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    Member mikelj's Avatar
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    NO4 MK1 Bolt Head Catch Missing - Safe to Shoot?

    I just picked up my second No4 Mk1 in good overall original condition except that the bolt head catch is missing (2nd pic). I was hoping to take it to the range tomorrow but thought I should ask those with more knowledge if there is any safety issue with this part missing?
    This rifle is a little different than my first No4 Mk1 because it has a brass buttplate instead of cast aluminum and the metal appears to have been painted black almost like my Ishapore.

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    Member Hcompton79's Avatar
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    I can't imagine how having that catch missing on a No.4 MkI would cause any kind of safety issue as its only purpose is to prevent the bolt head from rotating out of the track when it gets to the end of travel. Worst case scenario would be that the bolt head flips up out of alignment if the bolt is operated too vigorously.

    You will note that they did away with this catch anyway on the No.4 MkI* and simply put a cut out section in the bolt head rail.

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    Member mikelj's Avatar
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    Would you think I should replace it anyway? It looks like I can get a catch and spring fairly easily...I just wonder if I might also need the bolt head release stop and screw? I haven't disassembled it far enough to know, but it seems like those would be unlikely to go missing.

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    Senior Member brnom2's Avatar
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    A number of my No4's have been ex Fullbore Target rifles (here in Australiaicon) and quite often they have the catch missing - i gather from talking with my father that when the "bolts out until your on the firing line and bolts out and action cleared to leave firing line" rule came into play, many comp shooters simply removed the catch to make getting bolt in/out very simple.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Not a safety issue. I'd just get replacement parts and carry on. Shoot it until then, it looks like a Britishicon rifle that has undergone an FTR and been coated with Suncorite...
    Regards, Jim

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    Member mikelj's Avatar
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    Picture of target

    I disassembled and cleaned the rifle and installed the catch and spring this morning, then went to the range to sight in. I had to adjust the front sight a little but here's a picture of my target using surplus ammo at 50 yards from a rest...I finally found the bullseye!

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Good enough...
    Regards, Jim

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    Really Senior Member Sunray's Avatar
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    It's more of a release than a catch. Pushed when you want to release the bolt head.
    "...using surplus ammo..." Hasn't been any of that for eons. Slug the barrel too. Lee-Enfields can have a barrel ID that varies between .311" to .315" and still be considered OK. Issue is that ammo and jacketed bullets for reloading are .311" or .312" only. Montana Bullets makes cast bullets up to .314" though. Not stupid expensive either. Over .315" the barrel is shot out. Isn't unsafe, but it won't be accurate either.
    Spelling and Grammar count!

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    Advisory Panel Brian Dick's Avatar
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    Proper nomenclature direct from the Illustrated Parts List is "CATCH, head, breech bolt".



    Everyone who owns and uses these rifles should get a copy of Skennertonicon's Small Arms ID Series booklets that include the IPL. For ten bucks, it sure makes life easier on we folks who are trying to fill orders for spare parts!

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