Gotcha! You’ve been taken in by another sensationalist headline. Obviously, the subject of this article isn’t about whether your BAR could challenge Gerard Depardieu to a drinking contest, or if your B725 Grade 5 gets hangovers too. The subject of this article is quite different. Now that the Covid crisis has meant that we have to wash our hands more often than usual, could hydro-alcoholic gel damage your gun? We checked out some possible answers.
Straight-pull versus bolt-action rifles
If you went into a gun shop 25-years ago and asked for a repeating, centrefire rifle, you’d get a bolt-action. However, things have changed dramatically as since 1993 you could get a manually-operated straight-pull instead. So, what is it and how does it compare to the traditional system?
Straight-pull and bolt-action: mechanism
Both systems have been around since the end of the 19th century with the introduction of smokeless, high velocity cartridges.
The major difference being the method of operation. A bolt-action technically requires four movements:
- lift the bolt to open the action
- pull it back to eject
- push it forward to feed
- close the action.
A straight-pull cuts this down by 50% as steps 1 & 2 are combined in a single rearwards pull, as are 3 & 4 when you push forward.
Though there were some notable, Military straight-pulls, research shows that in the crucible of battle, turn-bolts won out due to their greater reliability. However, for sports shooting this is not an issue.
The Germans were the first to propose linear recharging.
One cannot talk about straight-pulls without acknowledging Blaser, who introduced the first commercial design; the R93 in 1993. Great rifle, as you could also change barrels and therefore calibres, but its fixed, top-loading magazine was not ideal.
Browning came next in 1999 with their Acera, I tested one and it had distinct possibilities though was discontinued in 2000. Next and more successful was their the Maral based on the BAR semi-auto. Since then other companies have offered their takes on the concept, and the generic design is now well established.
I have two straight-pulls, a Maral and a Blaser R8 and they are significantly different in terms of design and what they offer. They also tend to highlight the major differences compared to bolt-guns.
The fastest system is…
Technically a straight-pull is faster to operate, but it’s not all about speed. I can shoot a bolt-action as fast as my R8, though 2-2 bolt manipulation in relation to maintaining your firing position and aim is better on the latter.
However, and given the design a bolt-gun offers more leverage and operating power in adverse conditions, in terms of opening and closing the action compared to the smaller side handle of a straight-pull.
You also have to be certain that you have closed the action fully unlike a bolt-gun, where the method of operation ensures this automatically.
The Maral is a little different, as it’s powered by constant velocity springs, which means at the end of the opening stroke you just let the handle go and it will automatically shut. Generally, it’s a handy, highly pointable and shootable rifle.
The most accurate is…
Some, site straight-pulls as being less accurate, which is not the case, but like any rifle it’s down to the ammunition you choose. My Maral in 30-06 shoots best with a 150-grain load, which I use for deer, however, for boar shooting where targets are closer I use heavier loads for the power.
With the proliferation of straight-pull rifles these days, I don’t think you can pick a clear winner between them and a bolt-action. Both offer something to a greater or lesser degree, I picked the Maral primarily for driven boar, where its fast action and high magazine capacity offer advantages. However, most of my deer hunting is done with a turn-bolt; horses for courses.
What’s your favorite system?
Pushing the 22 Long Rifle cartridge well out of its comfort zone
We look at the dictates of pushing the 22 Long Rifle cartridge well out of its comfort zone.
T-Bolt: the right tool for pest control
In 2011, I bagged my very first deer in the UK and that was when I made up my mind that I wanted hunting to be a full-time hobby. And what better way to do that than with a T-Bolt!
Gas-operated and inertia-operated systems: a brief explanation of semi-auto shotguns
The future looks bright for the semi-auto shotgun, a favourite among waterfowlers and pigeon and crow hunters. Gas-operated and recoil-operated versions both have their devotees. Browning has two of the most competitive models on the market in the gas-operated Maxus and the inertia-operated A5. Here is a quick look at how these two systems work, and their strengths and weaknesses.
Straight, swan neck, Monte-Carlo, pistol: what’s it all about?
