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  1. #1
    Really Senior Member newcastle's Avatar
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    .223 No.4 Revisiting

    There was a thread (very interesting) about this some time ago. I am starting a new thread regardng some practicaliies of this. I have got hold of someone who will make and ship me a bolt head and striker. I can finagle / machine / file and deal with magazines and feeding over a long period. the sticking point is the barrel. I contacted Criterion about the possibility of threading a 223 barrel for the Enfield receiver as they clearly have the tooling there but costs seem to be crazy. Does nayone have any recommendations on teh barrel side of things. I ma in CA so west coast of USAicon is best.


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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    I would just turn a barrel from blank...you could sleeve on the final few inches for the front sight if you want the service rifle profile.
    Regards, Jim

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    Really Senior Member Frederick303's Avatar
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    I looked into this after shooting one of these rifles on Malabar range.

    In the US where there are not a lot of gunsmiths used to working on the Lee-Enfield, the price becomes prohibitive, unless you are willing to do a lot of the work yourself. In particular setting up the Mini-14 magazine so it works can be a real pain unless the fellow doing the work has done one before.

    it is actually a lot cheaper to make a 7.62 NATO enfield, there are more parts around and the set up issues are well documented. Down load the cartridge to around 2500 fps with a sierra 135 grain match kind and you have a fast, low recoil round that works pretty well out to 600 yards.

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    I am doing these conversions now. I just completed one yesterday. The barrel is as per any thread & chamber from blank job.

    Whenever/usually when you get barrels factory threaded as one offs they cost heaps, and then you need to finish the chambering anyway which costs unless you can do it yourself. Far better to just buy the blank and do/pay for the installation locally.

    Setting up the mini 14 mag requires the mag well to be opened up a bit to allow the mag to sit high enough for the bolt to pickup the rounds.

    In terms of barrel recommendations, in the US take your pick, any of the reputable makers do good .223 barrels in a twist to suit your favored projectiles.

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    Advisory Panel tiriaq's Avatar
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    I was sorting out some stuff the other day and found a bolthead that I had counterbored for .223. I'll never use it, you are welcome to it. Send a PM with your mailing address.
    A barrel option is to use a take-off. Compare the breech dimensions of a No. 4 with those of most sporting rifle barrels, and you will see that many can be adapted. These usually sell for C$100 or less. If you want original appearance, only "varmint" type barrels will be long enough to finish at No. 4 length. A section of salvaged No. 4 barrel can be sleeved onto a shorter barrel. This will allow an issue front sight unit to be installed. When the barrel shank is machined, remember to bring the barrel back a bit toward the boltface. You don't need the gap where the .303 rim fitted.

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    Sometimes you need to weigh up the time and costs, if you have time on your hands then your saving already, depending where you buy the blank from they will thread, profile and chamber but these add up, Walther will do all these but not for an individual you need someone who has a trade account with them...... but there costs for a profile are peanuts compared to quotes I,ve had, IIRC its around €50, myself I think this is worth every penny.

    I have my own Lathe etc but no taper turning attachment so it does take a decade to get a decent profile, don't listen to anyone who says you just off set the tail stock......

    Threading is a basic operation, a bit of practice on offcuts etc and you can produce a decent thread, as regards to the chamber its just a reaming operation, if you page down the link below you can see a thread taking shape etc. scroll down to part 5 or post #16. ( I must point out the work was secured with the tail stock when machining the thread, pics show it out of view, this was solely for taking the photo)

    SMLE No1 MkV Restoration (Part's 1 thru 7)

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    Really Senior Member newcastle's Avatar
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    I have no lathe so the work is being "outsourced" so i'd like to get a barrel which makes it easiest to complete and is hardest to screw up
    Quick question - I am inclined to keep the No.4 Full wood look as opposed to going the shortened forestock 'L42 look' route, and outside of reaming out teh barrle channel I cant think of any other problems this might cause. Am i missing something obvious?

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    Depending on the outsourced ability, for a simple barrel just step it as in the link in my previous post, think Mauser K98icon barrel....

    Regarding bearing surfaces then I guess it trial and error, don't know if there is anything in the link below

    Collecting and Shooting the Military Surplus Rifle - Surplusrifle.com
    Last edited by bigduke6; 01-26-2016 at 06:01 PM.

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    Really Senior Member newcastle's Avatar
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    Ok i think I'm good to go now. Quetsion for all in the USAicon. Does anyone have a No.4 Mk 2 NON barrelled action and bolt set up that is in good condition ideally still with wood. I am certain that someone out there has one where the barrel was a sewer pipe and they took it down intending to re barrel or do some other project but never got round to it. Please PM me if this is you and your wife wants you to clean out your shed / basement / garage / spare room etc

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    Why not just place a WTB for a less than stellar example. I'd think that once completed you'd want to refinish it anyway, so this would make it look perfect.
    Regards, Jim

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