HOME

TheInfoList




Bolt action is a type of manual
firearm action of a typical double-barreled shotgun, with the action open and the extractor visible. The opening lever and the safety catch can also be clearly seen. In firearms A firearm is any type of gun designed to be readily carried and used by an indi ...
that is operated by directly manipulating the
bolt Bolt or bolts may refer to: Implements and technology * Bolt (fastener) A bolt is a form of threaded fastener with an external male thread requiring a matching pre-formed female thread such as a nut. Bolts are very closely related to screw ...
via a bolt handle, which is most commonly placed on the right-hand side of the weapon (as most users are
right-handed In human biology, handedness is the better, faster, or more precise performance or individual preference for use of a hand, known as the dominant hand. The incapable, less capable or less preferred hand is called the non-dominant hand. Right-ha ...
). Most bolt-action firearms use a rotating-bolt design, where the handle must first be rotated upward to unlock the bolt from the receiver, then pulled backward to open the breech and allowing any spent
cartridge case , as the projectile; ''2.'' cartridge case, which holds all parts together; ''3.'' propellant A propellant or propellent is a chemical substance used in the Energy production, production of energy or pressurized gas that is subsequently used to ...
to be extracted and ejected. This also cocks the striker within the bolt (either on opening or closing of the bolt depending on the gun design) and engages it against the sear. Upon the bolt being pushed back forward, a new
cartridge Cartridge may refer to: Media * Broadcast cartridge, used in radio stations * 8-track tape cartridge, a 1960s-1980s music storage format * Compact Cassette, used with sound recording and reproduction and data storage for early microcomputers * ...
(if available) is pushed out of the
magazine A magazine is a periodical publication Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of serial publications that appear in a new edition on a regular schedule. The most familiar example i ...
and into the
barrel A barrel or cask is a hollow cylindrical A cylinder (from ) has traditionally been a Solid geometry, three-dimensional solid, one of the most basic of curvilinear geometric shapes. Geometrically, it can be considered as a Prism (geometry), ...
chamber, and finally the breech is closed tight by the bolt head re-locking against the receiver. Bolt-action firearms are generally
repeating firearm A repeating firearm, or repeater, is any firearm (either a handgun or long gun) that is capable of being fired repeatedly before having to manually reload new ammunition into the weapon. Unlike single-shot firearms, which can only hold and fire ...
s, but some
single-shot Single-shot firearms A firearm is any type of gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube ( gun barrel) to launch typically solid projectiles, but can also project pressurized liquid (e.g. water guns/ cannons, spr ...
breechloader A breechloader is a firearm A firearm is any type of gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube ( gun barrel) to launch typically solid projectiles, but can also project pressurized liquid (e.g. water guns/ cannons ...
s also use bolt-action design as the
breechblock A breechblock (or breech block) is the part of the firearm action of a typical double-barreled shotgun, with the action open and the extractor visible. The opening lever and the safety catch can also be clearly seen. In firearms terminology, an a ...
mechanism. The majority of these firearms are
rifle A rifle is a long-barrelled firearm A firearm is any type of gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube ( gun barrel) to launch typically solid projectiles, but can also project pressurized liquid (e.g. water gun ...

rifle
s, but there are some bolt-action variants of
shotgun A shotgun (also known as a scattergun, or historically as a fowling piece) is a long gun, long-barreled firearm designed to shoot a straight-walled cartridge (firearms), cartridge known as a shotshell, which usually discharges numerous small ...

shotgun
s and
handgun A handgun is a short-barrelled firearm A firearm is any type of gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube ( gun barrel) to launch typically solid projectiles, but can also project pressurized liquid (e.g. water ...

handgun
s as well. Examples of these date as far back as the early 19th century, notably in the
Dreyse needle gun The Dreyse needle-gun was a ground-breaking 19th-century military breechloading A breechloader is a firearm in which the user loads the ammunition (cartridge (firearms), cartridge or shell (projectile), shell) via the rear (breech) end of its g ...

