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.
Remove it completely.
Then remove the firing pin retaining screw from the rear of the bolt.
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.
He made it from tubing that was .376 in diameter.
And that had a wall thickness of .043.
You insert it from the front of the bolt and engage the bolt notches.
Then turn it to unscrew the firing pin, which will then come out with the firing pin spring around it.
Here’s a picture of the old spring (top) compared to the new spring (bottom).
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.
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.
Then you can push in the take-down button to allow the rotation of the bolt.
Unscrew it completely.
And then it will come out of the bolt, with the spring around the firing pin.
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.
Then push down (I use a glove to help do this)…
And then rotate the bolt head about 90 degrees to unlock it and remove it.
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.
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.