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Old March 12, 2013, 07:25 AM   #1
Magnum Wheel Man
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Need an interesting suggestion for chambering new / old Enfield Martini...

went to the local gun show last weekend ( the only one I buy a couple tables at ) working by myself, doesn't leave me the chance to do much shopping, but while packing up at the end of the show, I came accross an old Enfield carbine, that had been rechambered in 303 British... wood was really nice ( long forearm ) had the bayonette lug, but had a couple issues with the extractor / breach block ( which my retired builder buddy assured me is no trouble to fix, as he loves working on these )... I got it for a very good price, since it had some issues, & it was the very end of the show...

so... the bore is pretty bad on the 303 barrel ( which my buddy said was a common conversion from 577-450 around the time of the WW1...

so I'm looking for suggestions on calibers... one note, I'd like to keep the front barrel band / bayonette lug, & my buddy say's it would be easier to keep the barrel diameter correct ( with out getting too thin ) if I stayed close to the current bore size...

so right now, I'm thinking about 30-40 Kraig, 30-30, 32-40, maybe 444 Marlin as the biggest ( not sure if we can keep a safe barrel thickness without modifying the bayonette lug with the 444 ) I currently have dies for the 30-30, 32-40, & 444, & already have Martini's in 45-70 & 50-70, & Rolling Blocks in 32-40, & 40-65...

I'm thinking long straight or tapered cases, but open for thoughts or suggestions ???
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Last edited by Magnum Wheel Man; March 12, 2013 at 07:58 AM.
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Old March 12, 2013, 08:03 AM   #2
noelf2
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I'm not in the know regarding the engineering side of the conversion, but 30-30 would be a very interesting chambering for it, IMHO.
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Old March 12, 2013, 08:33 AM   #3
Magnum Wheel Man
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just spent a bit going through Midway to see what is available in something I don't have... 348 Winchester might be kinda cool... ( all components & dies are available, but not checked into barrels or reamers yet )

my buddy has an interesting way of modifying the extractor, so rimless or rimmed cartridges are just as easy to do, but I like the vintage cartridges, & the longer the case, the easier it is to insert & extract...

looked at a couple like 25-25 Stevens, but would like something I don't have to wait for a year to get one of the components, or a set of dies, etc...

as mentioned, I think 444 would be cool, but don't know about fitting the outer barrel diameter to the 303 conversion parts, that i'd like to retain... the 30-30 was one of my 1st suggestions, when my buddy & I were talking about it the other day ( after the show, when I took the rifle over there )

there is also one part of me, that thinks 303 British ( since that's the original conversion chambering ) might be cool, maybe use a .308 bore barrel, & have a smaller expander for the sizing die made, & load 303, with .308 bullets ???
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Old March 12, 2013, 09:01 AM   #4
Magnum Wheel Man
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BTW... anyone ever seen the bayonette for one of these conversions ??? if I decide to rebarrel in 303 I might want to find an original bayonette for the rifle...

I don't have any pics of my carbine yet, but found a pic on line ( gun sold for around $700.00... I paid $200.00 for mine, in just slightly worse cosmetic shape, & needing the breach block fix, my budy say's is easy to take care of )



& a little more digging I think shows the top bayonette in this pic, to be correct for my gun



if anyone is more familiar, please fill me in... thanks
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Last edited by Magnum Wheel Man; March 12, 2013 at 09:12 AM.
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Old March 12, 2013, 05:35 PM   #5
BoogieMan
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Quote:
I'm not in the know regarding the engineering side of the conversion, but 30-30 would be a very interesting chambering for it, IMHO.
I would agree. Love the cartridge, Its one of the most underrated.
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Old March 12, 2013, 05:51 PM   #6
tater134
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I would be interested in seeing some photos of the rifle you purchased. Specifically the markings on the metal parts. There are a ton of fake .303 Martini's out there that have been showing up frequently online and at gunshows. Unless you are very familiar with Martini's I would do some research before I would consider rebarreling or doing anything to the rifle.
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Old March 12, 2013, 06:29 PM   #7
Rainbow Demon
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I'd try lapping the bore, if theres any rifling left that is, then using cast boolit handloads. If not you may be able to fit a No.1 MkIII SMLE barrel to the action.