Dreyse needle gun
. From the late 19th century all the way through both
World Wars A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newsp ...
, bolt-action rifles were the standard
infantry Infantry is an army specialization whose military personnel, personnel engage in military combat on foot, distinguished from cavalry, artillery, and armored warfare, armored forces. Also known as foot soldiers, infantrymen or infanteer, i ...

infantry
service weapon A service rifle (or standard-issue rifle) is a rifle a military issues to regular infantry. In modern militaries, this is typically a versatile and rugged battle rifle, assault rifle, or carbine suitable for use in nearly all environments. Most ar ...
s for most of the world's military forces. In modern military and
law enforcement 'Law enforcement'' is the activity of some members of government who act in an organized manner to enforce the law by discovering, deterrence (legal), deterring, rehabilitation (penology), rehabilitating, or punishment, punishing people who viol ...
usages, bolt-action firearms have been mostly replaced by semi-automatic and
selective-fire The SIG 550 has four modes: safe (at which the rifle cannot be fired; S), one round (1), three-round burst (3) and full automatic (obscured by the switch lever). Selective fire is the capability of a weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any im ...
firearms, and have only remained prevalent as
sniper rifle A sniper rifle is a high-precision, long-range rifle A rifle is a long-barrelled firearm A firearm is any type of gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube ( gun barrel) to launch typically solid projectiles, ...

sniper rifle
s due to the design's inherent potential for superior
accuracy and precision In a set of measurements, accuracy is closeness of the measurements to a specific value, while precision is the closeness of the measurements to each other. ''Accuracy'' has two definitions: # More commonly, it is a description of ''systematic er ...

accuracy and precision
, as well as ruggedness and reliability compared to autoloading designs.


History

The first bolt-action rifle was produced in 1824 by
Johann Nikolaus von Dreyse Johann Nicolaus von Dreyse (20 November 1787 – 9 December 1867) was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of G ...
, following work on
breechloading A breechloader is a firearm in which the user loads the ammunition (cartridge (firearms), cartridge or shell (projectile), shell) via the rear (breech) end of its gun barrel, barrel, as opposed to a muzzleloader, which loads ammunition via the fro ...
rifles that dated to the 18th century. Von Dreyse would perfect his
''Nadelgewehr''
''Nadelgewehr''
(Needle Rifle) by 1836, and it was adopted by the Prussian Army in 1841. While it saw limited service in the German Revolutions of 1848, it was not fielded widely until the 1864 victory over Denmark. In 1850 a metallic centerfire bolt action breechloader was patented by Béatus Beringer. In 1852 another metallic centerfire bolt action breechloader was patented by Joseph Needham and improved upon in 1862 with another patent. Two different systems for primers –the mechanism to ignite a metallic cartridge's powder charge – were invented in the 1860s as well, the Berdan and the Baker systems. The United States purchased 900 Greene rifles (an under-hammer, percussion-capped, single-shot bolt action that utilized paper cartridges and an ogivial-bore rifling system) in 1857, which saw service at the
Battle of Antietam The Battle of Antietam (), also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg, particularly in the Southern United States, was a battle of the American Civil War, fought on September 17, 1862, between Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, Robert E. Lee's Army o ...

Battle of Antietam
in 1862, during the
American Civil War The American Civil War (also known by other names Other most often refers to: * Other (philosophy), a concept in psychology and philosophy Other or The Other may also refer to: Books * The Other (Tryon novel), ''The Other'' (Tryon nove ...
; however, this weapon was ultimately considered too complicated for issue to soldiers, and was supplanted by the
Springfield Model 1861 The Springfield Model 1861 was a Minié-type rifled musket A rifled musket, rifle musket, or rifle-musket is a type of firearm made in the mid-19th century. Originally the term referred only to musket s aboard the frigate A frigate ...
, a conventional muzzle-loading rifle. During the American Civil War, the bolt-action Palmer carbine was patented in 1863, and by 1865, 1000 were purchased for use as cavalry weapons. The
French Army The French Army, officially the Ground Army (french: Armée de Terre , ) to distinguish it from the French Air and Space Force The French Air and Space Force (AAE) (french: Armée de l'Air et de l'Espace, ) is the air File:Atmosphere gas ...
adopted its first bolt-action rifle, the
Chassepot rifle The Chassepot (pronounced "''shas-poh''"), officially known as ''Fusil modèle 1866'', was a bolt action Bolt action is a type of manual firearm action that is operated by directly manipulating the bolt (firearms), bolt via a cocking handle, bo ...
, in 1866 and followed with the metallic-cartridge bolt-action
Gras rifle The Fusil Modèle 1874 or Gras was the French Army The French Army, officially the Ground Army (french: Armée de Terre , ) to distinguish it from the French Air and Space Force (), is the land-based and largest component of the French Armed F ...
in 1874. European armies continued to develop bolt-action rifles through the latter half of the nineteenth century, first adopting tubular magazines as on the Kropatschek rifle and the
Lebel rifle The Lebel Model 1886 rifle (French: ''Fusil Modèle 1886 dit "Fusil Lebel"'') also known as the ''"Fusil Mle 1886 M93"'', after a bolt modification was added in 1893, is an 8 mm bolt-action infantry rifle that entered service in the French Ar ...
. The first bolt-action repeating rifle was patented in Britain in 1855 by an unidentified inventor through the patent agent Auguste Edouard Loradoux Bellford using a gravity-operated tubular magazine in the stock. Another more well-known bolt action repeating rifle was the Vetterli rifle of 1867 and the first bolt-action repeating rifle to use centerfire cartridges was the weapon designed by the Viennese gunsmith Ferdinand Fruwirth in 1871.Firearms Past and Present: Jaroslav Lugs, p. 147. Ultimately, the military turned to bolt-action rifles using a
box magazine A box (plural The plural (sometimes abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full version ...
; the first of its kind was the M1885 Remington–Lee, but the first to be generally adopted was the British 1888
Lee–Metford The Lee–Metford rifle (a.k.a. ''Magazine Lee–Metford'', abbreviated ''MLM'') was a bolt action British army service rifle, combining James Paris Lee's rear-locking bolt system and detachable magazine with an innovative seven groove rifled bar ...
.
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
marked the height of the bolt-action rifle's use, with all of the nations in that war fielding troops armed with various bolt-action designs. During the buildup prior to
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, the military bolt-action rifle began to be superseded by
semi-automatic rifles A semi-automatic rifle is a rifle that fires a single bullet with each pull of the trigger. For comparison, a bolt action Bolt action is a type of manual firearm action that is operated by directly manipulating the bolt (firearms), bolt via ...
and later fully-automatic rifles, though bolt-action rifles remained the primary weapon of most of the combatants for the duration of the war; and many American units, especially
USMC The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the maritime land force service branch Military branch (also service branch or armed service) is according to common standard the subdivision of the nat ...
, used bolt-action '03 Springfields until sufficient
M1 Garand The M1 Garand (or M1 RifleOfficially designated as U.S. rifle, caliber .30, M1, later simply called Rifle, Caliber .30, M1, also called US Rifle, Cal. .30, M1) is a semi-automatic rifle that was the United States' service rifle during World War ...

