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Old August 16, 2011, 09:31 AM   #18
Slamfire
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Join Date: May 27, 2007
Posts: 4,133
When the Russians adopted the Mosin Nagant in 1888 the competition was not that much better. However in 1892 Paul Mauser released the M1892 action which was so advanced that every other military rifle actions became obsolescent. In its various forms, including the M1894/M1895/M1896, the 1892 stuck around until WW2. The Swedes were still making m1896’s during WW2.

The M98 action is the best overall bolt action every built. Given that all actions are compromises between strength, safety, function, cost, the M98 is still the best. Once the M98 went into production I will say that all other bolt actions were obsolete.

The Russian Nagant action is crude, clunky, five round magazine box sticking well below the stock, awful trigger pull, and it is uses a rimmed cartridge. The safety is positive but slow. There are better safeties. To the mechanically challenged, the bolt is easy to take apart but hard to put together. I was surprised that twice a retired Army Major, a Vietnam combat veteran, brought me his Nagant bolt to reassemble. Seemed obvious to me, but not so obvious to him. Some people have to be taught by rote how to do some simple tasks. It is better if the task is simple to start with.

However once a Government commits to a project, changing things costs just that much more. So the Russians stayed with the Mosin Nagant, the British the Lee Enfield, and the French the Berthier.
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