View Full Version : Question for any Savage made Lee Enfield

October 14, 2008, 06:13 PM
I picked up a Savage made Lee Enfield a few weeks ago and just got some 1960 surplus 303 ammo for it (just like Sportsman Guide has) http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/cb.aspx?a=405051 . I took it out today expecting a good time....first shot was a hit but what the heck I can't get the bolt to move. Maybe its like my 1891/30. *Wack wack* nope can't get it open. Finally got it to move by hooking the bolt and pulling up then putting pressure on the bolt by placing my foot on the bolt and pressing down. The shell has no holes or anything. Ok next round. *Click*..Bang! Ammo must be getting old, bolt won't opn again. Same thing nothing wrong. Is it the gun or the ammo? Thank you.

October 14, 2008, 09:05 PM
Most likely the ammo. 1960 dated ammo is most likely POF. BAD stuff. Try some Prvi factory stuff before you pass judgment. Make sure the safety is not flipping on after every shot.



October 15, 2008, 07:18 AM
What is the headstamp on the ammo?
is it this stuff:
""POF" headstamped, made in the Pakistan Ordnance Factory in the late 1950s to early 1960s! .303 British caliber, still good to BLAM! Brass-cased, Berdan-primed, non-reloadable. 174-grain lead core FMJ rounds. "

If it is then you have some very poorly made rrounds. The POF was dubious at best, & dangerous at worst.

Second thought:
Was the function of the rifle (including headspace) checked?

October 18, 2008, 09:39 AM
You definitely want to check it with some PRVI or similar ammo. If it persists have the headspace checked. All is not lost, the beauty of the Enfield is it is a durable beast made to be fixed by any competent armourer. The bolt head has different sizes, marked by a 0,1,2,3,0r 4. Simply screwing the longer or shorter head on will correct the headspace problem, if you have one.

THese are great rifles, shot a whole bunch of Nazis, etc. in its time.

November 28, 2008, 08:46 AM
You may have already solved your problem, but if not...

No offense, but have you disassembled and cleaned everything very well?

The Enfield bolt should be very smooth except when turning down. Even then the resistance shouldn't be too hard. When you lift the bolt handle, the bolt should jump back a little under it's own power! If it isn't clean, that could be your problem. Get some Break Parts Cleaner from Walmart Automotive and clean the cosmoline out of everything. (BPC is basicly the same thing as GunScrubber at half the price!) Be sure to oil everything afterward because this stuff washes all the oil away, too!

T. O'Heir
November 30, 2008, 03:57 AM
Check the headspace. The ammo doesn't matter. Hard extractions and jammed bolts are classic examples of excessive headspace. Do not shoot it, with any ammo, until you do. It's not safe to shoot.
Thousands of Lee-Enfields have been assembled out of parts bins with zero QC.
"...Simply screwing the longer or shorter head on will correct the headspace problem..." No it won't. It is an easy fix, but you must have the right parts and tools. Just changing the bolt head with the next higher number does not mean the headspace will be safe. Changing the bolt head must be done in conjunction with proper headspace guages. And they're stamped 0 to 3 only. Brownell's has the guages.
Look at the bolt head. There will be a number on the lug. If it's a 0, you're in luck. Gunparts has 1's, at $11.30US each, but there's no guarantee that putting on a 1 will fix the headspace. Only headspace guages with the right bolt head will fix it.

November 30, 2008, 08:21 AM
I'm sorry but I disagree strongly with something in your post.
The ammo doesn't matter.
It most certainly does!
Bad ammo, mis-loaded ammo & cheap, tired ammo made with sub standard components is a major cause of problems, particularly when a lot of 3rd world nations are dumping unusable ammo that has been poorly stored for 40+ years.

I do agree that you need to check for proper headpace when switching bolt heads, this is the only way to confirm that it is correct.
However And they're stamped 0 to 3 only. is incorrect, there is a #4 and a "L", which is rarely seen.

December 1, 2008, 09:08 PM
I need your help please. I found instructions on how to disassemble this gun, but nothing how to reassemble it. Does anyone out there know how this can be accompolished? It has a patent date on it of Nov 21 1905 but I believe it was manufactured in 1910. Does anyone know where I can obtain a manual about this gun also? I have been online for over 2 hours trying to find this information. thank you in advance for your time!

December 11, 2008, 10:17 PM
I was going to tell you I have an original manual and I have the gun.when you put the hammer unit back squeese the hammer as you turn the

March 24, 2010, 03:08 AM
Wog is correct regarding the rare #4 and L marked bolt heads ... I must also respectively add that the issue of numbered heads is not so simple either. A member of our forum at Surplus Enfields, has been taking a survey in recent years of bolt head lengths. What the survey revealed is that each bolt head number ( 0,1,2,3 etc ) has a wide range of measured variables for each size.

The bottom line is this ... if you have a #3 bolt head and you need to go up a size, you don't need a #4 bolt head - what you need is a bolt head longer than the #3 you already have. The survey revealed that many #0, #1 and #2 bolt heads can in fact be longer than a #3. This is actually a good thing and all it means is that when seeking to replace a bolt head for headspace, you need to carry some calipers with you to ensure the bolt head is longer than the one you already have. The numbers are a guide only ...


