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Thread: Question about CRF actions.

  1. #1
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    Question Question about CRF actions.

    This is my first post, so first of all thank you for allowing me to join your community.

    Looking through this forum I see that the CRF type of rifles are the preferred when in dangerous game territory. Is this because of the positive extraction, and the fear with a push feed is that you might fire a round, need another one and the shell doesn't extract?

    If this is the fact, can this be remedied by a push feed action with a sako or M16 extractor machined into the bolt?

    I ask because I read on this forum that a lot of people have the Ruger's and I went and handled one today (looking for a .338 win mag) and the action felt like garbage. The bolt was ridiculously loose in the action.

    I'm leaning towards a Surgeon RLR action with extractor, krieger barrel, and accurate innovations stock, instead of getting a ruger or winnie and having to have it "massaged."

    Opinions?

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    Default ruger

    welcome!! After 20+ years of guiding i have never seen a ruger or winnie fail in the field. remingtons do on a regular basis (extractors break). I dont think you can go to far wrong with anything really, but IMHO the ruger 77 is the toughest out there. That being said I carried a 338 federal in a tikka t3 all fall as a backup gun and its a push feed!

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    To me the feeding is the biggest part

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    Default Fool Proof

    The reason Paul Mauser designed the bolt rifle with CRF was to make it as fool proof as possible. In combat and constant life and death situations you don't want a soldier to be make any mistakes and jam the gun up. Hence with a CRF you can't screw up the feed cycle by short stroking, trying to push another shell into one already in the chamber, or close the bolt on an empty chamber. With a push feed you can easily do all of these and jam the gun up or try to fire with an empty chamber. It can and has happened to the best and most experienced hunters and guides in bad situations- even the best trained and experienced CAN and DO make mistakes when under stress in emergency situations

    Some argue that if you are proficent enough you won't screw up with a push feed. Human nature, history,and myself beg to differ. Paul got it right the first time!

    For what its worth - the push feed was designed as a cost cutting measure -not as a design improvement. CRF rifles are more expensive to manufacture than push feeds other things being equal.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
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    "Hence with a CRF you can't screw up the feed cycle by short stroking, trying to push another shell into one already in the chamber, or close the bolt on an empty chamber"

    That whole statement made no sense at all. CRF and PF have thier good and bads... Some guys like CRF cause they like the big claw extractor and when you go to chamber a round it is a more positive feed versus a push feed which pops the round out of the magazine, not because it prevents you from a closing the bolt on empty chamber still trying to figure that out.. I own several mauser and I'm pretty sure I can close the bolt on an empty chamber anyhow. Some folks do take the 700 and put sako extractor on them... If you shop around you can find the older MKII for a pretty good deal and they are put together better than than Hawkeye, I agree the actions on them are rough. Well best of luck...

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    Member gunbugs's Avatar
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    You will note that most bolt guns are "loose" when the bolt is open and to the rear. This doesn't really mean anything. If the bolt was tight enough to not wobble when it was open then it would probably be tight to operate. One of the few exceptions I've seen was the Sauer or Colt Sauer rifles with the retracting lugs in the bolt body. CRF or push feed, they will all have failures, most of which are self inflicted by the operator.

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    If its man made, nothing is fool proof. I've had good luck with savages and remingtons as well as my mausers.

    Some folks get so big on this CRF vs PF its not funny. you can screw up with both. although the CRF guys wont admit it but if the bolt doesnt go all the way to the rear. guess what, the case isnt gonna eject. It happens with both types of actions.

    now if your planning on ape hanging upside down from a tree while shooting at a charging bear, I would go for a CRF.

    pick an action you like.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FROST18E View Post
    This is my first post, so first of all thank you for allowing me to join your community.
    Welcome to the forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by FROST18E View Post
    Opinions?
    You'll find plenty of those here.

    The fit of the bolt, so long as it functions properly is not something to get bent out of shape over. When the bolt is in the rear position many designs display some "play" but as long as this is within design specs this has no impact on the overall function of the rifle.

