Ted Karagias of American Rifle Company (ARC) wowed us last year, with his fresh and innovative complete rifle system and an action, earning the title of Most Innovative Product of SHOT Show 2014. Now his Mausingfield Action has officially made it into production, and is available to the public. It received a lot of attention at SHOT Show 2015.
A few weeks ago, Ted sent me action serial #00001 to test, and I used it to fire hundreds of rounds of Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor Match Ammo. Here is a quick video that highlights some of the features of ARC’s Mausingfield Action, and gives my overall takeaway.
There are many approaches to design, but I believe this quote encapsulates the most well-rounded philosophy:
“The methodology used should be based on choice of the latest and best, and not based on ignorance. It should also be laced liberally with the old and dependable.” – Harlan Mills, IBM Super-Programmer
This feels like Ted’s approach with the Mausingfield Action. He incorporated a liberal dose of time-tested and battle-proven designs that are over 100 years old, like a Mauser 98 extractor and ’03 Springfield ejector. He then integrated more recent design concepts like an integral recoil lug, and compatibility with Savage-style barrels for those do-it-yourselfers. Finally, he added a few completely novel and innovative features like no-lap locking lugs, and a keyed picatinny rail interface.
1) Mauser 98 Extractor
Extractor: Primary job is to remove a case from the chamber.
Paul Mauser was a brilliant and iconic innovator, who lived in Germany in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. He patented lots of things, including most of the extractors in use today. But his 1898 extractor design was the most robust and reliable, and considered the pinnacle of his designs. This was the only extractor he saw fit for use in his legendary Mauser Model 98 rifle, because it could function in the toughest field conditions.
The Mauser 98 extractor offers a few benefits worth noting:
- It’s massive. This extractor engages more of the case than any other design on the market. This can reduce the chance of a case head failure during a difficult extraction.
- Doesn’t rotate with the bolt. The extractor doesn’t rotate with the bolt. It maintains the same point of contact on the case from the time it strips the round from the magazine until its ejected. This can reduce the chance that the extractor will accidentally disengage the case as you open the bolt.
- Controlled round feeding. Many believe a controlled-round-feed (CRF) is more reliable than the common Remington-style push-feed (PF). CRF means the bolt gains control of a cartridge as it is stripped from the magazine, compared to PF which bumps the cartridge loose from the magazine and pushes it into the chamber. CRF is the standard among dangerous game hunters, because you don’t want a malfunction when an animal is charging you. CRF also reduces the likelihood of accidental double-feeds.
- Robust design. This extractor design is passive, and doesn’t require small springs, pins, and plungers. Other extractors rely on small parts to pivot or slide into engagement, and those parts and grooves must be kept clean to function reliably. The Mauser extractor design is far less sensitive to contaminants. Ted says this mechanical design is able to survive case head separation and over pressure events that would likely destroy the delicate extraction systems used in other actions.
2) ’03 Springfield Ejector
Ejector: Primary job is to throw an extracted case from the action.
Many bolt actions use a plunger in the bolt face as their ejection system. This is a simple design, where the spring powered plunger forces the case to flip out of the port once it’s removed from the chamber.
You can see the Mausingfield doesn’t have a plunger-style ejector, but instead uses a fixed ejector similar to the Model 1903 Springfield. It simply consists of a compact hardened steel blade that freely pivots on a high strength steel pin. As the bolt is moved reward, the ejector pivots into place through a slot in the bolt face and hits the case, causing the case to be thrown from the action.
There are a few benefits to this ejector design:
- Better location. This ejector is located at the rear of the action, well away from the intense chamber explosion. On the other hand, spring-plunger ejectors are located within the chamber-facing end of the bolt, which can be a poor location for such a delicate assembly. Blasts can could drive the ejector backwards with enough force to deform or shear the tiny retaining pin, leaving it permanently retracted within the bolt face. Brass flakes or other contaminants can also obstruct the plunger, because it’s driven by relatively a small spring. If you’re able to move delicate parts away from “ground zero,” maybe you should.
- Control how far it throws your brass. The Springfield ejector allows the shooter to control the amount of force that ejects a case. You can protect the necks of spent cases by slowly retracting the bolt, so they fall right next to the rifle. If the shooter is not concerned with collecting brass, the spent cases can be ejected well clear of the rifle by running the bolt as normal. On actions with plunger style ejectors, you don’t have these options … the cases are always flung with the same amount of force. Plunger ejectors can also deform case necks, because the plunger is trying to throw the case as soon as it leaves the chamber causing the case neck to strike the inside of the receiver.
