View Full Version : Enfield No 4 Bolt ?!?!

May 31, 2007, 03:22 PM
:confused: Okay, so I recently acquired a 303 Enfield No 4. The gun is sporterized but in amazing shape for its age. The gun is in darn near perfect shape, but I saw something that was concerning. When I shot it this afternoon the bolt handle would jump most of the way up when it fired. Now I don't have any experience with Enfields, and I really didn't do any research prior to getting it. I mainly got it for a nice cheap drag through the woods gun. Is this normal? If it isn't, what is wrong? Is it for speed cycling the bolt?

I figured you guys would have just as good a clue as anyone else so I'd start here, thanks.


May 31, 2007, 03:27 PM
Hey, mine does the same thing, If I barely push up on the bolt, It flies open, so it seems like both of us could use an answer on this. :eek:

May 31, 2007, 03:35 PM
I recently got my fathers old No4 he used for deer hunting when he was a young man, and he gave me a stern warning about the bolt jumping up when fired.

When the bolt on yours is closed, does it seem to go all the way down? Or only mostly down? Mine wasn't going all the way down, and it was probably like that when my dad was hunting with it, and like that when he bought it. When cleaning it before firing it (it had been in storage for 30+ years), I noticed that the head of the bolt, which screws onto the body, seemed to be 1 turn short of being completely screwed down. This would add a bit of extra length to the bolt, and keep it from seating completely. I took the bolt out, gave the head the extra turn and re-installed the bolt. Voila. The bolt seats completely and doesn't budge when firing.

May 31, 2007, 04:06 PM
As noted, the bolt head is critical for headspacing, and many of the old warhorses either ended up with the wrong one, or in cleaning ended up with the head not screwed down onto the bolt body as far as it should be.

May 31, 2007, 04:49 PM
It surprises me that Enfields with this problem don't having problems firing, since if the bolt head isn't screwed down all the way, the firing pin ought to have a tough time hitting and igniting the primer. As "old warhorses", though, they were probably overbuilt and designed to shoot under all kinds of adverse conditions.

May 31, 2007, 08:30 PM
If I can interject, the Enfield bolt is a rear locking type. On the #4's and $5's, this allows one to "adjust" the head space with a different bolt head (0,1,2,3). If you have the bolt head screwed out of the bolt any at all, like 1 turn, the bolt will not close. The rimmed .303 cartridge headspaces on the rim, not the sholder. We can get into a long discussion about headspace on an Enfield, but not now.

The bolt can move, depending on the rifle, when it is fired. It is not common though. An Enfield dry fired will jump the bolt big time. But, when shooting, a little movement is OK. If it "nearly jumps open" when firing, I would NOT fire the rifle, as it is unsafe. There is something very wrong with the surfaces that the bolt lug and handle cam into. and the notches on the cocking piece.

The handle flying up if bumped under pressure is common on a "locking on closing" rifle. Again, if the rifle is unloaded, the bolt has no resistance to work against. A loaded rifle usually will not exibit the same issues.

June 1, 2007, 12:18 AM
Have to agree here. If there is a round in there is shouldn't be lifting half way up like that. It shouldn't really get that far even when dry fired, though it does come up some. You may want to have that looked at.

June 1, 2007, 06:10 AM
Well, thanks for the help. I will have the guys down at the gun shop take a look at it and see what is up.