M1 Garand
s were available. The bolt action is still common today among
sniper rifle A sniper rifle is a high-precision, long-range rifle A rifle is a long-barrelled firearm A firearm is any type of gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube ( gun barrel) to launch typically solid projectiles, ...

sniper rifle
s, as the design has potential for superior accuracy, reliability, lesser weight, and the ability to control loading over the faster rate of fire that alternatives allow. There are, however, many semi-automatic sniper rifle designs, especially in the
designated marksman A designated marksman (DM), squad advanced marksman (AD) or squad designated marksman (SDM) is a military marksman A marksman is a person who is skilled in precision shooting using projectile weapons (in modern days most commonly an accurize ...
role. Today, bolt-action rifles are chiefly used as hunting rifles. These rifles can be used to hunt anything from
vermin Vermin ( colloquially varmint(s) or varmit(s)) are pests or nuisance animals that spread diseases or destroy crops A crop is a plant or animal product that can be grown and harvested extensively for profit or subsistence. Crops may refer e ...
to
deer Deer or true deer are ed s forming the Cervidae. The two main groups of deer are the , including the , the (wapiti), the , and the ; and the , including the (caribou), , the , and the . Male deer of all species (except the Chinese ) as we ...

deer
and to large game, especially big game caught on a
safari A safari (; ) is an overland journey to or (in more recent times) observe , especially in or . The so-called animals of Africa – , , , , and – particularly form an important part of the safari market, both for and . Etymology The ...
, as they are adequate to deliver a single lethal shot from a safe distance. Bolt-action shotguns are considered a rarity among modern firearms, but were formerly a commonly used action for .410 entry-level shotguns, as well as for low-cost 12
gauge Gauge (US: , UK: or ) may refer to: Measurement * Gauge (instrument) A gauge, in science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and Taxonomy (general), o ...
shotguns. The
M26 Modular Accessory Shotgun System The M26-MASS (Modular Accessory Shotgun System) is a shotgun A shotgun (also known as a scattergun, or historically as a fowling piece) is a long-barreled firearm A firearm is any type of gun designed to be readily carried and used by a ...
(MASS) is the most advanced and recent example of a bolt-action shotgun, albeit one designed to be attached to an M16 rifle or M4 carbine using an underbarrel mount (although with the standalone kit, the MASS can become a standalone weapon). Mossberg 12 gauge bolt-action shotguns were briefly popular in Australia after the 1997 changes to firearms laws, but the shotguns themselves were awkward to operate and only had a three-round magazine, thus offering no practical and real advantages over a conventional double-barrel shotgun. Some pistols utilize a bolt action, although this is uncommon, and such examples are typically specialized target handguns.