3) Toroidal No-Lap Locking Lugs
When accurizing a bolt action rifle, it’s necessary to carefully lap the locking lugs so they bear evenly on the lug bearing surfaces. But, the Mausingfield features innovative toroidal (donut shaped) bolt lugs that don’t require lapping.
As a mechanical engineer, this seemed like an obvious design to Ted, but it probably isn’t so obvious to the rest of us. Picture a torus (donut shape) inside a spherical bowl. If you put pressure straight down on the torus, it will find its way to the very center of the bowl (its lowest energy state). The bolt works the same way, with the locking lugs as the torus and the inside of the receiver as the sphere. Every time you close the bolt, it finds its lowest energy state, which is centered and properly seated.
4) Keyed Rail Interface – The Best of Both Worlds
I own actions with integrated picatinny rails and actions with detachable rails, and there are pros and cons to both designs. Before we dive into those, let me first make sure everyone understands why the amount of taper (also referred to as cant) built into a rail is important.
“Here’s the problem: if you mount a scope on a flat rail, it will zero near the center of its range of adjustment, and you’ll only have about 1/2 of the scopes available travel to go up. So if your scope has 60 MOA of available travel and you zero it in the center, then you’re limited to 30 MOA of vertical travel. If you need 31 MOA, you’re screwed. The most common fix to this problem is to make use of an angled or tapered scope rail. A tapered scope rail is taller in the back than in the front, so that when you mount your scope, the muzzle is slightly elevated in relation to the line of sight. This causes the scope to zero closer to the bottom of its range of elevation, which means you have more capacity to go up, meaning you can adjust for more drop at longer ranges.” – Bryan Litz, Modern Adv. in Long-Range Shooting Vol. 1
Here is a diagram I created to help illustrate what we’re talking about here:
Optics engineers have told me a scope’s best optical clarity is found in the center of the tube, because the image can be skewed and distorted at the extreme ends of the adjustment range. So ideally you want to be near the center at the range you plan to shoot most frequently.
Pairing your rifle’s rail and scope has real benefits, so it’s wise to spend a minute thinking about what the ideal amount of rail taper is for your rifle and application. Here are some examples of different amounts of cant you might want for different rifles/applications:
- 0 MOA (i.e. flat): 100 yard benchrest rifle or rifle chambered with smaller cartridge like the 223 Rem
- 20 MOA: A mid-sized cartridge like the 6.5 Creedmoor or 308 Win that you plant to shoot out to 600-1200 yards
- 30 MOA: A magnum rifle you plan to shoot out to 1 mile
- 50 MOA: A large magnum like the 338 Lapua or 416 Barrett you plan to shoot to 2000+ yards
My Stiller Predator action included a detachable rail with 20 MOA of taper, and I swapped that with a 30 MOA rail to give me a little more adjustment for longer shots. I could’ve kept the 20 MOA rail and bought a scope mount with an additional 10 MOA of cant, but it seems like a cleaner solution to stick with flat scope mounts (i.e. 0 MOA). That means the mount is neutral, and you can move it to different rifles when needed … because most people (including me) can’t afford a really high-end scope for every rifle. Fundamentally, it seems like a better solution for each rifle to have the appropriate amount of taper built in for that cartridge and application, without having to be further supplemented by the mount.
But there is a huge downside of the detachable rail … it can slip. I had that problem with my Stiller Predator, and it was more than frustrating. It’s extremely hard to diagnose erratic flyers from a slipping rail. But, sure enough I’d finally get irritated enough to remove the mount and discover the rail screws had come lose or later that the steel screws had eaten into the softer aluminum rail. That experience helped me develop a hatred for detachable scope rails. It’s just very difficult to keep a smooth rail from slipping on a smooth action while under recoil.
Actions with integrated rails don’t move … period. That is exactly why I bought a Surgeon action for my last rifle. I didn’t want to ever worry about that rail slipping on me again. An integrated rail has other benefits, like making the action stiffer. But honestly, I just didn’t want it to move. The downside of the Surgeon integrated rail is it’s only offered with 20 MOA of cant. Hope you like it! While 20 MOA is probably the best general-purpose amount to go with, it isn’t ideal for all scenarios. Even if you could order a different amount of taper, what if you used that action to build a different rifle later and that taper was no longer ideal. When the rail is built into the action, it just isn’t as flexible.
