Gibbs Rifle Co. ???


Dirty Bob
July 11, 2003, 09:10 AM
Good morning!

I'm thinking about an Enfield bolt action in the near future. I have an M1917 and love it, and the Gibbs "No. 7 Jungle Carbine" in .308 looks like a very good choice as a "little brother" to my P-17.

On their website, it says the rifle is "temporarily unavailable," and I read someone's negative comment on the gunsmithing done by Gibbs.

Are they any good? Or should I just buy an Ishapore 2A1 and do the project myself?

Dirty Bob

"There's always free cheese in a mousetrap." - Way of the Gun

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Johnny Guest
July 11, 2003, 12:09 PM
I have zero personal experience with the Gibbs products, but - - -

Current issue of S.W.A.T. magazine evaluates a couple of models. Seems they had a hard time keeping scope mount mounted on one of 'em. Before I bought one, I'd try to locate a copy of that article. Overall, the review was pretty positive, AFAIR.

Southern Ohio Guns, at
is offering the honest-to-goodness Enfield No. 5 Jungle Carbines (in original .303 cal.) for about $160. A friend bought two of 'em. One had a cruddy-looking stock and the other was in fairly good shape. Metal and function were very good on both, however, and the bores were in very good shape. I like the aperture sights on these far better than those on the chopped-down No. 1 Mark 3 versions, .308 caliber notwithstanding. ;

These are highly useable as-is (As-are??) or may be restored nicely, given sufficient effort.

Good luck to you.

July 11, 2003, 12:49 PM
I've got one of their Extreme Jungle Carbines. (2A1) The gun itself was nicely finished and put together well. The fit/finish of the stock was great, IMO (now has a couple dings).

Not the most accurate shooter, I can only get about 5-6" at 100 yds open sights with it and on occassion, a bullet will keyhole. I've only shot Porty surplus through it and haven't tried anything with a lighter bullet. Oddly enough, every time it keyholed, the round would stay within its normal group size. The brake works very well but is very loud, particularly for that small of a rifle. Off a bench it kicks pretty hard, IMO, but off hand it's not too bad at all.

Haven't had any headspacing issues as others have had. The scope mount that came with the rifle was very poor. Plus, the points where the mount attaches and bolts down to the receiver are not machined very well (that's what you can expect from an Ishy, I guess). As a result, the mount doesn't stay on very well. Ejection of empties is inconsistant but that's the problem with the gun made for .303 and rechambered for .308. The rim of the .308 doesn't always extend past the boltface to hit the ejector the same way every time.

IMO, a nice little fun/beater gun but not for serious work.

Dirty Bob
July 11, 2003, 05:11 PM
I hope we hear more experiences, but what I'd heard about Gibbs is that their gunsmithing quality control wasn't good.

What issue of SWAT was that? I checked the Aug. 2003 today and didn't find the article.

The description of the scope mount on Gibbs' own site sounds kind of makeshift, and besides, it looks like it keeps you from using stripper clips. Why buy a military bolt action and throw away one of its advantages at the start?

Thanks for the heads-up on those muzzle brakes. The Quest Extreme Carbines don't look like a very good choice for me.

I'm interested in the .308 because of the price and ubiquity of the components and ammunition, and because I would like to stay with .30 caliber in rifles. I eventually want to try paper patching, and think an Ishapore Enfield would be a lot of fun for that.

I'm willing to consider the .303, if necessary. I do want to be able to use this rifle for "serious" purposes in the future, such as hunting, or in a carbine match.

Maybe someone else has experience with one of the Jungle Carbines (without the muzzle brake)?

Thanks again,

Desert Dog
July 11, 2003, 05:29 PM
I will only say this once.

(rant on)

There are limited number of Ishapore Enfields (appox. 750,000). As far as I am concerned the Gibbs Rifle Company rates right up there with the folks who sporterized all those mausers and Springfields after WWII, making them basically worthless as a historical piece. :banghead:

From what I have seen, the quality of the Gibbs "chop job" is crap, nevermind the actual "chop" itself is a rape in my eyes. Of the 750,000 Ishys, a HUGE chunk of them were chopped by Gibbs. :fire:

If I were you, I would look seriously at one of the #5 Jungle carbines that is offered by SOG or SARCO. They are the REAL McCoy, not some abortion from Gibbs.

And leave what is left of the Ishapores in one piece... :cuss:

(rant off)


Dave Markowitz
July 11, 2003, 10:32 PM
I had the displeasure of testing a few rifles "gunsmithed" by Gibbs a few years ago. The No.I.Mk.III "Tanker" shot 18" to the side at 50 yards, and the No.2A "Tanker" fell apart when I shot it.

Gibbs = Junk.

July 11, 2003, 10:38 PM
and also having read ads where Val Forgett tried to pass off his abominations as collectable, I'd recommend a real No5Mk1 Jungle Carbine. I bought one a couple years ago, the wood had a thick varnish coat, but the bore and metal stoving was quite good. 174gr MkVII ball ammo will definitely let you know you have a lightweight rifle, but I haven't had any trouble keeping groups inside 2" at 100 yards. And I tried hard to get that infamous "wandering zero" to happen. I'm still waiting, several hundred rounds later... ;)

July 11, 2003, 10:47 PM
I saw a dealer at a show displaying some Gibbs reworks and I was underwhelmed with the fit and finish of them. They look good in the online catalog, but do not resemble the display up close.

