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Cartridge Control

Cartridge Control

Q: Explain what "controlled feed" is on a bolt-action rifle and its advantages.

A: Controlled feed, or controlled-round feed, relates to the way in which a fresh cartridge is handled as it is stripped from the magazine and fed into the chamber. Rifles with controlled feed have a bolt that grasps or "controls" the cartridge before and after the magazine releases it. In this manner, the cartridge always remains under control by the bolt, which typically grips the case rim with the extractor. Rifles without controlled feed do not grip or control the cartridge after the magazine releases it. Instead, the cartridge lays in the action loosely while the bolt pushes it into the chamber. The advantages of controlled feed are improved feeding reliability and the ability of a shooter to quickly extract a partially chambered round.

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