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Old December 30, 2010, 12:21 AM   #1
Aur0ra145
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Savage Enfield No 4 Mk 1 Q's

Howdy!

I'm just getting into the whole C&R thing. In fact the first rifle I ever bought was this Enfield No 4 Mk 1 from a gun shop when I first started college several years ago (I loved WWII guns and what not.)

Well, after years of looking at the old thing I finally decided it's time to restore/refinish it.

The rifle is a Lee Enfield No 4 Mk1* made by Savage. It's stamped US Property on the receiver. The serial on the handring thing is a 66Cxxxx which according to the internet is an undated one. Additionally, I have mismatched serial numbers (the bolt is 56Cxxxx.) The stock is rather beat up, but has a good grain to it and matches in relative color and grain. There is only one discernible cartouch to the stock located on the butt right behind the trigger guard. Though it's very very feint, to the point that I think a previous owner may have tried to refinish it.

Here are my questions. First off, this is a lighter colored Enfield that I've seen researching through the internet over the past few months leading up to this post.

1. What is a good method to refinish this stock? I have extensive experience with furniture and things of that nature, but I've never done a gun stock. I would like if there was an easy way to make this rifle into a blonde like color.

2. How should I reblue/paint the rifle's metal parts? I saw the guys over at Box 'o Truth refinish a Enfield that I thought looked great.

3. What are the things to ABSOLUTELY NOT do when refinishing/painting a rifle? I'm very new to this.

Addtionally, I just got a Mosin Nagant for Christmas that I'm keeping in the conidition I got it (my dad got it for me, amazingly it had all serials matching and cartouches everywhere.) Though I'm going to go buy 1-2 more Mosin's within the next two weeks. Should I practice on the Mosin's before giving this Enfield a whirl?

Any help would be much appreciated!

-Aur0ra145
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Old December 30, 2010, 01:58 AM   #2
the rifleer
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To a collector, one of the "ABSOLUTE DO NOT DO'S" is do not try to refinish/reblue it. Its your gun and if you want to make it a sharp looking rifle, go for it. I've seen some that look incredible once they are refinished, but you destroy the collector/historical value.

My vote is to keep the gun stock and original, but if you are going to refinish it this is what I would do-

If you just need touch ups, any gun shop will carry cold blue. If you want to blue the whole thing you should take the stock off and ship it somewhere that does gun bluing.

For the stock, strip the old finish off and rub either tung oil or boiled linseed oil into it. It wont be blonde, but it will look very nice. I'm not sure what the original finish was.
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Old December 30, 2010, 09:36 AM   #3
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There are stages to refinishing, some more drastic than others. My suggestion would be to go slowly in stages, checking as you go to ensure you don't mess something up.

Start with the wood. (stage 1).
Pull the wood from the metal carefully.
Use rags & alcohol to scrub the wood, keep going till you have no crud coming off the wood onto the rags. This will remove lots of stuff & probably lighten a lot as well.
Get some Boiled Linseed oil form a refinishing supplier, or Home Despot.
Pour out a small amount, about a shot glass worth & dilute with the same volume of alcohol.
Pour & rub into the stock everywhere till it's all gone & let it sit till you smell no more alcohol (overnight).
Every day for a week rub a little BLO into the stock buffing hard to heat the wood. Wipe off excess & buff well the next day.

Finish buff with hessian, or burlap. Really go for it scrubbing the heck out of it for that nice semi-gloss look. That should do the wood & make it look really nice. Do another single coat once a month for the next year (without dis assembly) to really build up a nice look.

messing with the metal & finish(stage 2)
Look at the finish before you do anything. Is it blue, parkerizing, or paint?

If you have blue you'll need to do hot blue, cold just will not work well. Get all the stuff for cold bluing & go for it, if you know what you are doing, or send it out for a professional job.

If it's park the same applies, just make sure you have someone who actually knows how to do these things.

Paint?
Oh boy..............
The paint is not available any more & was a specialty paint called "Suncorite". Probably the toughest paint ever applied to anything, & usually applied over parkerizing as well.

A friend has had good luck with "guncote semi-gloss black" as a duplicate for the finish, but not for the durability. It does need the bake on to work well though.

Whatever you do be aware you will have devalued the rifle even though it will look better. Collectors want the original finish, preferably with "patina" (a "perlite" term for old, dirty rust) Hey it's your gun so it's your decision. If you want a collector don't do it, if you want a shooter well..............

