What Makes A Bolt Action Rifle Great?

There are many factors to consider before shelling out your hard earned cash on a bolt action rifle, and in this video we go through a few characteristics that we feel are desirable. As some of the least restricted firearms in the world, people in almost any country can obtain a bolt gun and while there is no one size fits all rifle, this may help you narrow your choices.

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Transcript …

– [Voiceover] What makes a bolt action rifle great? Or rather, better than the competition? Well, for me, there are a few things I look for, being something of a bolt action aficionado.

They are my favorite guns to shoot, the most fun to run with haste, and the guns most commonly used to hunt around the world.

Hunting laws vary from state to state and country to country, but across most of the U.S.

and Europe, and of course elsewhere, the dominant system for hunting is the bolt action.

While double rifles are used for large game in Africa somewhat commonly, their price is offputting to all but the most well-off or dedicated sportsman.

Elsewhere, the humble bolt gun is king because of the number of manufacturers, reliability, capacity, affordability, and, usually, strength.

The reason your friends might get jealous if you tell them you have a pristine large ring Mauser action just sitting around is because it can take everything from your poodle shooting cartridges, all the way up to 375 H and H, or 458 Winchester.

Really, a large ring action to a gunsmith is like a blank canvas to an artist.

No gun has an after market that can even compare, nor the variety of tools, options, and so on.

There’ve been approaches to how to make the best bolt action systems.

The German approach with the Mauser seems to have been around action strength.

The British Lee–Enfield shines when it comes to rapid fire.

The American Springfield and Canadian Ross rifles are exceptional target rifles, and the Mosin–Nagant is a rifle.

But, what features make a bolt action rifle exceptional? Why did the Mauser action endure, when the Enfield and Mosin actions essentially died with the Enfield and Mosin? Well, to shed some light on this, here are a few factors that I and many hunters find desirable in a bolt gun.

First is a fixed magazine.

The last thing I want in a hunting rifle is a magazine I can lose in the field by bumping a lever.

While detachable mags make sense in a modern military application, this is not a good feature in a hunting rifle.

Next, I prefer a three-position safety.

I like the ability to lock the action on safe, or keep the rifle on safe while extracting a live round.

You shouldn’t have to put the rifle on fire to perform a task where discharging the rifle is not intended.

I prefer a one-piece bolt head and body.

The French Lebel, Russian Nagant, and British Enfield all have two-piece bolt, body and heads, and this poses a problem for the Enfield, especially.

In fact, armorers who worked on these guns would change the bolt head out as the rifles got out of head space.

Also, it’s worth noting that, on the InRange Channel, they have had multiple Enfields go down, and, on one, the bolt head popped above the channel in one of the strangest bolt action malfunctions I’ve ever seen.

I also prefer a way to remove the bolt that doesn’t involve pulling the trigger.

People often cite this as not being a big deal, but it’s been beat into my head that you don’t pull the trigger of a gun unless you are intending to discharge it.

I also strongly prefer a cock-on-open.

While I don’t think there are any cock-on-close hunting rifles on the market, cock-on-open is superior for hunting.

You accomplish primary extraction and cocking of the action in the first motion, and when you bolt forward, there is less resistance.

Say you’re taking a shot at a target at 200 yards or so.

When you’re looking through an optic, or even irons for that matter, and are bolting forward, fighting the firing pin spring results in a gun being thrown off target much more than when you use a cock-on-close rifle.

Next up is a Mauser-style claw extractor.

Not only does it rip the cartridge case out of the chamber with haste, and very reliably, but it facilitates controlled feed.

Push feed exists almost entirely because of ease of manufacture and cheapness.

A bolt action rifle for hunting should be front-locking as well.

While rear-locking actions make sense in a military context, where sandstorms, muddy trench conditions and so on are everyday facts of life, rear-locking actions sacrifice action strength, and are more prone to case stretching.

