Well, this being the rifle pages after all, just figured it was time to stir the pot and put my thoughts on the record regarding Controlled Round Feed.
Controlled Round Feed, CRF, is the gift of the Mauser brothers' genius. For those who might not know, the brothers Mauser were responsible for the rifles that bore their name, rifles that changed the world. They figured, quite rightly, that guiding a cartridge into the chamber is more positive than simply stuffing it in however it may fit. The Mauser genius was so universally acknowledged, that countries around the world armed themselves with Mauser rifles, and here, in the land of apple pie, their genius was ripped off via the '03 Springfield, such a close copy that Mauser took the USA to court, and won.
Now, folks come up with all kinds of reasons to pooh pooh the Mauser design, but thems' the facts. Things pretty much stayed that way until the 1960's.
Along then comes the mad dash to turn handcrafted rifles into mass produced Mcrifles, and designers set about to do everything they could to make it simpler and cheaper to make a bolt action. They told the public all sorts of goofy stories, how they were "improving" the Mauser, but no one ever improved on it, they just cut corners, and made it cheaper.
Now, CRF is really just one aspect of the Mauser genius. It included a sophisticated gas vent system designed to protect the rifleman, or woman, in the event of a case failure. It included a "C" shaped ring of steel that completely sealed the cartridge into the chamber, but for that big claw extractor. There also was a bolt guide-a fully machined rise that slid along its slot in the bridge, and provided positive support for bolt movement. Add to this the first three position safety, and you have the greatest bolt action designed-ever.
Sure, the push feed pops up the cartridges from the magazine smartly, and crams them into the chamber just fine. In a similar vein, a shovel can hit a golf ball down the fairway.
Today, almost no one makes the genuine Mauser action. Even the Mauser company invented every weird alternative it could imagine before returning to its roots, and it will still try to sell those strange designs to you. About the last production rifle to adhere to its tradition is the current model 70 from Winchester. A modified Mauser design, the 70 has inspired a fanatical following. Such is the stuff of Mauser genius, and Controlled Round Feed.