When a weapon’s bolt is operated manually by the opening and closing of the breech with a little handle, it is called bolt action. As the handle is maneuvered, the bolt unlocks, the barrel is opened, the used cartridge case is taken out, the firing pin is then cocked and a new cartridge is inserted and the bolt is then closed. The only moving parts of these firearms when firing, are the spring and the pin, which makes it have a decreased chance of malfunctioning or being thrown off target. Bolt action is mainly seen in rifle form but there are some shotguns and handguns with bolt action.
Editor’s Note: The Sheridan Blue Streak CB9 is no longer able to be purchased easily. Some parts and accessories are available on ebay, but this rifle closely (though not completely) resembles the Benjamin 392. Historical links have been left in this article but marked as dead where appropriate. Links to actual product listings on Amazon have changed to the 392. A more detailed review of the 392 can be found on our The Basics of Pellet Gun Hunting article.
The Sheridan Blue Streak CB9 (dead link) is another bolt action rifle, it is a . 20 caliber lightweight rifle, coming in at 6 pounds. The rifle is finished in black with a brass barrel and has a 675 fps velocity, the velocity can be varied by up to 8 pumps. The barrel length is 19.25 inches and the overall length is 36.5 inches. The front sights are blade and ramp and the rear sights are adjustable for elevation and windage. The trigger is two stage non adjustable but the rifle is not equipped for a scope. This bolt action rifle is also very accurate. Both rifles have a single shot capacity.
There are three major bolt action designs such as the Mauser system, the Mosin-Nagant system, and the Lee-Enfield system, with the more common design being the Mauser. These designs differ in the way the bolt fits into the receiver, how the bolt itself rotates as it’s being used, the number of locking lugs holding the bolt in place as the weapon is being fired, and whether the action is cocked on the opening or closing of the bolt. The Mauser is able to handle higher pressure cartridges, while the other two require some strengthening to do the same.
Bolt Action rifles were at one time the standard infantry firearm for most of the world’s militaries but has since been replaced by selective firearms and semi automatic firearms. However, these firearms are still used by snipers, hunters, and target shooting because they are easier to operate from a prone position.
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