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Old November 11, 2022, 09:25 PM   #1
Deltadart
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SMLE Front Sight Alignment

I am working on a No1 Mk3* Lee Enfield front sight. I noticed the sight ring which slides ontTo the barrel has a slot for a key cut into it. The slot is slightly off center, looking from the rear it is clocked on what I call 12:30. This causes the rifle to shoot right 6 MOA when the front sight blade is centered on the ramp base. I can drift the blade to the right and bring the shots to center, however I don't like the look of the off center blade on the ramp base. Is this the normal for these rifles? I was thinking of running a file down the left side of the slot and using a brass shim to rotate the ramp base on the key just a little CW. Any suggestions?
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Old November 11, 2022, 09:33 PM   #2
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Are you sure its the sight that is making the gun shoot to the right??
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Old November 11, 2022, 09:47 PM   #3
akinswi
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I ran into this with my Enfield MK NO 4, the last bloke who had it 80 years ago had the front sight drifted way to far to the left, luckily for me I centered and it was on target.

But on both my M1 garands I have to drift the front sight to get it zeroed so I can have my windage knob set at zero, my point is they are designed to drift, I know it looks funny but it may be how you line up the rear notch with the front post.

You can have friend shoot a few rds and see if you both are close, if you are then your barrel may need to be timed some.If they are different it’s probably your hold

Theres a reason each solider or person zeros the gun to them
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Old November 12, 2022, 12:00 PM   #4
Deltadart
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Here is a photo to help illustrate my point. As you can see the keyway slot is cut a little off center to the right, if the keyway in the barrel is cut centerline then this will shift the sight to the left.
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File Type: jpg SMLE sight.jpg (437.4 KB, 20 views)
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Old November 12, 2022, 12:12 PM   #5
Deltadart
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The SMLE does have a reputation of being challenging, and I am sure this one will live up to that. This is a model of 1941 Ishapore, however it is in pretty good condition, numbers match, bore looks good, a bullet fits properly when inserted into the muzzle, cases are not swelled. I did have the stock replaced with a walnut military style from England as the original had the usual age related oil, splits, chips, cracks and all the rest of it. Why have a rifle which has a stock resembling a canoe paddle from a summer church camp. Like having a '57 Chevy with dents in the quarter pannels, rusty bent bumpers, cracked windshield, and dull paint.
I am shooting S&B 180gr ball, which I think are boat tails. I realize that would reduce bore contact, but 6+ minutes is a lot of drift. I have just received a NOE 5 cavity .314 x 203 gr spitzer so I will try to get enough of those cast next week to do a good test shortly. When shooting I thought I was careful enough not to muscle the gun, and proper sight alingnment, but I will have a friend shoot some of these to see where his shots land. Never hurts to have a check.
During my millitary career I shot NM M1s in 7.62x51 Palma, those were very accurate requiring very little sight ajustments. One of the few things I wish I could have kept when I retired.
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Old November 12, 2022, 01:01 PM   #6
tangolima
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deltadart View Post
Here is a photo to help illustrate my point. As you can see the keyway slot is cut a little off center to the right, if the keyway in the barrel is cut centerline then this will shift the sight to the left.
I see. The front sight is effectively canted. I would look for a correct replacement part. Or I would file the slot wider in the correct side, then drive a steel wedge on the other side. It looks like an easy repair.

-TL

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
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Old November 12, 2022, 01:30 PM   #7
Deltadart
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I purchased 3 of the sight ramps/rings from online suppliers in the last couple weeks, however they are all the same, that is offset to the right. I am wondering if that is the standard spec for them. If so I may be filing on one of them to correct. But it just does not make sense to me yet.
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Old November 15, 2022, 12:26 AM   #8
tangolima
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That's interesting. Any possibility those parts were indeed from the same source (armory)? Maybe they got surplused out because they failed QC.

-TL

PS I checked my No 1 without taking it apart. Its front sight is indeed drifted to the left (shooter's perspective). Maybe it is indeed the way it was designed. Don't know why though.

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