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Old January 28, 2013, 11:27 AM   #1
deerslayer303
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Wooo Hooo, I'm getting that Jungle Carbine!

Listed the Paratrooper last night and meeting the fella TODAY!! So I'm turning that Chi Com into a very nice Enfield No. 5 Mk1 Jungle Carbine. I'm a happy man right now . Don't know how these things shoot, but I'll find out. I've heard all about the whole wandering zero thing. But I'll see if its true or a myth. Can't wait to get it home and tuck her in nice and tight!!
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Old January 28, 2013, 03:14 PM   #2
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This is my own wierd Enfield experience. I shoot a lot of milsurps and alot of new precision rifles. I can shoot some of the new stuff really well, and some of the milsurps (Finnish Mosin's especially and K31's) are excellent shooters as well.

Enfields seem to have some wierd magic property to them, where instead of shooting, for examply, .5 inch groups at 100, and 1.25 at 200, and 4" at 300, they always seem to throw up 5" groups for me no matter what. i've got two .303's and an Ishapore in 7.62. 100 yards = 5", 200 yards = 5", 300 yards = 5". Can't really complain, just my wierd issue. Maybe something to do with my not holding the weapon still enough when that cocking puiece comes sliding home during firing?
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Old January 28, 2013, 04:29 PM   #3
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For most its the trigger on an Enfield. I've watched folks shoot them with the same results as you. I guess you could call them a "2 stage" military trigger. But my No4 Mk1 really doesn't have that DEFINITE 1st stage, it kind of all runs together into a long pull. But I know my no.4 so well that when squeezing I can see the hammer start to lower out of my Peripheral, and I know when that happens the next slight movement is BANG. I have had this rifle a long time and I've just come to get used to its trigger. Now, its sporterized and shoots MOA no problem with my own loads. We will see if this No. 5 is any different.
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Old January 28, 2013, 04:41 PM   #4
ChasingWhitetail91
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I have the no4 mk1 and i found that it was the brass buttplate that was giving me issues. The tighter I held it against my shoulder the more the brass would slide down or up my clothing, I replaced it with a plastic plate and it seemed to help my groupings alot. I have heard however as the barrels heat up even after shot number one, your accuracy will worsen.
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Old January 28, 2013, 07:21 PM   #5
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Keep in mind that they were ALL designed as battle rifles, not target guns, and they can be better enjoyed for what they are - SMOoooooth.



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Old January 28, 2013, 07:43 PM   #6
kilimanjaro
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There is no 'wandering zero' on the Jungle Enfields, they are carbines, not rifles, and just will not shoot Minute of Angle for anyone. It was a late WWII expedient for the Burma-Malaya theatre of war, and served it's purpose, but needed replaced ASAP with a semi-auto battle rifle. The Brits took their time about it and went to Korea with their bolt-action rifles, and suffered for it.
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Old January 28, 2013, 07:54 PM   #7
James K
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The British seriously considered replacing all their bolt actions with the Rifle No. 5, but it had some problems, including the so-called "wandering zero" (which they thought existed) and the recoil. The result was that they kept the Rifle No. 4 in service, upgrading the trigger mechanism, until the adoption of the FAL.

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Old January 28, 2013, 09:11 PM   #8
Rainbow Demon
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According to a rather detailed article written by a veteran armorer of the era the wandering zero was found to be a problem with some No.5 carbines that had suffered spreading or springing of the rear receiver walls. These could be spotted by the key pin of the rear sight pivot being nearly sheared through, which would take some serious springing of the rear walls.
Due to lack of No.5 action bodies for repairs these were sometimes fitted with No.4 action bodies in order to get them off the books and back in service.
It was believed this sort of springing was due to long rapid fire strings (mad minutes) that heated up the action.

Near as I can tell wandering zero is not a problem common to the No.5 nor exclusive to that rifle. It showed up more with the No.5 possibly due to the shorter barrel and relatively coarse sights.
I have fired a No.4 that seemed to have a wandering zero, but when I saw that there was sideplay in the rear sight and corrected it the problem went away.

Some No.4 rifles have a tiny shim to take up any side play of the rear sight, if this is missing the sight may move a hair to either side.

Whether the wandering is entirely due to loose sights, or due to some shift in the bearing of the lugs caused by the springing/spreading I couldn't say.

