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Bolt heads

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Category: Enfields
Forum Name: Enfield Gunsmithing
Forum Description: Submit any how-to's or other gunsmithing suggestions here.
Printed Date: December 14 2018 at 4:35am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 12.01 -

Topic: Bolt heads
Posted By: Dave5O
Subject: Bolt heads
Date Posted: July 11 2018 at 8:33am
Any one have a source for #4 bolt heads? Mine has head space issues. Prob need a 3 or 4 size.

Posted By: White Rhino
Date Posted: July 11 2018 at 6:42pm
I have ordered some from Numrich in the past....

"White Rhino"

"Everybody's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer." --W. C. Fields

Posted By: A square 10
Date Posted: July 11 2018 at 7:05pm
and richard offers some from time to time as well as others here 

Posted By: britrifles
Date Posted: July 11 2018 at 7:31pm
I’m curious what wears to increase the headspace. Is it the bolt head or reciever lugs, or both? Anyone know the material and heat treat of these two parts?

I’ve shot many thousands of rounds, and headspace is still good on my No. 4, it’s a long way from closing on a 0.070 gage.   A few years back I reduced the powder charge in my reloads a fair bit, Thinking it might slow down the inevitable increasing headspace.

When I got the rifle, if I remember right, the bolt did not quite fully close on the 0.064 gage. That’s how it came from Foultons. It does now. These two gages my Dad had for many years, I’m not sure who made them.

Posted By: Goosic
Date Posted: July 11 2018 at 10:23pm
Originally posted by Dave5O Dave5O wrote:

Any one have a source for #4 bolt heads? Mine has head space issues. Prob need a 3 or 4 size.

What exactly is your headspace issue and please be very specific. The bolthead came in four sizes, 0,1,2,3. The elusive 4 size does not exist in the capacity you think of. If you have a Forrester .070" No-Go Gage and the bolt closes on it,it doesn't condemn the weapon as the actual Gage should be a .074" one. Are you experiencing case separation? Is the bolt handle hard to operate after firing a round? Is the bolt moving around in its raceway when fully closed? I'm not trying to sound snobbish in any way but to simply say,"mine has headspace issues, probably need a 3 or a 4 size." leaves alot to interpret. If you have a #2 bolthead now and you are starting to get case separation you might have a chamber issue. Does your rifle have a * stamped into the top of the receiver by any chance? Again,be specific as to the issue you are having please...

Posted By: Goosic
Date Posted: July 11 2018 at 10:48pm
I have four spare boltheads. Three #1's and one #3. I just checked sizes on all four. Just a mere .070" difference between the shortest bolthead and the #3.
There is actually more to the headspace issues then just putting in a different number headbolt. You can have a #2 head that's bigger then a #3 or a #1 bigger then a #2. Etc,etc,etc...

Posted By: Shamu
Date Posted: July 12 2018 at 6:16am
There used to be a common misconception that receivers somehow "stretched like rubber bands" during firing , & never quite settled back down to their old size. So over time bolt heads were swapped for progressively longer ones till you got to the rare No4 & then the rifle was "shot out" & trashed!
Rubbish, but it was a commonly held belief.
The truth is much simpler.
It accommodated manufacturing tolerances, nothing more. There was an initial set back, but after that (unless something horribly abnormal happened) was it.
Swapping mis-matched bolts frequently needed a different bolt head to headspace correctly, that was the most common reason for a different bolt head.

Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)

Posted By: Dave5O
Date Posted: July 12 2018 at 8:04am
Problem is .the bolt closes on field gauge..

Posted By: Goosic
Date Posted: July 12 2018 at 6:05pm
A field gauge is roughly .070". Nothing to get worried about. Now. Does it close with little to no issues or do you have to force it a tad too close. The normal no-go headspace gauge is .074" and that will give you a definite if it still closes.
There's a trick to using a field gauge along with a
004" feeler gauge on top of it. It requires removing the extractor claw, dropping the field gauge in the chamber and then placing the feeler gauge on the face of the field gauge and slowly closing the bolt. It should stop as soon as you start to close the bolt. It could go past halfway before it stops. Either or,you should still be good.

Posted By: Shamu
Date Posted: July 13 2018 at 6:17am
There are actually 2 "standards" for FIELD.
Which one are you using? 0-.070, or 0.074"?

Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)

Posted By: Goosic
Date Posted: July 13 2018 at 6:34am
What number headbolt is currently in your rifle?

Posted By: Dave5O
Date Posted: July 13 2018 at 8:10am
Answering the previous questions
I dont know the gauge size ,its at my gunsmith.
As for the bolt #, there isnt any .Just a partial broad  arrow  and a single dot( punch mark)?
When I had my # 5  I swapped the bolt heads. I got both at the same time and thought they had been swapped by previous owner ..So stupidly ...
Thanks for help

Posted By: Shamu
Date Posted: July 13 2018 at 8:40am
OK, if its a US made one its probably the SAAMI 0.070".
Many not familiar with the Enfield don't even realize there are the 2 standards.

The bolt head number should be on the outside edge of the part that sticks out & rides the right side receiver rail.

Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)

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