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Thread: Enfield chamber adapters

  1. #1

    Enfield chamber adapters

    Hi. I live in th UK and have made chamber adapters for military rifles including ones for the .303 Lee Enfield to shoot .32 S&W long. I've had great success. I recently tried a cast 120gr bullet at .314 with 2.1 gr of Red Dot. I found extraction difficult and some split cases.I was surprised as this wasn't a heavy load. I wondered if .314 was too oversize so I resized them to .311. These with the same load showed reduced pressure. I'd understood that an oversized cast bullet of several thou. shouldn't give excess pressure. What does anyone think? The lee enfields are known for having oversized bores. That's why I tried the .314s. Might I have a tight bore at the actual specification of .311.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    I would cast or slug the interior leade of your chamber adapter and determine what its diameter is. I don't know if your adaptor is smooth bored ahead of the chamber or rifled. I have an adapter for my .303 sold by The Sportsman's Guide which has a .315" smooth bore ahead of the chamber and shoots well with either factory. 32 S&W Long ammunition, or handloads using a 115-grain .32-20 Winchester cast bullet from wheelweight alloy, using 2.5 grains of Bullseye. I use Fiocchi brass and have no issues with split cases. With my Long Branch No.4 I set the ladder on the battlesight to 500 yards to shoot to point of aim at 50 yards or metres. Accuracy is "minute of beer can".
    Last edited by Outpost75; 08-01-2018 at 07:45 PM.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master Grmps's Avatar
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    Welcome to CB.
    Last edited by Grmps; 08-13-2018 at 06:07 PM.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I would think your adaptor is oversize in the chamber........the pressure with red dot would have dropped to low levels before the bullet was out of the adaptor,therefore the bore of the rifle will have no effect,provided the bullet exits the barrel.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master enfield's Avatar
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    .314 is not oversized for any Lee Enfield I have ever met.

    hey, watch where ya point that thing!

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Just load your 120 gr .314" bullet in .303 British brass with 5 grs of Red Dot. Repeating low noise fun.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Or use the lee 90gr swc with 3.5gr of bullseye in 303 cases for a real addiction!!

  8. #8
    Thank you for all your replies. The adapters are smoothbore. I made them to maximum case size specification and, because of the thin metal in the neck, left as much as possible. The adapters, of course, are steel so won't expand in the way of brass. Am I right in thinking the internal neck of the adapter needs to be at least the diameter of the bullet used to avoid constriction?

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clive Townsend View Post
    Thank you for all your replies. The adapters are smoothbore. I made them to maximum case size specification and, because of the thin metal in the neck, left as much as possible. The adapters, of course, are steel so won't expand in the way of brass. Am I right in thinking the internal neck of the adapter needs to be at least the diameter of the bullet used to avoid constriction?
    The internal bore of the chamber adapter should be not less than barrel groove diameter, preferably about 0.001-0.0015" larger, correct diameter being analogous to dimensioning the ball seat or cylinder throat diameter in a revolver. For most .303s a diameter of .315 for a 5-groove and .317 for a 2-groove is about right.
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master mattw's Avatar
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    I have always thought about the these with the 03A3. I would love to drop 32acp or 32H&R mags in that old rifle.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    In my experience the Sportsman’s Guide chamber inserts in the .303 British and 7.62x54R worked well.

    I cannot recommend the ones they offer for the .308 Winchester and .30-‘06!

    Mine and those used by friends all had “issues” which will I will explain later.

    I have and use several adapters for the .303 British and 7.62x4R to use .32 ACP and .32 S&W Long/H&R Mag., ammo. RWS .32 ACP hardball when fired in a rifle adapter is quiet and shoots close to point of aim at 50 feet with the battle sight set to 300 yards or meters, or "minute of beer can" at 50 yards or metres with the battlesight set at 500.

    The .32 H&R Magnum insert is louder, but is more accurate.
    It also works with .32 S&W Long ammo, which is quiet like the .32 ACP.

    My use for these adapters is to include in my hunting kit when carrying a handgun in the same caliber. Once you experiment with the adapters enough to confirm good sight dope, they work up close for small game, to conserve your big game rounds and not disturb other game nearby.

    GREAT CAUTION is required if attempting to use these adapters in rimless calibers!

    Neither my .308 Win. nor .30-'06 adapters from Sportsman's Guide would fit into a Wilson Max. Cartridge gage.

    Both required modification to adjust dimensions which were "off". Even so, I succeeded in "sticking" a .30-06 adapter in the chamber of an 03A3 Springfield. I was able to extract it by carefully forcing the bolt closed over it, then inserting a narrow blade screwdriver between the extractor and receiver ring to prevent the extractor from hopping off the rim until I could open the bolt with carefully applied blows of a dead-blow lead hammer.

