Bolt Action Rifle - Feed Problem

I finally got to fire my new (well new to me) Enfield No.4 last weekend.

I encountered a problem however, rounds would not move up into the chamber when I moved the bolt back. I could fire the rifle only by placing one bullet at a time into the chamber and then operating the bolt.

The built in magazine’s spring seems to be fine. In fact everything looks like it is operating the way it should be. I suspect that this is a user operator error. I have heard that some bolt action rifles have a single fire selection. Does anyone know if the No. 4 rifle has such selection? And if so, how do I change it?

The No. 4 (good choice, BTW) doesn’t have a single-shot selection.

I had a similar problem with a No.1 MkIII* that was caused by the lips on the magazine being bent out of shape.

Try another magazine…if that fixes your problem then use the good mag as a reference and bend your mag lips to match.

The Enfield #4 doesn’t have such a feature. I’m assuming it doesn’t have a magazine cut-off, or you would have mentioned it. The Enfield loads upon closing the bolt. The rounds don’t just jump up into the chamber. Up, back, forward, down. The bolt moving forward strips the round from the magazine and chambers it. It also cocks the weapon.

You may want to post problem on some firearms-related message boards. Here are a couple to try:

I’d check for cross-feeding problems with the way you load the magazine first; do you use the little steel “stripper clips” to charge the magazine each time, or do you charge the magazine by hand? And do you put the full ten rounds into the mag each time, or just nine?

I find that our No 1 Mk III* will also be persnickety if we have not been diligent in “overlapping” the rims of the cartridges, from the bottom to the top, back to front, if you follow. In other words, each round as it feeds cannot pull the next round below it forward, because the rim is “stacked” ahead of the one below.

I’ll try and find an image on the web of how this looks. There’s also a right-way-up to put the stripper clip into the magazine: the top round should be flat parallel to the ground, and the angled round should be at the bottom (just like the orientation of the magazine itself, if you look at it).

Nothing more frustrating than being on the range (or on a tactical) and having constant jamming problems! And it’s even worse with short blanks, believe me!

Upon checking my manuals on the Enfield, I’d say that the above posters have the right ideas. Check the lips of the magazine, then check the load.

I’ve never had a lick of trouble from either of my Enfields, so all of this is strictly theoretical to me! :smiley:

Thanks for all the helpful ideas.

An image of what the inside of the clip should look like would be helpful. The four metal prongs down in the magazine look like they are doing what they are suppose to be doing, but the bullet in the magazine is too low to be picked up, caught, or even touched by the bolt as I move the bolt back into the firing position.

Is the button down near the trigger guard used in releasing the magazine? I haven’t taken the magazine off the gun yet.

I’m not using stripper clips, just manually loading the rifle. I first tried the gun with 10 rounds loaded. Fired the weapon, pulled the bolt back, the empty cartridge ejected properly, and then pushed the bolt back. But no new round entered the chamber. As I worked to find a solution to the problem, I removed each of the bullets in the magazine by hand. Having more or less rounds in the magazine didn’t seem to make any difference. The gun operates fine if I just lay a single round into the chamber where the bolt can pick it up. If I push a round down into the magazine, the round never gets loaded into the firing chamber.

Definately a magazine problem, then. I’ll be home in a couple of hours…I’ll break out my Enfields and see if I can describe what the magazine lips should look like.

OK…release the magazine by pressing the switch inside the trigger guard. The top of the magazine should have four tabs bending in from the sides, one at each corner. These should cant in at about a 45 degree angle.

Nasty thought…did you make sure the magazine was seated properly? Mine are a tight fit in the magazine well. If the magazine is not seated, it would sit too low to engage the bolt.

Just for the sake of conversation, I’m currently employed on a military project to destroy about 20,000 FN-FAL 7.62mm rifles (the Canadian C1 version).

Well, cruel sadistic conversation. Heh heh heh.

If you haven’t removed the magazine yet, try taking it out and reseating it. It might not be fully seated up into the magazine well.
I haven’t owned an Enfield for 40 years,but IIRC there is a small lever at the front of the trigger guard that releases the magazine.

Damn!..Silenus beat me to it!

Sounds like bent mag lips. This is not an unheard-of problem on SMLE rifles but it is reasonably rare. Does your rifle’s serial number match the number on the magazine? Mk4 & Mk5 rifles, IIRC, had matched-serial magazines while earlier SMLEs didn’t. Someone may have stuck a dodgy mag in your rifle prior to selling it to you. If so, replacements should be available. Try SarCo or some other outfit that carries surplus military rifle parts. I wouldn’t expect to pay more than $10US for one but, then again, I expected surplus M14 magazines to be under $20 when I bought my M21 replica.

Is there anything else I need to do to get the magazine out? Or is it just naturally stubborn?

No! Sell me one first!

Press the release and pull. They can be a tight fit.

Sorry, my supervisor says one more treason conviction and I’ll get a bad worker evaluation.

If I promise not to invade Canada, will you sell me one? :smiley:

Here are a couple more forums to ask on:

You are going straight to hell!! I hope you know that!