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Lee Enfield No4mk1/2 bolt head #3

Discussion in 'Maintenance & Gunsmithing' started by Scot4ever, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. Scot4ever

    Scot4ever Newberg New Member

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    I'm trying to find anywhere/anyone who might have an SMLE no4mk1/2 bolt head #3 for sale. I bought a new to me SMLE last week and the head space is a little loose (haven't tested it with a field gauge yet, still waiting for my Okie gauges to arrive).
    It's got a #2 bolt head currently installed. I can find #0, #1 and #2 just about everywhere but a #3...nope.
     
    orygun likes this.
  2. LX Kid

    LX Kid W. Central Florida New Member

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    Have you shot it yet to observe a spent cartridge to see if there is any shoulder movement on the cartridge. Try adding a piece of scotch tape, .002", on the end of a cartridge one at a time until it seems tight and match that to headspacing specs. .303 ammo was made by so many mfg.'s that they allowed for a large range of changes in those mfg.'s. There is a lot to know about .303 headspacing. #3 heads are hard to find but they are out there. At one time I had a #4 and let it slip thru my hands years ago. A good gunsmith can build a bolt head up to bring headspace into specs.
     
  3. LX Kid

    LX Kid W. Central Florida New Member

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    This may help when measuring the bolt head. Just the head not including the screw portion.

    It seems to be generally accepted that No4 / No5 bolt heads should fall in the following range :
    Size 0 = 0.620” – 0.625”
    Size 1 = 0.625” – 0.630”
    Size 2 = 0.630” – 0.635”
    Size 3 = 0.635” – 0.640”

    Field Guage .070" Original Factory Field Guage .074
    (For your info SMLE's were early turn of the century Enfields. Small Magazine Lee Enfield, hence S.M.L.E. If yours is a No. 4 it's generally just called an Enfield No.4 Mk 1/2.)
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2015
  4. CLT65

    CLT65 Yamhill County Active Member

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    I have several 0s and 1s in my old box of parts and pieces, but you're right- anything bigger seems scarce as hen's teeth.

    I was lucky to find a size 3. My rifle had some brass separation issues, and misfired badly with some old surplus I had. The tighter headspace dramatically improved both of those problems.
     
  5. Scot4ever

    Scot4ever Newberg New Member

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    I managed to find one in the UK. Cost me $90, but that's the only place I've come across that had them. It's a company called Valmont Firearms. I got hold of a no go and a field gauge from oki gauges and the original #2 bolt head was partially closing on the field gauge. I also came across an unused original bolt for sal which when paired up with the #2 bolt head passes the no go gauge test. Looks like a lot of the problem was also wear on the locking lugs of the original bolt. Fires like a champ now.
    It's not going to be an every day shooter so I think I'm good now.