Aluminium question
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  1. #1
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    Default Aluminium question

    I am drawing up plans for an ultra lightweight bolt action rifle and have the idea of an aluminium bolt body with a steel insert bolt head with locking lugs, however I don't know if an aluminium bolt running in an aluminium receiver with work, will it wear badly or even gall up and stick ?

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    Just go ahead and make the bolt all steel. You need a steel bolt head and also a steel extraction cam on the back end.
    Since the bolt is essentially a hollow tube, the weight penalty of an all steel bolt is not that great. Besides, you can use a commercial bolt like a Rem 700 and save a lot of money and time. The handle knob and bolt sleeve can be aluminum and are standard after market parts. Steel on aluminum is OK, aluminum on aluminum is not from a wear/friction perspective.

    RWO

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    why reinvent the wheel? kelblys panda actions are alum and very nice parts.

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    Make the bolt out of aluminum if that's what you want. Hard annodize it and you should be OK

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    Check out Kimber Montana with kevlar stock and NULA rifles.
    Steel actions with light weight stocks.

    Hal

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    Quote Originally Posted by Waterworks View Post
    I am drawing up plans for an ultra lightweight bolt action rifle and have the idea of an aluminium bolt body with a steel insert bolt head with locking lugs, however I don't know if an aluminium bolt running in an aluminium receiver with work, will it wear badly or even gall up and stick ?
    Ignoring all the irrelevant advise, yes it will wear and gall unless coated or hard anodized.

    Since the bolt handle usually acts as the extraction cam, you will need a steel insert or such where it contacts the reciever.

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    7075 and hardcoat ought to be good for a couple hundred cycles. It's a hunting rifle, right?

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    Nothing wrong at all with an aluminum bolt. I believe I have a couple. Thrust acts on the steel bolt head not the bolt body. A hard coating will help any wear problem.
    Kelblys make aluminum receivers, but not aluminum bolts.


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