Major bolt-action systems


Rotating bolt

Most of the bolt-action designs use rotating-bolt (or "turn-pull") design, which involves the shooter doing an upward "rotating" movement of the handle to unlock the bolt from the breech and cock the
firing pin #REDIRECT Firing pin , showing the integral firing pin A firing pin or striker is part of the firing mechanism used in a firearm or explosive device, designed to ignite combustions/detonations by delivering an impact (mechanics), impact force to ...
, followed by a rearward "pull" to open the breech, extract the spent cartridge case, then reverse the whole process to chamber the next cartridge and relock the breech. There are three major turn-bolt action designs: the
Mauser Mauser, originally Königliche Waffen Schmieden, is a German . Their line of rifles and s has been produced since the 1870s for the German armed forces. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Mauser designs were also exported and licensed ...

Mauser
system, the
Lee–Enfield The Lee–Enfield is a Bolt action, bolt-action, Magazine (firearms), magazine-fed repeating rifle that served as the main firearm of the military forces of the British Empire and Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth during the first half of ...
system, and the
Mosin–Nagant The 3-line rifle M1891, colloquially (but mistakenly; see Nagant's legal dispute) known in the West 250px, A compass rose with west highlighted in black West or Occident is one of the four cardinal directions or points of the compass The po ...
system. All three differ in the way the bolt fits into the receiver, how the bolt rotates as it is being operated, the number of locking lugs holding the bolt in place as the gun is fired, and whether the action is cocked on the opening of the bolt (as in both the Mauser system and the Mosin-Nagant system) or the closing of the bolt (as in the Lee–Enfield system). The vast majority of modern bolt-action rifles utilize the Mauser system, with other designs such as the Lee–Enfield system and the Mosin-Nagant system only seeing limited usage.


Mauser

The Mauser bolt action system is based on 19th century Mauser bolt action rifle designs and was finalized in the
Gewehr 98 The Gewehr 98 (abbreviated G98, Gew 98, or M98) is a German bolt-action rifle made by Mauser firing cartridges from a 5-round internal Clip (ammunition), clip-loaded magazine. It was the German service rifle from 1898 to 1935, when it was replac ...

Gewehr 98
designed by
Paul Mauser Peter Paul Mauser, after 1912 von Mauser, (June 27, 1838 – May 29, 1914) was a German weapon designer, manufacturer/industrialist A business magnate is someone who has achieved great success and enormous wealth through the ownership of multip ...
. It is the most common bolt action system in the world, being in use in nearly all modern hunting rifles and the majority of military bolt action rifles until the middle of the 20th century. The Mauser system is stronger than that of the Lee–Enfield due to two locking lugs just behind the bolt head which make it better able to handle higher pressure cartridges (i.e.
magnum cartridge A Magnum cartridge is a firearms cartridge with a larger case size than, or derived from, a similar cartridge of the same bullet caliber and case shoulder shape. The term derives from the .357 Magnum, the original such cartridge. Handgun cartri ...
s). The 8×68mm S and 9.3×64mm Brenneke magnum rifle cartridge "families" were designed for the Mauser M 98 bolt action. A novel safety feature was the introduction of a third locking lug present at the rear of the bolt that normally did not lock the bolt, since it would introduce asymmetrical locking forces. The Mauser system features "cock on opening", meaning the upward rotation of the bolt when the rifle is opened cocks the action. A drawback of the Mauser M 98 system is that it cannot be cheaply mass-produced very easily. Many Mauser M 98-inspired derivatives feature technical alterations, such as omitting the third safety locking lug, to simplify production. The controlled feed Mauser M 98 bolt-action system's simple, strong, safe, and well-thought-out design inspired other military and hunting/sporting rifle designs that became available during the 20th century, including the: *
Gewehr 98 The Gewehr 98 (abbreviated G98, Gew 98, or M98) is a German bolt-action rifle made by Mauser firing cartridges from a 5-round internal Clip (ammunition), clip-loaded magazine. It was the German service rifle from 1898 to 1935, when it was replac ...

