Jump to content
Military Firearm Restoration Corner
Sign in to follow this  
roscoedoh

Building Enfields

Recommended Posts

Greetings all,

 

Have any of you guy tinkered with M1917 or Pattern-14 Enfields? I was bit by the Enfield bug about a month ago and like Mauseritis, I find the only way to cure this itch is to scratch it.

 

I have a bolt and receiver that I'm rounding up parts for and a sporterized M1917 on layaway at a local pawnshop. I am keeping my eyes open for a third.

 

I have plans to build long magnums on these actions since they are so large. Have any of you ever done this before and if so, how did you tackle the following issues:

  • Magazine box length
  • The funky bow at the front of the triggerguard
  • Finding a stock that works
  • Finding a barrel that works

Although I plan on farming out barrel installation and any D/Ting that I need, I will handle the smaller details myself. If you've messed with Enfields, what was your experience and what advice could you share?

 

Thanks!

 

Jason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe "Modern Gunsmithing",Dunlap (among other books) has the classic conversion methods. Frank de Haas, "Bolt Action Rifles", summarizes the alterations quite well but without illustration(there are illustrations of finished rifles). In general, the rear sight ears are machined or ground off and the rear bridge contoured to match a FN commercial Mauser. The bolt is straightened out, then shaped like a Rem M720. The bent front tang of the trigger guard is cut and re-welded on straight. The magazine is shortened to allow use of the original guard screws. The P14 boltface is correct for several magnums(H&H), but the magazine is too short. The cure is to substitute a P17 magazine and follower. Basically you end up with a rifle looking like a Rem M 720. I believe the major barrel and stock makers have offerings available.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been keeping an eye out for Enfields around here but they're scarce. The couple I have found were very poorly done sporters, especially the bridges.

Kenny

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With the M17/P14 front ring within 0.005" of a Savage 110, I'd contour the rear bridge to match the Savage.

 

You can use Savage mounts, and front and rear base alignment should be just about perfect due to the flat rear surface.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bob summed things up pretty well.

 

I figure if you can do a proper job of contouring the bridge then why bother patterning it off of some other rifle. Shape it the way you want and make your own bases.

 

I have three right now. One Rem, One Winchester and an Eddystone. Teh Eddystone is a poorly sported .30-06 with original barrel. truthfully, it just need a new stock and some work on the rear bridge to remove the ears, if I even go that far. It will get a new front sight ramp, polish, and bluing. It will remain an open sight .30-06. The winchester I will restore. It is an unissued barrelled action. The Rem will most likely become a .375 H&H with the full treatment. This will include mauser style bolt stop and integral peep on the rear bridge.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a 300 Win Mag M1917 sitting in the shop. It was given to me. A friend bought it to take the scope off of. The rear base was not contoured properly, and the front base had a piece of plastic bleach bottle under it to level them. The rifle would not group worth a darn.

 

I reshaped the bridge, made bases to accept Z rings, bedded it with an aluminum rear pillar and reshaped the Herters stock. I then Gunkoted it. It looks okay now. The stock is a laminate with wide laminations and still a tich gaudy for me. I gave it to a buddy in MT and have to drive over there and hand it over.

 

It's heavy but hell for stout.

 

Making bases is not very difficult and quite rewarding. It is a way to salvage many DHT 03's that have off center D&Ted holes due to the bit walking on the hardened surface. The DHT Springfields are my favorite actions to build on. Often times one can find them in a pawn shop with an ugly stock made out of gorgeous wood that is salvageable. LL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

/Ting that I need, I will handle the smaller details myself. If you've messed with Enfields, what was your experience and what advice could you share?

 

Thanks!

 

Jason

 

 

Jason, I'd be interested in any thing you find out. I have a P14 action and bolt that was contoured (somewhat) and drilled for mounts by J&G in Arizona. I have a long magazine for it and a straightened guard also for it. I need to recontour the rear receiver (it's flat now with a "hole", which I may or may not need to fill. My plan is to barrel it in .30-06 if I can find a decent barrel. Then, rechamber it to .308 Norma Mag (basically .30-338 magnum)(I already have the finisher reamer) . My understanding is that this cartridge is about the same length as the .30-06 and that it was common in the 50's (before Winchester introduced the .300 Win Mag) for people to ream their .30-06 chambers for .308 Norma Mag. The Norma mag essentially gives you .300 win mag ballistics without the extra case lenght. I have an old Herters Stock for it that looks like it might be Honduran Mahagony. Anyone with a .30-06 barrel threaded for the P17/P14?

 

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well you can do that but not with a military barrel there is not enough meat to ream any fatter at shoulder you will need a aftermarket bbl with a longer chamber section a 308 norma and a 300 win mag are within a few thousandth of each other same as a 06 only a 300 weatherby is significantly longer. building anything less than a h&h or weatherby length round is a waste of a action since the rest can be done on a std.length mauser 98 the enfield is the poop for long magnums. my buddy has a 22-250 on one and i just shudder as to why anyone would build one on one and waste a mag length action that way soon they will be tough to get i acuried a bunch when they were plentiful and very reasonable but they are going up in price and much more scarce. Aloth i have been lucky at shows to get 2 in past year for under 50 each with most of alterations done or near complete.

