My new (sporterized) MK III* Not for purists. Just fun.


August 19, 2007, 06:53 PM
Yesterday I purchased a sporterized Lee Enfield MK III* (mfd. 1916 by BSA) for $75.00.

We're over here in Eastern Idaho (Idaho Falls) visiting family and my wife loves hitting all the thrift shops in the city. She's found that here in Eastern Idaho she can find vintage clothing for very reasonable prices plus there seems to be more of it then in the Boise area shops. I opted to go with her because sometimes the book selection at the various shops can be pretty good.

Well after several hours I was bored. As we were pulling up to the Youth Ranch thrift store I noticed a little tiny gunshop on a side street called Max's. Wasting no time I told my wife that I would be in the shop. This guy had a terrific selection of 19th century Winchesters (73's, 76's, 85 high wall, 94's) and old double barreled Remington shotguns both 12 and 10 gauge models. Very impressive and not very cheap.

But he also had some neat old 22 Winchester pump actions and a really neat sporterized Lee Enfield. The previous owner had reshaped the stock to give it a more pronounced pistol grip configuration, installed Pachmayer recoil pad, reblued the barrel, etc. I had to admit that rifle caught my fancy instantly. I quickly checked the bore, extractor, bolt, firing pin etc. Everything was in great shape. No importer stamp so I am assuming the rifle was brought in before 1967. The store owner was asking $75.00 and I took it.

It isn't a Griffin & Howe job, but whoever did it probably many years ago definitely believed in doing a job right. So now I have a poor man's hunting rifle with a solid action and a good clean bore. It works and I like Lee Enfields of all models and sizes. I own both a MK III* Lithgow (1918) and a No 4 I/II BSA (1947) and both are milspec. I also own a No 4. that has been sporterized and shoots like a dream.

If done right the old sporterized rifles just catch my fancy. They take me back to a different time in this country when we might not have had as much money( or easy credit), but we had a sense of pride. Men wore woolen hunting clothes and drove twenty-five year old pickups and even Model A's and T's into the woods to hunt. Or they just walked.

Well anyway just thought I would tell about my newest rifle. And no I have no intention of restoring it to it's original configuration. Who knows eventually the old sporterized rifles might have their own unique collector niche.

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Smokey Joe
August 19, 2007, 07:32 PM
Checkman--You realize that you lucked into a great rifle--Now THE REST OF US WANT TO SEE IT!! Post a pic, please! And a target!

I too like the Enfields, and yeah, some day, all the sporterized milsurps from the '50's and '60's will be worth $$, IF they were done right in the first place. Bubba'd stuff will always be just Bubba'd stuff.

But I think before I'd invest in a collection of beautifully sporterized milsurps for investment purposes, I'd put the same money toward buying the hockey-skate concession for Hades.

What I do with my sporterized milsurps, is to enjoy 'em and shoot 'em. Same as my stock milsurps. Same as my other firearms.

Pleeeese may we see a picture of your nice rifle??

August 19, 2007, 08:01 PM
I agree. Sound interesting.

August 19, 2007, 08:29 PM
Sure. We're going home tomorrow which is where my digital camera is located. I will take photos and post them. I'll compare it next to my sporterized No. 4. You'll see that the MK III* is a nicer job.

Absolutely Smokey Joe I buy the sporterized milsurps for fun. I don't buy them as an investment. I'm not a bubba, but the bubbas have done alot for this country. I think sometimes we don't appreciate them as much as we should.

August 19, 2007, 09:56 PM
Here's one I recently picked up for much the same reason as checkman - looked great and price was right ($75). No.4 Mk1/2 (F) FTR 1952
Looks like the original furniture was cut down, also the bayonet lug removed by cutting a tad off the barrel:eek:

August 23, 2007, 06:15 AM
Alright as promised here a couple photos. One is the sporterized MK III* next to my sporterized No. 4. I think the MK III was better done and then one comparing it to my milspec MK III* Lithgow.

August 23, 2007, 06:16 AM
Okay that didn't work.

