Are there any real benefits to straight pull rifles like Blasers and Merkels? Dom Holtam replies...

Q: There seems to be a real trend towards straight-pull rifles, such as the Blasers and Merkels, and I have to admit to being tempted. But is there really any benefit?

DOM HOLTAM replies: If you like driven hunting then you’ll love the speed with which you can cycle another round. In fact, that rapid follow-up is useful whenever you hunt live quarry. You might not need an insurance shot but it is nice to know that it’s there in an instant if required.

Other advantages with the Blaser and similar rifles is the ability to swap barrels/calibres, great packability for travel and a short overall length. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the classic turn-bolt action. My advice would be to try a straight-pull rifle, handle it and see how you feel about using it. Some don’t really gel with them, others absolutely love them.