 

Rod

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 308Norma case is 60thou shorter,and the neck is longer.You end up with almost 1/8" shorter round. 300WinMags are not really a good fit in 3.340 (30-06) box of the P-17. BTW the knotted knicker set don't like P-17,they much perfer Model of 1917. A must is replacing the sliver of spring on the ejector with a coil spring.Or buy the kit from GunParts. I have three,a 308Norma,a farming out a rebarrel to 358Norma and a restocked P-14,the battle sights are fun. Timmey triggers in them all. the P-17s have the corners softened on the dog legs,they all have contoured trigger bows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have been keeping an eye out for Enfields around here but they're scarce. The couple I have found were very poorly done sporters, especially the bridges.

Kenny

check out sarco i bought 3 for 210 last year had to do the the hole works my self built 416 wby. 30.378 wby if i was comput lit would post pic ...but still lerning

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting and often overlooked action. All the ones I've had were smooth as silk. Cock on closing stinks, but is easily solved with Dayton-Traisters cock on opening kit and it gives a very nice trigger pull.

 

Rems and Winchesters are the best, many Eddystones were over heat treated and brittle and crack when the original barrels are pulled. I believe they are the ones with the huge hole in the bridge under the sights, which has to be filled with much heat and work.

 

Jason I don't know if you ever resolved the triggerguard matter, but it is pretty common to "step on them". The front is cut off, ground, and rewelded back so that the TG is flat. At that point you can also decide if you want a five or six round mag. You need to do that before you order your trigger or stock as it makes a difference. I have a couple left over TGs here if you still need one already done.

 

I have usually ground on the massive bolt handle until it shapes up nicely, just tame the "dog leg". Never tried forging one straight, but there certainly is plently of beef there to work with. That bolt handle also clears most scopes as is.

 

Richards has 5 and 6 round mag size stocks. If you aren't doing a big mag the five round is much sleeker. Otherwise the six round will handle any of the whoppers nicely.

 

Finally, if you are really adventuresome, the big turn thingy (tech term) on the left side of the bridge which holds the ejector box spring in place isn't really necessary. Throw it away and grind all of the support material away. Cut the spring a bit long heat it and fold the tip at the end down and it functions just like a a Mauser. Then you can joyfully start grinding away all that unnecessary heap of iron off of the bridge and lighten your rifle substantially and make it really sleek, while still having a massive magnum action.

 

Enfields are way more of a creative challenge than Mausers and when done, really a joy to behold. Will keep you off the streets at night.

 

Enjoy,

Brad

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's one way to get rid of the dogleg in the bolt handle. BTW Jason this would (it did) look real nice in that winchester, I'm not going to use it because I decided to elimate the factory safety and go with a 3 position unit. I'd have to reweld up the safety hole in the handle, I'll just weld a new handle on another bolt. Let me know, I make you a deal you can't pass up.

-Don

gb1039.jpg

gb1040.jpg

gb1041.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don, I have to give it to you, that's going to look very good when finished out. I'm sure better than the way I have been working them down. I've never been capable of loading pics, but Jason can. I'll send him a pic and he can load it, showing how mine come out.

 

You bring up another subject...safeties. The original safety is definitely not a beauty or very user-friendly, but a lot can be done with it. Most of the custom guys thin it down substantially on the side and when they stock it, reduce the amount of wood removed for safety accommodation to limit the back movement to the minimum, to make it a smoother, faster let off. Will try to send a pic on that, too. Bolt locks are pretty much useless on a hunting rifle and they can be removed on the Enf, just a matter of whether it's worth the trouble to you.

 

Forgot to mention that the Dayton-Traister trigger also works as a speedlock to get that big lumbering firing going faster.

 

Brad

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brad,

I just cut it off and welded a new talley on it. I later swept it out. I like the dayton speedlock kit, but I don't like their trigger. When I converted my remington to c-o-o, I used the dayton cocking piece, and a timney trigger. That's the route I'm going with my 300 H+H except I'll use a timney trigger and a lapour cocking piece and bolt shroud. The triggerguard is what is giving me problems, it's hard to do anything with it. I'll probably end up building one from scratch or build the front half and weld a 1909 argie bow to it.

 

Jason, I have a straightened guard for you too if you want it.

 

-Don

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guys come on if you want a killer looking triggerguard then get a milled 1903 springfield and weld in back screw and add 1/4" more to back of it and redrill and countersink new hole 1/4" further back than original and then you have a sleek trim unit. I am shocked you didn't know that trick!!!!

 

Don tell me that handle is a weld on ? dosent look straightened. i have a straightened one i did i need to take some pics of my 4 enfield actions i am waiting to work on them after i have mastered mauser bubbaing!!!!!!!lol

 

 

Rod

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Don tell me that handle is a weld on ? dosent look straightened.

