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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 1915 Lithgow No 1 Mk 3 that fails no go and field headspace with Okie gauges. I measured my bolt head which was .632. I ordered one that is .636 and one that is .640. I picked up this rifle November of last year, and noticed that the bolt head has to be really pushed hard and forced to the up position to remove the bolt from the rifle. I was hoping that replacing the bolt head would fix that, which I initially thought was a small problem in the grand scheme of things before I had checked head space. In searching for an answer, it seems like the bolt head not passing the spine is a problem too.

Today I received my replacement bolt heads from Numrich, and they wont even turn around to the up position. I'm sure that it would be a mistake to leave the bolt head a half a turn loose to get it upright. Now I'm wondering if I don't need to replace this bolt body itself? I don't see any unusual marks or grinding on it, but right now I don't trust this bolt at all. Is there anything I'm missing here?

There's a gun show locally here tomorrow, and I'm going to look around for some more bolt heads and bolt bodies, but I'm curious at what you all think about the bolt that came with this rifle? Here are some pictures that hopefully illustrate what I'm asking about.

Thanks in advance!
 

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Your bolt body looks OK. Do the numbers match?

The new bolt-heads "underturning" is not all that unusual; it is always a bit of a lucky dip when buying new boltheads. Can't help you on a solution I'm afraid.

Leaving the head 1/2 turn out and shooting it that way would be a mistake.

As far as the bolt head being hard to swing up to remove the whole bolt, check in behind the spring in the rifle body which retains the bolthead. If there is compacted grease in behind this spring, it might not have room to move enough to release the bolthead.
 

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Measure your headspace, Field is .074inch. During WW II the War department allowed up to .080inch to be acceptable. The SAAMI spec( I BELIEVE? is .068inch) for field is too tight and has caused rejection of many perfectly good Enfields.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The gauges I used are Okie no go and field gauges which are based on the British spec. Now I'll have to do a search to figure out how to easily measure my head space as all I have are the gauges. I'm sure with the longer bolt heads I received I can get it to at least pass headspace, but the will not index on my current bolt body. I have two bolt bodies ordered from Sarco, and I'll have more of an idea when I receive them. I have also found a couple of new old stock British factory bodies, but I'm going to hold off on buying one of them until I see what the Sarco bolt bodies change.

From what I can find in my searches is that it's normal for the bolt head to slightly "over travel" or "over clock" past the bolt spine. My No 4 Mk 1 does this perfectly. In my opinion the bolt head is under rotating, when it should slightly over rotate to go back to even with the bolt body spine. For my replacement bolt heads to work I would have to unscrew them at least 2/3 if not 3/4 of a turn.

I would think that 2/3 or more unscrewd is first of all going to put the load on the threads more than the bolt head and body. Also, if I unscrew the bolt head that much to get it to line up with the body spine I'm going to really drastically affect head space.

Here are a couple of threads I found, and the more I study them, the more I think the bolt body does need to be replaced.

The bolt number is a mismatch to the rifle, so replacing the bolt body won't affect anything numbers matching.

http://forums.gunboards.com/showthread.php?318777-No4-Bolt-Head-Survey-and-Instructions

http://www.surplusrifleforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=89400&hilit=bolt+head+over+rotation
 

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Clocking can be fixed, there may be a sticky on this; it involves stoning the front of the bolt body for more clearance.

Bolt bodies are pretty cheap, you may want to buy a couple and try them.
 

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Do not stone the bolt body, do not replace the bolt body unless you absolutely have to and are sure about even locking lug contact on the new one. Read the thread you linked at surplusrifles, there is a lot of good information there from Alan De Enfield and a bit from a certain ex member (who was burned at the stake for witchcraft!) by the name of (glancing around to make sure no one is listening....whispering....) techsupport....
Plus read Alan's excellent breakdown of the problems and solutions at the other link.

You can't leave a bolt head unscrewed at all. It will damage your locking lugs trying to close it.

Just looking at your pics.. who made the new bolthead? The markings are unlike any I have ever seen? Also never seen a new genuine bolt head fail to clock by that far! Not even sure about your original one!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Do not stone the bolt body, do not replace the bolt body unless you absolutely have to and are sure about even locking lug contact on the new one. Read the thread you linked at surplusrifles, there is a lot of good information there from Alan De Enfield and a bit from a certain ex member (who was burned at the stake for witchcraft!) by the name of (glancing around to make sure no one is listening....whispering....) techsupport....
Plus read Alan's excellent breakdown of the problems and solutions at the other link.

You can't leave a bolt head unscrewed at all. It will damage your locking lugs trying to close it.

Just looking at your pics.. who made the new bolthead? The markings are unlike any I have ever seen? Also never seen a new genuine bolt head fail to clock by that far! Not even sure about your original one!
The bolt heads both came from Numrich. They look to me like it's either M621 or maybe MG21. They aren't DP marked, and to me they just look like they've had some type of parkerized type finish put on them. Numrich was the only company that I could find that would measure the bolt heads for me to give me the two longer measurements I was looking for to try to fix my headspace issue. If I remember right, one of them has what looks like crossed swords that my original bolt head in pictures 1 and 2 has. I can look at them closer when I get home from work if I need to give more details.

The guy from Numrich I was talking to said they were original Enfield bolt heads. I may e-mail him the pictures of them and see if he has any ideas too.

Thanks everyone so far for the help. I like shooting my old milsurps, and I would definitely like to try to save this old Enfield as I got it for a pretty good price and it's in good shape.
 
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