Gewehr 98
/
Karabiner 98k The Karabiner 98 kurz (; "carbine A carbine ( or ) is a long gun that has a gun barrel, barrel shortened from its original length. Most modern carbines are rifles that are compact versions of a longer rifle or are rifles chambered for less powerf ...
*
M24 series The FN Model 24 series is a line of Mauser Gewehr 98 pattern bolt-action battle rifles produced by the Belgium, Belgian FN Herstal, Fabrique Nationale. They are similar to the Czech vz. 24 rifle, featuring open sights, 7.92×57mm Mauser, 8×57mm IS ...
*
vz. 24 The vz. 24 rifle is a bolt-action carbine designed and produced in Czechoslovakia , , yi, טשעכאסלאוואקיי, , common_name = Czechoslovakia , life_span = 1918–19391945–1992 , p1 ...
/
vz. 33 The puška vz. 33Československé ruční palné zbraně a kulomety, Miroslav Šáda, Praha, Naše vojsko, 1971 ("rifle model 1933", sometimes referred to as krátká puška vz. 33 – "short rifle model 33") was a Czechoslovakia, Czechoslovak ...
* Type 24 rifle *
M1903 Springfield The M1903 Springfield, officially the United States Rifle, Caliber .30-06, Model 1903, is an American five-round magazine A magazine is a periodical literature, periodical publication which is printing, printed in Coated paper, gloss-coated ...
*
Pattern 1914 Enfield The Rifle, .303 Pattern 1914 (or P14) was a British service rifle of the First World War World War I or the First World War, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 1 ...
*
M1917 Enfield The M1917 Enfield, the "American Enfield", formally named "United States Rifle, cal .30, Model of 1917" is an American modification and production of the .303-inch (7.7 mm) Pattern 1914 Enfield The Rifle, .303 Pattern 1914 (or P14) was a Brit ...
*
Arisaka The Arisaka rifle ( ja, 有坂銃, Arisaka-jū) is a family of Japanese military bolt-action service rifles, in production and use since approximately 1897, when it replaced the Murata rifle (, ) family, until the end of World War II in 1945. Th ...
Type 38
Type 38
/ Type 99 *
M48 Mauser The Zastava M48 (Serbo-Croatian: ''Puška M.48 7,9 mm'' / Пушка M.48 7,9 mm, "Rifle M.48 7.9 mm") is a post World War II Yugoslavia, Yugoslav version of the German Karabiner 98k designed by Mauser and the Belgian designed M24 series. It ...
*
Kb wz. 98a The Model 98a carbine (''Karabin wzor 98a'', abbreviated to ''Kb wz.98a'') was a Polish derivative of the German Gewehr 98 The Gewehr 98 (abbreviated G98, Gew 98, or M98) is a German bolt action rifle made by Mauser firing cartridges from a ...

Kb wz. 98a
/ Karabinek wz. 1929 *
FR8 The FR 7 and FR 8 are bolt-action rifles adopted by Spain in the 1950s. The "FR" stands for ''Fusil Reformado'' in Spanish ("Converted Rifle" in English). The FR 7 is a variant of the Mauser#Spanish M93, "Spanish M93 Mauser" bolt action while the ...
*modern hunting/sporting rifles like the
CZ 550 The CZ-550 is a bolt-action hunting rifle series manufactured by Česká zbrojovka Uherský Brod Česká zbrojovka a.s. Uherský Brod (CZUB) is an engineering company based in Uherský Brod, whose main activities include the production of ser ...
, Heym Express Magnum,
Winchester Model 70 The Winchester Model 70 is a bolt-action sporting rifle. It has an iconic place in American sporting culture and has been held in high regard by shooters since it was introduced in 1936, earning the moniker "The Rifleman's Rifle". The action has ...
and the
Mauser M 98 The Mauser M 98 are a series of currently (2020) produced bolt-action Bolt action is a type of manual firearm action that is operated by directly manipulating the bolt via a bolt handle, which is most commonly placed on the right-hand side ...
*modern sniper rifles like the
Accuracy International Arctic Warfare The Accuracy International Arctic Warfare rifle is a bolt-action Bolt action is a type of manual that is operated by directly manipulating the via a , which is most commonly placed on the right-hand side of the weapon (as most users are ...
and
GOL Sniper Magnum The GOL-Sniper Magnum is a bolt-action sniper rifle designed by the German company Gol-Matic GmbH of Birkenau (Odenwald), Birkenau, Hesse. The rifle is available in tactical as well as sporting and match configurations. GOL-Sniper rifles are based ...

GOL Sniper Magnum
Versions of the Mauser action designed prior to the Gewehr 98's introduction, such as that of the
Swedish Mauser "Swedish Mausers" are a family of bolt-action rifles based on an improved variant of Mauser Mauser, originally Königliche Waffen Schmieden, is a German arms manufacturer. Their line of bolt-action rifles and semi-automatic pistols has bee ...
rifles and carbines, lack the third locking lug and feature a "cock on closing" operation.


