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Issues with a military surplus Enfield No. 5

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Jotummi View Drop Down
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    Posted: May 20 2023 at 1:23pm
he!!o all, 

I am new to firearms in general, and only started getting into it within the couple months, so I apologize in advance for the lack of knowledge. I recently bought a military surplus Enfield No. 5, which was supposed to be mechanically operable, but in turn in condition. Once I got it I took a few days to strip it down, clean it all out, refinish the wood and put it all back together alongside someone who has experience with an Enfield No. 4. I took it to a range, tried to fire it twice, but nothing. All I got was what appears to me to be very off center and light primer strikes. With that I figured the next step would be the firing pin spring at least to address the light primer strikes. I installed the new spring, room it to a range again but still only got light, off centered primer strikes. The next step was going to be a replacement of the firing pin itself, however the new reproduction one I bought came slightly bent and I haven't gotten a replacement yet. The last thing I did was measure the protrusion of the firing pin from the bolt head with a micrometer, and it was .047" and based on my research that was about accurate. 

At this point I'm stumped as to both the light primer strikes and how off centered they are. Any ideas? 


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Goosic View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 20 2023 at 8:54pm
Welcome to the forum. 
I had a similar experience with the firing pin hitting off-centered and found alot of debri built up inside the bolt head itself pushing the firing pin off to one side while also causing light strikes.
Another item of concern is headspacing. Have you had it checked by a competent gunsmith knowledgeable with the Lee-Enfield rifle? 

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britrifles View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 21 2023 at 2:31am
That is a long way off center.  Does the striker hole in the bolt head look centered in the face of the bolt?

Also, try moving the bolt head with the magazine removed and the bolt locked, can you move it up/down or side to side?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jotummi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 21 2023 at 8:01am
I double checked the bolt head for debris, nothing It has been totally cleaned out. I'm still trying to find someone to take it to as far as a gunsmith.

The bolt head does seem to move slightly when I push it with my finger when bolt is locked down with the magazine removed. It moves slightly but then it comes right back to the original position it was in. Here's a picture of my bolt head it doesn't appear to be off to me at least.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marco1010 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 21 2023 at 6:21pm
Sounds like a bolt head issue. Have you tried a different bolt head and dry fired some cases with primers only ? firing pin hole may be oversized .
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sapper740 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2023 at 2:27am
Listen to Goosic.  Do a chamber cast of your rifle, mike it and compare it to the nominal dimensions of the cartridge.  The firing pin hole doesn't look sufficiently large to cause such an off center strike.  When you stripped the rifle down did you take the bolt apart?  The firing pin might be bent somewhat.  I'm not sure if you're getting 'light' strikes, missing the anvil, or both.
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Zed View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2023 at 4:22am
One of my rifles hits the primer off centre , but not quite that bad. It does fire the round  .
I suspect it may be the chamber is large , as is sometimes the case. 
Mark the rim of the round with a marker at the 12 o'clock position for testing. If the strike is at 6 o'clock. You could try turning the rifle upside down and then lock the bolt and test
. See if the strike has changed position, which could indicate a generous chamber.
Obviously apply all usual safety requirements while testing.
Also check headspace.
It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2023 at 4:59am
I was thinking the same thing Zed.  My No. 4 rifles hit slightly off center, but not that much.  

If you can get these to shoot, using fire formed cases that are neck sized only may bring it closer to the center of the primer.  

Also, take a look at the striker protruding thru the bolt head and see if it’s off to one side.  


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2023 at 8:24am
Couple of months back, I had an issue with what I thought was a dirty bolt body because it was hard to manually engage the cocking piece and when you did pull the trigger, the firing pin would only move a half of an inch forward. Took the bolt assembly apart and used various sizes of bore brushes and Hoppes Nitro Solvent to get the inside of that bolt body spotless. Put everything back together and nothing changed. It was only when I chucked the firing pin into the lathe that I noticed the problem. The firing pin looked like a banana. Took a bit of work but I managed to get the firing pin trued up and that issue is no longer an issue. 

Jotummi: You said that the firing pin protrusion is at .047" and that was after YOU had taken the bolt assembly apart and reinstalled everything?
I am asking this next question specifically because the bolt body itself comes in various lengths and are MATCHED to its Master Component, the action body/reciever. 
Does the serial number on the bolt handle match the serial number on flat/slabside of the reciever?

  Something is causing the firing pin to not fully engage itself after the striker has been released. There are multiple areas within the bolt body that are contact points with other items that make up the bolt assembly that need to be addressed here so you can eliminate the issue you are describing. 
Look at the following photos and check each area circled in red using your bolt assembly. #1: Check to make sure you can slide the firing pin in and out of the bolt body both ways without the spring and feel for any abnormal friction, (it should slide smoothly.) #2: Check that the firing pin fully contacts the back of the bolt head while also checking to make sure the firing pin tip slides in and out of the bolt head with no abnormal friction. #3: Make certain that the bolt head does NOT over-rotate when screwed fully onto the bolt body. #4: With everything assembled but WITHOUT the mainspring. Manually/by hand, move the firing pin back and forth  and feel for any abnormal friction within the bolt body making certain that the bolt head is flush contacting the bolt body...


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