SMLE Oversize/Long Bolted head wanted .

As per title , they seem to be thin on the ground , weve got a SMLE that needs to be headspaced correctly .

Thanks in advance.
 
Do not try this at home children!

I have done a stress calculation on the bolt. It is springy with the lugs at the back. The thin walls of the bolt tube compress for a millisecond and stretch the brass beyond elastic into plastic deformation. Ackley was right about this in the 1960s.
~~ 2002 all of the USA and Canada seemed to be out of longer bolt heads. Making heads from surplus blanks has clocking problems.

I have made a fixture for soldering a shim to the bolt head to fix the headspace. I read a message from a Brit in Florida that did the same for No 1 Enfields.

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enfield 2.PNG


:oops:
 
Have you asked @stoatman ?
I don't have any, and I don't believe that 99.9% of alleged headspace problems are actually a problem. Just cos it eats a (proper) no-go gauge (0.074", not the American 0.071" one which is wrong) doesn't mean that there's a problem unless you've actually got a real issue manifesting itself (e.g. light strikes with correct firing pin projection, blown primers, good brass separating first firing).

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I don't have any, and I don't believe that 99.9% of alleged headspace problems are actually a problem. Just cos it eats a (proper) no-go gauge (0.074", not the American 0.071" one which is wrong) doesn't mean that there's a problem unless you've actually got a real issue manifesting itself (e.g. light strikes with correct firing pin projection, blown primers, good brass separating first firing).

View attachment 435460
But will it pass proof when its out by quite a bit?
 

4(T)

LE
But will it pass proof when its out by quite a bit?

What gauge is it closing on?

Is the bolt original to the rifle? If its a renumbered job, it might be worth trying a few different bolt bodies - these can make up the headspace as well.

I'm not sure that the Proofs even look at headspace these days; did they ever?
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
I dont want to return it to the owner until I`m happy with it , belt & braces and all that .
Not sure that swapping a bolt head would require submission not had it come up before
 
What gauge is it closing on?

Is the bolt original to the rifle? If its a renumbered job, it might be worth trying a few different bolt bodies - these can make up the headspace as well.

I'm not sure that the Proofs even look at headspace these days; did they ever?
It`s a Bitsa , parts from pre 1916 and post 1944 , at a long distance glance it looks nice , close up its a botch job, it came to me as the owner claimed bullets were tumbling at 25 yards , I know thats very unlikely and if they were it would not be the bolt head specifically , we just came across the head space issue when we inspected it.
 
Not sure that swapping a bolt head would require submission not had it come up before
If we use an oversize bolt head and machine it down and heat treat it it should go to proof.
 

4(T)

LE
Not sure that swapping a bolt head would require submission not had it come up before
Technically you are changing one of the pressure-bearing parts, and so it has to be retested.

I wouldn't consider it (legally) safe to sell a rifle where the proof marks don't match - i.e. where someone has swapped around proofed components from different rifles. E.g London proof on a bolt body and Birmingham, proof on a bolt head means the rifle hasn't been tested as a complete system.

I'm personally quite happy that any Enfield is perfectly safe, even if a bitsa of unproofed parts with excess headpsace. However, proof discrepancies are often enough to shut down an RFD these days.
 

4(T)

LE
It`s a Bitsa , parts from pre 1916 and post 1944 , at a long distance glance it looks nice , close up its a botch job, it came to me as the owner claimed bullets were tumbling at 25 yards , I know thats very unlikely and if they were it would not be the bolt head specifically , we just came across the head space issue when we inspected it.
I've only seen bullet tumbling in Long Lees that are worn almost to smoothbore. A No1 would have to have serious bore wear to do that. What ammo was he using?

Try a few different bolt bodies. I reckon that sometimes its wear on the threads and front of the bolt body (the mating surface with the bolt head) that actually increases headspace, rather than the mythical "action stretching".
 
He`s been using PPU , that high quality Croatian........... shite.
 
Excess headspace only causes tumbling on American shooting forums, not in the real, physical world.
 
If it was a No.4 I'd ask if it was a 2-groove, since a certain proportion of those simply will not shoot boat tail bullets. Mine does (but it shoots S&B factory flat-base better than Prvi boat tails), but a friend's one from the same factory and not that far apart from mine won't even hit the target at 100 m with Prvi whereas it shoots S&B great at 300m.
 
Excess headspace only causes tumbling on American shooting forums, not in the real, physical world.
He did bring in a target with side profiles of a 303 bullet head through them , maybe he shot them side on.
 
He did bring in a target with side profiles of a 303 bullet head through them , maybe he shot them side on.
A massively worn bore and/or throat and/or a completely screwed crown are the likely culprits.
 
A massively worn bore and/or throat and/or a completely screwed crown are the likely culprits.
The barrel looks a bit holey and cracked in places on the bore camera , I`ve tried the standing a bullet, point down in the muzzle trick , sits high , it could be dodgy PPU ammo , they possibly used 30 cal heads , I`ll have to measure one.
 
What does the throat look like? If it looks like a clown's pocket there's your answer.

In any case I bet the rifle will shoot S&B OK, or at least straight :)
 

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