If you have a No.5 that holds its zero well now, and don't abuse the rifle with hot loads or excessive rapid fire excercises it should continue to maintain its zero just fine.

PS
With handloads taylored to the short barrel a friend acheived consistent sub MOA accuracy out to 600 yards with the issue sights. He's one of the best shots I've ever met, and he had glass bedded his carbine fore end so its probably not typical results, but shows what can be done if you put some work in it.
The fore end was very oil rotted so drawing out all the old oil and glass bedding was the only way to salvage it.

Last edited by Rainbow Demon; January 28, 2013 at 09:17 PM.
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Old January 28, 2013, 10:27 PM   #9
deerslayer303
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SCORE!!

This is 7lbs of pure AWESOMENESS right here! Got the rifle, a hard case, 250 rounds of various ammo, and see the bullet casting section for a cool OLD Lyman kit that came with it also. The carbine is in great shape.

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Old January 29, 2013, 04:45 AM   #10
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A few remarks if I may ...

There are a few furfies going on in this exchange about the No5 Mk1 rifle. Firstly I congratulate the OP on a great decision and an even better score on a "Jungle Carbine", you will love it and cherish as I and others already do. When you get this rifle, please visit us as at the Enfield forum in my link below and add your data to my No5 survey thread.

I would respectfully add the following ... the issues of wandering zero in the Far East campaign was in large part due to extreme moisture and humidity playing havoc with the furniture and causing the fore-end to shift unpredictably, in some cases causing contact pressure on the barrel. This in turn caused a shift in POI which varied from rifle to rifle and the conditions it experienced.

To combat this problem, later No5 Mk1's (Some early trials models also had the nose cap fitted) had the front nose cap fitted to the fore-end to stop moisture entering the end grain. Later on the Malaysians, having learned from the Australians and British during the Malaya Emergency war of the 50's, finished their No5's in varnish to avoid any chance of the furniture going soft and to ward against moisture.

The bottom line is that bedding shifted due to the effects of expansion and contraction during monsoon conditions, particularly under battle fire. The furniture would rapidly heat up and with all this heating and cooling down, mixed with humidity and rain, the bedding could shift with unpredictable results; thus zero was effected. I have commented on all this in many previous threads on the No5 ... I have also made the No5 a pet study due to my own Grandfather and Great Uncle being issued the No5 in Burma during the latter part of WW2.

If the furniture of the No5 is correctly protected from undue moisture there is no issue at all. As I have stated at Surplus and elsewhere many times; the wandering zero was largely unique to the conditions experienced in Burma - I and others have not found it an issue under normal conditions. Keep the following in mind also.

Back when the No5 was still being manufactured there was a period of time when it was seen as being the logical successor to the No4 rifle as the standard battle rifle. After performing various trials it was ( apparently ) reported that the No5 would not hold it's zero and under certain circumstances could lose it altogether. More trials were conducted and there were various reports of the lightening of the receiver being a cause of the issue as well as stocking up in some instances.

In the context of the period the rest of the world was moving toward SLR or Self Loading Rifles and many now believe that the Wandering Zero story was an expedient means of the MOD justifying re-tooling and scrapping the No5 to the Government bean counters so they could move to the SLR. After all the trials and R&D that had already been done for production of the No5 they needed an excuse for this change as Britain was now also facing a struggling post war economy unlike the U.S.

It is now widely held that the "Wandering Zero" was the excuse they required. Few if any No5 owners today find any accuracy issues with their No5 rifles, and fewer still can replicate the wandering zero - it was not a myth, but rather a circumstantial issue and this seems to be well supported by the many owners who can not find any evidence of it under fair weather and non Burmese conditions.

As regards the comment about the British paying for retaining bolt rifles in Korea - some might want to check the records of the Australian Regiment that decimated the Chinese/Koreans in the Battle of the Apple Orchard - not only outnumbered but heavens ta betsy, all while carrying No1 MkIII Lithgow SMLE's!

