French firearms manufacturer Chapuis Armes has joined the small list of European companies who offer straight pull bolt action rifles. They’ve recently introduced a new rifle called ROLS. As the manufacturer states, the rifle was in development for 6 years. It is not just the next gun which will try to get a piece from Blaser R8‘s market pie. It actually has some unique mechanical features. The most interesting is the new locking mechanism of the rifle.
The patented locking system is called CLS (Chapuis Locking System). It appears that the bolt doesn’t rotate. Instead, the pivoting locking pieces located inside the barrel extension are driven by the bolt carrier to the area behind the locking shoulder of the bolt. So these locking pieces kind of wedge themselves between the bolt head and the barrel extension. At least it looks to be so judging from the manufacturer’s description, the video and images below.
Here is how Chapuis Armes describes the locking system of the ROLS rifle:
The bearing surface of the locking lugs is 260 square millimeters, making it one of the largest and most reliable on the market, as proven by
resistance tests applying pressures well over 8500 bars (123,000 PSI).
• THE BOLT LOCKS INTO THE BARREL
A locking ring, inserted into a recess machined into the
barrel behind the chamber, bears 7 locking lugs, which tilt from front to back, to lock/unlock the bolt head.
• AN UNBREAKABLE LOCKING SYSTEM
A locking sleeve around the bolt slides on the bolt, controlled by the bolt handle, which acts as a lever to control its movement. It provides a fully secured locking system of the bolt head.
The seven locking lugs swing to the “open” or to “closed” position, thus locking or unlocking the bolt. They are controlled by this sleeve. Once this sleeve is locked into place, it swings the lugs into the “closed” position.
The ROLS rifle also has a distinctive “dog leg” bolt handle. Chapuis Armes offers the rifle in one of the following calibers: .243 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield, .270 Win, .308 Win, 9.3x62mm, .300 Win Mag, 7mm Rem Mag and .375 H&H Magnum. The rifle feeds from a rotary magazine of 4 or 3 round capacity (depending on the caliber).
The barrel can be relatively quickly changed by unscrewing a single screw. Another interesting solution is that the barrel assembly rests on metal rather than wood.
The scope mounts directly on the barrel (instead of the receiver), which should give a better accuracy and repeatability for such system with an easily removable barrel.
It looks like the company really takes pride into this rifle. They even launched a separate website dedicated to this gun.
As you can see this rifle has a lot of new and interesting mechanical design features. The downside is that most of those features are not yet field proven. So it is always a kind of dilemma: whether you want to have a new mechanical wonder or you’d better stick to a proven action.