These are the design features I look for when considering a bolt action hunting rifle.

Some of you all may prefer other approaches to the same problem, and, that’s fine.

These are just what I have found suit me best over the years.

The market has a lot of great offerings, and while not all of them have these features, I wouldn’t necessarily disqualify one for missing one of the marks.

So, do your research, find out what works for you, and happy hunting.

Big thanks to Ventura Munitions for helping us out with the cost of ammunition in our videos, and we hope to see you all next time.

Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.


  • Vitor Roma

    Being a K31.

    Being chambered in 6.5×55.

    We need a K31 in 6.5×55.

    • Jeff Brown

      A guy who posts on CastBoolits forum has built one recently.

  • LG

    1) Controlled feed action with large Mauser extractor- anything else is less than second best and a disaster waiting to happen
    2) One piece forged bolt body and handle
    3) “C” diaphragm in the receiver ring
    4) Dual front locking lugs
    5) One piece firing pin (striker)
    6) A safety that acts directly on the cocking piece and not just the trigger.
    7) Forged or (second best) CNC machined action
    8) Designed by Mauser
    9) Mauser crest on the Receiver ring
    10) One piece stock of solid, cured walnut
    11) Barrel by Bartlein

  • Zachary marrs

    1), bayonet

    End of list

  • Darkpr0

    A buttstock as capable of combat as the noisy end :}

    • Their relative delicacy compared to Grandpa Guns has always been the one biggest drawback of Plastic Fantastics to me; CQB became a harder game with the removal of the buttstroke from the playbook, and I’d always be a little worried that a bayonet thrust would risk bending the business end of the boomstick.

      “Weighing as much as a small block V8” is a pretty big counterbalance in the negative column for wood stock rifles, though. C’est la guerre.

      • Darkpr0

        It’s partially the way that guns have gone, and partially due to the prevalence of ARs as the go-to-do-everything gun. ARs these days have stocks riding only on the buffer tube, and if that bends you’re in deep trouble. A buttstroke can bend that without too much difficulty. A more solid assembly like one of the CavArms polymer lowers where the buttstroke is supported by the structure of the gun rather than the buffer tube will get you a lot closer to viability.

        Whether a buttstroke is actually needed in CQB is an entirely other debate :}

        • dltaylor51

          If you’re planning on driving railroad spikes buy a M-14.

      • Dave

        Bayonets? Really? Like on a musket? Why not a pilum or a pike then?

        Best bayonets:
        Steyr Aug… i.e. there ain’t one. (loud but handy wire cutter though)
        AK 5 FNC used by Sweden… i.e. there’s a showy thing for guys and gals who guard the king and foreign dignitaries… Why not an SKS?
        Stg58/ Austrian FAL… i.e. there ain’t one (see Aug).

        Kalashnikov: makes a handy wire cutter and can be used as a field knife…

        • Major Tom

          A bayonet when fixed to begin with is much faster than swinging around and hitting someone with the buttstock or taking the time to go Call of Duty style and draw a knife.

          It’s also faster than switching to your sidearm. (If applicable.)

          Its only real drawback is you have to be in hand to hand range to use one.

          • Art out West

            To “butt stroke” is to use the rifle as a club. To “bayonet”, is to use the rifle as a spear. I don’t know a lot about CQB, or melee warfare, but I know enough to know that spears are generally far more effective weapons than clubs. Clubs are makeshift weapons, while spears are dedicated weapons.

            The functional Greco/Roman phalanx, armed with spears and shields routinely defeated mobs armed with clubs.

            The AR15 is a very poor spear, and a very poor club – but a very effective rifle (fairly high rate of fire, good ergonomics, moderate power, and low recoil).

            The Mosin is a good club, and good spear – it is a moderately effective rifle (limited by the relatively low rate of fire, not by any lack of power, or accuracy)

      • Zachary marrs

        Slings make buttstroking a no go.

