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Old August 21, 2011, 11:36 PM   #1
MoscowMike
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Join Date: November 14, 2008
Posts: 20
Ishapore Enfield - Bolt Head Rotates Too Easily

I recently purchased an Ishapore Enfield in 7.62x51 that appears to be in very good condition. A friend of mine who has good familiarity with earlier SMLE models is concerned because the retaining spring doesn't hold the bolt head down firmly.
When you pull back the bolt you can rotate the bolt head off the retaining spring in preparation for removing the bolt from the action with a very slight effort.
My friend maintains that this should take a deliberate push with your thumb, and feels that there must be a problem.
Looking at the bolt head and the spring, they don't appear heavily worn. We removed the retainer spring, sear spring and sear, cleaned the area thoroughly, reassembled and it still just takes a very small effort to rotate the bolt head off the spring.

Is this a problem? If so, what can I do? I thought of a thin shim under the retaining spring, or buying a new one.

Thanks!

- Mike
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Old August 22, 2011, 01:41 PM   #2
James K
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The usual complaint is that the spring is too strong and folks can't get the bolt out. As for a light spring, I can't see a problem as long as you make sure the bolt head is down before trying to close the bolt. That retaining spring is held in by the sear screw and can be easily removed. You can take it out and "tune" it by tapping it to bend it slightly or replace it as you choose.

Jim
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Old August 24, 2011, 03:59 PM   #3
adrians
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as jim said usually people complain that it "hurts their thumb" a little to get the head over the retaining spring ,i have been guilty of this as mine is tight on my 2a1.
i wouldn't think it is detrimental to the rifles operation so long as it "bottomed" out before closing the bolt.
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Old August 24, 2011, 04:36 PM   #4
MoscowMike
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Join Date: November 14, 2008
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Thanks for the suggestions. I put a thin brass shim under the retaining spring, and now it takes a couple of pounds of pressure not a couple of ounces. I suppose SARCO might have a new one if I want to give that a try someday.

Looking at an armourers manual for the SMLE I found online, it said the specified range was from 10 to 16 pounds, but they were probably thinking more about situations under pressure where you could accidentally pop the bolt loose.

Not likely to be my problem.

I'll have to see how well the adjustments on the site work at longer ranges. The little twist screw for fine adjustments is interesting. Looking forward to more range time with it.

- Mike
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Old August 24, 2011, 09:49 PM   #5
James K
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I seem to recall reading that the earliest Lee experimentals didn't have that spring. When bolt was opened fast, the bolt head "bounced" up and kept the bolt from closing. That spring fixed the problem.

Jim
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