April 20, 2010, 03:05 AM
Well I guess I should give the rest of the story on this rifle. Turns out the prior owner used bad ammo in at let the chamber rust away. This is why I couldn't get the bolt to open after the shot was done. The brass was pushing into the cracks and holes. Thankfully the guy I got it from was willing to trade for a much better one but not a Savage but a real Lee Model 4 #1

April 20, 2010, 11:59 AM
That's a shame about the chamber of the Savage. They are good rifles.

April 20, 2010, 12:16 PM
Thankfully the guy I got it from was willing to trade for a much better one but not a Savage but a real Lee Model 4 #1

The Savage-Stevens No4 MkI(*) is a real Lee Enfield. The Savage and Long Branch are probably the best quality war time production LE's. They didn't have bombs and rockets falling on them while working.

James K
April 20, 2010, 12:24 PM
Hi, Abbott10,

Garden tools? I think you got on the wrong site. You could use a Rifle No. 4 with bayonet to dig up dandelions, but I recommend something lighter and less awkward.


April 21, 2010, 03:58 AM
The Savage and Long Branch are probably the best quality war time production LE's. They didn't have bombs and rockets falling on them while working.

Sorry Crate, but that is a nonsense myth that has been doing the rounds for far too long. The issue of No4 quality is one of component wear and the life the rifle has lead - not factory quality control. All factories that made the No4 had stringent QC programs and those rifles that were found to have certain expediencies of finish were racked, or sent to nations such as Turkey for instance. I have seen many British No4's in better fit and finish than some North American variations and vice versa - the issue was always one of wear and not factory QC.


April 21, 2010, 06:52 AM
Sorry Crate, but that is a nonsense myth that has been doing the rounds for far too long.

I have to disagree TR. The late production Long Branch's with the parkerized finish were IMHO the best MkI's made. There was considerable difference in fit and finish among the three British manufacturers during war time production. I think overall BSA was the best with Faz close behind, Maltby is well known for being less concerned about fit and finish compared to the other manufacturers.

As far as issued rifles, obviously:rolleyes: the service they saw well determine their condition.

April 21, 2010, 07:18 AM

The major difference in fit and finish with the British rifles was largely caught up in peoples perceptions regarding the care taken with the stamps and receiver markings. I have all of those rifles but for a Faz ... though I have seen plenty of Faz rifles and handled them too ... the quality of fit and finish of a Longbranch is overblown in my view and if I were to choose between them, it'd be a Brit No4 no question. The simplified cut out on the bolt rail of the Mk1* is yet another factor that favours the British No4 over the North American variant also - if we're being picky.

The story of bombs affecting production quality is quite overblown ... I had 5 great uncles all in the British Military during WW2 ... my Grandfather included. I had family members in London during blitz living the life and family members working in factories during wartime in the Blitz. Britain had no trouble turning out superb aircraft like the Spitfire and Hurricane whilst bombs were falling ... why would their small arms manufacturing have been the only one to suffer? My family members carried these rifles into war ... they never spoke to me about Longbranch or Savage No4's being better than Brit made No4's. - the fit and finish was negligible between them all.

No ... what has happened is that because the NRA booklet has stated for umpteen years that in their view the Longbranch is the best of the No4's, that this is what has stuck in the heads of blokes selling No4's at the gun shows in the U.S. Just like Japanese whispers the story turns from opinion into some kind of irrefutable fact. Along with that story, the same gun show stories about bombs falling and better quality No4's being made stateside, are just that ... stories. But they sure do make a slick sales pitch at the gun show.

If people want to confuse rushed manufacture markings and factory stamps with overall fit, finish and QC ... go right ahead. The British soldiers I've spoken to ( Family included ) never knew any different and nor did they care. My advice ... find the No4 in the best condition, with the best barrel that has matching numbers ... that's the best No4.


April 22, 2010, 07:44 AM
I agree the bolt rail cut out is a draw back on the MkI*'s, although I have never had a problem, but I have seen them with chips at the cut out, not good.

Have you ever seen a 1944 or newer LB with a Parkeriized finish? It is just nicer than a oil blackened finish, no way around it. Now fit and finish has little to do with function, I think any model of the No4 is an adequate battle rifle no matter what shop it came from.

And as far as the best No4, has to be the post war Mk2's. If you are fortunate enough to have taken one out of the wrap you would know what I mean.

We can agree to disagree, but we are both Enfield fanatics.

April 22, 2010, 07:42 PM

No doubt we both love our Enfields, what we are discussing is but sticking points among collectors. Soldiers knew nothing of the history and etymology of the markings and stamps, factories and whatnot; as long the rifle fired and gave minute of torso, that was all that mattered. To them, the best No4 was the one they were carrying at the time.

Interesting thing about the Mk1*'s is that a chipped bolt rail at the chamber end did not spell the end of the rifle but a chip at the butt stock end of the bolt rail did. I have a small chip at the chamber edge of my Savage Mk1* and it makes no difference to keeping the bolt in the race.

The MKII's are no doubt superb rifles in fit and finish ... these are post war rifles that were made without the haste of Military requirement. But for me they lack the personality of wartime No4's and I still prefer them to the MKII's. Of course the trigger being hung from the receiver rather than the trigger guard is a huge plus but for me the way around this history vs quality issue is to find a Mk1/2 or Mk1/3 ... which I have yet to do - but I will.

Cheers, Tiki.