Headspacing Question

Headspacing Question

This is a discussion on Headspacing Question within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; So my dad is giving an old Enfield .303 to my son, we just need to figure out FFL's so that it can be shipped. ...

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Thread: Headspacing Question

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array CT-Mike's Avatar
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    Headspacing Question

    So my dad is giving an old Enfield .303 to my son, we just need to figure out FFL's so that it can be shipped. He tells me that it has a headspacing problem, causing it to kick like a mule.

    Anyhow, what typically causes this type of issue, and what is done to correct it? I want the kid to be able to shoot it, but only if it can be done so safely.

    Thanks all,

    Mike
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    The only thing you can do is to remove the barrel, machine the face of the barrel and screw it back into the action while using a headspace guage. When the bolt just barley closes is when you need to stop.

    It takes tools and someone that knows how to do it. If you dont know what it takes, you need to take it to a qualified gun smith and let him redo it.

    A lot of military rifles had a lot of heaspace to begin with. As it is fired, eventually the tolerances get larger, to the point that case life is greatly diminished. When it gets really bad, it will split the cases when fired. It is a dangerous situation, and if in doubt I wouldnt let my kid shoot it until the problen was corrected.

    Its the reason that military armorers use headspace guages. When the rifles are out of spec, they pull them and fix them.
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  3. #3
    Distinguished Member Array CT-Mike's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. I will be definitely getting it looked at by a gunsmith, and if the cost isn't prohibitive I will get the necessary work done. If the cost is too much, then I guess it will be rendered inoperable and kept for sentimental purposes.
    "The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground."

    - Thomas Jefferson

    "I'm the arrow, you're my bow, shoot me forth and I will go"

    "Do not let any individual posts put a knot in your Big Boy Under-Roos"

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array Shizzlemah's Avatar
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    The job is pretty simple for a smith with the right tools.

    Basically-try and measure headspace as it is, then remove the barrel and turn a little bit off the end of the barrel / off the thread shoulder, and reassemble.

    Some may do the lathe work so there is too little headspacing, then go back with a chamber reamer to restore the proper dimension.

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