Lee–Enfield

The Lee–Enfield bolt-action system was introduced in 1889 with the
Lee–Metford The Lee–Metford rifle (a.k.a. ''Magazine Lee–Metford'', abbreviated ''MLM'') was a bolt action British army service rifle, combining James Paris Lee's rear-locking bolt system and detachable magazine with an innovative seven groove rifled bar ...
and later
Lee–Enfield rifle The Lee–Enfield is a Bolt action, bolt-action, Magazine (firearms), magazine-fed repeating rifle that served as the main firearm of the military forces of the British Empire and Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth during the first half of ...
s (the bolt system is named after the designer James Paris Lee and the barrel
rifling In firearm A firearm is any type of gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube ( gun barrel) to launch typically solid projectiles, but can also project pressurized liquid (e.g. water guns/ cannons, spray guns ...
after the
Royal Small Arms Factory The Royal Small Arms Factory (RSAF) was a UK government-owned rifle A rifle is a long-barrelled firearm A firearm is any type of gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube ( gun barrel) to launch typically solid ...

Royal Small Arms Factory
at the
London Borough of Enfield The London Borough of Enfield () is a London boroughs, London borough in North London. It borders the London boroughs of London Borough of Barnet, Barnet to the west, London Borough of Haringey, Haringey to the south, and London Borough of Walth ...
), and is a "cock on closing" action in which the forward thrust of the bolt cocks the action. This enables a shooter to keep eyes on sights and target uninterrupted by cycling the bolt. The ability of the bolt between lugs and chamber to flex also keeps the shooter safer in case of catastrophic chamber over-pressure. The disadvantage of the rearward located bolt lugs is that a larger part of the receiver, between chamber and lugs, must be made stronger and heavier to resist stretching forces. Also, the bolt ahead of the lugs may flex on firing which, although a safety advantage, may eventually lead to increased head space. Repeated firing over time can lead to receiver "stretch" and excessive headspace, which if perceived as a problem can be remedied by changing the removable bolt head to a larger sized one (the Lee–Enfield bolt manufacture involved a mass production method where at final assembly the bolt body was fitted with one of three standard size bolt heads for correct headspace). In the years leading up to WWII, the Lee–Enfield bolt system was used in numerous commercial sporting and hunting rifles manufactured by such firms in the UK as BSA, LSA, and Parker–Hale, as well as by SAF Lithgow in Australia. Vast numbers of ex-military SMLE Mk III rifles were sporterised post-WWII to create cheap, effective hunting rifles, and the Lee–Enfield bolt system is used in the M10 and No 4 Mk IV rifles manufactured by Australian International Arms. Rifle Factory Ishapore of India manufactures a hunting and sporting rifle chambered in .315 which also employs the Lee-Enfield action. *Lee–Enfield (all marks and models) *Rifle 7.62mm 2A1, Ishapore 2A1 *Various hunting/sporting rifles manufactured by Birmingham Small Arms Company, BSA, London Small Arms Co. Ltd, LSA, SAF Lithgow, and Parker Hale, Parker-Hale *Australian International Arms M10 and No 4 Mk IV hunting/sporting rifles *Rifle Factory Ishapore's hunting Lee-Enfield rifle in .315


Mosin–Nagant

The Mosin–Nagant action, created in 1891 and named after the designers Sergei Mosin and Léon Nagant, differs significantly from the Mauser and Lee–Enfield bolt action designs. The Mosin–Nagant design has a separate bolthead which rotates with the bolt and the bearing lugs, in contrast to the Mauser system where the bolthead is a non-removable part of the bolt. The Mosin–Nagant is also unlike the Lee–Enfield system where the bolthead remains stationary and the bolt body itself rotates. The Mosin–Nagant bolt is a somewhat complicated affair, but is extremely rugged and durable; like the Mauser, it uses a "cock on open" system. Although this bolt system has been rarely used in commercial sporting rifles (the Vostok brand target rifles being the most recognized) and never outside of Russia, large numbers of military surplus Mosin–Nagant rifles have been Sporterising, sporterized for use as hunting rifles in the years since WWII.


Other designs

The Vetterli rifle was the first bolt action repeating rifle introduced by an army. It was used by the Swiss army from 1869 to circa 1890. Modified Vetterlis were also used by the Royal Italian Army, Italian Army. Another notable design is the Norway, Norwegian Krag–Jørgensen, which was used by Norway, Denmark, and briefly the United States. It is unusual among bolt-action rifles in that is loaded through a gate on right side of the receiver, and thus can be reloaded without opening the bolt. The Norwegian and Danish versions of the Krag have two locking lugs, while the American version has only one. In all versions, the bolt handle itself serves as an emergency locking lug. The Krag's major disadvantage compared to other bolt-action designs is that it is usually loaded by hand, one round at a time, although a box-like device was made that could drop five rounds into the magazine, all at once via a stripper or en-bloc clip. This made it slower to reload than other designs which used stripper or en-bloc clips. Another historically important bolt-action system was the Gras system, used on the French Mle 1874
Gras rifle The Fusil Modèle 1874 or Gras was the French Army The French Army, officially the Ground Army (french: Armée de Terre , ) to distinguish it from the French Air and Space Force (), is the land-based and largest component of the French Armed F ...
, Mle 1886
Lebel rifle The Lebel Model 1886 rifle (French: ''Fusil Modèle 1886 dit "Fusil Lebel"'') also known as the ''"Fusil Mle 1886 M93"'', after a bolt modification was added in 1893, is an 8 mm bolt-action infantry rifle that entered service in the French Ar ...
(which was first to introduce ammunition loaded with nitrocellulose-based smokeless powder), and the Berthier rifle, Berthier series of rifles.


