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Old May 10, 2009, 05:58 PM   #1
timgd
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Enfield thoughts

My #4 mk1 stocks finish is so dark that you can not see the grain of the wood. I can strip and refinish, try to clean it and use linseed oil,or leave it the way its been for the last ? years. Thoughts ? Opinions?
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Old May 10, 2009, 06:29 PM   #2
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Does the numbers match or is it just a shooter, If it matches then refinishing the stock could take away from the value of the rifle. If it's just a shooter and you want it to look better then go for it.
Here's a good link on stock refinishing.
http://mostlycajun.com/wordpress/Fil...ygunstocks.pdf
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Old May 10, 2009, 06:44 PM   #3
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Well there are different stock finishers for different stocks ... not all Military rifles stocks are the same and nor should they all be treated the same. There are some things in that PDF that I do not recommend at all ... soaking wooden furniture in a bath tub for 15 mins is not a good idea and in the case of steaming out dents it is overkill. All that needs be done is for the immediate area of the dent to be dampened and then steamed locally - that is if you do it at all. The reason you don't go soaking furniture in tubs of water is that it can lead to warping of the furniture upon drying.

In the case of Enfield's, I would say that depending on the rifle you should leave it as it is ... the historical patina of the rifle is what you have right there - that is its intrinsic value. If you want to clean it a little I recommend a scrub of Boiled Linseed Oil using only #0000 steel wool. The information that came to me is from factory staff who built the Australian Enfield No1 MKIII Lithgow rifles ... here is an article I prepared at Surplusrifleforum that addresses this with examples of my results using their methods and advice.

In it are discussed additional considerations as regards refinishing - ethical and otherwise concerning the collector and shooter.

http://www.surplusrifleforum.com/vie...?f=137&t=58725

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Old May 10, 2009, 08:13 PM   #4
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#4 mk1

All #s match, the metal parts look like they are 67 yrs old its only the wood that is an issue. Its a 1943 maltby rifle , my 1st thought was to leave it alone since its done all wright so far. I just wondered what the wood looked liked when issued. Tiki I have already read your post in the other forum and am inclined to agree to do no harm. Also I'm lazy and its easy to do nothing!
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Old May 11, 2009, 08:44 PM   #5
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Here's my 1943 Maltby. I love it just the way it is. (I did replace the butt stock as the original was in really bad shape.)



TK
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Old May 12, 2009, 12:08 AM   #6
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Tidewater,

That's a beautiful Maltby ... that is also exactly how they ought to look; you can see the history and the patina - she looks a very proud old Battle rifle.

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Old May 12, 2009, 07:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
In it are discussed additional considerations as regards refinishing - ethical and otherwise concerning the collector and shooter.
"Ethics"? What has "ethics" to do with me legally doing as I please with my private property?

I understand the preservation of history and historical artifacts. And I like the look of the old battle-worn firearms. But I'm not a museum curator entrusted with the preservation of the historical wealth of the people. And if I want to sand, strip, refinish, drill, tap, recondition, cut, chop, re-blue, alter, modify, re-barrel, bury, re-stock, paint, plate, or grind to a pile of dust a military surplus firearm that I own, as long as I don't break any silly-a$$ modification laws (another travesty) "ethics" doesn't come into play.
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Old May 12, 2009, 08:42 AM   #8
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JSMAYE,

It is of course your rifle and your property, nobody can tell you what to do - many people who collect and shoot and who have an appreciation of Military history see these rifles in a far more important light than yourself. They are considered to be living history and they carry the stories of the men who fought using them. It;s not quite the same thing as an run of the mill off the rack commercial hunting arm.

For collectors there are indeed ethical considerations ... you find the same with cleaning, refinishing and altering Antiques also and this is common if you know anything about auction houses and furniture ( Patina is a key phrase ). These considerations are explained for the benefit of people who either already get it ... or want to get it. If you don't, that's fine too, but understand there are many who do get it and feel very strongly about applying those ethics towards the collecting and shooting of Military arms.

