View Full Version : 303 enfield question...

July 31, 2009, 05:35 AM
Is this the going rate for one in this condition? Is the info the owner was given sounding correct or close?
Are these still safe to be regular shooters or just wall flowers?

July 31, 2009, 06:25 AM
I agree with the assessment of my fellow countryman regards the rifle itself ... it has all the hallmarks of an Indian rework as evidenced by the black paint and the scrubbed butt socket. Personally I would not buy it at $250 unless it was matching numbers on both bolt and receiver and the barrel was in good condition - and still had its original manufacture and date markings on the butt socket.

Personally I would pass.


July 31, 2009, 07:10 AM
Yeah i'm sorta around the $150-$170 AUD mark myself on that one without inspection

Indian rework is a bloody good guess from the bits meantioned and shown and the wood work aint that hot either

as a shooter if the bore and action are better than what we have seen so far its up to you but in the US on gunbroker i've seen and sold better for less

$250 is a "Cabelas" price ( no offence i like em but they know how to charge)

in a few weeks theres a batch of lithgow SMLE's going on GB from a dealer in canada he's also got some singaporean made Mausers , they'll be about the $250 - $300 mark but are GC - VGC and will be ( should be ) matching no's and seeing he has over 100 going up the prices should not be too bad if he puts up a few at a time

I sold a fair few the past year between $200 AUD and $250 AUD ( about 75% of the USD or $150 USD -$185USD) plus shipping all over

mainly mark 2 and 4's -

hope this helps

Flipper 56
July 31, 2009, 11:19 AM
Tikirocker said
Personally I would not buy it at $250 unless it was matching numbers on both bolt and receiver

I agree fully and I don't care WHO checked the headspace and said it was OK.

July 31, 2009, 03:28 PM
one of mine has the crosses in the rear handguard and the reciever says "India" so i dont know about them only being australian. I would not pay 250 for an enfield that looks like that, maybe 200. Also i would look at the guns bore in person before buying. The back of the bolt is the older style. I think that there are very few enfields out there that wouldnt be safe to shoot. They are very well made and would have to go through alot of abuse to not shoot. one of mine has been sporterized, and the 1st 2 inches of the barrel is sawed off and it still shoots fine( and has a pitted bore).
on the other hand my 1949 no1 mkIII has a bright bore (the wood looks like s*** so dont jugde on just the wood) with no pitts and sweats grease out the wood when it heats up. I would check gunbroker and keep an eye out at gunshows

July 31, 2009, 03:33 PM
after another look i noticed that the bolt is an old style bolt but the nosecap has flat edges which is newer so i doubt its matching

July 31, 2009, 08:40 PM
I ain't really shopping for one but a steal of a deal is always sought so no can do for me!

August 4, 2009, 03:18 PM
This is a funny SMLE. It has some very old fixtures and some newer ones. These parts were switched out time and time again, being constantly upgraded with new bits by the armories.

The bolt handle looks Lee Medford, but the front band looks last WWII. Can you read the dates on the ring behind the bolt handle?

The reloading guide looks early, but it doesn't have the magazine cutoff. I'm not sure Aussie Smelly's ever did.
It does look like an Australian gun because they did use the old style looking bolt until they stopped manufacture.

I'd guess this gun is an early WWII gun. It may indeed have been a Gallipoli bring back however. I can't tell.

Usually the bores are in excellent shape, because the armories inspected and changed out bad barrels. You could steam a lot of the dings out of the stock.

It'll never be a pretty gun however, but I like these MKIII's a lot better than the later MKIV's.

The head space can be adjusted by screwing in the proper bolt face piece. They made several and changed them to fix poor headspace. You will be amazed how much shooting a SMLE enlarges the case. The chambers are oversized.

Those SMLE actions were very "springy" and your rounds will stretch like mad. Mine often fail after three reloadings. Things got better when I started only resizing the neck. If you do this you'll not be able to switch the rounds shot in one gun to anyother, as you've just customized it's loads to it by just neck resizing.

I have an Ishapore SMLE and it is by far the worse SMLE that I own. It's supposed to be a .308; but it shoots around corners. Key holes. Maybe it's still a .303, but a 308 is a semi rimmed case, and the .303 is rimmed so one won't work in the other. Maybe I have a .308 breech and a .303 barrel? Anyway the gun stinks. I put it out as burgler bait.

As for value? I'd be hard pressed to pay $200 for it.....unless I really wanted one. If it is a war relic, which I suggest it is; then it has enhanced value to some collectors.....It's an "I been there gun".

What I can tell you for sure is that, that is one ugly smelly!

August 4, 2009, 03:40 PM
I would not give anything for a surplus gun that is not a rarity and looks thrashed like that one. I would just go for one of the No. 4 rifles that are currently around in nice condition if you need an SMLE. About a billion it seems were imported into the US and it is not a problem finding a nice rifle for 250$, IMO. Probably less in many cases. Now if you want say, a fine collectable condition No. 1 with original blueing in decent shape to shoot, that might be more, now. The SMLE is not something rare that you have to settle for something that is worn out and rough looking to get one, unless you have very little money to spend and alot of interest in DIY restoration for fun? You can even find them without the nasty grease soaked into the stocks to basically make the wood useless. Those are the cheap ones. In any case if the bore is decent and the headspace proper, should be a shooter. Indian rifles fall at the bottom of the list for desireability just due to usually being worn beyond usefulness. Not always, occasionally a late model in 7.62 caliber shows up for sale in reasonable condition if you want other than .303. Do not waste money on junk, nice ones are out there.

August 5, 2009, 09:49 AM
Turn over enough rocks and you can still find new ones for $250~$350.


August 5, 2009, 11:21 AM
NICE enfiels MJ1...

enfields are extremely fun to shoot if you can afford it. surplus ammo seems to be steadily increasing in price and its getting close to commercial ammo pricing. I prefer the no 1 mkIII model, I have one of each and the MKIII seems to be much smoother in loading and cycling but then again maybe i just got a bad MKI

August 9, 2009, 09:02 AM
I just found another one this week.



I have been looking for five years and just got lucky this year.