What if you could have the best of both worlds? What if you had the ability to swap out the rail to fine-tune the amount of cant for your rifle and application, AND there was no way the rail was going to slip around? Yep, that’s what Ted did. ARC’s proprietary keyed rail interface provides the security of an integral rail with the ability to change the amount of taper at any time.
The keyed rail design is actually pretty simple. The rail has a recessed slot that fits precisely over a raised area on the action. When you slide the rail forward, it bumps into the raised section and there is no way it can move forward. That means it’s virtually impossible for the rail to shift under heavy recoil, because it isn’t allowed to move in the direction the recoil is trying to force it.
The Mausingfield action also has 5 beefy screws spread across the rail. The photo below shows a comparison of those to the rail that came with my Stiller Predator action. (Notice the loctite residue on the Stiller screw. I was trying everything I could to keep that rail from sliding around.)
The one drawback of this design is it’s proprietary, so you can’t just use any rail designed for a Remington 700 clone. You have to buy the rails from ARC, but they offer rails with 0, 20, 30, and 40 MOA of cant and can also custom make any other taper you might need.
5) Quick DIY Barrel Swap Option
The Mausingfield is compatible with Savage small shank barrels. That means you can buy a barrel threaded for Savage action, screw it in with a “GO” gauge in the chamber, tighten down a barrel nut … and you’re done. You can literally change a barrel in minutes. Here is a quick video showing the whole process.
The benefit of this design is you can order barrels that are ready to install (already threaded, chambered, and crowned) for just a few dollars more than a barrel blank, and install them without any gunsmithing. Here is just one place that sells these kinds of barrels, and you can buy a Shilen “Select Match” barrel ready to install for $340! That is a benchrest grade barrel, and there is a generous list of cartridges, barrel lengths, and twist rates to pick from. The price for a Shilen “Select Match” barrel blank (not threaded, chambered, or crowned) is $330 on MidwayUSA.com. So for an extra $10, you get the barrel and can bypass what is typically a $300-400 gunsmithing operation.
If you don’t like the Savage barrel nut system, you can still use conventional barrels. In fact, the Mausingfield doesn’t come with a Savage barrel lock nut, but is simply designed to use the same thread as the Savage small shank barrels. It just gives you the option to buy an $18 barrel nut and use Savage-style barrels if you choose.
6) Integral Recoil Lug
Most high-end tactical actions on the market have an integral recoil lug. That just means the lug that keeps the action from sliding back within the stock during recoil is machined as part of the action, instead of being a separate piece. Many shooters believe this results in a more accurate rifle.
7) Remington 700 Compatibility
The Mausingfield is compatible with many Remington 700 components, like triggers, stocks, chassis, and bottom metal. If something is designed to work with a Remington 700 action, there is a good chance it will work just as great with a Mausingfield action. The only exception I’m aware of is Rem 700 scope rails, because the Mausingfield uses a proprietary keyed picatinny rail. It also uses a Savage barrel thread, which is different than the Remington 700 barrel thread.
The Mausingfield is designed to work with Accuracy International’s legendary AICS magazines, which many believe are the best magazines money can buy. I also tested it with Alpha magazines, which are an alternative to AICS magazines that are slightly more compact and lightweight, and they accommodate a slightly longer overall cartridge length.
Results from the Field
Ted sent me a rifle built on his new Mausingfield action, and I took it the field and fire hundreds of rounds of Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor Match Ammo. I fired a lot of rounds at 100 yards, and a lot of rounds at 400-1400 yards. I brought along a few friends and a Surgeon 6.5 Creedmoor rifle that also featured a 22” MTU barrel and a TBAC 30P-1 Suppressor. So we had a good side-by-side comparison.
Both the Mausingfield and the Surgeon were exceptional shooters at 100 yards. 3 different riflemen fired a few 10 shot groups with the Mausingfield, which all measured well below 1 MOA (0.52”, 0.53”, 0.66”, 0.74”). Remember, those are 10 shot groups … so that is exceptional. 3 shot groups were much smaller … but I don’t believe 3 shot groups are a valid representation of a rifle’s precision. If you think you have a 1/4 minute gun, go try to shoot that with a 10 shot string and you’ll see what I’m saying. For more on that topic, I’d encourage you to read this article named “Statistics, Shooting, & the Myth of the 3 Shot Group.”
Here is a look at one of the 10-shot groups I shot with the rifle, which measured 0.52”. It would’ve measured closer to 0.30″ if it wasn’t for the one bullet at the 7 o’clock position (but that wasn’t a called flyer). I don’t claim to have the skill of a benchrest shooter, so I’m sure some could do better with the same rifle. This was also with factory ammo (although it was marked match-grade), so handloads may also be able to further tighten that group as well. While much of a rifle’s precision comes from the specific barrel, ammo, and gunsmith work, it seems clear the Mausingfield action is a very capable foundation for a precision rifle build.