    CRF or PF and their various attributes are touted back and forth. Both actions have their pluses and minuses. Not to start an argument about them, but all PFs were not conceived to be "cheap" alternatives to CRFs. For example the Weatherby Mark V (push feed) was not designed as an inexpensive action, but rather to be the strongest ever built. While it is heavy and has generally been among the more expensive actions in its class it is no doubt exceedingly strong and durable.

    As long as the rifle in question is of a reputable design/maker and is in good working order function should be dependable. If there is a problem it is more than likely attributable to the particular rifle not the design. Everyone, and I mean everyone, makes a lemon now and then. It takes many, many rounds and lots of trips to the firing range before I consider any rifle, regardless of its design (CRF or PF), as dependable.

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    The advantage of CRF is the fixed/mechanical ejector vs the PF plunger ejector found on most (Sako being the exception). With a fixed ejector, in order for the cartridge to be ejected, the bolt must be thrusted all the way to the rear. In a push feed, the bolt only need to be moved back far enough for the case mouth to clear the front reciever ejection port. The spent case being shorter than a loaded round, its possible to pull the bolt back enough to clear the empty, then close the bolt on an empty chamber (because the bolt wasnt rearward enough for the loaded round in the magazine to be engaged by the bolt.)

    All of this is moot, if you operate the action properly. I think we see this most of the time with larger (longer cartridges) like the H&H for example. Lets say someone is used to using their favorite 30-06. They have a feel for the bolt operation, when the empty comes out, what a new cartridge chambering feels like, its muscle memory. Then lets say, that same someone is planning a bear hunt and goes and gets a 375H&H. Now in the heat of the moment they shoot, open the bolt just like they did on their -06, but because the H&H case is longer, they "short stroked" it (empty comes out, but bolt closed on the empty chamber.)

    There are other reason CRF is preferrable, that are mostly due to the large extractor controlling the cartridge the entire time during feeding and extractor, vs. just snapping over the rim once its been in the chamber.

    A good CRF must be set-up properly to really sing, not so much with push feed imo. Bottom line is, what ever you buy, run lots of rounds through it, slow and rapid to see if there a re quirks that need to be ironed out. Plus you will gain confidence in operating the firearm.

  10. #10

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    This argument has gone on for years.


    I've owned and used both up here for over 30 years. Looking back I have probably had about equal numbers of both.
    In that time I had 1 rem that needed work. It wouldn't extract sometimes and I had to knock the bolt back. Turns out it had a rough chamber.
    I also had one 98 CRF that the ejector went bad on and you had to really snap the action back to get the case to eject and sometimes you even had to stick a finger into the action to flip an empty out.
    Like em both. Anything man made can malfunction.
    Check to make sure they feed 100 % reliably, are sighted in and then go hunting.

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    Default Try it

    Load the magazine on a CRF, chamber a round, and then try to close it with an empty chamber. You have to pull the bolt all the way back to eject the empty, then you automatically pick another round up when you run the bolt forward. With a military action like the mauser the follower even stops the bolt motion when the magazine is empty. With a push feed other than the Sakos you can pull the bolt back just far enough to eject the empty then close the bolt on an empty chamber. It is easy to do - try it with some dummy cartridges in any push feed gun with a plunger extractor.

    You can also push a round into the chamber on a push feed without closing the bolt and and engaging the extractor, then pull the bolt back leaving the cartridge in the chamber, and then feed another round jamming the gun up. Again try it with some empty cartridges - it is easy to do. With a CRF you can't create this malfunction.

    Will you ever have your push feed malfunction in the field? I hope not, but for me I'll eliminate all the possible sources of error that I can esp. when I'm hunting big nasty animals.

    Another avantage of the CRF rifles is that the cartridges are supported all the way to the rim by the barrel. With some push feeds like the Remington less of the cartridge is supported by the barrel due ot the deep recess of the bolt head

    As to the advantages of PFs - I don't know of any other than perhaps cost. Perhaps you can tell us a few as you see them.

