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Old June 11, 1999, 02:52 PM   #1
UKGrad
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Well, I got this old thing (there's a date saying "1/49" on it) from a friend for Christmas awhile back. It seems to shoot good, but I'm building an AR, and money is tight so......

Is this sucker worth cleaning up and investing in paraphenalia? I have no idea what kinda reputation it has. What do I need to do to it to maximize it's potential, and is that potential worth the cost? What do I need to look for as far as "trouble spots"? Any help is much appreciated!
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Old June 11, 1999, 03:38 PM   #2
4V50 Gary
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Check out this month's American Rifleman and rifle magazine. Both feature articles on the Lee Enfield.

Good gun, but it's not a M1.

------------------
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt

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Old June 16, 1999, 08:50 PM   #3
Long Path
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Keep it. You won't get for it what it's really worth.
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Old June 17, 1999, 07:27 AM   #4
UKGrad
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Come on guys, help the brother out!

I want to keep it, but I also want it to be more than a mantle piece!

Questions:

What are the "weak" points I may want a gunsmith to check out?

In order to get the full potential out of this rifle, what do I need to do? Re-barrel? How do I know the one I have is bad?

I have shot it a grand total of 20 rounds through it thus far. Seems to shoot good, but this was BSing around at my father-in-law's (where I do all my shooting). I did get a crow at about 150yds with it. Anyway, I really need some technical advice on this thing. What kind of range is it capable of? Any ammo it seems to prefer? Hunting applications? Should I think about scoping it? Basically, I have a rifle I know next to nothing about, and I don't want to sink a lot of money into useless stuff for it. I also lack the time to research it a lot. Long Path, I'd love it if you elaborate on your comment.

Thanks for any help guys.

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Old June 17, 1999, 08:53 AM   #5
Harley Nolden
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UK GRAD
Just thought you might be interested:

Lee Enfield, Lee-Metford, Remington Lee

AUSTRALIA:

Rifle #1 Sniper Rifle Mk3 Ht
Manufacture: Royal Austrian, Lithgow,
New South Wales
Year of Manufacture 1944-46
Quantity:
Action: #1 Mk3
Caliber: .303 Rimmed
Length: 44.56"
Weight: 10.30lb
Barrel Length: 25.19"
Grooves: 5 LH concentric
Magazine: 10 Box (detach)
M-Velocity: 2,440fps W/Mk-VII ball

TURN-BOLT PATTERNS:

Lee Burtons:

Developed in the USA, then perfected in the USA and Britain. These guns were service issue in Britain an the British Empire. They were also issued in many former colonies after independence had bee gained, India & Pakistan. Lee Enfield were also used in Irag and the Irish Free State, Eire, prior to 1939. Others were sold to Blgium, Denmark, Egypt, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Thiland, and turkey in the post 1945 era.

The first turn bolt designe, with a single locking lug, sold in small numbers to factions in South and Central America. An improved two lug mechanism was then perfected in Britain, where the .303 Magazine Rifle MkI )lee-Metford), was adopted for military service in 1888

Prior to 1939 the Australian forces were armed with standard SMLE Mks III and III* (No 1) MkIII and No 1 MkIII*) Rifles made in a government factory that had been established in Lithgow, New South Wales, 1n 1912. These guns were dated from 1913-1929, 1938-
1945, and 1953-1956.


BRITAIN

Indicators for year of manufacture:

V.R. (Victoria Regina) 1888-1901
E.R. (Edwardius Rex) 1901-1910
G.R. (Georgius Rex) 1910-1936
1936-1952
E.R. (Elizabeth Regina) 1952 to Date

Manufacturer Marks:

Roual Small Arms Factory Enfield Enfield (EFD)
Birmingham Small Arms B.S.A. & AM Co
London Small Arms L.S.A orL.S.A. Ltd
Vickers V.S.M.
Standard Small Arms S.S.A.
National Rifle Factory N.R.F.

S.M.L.E BRITISH
NO.1 Mark III Short Lee Enfield.
Adopted: 1907
Cal: .303
Length: 44.5"
Wt: 8.6lb
Action: Turnbolt
Bolt: 2 Piece non rotating head
Mag: Detach Bx. Stagg. Column
Capacity: 10 rnds
Bbl length: 25.2"
Bore Dia: 303"
Twist: Left
Rate: 10"

Basic British rifle of WWI and used to some extent in WWII. Over 2,000,000 made by Enfield. B.S.A. made over one million during the same period.

Note: Savage also made a rifle for the .303 British cartridge however, the Brits called it the .301 Savage to distinguish it between the .303 British round.
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Old June 17, 1999, 09:04 AM   #6
UKGrad
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Harley, thanks for the info. All I know about mine is it was made in England at some Slavic sounding factory near Liverpool I think. I was also told it was imported through Alexandria VA at some point in time (supposedly 1/49). If I gave you a run-down of the markings, would that help me find out more? Like I said, I am interested in making it into a fully-functional (as in, I know what the heck I'm doing with it!) rifle, not a closet queen!

