, then buy the CRF, and have a ball! If there was an especially gorgeous push feed rifle that I was coveting and the only 'problem' was that it had a push feed system, I doubt that I'd let that keep me from having the object of my lust.....

  13. #13

    Default Very interesting.

    Ok. It seems like any extractor can fail under certain circumstances. Has anyone ever busted a pre-'64 model 70 extractor or has anyone ever heard of a problem this venerated weapon?

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    Default Controlled vs. Push Feed

    The military background of the controlled feeds is a good point. A military gun MUST work under the worse conditions of dirt, temperature, rust, questionable operation, etc. The Springfield roots of the Model 70 are obvious - the bolt sleeve of the Model 70 will even screw in and index properly in a Springfield. Like the Springfiled the trigger of most push feeds are relatively simple and robust - they aren't prone to rusting or breaking if you get a little water or dirt in them.

    The early Remington bolt guns - Model 30s and 720s were controlled feed actions based on the 1917 rifles. Very robust and true to their military roots. Unfortunately they were also expensive to manufacture. Remington did a major manufacturing breakthrought with the Model 700 series to make a rifle that could be sold 20% cheaper than the Model 70s. Part of the selling was marketing hype and BS. Remington hyped "surrounded by three rings of steel" when in reality the case head is not supported as well as the claw feed actions.

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    Default crf vs pf head support

    I have no dog in this fight, have both crf and pf actions, etc., but...

    Quote "Part of the selling was marketing hype and BS. Remington hyped "surrounded by three rings of steel" when in reality the case head is not supported as well as the claw feed actions."

    If the above statement is totally correct then explain the superiority of the case head support in such and similar crf actions as the Springfield???

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    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    The military background of the controlled feeds is a good point. A military gun MUST work under the worse conditions of dirt, temperature, rust, questionable operation, etc. The Springfield roots of the Model 70 are obvious - the bolt sleeve of the Model 70 will even screw in and index properly in a Springfield. Like the Springfiled the trigger of most push feeds are relatively simple and robust - they aren't prone to rusting or breaking if you get a little water or dirt in them.

    The early Remington bolt guns - Model 30s and 720s were controlled feed actions based on the 1917 rifles. Very robust and true to their military roots. Unfortunately they were also expensive to manufacture. Remington did a major manufacturing breakthrought with the Model 700 series to make a rifle that could be sold 20% cheaper than the Model 70s. Part of the selling was marketing hype and BS. Remington hyped "surrounded by three rings of steel" when in reality the case head is not supported as well as the claw feed actions.
    Good point, but arent most of the sniper rifles currently being used built on Remington actions?
    Tennessee

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    Default Case Head Support

    My statement was meant to mean that while Remington made a big deal about the case being " surrounded by three rings of steel" in reality the case head is NOT supported as well in the Remington design as it is in the claw extractor rifles like the Win 70, mauser, Springfield etc.

    If anyone would like I can post some pictures of a cartridge in the barrels from various actions like 700, 70, 03, etc.

    Sorry for any confusion!


    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    I have no dog in this fight, have both crf and pf actions, etc., but...

    Quote "Part of the selling was marketing hype and BS. Remington hyped "surrounded by three rings of steel" when in reality the case head is not supported as well as the claw feed actions."

    If the above statement is totally correct then explain the superiority of the case head support in such and similar crf actions as the Springfield???

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    New member George's Avatar
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    Default head support

    Schematics would help. While the Rem claim about 3 rings of steel is pushing the issue there is no doubt that the head is more completely supported by 2 rings- namely the chamber and the receiver ring. In the Springfield and Enfield a portion of the case head is left completely unsupported (hanging out in the air)- about .148" of it. The same weakness can be found in even the venerable Mauser 98 but to a lesser degree. The "lowly" Krag with the single lug actually provides better head support than the above mentioned. In most military bolt guns upon which many of our current sporter designs are based... the weakest link as far as functional strength is the cartridge case itself. At pressures past the burst strength of the brass case and short of action/chamber failure the issue may be more of gas control than chamber/action strength. Many of the push feeds provide better case head support than many of the crfs and thus reduce the risk of case rupture at the head. The Mauser gas shield may be superior in deflecting gas during a case rupture or primer blow out.

