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Thread: SMLE in 7.62x54R

  1. #41
    Gunco Member unclemonkey's Avatar
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    do you think there might be a place that could make me a drop in barrel? well, besides headspace? an enfield or socom specialist.. or would the price be crazy?

  2. #42
    TRX
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    You'd be on your own, there. Let me know if you find an affordable gunsmith!

  3. #43
    Gunco Member unclemonkey's Avatar
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    so, $85 for 45-70 is too good a deal to pass.. but do the #1 barrels fit a #4 reciever?

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    Gunco Veteran Viper Dude's Avatar
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    From my modest research all the Lee Enfield barrels used the same thread. That is a 14 TPI V shape, .997 inch diameter thread that is .687 inch long per info from "Bolt Action Rifles" by de Haas.

    WW-II Lee Enfields often had very sloppy over-size chambers.

    VD

  5. #45
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    The barrels all screw on. However, they're clocked 180 out - the extractor cutout winds up on the wrong side when you swap a No.1 and a No.4 barrel.

    However, the extractor cutouts aren't cut on the Sarco barrels, just the chambers. You can mill or Dremel to match your receiver.

    Gibbs used both No.1 and No.4 receivers on their .45-70 rifles.

  6. #46
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    I had to make an SMLE wrench. It turns out the No.4 receiver ring is quite a bit bigger around than a No.1, and shaped differently on the bottom, too. I make it large enough for a No.4, and I'll make a split aluminum bushing for the No.1

    After cutting the slot, I had to do a bunch of cutting and grinding to match it to the bottom of the receiver, which flares out into the lug, as opposed to the No.1, where the lug looks like it's just stuck on as an afterthought. You can see how that worked out in the bottom picture.

    Grabbing hold of the barrel turned out to be a hassle. I wound up shortening my barrel bushing to tighten the tapered area up before I could get enough bite to hold the barrel. I've been hitting the breech area with Knock'R'Loose and PB Blaster for six months now.

    The receiver was much tighter than a Chinese AK, not as tight as a Mosin. And much tighter than the No.1; I removed the barrel from the No.1 with a strap wrench!
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  7. #47
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    Hmm. It's time to screw in the .45-70 barrel and check the headspace. But what is the headspace supposed to be?

    The SAAMI cartridge drawing shows a rim thickness of .060 to .070". It also shows a chamber with a rim recess, the recess being .070-.077.

    A max rim and minimum recess would give a headspace of zero.

    A minimum rim and a max recess would give a headspace of .017"!

    Well, that's how things were in 1872, I guess...

    I have a box of new Remington cartridges on hand. I think I'll mosey down to Blue Star next week and pick up a handful of commercial empties of as many brands as I can find, and see what modern commercial brass is closest to.

    If the variation is small, I'm going to set the headspace to .001 or .002 on the thickest rim, unless someone has a better idea.

  8. #48
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    net.lore says you can just run a 54R reamer into a .303 barrel, though it'll result in a funny-looking stepped case after firing. Lore also says if you set the barrel back a couple of threads you can fix this.

    Ain't no way, droogies. Two threads isn't *nearly* enough to make a clean chamber, which I should have realized from looking at the drawings.

    The SMLE doesn't have many threads to begin with, so setting it back more than two threads would start getting iffy. There's also the problem that on the No.1, you're moving the barrel far enough that all the "stuff" on the forend might not line up any more.

    So, if all you want is something that'll shoot, just run the 54R reamer in. But there's no way to cut a correct chamber into the factory .303 barrel without shortening it too much to use.

    The Mosin barrel has a finer thread than the SMLE barrel, too. I was hoping I might be able to step it on the lathe to take some of the SMLE hardware, but no go.
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  9. #49
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    Hello TRX,
    Is there insufficient SMLE barrel shank to run those 14 TPI threads back far enough for a recut Russian chamber ??? The orignal threading can be picked-up on a lathe and extended when the thread major diameter is extended first.

    I've done this thread extension on shortened Garand '06 barrels with their funky square 10 TPI threads to rechamber them to .308.

    VD

  10. #50
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    You'd have maybe four threads left by the time you set the barrel back enough to completely clean it up. It's probably enough, but frankly, if I was going to use the original barrel, I'd just run the 54R reamer in there and call it good enough. Baud knows the .303 chambers are loose enough to start with; the extra neck that would be fireformed onto the 54R case would be no big deal. If you were shooting commercial Boxer-primed brass and reloading it, it would be one thing, but the whole point of converting an Enfield to 54R is to shoot cheap Berdan primed Commie ammo. As long as headspace is correct and the case doesn't actually rupture, who cares what it looks like when you eject it?

    I guess I was just annoyed that "just set the barrel back a couple of threads and it'll fix it right up" turned out to be more Bubba Gunsmith lore. And if I'd taken the time to examine the case drawings in the loading manual, I wouldn't have been suckered.

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