Lee Enfield Query

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by foxs_marine, Feb 9, 2008.

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  1. I have a display (de-activated) No. 4. After about a year's neglect, I took it down to oil it & found the action very jerky. I could open the bolt, close it (with a very strong final push) & fire off the action.

    I then removed the bolt, examined it (seems OK) & replaced it. Now it appears jammed in the closed position. It's a US version, with a small piece at the top that you detach from its guide to remove the whole bolt. The bolt handle rotates very smoothly from open to closed, but the piece with the ejector hook does not release & the bolt will not travel to the rear, so the action does not cock & cannot be fired off.

    Given that I have probably not described the working parts correctly, does anyone recognise the symptoms or know a remedy?
     
  2. It's a wall hanger so what does it matter? You've had a serviceable rifle vandalised and now wonder why it doesn't work properly!

    Get a Firearm Certificate and buy a barrelled action from a sporter conversion. At least the scrap metal you have in hand now will yield up a suitable stock and fittings for a restoration job.

    You can then shoot it too!

    Bonus!
     
  3. I bought it deactivated, I didn't do it! It's a pity that its action has stopped working though, as it's a lovely piece.
     
  4. FM,

    My first thought was that you may have accidentally half-c0cked the piece, but I don't think you would be able to shift the bold arm (try pulling the c0cking-piece back, just in case).

    I apologise in advance if the following questions seem too basic, but I've no idea how much experience you have with L-Es, and these are just the questions that occured to me.

    Does the bolt number match that on the breech?
    A badly mismatched bolt may cause some problems (although not usually this bad).
    If the bolt is a mismatch, it may have been fitted with a replacement bolt head whic was too long for the breech they fitted it into (the No.4 bolt head came in 4 sizes as a 'quick fix' for head space problems) although, unless it was a borderline case, I doubt you'ld have been able to close the bolt in the first place.

    Try operating the bolt with the trigger depressed, if the rifle is a 'bitzer', the sear may be interfering with the movement of the bolt.

    When you reassembled the bolt, did you ensure that it was screwed back as far as possible before loosening enough to fit back?
    Are you sure that the bolt was reassembled correctly before replacement?

    A silly question, but are you rotating the bolt far enough?
    The final few degrees of rotation should cause the breech to open by about 1/8 inch, not much, but enough to release the tapered cartridge from the breech, for easier extraction.
    Did you have to force the bolt home after reassembly?
    You shouldn't have damaged anything, but I'm struggling to think why the bolt head won't unlock.

    Let us know if anything works.

    Good luck

    Walrus
     
  5. If its a No4 Mk1*, you may have allowed the bolthead to rotate out of its slot. Its possible on old worn rifles (which are often the ones selected for de-acting) for the bolt to be rammed closed, but with the bolthead riding on top of the rail, rather than having the rail in the slot on the bolthead. If this is the case, the extractor will have been too high allow the bolt to close under normal conditions. If it is forced closed (possibly the strong push you are referring to) then the extractor may crush and jam in the barrel cut-out - thus becoming locked in there. In this condition, you may be able to raise the bolt handle as normal, but the bolthead will be jammed and will not allow the bolt to withdraw. With these symptons, use a punch or screwdriver to try and level the bolthead open.
     
  6. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    What he said, also check when you have it out that the bolthead is fully screwed home!
    Does it have an S inside a square stamped all over it? If so then the magazine may be numbered to the rifle, something I have only seen with Savage rifles. Not the done thing over here but for some reason the sceptic collectors add value for it. Not that you'll be able to flog it under the new rules.
    Fecking up an already vandalised rifle, you related to Jacki Smith? :oops:
     
  7. Ugly,

    That's a terrible accusation! I'm interested in your comment ref Savage rifles as (though I can't find the cert. now, I think this may be one). My problem is that I'm ignorant of the correct part names. On the LH side of he bolt travel (receiver?) in caps it says "US Property". Below that, to the left of the screw, is stamped a letter "S" with the curved parts flattened out. In caps half the size it says "NO 4 MK1*". Below the safety catch it says "92C2646" & right below that a "B".
    On the base of the magazine is the number "216806". On the centre part of the RH of the magazine is stamped "DP", which I take to be drill purpose.

    I can pull the hammer(?) back twixt finger & thumb, it travels 2 clicks & the action can then be fired, but the head piece remains locked.

    As far as I can see the rotation of the bolt is full, only the ejector (?) is not moving. That appears to be on its rail. When the bolt handle is rotated from closed to open, the ejector travels back about 1/8" before seizing.

    Between the bolt & the ejector is a gap slightly wider than a credit card. Could this be my problem? I know the 2 parts need a space, but is this too wide?

    Thanks for any advice, apologies for not knowing the nomenclature.

    F_M
     
  8. RM,

    It seems from the mixed numbers that your rifle is a 'bitzer', assembled from parts.

    If the head of the bolt (the block which holds the extractor claw) moves back when the bolt is opened and the bolt will not withdraw, try the following.
    First: Remove the magazine (magazine release catch in inside the trigger guard), then try to open and remove the bolt, in case the bolt is catching on the magazine.

    Second: If the above fails, leave the magazine off, depress the trigger and try to open and withdraw the bolt, in case the bolt is catching on the sear.

    Good luck

    Walrus
     
  9. There should be no gap between the bolt body and the bolthead - the drill is to screw the bolthead completely tight before inserting the bolt into the rifle. Sounds like your bolthead is unscrewed by one turn: on a normal rifle, this makes the bolt too long to close, and is therefore obvious. On a de-act, the bolthead has had one side sliced off - this creates a chisel shape that, with enough force, can be forced into the breech of the rifle. I suggest you just open the bolt handle, and then tap the handle with a block of wood (or a hammer - its a de-act, after all...) to free the bolthead.
     
  10. I've got the bolt out, tightened the gap & replaced it. It still sticks if you attempt to work the action, but it looks OK. Thanks for all the suggestions.
     
  11. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Glad its sorted!
     
  12. walts ?
     
  13. In what way?

    foxs_marine had a display piece which was not in good order, the rest of the contributors were attempting to solve the problem 'blind'.
    That's walting how?