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    Ok. I stayed out as long as I could, but I think there is a lot to this discussion.

    I have an old Model 720 award rifle and it is every bit the rifle the pre-64 model 70 is and I would prefer the 720. I really like those old Remingtons. The model 30S and 720's were based on the P17 and when the old parts bins emptied and tooling wore out, a new more easily manufactured rifle came along, the 721 and 700. When we say the Springfield and M70 supports the cartridge head better than a M700, I'd have to say probably not due to the coned breach of these rifles. For the best in cartridge head support, and that is a concern for me, with a CRF we need to look at the early M98's, or those made with the "C" cut receiver ring, with only a notch cut for the big extractor, I will say that would be the best cartridge support of any bolt action. Frank De Haas, Ludwig Olsen and others agree.

    Though that is important to me, I'm not sure that it is an aid to reliable feeding. With the Remington extractor I have seen it fail to eject several times, mostly because of an over pressure condition. When you take a rubber hammer and beat the bolt open, the Remington extractor pulls a tiny piece of brass off the cartridge rim, the Mauser and M70 usually pull the case out. One of the biggest advantages of the CRF actions, as has been pointed out, is the ultra reliable mechanical ejection and the confidence that comes with the adage; 'when the brass flies, the next one goes home'. Meaning a fresh round will be scooped into the chamber and we won't have to worry about double stuffing. Some push feeders have this mechanical ejection. Sako for one and this rifle also has a very strong extractor that I have never broken or ever seen fail to eject. Now to qualify this let me say that at last count I have owned well over 300 of these guns and many of them have been rebarreled into wildcats which I loaded for with no loading data and sometimes locked up the actions with over pressure loads. I've hammered a Sako action open several times and never has it failed to extract or eject, not once. I've hunted dangerous game with Sakos and will again. They are the very best in quality and reliability of any push feeder.

    I think the point about the m700 being difficult to fix (broken extractor) in the field is a strong point. I've never broken a Mauser claw but I can take one off and put one on in the field in short order. I dont smoke but it wont take a whole smoke to replace a Mauser or a Sako extractor in the field and it doesn't take a tool box either. I have seen more than one m700 ring extractor broken and several of them broken on the M40A1.

    Now all that being said I still prefer a good quality CRF action. One of the best and a realitively inexpensive action to manufacture was the Dakota M97. The plain jane, tubular receiver, C cut breech, claw extractor, mechanical ejector action that is now discontinued. &%$#%@%!!!

    I believe there is a lot more to a good rifle action than just a Mauser claw extractor and of course other than design, the craftmanship can make all the difference in the world. A crappy made or poorly fitted CRF action is of no use to any rifleman. High quality, correct temper and hardness, correct feed rail and magazine dimensions as well as good fit and polish all serve to make a reliable action. By design the Mauser M98 is extremely strong and made with Murphy's law in mind. If something does go wrong, it will still work and/or can be quicky repaired and put back in use with minimal time and tools needed. Some actions by design require certain exotic levels of metalurgy to give them their strength. These leave more room for error with heat treat, etc. Though the strength of an action rarely is part of reliability, if you fire a rifle in the field with snow in the barrel, you may find it no longer reliable at all. Granted a burst barrel is a burst barrel but if not and just the little twisted ring of steel extractor broken, you're probably done hunting for a while.
    Last edited by Murphy; 12-20-2007 at 16:07. Reason: It was my fingers..they were made for triggers not keyboards
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  20. #20
    Member Matt's Avatar
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    Nothing better than a properly built and tuned rifle with CRF.

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