2 Issues Experienced … and Addressed
I don’t want to overstate the couple of minor issues I encountered. The action and rifle was outstanding, except for a couple issues that I noticed and wanted to mention.
Before I test any product, I always explain something to the manufacturer. First, I understand it’s impossible (or at least unreasonable) to build a perfect product. So I don’t want to blast someone if by chance the one unit they sent me had issues, because it may not be representative of their typical product. At the same time, I’m committed to 100% transparency with my readers … that’s one of the big reasons I started this website. I got tired of reading reviews that seemed like nothing more than a paid advertisement. I decided the most fair and honest approach is if an issue is discovered, give the manufacturer a chance to fix it, but also tell the readers exactly what happened, along with how the manufacturer responded and how it finally ended up. So that’s what I did here.
First, I had some issues with ejection. The action wouldn’t always throw a spent case clear of the action. It would occasionally hit the inside of the receiver and kick back into the chamber, and I’d have to manually clear the round. I called Ted about this, and he said that was something they’d already addressed. I had the Mausingfield action with serial number 0001, and they’d already widened the aft section of the ejection port to address this exact issue on subsequent actions. Ted said he wished he would have sent me one of the later models, but they didn’t have one available at the time. Ted filmed a video (below) of him using one of the later models of the Mausingfield action to show this had been addressed, and I was also able to handle one at SHOT Show and it functioned flawlessly.
Second, I had some issues loading rounds from one of my 10 round AI mags. I didn’t have any issues when using the Alpha mags (and I’ve ordered some of those mags personally, because they’re amazing). Once again, I contacted Ted about this and he said this was likely due to the extractor being slightly too tight for that particular batch of brass. He said they’re still working on tuning the extractor, and he prefers to have that part too tight and need to loosen it slightly, rather than for it to be too loose. Ted also demoed an adjusted action functioning perfectly with AI mags in the video below.
Overall, this is a solid product with a few fresh, forward-thinking innovations … and a generous dose of time-tested and field-proven features as well. It strikes a great balance between the best of the old, and something completely new.
The action is now for sale, and is priced at $1,600. For more info visit http://www.americanrifle.com/M5-Mausingfield-Bolt-Action.html.
Reblogged this on The Lynler Report.
Great post and thanks for the introduction to ARC. Looks like we have a “new leader in the clubhouse” for the next DIY custom build PR… 🙂 Ouch on the price, that took a little extra researching to find, didn’t see it in the post. Do you know if that would include a color choice, or do you think they all come in that “near chrome” appearance?
Amazing innovation on those ‘Toroidal Bolt Lugs’… so innovative, spell check doesn’t yet acknowledge it! LOL
Good point. Sorry, I didn’t include the price or a link. Got lost in the details I guess! I added it to the bottom of the article.
And I’m not sure on the paint. I bet it comes as shown, but I’m not sure. You might contact Ted and ask. You can contact him here.
Mausingfields are available in any color you want so long as it’s polished steel. I sell only the action so you’re on the hook for a finish. Many have been painted with Cerakote which seems to work quite well. The best finish I have found thus far is DLC (diamond like carbon) available from Ionbond in Greensboro NC. It’s black and it makes the action smooth smooth smooth.
Under no circumstances should the action be exposed to temperatures above 400 degrees fahrenheit. Doing so will void the warranty and that will be that. So no nitriding of any kind. No Nitrotec, Tufftride, Tenifer, QPQ, or Melonite nor any other flavor of nitriding. Here’s why:
Safety and Testing
Read this section! You might actually find it interesting and entertaining.
American Rifle Company catastrophically tests firearms built on Mausingfield actions to ensure that the resulting failures will not seriously injure or kill either the user of the firearm or bystanders. It is not safe to use any firearm in any manner other than that prescribed and intended by the manufacturer. The tests described below were performed under controlled conditions by experienced professionals. Do not attempt to replicate these tests yourself.
We conducted tests to observe and document the manner in which gas and particles would escape from a Mausingfield action in the event of a complete case head separation. A Mausingfield action was fitted with a barrel having a special chamber that did not support the portion of the cartridge case that extends 0.22 inches (5.6mm) forward of the extraction groove. To further ensure that the case head would separate from the body, we cut a groove around the case wall of the 300 WSM cartridges used for testing. Detailed video footage of the test was captured using a high-speed camera.