        Muzzle thumps, however…

        • Saving money/complexity by eliminating metal loops is probably the main reason, but I always figured that at least part of the rationale behind the traditional pass-through sling mounts on military rifles was to leave the bottom of the stock clear to use as a club.

      • TheSmellofNapalm

        The Magpul UBR is used for door-breaching.

  • I purchased an old Sears & Roebuck Mossberg 583-22 20ga 5rd shotgun a few weeks back.


    No clue.

    Just thought it’d be cool to have a weird 5+1 bolt action shotgun.

    Does this make me a gun hipster?

    • iksnilol

      Load with slow powder the longest shells you find.

      Put on it a 1 meter barrel. Go full Jezail and lob lead at 600 meters.

    • gunsandrockets

      Heh, I just got one of those Mossberg .410 bolt-actions. It only has a two shot fixed magazine, making three shots maximum capacity.

      • Yah, I spent $40 extra to have the full 5 in the tube~

        • gunsandrockets

          The larger bore Mossberg bolt-actions surely look like superior designs. Aside from the more convenient detachable magazine (I didn’t even know they made 5 round mags!), the bolt handle is much more conveniently placed.

          One cool think about my .410 is it has the odd CLect choke feature, a muzzle device which by means of a threaded sleeve can adjust the choke from cylinder-bore all the way to full-choke.

    • Now, even if you live in a county that’s unfriendly to hunters, you can still shoot geese flying at Cessna altitudes in the next county over!

    • Tassiebush

      So long as you enjoy or would expect to enjoy hunting stuff with it you’re free of the hipster stain.

  • A bearded being from beyond ti

    Bolt-guns are favored by all tier-1 qw1k 5c0p3 operators.

  • Anomanom

    Mosin-Nagant action is strong as crap also. I have seen video of two guys trying to break it, overloaded rounds, rounds loaded to super-magnum pressures, etc. Eventually they just packed a case full with random powder swept up off the floor (apparently this is super-dangerous stuff) and it broke the action, but the gun itself stayed intact without kaboom-ing.

  • gunsandrockets

    I don’t know about some of those Mauser features for a hunting rifle.

    The modern trend for hunting bolt actions is for shorter lift bolts, detachable magazines, and small ejection ports.

    The fixed magazine, and open action of a Mauser is great for a charger loaded, iron sighted military rifle, not so much for a scope sighted hunting rifle.

    • LG

      Without backup iron sights, there is a single point failure mode. That is unacceptably unless it is 100% reliable.

      Small ejection ports are accidents waiting to happen in a dangerous game rifle. Without two barrels, even with a long Mauser extractor, fingers may be needed to remedy trouble.

      There is no straight pull rifle with the brute force of primary extraction that a turn bolt Mauser or Mauser clone has.

      Only a safety which directly works with the cocking piece deserves such nomenclature.

      The bolt, bolt body, and lugs must be one single forging. Otherwise all is lost with one weld failure.

  • A: Finland

    • Dave

      Not by choice; the Mosin was selected by necessity, as an impoverished, heavily forested Grand Duchy of the Russian Empire, once a sort of buffer between Sweden and Russia…

      Finland was the epitome of the “well, if all we’ve got is the Mosin-Nagant–and it is–then let’s see what we can do with it…”

      During the “Continuation War,” aka. “co-belligerency” vs. the USSR, the Germans strongly recommended that their erstwhile, erm, co-belligerents should standardize with German weapons… Didn’t happen for various reasons.

      The Mosin is the “beggars can’t be choosers” bolt-action rifle design.

      BTW: I really, really like my Mosins. a lot. Bought my first–a Finn in like new condition–for $72 the year after I gradumacated high skewl. “Back in tha day…”

      • I wrote an article once that said the Mosin was “one of the worst bolt actions”, so I’m not defending it.

