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Thread: SMLE in 7.62x54R

  1. #51
    TRX
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    The SMLE doesn't have a straight hole back from the barrel to the bolt. It has a smaller-diameter web the bolt head pokes into, sort of like the "extra web" on a 98 Mauser.

    The .45-70 rim is too big to go through the hole. It's not critical, and could probably be opened up with a Dremel, but in the interests of overkill I made a fixture to hold the receiver on the lathe. I need to make a stepped bushing to press into the front for the steady rest to ride.

    The bolt keeps the receiver from turning on the shaft, and the odd metal wing is a counterweight for to balance the magwell/stock socket. I used bolts and washers to adjust the weight until it balanced.
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  2. #52
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    .45-70 barrel screwed into No.4 receiver.
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  3. #53
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    The Enfield project is supposed to be officially parked and waiting while I finish up some other stuff, but I managed to score a No.4 forend off Gunbroker for $16 and a No.4 buttstock off eBay for $22. I've missed a couple of old sporter stock sets. "Cheap is a quality overcoming many faults", plus my dubious wood-mangling skilz are more suited to working with beat-up old milsurp bits. The barrel channel in the forend has to be opened up a *lot* for the massive .45-70 barrel.

    Old Western Scrounger still shows surplus Gibbs .45-70 magazines, but they're nearly $100 to my door, with shipping. I keep gagging at that. And even milsurp .303 magazines seem to be running around $50 with shipping. I've been dragging my feet on the magazine issue. Oddly, antique Remington-Lee .45-70 magazines sometimes pop up on Gunbroker for not that much more than the Gibbs mags - $125-ish, sometimes. Sure, they're 125 years old, but they were designed to feed .45-70 through a Lee action, even though it's not quite the same action. I'd need to make an adapter of some sort. It might be worth the extra expense and trouble, but that's still down the road a bit.

  4. #54
    Gunco Veteran Viper Dude's Avatar
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    Hello TRX,
    Perhaps a modified Bren mag. Lots of meat with which to work.

    VD

  5. #55
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    when your done, food for thought
    I have a martini we shoot 45 colt adapter out of it along with a 45-70 adapter from MAC tools in alaska

    you may want to consider shooting 45 colt for less recoil and cheaper reloads. believe it or not that 45-70 does not kick in that martini as one would think
    Sprat and sprat1 are one and the same.

  6. #56
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    [reaches for Bren mag and box of .45-70]

    [I might have thought of that, eventually. Maybe. Well, I might have...]

    Hmm. One holds and slides out fine. Three and there's a follower tilt problem. Five and it gets a wedgie, possibly correctable by playing with the feed lips. Six won't go.

    The ridge on the back of the mag would have to come off, but that would also let me push the back part together a bit more to reduce the width at the back.

    Okay, that;s a possibility. Now I wonder where that PSL magazine went...

    [edit] Okay, a G3 mag will hold five, but gets into a follower problem again. Same with the PSL mag. The PSL also doesn't want to release the cartridges at all; I finally had to use a knife to push the follower down and work the cartridges out. ("Brass checks in, but it doesn't check out!")

    It looks like an ideal lip setup would hold both the rim and front of the cartridge, and then have a cutaway section to let the rim pop up after the nose has lifted toward the chamber. I also have an M-14 mag around somewhere I can check...

    A Saiga .410 mag won't work. The .45-70 rim is too big, and the plastic Saiga mag doesn't come apart to allow grinding inside.

    There are some guys who have evaded opening up the receiver ring by turning down the rim on the .45-70 some. This means they have to stay with their modified brass... but it might also let them use Saiga, Savage, or Mossberg .410 box mags.

  7. #57
    Gunco Veteran Viper Dude's Avatar
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    Then there are those 8x56 mmR Hungarian ZB mags that are said to feed everything...

    VD

  8. #58
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    The Gibbs magazine lets the .45-70s flop around - if you turned the mag upside down, the top cartridge would hang down at more than a 45 degree angle. The Gibbs also requires that you cycle the bolt with some authority or the cartridges do odd things, like slamming into the breech ring instead of going into the barrel.

    I don't have an SMLE magazine or I'd screw the old barrel back on and watch how it feeds. I don't have all the magazine bits for the Ross, and I don't have the barrel done yet anyway. The only complete rifle I have on hand that handles a rimmed cartridge is a 91/30, and I now understand what the "interruptor" blade on the side is for. Ingenious... except there have been plenty of rifles that didn't need such a thing to handle a rimmed cartridge. I just need to figure out how they did it...

  9. #59
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    The buttstock and forend showed up last week. There's no hardware with either, no big deal. I think I'm going to go with a rubber butt pad on the buttstock since I don't have a proper metal buttplate for it, and frankly, in my advancing years my shoulder is getting tender.

    I still don't know what the difference between a No.1 and No.4 buttstock is; I can't tell them apart by eye, and a No.1 will hammer into the No.4 receiver.

    The forends are *much* different. The No.4 receiver is much more squared off, and the recoil lug is different. Looking at the impressions, I was struck once again by now few places the action and forend touch. Of course, the socketed buttstock takes all the recoil, and the forend just provides a place to hang on to. Just another example of James Paris Lee's brilliant engineering.

    A *lot* of wood has to come out of the forend for the pipe-ular .45-70 barrel to snuggle in. What I need is a big half-round rasp with the right radius and an offset handle. So far I haven't found exactly what I'm thinking about at Brownells or any woodworking site. The other thing would be a round scraper. I'm thinking of a beveled disc of the right diameter, mounted on a handle. I think I saw something like that somewhere, but it would be easy enough to make.

    Somewhere along the way I have to decide what I'm going to do for the front weight. The No.4 has an excellent peep sight on the receiver already.

    Somewhere along the way the Voices have persuaded me to load the .45-70 cases with black powder. The ball mill is about half finished. The Voices have been suggesting that a nice muzzle brake would make the SMLE a true "smelly" if I wanted to be obnoxious to any hip-hop assault rifle yuppies at the range...

  10. #60
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    Hello TRX,
    There are 1/2 round router bits that perhaps could recut the barrel channel. The bits in a router table with a guide should do the job (or in a milling machine).

    VD

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