View Full Version : Improving Enfield Accuracy

May 6, 2009, 12:18 PM
I've had 3 Enfields (a Savage, a BSA, an Ishapore) for the past few years and normally just shoot them to hear a loud bang. Recently, however, I have been neck-sizing fire formed cases and getting the headspace nice and tight so that my reloads will be more accurate. With the Savage, my current load of 36g 2460/ Win Mag Rifle primers/ 180 Speer bullets can shoot 2-3" groups at 50 yards. Can this rifle do any better? The bore is in excellent shape but I'm trying to figure out if there is anything that can be done to tighten it up, besides playing with the load a little more.

May 6, 2009, 12:47 PM
Several years ago I bought a No 4 Mk II that was made in Canada in 1950 by Longbranch. When I got it it was just like new condition. I think I paid about $116 for it and started shooting it with C&B ammo that was then cheap (about $7 a box). I really liked that ammo because it would shoot groups of 1" to 2" at 100 yds. It has been one of the best investments i have ever made on a gun. I have thought about hand loading for it and had bought the RCBS FL die for it some time ago but have never done it. I think that your gun should be able to do better but I can't tell you what to try since I hav'nt yet loaded for it.

May 6, 2009, 01:06 PM
reload your own rounds... speed makes the perfect 150gr SP thats .311"

May 6, 2009, 08:02 PM
My Savage will do 1-1.5" at 50 yards with factory ammo. I reload for it, but only because it's cheaper, I haven't shot it for accuracy with reloads. The gun shoots ridiculously high at 100 yards, so I don't shoot it that far much. I wouldn't be surprised if the gun shot 2" at 100 yards with reloads, I'm just not capable of it.

May 6, 2009, 09:57 PM
dumb question, is the rifle scoped?

May 6, 2009, 10:08 PM
Not a dumb question, a pretty important one. No, it is not scoped. That's why I am shooting at 50 yards. At 100 yards, my eyes just aren't what they used to be. If I could get 1" groups at 50 yards, I would be thrilled.

May 7, 2009, 01:56 AM
There are plenty of things that can be done and were usually performed by the Unit Armorer during war time to ensure regular servicing and accuracy of the Enfield.

There are basic things that should be checked to improve accuracy ... but firstly, have you slugged the bore of your various rifles? Secondly, because of the two piece stocks the stocking up of any Enfield is the most important factor in ensuring accuracy.

bedding will be a major feature of your tuning that rifle ... you don't need to do anything drastic to get a stock seated correctly. There are plenty of things once we start talking about stocking up ...

# - Is the draws area of the fore-end symmetrical and flush to the receiver socket?
# - Does the stock bolt have sufficient clearance from the fore end?
# - Is the trigger guard screw tight and is the crush correct as it bears on the receiver?
# - Does the barrel contact the fore end?
# - Are the hand guards loose fitting?
# - Is the fore end loose fitting or snug?
# - When was the furniture last oiled?
# - Is the striker loose or does it wobble?
# - How does your rifle head space?

Start with those and then go from there ...


May 7, 2009, 02:02 AM
Snipecatcher ...

The gun shoots ridiculously high at 100 yards,

That is easily fixed mate, I don't understand why you would assume this is what the rifle is naturally capable of. :confused:

You likely need to change your front sight post to get your POI corrected - they can be bought and fitted quite readily. The things that people often blame on the rifle are the fault of the owner/shooter. The Enfield is excellent - but most shooters are ignorant of how to service them and set them up correctly.

If people really want to know about Enfields and there are plenty of dedicated Enfield forums out there with knowledgeable owner/shooters waiting to answer questions; I moderate one at surplusrifleforum.com but Gunboards and others are excellent also.


May 7, 2009, 04:56 PM
Don't get me wrong, the Enfield is my favorite gun of all my mil-surps and my modern guns. It is fun to put a lot of rounds through, and I think the design is aesthetically pleasing as well. While we're on the subject, would a micrometer sight allow me to adjust the elevation down enough to be on at 100 yards? I've considered getting one just for that reason. My Savage has the 300/600 yard flip sight. I greatly appreciate your advice both here and at Surplusrifle.com.

May 7, 2009, 06:48 PM
I thought they put some sort of shim pad in the front of the stock to shim the barrel for pressure on it. Have you had it out of the stock? My current No. 4 shot nicely at 100 yards with the lighter bullet weight so I have not messed with it. No hold under or anything, and that is with the simple flip sight on the rear. After I found it shot well, I discovered the front sight is staked, but a bit wobbly. I am gonna degrease and tack it with some epoxy or something equivalent to keep it from wiggling around it's mark and leave it alone.

May 8, 2009, 12:37 AM
the rifle can probably do better. if your eyes are like mine, they aren't what they used to be. better sights or a scope would help eliminate you as the problem.

May 8, 2009, 02:16 AM
G'day Dan.

would a micrometer sight allow me to adjust the elevation down enough to be on at 100 yards? I've considered getting one just for that reason.

Yes mate ... the No4 rifle came with 4 different types of micrometer sights - Mk1, MkII, MkIII and MkIV. The type you have which is the flip battle sight is the MkII. All No4 rifles can fit any of the above sights - the one you want is commonly called a Singer sight but is actually the Mk1 sight. You should be able to track one down through Numrich or Springfield Sporters or Evilbay at worst.

You should be able to adjust your sights to get on target with one of these without changing your front sight post but if it still difficult then you will have to change the front sight post as well.

I greatly appreciate your advice both here and at Surplusrifle.com.

No worries mate ... I try to help people get the most out of the Enfield rifle and also to educate and dispel much of the misinformation that floats around. ;)

Best regards, Tiki.

May 8, 2009, 08:44 PM
I've been using .180 grain .311 bullets. I'm going to try some 180 grain .312 bullets and see if it makes a difference in accuracy. I have read that the 180 and 174 grain bullets tend to be more accurate than the 150 grain. Is that generally true?

May 11, 2009, 08:56 AM
Here's what I do with my Enfield which shoots about 2" groups at 50 yards.

I use a 12" bullseye target and shoot 20 rounds into each target. 20 rounds of .303 into a 2" circle makes a very impressive sight. I find I don't worry about wanting better accuracy after seeing that. Besides, if you start wanting 1 inch accuracy, then there will be a let down when you don't achieve it every shot. To me, a 60 year old rifle that will shoot nice groups with open sights is actually just as fun (if not more) than shooting my 'serious' scoped target rifles.


May 13, 2009, 06:35 PM
The barrel was not shimmed so I shimmed it and took the rifle out today, but it made no difference. The blue is worn pretty badly where I put the shim so I think it is generally making pretty good contact with the stock anyway.

But I did notice that the first 30 shots group at about 4 inches while the last 10 group at 2 inches. Will it take that long for the barrel to heat up? Is there a significant temperature difference between 5 shots and 30 shots? This is the 2nd time I have seen this happen with this rifle.