Enfield parts question


March 4, 2009, 10:40 PM
I am in need of a new bolt head for an Enfield MK 4 #2. I am getting some small case bulge that a gunsmith friend of mine says will soon lead to case separation. He says that a new bolt head will solve this headspace problem. Does anyone know the best place to get Enfield parts?

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March 4, 2009, 11:25 PM
Enfields have large chambers to ensure function with dirty ammo. I've yet to see a fired case from an enfield that didn't streach the fired round (it leaves a shiny ring near the case head. Are your primers backing out? If not I wouldn't worry about it. It's a rimmed case and headspaces on the rim. Bolt heads were made in sizes 0 thru 3 or maybe 4, but I've never seen one with a 3 or a 4. They are supposed to be in incriments of .003", but there is some debate as how accurate this really is.

If you reload you need to neck size your brass only and stay away from max. loads. This will make your brass last longer. Moderate loads for reloading are the best. If you do reload you most likely will have a case seperation just forward of the rim. Get yourseft a broken shell extractor.

March 4, 2009, 11:44 PM
I have heard of these mythical bolt heads , they are supposed to exist but I have never seen one .
Your best bet would be the gun parts guys at the gun shows , but if you find one it wont be cheap and it wont be there long .
Numrich has a good supply of other parts , but hard to find parts are usually out the door before they are even up on the website . good luck

March 5, 2009, 01:51 AM
I don't reload so I bought some Federal Power Shock 150 grain rounds. I usually shoot S&B or Wolf. I have never noticed it before yesterday when I was out shooting. I guess that I should check my brass more. The gun is so accurate and in great condition. Anyhow, you had to really feel along the side of the casing to notice a slight ring a quarter inch or so from the rim. My gunsmith friend that it will only get worse and that getting a replacement bolt head (mine will use a #2) is the quick fix. However, the primers are not backing out; so I am sure that I am okay.

March 5, 2009, 05:37 AM
You have to look; they ain't gonna just magically appear.





Jeff F
March 5, 2009, 07:55 AM
Have you checked the head space? As 351 Winchester said Enfields have pretty generous chambers and the brass stretching a bit is pretty normal. I have 2 No4 Mk2's and they have tighter chambers then the 4 Mk 1's I have that were wartime production. One Savage Mk1* I have stretches the brass so bad it won't chamber in any other Enfield I own and its head space has been checked and is good to go.

March 5, 2009, 08:41 AM
This info is from some very nice gentlemen in England.

No4 bolt heads are marked up :

The sizes SHOULD be slight incremental increases with 0 as the smallest.

Some time ago I investigated rumours that the size (number) was almost irrelevant to the actual bolt head size.
I (and a few friends) measured over 100 bolt heads and found that in fact you could get a number 1 bolt head smaller than a No2 bolt head, or a No2 bolt head larger than a No3 bolt head.

The actual results were :

Size / Number 0 went from 0.620" - 0.631"
Size / Number 1 went from 0.622" - 0.635"
Size / Number 2 went from 0.630" - 0.640"
Size / Number 3 went from 0.632" - 0.640"

If you need a new bolt head specify the dimension needed - not the 'next size up' - you could end up worse than when you started.

Just going up a number may not help, you have to measure your head then find one slightly longer. I agree that the Enfield chambers are large and it is normal to have some case stretch. Your rifle sounds like it may be needing a longer bolt head.

March 5, 2009, 04:40 PM
DavidB2, this is a good source for Enfield (& other military) parts. https://www.apexgunparts.com/./index.php/cPath/30
He's not showing any bolt heads on his site, but you might drop him a line.

I shoot a No.4 Mk.1 & reload for it. As others have said, that slight ring just ahead of the rim, actually closer to were the thicker 'web' portion of the case head finishes is quite normal. If you do decide to start reloading for your .303, buy a FL die set plus a neck-size die to go along with it. You'll be able to get by with neck sizing for a while, but eventually you'll need to full length size too, especially if you have more than one rifle in that caliber.

Jeff F
March 5, 2009, 07:44 PM
Unless the head space is checked with the proper mil spec gauge going up a size on the bolt head can cause other worse problems. The Enfields rear locking lugs can start wearing every time you chamber a round and after a time you will need a new bolt.

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