Here's my savage after doing the wood as detailed, but leaving the metal alone, apart from oiling.

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Old December 30, 2010, 10:16 AM   #4
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I agree that a newly finished No4 Enfield is a very nice looking rifle. Can't find fault in wanting one to look like that.

Most mil-surp collectors keep their rifles in original condition. No refinish of the metal. Light cleaning of the furniture is OK. I use a 50/50 mix of BLO and turpentine with 0000 steel wool and lightly clean the surface of the wood. Followed up with a few coats of straight BLO.

This is the results.




You want a 'blonde' rifle, find one of the newer No4 MkII's fresh from the wrap. These have a perfect metal finish and are very blonde.



Your 66C Savage is from 1943 as is the bolt. 40C to 81C are considered 1943 production.

Here's a 0C Savage before and after preservation.


Last edited by madcratebuilder; December 30, 2010 at 10:37 AM.
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Old December 30, 2010, 05:02 PM   #5
Aur0ra145
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Sweet, thanks for the info.

I'm leaning towards the Linseed oil route to touch up the rifle. Then I'll buy a No4 Mk2 as madcratebuilder suggested. Besides, my Enfield needs another one to keep it company.

Looks like I'll make a weekend out of it. I'll try to post some pictures when I get through.
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Old December 30, 2010, 05:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
I'm leaning towards the Linseed oil route to touch up the rifle. Then I'll buy a No4 Mk2 as madcratebuilder suggested. Besides, my Enfield needs another one to keep it company.
Well I agree that Gentlemen prefer blonds, but don't go spurning the brunette, you know what they say about scorned wimmins.

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Old December 30, 2010, 06:30 PM   #7
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I have collected antique rifles and handguns for decades. The one ultimate thing NOT to do is refinish the gun. It loses so much value when you do. It also permantely and forever and ever remove its history. Those scar came from a very interesting life that you are about to destroy.
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Old January 4, 2011, 02:50 AM   #8
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I have no experience with wood, although a very knowledgeable friend has done a good bit and will help improve my Garand's dark wood.

Last Saturday I bought my second Enfield #4 at the Ft. Worth show (there were four other non-sport. #4s, and a very nice blond 4/2). It is a Longbranch.
Having two #5s and a #4 with good wood, this latest #4 is really dark in the lower areas of most of the main stock.

Can the appearance of the darker areas (or all the wood) on the Longbranch be improved without hurting the value, despite having no possible intention of selling any of my old military rifles?
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Old January 4, 2011, 09:00 AM   #9
wogpotter
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Absolutely.
just do the alcohol/linseed oil treatment from my earlier post. Maybe you won't need to remove the metal if you're careful & only want a cosmetic clean up.
Be careful to not sand or use any abrasives that would remove fine marks from the wood & no-one but you will know you did it.
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Old January 4, 2011, 05:13 PM   #10
Aur0ra145
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Quote:
Last Saturday I bought my second Enfield #4 at the Ft. Worth show (there were four other non-sport. #4s, and a very nice blond 4/2). It is a Longbranch.
Having two #5s and a #4 with good wood, this latest #4 is really dark in the lower areas of most of the main stock.
I went to that show. Didn't see the 4/2, but I did see like 4-5 sporterized #4's. Anyways, I came home with another Mosin 91/30.
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Old January 4, 2011, 07:04 PM   #11
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I did a #0000 steel wool with mineral spirits lightly with the grain to remove crud then just did three coats of BLO, a drying period of a couple days, then I used paste wax to seal it (non-permanent). It's pretty much the accepted preservation method of older rifles (some use BLO or other oils).

Turned out like this:
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Old January 4, 2011, 09:05 PM   #12
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wogpotter: Thanks.

AurOra145: You guys are so lucky if you live near or can often visit those large cities! It was a dream come true, the first show outside the Memphis area, and the floor space occupied was about 4 X what we see.
Those other four/five Non-sporterized rifles were widely scattered around, but mostly in vertical racks.

That 4/2 was to the left from the main entrance, in a rack with about five other rifles (older and younger guy). No idea about bore condition.
In case you see that same gun, the bolt number was rubbed away or erased, and was listed at $399. Very attractive and blond.
Good luck if you can visit the Dallas show.
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Old January 5, 2012, 11:38 PM   #13
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Mark I OC??

