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Thread: Lithgow SMLE Failed Field Headspace Gauge

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    Member rgamba's Avatar
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    Lithgow SMLE Failed Field Headspace Gauge

    So, I just get this all matching 1918 Lithgowicon N01 Mk3 and I'm going through the process of cleaning it up. By the looks of it, this rifle has not been fired in many years. Well, in my cleaning/inspection process prior to test firing I always check the headspace with my Forster .303 Britishicon Field Gauge (yup, removed the extractor and firing pin before checking). I was not happy to see the bolt close nicely on my field gauge. My question, for anyone that can help, what do I do next - should I track down a go and a no-go gauge?

    Best

    Robert

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    If you failed the field gauge you're already past the no-go gauge. Wide open. From here you will have to headspace with a new bolt head and proper gauges.
    Regards, Jim

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    Robert, I suggest that you call up all there is on CHS on this forum and read it all twice. The next thing is to forget your 'field gauge' whatever a Foster field gauge is and beg, steal or borrow a set of correct gauges. The bolt should close on a .064" and NOT close over a .074" gauge. THat's really all there is to know.

    We don't do gauges that show '....it's nearly ready to go' or '........it'll be nearly ready to not go soon'. It's In spec or it ain't! Give your mickey mouse gauge to someone you don't like as a fishing weight and get a set of the real things

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    Member rgamba's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    Thanks Jim and Peter for your help. Any suggestions on where I might find a replacement bolt head and proper gauges.

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    Give Brian Dickicon (BDLicon) a try, he should be able to sort you out.

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    Member rgamba's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    Good point Bigduke - should have thought of that myself - I've dealt with Brian before and he's great to deal with. Will shoot him an email.

    Thanks guys

    Robert

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    Member rgamba's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    Just checked and the Forster Field gauge I used is 0.70 - so, as Peter suggested, I need to get better gauges before I start swapping bolt heads. Have emailed Brian Dickicon at BDLicon - hopefully he has an 0.74 gauge.

    Best

    Robert

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    Member 3mctoledo's Avatar
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    Robert,
    You out bid me on gunbroker. The only real concern, I had, is the barrel has a "R" on the knox. That means the barrel may have some rust. Make sure it is sound before shooting. Hope you enjoy it. It is a very nice piece.
    Keith

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    Maybe RGAMBA's experience with his 'field gauge' .........whatever a field gauge is, could be a lesson for all......... We know that this particular field gauge rim thickness is a meaningless .070" so if you have one, and your bolt closes on it, then the CHS is good. If it doesn't close on it, it's STILL good.
    Get rid of these mickey mouse meaningless gauges

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    Get o-rings instead. Don't worry, be a "ringer".

    What to do about headspace after #4 bolthead?

    Read parashooter's Post #11 especially. Edward Horton championed the use of rubber o-rings, but most of his very useful photos weren't captured by the new software.

    All in all, it's easier than fitting new boltheads and bolts!

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