During the first case head separation test, the forward scope rail mounting hole of the receiver was left unobstructed. Upon firing, the case head separated from the case body, releasing gas and particles into the action. A jet of gas and flame escaped from the forward scope mounting hole, and a blast emanated from both the ejection port on the right side of the action and from the bolt-stop port on the left side. After the test, we inspected the action and found that the bolt and receiver assembly were undamaged and fully functional in spite of being contaminated with unburnt powder.
During the second case head separation test, a screw was used to plug the forward scope rail mounting hole of the receiver. During this second test, the camera was repositioned and captured blasts that emanated from the bolt-stop port on the left side of the action, and from between the bolt shroud flange and the aft bridge of the receiver. After the test, we inspected the action and discovered that the bolt and receiver assembly remained functional, but that the forward end of the extractor had been bent during the test.
The fact that the extractor remained undamaged after the first test, but was found to be bent after the second, might suggest that the pressure within the receiver was higher during the second test. This is consistent with the gas being unable to vent through the forward scope rail mounting hole during the second test; however, the deformed case heads recovered after each test were not identical. This means that during the second test, the case head might have impinged upon the extractor in a way that bent it. Because of this uncertainty, it is not possible to draw a definitive conclusion regarding the actual pressures within the forward end of the receiver. Nevertheless, because a jet of gas and flame escaped from the forward scope rail mounting hole of the receiver, it makes sense to vent the receiver, as doing so helps to reduce the mass flow directed towards the shooter. For these reasons, we redesigned the Mausingfield receiver to include vent holes thereafter.
Another test was conducted to observe and document the effects of firing a factory 300 WSM cartridge in a Mausingfield rifle fitted with a properly chambered barrel with the bore obstructed by a metal cleaning rod. Both the receiver and the bolt head of the Mausingfield action used for the test were made from 4340 steel having a measured hardness of approximately 53 Rockwell C. Once again, detailed video footage of the test was captured using the high-speed camera.
When the rifle was fired, blasts emanated from both the ejection port on the right side of the receiver and from the bolt-stop port on the left side. The explosion emanating from the ejection port tore the extractor from its retaining collar and severely deformed it. The extractor was found dangling from the action, captured by its forward end, which remained trapped between the bolt head and the receiver.
The bolt stop and the ejector remained perfectly intact and functional in spite of the explosion of gas through the port in which they are located.
The bullet and cleaning rod were forced approximately eight inches down the bore before coming to a stop. The pressure caused the barrel to swell but not rupture.
Tools were required to open and retract the bolt. Upon doing so, we found fragments of brass within the action. Next, we removed the barrel by unscrewing it from the receiver and found within its chamber the remnant of the 300 WSM case with approximately half of the head missing.
The locking lugs of the bolt head remained largely intact, as did the surface within the receiver that they bear against. The ejector-side slotted lug sustained more damage than did the solid lug. This is not surprising, considering that it is the weaker of the two lugs and bears against the stiffer portion of the receiver. Overall, the lugs performed extremely well, effectively preventing the rearward ejection of the bolt into the shooter’s face.
The fact that the action stayed completely together is extremely important. The bolt was not ejected from the rifle. Although the action was destroyed during the test, it is unlikely that a shooter would have sustained any injury at all, especially if wearing eye protection.
The design of the Mausingfield action, and in particular, its flanged bolt shroud similar to that used in the Mauser 98, prevented much of the escaping gas and particles from reaching the shooter’s face. To simulate a human shooter, we secured a Styrofoam head to the buttstock of the test rifle in a lifelike shooting position. The same head was used for both the case head separation tests and the barrel obstruction test. The head was not cleaned between tests. In the photo below, the byproduct of combustion that accumulated during the three tests is clearly visible on the right cheek of the head. A shooter wearing eye protection and holding the rifle during the tests would not have sustained serious injury. However, the test results emphasize the importance of always wearing eye protection when shooting, because even a single tiny particle striking the eye at high velocity is enough to cause serious injury.
An action needs to have a margin of safety to resist the dangerously high loads resulting from misuse. The margin of safety stems from both proper design and proper heat-treatment of the steel from which the action is made. Therefore, the Mausingfield action must never be subjected to temperatures above 400°F (204°C) for any reason, because doing so will significantly weaken it and compromise its safety margin. The Mausingfield must not be subjected to high-temperature surface treatments such as ferritic nitrocarburizing or salt-bath nitriding, because such treatments are conducted at temperatures ranging from 900-1200° F (480-650° C). These treatments are marketed under several trade names, including Nitrotec®, Tufftride®, Tenifer®, QPQ®, and Melonite®. While these finishes might be suitable for some firearms, they are not suitable for the Mausingfield and may not be suitable for other bolt actions either. Remember, safety margins are established so that you will not be seriously injured or killed in the event that you do something really stupid or careless. Under no circumstances should you subject any American Rifle Company firearm to an environment that will reduce its safety margins.
