Old rifle....what is it?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by bsparker, Sep 27, 2019.

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  1. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    You might find this recent THR post on an old Finn Mosin useful. About midway in the postings, it turns to bore cleaning with some tips on how to clean and remedy bad bores a bit. https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/finnish-mosin-barrel-interchangeability.854081/

    Brian Dick at BDL Ltd. in South Carolina is one of the few folks this side of England or Australia that specializes in restoring old Brit military rifles. He might have gauges available.
    http://bdlltd.com/contact/
     
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  2. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Yep, freshly cleaned rough bores tend to group tighter after a few dozen fouling shots too.
     
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  3. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    And last but not least, here is an explanation of the headspace issue with rimmed cartridges and differences in gauges.
    http://www.303british.com/id28.html His site has a lot of info and he does have a good book out on reloading for the Enfield.
     
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  4. bsparker

    bsparker Member

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    Appreciate the forum reference on cleaning. I've got some work to do and few more cleaning products to pick up, but it'll get done. Just gotta pace the project and do it right.
     
  5. tark

    tark Member

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    I have a 98 Krag that has a bore that looks just like yours. It shot a three inch group at a hundred yards last year. If you're worried about that first test shot, pull that .311 dia. bullet and replace it with a .308.
     
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  6. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    Okay... Does OP handload? How about some cast lead .314's... maybe gas checked if it can be had... loaded a bit lighter? Accuracy can be better than what you'll get with an undersized jacketed bullet, but without the speed and recoil. Just means the trajectory and near/far zero will be different to the service loads those sights are calibrated to.
     
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  7. DougW

    DougW Member

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    The headspace on a #1mkIII* cannot be fixed by swapping the bolt hear like a #4mk1 (unless you can find a box and try them all, as they were not numbered like the #4 heads).The only way is to have a bolt head made. The headspace will be loose, and the bolt should almost close on a Field gauge. Best be is to plan on case head separation and hot worry about ever reloading for that rifle.
     
  8. bsparker

    bsparker Member

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    Status update... Rifle disassembled and scrubbed. Will continue soaking/scrubbing bore. Linseed oil process started on wood. In the process I discovered the inner band screw spring was missing, as well as the rear nose cap screw (and nut). I've order replacements that should be here soon. Once parts arrive, I'll reassemble and check headspace and bolt further. Also ordered a box of .303 brit.

    Barrel under the wood has very minor pitting on the exterior in one section (about 1" in length). Other than that in good condition.
     

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  9. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    Not quite true. There is an oversized bolt head, usually labeled with an S, that can be fitted as well as a new bolt body if the lug recesses are ok. The problem is that often S bolt heads have already been fitted to a rifle and NOS bolt bodies are around but you have to look for them. The trick is to find sellers, which there are a few, that mike their bolt head sizes by length. It is somewhat easy to find longer bolt heads but easier if you have a batch to compare to yours.

    The usual barrel thing can also be done with it being slightly more tricky for a No. 1 to set back the barrel than a Mauser or you can rebarrel. What cannot be easily (and cheaply) fixed is if the receiver itself has recess lug setback which can happen for a firearm over 100 years old.

    FWIW, the original intention for the No. 4 rifle's numbered bolt heads was for rifle assembly and not to fix headspace on older rifles. It just ended up that way but the bolt heads still have to be fitted to the bolt body for both timing and to avoid the threads of the bolt head taking the force of the recoil. From surveys, there is considerable overlap between bolt sizes as miked and so some 0 bolt heads will be longer than no 1's and so on.
     
  10. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    If you're planning for case head separation, you better get ahold of a broken shell extractor. Even while being optimistic, I'd suggest having one handy anyway. And, at this point, who knows... headspace may well be just fine.

    A little light pitting on a rifle like that... beyond getting any rust stopped,and keeping it stopped... from here, I don't know that I'd worry too much.
     
  11. bsparker

    bsparker Member

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    Thanks to the help/advice you guys provided,s this 1918 SMLE no1 Mk III* (all matching numbers) is cleaned and in good working order! I can't believe someone was going to throw this away. Got it all put back together and fired it for the first time today (first time being fired in at least 15 years). Here are some updated photos. Bore cleaned up nice after some CLP and a box of bullets.

    The next thing to work on is the safety. After each shot the safety bounced back into safe mode which kept me from cycling the round.
     

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  12. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    All of which is great to hear. Anybody who'd discard that... yeah, there's some real ignorance out there.

    What did your fired cases end up looking like?
     
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  13. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    Great job on the bore!
     
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  14. bsparker

    bsparker Member

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    Cases looked good. Almost no expansion on the neck of the case and the rear near the rim was in great condition.
     
  15. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    I'd be accumulating the reloading stuff then.
     
  16. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Awesome job! Woot Woot!
     
  17. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    You've done a great job. For a century old milsurp, that barrel looks in great condition with well defined lands and grooves. As far as the safety, it has a spring (which does not look much like a spring) that holds the safety lever down against the mechanism during recoil. Clean out the intricate gear work while you are at it. When reinstalling, make sure to clock the safety catch (the part which locks the bolt in place) at about 10:30-11 o'clock position when reinstalling.

    You can get some new old stock, which I recommend while keeping the old one, from brpguns gunparts for a few bucks (about 3.75) https://www.brpguns.com/no-1-mk-3-receiver-bolt-sight-parts/. Numrich, Sarco, and Apex usually have these as well. Make sure to get the No. 1 Rifle Spring instead of the later No. 4 rifle spring. Here is a picture of it.
    th?id=OIP.DX0fA-FbDVN5f9ARSzSRQwHaFj&w=234&h=172&c=7&o=5&dpr=1.5&pid=1.jpg

    And the complete safety parts are shown here--https://media.joesalter.com/ca/large/20017/20017-02.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019
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