New enfield,mag issuue....

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by polishshooter, Oct 24, 2006.

  1. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    Hey guys, I bought a box of UMC .303 for my new no4, and tried it out for function, and it won't feed...UNLESS I press up really hard on the mag....the bolt head JUST misses the rim of the cartridge if I don't press up, and rides over.

    Playing around with the mag shows that the mag is not "locking' into place, and you can pull it out without pushing on the latch if you pull hard.

    However, for giggles I tried my Ishapore .308 mag in it, and it locks home smartly, and incidentally feeds .303 rounds WELL, even though you can only get like 3-5 rounds into the mag before it binds....


    I can find NO burrs on anything, and looking CLOSELY can find NO reason why the original mag won't lock home....ALL the notches and stuff are IDENTICAL to the Ishapore mag...:confused: :confused: :confused:

    The feed ramps look good too, and taking apart the mag shows no deformation to the follower,and like I said, it DOES feed if you press up, there is a very little movement when you do, but the Ishapore locks up tight with no movement.

    The mag release looks like it is still depressed when the no4 mag is in place, but for the Ishy it's down and locked. THIS is what is throwing me, I could understand if it DID lock and still showed movement, then I could chalk it up to wear, but it's not locking.


    The no4 mag has what appears to be the Long Branch marking on it, so I believe it's original.


    Other than buying a replacement mag, what other suggestions do you have that I can try?
  2. southernshooter

    southernshooter New Member

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    Their is that catch on back of the mag maybe it is wore down just a little more than you Isaphore. Do me a favor Polish and try your LOng Branch mag in your Isaphore for me and see if it locks in. I am curious now

  3. You mean other than suggesting you trade it in for a Mauser, Polish? :D :p Seriously, it sounds to me like you have an engagement problem with the mag, i.e., either the rifle or the mag catches are not engaging properly. If another mag works, it would seem most likely that the problem lies with the mag itself. Is there any sign of excessive wear on the engagement parts of the mag?
  4. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    Crap, Southern, I was out of town yesterday and got home late, and today was my anniversary so I figured I would spend the evening with my wife instead of the computer:) so i didn't check this until she went to bed...and both Enfields are on a rack in the bedroom, so I don't want to wake her...;)


    But that is a GREAT idea, checking the Long Branch in the Ishy, I didn't think of that.....

    No, PS, I even checked the mags yesterday morning with a glass and calipers, ALL the locking lugs are identical, and match up.

    About the ONLY difference I can see is that little spring on the mag at the bottom that bears against the groove on the trigger guard looks a LITTLE wider on the Long Branch, and it looks a LITTLE more extended away from the mag body back than the Ishy, but it is "free," and moves in and out with little pressure, about the same as the Ishy.
  5. southernshooter

    southernshooter New Member

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    2 words Polish DUCT TAPE
  6. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    You know, guys, I have been doin' some reflectin'....


    For YEARS, since I was old enough to SHOOT, heck, since I started READING about WWI and II when I was about 8, I have claimed to everybody and anybody that the Enfield was "The best Batlle Bolt Action....", and I could argue it WELL.

    BUT, now that I have owned and shot TWO of them, (the first one I bought and then sold years ago, a 1916 SMLE, I never shot, but LOVED how it LOOKED!;) ) I'm not so sure....


    First, BOTH types are a BEAR to detail strip, all the DIFFERENT bolt retaining systems (so THEY knew they had problems too, HHhmmmm) are kind of cheesy at best and almost look like an afterthought to the design, AND with that two piece stock with "reinforcements," and really thin and weak carved sections around the action, it really ISN'T as "robust' as a lot of other designs, and of course there's that complicated bolt (almost as bad as a MAUSER'S:cool: ) and the "cock on closing...."

    But how come BOTH of mine have had issues? First, the broken extractor spring on the Ishy, now the mag issue on the No4....


    I think back to the 25 or 30 Mosin Nagants I've owned, and NONE of the ones that were not bought as "Ufixems" malfunctioned, no matter HOW "ratty" they were, not even the "dropped in the rubble more than once" 3/$99 91/30s I bought a while ago, that I STILL own and have and would shoot....


    GRANTED, on some of the "Ufixems" I saw some broken sear springs/bolt stops, and one had a broken ejector piece, BUT they were on broken parts guns, NOT on the "shooters..." EVERY "shooter" I bought from "Good" to "VG," to "Excellent" shot , and NEVER malfunctioned....about the ONLY thing i had to ever do was MAYBE remove a couple of burrs, or stretch a mag spring, but I've NEVER had a part "break," and I've probably put close to 1500 rounds through them.....