Note also I stated "ethical and otherwise for the collector and shooter" ... if that's not you then disregard. We that feel differently do indeed see ourselves in a role as stewards of living history - we also feel an obligation to preserve these rifles as best we can while in our keeping.

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Old May 12, 2009, 09:33 AM   #9
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Quote: "Do the numbers match or is it just a shooter?"

I've wondered this about my No.1 MKIII*. Of the five numbers four match, the nosecap has a different one. Otherwise a very clean attractive rifle. Does this make mine a shooter?
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Old May 12, 2009, 09:56 AM   #10
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Jondar,

You rifle is a collector and a shooter ... the main parts that should match on any Enfield and that are considered the most important to collector/shooters is the bolt and the receiver. Following that, numbers can be found to match on the barrel, butt stock, magazine and nose cap. It isn't such a big deal if the nose cap is a mismatch though - in the world of Enfield collectors you have a keeper as we say and a rifle that has value.

To many of us, even if the bolt is a mismatch, as long as everything else is in good working order, the rifle is still a collectible and worthy of your best attention - it will just not be worth as much as an all matching item. Many of the members at surplus rifle buy sportered Milsurps and restore them to original milspec - this is often a cheap way to own a collectible rifle. Many restore 'bubba'd' milsurps because they feel a sense of duty to do it and enjoy the restoration for its own merits - it's very rewarding to return a WW1 or WW2 rifle back to its former glory.

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Old May 12, 2009, 10:08 AM   #11
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Tiki -
I haven't been able to find one on the magazine, but did find a matching on the rear sight which also has windage adjustment. So have matchings on the butt, bolt, barrell and receiver. Thanks for the info.
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Old May 12, 2009, 10:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
...many people who collect and shoot and who have an appreciation of Military history see these rifles in a far more important light than yourself. They are considered to be living history and they carry the stories of the men who fought using them. It;s not quite the same thing as an run of the mill off the rack commercial hunting arm.

For collectors there are indeed ethical considerations ... you find the same with cleaning Antiques also and this is common if you know anything about auction houses and furniture ( Patina is a key phrase ). These considerations are explained for the benefit of people who either already get it ... or want to get it. If you don't, that's fine too, but understand there are many who do get it and feel very strongly about applying those ethics towards the collecting and shooting of Military arms.
Tiki -

You present an articulate and well-measured response, but I would like to point out some disagreements. How can a collector's view of my rifle be "in a far more important light than myself"? There is no superior, and therefore no inferior, point-of-view of my rifle.

I understand the desire to preserve the patina of history. Is it desirable? Yes. For some. Is it more ethical? No. For there to be a more ethical point-of-view means by extension that there is a less ethical point-of-view.

Like I said before, I don't radically alter my firearms because it's just not taste to do so. But I am not more or less ethical for having preserved them, regardless of what harrumphing and 'tsk-tsk'-ing serious collectors think.

Quote:
Note also I stated "ethical and otherwise for the collector and shooter" ... if that's not you then disregard.
That's me - a collector and a shooter, in the original and natural sense of both words.
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Old May 12, 2009, 11:51 AM   #13
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JS,

I hoped we could discuss this with civility - glad to see you are agreeable. I respectfully add below.


Quote:
How can a collector's view of my rifle be "in a far more important light than myself"? There is no superior, and therefore no inferior, point-of-view of my rifle.
It's an issue of perspective and perception of historical and intrinsic value; concepts that may not be shared by another owner. What I am saying is that to many collector/shooters of Milsurps, the Historical significance of the rifle imbues it a far greater value than if it were just a common commercial hunting arm. The rifle has had a life in history, in war, in battle - it is living history and has a life of its own. Collectors understand this and respect it.

Collector/Shooters also understand the deeper value and historical significance of the firearm and give it due respect in preservation and custodianship. These collectors would not do anything to alter the firearm in any way that would damage it or deviate from original spec. The collector attributes greater value to the Milsurp than others perhaps might, hence my comment "in a far more important light".