Reblogged this on Amputee Shooter and commented:
As always – Precision Rifle Blog provides a great review on a new product. It will be interesting to see if this is a new trend in rifle actions or if this is a one-off as far as design goes. The R700 pattern has been solid for ages, so seeing innovation come along is always a good thing. Pushing the boundaries of the technology is a great way to keep things moving forward.
What are we looking at for price on the action and rail?
It’s priced at $1600. Sorry I didn’t include that in the post. I went back and added it in at the end of it. Here is a link to the website where you can buy it: http://www.americanrifle.com/M5-Mausingfield-Bolt-Action.html
$1600 for the action. The price includes a rail. You specify the rail angle. 20, 30, and 45 MOA rails are available.
You can also choose from 0.473″, 0.536″ and 0.589″ bolt faces.
My website sucks so if you’d like to order an action, please send an email to email@example.com. Make sure to leave your phone number. I will call you shortly thereafter.
Maybe someday I’ll have a better website but I’m sure that I have the best bolt action. I think that is more important to you guys.
1) I take it that very exacting headspacing is achieved similar to the Savage method since it takes “Savage type barrels” you say in the body of the blog.
2) Do the toroidal lugs then self align like Savage’s floating bolt face to square themselves with the cartridge head?
3) I see some parallels between the toroidal lugs and the Blaser collet bolt head … am I off base?
Great questions, CR. Let me try to address them.
1) It supports standard barreling and Savage style barreling with a barrel nut. Notice the rifle pictured in my post doesn’t have a barrel nut on it. It’s just headspaced like a normal barrel. But the way I understand it, you also have the option to use a Savage small shank barrel and a barrel nut, and headspace it with a go/no go gauge like you would on a Savage. Sorry if the wording was confusing in the post.
2) I didn’t want to misspeak, so here is Ted’s response to the question about the lugs being similar to the Savage floating bolt head: “The face of the Mausingfield bolt head is not squared to the bore axis. The distance between the bolt face and the aft end of the bolt that tightly engages the receiver is about 4.85 inches in a short action. The nominal radial clearance between the aft end of the bolt and the receiver bore is 0.00015 inches. Therefore, as the aft end of the bolt is lifted to the top of the receiver bore the resulting departure from squareness as measured across a 0.473″ bolt face is only 0.00015″. There will be significantly more runout between the case body and the case head so 0.00015″ is insignificant.”
3) Here’s Ted’s response to the question about similarities with the Blaser collect bolt head: “The operating principle of the Blaser is completely different than that of the mausingfield. The Blaser uses and expanding collet between a barrel extension and a floating bolt head. As far as I know, the Blaser head assembly has no self-seating tendency when misaligned with respect to the barrel extension.”
All great questions. I actually had some of the same thoughts, so thanks for asking them.
I don’t want to sound kiss-axx but you really ferreted out a gold nugget at Shot with ARC. As a man that has gravitated to new rifle technology in the form of Blaser’s R93/R8…you really captured the interest of us gear hounds BUTT with a product that is as much a refinement as innovation.
One of the main advantages to the Blaser straight pull is that it does NOT disturb the sight picture and your ability to double tap game as much as conventional lug bolt guns. After viewing all of your and Ted’s videos, I see he has addressed this impediment to precision in his design. This is getting too long but, I must commend your organizational and educational skills in the way you orchestrated this topic. I learned a lot.
For those that take pride in “the one shot kill”, and look down on double tapping i.e. a quick follow-up capability…remember this..”the taxidermist’s stitches are cheap compared to the surgeon’s”.
Any idea what the barrel tenon looks like? Any drawings you can post?
Hey, Bill. Great question. I wasn’t sure, so I passed your question on to Ted at American Rifle Company (designer of the Mausingfield). Here is what he said:
Hope this helps,
Thanks. It is an interesting design. Good shooting with those 10 shot groups.