    Now, yeah, the "10 rounds" is STILL a great selling point along with the SMOOTH action and better trigger, but just MAYBE I'm starting to think the Mosin was actually better as a battle rifle....accurate, robust, simple, "peasant-proof," and reliable...

    Now MAYBE my Enfield "Sample size" is too small to be objective, BUT on the other hand, both my Enfields are in as good or better shape than a LOT of my Mosins that didn't break or malfunction.....
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2006
  7. southernshooter

    southernshooter New Member

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    I guess I lucked out with mine it has been great.
    Also I answered you question in you other thread about the ring in front of the magazine
  8. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    (Crap I posted this in the other thread by mistake. But then again, the guy who invented the "copy/paste" thingie was a pretty smart guy!;) )



    ...I tried the No4 mag in the Ishapore this morning and it locks home smartly! Now I'm REALLY confused...

    The ONLY thing that looks out of the ordinary is the mag on the Ishy is tight to slot/ guide on the trigger guard, while it seems a little "cocked" away from the guard at the bottom of the Long Branch....


    Tonight when I get home I will strip the Long Branch to get a closer look at the relationship there, MAYBE there's a tiny burr or something I can't see or feel...

    I hate to start filing or sanding or anything until I figure out EXACTLY what needs it, I've buggered up too many parts in my life with "Premature Dremeling" :p
  9. Polish, is there any possibility that the mag that came with your No. 4 could have been intended for a different Enfield model? I'm only speculating here, but when the distributors get in rifles in large quantities, it's not hard to imagine how magazines from different rifle models could become intermixed. If that is so, it should be neither hard nor very expensive to get a different milsurp mag for the No. 4. There must be millions of them out there on the surplus market.
  10. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    Well, first, PS, this one doesn't have any import marks, so it's been in the states for a while, at least since before the stupid law went into effect...when was it that they started getting stamped, like 1982?


    Second, the only marking on it is the Long Branch mark....I'd have to guess there are a LOT more replacement mags out there from the British or Indian guns than the Canadian, but then again, Long Branches aren't exactly RARE either...so I guess theres a CHANCE either the owner either got lucky OR looked specifically for one....

    But I tend to think it's the original.

    I just wish I could remember how it came off the first time I removed it...it MAY be that it was rarely ever removed, and just loaded through the top most of it's life, and was really tight at first and won't reseat....but I doubt it.


    The OTHER option is don't forget it had the sporter stock on it and I replaced it with the stock Savage No4 stock, maybe I put it together wrong, or it's binding?

    But then the Ishy mag would show the same issue, HHHhhmmmmm.....

    I'm going in on some "exploratory surgery" on it now, I'll let you know what I find when it's over....:cool:
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2006
  11. southernshooter

    southernshooter New Member

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    Polish their isn't a stamp on back of the locking tab on the rear of the magazine. Could you post some magazine pictures maybe somethin on your is different than mine that would indicate it is not the right mag.
  12. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    Gosh am I Good!

    Well, the surgery was a success, and the patient is good as new!:D :D :D :D

    All it took was time, a lot of THOUGHT:eek: , a diamond rattail file, a 4 lb sledge, :eek: and a vise!;)




    OK, here is the step by step of the diagnosis....

    First, I took the trigger guard off, to inspect closely for burrs....found nothing, but then decided to try the mag with the guard OFF, and it snapped into place!

    Then I tried it with the guard loose, no screws, and it would lock, but NOT when I pushed the guard in place, it almost looked like the guard was too tight around it.

    Then I figured MAYBE the Savage stock was tighter, and it was binding the guard, so I completely stripped it, and got the sporter forearm it came with, and confidently put it back together...and ....no luck, it wouldn't latch even with the OLD stock:mad:


    Looking closely, I could see a LITTLE more play around the guard/mag housing where it fit in the stock, and ALMOST got out the dremel to inlet the wood a little more on the Savage when I got another idea....try it with JUST the guard and NO wood....

    I could see the lock this way and see how it engaged, and it would engage ONLY if the guard was "cocked" a little back....but only if it was cocked WAY back, (almost 30-40 degrees!) if the rear guard screw was in even loosely....

    SO I got it narrowed down to the guard/housing at least. I saw that when I got it latched and CLOSE to normal, the rear hole didn't quite line up. So out came the diamond rattail Piggy gave me years ago to work on my Mosins and I wallowed out the holes in the guard to give me a little play. I was OK with it because the screw goes through "ears" and the threads are in the outer ears, all I needed was to wallow the guard holes and it should still tighten up...