Straight pull

Straight pull bolt actions differ from a conventional turn-pull bolt action mechanisms in that the bolt can be cycled back and forward without rotating the handle and thus only a linear motion is required, as opposed to a traditional bolt action where the user has to axially rotate the bolt in additional to the linear motions to perform chambering and primary extraction. The bolt locking of a straight pull action is achieved differently without needing manual inputs, therefore the entire operating cycle only needs the shooter to perform two movements (pull back + push forward) instead of four (rotate up + pull back + push forward + rotate down), greatly increasing the gun's rate of fire. In 1993 the German Blaser company introduced the Blaser R93, a new straight pull action where locking is achieved by a series of concentric "claws" that protrude/retract from the bolthead, a design that is referred to as ''Radialbundverschluss'' ("radial connection"). As of 2017 the Rifle Shooter magazine listed its successor Blaser R8 as one of the three most popular straight pull rifles together with Merkel (firearms manufacturer), Merkel Helix and Browning Arms Company, Browning Maral. Some other notable modern straight pull rifles are made by Chapuis Armes, Chapuis, Heym (gun manufacturer), Heym, Lynx Rifles, Lynx, Rößler (firearms manufacturer), Rößler, Strasser, and Steel Action. Most straight bolt rifles have a firing mechanism without a Hammer (firearms), hammer, but there are some hammer fired models, such as the Merkel Helix. Firearms using a hammer usually have a comparably longer lock time than hammer-less mechanisms. In the sport of biathlon, because shooting speed is an important performance factor and semi-automatic guns are illegal for race use, straight pull actions are quite common, and are used almost exclusively on the Biathlon World Cup. The first company to make the straight pull action for .22 caliber was J. G. Anschütz; the action is specifically the straight pull ball bearing lock action, which features spring-loaded ball bearings on the side of the bolt which lock into a groove inside the bolt's housing. With the new design came a new dry-fire method; instead of the bolt being turned up slightly, the action is locked back to catch the firing pin.


Operating the bolt

Typically, the bolt consists of a tube of metal inside of which the firing mechanism is housed, and which has at the front or rear of the tube several metal knobs, or "lugs", which serve to lock the bolt in place. The operation can be done via a rotating bolt, a lever, cam-action, locking piece, or a number of systems. Straight-pull designs have seen a great deal of use, though manual turn-bolt designs are what is most commonly thought of in reference to a bolt-action design due to the type ubiquity. As a result, the bolt-action term is often reserved for more modern types of rotating bolt-designs when talking about a specific weapon's type of action. However, both straight-pull and rotating bolt rifles are types of bolt-action rifles. Lever-action and pump-action weapons must still operate the bolt, but they are usually grouped separately from bolt-actions that are operated by a handle directly attached to a rotating bolt. Early bolt-action designs, such as the
Dreyse needle gun The Dreyse needle-gun was a ground-breaking 19th-century military breechloading A breechloader is a firearm in which the user loads the ammunition (cartridge (firearms), cartridge or shell (projectile), shell) via the rear (breech) end of its g ...

Dreyse needle gun
and the Mauser Model 1871, locked by dropping the bolt handle or bolt guide rib into a notch in the Receiver (firearms), receiver, this method is still used in .22 rimfire rifles. The most common locking method is a rotating bolt with two lugs on the bolt head, which was used by the Lebel Model 1886 rifle, Model 1888 Commission Rifle,
Mauser M 98 The Mauser M 98 are a series of currently (2020) produced bolt-action Bolt action is a type of manual firearm action that is operated by directly manipulating the bolt via a bolt handle, which is most commonly placed on the right-hand side ...
,
Mosin–Nagant The 3-line rifle M1891, colloquially (but mistakenly; see Nagant's legal dispute) known in the West 250px, A compass rose with west highlighted in black West or Occident is one of the four cardinal directions or points of the compass The po ...
and most bolt-action rifles. The
Lee–Enfield The Lee–Enfield is a Bolt action, bolt-action, Magazine (firearms), magazine-fed repeating rifle that served as the main firearm of the military forces of the British Empire and Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth during the first half of ...
has a lug and guide rib, which lock on the rear end of the bolt into the receiver.


