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Old 10-11-2017, 12:08 PM
Whitpusmc Whitpusmc is offline
 
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Default M1903A3 Headspace

For my A4 copy project I bought a bolt here on the forums and am now outfitting it. I checked the bare bolt in my rifle against a no go gage and it passed the test easily, almost no rotation before it will not move further.

My question, do I still need to check it against a go gage? It chambers a live round with a very slight drag, it feels just like the one originally used and fired many times.

Thanks in advance

Whit
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Old 10-11-2017, 02:45 PM
ceresco ceresco is offline
 
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If you can chamber a variety of commercial and M2 without difficulty, you are OK. Keep in mind that some HXP M2 is oversize and can be problematic in properly sized chambers. Good Shooting. ..
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Old 10-11-2017, 05:00 PM
ACampComLegacy ACampComLegacy is offline
 
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Is headspace critical in a bolt action same as in an autoloader?

Just curious here; not tryin' to boost your thread Whit...
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Old 10-11-2017, 06:07 PM
sigman2 sigman2 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACampComLegacy View Post
Is headspace critical in a bolt action same as in an autoloader?

Just curious here; not tryin' to boost your thread Whit...
Some say it is very critical while others say it is not.
Personally, I consider it critical.

The gunsmith books I have state that if a rifle's bolt closes on a "No Go" gauge it should not be fired. I follow this rule with the following exception noted below.*

Others claim that the headspace is safe as long as it does not close on a "Field" gauge. It may be safe but it does not meet my standards.

* A rifle chambered for a bottle neck cartridge with excessive headspace can be safely used if a handloader tailors ammo specifically for that rifle. This can be done by resizing the case, loading with a mid range charge and seating the bullet out to engage the rifling. This holds the base of the cartridge firmly against the bolt face. Upon firing the shoulder expands forward thus forming itself to the rifle's chamber. These cases should be kept separate for that particular rife. When reloading, these cases should be necked or partially sized to retain the shoulder length. The rifle's headspace should be checked periodically to ensure there isn't a problem with locking lug set-back.
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Old 10-11-2017, 06:52 PM
Whitpusmc Whitpusmc is offline
 
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Thanks for all the input, I love this forum!

This rifle with the original bolt is tight on final rotation with HXP, I haven't tried it with commercial but I have some S&B and I think some Remington and I will try those too.

I went through this with a Lee Enfield and the collective wisdom was that LEs got along fine with what others would consider "generous" headspace. I still replaced the bolt head to bring it back within spec, it's my face next to the stock after all...
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:15 PM
lapriester lapriester is offline
 
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"Gunsmithing books" are typically and universally over conservative. You will never have rifle, safety or brass issues shooting a rifle that closes on a No-Go and not close to closing on a Field.

Also, for a receational shooter, having to check headspace on such a rifle more often is really uneccessary since it would take many thousands of rounds to wear bolt or receiver surfaces enough to change the headspace. By the time it did the barrel would probably need replacement because of normal bore wear.

No-Go is a feel good gauge. It tells you headspace is perfect and you feel good about. To feel uncomfortable about shooting a rifle that closes on one and is far from closing on a Field is actually quite paranoid for no realistic reason.

If you have such a rifle you fear shooting it I'll gladly buy it from you for cheap and shoot the crap out of it for many years to come and pass it on to my heirs for their continued enjoyment.

Last edited by lapriester; 10-11-2017 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:35 PM
Whitpusmc Whitpusmc is offline
 
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Thanks for the reply, my M1903A3 with either bolt will not close on the No Go gauge so I believe that rifle is good to go.

My LE #4 my 1 swallowed the No Go gauge and arguably closed on the Field as well. I was told LEs in mil service were allowed additional 5-10 thousand beyond what a commercial Field gauge reads but it's my face so I sourced and installed a new bolt head. I was told by more than one guy making a living on LEs that they believe LEs are being headspaced too often and that the chambers were intentionally generous to allow for vagaries of service ammo and field conditions. But it's my face....

Thanks to all
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:47 PM
WindLogik WindLogik is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitpusmc View Post
My LE #4 my 1 swallowed the No Go gauge and arguably closed on the Field as well. I was told LEs in mil service were allowed additional 5-10 thousand beyond what a commercial Field gauge reads but it's my face so I sourced and installed a new bolt head. I was told by more than one guy making a living on LEs that they believe LEs are being headspaced too often and that the chambers were intentionally generous to allow for vagaries of service ammo and field conditions. But it's my face....
This was with a headspace gauge for 303 Brit? That is a rimmed cartridge and a very different matter than a 30-06. The 303 chambers in SMLEs are variable and intentionally large.
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Old 10-11-2017, 11:32 PM
Whitpusmc Whitpusmc is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WindLogik View Post
This was with a headspace gauge for 303 Brit? That is a rimmed cartridge and a very different matter than a 30-06. The 303 chambers in SMLEs are variable and intentionally large.
Yes, not a 30 06 gauge but a 303 coin type gauge. I understand many folks frown on those gauges but they work d for me and I have enjoyed my LEs with some peace of mind. I talked through my issue with a gunsmith that works almost exclusively on British milsurps and he seemed happy with my process and my results.
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