    Had I tried the adapter in a plunger-ejector "slam-feeder" such as a Remington 700, it would have required gunsmith removal of the barrel to get it out!

    These adapters have also recently been offered to use surplus 7.62x25 ammunition. I do not recommend this because the 7.62x25 Tokarev cartridge is loaded to about 40,000 psi vs. 20,000 for the .32 ACP. If fired very much with hot, surplus ammo, the thin-walled steel adapter WILL expand to very tightly and seize in the rifle chamber. If your chamber is smooth and perfectly round, you might get away with it, if the chamber is lightly oiled before using, but if your rifle chamber rough or out of round in places, you may "stick" the adapter in the rifle chamber. Re-read the previous paragraph above!

    These sub-caliber adapters work best in RIMMED calibers such as the .303 British and 7.62x54R RIMMED cartridges, in military surplus rifles which have fairly sloppy, "forgiving" tolerances which ease extraction of the adapter.

    Typical groups are about an inch at 50 feet with iron sights. Don’t expect any better.

    I own similar adapters made by MCA Specialties which let me use .32 ACP or .32 S&W Long in my Winchester 94 and H&R Handi Rifle in .30-30 and I have been very well pleased with those and can recommend them.

    BUT, if you reload, making a few reduced power small game loads for your center-fire hunting rifle makes A LOT more sense. If you don’t cast your own bullets a charge of 5 to 6 grains of Bullseye or Titegroup or 7 grains of 231, Red Dot or Green Dot with a 110-grain jacketed bullet in any .30 caliber deer rifle from 7.62x39 to .30-’06 capacity will exit the barrel every time.

    If using lubricated lead cast bullets intended for the .32 S&W Long or .32-20 you can go as light as 3 grains of Bullseye or TiteGroup in the .30-30 or 4 in the .30-'06, or 5 grains of 231 or TiteGroup with 98-115-grain .32 revolver bullets and bore-exit will also be reliable.

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  12. #12
    Thanks again for your quick replies and advice. I've ordered an 8mm reamer to take the internal neck diameter to .315. I'll let you know how I get on.

    I very much endorse what Outpost75 says about rimless adapters. I have made one for .308 to shoot .30 carbine. It was much more nerve racking to make than for a rimmed cartridge. I bought a Lyman case gauge in .308 and made sure the adapter fitted and came out of the gauge easily before I put it in a rifle. Once made it is one of the most successful.

    Again, I agree with Outpost75, that it is better to use cast bullets, much downloaded, in an original case.

    You may wonder, then, why I bother with adapters. In the UK we have fewer and fewer ranges on which we can shoot. In the County where I live we don't have a range more than 100 yards. Many of the ranges are also limited on the power of cartridge permitted, usually to that of pistols, or gallery rifles now that we're not allowed pistols in the UK. Hence my interest in adapters.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Clive,

    I much appreciate the independent validation. My friend in Tuscany does some stealth, "rough shooting" on his farm for occasional small game and varmints, something which TPTB would frown upon, but using common 7,65 Browning FMJ with adapter in his No.4 the usual garden pests, rabbits and game birds come to bag discreetly in good condition for the brick oven.
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  14. #14
    Boolit Mold Captain Wheelgun's Avatar
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    I have one of the .32 ACP - .303 British adapters that I have had a lot of fun with. I,ve thought about re-chambering it to .32 H&R Magnum or .327 Federal for more versatility. How hard would it be to do this?

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Wheelgun View Post
    I have one of the .32 ACP - .303 British adapters that I have had a lot of fun with. I,ve thought about re-chambering it to .32 H&R Magnum or .327 Federal for more versatility. How hard would it be to do this?
    Sportsnan's Guide at least used to have the adapters in .32 H&R Mag. I would just grab another.
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  16. #16
    Boolit Mold Captain Wheelgun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post
    Sportsnan's Guide at least used to have the adapters in .32 H&R Mag. I would just grab another.
    They didn't show any on their web site as of last week. However, I did contact MCA Ace Sports in Alaska and he quoted me $34 + $4 shipping for a .32 H&R - .303 adapter. I'm going to order one this week.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Wheelgun View Post
    They didn't show any on their web site as of last week. However, I did contact MCA Ace Sports in Alaska and he quoted me $34 + $4 shipping for a .32 H&R - .303 adapter. I'm going to order one this week.
    I have two of his in .30-30 for .32 ACP and .32 S&W Long which I am very well pleased with.
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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check