Thanks! Believe it or not, that test rifle had a 4-5 pound Remington factory trigger on it!!! I actually guessed it was 6-7 pounds when I first felt it, but measured it later. I hadn’t fired a trigger over 2 lbs in a while, so it was a challenge to stay on target. I actually considered replacing the trigger for my weekend at the range, because it was so frustrating. Makes me thankful for my Jewell and Timney triggers! A good trigger certainly helps.
Reblogged this on Rifleshooter.com and commented:
Great post by Cal over at Precision Rifle Blog on the American Rifle Company’s Mausingfield action.
Awesome article, do you have any info on the caliber change process or what that looks like?? DTA SRS-A1 uses 4 bolts and a locking screw and AI uses a threaded barrel with a locking screw. What does the M2 utilize? Also, if I were thinking ahead for other calibers does that mean any and all calibers would have to come from ARC? Or would another gunsmith be able to spin up a custom barrel for me? Lastly, how does ARC address the short action, long action and lapua magnum action magazine requirements? Is there a spacer in the mags for short action or a sleeve fitted to the bottom metal of the receiver for the short action calibers? I’m guessing you will need a new bolt or bolt face too for different calibers??
The M2 does not use the Mausingfield action nor is the M2 available for purchase at this time.
I’d rather not go into the details of the M2 since this post pertains to the Mausingfield. The M2 is still a research and development product at this time. I disclosed it prematurely. I won’t make that mistake again.
Thanks for the reply and sorry for my confusion I must not have paid particularly close attention to what action your M2 used. Thanks for your feedback and for setting me straight.
Here are the bullet points for the Mausingfield.
Proudly engineered and manufactured in the USA
Interchangeable bolt heads support multi-caliber rifles
Toroidal bolt lugs do not require lapping
Battle-proven Mauser 98 claw extractor
Battle-proven M1903 Springfield inertial ejector
Secure and interchangeable interlocking rail interface
Ergonomically designed bolt knob
Compatible with Alpha and Accuracy International CS magazines
Compatible with Savage barrels and locknuts
Compatible with Rem 700 triggers, trigger guards, chassis, and stocks
Integral recoil lug
Aerospace grade materials used throughout
Does the bolt wobble-around in the action when open, as the Mauser bolts do? They do because the bolts are smaller in diameter than the lugs, as compared to, for example, the Weatherby Mark V bolt, in which the lugs and bolt body are the same diameter.
Gregory, I didn’t notice any wobbling when I was using the action. So I guess it must have a different design than the bolts you’ve experienced … or simply tighter tolerances. You can see me running the bolt in the video, and it feels like a typical custom action.
I must comment that I just saw the M10 rings & mounts over on Thomas Haugland’s YouTube LR blog …it took a couple seconds to register in my mind that Ted designed them as well. Have you evaluated these somewhere else under a different topic ?
Yes, sir. That is the other product Ted’s offering at this point. I did get to use them on the Tactical Scope Field Test for the Valdada scope with the 40mm tube. I used Spuhr mounts on all the scopes, but they didn’t make a mount for that proprietary 40mm tube. I did really like the design. Like this Mausingfield action, those rings were refreshingly different than the other clones on the market. There just isn’t much different between a Badger and a Nightforce rings, and a lot of other designs out there.
The M10 opens/clamps differently than other designs I’ve seen. Instead of compressing the tube between 2 sides, the top half splits open on hinges. It’s a 3 piece mount and not a 2 piece mount. It’s hard to describe in words, so here is a picture I took during the field test last year.
In what seems like a sea of similar products, I certainly appreciate the unique design.
Mauser bolts wobble when open because of ample clearance between the bolt body and the receiver bore. That’s a good thing because it makes the action more tolerance to dirt than it would otherwise be if there was minimal clearance between the bolt and the receiver. The Mausingfield also has ample clearance between the bolt and the receiver for the same reason. The follow excerpt from American Rifle’s website explains this.
“Excessive movement of the bolt within the receiver is prevented by an enlarged diameter at the aft end of the bolt that closely fits the receiver bore only when the bolt is closed. Opening the bolt disengages this close fit. The bolt can then be cycled while having 0.012 inches (0.30mm) of diametral clearance between it and the receiver. The ample clearance makes the Mausingfield extremely tolerant of dirt and other contaminants that will likely be encountered in adverse field conditions. Additionally, it allows for the use of paint finishes such as Cerakote™.”
1. I noted at the end of the “Keyed Rail Demo” that Ted made a point of how tightly the rail engages the receiver. I wonder then why the need for five #8-36 screws. Seems he would have used possibly three smaller screws.