Best, Tiki.
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Old January 29, 2013, 08:18 AM   #11
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I owned a No5 Mk1 for a while. It was a 1945 Fazakerly. At the time, I was able to buy British surplus cordite loaded .303 ammo.
No wandering zero at all, and I was firing pretty tight 100 yard groups offhand.
Of the guns I have owned and foolishly sold, that jungle carbine is one of my regrets...wish I had kept it.
I consider it one of the best combat bolt actions ever.
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Old January 29, 2013, 10:16 AM   #12
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Quote:
Some No.4 rifles have a tiny shim to take up any side play of the rear sight, if this is missing the sight may move a hair to either side.
The Mark3 and Mark4 backsight has a "collar", .120 thick and .250 diameter, these are the only two backsights that use a spacer of any kind on the axis pin.



The Brit military played up the wandering zero, they did not want to be stuck with a bolt rifle while the rest of the world moved on to semi and full auto battle rifles.
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Old January 29, 2013, 12:30 PM   #13
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Agreed!
The spacer (#28) was simply used to fill in the different width of the stamped Vs milled backsight pivot dimensions. It had absolutely nothing to do with "sprung, or spread" receivers.


Looking at the pictures of your (very tasty) #5 it seems to have the "L" flip sight. You may want to concider replacing it with a ladder type with ranges from 25 (unmarked) & (marked100)~800yds as it'll be far more precise for the brush use you were mentioning in the earlier thread.
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Old January 29, 2013, 02:08 PM   #14
deerslayer303
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^^ Indeed, I don't like the flip sight. Where might I order the ladder sight?
And thanks for the compliment. This is probably the nicest enfield I've ever held in my hands. I'm looking forward to firing it. The felt recoil is probably going to be pretty stout, but I don't mind LET HER KICK!!!
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Old January 29, 2013, 02:50 PM   #15
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I've got the MkIII, MkIV, MKV (like yours) and the Indian .308. The best shooter is the old MKIII which was made in 1911. My MKV is a very poor grouper and she kicks like a mule. I like it though, just because they are neat looking. I've got the bayonet too.

I used to go the England often. In the museums they had old WWII vets working as docents. They sported chest fulls of metals. In the weapons rooms they would often tell me what a wonderful rifle the old SMLE's were. The guns were on display behind heavy sheets of glass. They had carried them in the War and of course it was illegal for them to own one. I'd tell them that I had one and their eyes would show envy. I felt sorry for them. In those days, the 70's, you get get them for around $45 to $55. I paid $65 for my MKV, at a gun show.

I've never been able to get any of mine to shoot well, but I don't care. The Brits figured out a way to shoot them very rapidly. They worked the bolt with their thumb and forefinger and pulled the trigger with their ring finger. A platoon firing their rifles in this manner sounded like massed machine gun fire.

There is a lot of history in those SMLE's and I enjoy mine.

BTW: they are a bear to reload for. The mouths of the chamber are overlarge and the cases stretch and open way up. I use a neck resizer and then don't full case re-size. The cases stretch like mad. You won't get many reloads per case; like three.

Last edited by stepmac; January 29, 2013 at 02:56 PM.
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Old January 29, 2013, 03:01 PM   #16
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One more thing about the MK5. I read that they saw very little usage in actual combat. Pics that I see of WWII British soldiers in Indonesia show them carrying MK4's.
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Old January 29, 2013, 03:08 PM   #17
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The SMLE has killed every kind of animal on Earth. The Canadians used them almost exclusively as hunting rifles. Africans used them too. IMHO the 303 Brit is about as good an elk round as there is. Ruger made them in their No 1 for a while. That would make a fine hunting rifle.
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Old January 29, 2013, 04:18 PM   #18
Rainbow Demon
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Well heres the article on wandering zero I mentioned earlier
http://photos.imageevent.com/badgerd...he%20Facts.pdf

Quote:
you could always tell the high mileage rifles, apart from the shot out barrels because the back sight axis retaining pin.....was always sheared where the the bodies had expanded at the rear and sheared it.

According to Reynolds "the Lee Enfield Rifle" they investigated the possibility of poorly seasoned wood causing the shift in zero and found that was not the cause.

The linseed oil soaking of the SMLE and earlier Enfield stock sets seems to have been sufficient to prevent warping due to moisture, and those rifles and their stocks are far more sensitive to shifts in bedding than a short fee floated barrel would be.