Thanks again for the assistance!
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Old June 17, 1999, 09:12 AM   #7
Harley Nolden
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UK Grad:
Your No.4 Mk 2 was approved on 4 December 1947 to replace the unsuccessful No. 5, but was not introduced until 1949. The trigger pivoted on the underside ofthe body instead of on the trigger guard, so the revised MK2 for-end could not be eschanged with the earlier type. No. 4 Mk I back sights were uesed. Revision of original Mk I and 1* rifles to MK2 standards began at this time MK 2 and MK 2 1/3 had been British made Mk 1 and North American made M1* rifles respectively.

Of an interesting note: Most surviving Model B (trial Rifle) were converted to No 4 standards and issued to the British Army in 1940, shortly after the withdrawl from Dunkirk. Diced fore-ends and fluted hand guard distinguishe them.

There is also a No 4 MK1 (T) This was a sniper rifle with the same specs as the #4 except it weighed 11.25lbs

The perfected #4 (T) rifles were approved in February, were issued with No 32 telescope sights. Much conversion work was sub-contracted to Holland & Holland (551) who completed 26,442 of about 28,00500 sniper rifles. BSA made guns were preferred, though a few Stevens-Savage examples were used in 1942.

HJN
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Old June 17, 1999, 09:15 AM   #8
Harley Nolden
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If you check the specs on the information page, you may be able to tell the Arsnal that built it. Possibly the year also.

HJN
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Old June 17, 1999, 09:22 AM   #9
UKGrad
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Geez, where do you find this stuff! I found some guy at a university who was researching LEs.

I have no idea about sights and what-not. Mine has a large "ghost ring" type aperature, and a small "peep" aperature that has a screw adjust for range. The scale goes up to 1200 I think (I don't have it in front of me, my employer might freak! )

I definitely don't have fluted hand guards.

Bottom line Harley, is this thing worth getting professionally cleaned and refinished? I was thinking about getting a sling, scope mount, maybe one of those leather bandoliers, and start finding some ammo it likes, and turn it into my "poor man's deer gun". I have heard, here and other places, that these are good rifles, but I'm worried about blowing a lot of money with no return.

Thanks!
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Old June 17, 1999, 09:36 AM   #10
Harley Nolden
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UKGRAD:
If you are looking for a good, inexpensive deer rifle I would have it refinished, the stock refinished, possibly a sporterized stock, and use it. I have restocked many of these in GA. I like them, and if I wanted it to shoot, I would get it done.

Bluing can be done for around $90.00 depends on pits or what we call "wheel time" in a good finish. Not High Gloss.

If you can work with wood there are good replacement stocks, (search gun stocks on the net) for around $40.00 to $50.00.

Here is some more info for you on the Ammo.

Developed during 1887 and adopted in 1888, it was the official military cartridge of the British Commonwealth in WWI and WWII. It was replaced by the 7.62mm NATO cartridge
(308 Winchester) Originally loaded with a 215 gr round-nosed bullet encased in a cupro-nickel jacket. With 70gr of compressed blackpowder, it developed a muzzle velocity of 1850fps. In 1892, the propellant was changed to the then-new Cordite smokeless powder and the velocity upped to 1970fps. Around 1917 a 174 gr pointed bullet was adopted and the velocy increased to 2440fps. This was the MKVII round, still in use when the 303 was discontinued.

Bullets for the MKVII cartridge had an aluminum core, fiber-filled tip with the base of conventional lead alloy. This made the longer than normal for its weight. It also produced an un-stable projectile in flight that would tumble easily on contact, thus increasing the wounding potential. The 303 cartridge was designed for the Lee-Metford MkI magazine rifle, a turnbolt type invented by James Paris Lee, an American. In 1895, the segmental and shallow Metford-type rifling was discontinued in favor of the deeper Enfield-type. From this point, the rifle was known as the Lee-Enfield. There are many varriations and types.
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Old June 17, 1999, 09:42 AM   #11
Harley Nolden
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UKGRAD
Check: http://www.boydboys.com
for a replacement stock to that rifle

HJN
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Old June 17, 1999, 09:52 AM   #12
UKGrad
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Actually, I was going to leave the wood alone. I kinda like the "used" look. But I do want to clean the parts, barrel, etc. and have it refinished so the metal looks good. And I'm pretty sure I need the barrel inspected. What if it's bad? Where can I find replacements? Or is it a lost cause at that point?
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Old June 17, 1999, 11:01 AM   #13
Harley Nolden
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You can probably get a good barrel from Gun Parts of West Hurley NY 914-679-2417. They list it on ppg 643, as
Barrell used $39.95 part #1
12th Edition
They also list a raft of other parts too.
HJN

[This message has been edited by Harley Nolden (edited June 17, 1999).]
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Old June 17, 1999, 12:16 PM   #14
UKGrad
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Harley, I tried 3 times replying to your e-mail, but it kept getting sent back. Thank you for the disassembly stuff. That'll definitely come in handy!
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Old June 18, 1999, 01:50 AM   #15
cmore
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ukgrad, 303 brit is ballistically similar to 30-40krag(30 US GOVT). makes an excellent deer rifle, some had very generous chambers, to handle dirty or damaged ammo in battle.
not dangerous to shoot, just causes excessive stretching of cases after 3 or 4 firings. still lots of surplus ammo available, last weapons man. in uk abt 1957,
last of type man. ishapore, india, abt1965.
clean it up and have a ball!!
cmore

NIL ILLEGITIMI CARBORUNDUM
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