        For me, the M39 is sort of like the anti-Kar.98k. I love the Mauser action, but a lot of the other design choices on the Kar.98k really annoy me. On the other hand, with the M39 I have an action I don’t like very much, and absolutely top notch design for everything else, sights, bedding, sling mounts, grip, etc.

        And then you throw in Sakos and Tikkas, and well…

        • Dave

          Ha! Agreed.

          “Peace. Love. Mosins.”

  • Roy G Bunting

    A fixed magazine is more reliable in tough conditions, but a removable magazine is easier to make a gun safe in a hurry. What I want is a lockable magazine, A removable magazine I can lock into the action with a lever or similar device.

    The Mosin Nagant is a pike with a built in rifle. 🙂

    What I want is a 60 degree bolt lift, open top receiver, bold front sight, provision for a peep sight (possibly rail mounted removable) an assortment of barrel lengths, especially less then 20″ long. the ability to load with stripper clips, a magazine cutoff, 5 and 10 round removable, lockable magazines, optional forward mounted scope mount and threaded barrel would be nice to have as well.

    Or even an assortment of light bolt action rilfes in long and short action calibers with 18.5″ barrels, iron sights and an empty, pre-scope, weight around 6lbs for less then $1000.

    • SlowJoeCrow

      Have you looked at a Steyr Scout Rifle? It even has a magazine cutoff of sorts (2nd magazine catch position that allows single loading ) .

      • Roy G Bunting

        Yes, it’s essentially perfect, just expensive and rare. If I was only going to have one (centerfire) bolt action rifle that would be it.

        For a less expensive answer the Mossberg Patrol and Scout are pretty darn close too. My 223 Patrol is less then 7lbs with a 2.5x Leopold scope. The downside is that they are short action only and available only in 223 and 308 (good calibers, but variety is the spice of shooting 🙂 )

        • dltaylor51

          I tried the Mossberg that takes the AR clip but i found that i had to fiddle with the clip to get it to snap into place,dont know if they all are like that but having to wiggle the clip in was a deal breaker for me.

          • Roy G Bunting

            Mine works reliably with 10 round PMAGs. I am interested in the 308 version, because it has lugs rather then the drop down hinge.

            But Then I’d have to add another caliber and magazine type to the mix. And at the moment I’m trying to simplify.

          • dltaylor51

            I would like to have one of each,does the 308 version take Mossberg only clips or did they play it smart and go with already available anywhere m-14 clips?Mossbergs have always been good shooters so I may have to relook at their scout guns and see if the clip thing has improved.My first gun was a Mossberg 22 given me by my grandmother(model 46A),she bought it brand new in 1938 and gave it to me in the late 50s,still have it and its the 1st one I’d grab if the house was afire.

          • Roy G Bunting

            IIRC they use the SR25/AR-10 magazines.

          • dltaylor51

            Thanks that’s good to know.

    • Dave

      Can’t help with the weight, or the magazine cut off (why?) or a removable but still “lockable” magazine… But how about a French MAS Mle. 1936?

      Five shot, internal Mauser-style magazine, loadable with stripper clips/chargers. It can be removed, thereby emptying the magazine, and “locks” in place otherwise. Reasonably bolt lift, open top receiver, protected front sight, aperture rear sight… No scope, ‘afraid to say, loaded with chargers… Built hell for stout, rugged, reliable, practically indestructible, very few moving parts (sorry Alex, no safety–“is gun. Guns not safe” and the bolt stop is operated by a trigger pull… Remove the magazine, open the action, check to ensure it’s unloaded, pull the trigger while withdrawing the bolt… No extra parts… Really, nbd.) Way less than 1k, although you’d have to load yer own hunting type ammo….

      • Roy G Bunting

        The magazine disconnect is “nice to have” but not a requirement. It ammo was more readily available and i didn’t live in the SF Bay Area (whee there is practically no used/surplus market without an 03 FFL) it’d probably be a great choice.

      • Tassiebush

        Alex is quite a fan of that rifle I believe.

