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.

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Drawing of a Mannlicher M1886 Source


Swiss K31 Source

Ross rifles

Three rifles in the Ross family. Source

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Inner workings of the M1895 Lee Navy from its original manual Source

  • 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.

Honorable Mentions

  • 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.


Switzerland uses Schmidt–Rubin. That's straight pull bolt-action rifle.

  • 1
    Hi, welcome to History Stack Exchange! This is a good start, but a much better answer would expand on that with some sources and additional information. – Schwern May 16 '16 at 19:53

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