Gunsmiths often say that “the bullet comes from the gun; the kill comes from the stock”. The stock is in direct contact with the shooter and has to nestle perfectly in the pit of the shoulder to guarantee a certain level of performance. Everyone has heard of straight stocks, swan-necks, the Monte-Carlo, pistol grips, and others, but what do these names actually mean? Here’s a quick overview of some of these terms.
BAR & Maral Reflex: a step ahead of the rest
Visitors to the IWA 2019 were unanimous in their opinion: Browning has made a great impact with the launch of the BAR and Maral Reflex ranges. This ingenious system has provided a new shooting experience for all lovers of battue style hunting, putting you a step ahead of the rest. Let’s explain.
Browning Maxus: repeating excellence
It’s a nice title, isn’t it? I could just as easily have written “Browning Maxus, the best gas-operated semi-auto shotgun on the market”. But that just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
Shotgun or rifle, that is the question…
When I was 4 years old my father took me hunting for the very first time: indeed, it is the first memory I have of my father and I together; I guess the bond between us was made at that time. Then, when I was 7, I pulled the trigger of my father’s 12G for the first time, and the next thing I saw was blue skies, as the recoil knocked me off my feet. That was when I fell in love with shotgun shooting.
5 reasons to buy a Maral
Hunters like to shop as much as the fashion victims you see strutting around city centres. What could be nicer than casually browsing around a gun store you’ve never been to before while your other half is buying a pair of shoes in the shop next door (using her own credit card, phew!)? What greater thrill than shouldering a gun you’ve had your eye on for years? Nothing much, probably, except the actual hunt.
Auto-5, BAR, B25, Hi-Power, 1900: focus on 5 Browning guns that have each sold over 1 million
John Moses Browning, the man who gave his name to our brand, is often called “the father of modern guns”. This man who held 128 patents is also behind four of the five Browning guns that have each sold over one million.
B525 Liberty Light: large or small, all are equal and just as effective
All hunters and shooters have the right to the “best there is”. Yet even if the very best over and under shotguns are called B25, B15, Heritage, B725, B525 or Cynergy, it does sometimes happen that a shooter cannot find a stock that fits his shoulder. The grip may be too wide, the stock may be too long, the fore-end may be ill-adapted, the trigger may be too far away etc. For some shooters who are smaller than average hunters, such as women or younger people, micro stocks are not always enough. The only solution is to take the shotgun to the gunsmith.
Our limited edition guns presented at the IWA Outdoor Classics
The IWA Outdoor Classics is a salon for hunting sector professionals, held at Nuremberg in Germany.
Semi-auto or double barrels Shotguns? Frowned Upon
So what’s wrong with a semi-automatic shotgun for game shooting?
British shooting is often seen as traditional, if not hide-bound, with many taboos imposed not for legal reasons, but because people do not approve.
We tried a simulated shotgunning
Want to keep in practice or just have fun then try simulated game bird shooting
Past, present and future of rimfire ammunition
Today we see rimfire cartridges for small game and target shooting. However, history shows it was the first practical, self-contained ammunition. Based on the old Volcanic rifle’s Rocketball cartridge, which was a caseless design, Horace Smith (Smith & Wesson) conceived a case with a hollow rim (balloon head) that contained the priming compound, fired by an off-set firing pin that crushed the rim. In 1857 he launched it as the 22 Short; and the rest is history!
A weapon for lefties, for skillful shooting
Lefties make up about 10 to 15% of the population. When it comes to guns it is only natural that they have specific needs. Browning wants to address this issue by launching a range that will certainly be expanded.
Hunting waterfowl with the A5
No, waterfowl is not a synonym for a wicked move during water polo, as I thought at first. This expression is used to describe all wild birds, both sedentary and migrant, mainly found in and around water such as ducks, waders, swans, geese, … To make things simpler, small game in an aquatic environment.
The John M. Browning Collection
A legend is reborn. As we head into 2016 with open arms, we can proudly announce Browning’s iconic Custom Shop has evolved into the John M. Browning Collection. This is a new generation, but what can you expect?