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Old February 7, 2019, 10:29 AM   #1
SmellyShooter
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Bubba'd SMLE

So I bought an Ishapore Lee Enfield in .303 Brit at my local gun shop a couple years ago for cheap as it was "sporterized" or as I prefer to call it, "bubbafied." I bought a bunch of surplus ammo for cheap so I've been able to shoot it a bunch and it has rapidly become my favorite rifle. My question is, should i accept its bubba status as a cheap rifle and further the bubba process by having it drilled and tapped for a scope, or should I attempt to reclaim the original condition and track down a full stock, sling, and bayonet?
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Old February 7, 2019, 10:42 AM   #2
BillM
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I see full matching serial number RFI .303's in the $400-$500 range. If ALL you have to
replace is stock/sling/bayonet it might be worth the effort. I see more interest in the
No. 1 MkIII 2A 7.62x51 Indian Enfields than the older .303's.
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Old February 7, 2019, 11:41 AM   #3
SmellyShooter
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I'm ashamed as lover of historic firearms that I have enjoyed the light weight of the cut down stock. That WEIGHS in on my decision. I am also ashamed of that pun.
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Old February 7, 2019, 12:42 PM   #4
T. O'Heir
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Restoring any milsurp costs a fortune these days. It's mostly all the wee metal bits. Especially the pile of screws required. Just finding a complete stock can be challenging. The days of there being stock sets readily available are long gone. A real No. 1 Mk III bayonet will cost you the better part of $200 depending on condition. About $70 for a repro.
Anyway, before you do anything, check the headspace(just because you've fired it doesn't mean the headspace is ok) and measure the barrel length. Either one will be extremely expensive to fix on a No. 1 Rifle.
"...for a scope..." There are some bases that require removing the rear sight. Some are better than others too.
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Old February 7, 2019, 02:22 PM   #5
Wyosmith
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I see no reason SMLEs (and most other surplus rifles too) should not be upgraded if the condition of the surplus rifle is not original when you get it, and/or the barrel or stock is in such poor shape that it's originality is of no real value anyway.

Here are 2 Lees that came to me. One was an Irish Constabulary rifle with a bent barrel and the wood already butchered, and the other, a Lithgow, was a bare action with no stock or barrel at all.

I would be bold enough to say I helped them both.
Lithgow 1941
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA by Steve Zihn, on Flickr
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA by Steve Zihn, on Flickr

Irish Lee Metford
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA by Steve Zihn, on Flickr
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA by Steve Zihn, on Flickr
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA by Steve Zihn, on Flickr
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Old February 7, 2019, 03:25 PM   #6
SmellyShooter
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I like the way you think Wyosmith. Those rifles are downright beautiful by the way.
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