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Thread: Lee-Enfield No.1 Mk 3- Bolt Question

  1. #1

    Question Lee-Enfield No.1 Mk 3- Bolt Question

    Hi Folks,

    Anyone know what may have caused these 'busted chips' on the bottom side of the cocking lever on this SMLE bolt?

    I'm not familiar with the 'limiting factor' on these old bolts when they fire.

    My local 'smith' suggests metal fatigue. I may agree. But when i look at the replaced part (used) shows signs of striking something as well.

    Just looking to get educated...maybe i need to 'fit' the new cocking lever more than i originally thought. I won't fire (or dry fire) till i know for sure.

    any help is much appreciated.

  2. #2
    I'm guessing someone was whacking on something, or hooking the notches on something to work on the bolt. I used to see broken half-cock notches in single shot hammer rifles (rolling blocks, stevens favorites) when the sear engagement was made so thin, and the trigger made so light that the sear tip would fall into the "half cock" safety notch instead of pulling clear.. It looks like a similar injury tho this time in a bolt gun. I have dozens of Lees, and none look like that. As to firing the rifle with the new cocking piece: go ahead. You'll be OK.~Muir

  3. #3
    Yes, I'd agree with metal fatigue on that. It may have been made from a faulty forging and cracked along some unseem fizzure. Either that or it's been hit on something. The mark you can see on your new cocking piece is where it engages with the sear when you close the bolt; so, in effect it is "striking" something, but it's meant to. If you want to improve the trigger pull, this front face can be polished, making for a smoother pull.
    You can't say muntjac without saying, Mmmmmm.

  4. #4
    It doesn't look like fatigue cracking to me, a closer photo would be needed to permit true analysis though. I would suspect misuse - hammering or even clamping in hardened vise jaws would possibly cause such a brittle failure pattern in the two areas. The metal looks like its through hardened so any impact is a NO NO.


  5. #5
    Have a word with Fultons at Bisley or the LERA (Lee Enfield Rifle Association), their guys will be able to advise causes and remedies. The 303 was built to take a lot of punishment as a service rifle so whatever caused it must have been severe or as suggested the fault has been a long time in materialising. Good thing is that you should be able to remedy the problem lots of LEE bits about.

  6. #6
    EssBee I don't think it's probably worth the trip from Alberta to Fultons just to ask them about a rifle that's 80 years old.

    We're talking about Edmonton Alberta not Edmonton London.
    Last edited by 8x57; 15-01-2012 at 12:58.

  7. #7
    But maybe if he wrote to the manufacturer they could investigate the need for a factory recall.~Muir

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