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Thread: Tinkering with a P-14 "sporter".

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  1. #1
    Really Senior Member Bruce_in_Oz's Avatar
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    Tinkering with a P-14 "sporter".

    This project is a bit of a long-shot, involving a P-14 that has had its ears "clipped and given a pretty good polish and blue, bur has the untidy, factory-original :lightening" divots milled into the top of the rear of the body.

    Apparently another "ex-range" rifle, it has a tragic bore and the owner is keen to do something with it.

    Now for the fun part:

    As it is well beyond a proper "restoration, wicked thoughts have been entertaining us for a while.

    Why not an "upgrade" to 7.62 x 53R Finn match / sniper cartridge? Standard .300 / .308 bore and groove spec, 1:10" twist like a .30-06. On a historical note; apparently a couple of the Baltic states rebuilt some of the P-14s supplied, post WW1 by the Brits, to 7.62 x 54R. I've never seen one, unlike several ex-Baltic .303 P-14s floating about, several years ago, with horrible barrels, and shabby stocks with a little sort-of rectangular tag attached to the butt.

    If you run a reamer for the Russianicon case into a .303 chamber, you will get something that works, but as folks in Britainicon discovered when tinkering with Bren LMGs, the fired cases come out with a weird "double" shoulder. No problem if the taxpayers are sponsoring your fun, but a bit of a nuisance if reloading is planned.

    The basic P-14 mag seems to be able to hold four of the fatter Russian cartridges comfortably and there were initial tests with dummies, (the rounds, not only the crazy old buggers contemplating this). Like a good bra, the bolt seems to round them up and point them in the right direction.

    Obviously there will need to be some attention paid to extractor function with the bigger rim, and I suspect better results may be achieved with a modified extractor from either an M-17, or even a "magnum" extractor from a Ruger M-77. The Ruger item is surprisingly similar to the M-17 extractor.

    7.62 x 54R and .30-06 run at fairly similar nominal pressures, so that should not be a problem. Other fruit, like a Timney trigger, scope mounts etc. will be added if and when the feeding and extraction mechanics are proven. Furniture? There are a few aftermarket "target" stocks still out there. About a year ago I spotted a never fitted or finished, "LBW" (Lionel @$%*@ Weeks, Australiaicon) semi-finished one, but it was snaffled up while I was wondering if it might come in handy, one day.....

    We will see what, if anything, comes of this wild pursuit.

    It would be good to hear from other "eccentrics" who may have made similar attempts.

    Cheers!

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    Really Senior Member Daan Kemp's Avatar
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    So, actually, what you have is a P14 action and furniture and you are wondering what to do with it. Easiest, of course, keep it 303. No further problems. However, ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce_in_Oz View Post
    it has a tragic bore
    How well does the rifle shoot? Might be good enough with that barrel?

    As for the Russianicon cartridge, no reason why it wouldn't work, given the correct barrel. Some work to be done. Probably done in Canadaicon already?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce_in_Oz View Post
    Like a good bra
    I'm sure we bow to your superior knowledge.

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    Contributing Member Atticus Thraxx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce_in_Oz View Post
    weird "double" shoulder
    I'm having trouble visualizing what would cause that. Can you elaborate?

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    Really Senior Member Bruce_in_Oz's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    The Russianicon round is both shorter (54mm vs 57 for .303 and significantly fatter and the shoulder is closer to the head than .303. If you run a 7.62 x 54R reamer into a .303 barrel without setting it back a couple of threads, you will end up with a "double-step" neck and this will be "reflected" in the fired cases. Not a problem if you are not reloading, but... There is also the problem of the consequent VERY long freebore. P-14 barrels have the same LONG throat / leade as SMLEs, to accommodate Mk Vl ammo should it be necessary, in emergency, to use up old stocks. Side note: a prodigious amount of Mk Vl ammo went ashore at Gallipoli in 1915, three years after the Mk Vll round was introduced. Lithgowicon N1 Ml lll rifle barrels were STILL being made with a long throat right up to the end of production.,

    Not much point playing with the existing barrel as, internally, it is way too far gone, another victim of corrosive primers and poor maintenance /storage.

    Hence the thought about starting with a slightly "pre-loved" (stainless steel) barrel from a 7.62 NATO target rifle and setting it up in the Finn 7.62 x 53R a la the Finn TKIV-85 etc.

    So, any of you creative Canadians ever contemplated, or actually done, such a conversion.

    We could have gone with just another .30-.303 job or even .30-40 Kragicon / Army, because those two rounds are very similar in size, shape and performance, but.....

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  8. #5
    Really Senior Member Daan Kemp's Avatar
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    30-303 might still be the easiest and best option.


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