    Well I got it CLOSE, to where I could get the guard in place with the mag ALREADY locked in place, then tighten it down, BUT if you released the mag it wouldn't reseat.

    This was like after two and a half periods of the Sabres game I was listening to on line, (10-0!:D :D :D ) so I ALMOST gave up...I figured if I locked it in place I could still shoot it if I never removed it, and just load with strippers from the top like the limeys were taught...


    But then I got another brainstorm...I tried the guard from the Ishapore. Even though the front holes wouldn't line up, the guard itself kind of fit, and the mag WORKED:rolleyes: :rolleyes:


    So now I compared the two guards, and they looked PRETTY well the same dimensionally UNTIL I lined them up against a counter edge with the flat on the front of the guard the mag lies against even, and saw the No 4 mag housing was angled just a LITTLE different than the No 1's in relation to the guard flat....so EUREKA!


    I was thinking too much like a dainty BRITISH armorer when I NEEDED to be thinking like a RUSSIAN:D Time for RUSSIAN "precision tools!":p ;) :D


    So out to the garage, the mag housing goes in a vise up to the guard, out comes the 4# sledge, and two sharp raps on the guard, (and one smaller one for luck!:p ) and I BENT it just a little back....( when I took it back in I'm hoping I didn't crack it, or mar the guard because I forgot to use a block of wood, or worse, bend it too MUCH, like I have when I've hamfisted stuff in the PAST:eek: )... (But everything was fine, not even a SCRATCH on the guard where I "whacked" it.....)

    I put it back together and "CLICK" it locks into place like NEW....:D :D :D In fact, just a little STIFF just LIKE it is new...but it releases when you press the release, and it goes home solidly if you shove it in with a little authority:cool:

    SO I put the whole rifle BACK together in the Savage stock (did I ever tell you Enfields are a PAIN to detail strip?:cool: ) and try it again, and it WORKS.

    And the Ishy mag still locks up solidly in it too...


    I EVEN think I figured out what happened....:p


    When the guy sporterized it, he REALLY took the forearm down quite a bit. And PROBABLY the guard then protuded below the stock line a little, so he either BENT it a little to make it look good, or just bent it by tightiening up the main screw a little hard. Just a guess....



    And as for the mags being from another Enfield, I knew from old friends who were into Enfields that the WWI No1 SMLE mag and the WWII No4 MKI mags interchange....TTLynn "learned" :p us all THAT years ago...she owned a COUPLE of Enfields and was always buying extra mags from BobinSTL....she liked to stock up, and just switch loaded mags when she shot...and while they LOOK slightly cosmetically different, they interchange...she bought and used any type she could get....:D

    And Southern, the Long Branch "Branch" mark is right towards the top of the mag, in the back, on the locking rib...you have to look close, the smaller ones look like a "scratch," but its the same "crooked" branch with the little hook or branch or whatever in the "crotch" marking like is found on various other parts of the rifle, including the mag housing/guard!:) , and on the recoil ring above the serial #....


    And through it all I kept thinking "Gun work is GOOD work," RIGHT, Southern? :)

    Ain't NOTHING like the feeling of "figgerin" it out and afixin' it yersef!


    TESTFIRE Saturday!


    GO SABRES!
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2006
  13. southernshooter

    southernshooter New Member

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    The sledge hammer always works. When you get out and shoot it a couple times it will all be worth it. And then you'll realize if the British is good for nothing else it was great when the .303 was created.
  14. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    I forget who it was that first told me:



    "If at first you don't succeed....
    ....try a bigger HAMMER!:p "


    It's one of those life lessons I live by!:D
  15. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    Well, I just cycled 10 rounds of the UMC through it, and it cycled SMOOTHLY without a hitch.....:)


    Just MAYBE I'm back on the Limey bandwagon, just have to see how it shoots....:cool:

    And in reviewing my posts on it since I got it, it may have been MY fault! I read where the Savage buttstock was really tight, and I had to drive it in with a hammer and a block of wood (I had forgotten, you know, I'm getting old, "Partsheimers...";) ).....I WONDER if maybe I bent the "recoil ring" that the buttstock screws in to just a smidge almost imperceptively... THAT would account for the "binding," and the need to wallow the rear holes a little...although I didn't have the guard in place I don't think, so I couldn't have bent it....HHHHHmmmm...

    I'm SORRY, but a REAL battle rifle just OUGHT to be able to take a few whacks with a heavy hammer now and then...:p HECK, on a MOSIN, you could use a TWO HANDED sledge hammer and a spud bar and it would STILL work well....:D
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2006

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