Enfield bolt movement question


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ARperson
January 22, 2004, 09:09 PM
Just got a sweet Enfield No. 4, Mk2 at the fun show last weekend. After I got it home and all cleaned up, I was dry firing it to test the trigger (very nice). But I also noticed that the bolt rotates upwards a smidge when the trigger is pulled. Almost as if the bolt isn't locked.

Is this normal? This is my first Enfield. I know the Mausers and Mosins don't do this. Please tell me my new baby isn't sick.

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Jim K
January 22, 2004, 09:22 PM
Perfectly normal. It does not happen when firing.

Jim

ARperson
January 22, 2004, 10:48 PM
Whew!

Oh, thank you.

I guess the bolt would be pressing against the cartridge, thus preventing it from moving when loaded?

Badger Arms
January 22, 2004, 11:06 PM
NOPE. It pops up a litte when you shoot it as well. Again, I've been told that it's normal and hundreds of rounds later, I don't have any reason to believe they are lying. Still makes me leery. The main reason is the 'cock-on-close' bolt that James Lee designed (See this month's Rifleman). This means that there isn't the 'normal' Mauser 98 style spring compression required to lift the bolt, therefore it's free to pop up a little. But yes, while the cartridge is actually firing and under pressure, the bolt handle won't fly up and send the bolt through your skill... hopefullly... maybe...

:uhoh:

Wildalaska
January 23, 2004, 01:16 AM
Hey AR millions of Enfields have been made and shot hundreds of millions of times and each and every time the bolt has "popped" a little..

Yet millions of Enfield shooters dont have bolts in their skulls........:)

I personally have shot Enflieds where the head space was so bad that the primers popped like a teenage zit, and I didnt have a bolt in my skull...thats not to say that you should do it, but an Enfield in good shape is the King of all bolt battle rifles...


WildforqueenandcountryAlaska

ARperson
January 23, 2004, 10:50 AM
Well, this particular one is in pretty sweet condition. The bore is just about perfect, honestly. And all parts are numbers matching. The rifle's finish on both barrel/receiver and stock are worn, but it's an old rifle. We'll give it a a shot (pun intended) and just to the side for the first couple of shots. ;)

Thanks for the info. Kinda had me worried.

Jim K
January 23, 2004, 04:41 PM
Hi, guys,

No, the bolt doesn't "pop" when the rifle is fired. The pressure from the round backing up holds it firmly in place against the locking lug seats. When the pressure drops, the remaining vibration often causes the bolt to open slightly. Remember the Blish principle?

Jim

Badger Arms
January 23, 2004, 05:45 PM
Remember the Blish principle?NO!:confused: :(

fallingblock
January 24, 2004, 07:36 AM
it's perfectly normal when dry-firing.

I've got a 1955 #4mkII also....it shoots very nice groups and operates like the proverbial 'hot knife through butter'.:D

WildspeaksthetruthAlaska:
"an Enfield in good shape is the King of all bolt battle rifles...":)

repsychler
January 24, 2004, 07:51 AM
My Enfield does the same thing. I've never had a problem because of it, and mine does move less (if at all) when actually firing a round. hmm..I think I'm gonna have to bring the old girl on the next range trip, its been a while.

Mike Irwin
January 24, 2004, 04:30 PM
"No, the bolt doesn't "pop" when the rifle is fired."

Uh, well...

Mine does.

About 15 percent of the time with standard military loads.

Several times the bolt handle has come very close to halfway up.

Badger Arms
January 24, 2004, 04:40 PM
Mike, I think what Jim meant was that it wasn't moving while there was still pressure. Mine, too, pops up about 10-15% of the time with military loads, however, I have no illusions that it's popping up prior to the pressure dropping to a safe level. As slick and smooth as my action is, I can slap the rifle when the striker is down on an spent case and the bolt pops up a little. Same under recoil.

Bottom line in all this discussion is that it's safe, normal, and nothing to be concerned about.

Andrew Wyatt
January 24, 2004, 04:41 PM
you mean enfields aren't semi autos? I thought mine just lost the return spring. :)

Badger Arms
January 24, 2004, 04:44 PM
Just so nobody thinks this is new, it's a problem I worried about myself a few years back:

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=14888&highlight=Enfield+Bolt

Bainx
January 24, 2004, 10:23 PM
the bolt rotates upwards a smidge when the trigger is pulled. Almost as if the bolt isn't locked.

If you will notice, your average Mosin does the same thing.

MeekandMild
January 24, 2004, 11:26 PM
Hmm I worried about this nearly 40 years ago when I had my Enfield. I thought about putting a little detente spring on it but never got around to it. I gave it to my dad but he didn't like it and sold it maybe 30 years ago; as far as I know it never broke anybody's face.:uhoh:

Jim K
January 25, 2004, 12:35 AM
For the newbies:

John Bell Blish (1860-1921) was a U.S. naval officer who one day noticed that the big naval guns with their interrupted screw breechblocks tended to open part way when firing blanks but did not do so when firing full charges. He concluded that a system could be developed that, by using the pressure of the fired round to keep the breech closed temporarily, a small arm could be developed that would not require a full locking system and would thus be less complex.

To be brief, this idea was taken up by another John, John Taliferro Thompson, and became the basis of the early (1921/1928) Thompson submachineguns. In WWII, it was found that, while the "Blish principle" worked, the delay was not really necessary for the .45 ACP cartridge, and the TSMG was redesigned (M1 and M1A1) to do away with the locking block. Some auto rifles were also made on the Blish principle, but were not as successful.

What I alluded to in the Lee action is the same principle. As long as the pressure is high, the bolt lugs are firmly pressed against the lug seats and the bolt does not move. But when the pressure is off, the vibration and slight residual pressure can cause the bolt to open part way. Again, this is normal, and of no concern.

Jim

Wildalaska
January 25, 2004, 12:54 AM
But yes, while the cartridge is actually firing and under pressure, the bolt handle won't fly up and send the bolt through your skill... hopefullly... maybe...

So Badge I guess you aint worried no moree eh?

Wildhmmmm?Alaska

Badger Arms
January 25, 2004, 01:07 AM
We'll put it this way. I bought several hundred rounds of surplus ammo and retired to a gravel pit in Washington State with my Enfield and CZ-24 Mauser. I spent all day hip shooting, prone shooting, snap shooting, and all around blasting the place up. After being able to hit anything within 100 yards with that Enfield, I decided that even if the bolt flew back through my skull, I'd die happy! BTW, the Mauser was no slouch either. Clip-loading both, I think I could hit more targets in a given amount of time with the Enfield. The bolt is MUCH faster and I liked being able to put 10 rounds in for each reload session. In combat, I'd imagine I would like to be able to keep shooting from cover 10 rounds and then retreat a bit to reload prior to giving them Hades again, bouncing bolt handle and all.

NO, as I said in 2000, it's NOT for sale.

Badger Arms
January 25, 2004, 01:10 AM
Here's a nudie shot:

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?s=&postid=750901

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