    Quote Originally Posted by 323 View Post
    "Hence with a CRF you can't screw up the feed cycle by short stroking, trying to push another shell into one already in the chamber, or close the bolt on an empty chamber"

    That whole statement made no sense at all. CRF and PF have thier good and bads... Some guys like CRF cause they like the big claw extractor and when you go to chamber a round it is a more positive feed versus a push feed which pops the round out of the magazine, not because it prevents you from a closing the bolt on empty chamber still trying to figure that out.. I own several mauser and I'm pretty sure I can close the bolt on an empty chamber anyhow. Some folks do take the 700 and put Sako extractor on them... If you shop around you can find the older MKII for a pretty good deal and they are put together better than than Hawkeye, I agree the actions on them are rough. Well best of luck...
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    As far as I am concerned both controlled round feed and push feed have advantages and disadvantages. In general I prefer CRF as I think it is more reliable in feeding and extraction, but not by much. Push feed does offer a major benefit in allowing a completely enclosed bolt head to help protect against brass failure. On the down side many leave more brass out of the chamber making such a failure slightly more likely.

    To me the biggest benefit to me of CRF is in ejection. If you handload or save your brass you will really come to like that CRF lets you pull the bolt back till you feel resistance and then give a slight pull to leave the brass sticking out at a 45 degree angle or drop it on the table. This makes recovering brass at the range much easier. However, laying your hand over the ejection port will also allow you to grab brass from a push feed. Not a big issue but I like a CRF for the easy recovery of brass.

    Far more important in a dangerous game rifle is stock fit, sight alignment, and proper sights or scope.

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    While I haven't shot or owned as many rifles as some of the members of this forum, I do have my opinions on this matter. The ONLY rifle I have ever handled that failed to work properly was a CRF, specifically a Ruger Hawkeye. It had nothing to do with the extractor or the ejector, but the rifle could not be relied upon. So as others have mentioned, it's not so much CRF vs. push feed. It is reliable rifle vs. not reliable. All the push feeds that I have ever used were reliable (again, not that I have used that many). I do think the weak point on the Remington is the factory extractor. I think they can be improved with the Sako type extractor.

    And I don't think the argument that it is easier to mess up a push feed is valid either. What difference does it make for reliability if you "short stroke" a push feed and eject the empty but don't pick up a new round from the mag vs. "short stroking" a CRF and not ejecting the empty at all and having the bolt go forward with the empty still in there? Either way is a problem.

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    Default CRF & Short stroking

    The advantage of a CRD on short stroking is two fold: 1) if you try to close the bolt and haven't picked up a new round the empty round will hit the end of the barrel and prevent the bolt from closing - you know you have a problem and most shooters will work the bolt again to quickly clear the malfunction and feed a new round after ejecting the orginal spent one; 2) you can easily recognize when you have operated the bolt correctly and the empty case is ejected. The first advantage is the most important of the two of course - you may not note the second one in an emergency but is handy in matches and casual shooting.

    Trying to shoot something with an empty chamber can and has gotten people seriously injuried or killed. People do screw up during an emergency and/or under stress. - no contest on that fact I hope.

    Take a CRF and any push feed (other than the older Sakos) and some dummy cartridges and try short stroking them - it is easy to prove to yourself what happens on each.


    Quote Originally Posted by c04hoosier View Post

    And I don't think the argument that it is easier to mess up a push feed is valid either. What difference does it make for reliability if you "short stroke" a push feed and eject the empty but don't pick up a new round from the mag vs. "short stroking" a CRF and not ejecting the empty at all and having the bolt go forward with the empty still in there? Either way is a problem.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
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  15. #15

    Default depends...

    If both types are in good working order they both work fine. I use the CRF but I know the "push feeds" work fine. There was about a 25 year period after 1964 when you could'nt hardly find a CRF rifle in America because none of the major manufactuers were making them. So millions of hunters got by just fine with the push feeds. Then Winchester, Ruger and Savage got back on the band wagon. That famous African pro hunter Harry Selby is said to have used a push feed Mod. 70 .458 mag. for over 20 years after his .416 Rigby Mauser was run over by a vehicle by one of his helpers. I also believe "push feeds" are use by the majority of our nations highly trained and competent military and law enforcement "precision riflemen". So I would say like so much in life it all depends on the man holding the gun. That said I do believe a CRF is a little more "idiot proof". So I hunt with one.