Bolt knob

The bolt knob is the part of the bolt handle which the user grips when loading and reloading the firearm, and thereby acts as a cocking handle. On many older firearms, the bolt knob is welded to the bolt handle, and as such becoming an integral part of the bolt handle itself. On many newer firearms, the bolt knob is instead threaded onto the handle, allowing the user to change the original bolt knob for an aftermarket one, either for aesthetical reasons, achieving better grip or similar. The type of threads used vary between firearms. European firearms often use either M6-1 or M8-1.25 threads, for example M6 is used on the SIG Sauer 200 STR, Blaser R93, Blaser R8, CZ 457 and Bergara rifles, while M8 is used on the Sako TRG and SIG Sauer 404. Many American firearms instead use 1/4"-28 TPI (6.35-0.907 mm) or 5/16"-24 TPI (7.9375-1.058 mm) threads. Some other thread types are also used, for example #10-32 TPI (4.826-0.794 mm) as used by Mausingfield. There also exists aftermarket slip-on bolt handle covers which are mounted without having to remove the existing bolt handle. These are often made of either rubber or plastic.


Reloading

Most bolt-action firearms are fed by an internal magazine (firearm), magazine loaded by hand, by clip (ammunition), en bloc, or stripper clips, though a number of designs have had a detachable magazine or independent magazine, or even no magazine at all, thus requiring that each round be independently loaded. Generally, the magazine capacity is limited to between two and ten rounds, as it can permit the magazine to be flush with the bottom of the rifle, reduce the weight, or prevent mud and dirt from entering. A number of bolt-actions have a Magazine (firearm)#Tubular, tube magazine, such as along the length of the barrel. In weapons other than large rifles, such as pistols and cannons, there were some manually operated breech loading weapons. However, the Dreyse Needle gun, Needle fire rifle was the first breech-loading, breech-loader to use a rotating bolt design. Johann Nicholas von Dreyse's rifle of 1838 was accepted into service by Prussia in 1841, which was in turn developed into the Prussian Model 1849. The design was a
single-shot Single-shot firearms A firearm is any type of gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube ( gun barrel) to launch typically solid projectiles, but can also project pressurized liquid (e.g. water guns/ cannons, spr ...
breech loader, and had the now familiar arm sticking out from the side of the bolt, to turn and open the chamber. The entire reloading sequence was a more complex procedure than later designs, however, as the
firing pin #REDIRECT Firing pin , showing the integral firing pin A firing pin or striker is part of the firing mechanism used in a firearm or explosive device, designed to ignite combustions/detonations by delivering an impact (mechanics), impact force to ...
had to be independently primed and activated, and the lever was only used to move the bolt.


See also

*Antique guns *British military rifles *Service rifle


Some notable bolt action rifles

*Berthier rifle *Browning A-Bolt *Carcano *K31 *Krag–Jørgensen *
Lebel rifle The Lebel Model 1886 rifle (French: ''Fusil Modèle 1886 dit "Fusil Lebel"'') also known as the ''"Fusil Mle 1886 M93"'', after a bolt modification was added in 1893, is an 8 mm bolt-action infantry rifle that entered service in the French Ar ...
*M1903 Springfield rifle *M1917 Enfield rifle *Mannlicher–Schönauer *MAS-36 *
Mosin–Nagant The 3-line rifle M1891, colloquially (but mistakenly; see Nagant's legal dispute) known in the West 250px, A compass rose with west highlighted in black West or Occident is one of the four cardinal directions or points of the compass The po ...
*Remington 700 *Ruger M77 *
Winchester Model 70 The Winchester Model 70 is a bolt-action sporting rifle. It has an iconic place in American sporting culture and has been held in high regard by shooters since it was introduced in 1936, earning the moniker "The Rifleman's Rifle". The action has ...
*
Arisaka The Arisaka rifle ( ja, 有坂銃, Arisaka-jū) is a family of Japanese military bolt-action service rifles, in production and use since approximately 1897, when it replaced the Murata rifle (, ) family, until the end of World War II in 1945. Th ...
*Accuracy International Arctic Warfare, Arctic Warfare series


Other firearm actions

*Break action *Falling-block action *Lever action *Pump action *Rolling block *Rotating bolt *Semi-automatic rifle **Blowback (arms) **Gas-operated **Recoil operation **Automatic rifle


References


Further reading

*


External links

{{DEFAULTSORT:Bolt Action Firearm actions Bolt-action rifles, *