An open and shut case

I read the letter by Bruce McConachie in your February magazine about the Ruger 7.62 Ranch and was compelled to write. I can’t say what experience Bruce has but from his letter I’d say it’s limited with not much exposure to ex-military or handguns.

A lot of the WWI and WWII bolt action rifles were designed such that the magazine follower would sit high and prevent the bolt from closing on an empty chamber, a potentially fatal situation in a life and death battle.
Interestingly, the British Ministry of Defence didn’t factor this in as an essential design element for their SMLE battle rifles, though training did instil an instinctive action of topping off the magazine after five or six rounds were fired.
So Bruce, I and many other devotees of ex-military rifles have heard of rifles where the bolt ‘does not close’ on an empty magazine. Firearms, what a magnificent aspect of engineering.
Rod Amos, via email


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