Long Range Hunting Online Magazine

Go Back   Long Range Hunting Online Magazine > Rifles, Reloading, Optics, Equipment > Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics

Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics Applied Ballistics


Question for you gunsmiths , new bolt or modify old one

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Unread 05-02-2005, 05:57 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Palmer, Alaska
Posts: 2,539
Re: Question for you gunsmiths , new bolt or modify old one


Little bit of a tangent to the original topic, but...

If the outside diameter of the locking lugs remained the same while you increased the body diameter on the bolt to .800 for example, yes you have essentially made one of the dimensions (lug depth) smaller that determines its shear strength. Increasing the lug diameter another .100 would compensate for the change in bolt diameter though.

An .800 diameter bolt could also have a wider (viewed with lugs vertical in lockup) lug though, because of its OD increase, and thus has increased strength over a .700 OD bolt.

A bolt's lug width is limited to 50% (180 degrees) of the bolt's circumferance due to the fact that it needs the exact same width cut through the lug abutment area, 2, 3, 9 lug design, makes no difference, neither has any advantage over the other in this area when this alone is viewed. However, this 50% lug contact area is further reduced by the closing cam ramps cut into the lug abutments or lugs themselves. This is where the two lug design is superior to all others with identical bolt diameter and extraction cam.

The 30 degree angle or whatever it happens to be on the extraction cam, and also the amount of rearward travel upon extraction dictates what the closing cam needs to be in order to follow it in time and decides how much less than the 50% is left available for lug contact surfaces. The number of closing cam ramps affects the amount of contact area left also.

The degree of rotation that the lugs ride the closing cam, and the number of lugs and cams cut dictate the remaining rotation left for lug contact then this determines lug and raceway width.

A two lug design may use up ~50 degrees (25x2) of the 360* surface as the bolt rides down the closing cam ramps.

A three lug design may use up ~75* on the other hand because three cuts are done for ramps not two. The available degrees left over for lug abutments and raceways cutouts would be the remainder of the 50* or 75*, or 310 and 285 degrees respectively. The 310* would be divided 4 ways for a two lug and give 77.5 degrees of lug width at the root, and the three lug is divided 6 ways and that 285* gives 47.5* per lug.

So in the end, the three lug design gives up nearly 10% in lug contact area to the two lug design. In other words, it's not as strong.
Brent Moffitt
Reply With Quote

Unread 05-02-2005, 08:54 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Urich, MO
Posts: 838
Re: Question for you gunsmiths , new bolt or modify old one

Back to your reliabity and accuracy factor- I would not sleeve if this is a duty weapon!!!! I have built 100s of duty weapons and you know as well as I do that the average police sniper shot is around 70 yards- a 1 MOA rifle would be more than enough in that situation. Reliability is a more of a factor than trying to shave a few thou off your group size.
I guarantee 1/2 MOA with my rifles and honestly 99% of them hold 1/4 MOA consistently and I do not sleeve anything. Even my two 1000yd BR rifles which hold in the .1s are not sleeved.

Brent, I agree that the 3 lug design gives up a bit of surface area, but some like the 60 degree bolt throw over the 90 of a two lug.....but either one is better than the Weatherby system of 3 little bitty lugs and 6 safety lugs.LOL!!!
Chris Matthews
Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads for: Question for you gunsmiths , new bolt or modify old one
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
question to gunsmiths and custom gun owners chache Gunsmithing 47 10-01-2011 10:26 AM
Modify what I already have.....or buy new?? JL523 Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics 9 07-15-2009 09:24 AM
Question for gunsmiths shootinfool Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics 3 11-24-2007 09:45 AM
Question for the gunsmiths out there IceSniper General Discussion 1 06-09-2006 09:02 AM
Question for the gunsmiths of the board.....Thanks in advance Agunner012 The Basics, Starting Out 4 03-21-2005 02:08 PM

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:32 PM.

All content ©2010-2015 Long Range Hunting, LLC