Most shooting related stuff is expensive. Whatever it is you buy the cost is normally enough to make you wince slightly as you hand the credit card over. I am on a budget. A pretty realistic budget that probably represents the average working class person living in a developed country. Sometimes I read shooting related reviews and think “the item looks great but how the hell do these people afford it!”
I am always on the lookout for shooting related bargains and I believe the KRG bolt lift kit definitely falls into bargain territory..
What purpose does it serve?
I cannot stand gimmicks and unnecessary kit. Everything I buy has to have a good use and fulfil its role well. I use a Remington 700 bolt action rifle for competition. One of the negative aspects to the 700 is bolt operation. It feels a little clunky, it sometimes jams when you are running the bolt rapidly, and it sometimes snags your knuckle between the bolt handle and a sharp bit on your scope.. The standard Remington bolt handle is pretty small. When you lift it and pull it back it can exert pressure on 1 side of the bolt against the action which can make it stick. This is due to an imbalance in weight and leverage. The imbalance is not large but it is enough to cause the odd curse in the middle of a course of fire. This has been an issue for years hence the design and release of enlarged bolt knobs (often called “tactical”).
A standard sized bolt which is at best a thumb bruising snag-fest!
Traditionally a gunsmith would cut off your existing bolt knob, cut some threading into the handle and screw on an enlarged version. For me that has multiple draw backs. Cutting away metal is a tricky business and can go wrong leading to a weakened bolt. Not all gunsmiths are highly skilled. Basically it is a process that leaves room for error. It is also finite. Once you have it done you cannot go back unless you replace the entire bolt. Last but not least it can be expensive as gunsmiths have to make it worth their while.
The larger bolt knobs are designed to balance things out nicely and provide a more positive, slicker, faster bolt operation. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the positive attributes without any of the negatives? The KRG bolt lift could be just that..
KRG bolt lift.
I bought my KRG bolt lift in England from a very nice firearms dealer I had the pleasure to shoot with (http://m.cpgdesign.co.uk/). It costs around £40. In the shooting world that is pretty cheap! I told my long suffering girlfriend how much it cost me (the real price!) and she didn’t have palpitations..
In essence you get a nice little tin (cool looking and useful for storage) which contains 2 polymer pieces, a screw and some rubber washers. The two pieces fit snugly together over your existing bolt knob. The rubber washers sit between the bolt knob and polymer pieces. When you lock it down with the screw it provides a snug fit with no movement whatever. It was so simple I was able to do it while eating my lunch at a gun range. It looked ok and felt comfortable to grip.
At the range.
I used it on the afternoon I fitted it. My bolt immediately felt smoother and no longer jarred or snagged during rapid reloading. The handle was easier to find with your hand and you can happily palm it back and slap it back down. This allows me to remove my thumb from the equation avoiding trapping it between bolt and scope. The extra length and leverage allows more control during a normal reload or for slower bolt movements at the range when you want to avoid ejecting your Lapua cases towards the ever present brass vultures! The added control means even when using thumb and finger I do not trap my thumb as the bolt lifts.
I have since used the rifle in competition at Bisley and found it a joy to use. I could easily control ejection so my brass formed a neat little pile a couple of inches away (You can tell losing brass ticks me off by now right!?)
The KRG looks pretty big but I would say it is the perfect size to do its job. It seems a little light until you install it and realise it is just the right weight to do what is needed – provide balance.
I love this product. I would not consider running a Remington 700 without one now. The good news is I will never have to. Even if my rifle fails I can remove the bolt lift knob with a few turns of an allen key and attach it to a new rifle. The simplicity and effectiveness of the KRG bolt lift set it apart from the usual gimmicks and tactical crud. I would highly recommend anyone with a Remington 700 try one out, I honestly can’t see how anyone wouldn’t like it. A few might say they do not like it’s chunky look but I would still urge them to try it before passing judgement.