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Thread: Question: Project Rifle SMLE 303

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  1. #11
    Advisory Panel tiriaq's Avatar
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    Single shot .22s.
    Single shot 5.56 conversion of a Lee Enfield is easy, and they shoot very well. Bolt face is left flat.
    Repeating conversion is more complex. A magazine system has to be adapted. The bolt head is altered with a recessed face, and a plunger ejector installed.
    I've not set up a new hosting service since PB changed its operation. Took a few photos of the SMLE barrel being converted. Let me know your email, and I'll send them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by usabaker View Post
    Has one been made in 5.56?
    We had a whole thread on that some time back if you search a bit... Here... https://www.milsurps.com/showthread.....56+conversion
    Regards, Jim

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    Contributing Member fjruple's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by usabaker View Post
    Love to see how you guys do that.
    For the SMLE conversion I just run an 8mm drill extension from the breech end and push through to the muzzle and then thoroughly clean and degrease. I then purchase a Redman 32" .22LR barrel liner (Brownells) and a .303 Britishicon cartridge adapter for 32ACP/.32L & short S&W (Gun Parts) and then fit the cartridge adapter to the barrel liner with Locktite 680 leaving about an inch of the extended beyond the back of the cartridge adapter and let dry. Please sure the barrel liner and adapter are thorough clean before using the Locktite 680. The Locktite 680 is very strong and high temperature. You have to know what you are using because once it's on, it's on. While the barrel liner and adapter is drying I will remove the firing pin from the bolt and modify the firing pin by cutting off the tip down to where the firing pin makes full contact with interior of the bolt there should be two indentions for your firing pin removal tool at this location and sanding it flat. This part of your striker will come into contact with your new secondary .22LR firing pin (Gun Parts) which is located in the new SMLE .22LR bolt head and .22LR extractor and spring (Gun Parts). Reassemble your new .22LR SMLE bolt leaving off your extractor. Put new .22LR SMLE bolt aside for the moment. Next we will turn our attention back to the .22LR barrel liner and its new cartridge adapter. At point I will clean the exterior of any excess locktite that may have leaked on to the exterior of barrel liner. I first take the barrel liner and adapter and place it into the chamber of the .303 barrel for it's fit. The rear cartridge adapter should stop where the cartridge head of a .303 British case should be. You should NOT force this unit into the .303 barrel it should just slide in!! If it does not then additional work may be required inside of the .303 barrel and chamber. If you have a perfect fit then remove the unit by pressing on the excess .22LR barrel liner which is protruding from the .303 barrel muzzle. I piece of soft wood work perfectly. Next you will cut off the 1" inch of excess .22LR barrel liner from the breech end and file flush with the end of the cartridge adapter. Next you will chamber the barrel liner with a .22LR finish chamber reamer (Brownells). Since the .22LR SMLE bolt head is flat, you will have to chamber the liner down to where the back of the .22LR case is flush will your barrel liner and cartridge adapter. You will have to go slowly and do this by hand often removing the reamer and cleaning bits of metal off of the reamer. When you get close to where you want to be you will check your progress with a .22LR headspace GO gauge until it feels flush against the adapter and barrel liner. This unit is ready for assembly into the .303 barrel for placement of the extractor groove. Carefully slide the unit into breech end of the rifle until you get to the point where you can place the .22LR bolt in the rifle and gently push the bolt forward into locks up. Remember you should not have the extractor in the bolt head, if you do the bolt will not lock up! Now carefully scribe onto the cartridge adapter where your extractor cut is be located. Remove everything from the rifle! Now carefully cut into the cartridge adapter your extractor cut. The extractor cut should down to the point where the front of the .22LR cartridge rim is barely exposed. This will permit your extractor to grip on to the spent case for removal Great care should be exercised at this point. Once you get the extractor down to where you think it should be assemble the extractor into your bolt head. Place your completed .22LR barrel assembly back into the breech with the extractor groove aligned where you think it should be. Then place you complete .22LR bolt assembly into the rifle and guiding the extractor into the extractor groove push everything into place. Do not force the bolt into a locking position as addition material make be required to be remove. When everything locks up nicely. Place a spent .22LR case into the chamber DO NOT USE LIVE ROUNDS!! Close the bolt. If there is too much resistance then additional material may have to be removed. To remove additional material make sure you remove the .22LR barrel assembly from the .303 barrel each time. If everything is OK with the spent case in the chamber pull the trigger! Pull the bolt back. if you did everything correctly then the spent case should be pull back out the chamber and drops into the magazine. It will NOT eject the spent case out of the rifle only drop it into the magazine which you will remove the magazine follower and spring. The magazine shell will collect all of your spent cases as you are firing and extracting the .22LR cases. If everything is OK you will do a final cleaning and degreasing of the .22LR barrel assembly. I will also cover any part of that I do not want permanently fixed to the .303 barrel with a releasing agent. With the muzzle pointing in a downward angle I will drop Locktite 680 into the .303 chamber and let it run into the reamed out 8mm bore of the barrel. You will have to work very quickly as this stuff sets up pretty fast. With a light coat on the .22LR barrel assembly, you will push the .22LR barrel assembly down to the point you can put in your .22LR bolt assembly making sure the extractor is set into the extractor cut on your .22LR barrel assembly and push everything forward until bolt locks into battery. The front of the .22LR barrel assembly should be filled with a molding clay to prevent the Locktite 680 from getting your new .22LR bore. With a piece of wood gently push back on the front of the excess .22LR barrel that is protruding from the .303 barrel. If there is any excessive headspace this action will take care of that problem. Quickly inspect everything to ensure there is no Locktite 680 where you do not want to be. Let the Locktite 680 dry if you are happy with everything. I would definitely practice this assembly a few times without the Locktite before doing the final assembly. Once everything is dry you are going to cut off the excess .22LR barrel liner from muzzle and re-crown your .22LR barrel liner flush with the original barrel. Disassemble and Clean everything again! Reassemble and go to the range and test fire and zero. Then have some fun!!

    Sorry for being long winded.

    --fjruple

  6. #14
    Advisory Panel tiriaq's Avatar
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    Clever idea to use a subcaliber adapter as a chamber insert.
    Worth repeating:
    The .22 barrel face must be brought back to the bolt face. There must be just enough gap between the bolt and barrel to allow the bolt to close.
    Keep headspace to a minimum. You don't want the case head to bulge.
    Only cut the extractor notch as much as necessary to allow the extractor to grip the casing. Otherwise, the case will bulge.

    I use slow curing epoxy to bond the chamber insert and liner in place. There isn't a whole lot of force trying to push out the liner, and there is lots of surface area for the bond. I've successfully used epoxy to bond in a 9mm liner.


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