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H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619

Old West Bolt Actions

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We all know that the bolt action rifle is a pre-1900 design. Things like the Mauser, the Krag and others all existed at that time.

 

I have seen some very strange looking things, which I can't remember who made, in .45-70, and other Old West rifle cartridges.

 

I know ask a question out of simple ignorance. Did anyone back in the day, chamber a bolt action rifle in things like .44-40, .32-20, or any of the other such cartridges that were common in lever guns of the time period? Remember, these rounds were created as rifle cartridges, so maybe something thought of trying it.

 

I am guessing probably not, but given the huge variety of stuff that DID exist back in the day, I would not put anything out of the realm of possibility.

 

As a left handed shooter, I have nothing much beyond curiosity invested in this question.

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No models of bolt actions were made in pistol calibers in commercial quantities. Just as today. Bolt actions were the modern, high power, long range gun that shot them newfangled jacketed bullets at high velocities.

 

The favored approach for a plinker or light target gun back then was a rolling block or a low wall (or even high wall) action chambered in a pistol caliber, and some even in rim fire cartridges.

 

Once the 7 MM Mauser, 30-30 Winchester and the 30-40 Krag (30 Government) started hitting the market in the '90s, and folks like Savage and Winchester started making levers and bolt actions in those chamberings, the concept that you would use a pistol type cartridge for serious rifle shooting and hunting fell by the wayside pretty quickly.

 

Good luck, GJ

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We all know that the bolt action rifle is a pre-1900 design. Things like the Mauser, the Krag and others all existed at that time.

 

I have seen some very strange looking things, which I can't remember who made, in .45-70, and other Old West rifle cartridges.

 

I know ask a question out of simple ignorance. Did anyone back in the day, chamber a bolt action rifle in things like .44-40, .32-20, or any of the other such cartridges that were common in lever guns of the time period? Remember, these rounds were created as rifle cartridges, so maybe something thought of trying it.

 

I am guessing probably not, but given the huge variety of stuff that DID exist back in the day, I would not put anything out of the realm of possibility.

 

As a left handed shooter, I have nothing much beyond curiosity invested in this question.

 

There were several designs, Winchester-Hotchkiss, Remington-Keene and Remington-Lee are some examples. Most were designed with military use in mind and were therefore mainly chambered for .45-70 and they were not chambered in any caliber that would be legal for use in a SASS main match. As Kenny Howell of R&D Gunsmithing owned a sporting version of the Remington-Keene, many SASS shooters are familiar with it from the movie Crossfire Trail, there was also one in Joe Kidd. While the Army extensively tested the Winchester-Hotchkisss and the Navy adopted a few Remington-Keenes and Lees, during the 1880s, it would not be until the adoption of the Krag that bolt actions, and also repeaters for that matter, would gain acceptance by the US military.

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The opener got me immediately thinking about Rugers run with their 77/44 bolt action 44 magnum (wish I had one). Of course that would not fit the SASS roll at all but it also got me curious about the wonderful answers that were to follow. Thanks guys. Smithy.

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Savage Model 23 C and D in .32WC and .25WCF (.32-20 and .25-20) were out by 1920. They had a 5-shot removable mag and shot very well.

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Savage Model 23 C and D in .32WC and .25WCF (.32-20 and .25-20) were out by 1920. They had a 5-shot removable mag and shot very well.

 

I think the Model 23 might be a little late to be considered an "Old West" bolt action.

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