Bushmaster BA30 straight pull rifle
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One of the first products to enter the market from the new Bushmaster Firearms is this bad boy, the BA30 straight pull bolt action rifle. Dan and I visited their booth at SHOT Show’s Range Day and sent some rounds downrange.

Bushmaster BA30 straight pull rifle

Without a doubt, the rifle appeared to be at least decently accurate (we were only able to shoot it at 100 yards). I was shooting at a steel silhouette and, while I wasn’t able to shoot for actual accuracy groups here, putting hits in precise locations on the target was easy as pie.

The BA30 was smooth, with a decent trigger and AR-10 ergonomics.

Bushmaster BA30 straight pull rifle

Functionally, it appears to be a manual action AR-10 with a recoil spring mechanism contained inside of the upper receiver (there is no buffer tube). The shooter reaches forward to the front of the upper receiver to grab the bolt knob (which can be switched from the right to the left side), pulls the bolt to the rear, then lets go, sending the bolt home under its own spring power.

Running the action is effectively the same as running a side-charging AR action. Well used during Range Day, empty cases were a little sticky to pop out of the chamber but nothing that made operation difficult. It was fast and smooth.

Bushmaster BA30 straight pull rifle

Bushmaster mentioned that they’re playing with different bolt handle styles, including one that sticks straight out to the side instead of hooking downward. While the normal, downward turn makes sense, it was done a bit close to the receiver and this caused shooters to drag their knuckles along the gun. The shooter before me required a bandaid, and all of the skin scuffed onto the anodizing isn’t exactly a sexy look.

So maybe a few kinks left to iron out, but overall the Bushmaster BA30 appears to be a very solid gun.


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  1. Last week, I asked the group here what the advantages of a straight pull-back design could be. Now that I’ve taken the time to see it better, I understand. I must have been brain farting to not see it before (I was thinking of a charging handle design for some reason).

    Not a fan of it, though. At least not with a curved handle. I’d prefer a straight stubby handle, personally. FWIW

    • yes, a straight stubby I’d go with too.

      This downward curve thing going on for this type of platform I don’t see a valid reason for it. I’m sure someone somewhere came up with a reason for it but its not for me.

        • Like I said, someone some where can come up with a reason for it.

          If a reason has to be invented for it after market, it was never purpose built to begin with and is a novelty gimmick.

  2. I had a straight pull rifle once. It was a M-16A1. I was in basic at Ft. Benning. Absolutely would not cycle. No matter what the company armorer did. Had to borrow a weapon for auto rifle. Then I had to clear malfunctions.

  3. You’d think they would have figured out the PULL by this point of the development cycle on a product whose primary marketing point is that it’s a manual straight PULL.

    Since COVID, it seems as though I increasingly to have to tell people how to do the basics of their job. Things aren’t working right.


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