 

 

Rod

 

Hey Rod I've been breaking in my new tig machine. I knew the springfield trick, but have you priced out 03 guards lately, I'd rather spend the time on the mill and gnaw away a piece or bar stock. I alway wanted to build a guard/mag box from stratch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don heres a link to my tig welder

 

http://products.esabna.com/EN/home/arc_wel...%C2%AE_352_acdc

 

 

 

you can get a springfield guard for 60 bucks i will send my enfields out to harry lawson for real cock on opening conversion

as long as i can use a timney i need to ask them i have 2 remingtons and 2 winchesters 2 are p/14's 2 are 1917's

 

Rod

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Don heres a link to my tig welder

 

http://products.esabna.com/EN/home/arc_wel...%C2%AE_352_acdc

 

 

 

you can get a springfield guard for 60 bucks i will send my enfields out to harry lawson for real cock on opening conversion

as long as i can use a timney i need to ask them i have 2 remingtons and 2 winchesters 2 are p/14's 2 are 1917's

 

Rod

 

Nope I went cheap, but all I weld is stainless and cm, so I don't need one that does AC. $60? I was paying 1/3 of that for 1909's a few here's ago of course I had to buy $2500 worth to get that deal.

-Don

http://www.millerwelds.com/products/tig/maxstar_150_sth/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I weld alot of aluminum some magnesium bronze zinc potmetal titanium monel inconel carp.20 coppernickle and a few other odd metals. yes the way you went is a whole lot cheaper but to do what i do i needed expensive machine my torch and water cooler cost asmuch as a small dc tig i have just over 6big ones in my tig. but i have a need for that kind of machineit gets maxed out welding 3/8's aluminum takes full amps to get it going and keep it going on heavy stock and big tungstens 5/16" you can do a bolt with 1/16" with no problem

 

Rod

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I weld alot of aluminum some magnesium bronze zinc potmetal titanium monel inconel carp.20 coppernickle and a few other odd metals. yes the way you went is a whole lot cheaper but to do what i do i needed expensive machine my torch and water cooler cost asmuch as a small dc tig i have just over 6big ones in my tig. but i have a need for that kind of machineit gets maxed out welding 3/8's aluminum takes full amps to get it going and keep it going on heavy stock and big tungstens 5/16" you can do a bolt with 1/16" with no problem

 

Rod

And geez, mine's just to play with guns!

-Don

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first post here, hope the threads not to old. I have built a few sporters using p14's and 17's and I got a couple of Rem model 30's. I agree with others that these actions are best for the long and large magnums. I bought several of the old plugged barrel p14's for about $20.00 each but this was about 20 years ago. Anyway these were good for learning on. The Remington made Enfields are the best IMO. With enough careful work a 17 or 14 Enfield can be as slick and graceful as any others. If anyones interested I'll an post a picture or two. Happy New Year y'all

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome Larkin!

 

What calibers have you done?

 

Pix to drool over are ALWAYS appreciated!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome aboard, Larkin. No post ever gets too old around here.

 

Roscoedoh has some pics of mine to post here when he finally gets settled in to his new digs. Please do add yours, too. Seems like there is no end to the interesting things you can do with an Enfield.

 

Brad

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thxs for the welcome. I got into the Enfields 'cause 1. Good choice for H&H length and larger, 2. The challenge of turning them into something eye appealing. I do more Mausers then Enfields and tend to start a new project before finishing another. As such I got a bunch of Mausers and Enfields in various stages of completion. Maybe some of u can relate? Mostly finished Enfields I got is 1. A Win made 17 with a Shilen 26" #4 in 340 Wea which I used on a Wyoming bull in 06 but got battered when I slipped crossing the Greys river 2. A Rem 17 w/ a Douglas barrel in 416 Rem. needs bluing ,stock finishing and other final touches, 3. A model 30 in 416 Rigby that I added a dropped triggerguard/mag to. This one has given me fits as feeding from the mag is spotty. Just when I think it feeding 100% it will hang one up and for me on a DGR this is NG. I got a couple of other Rem 17s that have seen the cheap conversion ( ears ground off, mil stock cut down) so no collector value but good large round future jobs. Sob, Bubba tried to scope my other M30 with his handheld power drill, didn't find the extra holes till I got it home and took off the Weaver mounts. Swiss cheese, but I hate to give up on it. Well if I get the camera out and clean thing up maybe I'll post some pics but they will be of unfinished projects. I'm open to suggestions on getting good feeding on the Rigby; maybe one one of you have been down this rode. Thanks for the interest

 

 

 

NRA LIFE, FFL licensed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fellas,

 

Here are the pictures Brad has referenced:

 

Here is a picture of two possibilities for bolt handles on Enfields:

enfbolt.jpg

 

Here is what you can do with the ejector boxes:

enfejbox.jpg

 

Here is a straightened triggerguard:

enftg.jpg

(Note the 8x68s cartridge propping the TG up ;) )

 

Sorry for not getting them up sooner, but I've been busier than a one-armed paperhanger on a deadline the last couple weeks.

 

Thanks!

 

Jason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×