2. The rear of the bolt lugs on a “standard” Rem 700-style action gets lubed frequently by benchresters. I’ve always assumed that was the end of the lug that was getting lapped. Ted is dealing with the front end of the lugs with his toroidal design. Please clear up this matter.
Hey, Oscar. Great questions! I’ve asked Ted to reply to your questions when he gets a chance.
I will say on #1, I’m glad you put 5 massive screws on the rail … even if it is overkill. I wouldn’t complain if there were 10 screws across the top. You RARELY ever need to take that off, so it’s okay with me if its inconvenient the two times I do it in the life of the rifle. I just want to know beyond the shadow of a doubt that the rail absolutely will not move under any circumstances. I’ve been burned by detachable rails, and honestly didn’t think I’d ever consider an action that didn’t have an integral rail … but the keyed design plus the 5 beefy screws convinced me the Mausingfield was a viable option.
I’ll let Ted speak to the rest of your questions. I appreciate your thoughts.
Ted recommends DLC surface finishing. I have contacted the company, Inobond, that he recommended and, while they have 9 locations in the US, only the one in NC does barrels. I’ve also tried to reach other DLC providers (DLC is not proprietary to Inobond), and they either have huge minimum charges or will not take barrels, much less barreled actions at all. Respectfully request ARC line up DLC providers and identify them on their website. Yes, I realize ARC is selling an action, not a barreled action, but I’d prefer to get both bone at the same time – after chambering.
I have not contacted other companies regarding DLC. Why not just send your action to Ionbond? Ionbond is a large and capable company and their service is reasonably priced. As is the case with most finishing processes, DLC treatment should be performed as the last step before final assembly of the rifle. Hence, your gunsmith is best suited to source the finishing process.
At this time I do not think it’s necessary to find another source for DLC.
The real question is why ARC shouldn’t be the one to send its actions to them rather than adding a significant step that no other manufacturer requires its customer to handle..
Oscar, I’d look at the inconvenience simply as the cost to get in on the leading edge of this new action. Nobody is holding a gun to your head on this (I don’t think 😉 ) … so don’t just be a complainer. You’ve heard Ted’s response. Weigh the pros and cons and make your own decision.
If you have any more questions, please contact American Rifle Company directly. Please no more back and forth on that topic.
On your feild test, what kind barrel was on Mausingfield action? Thanks
Tony, believe it or not … I have no idea. That complete rifle was sent to me by Ted at American Rifle Company. I would bet it was an MTU or Heavy Palma contour, and I think it was a 22″ barrel. You could probably contact Ted for more details.
I cringed when I saw this. #1 split left lug long out of date , example Howa copied the Sako 461 action , when case failures occur all too often breaks part of the left split lug , I have on from such a case. Howa got smart and in the later models made the left lug solid which stopped that problem. Husqvarna improved the Mauser ejector by making the left lug solid and locating the ejector to a location like the Model 70 Winchester. #2 Mauser 98 extractor its ether a snap over with less extractor rim engagement or a positive feed from the magazine which is terrible for a bench gun. #3 Springfield ejector , it was one of the spare parts that often broke and was part of the spare parts kit carried in some of the butt stocks. #4 Positve feed extractors as Mauser ether require a smaller engagement on the right lug or as on the 03 Springfield a hump on the right side of the receiver , in the case of the M-70 that made that part of the receiver thin! #5 Solid bolt stops as Mausers and Springfield all too often have the right lug beat to death with shooters that slam the bolt to the rear and that further reduces the left lug contact, I’ve seen idiots even think they were shooting a rear ejection gun as the Mauser on a Remington 700 slam the bolt so hard to the rear they broke the 1/8 diameter pin , must have been a gorilla but its worse for the M-98’s and 03’s , look at the used ones ! I really do not see any advantages in this action , in fact I see a lot of obsolete problems brought back to life , Dr Frankenstein , ahh ! Nice piece of machine work just change the design.
Wow, Mitchell. I appreciate the thoughtful feedback. I can neither confirm nor deny the issues your citing here, but I appreciate knowing the history of other designs that tried some of these things. Much of what you’re referring to seems like it could be due to the quality of materials or manufacturing processes, and the Mausingfield is very different in those regards compared to some of the actions you referenced that were mass-produced in the days before computer-aided manufacturing and strict quality control. I’ve course, that is also why this action is $1600, which is at least 4x as much as others you mentioned. Like you said, “nice piece of machine work.”
I don’t have the mechanical background to know whether there is still merit to those concerns or not. I may see if Ted can speak to your concerns. Regardless, I appreciate the thoughtful feedback and history lesson.