These are reproduction Wrenches, Bolt Head, for SMLE Series Rifles, Both the .303" Rifle No1 and the .22" Rifle No2.
These substantial tools, cut from 5mm steel plate, are used not for removing or replacing bolt heads as may be imagined, but for fitting new bolt heads, or part worn bolt heads onto new bolts, in a process known as 'tapping up'.
On Lee Enfield rifles the bolt head rotates within the body of the bolt as the bolt is manipulated to open or close the breech - the bolt head being held in position by a machined rib on the right side of the receiver when the bolt rotates as the bolt handle is lifted or forced down by the hand of the firer. When the bolt head is screwed into the bolt it should do up until the extractor lug on the bolt head is in line with the rib (long locking lug) on the body of the bolt. This should be achieved without having to force the bolt head, so that the bolt can fully lock in position when the bolt is closed without excessive force being applied, and unlock again without having to force the bolt handle up. To avoid undue wear and ensure the strength of the bolt when the rifle is fired, the bolt head lug should only just line up with rib, using finger pressure (when the bolt is removed from the rifle) and should not over turn the rib by more than 7 degrees.
New bolt heads, and new bolts, are often shot blasted and phosphated during manufacture, and this coating - along with machining tolerances - frequently mean that a new bolt head (or new bolt) will not quite achieve alignment of the bolt head lug and the bolt rib unless forced. To overcome this without taking a file to the front face of the bolt body (NOT recommended!), this wrench is used after lubricating the threads of the bolt and bolt head, to spin the bolt head into the bolt, then undo the bolt head and repeat the process, until correct alignment is achieved. The spining on of the bolt head both mates the thread surfaces in the bolt body and on the bolt head (similar to grinding in a valve in on an engine) and subtly stretches the threaded portion of the bolt head, until a good finger tight fit is achieved with the correct alignment. This is known as 'tapping up'.
These tools are made for us. Original tools are rare and difficult to find as they were never an issue tool, but were hand made by Armourers as part of their training and as such were never sold off as 'surplus'.
Unit of sale; 1 Wrench.
Stock Number; ARMRSTOOL107.
Repro, Bolt Head Wrench for SMLE, Rifles No1 and No2.
- Product Code: ARMRSTOOL107
- Availability: 3