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1917 Enfield for 338 Lapua?

 
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  #1  
Old 12-01-2004, 09:11 PM
 
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1917 Enfield for 338 Lapua?

Would a 1917 Enfield 30/06 action made by Winchester handle the 338 Lapua cartridge if the bolt was opened up and the feed rails massaged? Any thoughts or opinions would be appreciated.
Wayne
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  #2  
Old 12-02-2004, 08:34 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Ogden, Utah
Posts: 81
Re: 1917 Enfield for 338 Lapua?

Wayne;
Short answer, yes the 1917 action can be used for a 338 Lapua. I have 338-416 rifle now that is built around an Enfield action. I am building another rifle of the same caliber, but will be using a Nesika action. In my opinion, the Enfield is the premier older action to build a wildcat on, and is the strongest (debatable) military surplus action available. I love these old rifles - my first rifle was an NRA Eddybrook purchased for less than $20 when I was about 14 years old. I packed that unmodified rifle around the hills, using it for everything from hunting to plinking for over 20 years. Having said all that, I would not build another custom gun on the action. I paid $1,700 to have my action (a Remington) modified, including bolt work, bottom metal, ears milled off and rear of the action modified. I can buy the best modern action for that today, and the tolerances are a lot closer and the metal is much better quality. I feel a lot safer using the "new stuff." I don't regret the Enfield experience, and I will always have a soft spot in my heart for them, but for accuracy and cost efficiency, it's tough to beat whats offered now. Whatever you decide, have fun and good luck. If you go with the Enfield, find a smith that has worked with the actions in the past and knows what he is doing, the modifications are not childs play and I have seen some work that has reduced a magnificant old action into a piece of usightly junk.
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  #3  
Old 12-03-2004, 06:47 AM
 
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Re: 1917 Enfield for 338 Lapua?

brass bender,
Thank you for the info. I have a chance to pick up a complete rifle that has been sporterized for $140, has the ears taken off, drilled and tapped for scope bases.
Seeing how you've done it I might go ahead and give it a try.
Regards,
Wayne
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  #4  
Old 12-03-2004, 01:36 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,459
Re: 1917 Enfield for 338 Lapua?

Almost all my LR project rifles have been based on Enfield P actions both the P17 and 14. If you can buy them already sporterised, they make a great action.

I convert most of mine to cock on opening (kit from Numrich), now started using Timney triggers although the orig trigger can be modified very nicely.

I have/had them in 6.5-06, 6.5Mystic, 308, 30-06, 300RUM and 338 Mystic. They will handle the Lapua (use the P14 action for the magnum cartridges). I just have all my actions are magnafluxed just to make sure there are no cracks.

A very nice action.

Jerry

[ 12-03-2004: Message edited by: Jerry Teo ]
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  #5  
Old 12-03-2004, 06:54 PM
 
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Re: 1917 Enfield for 338 Lapua?

Jerry,
Seeing that the rifle I'm interested is a P17 is there much difference between it and the P14?
TIA,
Wayne
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  #6  
Old 12-04-2004, 12:25 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Ogden, Utah
Posts: 81
Re: 1917 Enfield for 338 Lapua?

Wayne
the price is right. I would be interested to see/know how your project turns out. The old Enfield is a great action. Good luck.
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  #7  
Old 12-06-2004, 04:51 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,459
Re: 1917 Enfield for 338 Lapua?

Yep, the big differences are the extractor and bolt face. The bolt face can be easily changed but the extractor on the P17 must be modified to push feed. The P14 is already set up to push feed standard mag cases. Would be very simple to enlarge for the lapua.

I don't feed from a mag because my rds are just too long. I need to be able to push feed for single feeding. I would go with the P14. Just a little less work.

Jerry
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