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Thread: SMLE in 7.62x54R

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    Hm. I couldn't find the pressure rating of the SOCOM with a quick search. The larger diameter of the SOCOM case means the case head thrust against the bolt would be proportionally higher, a=pi*r^2

    Some Ishapore Enfields were proofed for 7.62x51, which is way on up there. And the Gibbs .45-70s shoot "modern" high pressure .45-70.

    Find a CUP or PSI figure for the SOCOM and I can give you a better answer.

    HOWEVER, looking at how the cuts inside an SMLE receiver guide the cartridge from the magazine to the breech, I'm still astonished that the .308 guns don't stovepipe cartridges. It would be worth trying to compare a .308 Enfield with a .303 to see if the receiver cuts were different; you might want to start with a .308 rifle if they are.

    Even if you're set up for SOCOM, it's hard to beat a chambered and threaded .45-70 barrel for $85, though.

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    Gunco Member unclemonkey's Avatar
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    chambered and threaded .45-70 barrel for $85?where? that is a good deal..

    although i was picturing this smle with a jungle carbine wood, 16 inch barrel (including flash hider), ar15 rear sight, some of those pretty very pointy 500 something grain projectiles and a suppressor..

    CUP or PSI figures for the SOCOM... looking, thanks

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    Gunco Member unclemonkey's Avatar
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    tough numbers to come up with..

    and i am sure that "458 SOCOM works in an aluminum ar receiver so a 303 bolt action should be fine" is not going to be enough...

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    Quote Originally Posted by unclemonkey View Post
    tough numbers to come up with..

    and i am sure that "458 SOCOM works in an aluminum ar receiver so a 303 bolt action should be fine" is not going to be enough...
    The steel on steel lockup of the AR is probably stronger than the rear locking enfield by far.

    I'd go with the .45-70. Tonsa case capacity so you can load whatever the heck you wanna, use cotton balls as wadding to keep light powder charges in the back of the case, and brass will always be available.

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    Gunco Member unclemonkey's Avatar
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    soo.. in a couple of places i found 35k as the chamber pressure rating for the .458 socom vs 45-48k for the 303 brit... so pressure won't be the deal breaker.. is there something else besides the work and $$ i am missing?

    and the 45-70 just doesn't do it for me.. its been done, kinda looking for a modern twist to this one..

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by unclemonkey View Post
    chambered and threaded .45-70 barrel for $85?where? that is a good deal..
    I sure thought so!

    Scroll back up to message #28.

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    Quote Originally Posted by [486] View Post
    brass will always be available.
    Plus the rifle was originally designed for the US Army .45-70.
    The US Army passed on it, so James Paris Lee sold it to the British, who went for a .303 caliber cartridge. Black powder, too.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by unclemonkey View Post
    soo.. in a couple of places i found 35k as the chamber pressure rating for the .458 socom vs 45-48k for the 303 brit... so pressure won't be the deal breaker.. is there something else besides the work and $$ i am missing?
    That low? I kept seeing comments that the SOCOM was low pressure, but that's surprising.

    In that case, I don't see any obstacles. The flat bolt face doesn't care about the case head size, and the stock .303 extractor hook has worked on 7mm Mauser conversions. If you don't have quite enough extractor travel you could use an Ishapore .308 hook.

    I asked about internal machining differences between the .303 and .308 on an Enfield forum last night, but they're not technoids like here on Gunco, so I might not get a reply.

    Like I said above, the only problem I foresee would be getting the cartridges to feed properly. But if it will take rimless cartridges like the .308 and 7mm Mauser, I'm sure it's no big deal. Heck, there's a guy out there who does 7.62x39 and .50 AE conversions, too... I'd forgotten about him.

    Hmm... you know, I bet you could sidestep a lot of work by using the SMLE mag as a shell and inserting an AR or H&K mag inside.

    Heck, go for it!

  9. #39
    Gunco Member unclemonkey's Avatar
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    yeah.. 7.62x39 was my original plan, but this sounds like a more original route.. what would be a good source for a barrel?

    that is going to be the most expensive part, and the tipping point as far as commitment. there must be some one around here with a reamer to rent but who would i have do the outside to smle spec?

  10. #40
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    You'll need a blank for a SOCOM; any take-off barrel will be in .458 Win Mag or something. An Adams & Bennett barrel from Midway might be the best deal.

    You can see if reamer-rentals.com has a SOCOM reamer for rent now. There have been a couple of threads here about building an AK in .458 SOCOM, but they all foundered on the reamer. It cost me about $140 for Pacific Tool & Die to make me a not-a-Beowulf reamer, plus shipping.

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