August 23, 2007, 09:52 AM
Not a thing wrong with buying bubba's cast offs (or sporterization jobs). In fact, one who wishes to sporterize or otherwise play with a military action should ethically buy one already spoiled without butchering yet another military rifle. I have played around with buying sporters and seeing what I could do with them.


Red Tornado
August 23, 2007, 11:47 AM
Keep trying, we really do need pics.

That looks great. I'll give you $80 for it. :D

I prefer originals, of course, but nicely done sporters have they're own allure, and are usually great values if you're looking for a shooter.

August 23, 2007, 12:44 PM
here, go to and upload a picture, then copy the address and paste it in the box that pops up when you click the little mountain looking button (second on the left, next to the speech bubble).

pspercy, if I saw that rifle in a store for $75 I would definitly buy it! that's a gorgeous rifle.

August 23, 2007, 01:01 PM
I wish I could find a rifle like that for 75 bucks. I've had an itch for a sporterized Enfield for a long time, but I don't want to mutliate a good one.

I'll keep looking and hoping, I suppose.

August 23, 2007, 04:31 PM
I'll trade either one of you a 1942 Fazakerly that is in decent shape, guaranteed to shoot 4-6 MOA, and take those abominations off your hands! I just saw something on tv about an angry mob of crufflers heading for Idaho:eek:

August 23, 2007, 09:29 PM

Thanks. I'll try that later this evening.

I agree about the sporter jobs. I would never butcher a milspec rifle, but I don't have any trouble buying a Bubba castoff if it's been done competently.

I've been wanting a Lee Enfield sporter since Crocodile Dundee and Ghost in the Darkness. Just something about them.

August 23, 2007, 11:46 PM
IIRC, Crododile Dundee's Enfield was a No.4 with a crazy-lookin' thumbhole stock. It was cool to see though.

August 24, 2007, 02:00 AM
Okay lets try this.

I hope this works

August 24, 2007, 12:32 PM
Checkman, I take it you've uploaded your photos to that site. Now, to get them to show up here...

1- copy the photo's URL from there and paste in this box you type in.

2- highlight URL and left click on the "Insert Image" icon; 5th icon from the right, right beside the quote icon.

August 24, 2007, 01:10 PM
or you could click "go advanced" then click "manage attachments" and then just upload the pictures from there.

May 16, 2008, 12:18 PM
Well a year later here is a photo of my sporterized Mk III*. Along with a Mk VI revolver that I picked up a few months ago. As you can see it isn't up to the standards of a BSA Sporter, but all things taken into consideration it isn't too bad. Bubba made an effort. And yes the green tape was on the sling when I bought it. What can I say I like it. I own several modern and more expensive pieces, but this little bargain bin rifle just appeals to me.

May 16, 2008, 12:58 PM
It has an interesting look, that's for sure. And, it doesn't need to cost a ton to be a magnificent rifle.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
May 16, 2008, 02:04 PM
Look fine to me, for $75! Now we need pics of your targets - get going - hopefully by next spring you'll have those up. :p :)

May 16, 2008, 09:43 PM

It looks great, like the sort of thing you would find in some old hunting lodge somewhere as the "house gun". The Webley Mark 6 makes a nice addition to the Enfield; good show, jolly good show.

May 17, 2008, 04:01 PM

Thanks. I imagine it in Kenya in the 1950's. Something that a grower (coffee etc.) might give to a guest for an afternoon hunting trip. As you said a "house gun". As far as the Webley well those old boys were tough. Never know when a revolver might come in handy.

I promise I'll get pictures of my target posted before next year. LOL.

May 19, 2008, 01:34 PM
There's a lot of those in the South too among a whole lot of other kinds of rifles that have been sportered or semi-sportered. They may not be collector items, but plenty of 'em are said to be "Grandpa's rifle" (from back when they were $12 in a barrel at Sears or the local hardware store) and that's a whole different story.

May 19, 2008, 01:43 PM
Mine: One with scope is a Bubba MK 5 ! The other is a MK 4 1/2 too and is a very slick sporter!

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