Educational Zone #51 – Changing the Firing Pin Springs in C&R Rifles

I sure enjoy shooting my C&R rifles, especially with the cheap military surplus ammo. But some of this ammo is over 60 years old and the primers can be “hard”.

We were experiencing a lot of hang-fires and a lot of no-fires. I begin to wonder if the old firing pin springs in the Lee Enfields and Mausers might be a part of the problem.

So, I ordered some replacement springs from Brownell’s. The original springs in the Lee Enfields were about 13 pounds. I bought some Wolff replacement springs that are rated at 20 pounds.

We begin by removing the bolt from the rifle.

Then you unscrew the bolt head from the bolt.

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Remove it completely.

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Then remove the firing pin retaining screw from the rear of the bolt.

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To unscrew the firing pin from the bolt, you will need a removal tool.

These can be purchased, but Tman made us one from a piece of stainless steel tubing. It requires a couple of pins to grab the firing pin slots.

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He made it from tubing that was .376 in diameter.

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And that had a wall thickness of .043.

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You insert it from the front of the bolt and engage the bolt notches.

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Then turn it to unscrew the firing pin, which will then come out with the firing pin spring around it.

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Here’s a picture of the old spring (top) compared to the new spring (bottom).

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Continued below...

You then install everything in reverse order.

You will be able to feel the much stronger spring when you close the bolt, as Lee Enfields cock on closing.

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Let’s look at how to change a Mauser spring.

First, you cock the piece, rotate the safety to the top position, and remove the bolt from the rifle.

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Then you can push in the take-down button to allow the rotation of the bolt.

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Unscrew it completely.

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And then it will come out of the bolt, with the spring around the firing pin.

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Some folks might have wondered what the round metal lined hole in some Mauser stocks is for.

It is a bolt-take-down tool.

Place the bolt in the hole.

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Then push down (I use a glove to help do this)…

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And then rotate the bolt head about 90 degrees to unlock it and remove it.

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This will then allow the spring to be removed and replaced.

Reassembly is done in the reverse order.

Of course, the proof is at the range.

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Conclusion:
We went from having as many as 50% failures to fire to as few as 1 in 30 with the same ammo. The primer strikes are much deeper and cleaner and it sure seems to improve ignition.

The springs are available in a variety of weights and cost less than $6 each.

A mighty cheap and easy fix to a big problem.

1 Comment on Educational Zone #51 – Changing the Firing Pin Springs in C&R Rifles

  1. Beancounter // August 12, 2016 at 7:46 pm // Reply

    I have had same problem with old Turks and Yugo milsurp ammo. Looks like I need to hit Wolff for some springs. Your instructions are invaluable. Keep it up !!! Beancounter

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