The shims I mentioned were used to fit No.4 MkI* L rear sights.
During MkI* production many rifles required refitting and substitution of parts, the rifles often not being up to snuff when first delivered, and substitute standard parts were often out of specification.
Most if not all that had out of spec parts would have been repaired shortly after delivery or during rebuild programs years later.

Last edited by Rainbow Demon; January 29, 2013 at 04:26 PM.
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Old January 29, 2013, 05:23 PM   #19
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Try "The usual suspects" (call them they frequently have lots of stuff in stock that isn't listed).
Sarco:
http://e-sarcoinc.com/leeenfield.aspx


Springfield Sporters Inc:
http://ssporters.com/parts/enfield-4.html

Numrich Arms, aka E-gunparts.com:
http://www.gunpartscorp.com/Manufact...ield-33496.htm

Make sure you specify "for the #5 Jungle Carbine with the 800 yd maximum setting", the #4 one that goes to 1300 yds is not correct. If you get a stamped one get the spacer as well because you'll need it.
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Old January 29, 2013, 06:35 PM   #20
Tikirocker
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Rainbow,

Cpt Laidler is a fantstic resource and treasury of information for the Enfield shooting community, I would not quibble with him on his own experiences or findings. Keep in mind though, he was working with these rifles in a much later period than WW2.

With regards to poorly seasoned wood, linseed oil and floated barrels ...

# - The issue of moisture and warp can happen to even the best seasoned stocks, seasoning was not a factor. In the long rifles like the No4 and the SMLE where you had two/three points securing the fore-end and handguards in place - # - rear handguard retaining ring (No4) - middle band and nose band (SMLE/No4) - this was not a concern.

In the No5 rifle you only had a single band to secure the handguard and the fore-end together. When Malaysia sold on all the surplus No5 Mk1's to the world market, it was commonly found that upon removing the commonly applied varnish, the wood was found to be soft in many cases. This again supports the nature of the Burmese and Malay climates ability to attack the stability of ther furniture through heat, damp and moisture. The same thing happened to sailors clothing in the Carribean/Tropics ... it would just rot off their bodies.

The issue of a fully floating barrel is not only affected by warp of the fore-end in the barrel channel, since the barrel contacting the inner walls of the fore-end is only one of the problems. In a free floated No5 (I have done the job myself from scratch on a No5 to spec), the bedding itself, ie where the action body sits, is where expansion and contraction occured also, and this also affects the attitude of the barrel in its free floating state. Linseed oil did not stop the ingress of moisture through the end grain of the fore-end, which is precisely why they added the fore-end cap.

In any case ... of the many years I've been talking to No5 shooters and myself being one, we have found no wandering zero. The proof is in the eating.

---------------------------- To handloaders unfamiliar

P.S The secret to getting more life from brass is well known to Enfield shooters and goes like this ...

# - Fire form brass and keep brass for that rfle chamber only.
# - Neck size only, FLS only when the rounds are tough to chamber.
# - Keep loads to the min end of the scale
# - et voila!

I'm on my sixth reload of the same brass on one of my Enfields and it is common to get 10 reloads or more ...

Tiki.
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Old January 29, 2013, 07:16 PM   #21
Rainbow Demon
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According to Reynolds some wartime manufacture No.4 rifles were found to require re sighting in after delivery due to shifts in bedding after being sighted in at the factory. A .01 gap was left between rear of fore end and face of butt socket on the theory that no contact there was preferable to unequal contact. They tried the same on the No.5.
Could be that in the tropics there was more swelling of the wood than a .01 gap could compensate for.

I believe everyone accepts that wandering zero is unlikely to appear in any No.5 rifles still extant.
Those rifles that exhibited the problem to any noticable degree were repaired or scrapped.
The vast majority of No.5 rifles in hands of civilian owners aren't likely to be abused to the extent that a combat rifle would be.
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Old January 29, 2013, 07:29 PM   #22
Tikirocker
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Quote:
Could be that in the tropics there was more swelling of the wood than a .01 gap could compensate for.
I'd say that might have been just one more area that could be a cause of concern - the heavier long rifles like the No4 and the SMLE faired much better in the Burmese jungles than did the No5. If you pick up a No5, it is very, very light ... the butt stock is very light also and hollowed out to a much higher degree than the No4 or SMLE. When damp and moisture start to ingress the fairly light weight furniture, you're sure to get movement ... then imagine going from standing temp to fire fight temps ... with rain, moisture, damp, heat ... the entire system becomes unstable.

