DB’s Words of Wisdom: Controlled Feed or Push Feed, What is your rifle?

by david on May 21, 2012

Do any of you know the difference between a controlled round feed rifle and a push feed rifle?  The difference is fairly simple and, in most circumstances, unimportant. So, why mention it if it is unimportant? The answer is because when hunting dangerous game (DG), a controlled round feed could save your life.  In a nutshell, a controlled round feed holds onto (i.e controls) the shell as it picks it up from the magazine and chambers the round.  A push feed does exactly what it sounds like; it pushes the round from the magazine into the chamber without ever taking hold of it.  What difference does this make, you ask.  Let me explain with an example.  Let’s just suppose you are facing something big and mean that either wants you for an appetizer or simply wants to mush you into silly putty.  Your adrenaline gland is working on overtime.  You are also, more than likely, trying to put some distance between you and Mr. Mean Big and Ugly, and doing so without taking your eyes off the source of your discomfort.  While all of this is going on, heaven only knows what position your rifle is in and whether the cartridge is being forced into the chamber, causing the action to jamb, or if it is being dumped out on the ground.  Imagine your thoughts after deciding to shoot at something bearing down on you and hearing nothing but a “click” when you pull the trigger.  All of the above are possibilities with a push feed rifle.  I am not saying this is a certainty or that a push feed rifle is a bad design, when, in fact, I own several push feed rifles and enjoy hunting with them.  What I am saying is if you are hunting DG, why take the chance?  This is especially true in Africa where the unexpected happens more often than not and Mr. Murphy’s Law is enforced at every opportunity.

See you in the veld

David Brown


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