    • Blake

      “The Mosin Nagant is a pike with a built in rifle. :)”

      I’m going to quote you on that sometime &ltgrin&gt

      “Or even an assortment of light bolt action rilfes in long and short action calibers with 18.5″ barrels, iron sights and an empty, pre-scope, weight around 6lbs for less then $1000.”

      You mean like my CZ-527?

      • Roy G Bunting

        Yes, if they had fixed magazine variants and more then 2 calibers with sub-20″ barrels. 🙂

    • Tassiebush

      So a variety of scout rifle? Always a cool concept!

  • Kelly Jackson

    Two words: Iron Sights
    Something the entire American gunmarket seems to have forgotten.

    • Magpul could probably buy its own Caribbean island and establish the Independent Republic of Guntopia just from its sales of MBUSs; I think there’s still some interest.

      • noob

        hmm Guntopia. Now that is one place which could have a Magpul shop in the airport without a public outcry.

  • David

    My first thought when I read “What makes a bolt action great” was being a mauser. Apparently that was correct.

  • Robert Rodriguez

    Mauser- Durable and easily convertible
    Lee-Enfield- Fast and accurate volley fire
    Springfield- Robust with target sights
    Mosin- Durable and easily manufactured

    • LG

      Mauser is the one. All the rest are second best.

      • iksnilol

        Eh, they’re all somewhat clunky. Wartime guns are like that.

        Krags though, those are amazing.

        • LG

          Smooth bolt but only one locking lug. Without symmetric locking lugs, accuracy will always be compromised. The side loading gate is quite useful for a civilian.

          • iksnilol

            Eh, accuracy is compromised if you don’t know what you’re doing. The zero offset between wet and dry is very consistent. So you learn the difference it’s gonna make. Or you zero it for wet conditions and oil the ammo.

          • Robert Rodriguez

            Every gun has its attributes.

  • I’ve always liked the magazine release on the Winchester Model 88– a large tab set in a cutout in front of the magazine, which is easy to activate with a gloved hand but nearly impossible to hit accidentally– and that design on a bolt rifle would give you the proof-against-accidental-activation you prefer while still providing the undeniable utility of quick reloading. Pushing back on the tab with an index finger pops an empty magazine smartly out into the palm of the hand, and cutouts on either side make it easy to pull it loose even if it gets stuck for whatever reason.

  • Oldtrader3

    Over my sixty year stretch of shooting and hunting, I have owned all of the more popular type actions and still have an affinity for lever action classics (Winchesters, etc). However in winnowing the herd with old age, I have kept the classic and the most accurate rifles as those to be passed on to my children and grandchildren. This in addition to the guns which I have already given them.
    What I have remaining are: (4) custom bolt actions (2-Mausers and 2-Model 70’s), plus a Ruger Number One in 9.3x74R. All of the bolt action rifles that remain with me are super accurate, in calibers which I favor and have stocks which were made for me. All of these rifles have high grade and quality scopes on them which stay on that rifle forever. These rifles also tend to be mostly the rifles which I have owned for awhile. They range in dates of manufacture from 1949 to 1995.

  • Tim

    Nice article, Alex.
    I would say very few of your design parameters are personal preference and most would be considered significant features, or lack of same.
    It would be interesting to hear how typical modern hunting rifles stack up against these parameters.

  • Tassiebush

    This has me pondering all those innovative European bolt actions like Merkel, blaser, chapius, sauer, fortner, haenel, Mauser m12 etc. They aren’t price driven designs and they’re all pretty different.

    • The_Champ

      Agreed there are a lot of very slick modern designs, really got to pay up for some of them though. My go to hunting rifle for many years has been a Steyr Pro Hunter. Lovely rifle with many neat modern features.