I may attribute more value to your Milsurps than you yourself do. It is surely your property but that doesn't mean I can't care about it because many Collectors feel obligated to preserve these representations of our Military History because History belongs to all of us. Hence the sense of duty and custodianship many of us feel about our guns. We don't feel so much owners but rather care takers of Military History - we can't take them to the grave and one day they will pass to somebody else. We want to make sure these guns exist well into the future, long after we are gone.


Quote:
I understand the desire to preserve the patina of history. Is it desirable? Yes. For some. Is it more ethical? No. For there to be a more ethical point-of-view means by extension that there is a less ethical point-of-view.
I think that is highly debatable ... I won't debate it with you since your view is fixed and it's not my job to make you realize anything; you either get it or you don't. I would strongly suggest that there is a duty of care to preserve our Military firearms which serve as very real representations of living history. To know what that is and to not care, is unethical in my view - and to many others also.


Quote:
Like I said before, I don't radically alter my firearms because it's just not taste to do so. But I am not more or less ethical for having preserved them, regardless of what harrumphing and 'tsk-tsk'-ing serious collectors think.
That's fine ... in my view, as a collector of Military rifles, you are indeed giving ethical consideration to your rifles if you preserve them as closely to original spec as possible; and for that I thank you.


Quote:
That's me - a collector and a shooter, in the original and natural sense of both words.
As am I, and yet we seem to differ in some of the finer points. How you see yourself is not for me to say.

Best, Tiki.
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Old May 12, 2009, 01:11 PM   #14
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An historical perspective of a military surplus is not absolutely a more important perspective; it's merely another perspective. A collector sees one thing, an owner another. Which is the "better" perspective?

I understand that an historian would see the historical perspective in even the most pedestrian of military artifacts - he'll find far more interest in caissons, canteens, cookware, and cutlasses than I ever will.

Quote:
These collectors would not do anything to alter the firearm in any way that would damage it or deviate from original spec.
I'm curious - what's your stance on shooting a military surplus weapon?

Quote:
I may attribute more value to your Milsurps than you yourself do.
Value through historical significance, perhaps. Absolute value, probably not.

I'm not a historical collector per se - if milsurps were two or three times their retail price I'd probably admire them in a museum rather than in my hands and in my closet. But I do dig the fact that I have rifles and pistols that are 50, 60, 70, and in one case approaching 100 years old, and still functional and accurate. And, of course, they will never be "truck guns" or "dashboard guns". That, to me, invokes cringing...
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Old May 12, 2009, 01:49 PM   #15
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I'm curious - what's your stance on shooting a military surplus weapon?
I definitely shoot them ... there are some that I shoot very rarely as they are quite valuable and rare but there are others that get regular use.


Quote:
An historical perspective of a military surplus is not absolutely a more important perspective; it's merely another perspective.
I think where collector/shooters arc up is when people cut up rifles that they have little or no historical knowledge of - they may not realize that they have a rare or valuable example of a particular model in their hands. To a collector/shooter this is criminal ... it's a waste too.

In that sense, the collector of the Military firearm sees their perspective of a given Milsurp not as more important, but rather more informed. This means they have appreciation that the average owner lacks. To the Collector/Shooter this is indeed an important distinction when drawing the line between the two groups. The informed and the uninformed ... and worst of all, those who just don't care. Collector/Shooters will always care about Milsurps and how they are handled, it's part of being a Collector.

Best, Tiki.
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Old May 12, 2009, 01:58 PM   #16
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I love to shoot my Enfields, I do as a collector believe in having a weapon in its correct, for the model or mark, configuration...as it is my representetive example of its type. I enjoy the Blond wood look on a late No4 Mk2, but im not about to change the darker fininsh on my earlier No4 Mk2 because that is what its suppost to have, and left the factory with....nor would I remove the military applied gloss varnish and rack numbers off of my FAZ 1943.

