Friday, June 26, 2009

Well, I think they're cool.

The Firearm Blog is pining for a bolt-action rifle that eats out of STANAG mags, and so is Caleb, although Caleb reckons he'd settle for a CZ 527.

The CZ's are fine little carbines. I remember being a little startled the first time I fired one, since the only platforms from which I'd launched 7.62x39 before had been gas-operated eight-plus-pound autochuckers and so the stubby commie round had been mentally filed away with such chamberings as .22LR, .30 Carbine, and .223 under the category "recoilless". The only thing I didn't like about it was that the box magazine protruded right from the balance point of the carbine.

The Enfield that eats out of AK mags is intriguing; I saw one at a Gander Mountain recently; my shopping companion couldn't figure out what I was spazzing out so hard about. In comments at Caleb's post, CJR Multigun reacts simliarly, asking
I guess I don’t understand the attraction of bolt guns, especally bolt guns in Minor caliber.
Well, unlike at a multigun match, in real life most of us are going to spend a lot more time holding a rifle than shooting it. Outside of some zombie apocalypse scenario, where one may have to engage swarms of shamblers, the most likely targets are going to be shy ungulates that travel in twos and threes or stationary paper circles. These can be taken with a bolt action rifle rather handily, and a six-pound boltie with no protruding crap rests in the hands ever so much easier after several hours than a nine-pound slab with grips and magazines protruding at odd angles. Plus, an anvil might be more reliable than a Mauser '98, but that would depend on the make and model of the anvil.

I think the biggest attraction for the 7.62x39 or .223 or .308 carbines, though, is for people who already know and love EBR-style autoloaders; why not have a bambi gun that shares ammo? For instance, back when an HK-91 was my go-to rifle, I used my Spanish FR-8 to shoot up that nasty CAVIM 7.62x51 that cacked up the chamber flutes on my HK with bituminous coal.

So, yeah, I like my autoloading carbines a lot, but there's a place in my heart (and safe) for a manually-operated repeater, too.

28 comments:

ZerCool said...

A bolt-action .223 is high on my "want" list; I don't have any medium-power bolties. They go from .22LR to .17HMR to .270Win ... a .223 would sit next to my AR beautifully. Either a Savage Classic or a Tikka T3 Hunter would be just about perfect... although I have to admit the Savage Model 12 super-heavy bench/varmint guns are pretty tempting.

I've a box of Barnes 70gr .224 TripleShocks just begging for a nice dose of Bambi...

CJR_multigun said...

What, are you saying that multigun matches aren't real life? Heresy!

Yeah, I do tend to evaluate gear, techniques, and everything else from a competitor's perspective. Add to that the fact that I have very little interest in hunting, and you'll get some opinions somewhat, er, outside the mainstream of conventional shooting wisdom.

That said, I still think the .223 boltgun concept is a bit of a strange one. Major caliber boltguns I understand, a CZ550 is much lighter and handier than an M14. Even heavy .223 bolts make perfect sense for long-range biological pop-up target shooting. But the -527 seems to fufill the exact same role as a lightweight AR, but not as capably. They must fufill some market niche, but I'm not quite sure which one...

Different horses for different courses, I suppose...

-CJR

tomcatshanger said...

I've been drooling over what Special Interest Arms does to Enfields for a while now.

I even picked up a beater Enfield to convert.

I just never got around to it.

And then there's the problem of deciding if I wanna go 7.62x39 or .45 ACP with an integral suppressor.

BryanP said...

You've actually seen one of the AK mag Enfield's? I've never laid eyes on one and if I did I'd be sorely tempted to buy it. *sigh*

Homer said...

Got an Ishapore a while back, one of those chambered from the get-go for 7.62X51, to go with the other 7.62/.308 eaters in the safe. Very interesting, easy to use, great fun and heavy.

Added a Savage 10 in Scout config to go with the M1As; concept is exactly what Tam said - highly portable, accurate, uses same ammo. All it needs is a slightly higher cap magazine, but, as she also pointed out, that would mess up holding it at the balance point.

Ogre has praised the 527 carbine in 7.62X39 for a while, seemed interesting, yadda, yadda, until I had the chance to shoot one in .223. Now it's a must-have when I find one in Commie fodder config. Decent set of peep sights for BUIS, top it with a reasonably compact wide-view 4X or 6X scope, a good sling, and it will be a darn handy tool.

mdmnm said...

I have a 527 American in .223. Although it was a splurge, my justification was (then) cheap and plentiful ammo facilitated centerfire practice with a hunting type rifle. Not to mention it's a lovely little rifle and fun to shoot. If I lived in a state with little whitetail deer and where .223 was legal for big game, I'd probably use it some for that.
The magazine protruding at the balance point is a pain for carrying, but it makes a great palm rest for offhand.

og said...

I have a nice little spanish mauser I've rebarrelled for 7.62x39, and it awaits only final headspacing (short chambered barrel)and bluing to be put into service. With chamber pressure lower than the 257 roberts and recoil similar to the 30-30 carbine, I expect it to be an excellent close-in deer rifle.

I love bolties, especially well made ones. BTW, has anyone noticed they have a few 1911 rifles at AIM surplus?

Tam said...

"BTW, has anyone noticed they have a few 1911 rifles at AIM surplus?"

I hadn't, but...

A) Starving artist, and...

B) I already have a beautimous 96/11. Neener. ;)

Malamute said...