      • Tassiebush

        I haven’t ever handled a prohunter but they certainly look nice! Same action as the Steyr scout rifle i believe? I have a Tikka t3 which is a good gun albeit it’s just a straight forward trouble free value for money rifle. Yeah the pricing is pretty up there for a lot of the rifles i mentioned. I gather that part of their respective niches are being very fast actions suited to driven hunts and also the switch barrel capabilities although maybe at the loss of strong primary extraction or controlled round feed. Some seem to also match bolt travel well to their chambering which isn’t bad.

    • gusto

      Blaser, merkel and a few others of the straight pull kind were probably a response to more and more driven type hunting, fast bolt handling is a plus

      and they are all pretty much calibre/barrel quick change systems as standard, with a m98 that is a very expensive option

      and especially blaser are stupid accurate. you can get a factory barrelswitcher for half the price of a blaser but not all the features, straight pull, easy barrel swap, the scope mounting system that is 100% guaranted back to zero, everything is back to zero, and that is what you pay for, good stocks to. tight tolerances are what you pay for
      Sauer 404 and mauser m03 are comparable but they don’t have the scope mounted on the barrel so not as precise.

      the barrel/calibre change is probably more to do with travelling for hunting than stricter laws for guns, there is no limit on rifles IIRC in germany when you have your hunting exam. but it sure is nifty for us swedes that have a fixed nr of rifles we are allowed to keep.

      blasers own mount are way better than any qr mounts from leupold or whatever
      very reasuring that you just change the scope depending on what you are hunting and that you can rely on it.
      I used a blaser r93, aimpoint when I hunted over the dog and a big zeiss when hunting over the pig feeder at night, often the same day

      quick barrel changes is very important because you can practise all you want with a cheaper ammo lesser recoiling calibre and not worry about shooting out your barrel, and still get the same trigger and stock.

      Blaser, sauer and mauser is practically the same company today, or atleast the same owners, so they are kinda competing against themselves really

      • Tassiebush

        Thank you for that wonderful insight! The night hunting you mention has intrigued me for a long time actually. Spotting and shooting by moonlight through conventional optics without artificial illumination must be quite an experience! What are the fundamentals of it? Does it only work for larger game?
        I can see how it would really enable you to perfect all aspects of your shooting by using a consistent platform. I’d really relish being able to use the rimfire option for lots of practice then seeing the benefit of it in on all usage. Damn it I’m suddenly feeling like my spending priorities are shifting. I’ll have to look at the local price.

        • Gusto

          Yeah only pigs and fox
          Other game animals have sunset /sunrise rules +-1h

          And rules about baiting

          • Tassiebush

            Ah yes we have similar sunrise sunset laws. I am interested to know foxes are also shot that way. Pretty small so must take some spotting! Night shooting here is by spotlight and although a permit is required it’s one of those rules no one follows and respectable people included albeit that’s only with wallabies and possums. It’s frowned upon to shoot deer or other game species that way though. Wallabies are extremely abundant.
            With the scopes I gather it’s dominated by high end optics with 56mm objectives set 8x or lower but is the German no4 style reticle in common use without illumination or have illuminated reticles taken over?

  • gusto

    thumb cocker like on modern hunting bolts/straight pulls is way superior than a three position

    I like removable magazines for a number of reason, not yet have one fall out on me

    was scared for a while with a savage m10 due to the button on the side and the very positive mag-ejection but alas never happened

    • Tassiebush

      I’ve never seen or handled a thumb cocking bolt action but love that feature in leverguns and rimfire pumps. Is it comparable handling wise with hand position?

      • gusto

        it is the high end Blasers, sauers etc that have it, but even Zoli 1900 has got them and they are a tikka t3 pricerange rifle

        yeah but it works the opposite

        you push it forward to make the rifle hot
        it is the safest “safety” possible on a loaded rifle.

        some people complain about them being hard to push but they must have weak thumbs

        no danger when you put it on safe either like a levergun you have to halfcock

  • Minuteman

    SMLE series all the way any day.

  • Gary Kirk

    Pre-64 model 70, safari in .375 H&H..