In regards to the Enfield pic above without the wood across the top of the barrel. I have this same gun and have been wondering why it is so different from all the photos I find online of Savage made Enfields. All breech markings point to it being and Enfield by Savage but it doesn't have the front site protectors or is the entire barrel encased in wood, only the bottom? Here is a pic if anyone can help me out. It does say U.S. Property and England on it.
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Old January 5, 2012, 11:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
In regards to the Enfield pic above without the wood across the top of the barrel. I have this same gun and have been wondering why it is so different from all the photos I find online of Savage made Enfields. All breech markings point to it being and Enfield by Savage but it doesn't have the front site protectors or is the entire barrel encased in wood, only the bottom? Here is a pic if anyone can help me out. It does say U.S. Property and England on it.
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Because Bubba got hold of it and made a "sporter".
The reason that many fine old milsurps were turned into guns worth a fraction of what they could be!
It was common in the post WWII days of the 50's and 60's, and I'll plead guilty of the sin as well!
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Old January 6, 2012, 10:41 AM   #15
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Quote:
Those scar came from a very interesting life that you are about to destroy.
This is always listed that as a primary reason for not refinishing a milsurp. Truth be told, not every ding, dent, scratch, and scar is from the battlefield - how many of them are from just rough handling at/from depots, armories, dealers, distributors, warehouse personnel, various idiots, etc?

A battlefield blemish might be worth preserving - one from being thrown in the back of a truck might not.
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Old January 6, 2012, 01:10 PM   #16
Machdw69
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So what are the advantages and disadvantages to converting to a "sporter"? How easy is it to find parts to convert it back? It is also missing the magazine, anyone know where to get one of those? This was given to me by my Grandfather who served in WWII but with his alzheimers he can't tell me much about it.
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Old January 6, 2012, 04:06 PM   #17
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I have used Murphy's Oil Soap to clean the wood furniture on some of my rifles. It's probably about like the BLO/alcohol method, taking some of the dirt and grime off but not bleaching the wood out when it cleans it. I wiped them down with Danish Oil Finish when I was done cleaning them, about like tung oil or BLO also...

My .303 British Enfields:



My Mausers:



You can see that while cleaned up, they still look like "as issued" with the wear and tear of anywhere from 63 up to 117 years of faithful service.

Last edited by thedaddycat; January 6, 2012 at 04:11 PM.
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Old January 7, 2012, 10:16 AM   #18
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Keep in mind the Savage No.4 stocks were made from birch , not walnut. Chestnut Ridge has that same stain that was also used on Korean-era M-1 Garands birch stocks.



I also added a brass buttplate to mine. Looks much better. The original zinc one is in the parts box.
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Old January 7, 2012, 01:16 PM   #19
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I was fondling a Jungle Carbine today at the LGS. He wants $450 for it. It's tempting and I'm thinking about it but he also had a Rock Island 1911 in stainless for $550. Decisions, decisions........
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Old January 10, 2012, 01:03 AM   #20
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thedaddycat:
You probably know ways to spot an original #5 "Jungle"?

Many people forget to mention that the metal frame in front of the mag well does Not exactly match the contour of the wood, in contrast to the matching contour on the #4s.

Also, if it happens to be one which was stored in Malaysia after the '56 Insurrection, many were later found to have rust on the chamber, at first hidden by the wood.
These are seldom seen (I guess), as are any #5s near Memphis, but I was unaware of this possibility and was later thankful after removing the handguard.

My "Malaysian" is a dark chocolate color with a very smooth, shiny finish.
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Old January 10, 2012, 07:17 AM   #21
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Quote:
In regards to the Enfield pic above without the wood across the top of the barrel. I have this same gun and have been wondering why it is so different from all the photos I find online of Savage made Enfields. All breech markings point to it being and Enfield by Savage but it doesn't have the front site protectors or is the entire barrel encased in wood, only the bottom? Here is a pic if anyone can help me out. It does say U.S. Property and England on it.
It appears the the last 1 inch of the barrel has been cut off, right at the rear of the bayonet lugs. That's really sad, these 0C Savages are fairly rare. I would still put it in original style wood and furniture.

Several places sell wood and small parts. BDL is one place I would trust. I generally buy off evil bay as it's the only way to actually see what you are buying. Take your time and you can find a bargain occasionally.

PM me if you want help with a restoration.
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