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    Default Easy to manufacture

    In reality the Weatherby Mark V action was clearly designed with ease in manufacturing - interpret that to be cost saving - as a major goal. When you look at the cylinderical bolt and bolt raceway to see where they are easier to turn and drill / ream than the broached raceway and forged bolt head of a mauser based design. Perhaps you need some knowledge of manufacuring to appreciate what Weatherby accomplished - it is a neat design. Remember that prior to the MK V Weatherby used the big Brevix mauser action - they were very costly but did the job fine and were plenty strong.

    If I recall corectly when Ackley or someone tested various actions with a hydraulic press on the bolt face the mauser design held up to more shear that the Weatherbys? It is really a moot point I guess - all modern bolt guns are plenty strong and gas handling can become the major factor. Strongest is a subjective thing - the Jap 6.5 and Remington rolling block are two of the strongest along with the good old M-1 garand.

    Other than the 60 deg bolt lift on some guns and lower cost what advantages does a push feed offer? Off hand I can't think of any - am I missing something?


    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    Not to start an argument about them, but all PFs were not conceived to be "cheap" alternatives to CRFs. For example the Weatherby Mark V (push feed) was not designed as an inexpensive action, but rather to be the strongest ever built. While it is heavy and has generally been among the more expensive actions in its class it is no doubt exceedingly strong and durable.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    I have both too, and prefer the Push Feed.

    IME, the CRFs are sorta fragile. Everything has to be perfect for them to function like they're spose to.

    The advantage of Push Feed is they are simpler, easier to understand, easier to make work well, more reliable, and not associated with absurd theories.

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    Owned a bunch of Remingtons in my life and never had a failure to feed or extract with a stock rifle. The exception being a 450 Ackley built by Brown Precision. Purchased the rifle "used" but it was obviously never fired and it would not feed worth a hoot. Returned it to BP and they fixed it.

    Kinda ironic, seems the more a rifle costs the more prone it is to feeding/extracting issues
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    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    In reality the Weatherby Mark V action was clearly designed with ease in manufacturing - interpret that to be cost saving - as a major goal. When you look at the cylinderical bolt and bolt raceway to see where they are easier to turn and drill / ream than the broached raceway and forged bolt head of a mauser based design. Perhaps you need some knowledge of manufacuring to appreciate what Weatherby accomplished - it is a neat design. Remember that prior to the MK V Weatherby used the big Brevix mauser action - they were very costly but did the job fine and were plenty strong.
    Perhaps you are right, the Mark V action may have been easier to manufacture. It doesn't make a lot of sense to design something that is more difficult to build than existing designs. Whether this translates into less expensive to manufacture is not so cut and dry. Ease of manufacture has little to do with tolerances and QC which dictate pricing as much as ease of manufacture. For my part I don't have the manufacturer cost sheets Roy used to compare the two. I do know that Sauer made the original Mark V, not exactly a cheap way to go if that was his intention. I am not convinced that was the issue at all. I am afraid I'll take Roy at his word when he said he desired to build the world's strongest action to go with the world's most powerful cartridges. Weatherby's stated reason for departing from the Brevex action was two fold: availability (those large actions have always been scarce) and the desire to manufacture an original Weatherby action. I cannot put my finger on the source right now, but I remember the Mark V being tested with proof rounds over 200,000 p.s.i. with no hiccups.

    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    If I recall corectly when Ackley or someone tested various actions with a hydraulic press on the bolt face the mauser design held up to more shear that the Weatherbys? It is really a moot point I guess - all modern bolt guns are plenty strong and gas handling can become the major factor. Strongest is a subjective thing - the Jap 6.5 and Remington rolling block are two of the strongest along with the good old M-1 garand.
    I'd love to see the source for Ackley's test. I hope his testing for action strength is more credible than his velocity tests. I guess I could agree that strength is a relatively unimportant issue if the action is strong enough, but I can't say it is a subjective thing. It must be verifiable and repeatable in order to be safe, not sure what you mean by it is subjective?

    I think the greatest advantage among the two types is weight. PFs are available significantly lighter than the CRF counterparts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    The advantage of Push Feed is they are . . . not associated with absurd theories.

    Smitty of the North
    I actually laughed out loud when I read this.

    I always love your posts Smitty, but sometimes you out do yourself.

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