  • dltaylor51

    My bolt action guns are all for long range shots where pin point accuracy is a must,my lever action guns are for hunting things with claws and teeth where fast follow up shots may be required,my auto loading rifles are for when really really fast followup shots may be required,my ARs and AKs are for the personal security and comfort they bring by just having them,my single shot rifles are for the times that I just want to enjoy the pure pleasure of shooting just for the pleasure of shooting.Sometimes i envy the man that just has one or two rifles and makes them work for all his needs but i just dont want to be that guy,my hats off to him though.

  • disqus_f62emCdwDh

    Alex, for a short piece this was a thoughtful one.
    The “hunting rifle” can be whatever you want it to be though. While the conventional orthodoxy is to insist on the cock-on-opening, three-position safety that locks the striker plus an internal magazine with a hinged floorplate as you suggest (Winchester 70, Ruger 77 Mark II, Kimber 84, et al), because it does work, there are a couple of issues I’d like to chat about.
    I am one of those that actually likes the Lee-Enfield system. Yes, it became a technological dead end in that it wasn’t used successfully to challenge the orthodoxy, but hear me out.
    First, I would like to put the observation that rear-locking leads to case stretching to pasture. This was a design choice by the British early on in the design of both the Metford and the Enfield, because of propellants, because they believed that rifles get filthy in sand and mud, and the case was rimmed and headspaced on it. Thus the chambers were deliberately cut over-sized, and that is the only reason it created case stretch, not some imaginary flexing or stretching of the action due to rear-locking.
    Other examples of rear-locking include the Remington 788, and the 1960s Steyr-Mannlicher rifles, neither of which were known for case stretch. Granted, their largely tubular receivers were probably stiffer, but the Enfield with better steel soldiered on in caliber 7.62X51 into the late 1980s, did it not?
    Second, while you made the point that cock-on-opening seemed a plus, you also gave due credit to the Enfield’s design for rapid fire. It was, of course, a combat rifle, not a hunting piece, as all these designs once were.
    Why? The shorter rotational throw, the ease of primary extraction with the soft bolt lift, the same controlled feed, and a bent-down bolt handle immediately accessible to the thumb and forefinger that led to the regular army troops before WWI being capable of those “mad minute” feats of rapid and accurate fire.
    I might also posit that the cock-on-closing is more ergonomic for the human arm to deal with when shooting rapidly. I for one think it is easier to push the bolt forward and rotate to lock, than it is to lift upward against the mainspring’s compression on a cock-on-opening arm.
    The detachable magazine that you dislike “for a hunting arm” is also debatable. The Lee-Enfield was meant to use its nominally detachable box left in situ, and charger loaded from the top just as all the rest of the rifles you mention. Fast forward to today, and all Tikka rifles, many Remington rifles, several Ruger rifles, use the detachable box. They are inexpensive for the most part, it eases removal of rounds (and keeping them together rather than dumping them into your hand or onto the ground) if you are finished hunting, so if there’s an aesthetic downside, so be it.
    I am not suggesting the L-E is an ideal hunting rifle. Nor is a stock K98k, a stock ’03, Arisaka, Carcano, MAS 36, or Nagant. I just think you should consider their original context and design in light of the era they were penned and produced.

    • MartinWoodhead

      The L42 the armys 7.62 enfields made it just to the 90s in the TA they were still capable but badly out classed by then. The revelation that the L96 accuracy international model and a modern scope was breath taking.
      The enfield was a military bolt action the best military bolt action complaining it wasnt a good hunting rifle kind of misses the point and its taken just about anything that was shootable anyways.
      The SA80 with bayonet was used in iraq and afghanistan not in former yugolslavia as the serbs were smart enough to run away when they realised what was about to happen.

  • max

    I love the channel but not going to lie; I feel like this video should be re-titled to “What I like in a hunting rifle.” vs what you have up now.