1917 Enfield for 338 Lapua?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Guest, Dec 1, 2004.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    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
     
  2. Paul Wyatt

    Paul Wyatt Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    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
     
  4. Mysticplayer

    Mysticplayer Writers Guild

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    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 ]
     
  5. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Jerry,
    Seeing that the rifle I'm interested is a P17 is there much difference between it and the P14?
    TIA,
    Wayne
     
  6. Paul Wyatt

    Paul Wyatt Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  7. Mysticplayer

    Mysticplayer Writers Guild

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    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
     
  8. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Thanks guys for all the info. I would want the rifle I have built to be a repeater so if the Enfield action won't feed the longer rounds( 300 SMK )from the magazine I'll have to look elsewhere.
    Wayne
     
  9. Guest

    Guest Guest

    brass bender or Jerry,
    Do you know if a P14 bolt will fit a P17 action?
    TIA,
    Wayne
     
  10. Mysticplayer

    Mysticplayer Writers Guild

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    Yes, in theory, they should. However, with the huge variety of manf and specs, there is only one way to find out.

    I am working on a M98 project and getting some bolts to swap in. Although for the same action, they don't all fit.

    Jerry
     
  11. jonno

    jonno New Member

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    Jerry, this is an old post; are you still watching it?

    What would you recommend as the minimum weight for a .338 Lapua on the Enfield, with and without muzzle brake? I have a P-14 that needs a job.

    Is there another cartridge, including wildcats, that will produce the same ballistics with a less expensive, more available parent case? Even .378 Weatherby costs less than .338 Lapua, doesn't it? Do they have about the same case capacity? And how does the Remington long-action Ultra Mag case compare?

    There are 300 grain match bullets available in .338, aren't there? How fast will the Lapua throw 300 grains? 250s @ 3000?

    Thanx, bro.

    jonno
     
  12. Camshaft

    Camshaft Well-Known Member

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    Yes there is a very popular wildcat that will best the lapua by 50fps or so, the .338/.300RUM otherwise known as the 338 Edge. Uses 300Rum brass necked up to .338.
     
  13. snake

    snake Well-Known Member

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    Curiosity is killing me on what these enfields look like when completed and converted. Sounds like a cool project and wouldn't have ever considered using an older military action as a custom platform for Lapua. Cool!:cool:
     
  14. specweldtom

    specweldtom Well-Known Member

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    Wayne, 9 lug MKV Wby's are good donor actions for boomers. Calibers of .300 Wby and up can take approx 3.8" OAL loads as is. If the bolt face needs opening, they are easy to do, and extractors, mag boxes, followers etc, are available from Wby. Excellent aftermarket stocks are also available.

    My experience with the 300gr Smkhp's is that they can be seated short enough to go in the mag box, but they eat up powder capacity. I shoot .338 x .378 at 4.00" OAL and single load each round.

    I don't know how long the P-14 or P-17 can go. You may be able to pick up a Mk V for less than the cost to rework the Enfield. Just be sure it's a .270 Wby Mag or larger. The .270 and the 7mm Wby Mags need the bolt stop slot lengthened to work. Also easy to do.

    If you find a Mk V donor, count the lugs, and check the magazine OAL before you buy it. The .270 and 7mm will have a partition snapped in or welded in the back of the mag box. Also, some standard length Belted Magnum Mk V rifles are available, and will have a partitioned mag box and 9 lugs.

    Good luck. Tom