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Bolt head - anyone ever seen this?

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Rickoshay View Drop Down
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    Posted: July 28 2016 at 11:39am
Bought a replacement bolt head to replace the original which is failing NO GO on a No4 MK1 (ROFF).
Bolt head is on the right in first image and in the foreground of the second.
Bolt head passed the headspace gauge NO GO/FIELD.
Loaded a 303 snap cap, pulled the trigger, hard extraction followed.
Examined the bolt head, there is a sleeve protruding from the firing hole (see image), the firing pin has not made it past the hole but has instead forced this sleeve out of the bolt face.
This does not look like something that should happen - anyone have experience/knowledge of this?
Many thanks




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englishman_ca View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote englishman_ca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2016 at 7:45am
With the bolt dismantled, will a standard firing pin fit in the hole at all? 

I don't believe that it is a military modification or repair, if worn the bolt head would be replaced by an armourer.

It could be a repair to a eroded pin hole or in the bolt head, or, somebody has sleeved the bolt head for the use of a smaller firing pin, which was sometimes done when the rifle was converted in civilian hands to another cartridge that has high pressure.

With wildcat cartridges, the smaller firing pin is used as the larger firing pin tip in the larger hole does not support the primer well. With a larger diameter and greater area, the high pressure pushes back on the firing pin tip and the primer can extrude down into the hole in the bolt head causing other problems. Bits of primer jamming the firing pin, causing hard extraction and miss fires.

The sleeving might just be a home spun repair, it looks neatly done but you would think that it would have been braised or silver soldered in there. It is repairable, but I would be tempted to toss that one and replace with a solid unit for safety. I'd be concerned.

Every time I squeeze the trigger, I remind myself that there is a big bang going off just in front of my face. Not something I try to see if something works out. Not sure of the result if the bolt head were to fracture.
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Rickoshay View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rickoshay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 05 2016 at 1:55pm
Thanks englishman
I wouldn't shoot it either, even if 'repaired' I am far too pretty to wear a Lee Enfield bolt in my face; or put another way, ugly enough already without making it worse!
The firing would not pass through at all and think your assessment as civilian is interesting, although this was supposedly a bolt straight out of the cosmoline so think they may be less likely.  I did wonder if the L39 and L42's had a different/smaller firing pin aperture, which is the only other thought I had.
The seller appears as perplexed as anyone else, and hope to receive the replacement soon.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 15 2016 at 10:02am
I believe the firing pin for the L39 is the same as the No4 rfile; as these are all conversions from No4Mk2's.
I will have a look and measure the diameter's of the tip to compare for you next weekend.
Apologies for the late reply; I've been away for a few weeks!
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