The sights would require some careful work to remove and remount on the new barrel.

PS
According to this
http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Enfiel.....-a0225252360
The Martini and the SMLE have the same shank threads and diameter.
Its mentioned that during WW2 some Martini Enfields were rebarreled with SMLE barrels.

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Old March 12, 2013, 07:17 PM   #8
James K
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The only problem with rebarrelling in .303 British is that there are no barrels in that caliber, or at least I don't know of any.

Jim
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Old March 13, 2013, 06:02 AM   #9
Magnum Wheel Man
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I'll have to get a pic of my rifle... ( all this info according to my retired builder buddy ) it looks to have been issued to an eastern block country ( a couple stamp marks )... the sides of the reciever have had some of the pits polished out, but they were carefull not to polish out the crown & other stamp marks on the side of the reciever, & it was then reblued... so the carbine is not in "original" condition anyway, but it does look nice... it does have the brass disk on the butt stock, but, while I didn't look it over that close, any numbers on it would have to be really faint, as I didn't notice what the stampings are... before I bought it, I questioned weather it was a "Kyber Pass" gun, as I'm familiar with them, but my buddy is sure it's a "real" Enfield...

I discussed it again with my buddy, yesterday, & I think we are going to rechamber in 30-30... I mentioned my thought of keeping it in 303, but using a .308 barrel, & he was concerned about someone down the road stuffing a standard ( high pressure ) 303 round in the gun with the tighter bore... ( we always try to think past my ownership with any of our "project" guns, & that's a valid concern, plus my buddy doesn't have a 30-30 reamer, so he'd credit that much of the labor if I let him keep the reamer after the rifle is done...

so... we're going to the local gun smith shop this weekend, to see if they have a 30 caliber take off barrel that will work, if not, I'll pick up a new blank from Midway, & get a reamer coming...

as far as the rear sight, the one on my rifle, is in tough shape, plus has been brazed in place, ( brazing won't take blueing, so it stands out alot on the reblued rifle ) but my buddy has a match for mine, in much better shape, & with the same barrel contour ( as I mentioned, he likes working on them, & has enough parts laying around... ( minus the wood ) to put together at least 3 rifles... so I'm glad my wood is in great shape, he's also very good at silver soldering, & I'm sure could keep the solder where it's supposed to be rather than ( like the braze ) have it flowed out a 1/4" around the edges of the sight, so it should blue up like the original was supposed to be...

BTW... I also have Contender loads in 30-30 that I load using pointed bullets, which should work nicely in this rifle ( being a single shot )
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Old March 21, 2013, 06:25 AM   #10
Magnum Wheel Man
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just a quick update... I picked up the best option of a handful of 30 caliber take offs last weekend from the closest retail gun smith shop... unfortunately, the barrel is stainless, so I'll be looking to blacken it after it's been machined to fit the rifle, & been chambered ( was originally a 300 ultra mag take off )... my 30-30 reamer should be here from PTG today...

... my buddy just finished up my 257 special revolver conversion, & is now doing 4 bullet molds... ( a couple for himself, & a pair for me ) after he gets those done, the Enfield will be the next in line...
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Old March 22, 2013, 12:41 AM   #11
radom
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I would look around for a decent issue take off enfeild bolt gun barrel or even a junker bolt rifle with a usable bore and screw that into the thing. These things are very neat guns and about the most simple to work on also. Its your rifle but these things in decent shape are not common now.

My self I would have the thing sleeved before I cut it up.
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Old March 22, 2013, 12:23 PM   #12
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caliber

My first choice was the 30-30, but also thought about 300 Savage and 35 remington. Those are sweet looking bayonets.

Last edited by vostracker; March 22, 2013 at 12:23 PM. Reason: add info
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