M17 Enfield in service livery

M17 Feeding Problem

M17 Enfield in service livery

M17 Enfields in original military configuration. Image Swedish Army Museum

Q I had my .30-06 sporter based on a M-17 Enfield action rebarreled to .270 Winchester. The rifle shoots very accurately, but jams up every time a cartridge from the left side of the magazine is fed into the chamber. It works all right when cartridges are fed from the right side. Is this problem something I can fix myself or do I need to take my rifle to a gunsmith?
– William Cosgrove

A I’m pretty sure that as a cartridge is fed into the chamber from the left side that it catches on the edge of the extractor cut. If I am right, the way to fix this is to remove the sort of a bump which you will notice along the forward part of the left rail of the receiver. There is a bump on both sides, but trouble only occurs on the left side. Anyone with a hand grinder can remove this raised portion along the inside rail so that the cartridge will not be pushed over so far to the right as it feeds up into the chamber. A gunsmith could do the job in a few minutes and that’s who I recommend you get to do it.

If you’d like to see a sporterised M17 that has worked well in the field, check out this story and video




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Nick Harvey

The late Nick Harvey (1931-2024) was one of the world's most experienced and knowledgeable gun writers, a true legend of the business. He wrote about firearms and hunting for about 70 years, published many books and uncounted articles, and travelled the world to hunt and shoot. His reloading manuals are highly sought after, and his knowledge of the subject was unmatched. He was Sporting Shooter's Technical Editor for almost 50 years. His work lives on here as part of his legacy to us all.