The No5 was possibly better suited to a dry climate - would have been fine in a wet European theatre also. I think the moisture, heat and damp of the tropics, really made the difference at the end of the day.

Quote:
The vast majority of No.5 rifles in hands of civilian owners aren't likely to be abused to the extent that a combat rifle would be.
Actually, not so ... the No5's that the Malaysian Police and Military used up until a few years back were the same ones the British and Australians left them after the Malaysian Emergency War in the 1950's ... these same No5's are the same No5's that were later sold into market. You know this because the dates are 1945-47 ... they weren't making them anymore and as Cpt Laidler states, they couldn't get enough of them for parts ... because so few were manufactured. I'd say pretty much all the No5's people have in their hands today, got action due to the low numbers available. That is also why they started cutting down No4's and building No5's on the No4 actions.

Tiki.
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Old January 29, 2013, 09:11 PM   #23
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Quote:
I'd say pretty much all the No5's people have in their hands today, got action due to the low numbers available.
And they haven't seen that level of use since then. The most heavily used No.5 carbines got repaired or scrapped, other less heavily used carbines may have never developed any wandering zero problems while in service, and are highly unlikely to do so now when fired at a range or on a hunting trip.

No.5 Carbines in NIB condition were sold here in the early 70's for $35 in discount stores. From what I remember these were correct No.5 carbines with a Suncorite finish and brand new wood without a mark on them.
More than likely FTR'ed and brought out of storage to be sold off.
Those may have seen action many years earlier, but were as new when sold off.
These would show only the wear they have received since then in the field as deer rifles, or no wear at all if simply hung on a wall or left in the wrap in a closet.

All issued military rifles varied immensely in the treatment and amount of use they received in wartime. Those that got the worst beating were scrapped, some were refurbished, others were never to see combat at all for one reason or another before hostilities ceased.
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Old January 29, 2013, 09:24 PM   #24
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All rifles that got an FTR on them saw heavy use, that's why they saw refurbishment ... Factory Through Repair. Many rifles that went on to be sold into civvy street would never tell you how much use they got since in the instance of Base Repair or Unit Repair workshops, there was often little more than an R/Date stamped on the butt stock ... if they got that at all. Many stocks have been sanded since then, so more evidence would be removed in that effort.

There were of course in times gone by releases to sale of store held No5's that were from like new to refurbed. The point being that the No5's that the Indians, Pakistani's and Malaysians held for service were left to them by the Commonwelath forces ... so not only had they seen late war action in WW2 many of them ( Burma the main theatre ) but then many saw service in any number of small wars and counter insurgencies in their parts of the world since ... add to that duty in Military and Police capacity. This is all before they even hit civvy street for sale ... so I would say the rifles in peoples hands today vary from store refurbs to units that saw heavy use and were then sold out of service having reached their serviceable limit.

The most common thing on a No5 rifle is a worn barrel ... most of them. That alone tells you the rifle got heavy use ... if you find a No5 with mint barrel, you very likely got one from store. Mine was filthy when I got it and I managed to get it to clean up, I also bought a brand new spare No5 barrel in the paper ... always good to have a spare!

Tiki.
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Old January 29, 2013, 10:38 PM   #25
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I just got a little irritated reading an article on Real Guns' website.

Quote:
I have always passed on owning a British Enfield for a variety of reasons. The first is the two piece stock that can never be made to look slick as a sporter. the second is the anemic 303 British round and the third is the rifle's reputation for having a less than robust action that is rated for only moderate pressure levels.
Really??? I don't call a MV of 2,720fps and 2465 ft lbs of energy quite anemic! I have hunted with the .303 round since I was 14 years old. And it will absolutely knock a whitetail's butt in the DIRT! Its is a man stopper round no doubt also. And then he touts the stock can't be made to look SLICK! In other words he can't BUBBA THE FINE ENFIELD easily! These morons who write these articles will praise a 30-30 Win, 35 Rem, etc. REALLY?? Whatever! To all the .303 haters LEAVE THEM ENFIELDS ON THE RACK, I'LL BE ALONG SHORTLY
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