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Thread: SMLE in 7.62x54R

  1. #61
    TRX
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    That would help some, but the barrel is a straight taper.

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    Gunco Regular wpflgun's Avatar
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    Whatever happened on your 45-70 project? I have one that is nearly complete, needs extractor work. I picked up the barrel from Sarco (Gibbs old stock) and installed it on a No1MkIII receiver. Picked up the mag for it a while back for about $70, oh well. I did all the receiver opening with a dremmel, and the round feeds smoothly w/o the extractor installed on the bolt head. With the extractor, it grips the rim too hard and causes the round to twist just enough to impede feeding. I was expecting to need to modify the extractor, just hadn't got down to figuring it out. Have you done that step yet? Advice/pointers would be appreciated.

    I used a bubba'd SMLE stock, and also had to open up the barrel channel to accommodate it. I am missing a couple of small parts that I need to track down, lost track of them over time, but nearly ready to go.

  3. #63
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    It's still parked. I haven't cut the extractor groove in the barrel yet.

    How thick are the rims on your cases? There's a lot of variation in specs for different brass. If you have thick rims, it might be worth just going to a different brand of brass.

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    Gunco Regular wpflgun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TRX View Post
    It's still parked. I haven't cut the extractor groove in the barrel yet.

    How thick are the rims on your cases? There's a lot of variation in specs for different brass. If you have thick rims, it might be worth just going to a different brand of brass.
    I haven't measured, but the case is significantly wider and the rim thicker. I probably need to shorten and re-shape the extractor so it will still hold snug, but not pull the rim toward the extractor when pushing the round in.

  5. #65
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    The SMLE extractor has a very long stroke; up in Canada people have done 7mm Mauser conversions and claim the unmodified extractor works find with the rimless case.

    The extractor is *supposed* to be able to push the case to the left. That preloads the case against the left side of the chamber for consistency, sort of like a the ejector pin on an AR or a Savage. And it keeps the case pushed to the left side of the receiver, so it will slide across the bolt face a bit as the bolt strokes back, so it can hit the ejector screw.

    The left sidewall is actually scooped out a bit to let the case slide over; that's one reason the bolt feels loosey-goosey.

    How's your headspace? You might be able to take a little off the bolt head face to get more extractor bite.

    I never did get any feedback on the varying rim thicknesses of .45-70 brass on any of the boards where I asked, and the only local place that had used brass went out of business.

    I'm tempted to set my rifle up tight on an .062" rim, and face off the front of any thick rims on the lathe to .062". Just reaching in with a parting tool should do it. You can't take of off the back of the case without making the primer pocket shallower.

    In my case, I'll probably just "adjust" forty or sixty cases, which will probably last me the rest of my life... I'm not worried if it won't handle all commercial ammunition. Though, really, the change in headspace doesn't seem to be an issue with .45-70 guns in general, and if there's any platform that has proven it can handle excessive headspace, it's the SMLE!

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    Gunco Regular wpflgun's Avatar
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    No problem with headspace. The only issue is that, when stripping the round from the magazine, the extractor has to flex much farther out than for the .303 round, and it grips the rim very tightly, and the tension is much stronger, actually causing the round to pull up and to the right slightly, keeping it from feeding the front of the round in. Without the extractor installed, the round feeds smooth as silk. I have the extractor cut in the installed barrel, and the round extracts properly if I guide it in and close the bolt completely.

  7. #67
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    A ha! Now I understand your question.

    The Gibbs I played with did something similar, though I didn't have it long enough to figure out what was causing it.

    As a plan of attack, I would take a minimum amount off the extractor, then try a lighter spring. You can probably go a lot lighter than stock; the larger cartridge doesn't need to move as far over to reach the ejector pin, and you don't have to worry about the extractor still working reliably with crusted full of filth.

    Extraction shouldn't be an issue, I'm just paranoid about breaking extractors for some reason.

  8. #68
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    "Real Life" and Quality Shop Time are still in conflict, but I did make a small step forward this morning.

    I'd been gagging at the price of surplus Gibbs magazines (close to $100), particularly since they don't work very well. Then I noticed that OWS didn't have them listed any more. Well, I didn't really want one anyway, but it was nice knowing there was a fallback option.

    There's a guy on Gunbroker who has been trying to sell an old Lee magazine for... years, I guess, at $125. I finally said "screw it!" and bought the thing.

    The magazine is from an 1885 Remington-Lee in .45-70. It's narrower and shorter than an SMLE magazine; I'll have to make an adapter of some sort to hold it. But it's designed from the ground up to feed .45-70.

    James Paris Lee sold several designs to Remington before he hooked up with Enfield. There were several Remington-Lee rifles. The early ones had smooth-sided magazines, the 1885 had an elaborate set of stepped guide ridges stamped into the sides, and the 1899 had a simpler set of guide ridges. The one I bought is an 1885. The ridges look like they'll guide the base of the cartridge right up the bolt face.

    So I have a 70 year old receiver, a 129 year old magazine, and I'll be shooting reproductions of a 142 year old cartridge. Life is good...
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    Neat...just check out that patina! Never give up...
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    Gunco Good ole boy twa2471's Avatar
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    Oh Boy Oh Boy,,,I just may have one of those mags kicking around here TRX. I'll run out and check and see if it holds the 45-70's,,,wait one,,,,, I'll go check,,,,


    WELL LATTIE DAH!!!! I do have one for ya after all TRX. I thought it looked awful familiar,,, it has May1878,Nov 1879, Aug1884 and Sept 1884 patent dates on it,,,it's yours if you can use it?

    The cost,,,,shipping only, probably 5-6 bucks,,is that fair enough for ya bud?

    If so PM me your info to ship it out to you and I'll get it out first thing Monday morning. The PO window is already closed today, or I'd have done it up today. Let me know,,,,PS,,,it comes with free patina too, but should clean up well!!
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