I had a CZ 527 for a while. Very cute gun, and well made, but the protruding magazine at the balance point was a nuisance as a field gun, and for some reason the backwards safety bothered me. Forward is ON, rearward is OFF safe. The Remington or Interarms Mauser actioned versions with the regular style magazine and more standard type safety might be worthwhile. Saw a very nice standard weight Ruger 77 tang safety in 223 recently. I keep thinking tho, a small game/varmint round in a gun the same size and weight as one in a much more substantial round just doesnt make sense, unless you have a lot of ammo on hand, and don't really have need of a more powerful round. There's some good reasons for a more powerful round in this neighborhood.

I quite agree about having a gun thats friendly to carry and have in hand for long periods, the autoloaders just aren't, compared to the comparative sleekness of a good sporter bolt or lever.


Malamute

Tam said...

I've been partial to my stubby Mauser carbines for this very reason. My Venezuelan FN compares favorably with my M4gery in OAL and weight and is chambered in .275 Rigby, to boot. :)

Daniel said...

I've thought about getting a bolt action .223, but my problem is that they're only rated for .223 and not 5.56. I have plenty of 5.56 ammo for my SU-16 (and AR lowers if I ever get around to building them up into complete rifles), but I don't have any desire to buy .223 just for a bolt gun.

If anyone knows of a bolt gun chambered for 5.56, please let me know.

Pawpaw said...

Good idea. I've been jonesing for a bolt rifle that takes standard magazines. The guys who make 1911s figured it out. It can't be that hard to make a rifle that takes a standard magazine.

og said...

"B) I already have a beautimous 96/11. Neener. ;)"

meanie.

T.Stahl said...

I have an AIA No4Mk4, which accepts slightly modified M14 mags (or I could modify the mag catch).
Had it been available when I was looking for my first rifle, it could well have become my only one. No need for the No4MkI, the SL8 and the K31.

T.Stahl said...

I even thought about getting an M1A as a large-caliber semi-auto to have mag compatability between my two main rifles. Would have scoped the No4Mk4 then.

Matt G said...

If the accuracy is good on 'em, this stuff really warms the cockles of my heart, too. I'll take two.

Mad Saint Jack said...

Well there is this thing:

http://www.davidtubb.com/t2k.html

Somerled said...

Many who roll their eyes at a person toting a bolt rifle or carbine are fast at missing with their vaunted weapons systems.

If one works a magazine-fed bolt action right, it doesn't lose much in speed to semis in the same chambering. It is more difficult to hang cool accessories on most bolt-action rifles. That may be an advantage when there's less stuff to fall off or fail.

It is also tough to take cover in a low spot and then employ an AK or AR with 30-round magazines poking out the bottom.

Dr. StrangeGun said...

*ponder*

Could it be that difficult to take a mini-14, remove the gas system and rebarrel with something stiffer, modify the stock, and add a straight-pull bolt handle where the op rod used to be?

And for that matter... I've sen plenty of removable magazine bolt guns, usually a big mag with the hinge attached, etc. Why not a STANAG adapter on one of the actions with a wider double-stacked magazine?

T.Stahl said...

There's a straight-pull version of the HK SL8 made for Australia.

Joe said...

Actually, they do exist--sort of.

http://www.armalon.com/public/products/item/1

Good luck trying to get one into the US, though. But at least since they're modded 700's, you could probably put a .223 barrel on one.

perlhaqr said...

I like that pump action STANAG mag rifle Remington makes. If they did one that took FAL mags I'd be all over it. :D

Ed Foster said...

What Somerled said.

Also, a zillion years ago when I wore a green suit and said sorry things about squids, the Marine Corp was trying to get Uncle to break out the bucks for an economical bolt gun in .30 carbine, with, I believe, an M-1 carbine magazine.

With a properly bedded bolt gun and the right rifling twist, it could be a world beater. Actually, if the military had done what Williams had wanted, and chambered the M-1 carbine in .351 Winchester, I'd be first in line for one.

og said...

Ed, there's a wichester auto in 351 Win at the cabelas by my house. I keep lusting after it but it refuses to follow me home.

Ed Foster said...

Og old man, just where is your house? Actually, if I was going to spring for the Winchester auto, it would probably be in .401. Think of it, something very akin to a 45-70, in an M-1 carbine sized package.

Actually, last time I was down on the shore, a place in Saybrooke had a somewhat mangled .351 for about $300, and I thought about it.

Still, the Winchester cartridges cry out for a six pound weapon with a locked breech. That humoungous sash weight in the forend doesn't do much for handling.

og said...

Ed, the Cabelas I refer to is the one in Hammond. They have an 07 winnie, action fairly smooth and tight, I think it even had two mags, in 351 self loading.

Anonymous said...

My grandfather carried a Winchester in .401 when he worked for the coal company before WWII.

I always admired Clifton rifles as he did the M14 mag conversions for his Scout rifles. Maybe if I am not taxed to death I can get Brockman to make me one just like it (sans the cool stocks that he made down there).

Shootin' Buddy

Blackwing1 said...

My wife's 527 will shoot 1" (really, 1") groups with cheapo Wolf steel-case ammo in 7.62x39 all day long. We put a humongous Leupold 3-9x50mm scope on it, simply because it deserved good optics. The combination may look silly, but it's an incredible whitetail rifle.

Last time we sighted-in she shot her first three rounds into a clover-leaf, then looked at me and asked me if I wanted to give it a try ("blink-blink"). Not being a complete idiot (and not nearly as good a rifle shot) I declined to spoil her target.

And it shares ammo with all of our EBR's.

On the other hand, I just got rid of one in .223 because it wouldn't hold a 12" group at 100 yards with any kind of ammo. Luck of the draw, maybe.