But thats just me, and not ment to control the actions of others. I like them for what they are, and If I want pretty, or shorter, or camo ,I buy a Remington 700 or simular

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Old May 12, 2009, 02:14 PM   #17
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P99guy,

Just out of curiosity, which Military is that you think applied a gloss varnish to a 43 Faz? No Enfield factory ever applied gloss varnish by the way, the correct finish was always Boiled Linseed Oil. I mention this just so you know that varnish is not the correct finish and would have been applied post war.

By the way - is the Faz you speak of a No4 or No5? If a No5 then the Malaysians did indeed apply varnish to the No5 furniture for protective purposes in humid monsoon soaked environs. But, no Enfield left factory with anything other than a Linseed Oil finish and all Military armorers manuals state clearly that Linseed Oil is the only finish to be used.

Cheers, Tiki.
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Old May 12, 2009, 03:28 PM   #18
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No, Im aware that it didnt leave the factory with it,and didnt serve the British forces with it, but it was a part of its post war service life as opposed to "bubba"...so it is a part of that firearm, and wasnt applied to make it pretty.

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Old May 12, 2009, 03:46 PM   #19
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P99,

Just to clarify ... post war service life with who? A civilian gave it a varnish finish. You would be restoring the rifle to correct milspec by getting rid of the varnish and finishing in BLO - that's all I'm saying. You're not preserving anything but a civvy varnish finish. You're call of course but I thought I'd mention that fact.

Lovely looking No4 by the way.

Best, Tiki.
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Old May 12, 2009, 08:06 PM   #20
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shooter

Well I guess mine is a shooter Ive only found two numbers so far bolt and receiver . No match. Tidewater pick the darkest spot on your Enfield and it makes mine look like crap.I don't think the wood has been cleaned since it left commonwealth service.
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Old May 12, 2009, 09:22 PM   #21
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it has south african property marks, and came from the importer with the varnish job slopped on over previous rack numbers that were not completely
removed, and a red paint stripe on the first inch or so of wood at the muzzle. None done in the mannor of somebody trying to beautify...just stabilize the wood.
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Old May 12, 2009, 11:58 PM   #22
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timgd,

Quote:
Well I guess mine is a shooter Ive only found two numbers so far bolt and receiver . No match.
Mate ... that IS a match and that is a very good thing, the bolt AND receiver are the most important matches you want as I already stated above.. What you don't have is an ALL matching rifle which is not such a big deal at all, you have a matching rifle which is about as good as it gets. All matching is just a cherry on top.

This idea of shooter vs not is wrong ... we are getting confused here. All these rifles are shooters AND collectors, whether matching numbers or not. If by shooter you mean it is a beater then that is also wrong - just because the rifle does not match does not mean it is a beater.

You have what we call a Keeper ... it is both for shooting and collecting; care and consideration apply in either case.

Best, Tiki.
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Old May 13, 2009, 12:16 AM   #23
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"Ethics"? What has "ethics" to do with me legally doing as I please with my private property?
Nothing. Remind me not to hand you a Picasso and some crayolas, or some first edition Ruarks and a Highlighter

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Old May 13, 2009, 07:20 AM   #24
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Nothing. Remind me not to hand you a Picasso and some crayolas, or some first edition Ruarks and a Highlighter
Really. That's actually a concern of yours.

The discussion was about the concept of ethics and morality, from which ethics is derived. If you'd followed the thread you'd have seen where I said I don't modify milsurps. Instead you hip-shot a smarty-pants reply.

I don't modify Picassos and Ruarks.
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Old May 13, 2009, 12:31 PM   #25
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The discussion was about the concept of ethics and morality, from which ethics is derived. If you'd followed the thread you'd have seen where I said I don't modify milsurps. Instead you hip-shot a smarty-pants reply.
Lighten up Francis.

You said:

"And if I want to sand, strip, refinish, drill, tap, recondition, cut, chop, re-blue, alter, modify, re-barrel, bury, re-stock, paint, plate, or grind to a pile of dust a military surplus firearm that I own, as long as I don't break any silly-a$$ modification laws (another travesty) "ethics" doesn't come into play."

Hence my reply

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