I know that Canada developed the Ross-rifle, but was it officially adopted? I'm also interested in adoption not only for infantry, but for any armed forces.
Straight-pulls Adopted By A National Army
There's basically three families of successful straight-pull rifles: Mannlicher started it all off, then Schmit-Rubin, and finally the Ross rifle, with the Lee-Navy as a short-lived dead-end.
Drawing of a Mannlicher M1886 Source
- The Mannlicher family of straight-pulls were used by Austria-Hungary, and her successor states, as well as armies around the world from 1886 through WWII.
Swiss K31 Source
- The Schmidt-Rubin family of rifles including the K11 carbine and the K31. The Swiss army adopted the Model 1889 in 1889 and the family stated in front-line service until the K31 was dropped in 1958 but was still used by reserves into the 70s.
Three rifles in the Ross family. Source
- The Ross rifles came about because the Canadians needed rifles, the British wouldn't license the Lee-Enfield, and government shenanigans. Famous for being terrible, you could reassemble the bolt incorrectly and have it bash you in the face, but it was a good sport rifle. By the time they got it in shape the Lee was available. Here's a video on the Mark III.
- Canada (1905-1916, 1939-1945)
- Luxembourg (1945)
- Latvia (1919?-?)
- And then there's the M1895 Lee Navy which is sort of a straight-pull. Best to just watch a video. It was fairly short lived, used by the US Navy from 1895 through the Spanish-American and Philippine wars. It's 6mm ammunition was finicky, and it was quickly replaced by the M1903 Springfield.
The straight-pull bolt-action rifle turned out to be just a step away from a self-loading rifle. If you're going to have the cost and complexity of a straight-pull, might as well go the extra mile and adopt a self-loading rifle. Many straight-pulls became self-loading or even automatic rifles.
The Mondragon rifle family (video) started as the M1894 straight-pull (video) but was not accepted. The design became a self-loading rifle adopted by the Mexican army. It was the first self-loading rifle adopted by a military.
1925 Italian Prototype by MBT (Metallurgica Brescia gia Tempini), only three were produced. They were incredibly over-engineered and the design was adopted to be semi and fully automatic.
Huot Automatic Rifle modified existing surplus Ross rifles with a gas piston to become a drum-fed automatic rifle. This was ordered by the Canadian military, but WWI ended before it was fulfilled.