July 12, 2003, 12:27 AM
The models you see in all the magazines look like they were done by a whole different outfit than the samples I've actually held. Get yourself the real deal, might not be as pretty, but will be functional and may even be worth something down the road. A Gibbs will never be anything more than a butchered Ishy.

Dirty Bob
July 12, 2003, 01:48 AM
Thanks, guys!

I had been under the mistaken impression that the Ishapores were so numerous as to have little or no collector value, but I see that's not the case. I wouldn't want to be party to butchering one, only to see the supply completely dry up a few years from now.

I'm definitely staying the hell away from Gibbs. It sounds like they could even be unsafe to fire!

In that case, I might just do as suggested and buy the real thing. How's the supply/quality of .303 surplus ammo?

On the other hand, I haven't handled a 2A1 yet. It might be handy enough. IIRC, it's based on the No.1 MkIII, which had a thin barrel. Not a carbine, though, with its 25-inch barrel.

In either case, I'm interested in shooting handloads in the power range of the .30-40 Krag (or less). That's plenty powerful enough for anything I need.

Thanks again,

Lucky Jim
July 12, 2003, 07:05 AM
I bought a Gibbs Jungle Carbine in .308, I guess you call it, at a local pawn shop for $150.00. It had a satin nickel finish on it and had the scope mount with it. The wood, fit and finish looked okay for $150.00 so I took it home. I hope you do not have the same misfortune and buy one. It was an absolute piece of junk. The scope mount is just junk, something to sell the gun. The gun itself looks good but had many problems. So many in fact that I took it to a gun show to see if I could sell it. I finally took $100.00 for it and told the fellow what I gave for it and what problems it had. He was a dealer at a table. I walked by his table about an hour later and he had a $350.00 price tag on it. It sold later that day for $200.00. I bet I can buy it back in a pawn shop for the $150.00 I gave for it in the first place when the new owner shoots, or tries to shoot it. Don't bother with these. I can't imagine a worse choice. Now this is just my experience and I am certain that there are those out there that have these rifles and they have had zero problems and they shoot a 1 inch group at 100 yards. It looked brand new when I bought and when I sold it. It will look brand new for a long time. I should have made this short and just said "JUNK".

July 12, 2003, 08:57 AM
WOW! I am glad I never picked up one of those neo-"jungle carbines" from Gibbs.
I do have an unedited Ishapore Enfield that's a good little plinker/beater rifle, as long as I don't try to shoot too many rounds through it too quickly (it heats up rather rapidly). With Hirtenberger surplus ammo, I have gotten 2-2.5" MOA with iron sights. Just going by my unscientific sample of one, my Ishy is a great bargain and a lot of gun/fun for the money. Of course, I don't know how many are still available, or what they are going for now, so maybe they are not the bargain they used to be.

July 12, 2003, 09:13 AM
was there really any redesign of the action, to accomodate the higher pressure of the 7.62NATO round?? or did the Indians simply take a No1 Mk3, screw a 7.62 barrel on and revamp the magazine system???

been interested in getting one (REAL, as issued rifle, not a POS Gibbs "back alley abortion" carbine), but have run into a number of people, knowlegible(sp?) about SMLEs in general that express doubts about the Ishy.

wanted to know more before i laid out my heard earned cash. would rather just suck it up and buy a .303 (fully intend to anyway want a No1 Mk3, and a No4) than run a risk of eating bits of the action.

Dave Markowitz
July 12, 2003, 09:31 AM
was there really any redesign of the action, to accomodate the higher pressure of the 7.62NATO round?? or did the Indians simply take a No1 Mk3, screw a 7.62 barrel on and revamp the magazine system???

The design of the action is mostly the same. The major design differences, AFAIK, are the mods required to get it to deal with a rimless cartridge. However, the No.2A is built of much stronger steel than a No.1Mk.III, which is what allows it to use the 7.62 NATO round.

July 13, 2003, 01:05 PM
I have owned both the 2A Ishapore, and one cut down into a faux-Jungle Carbine.

Liked both.

The full sized 2A was a little more accurate in my specific cases. I still have a sheet of notebook paper which I keep in my office that has a five shot group on it from 100 yards away....four of them in 2 inches, and the fifth is a flier I threw high right to stretch the group to 4 inches.

I'd still have that rifle if some bastard hadn't broken into my house and stolen it from me.....

A year ago, I found the carbined version on for $150 shipped.

I bought it to make a cheapie homemade scout rifle out of. I've only plinked with the carbine version. I can hit 20 oz plastic bottles full of water with it at 100 yards, if I don't flinch.

And that's the trouble with the carbine version.... And it's the same problem with real Jungle Carbines......Real Jungle Carbines in .303 are known to be a bit "kicky."

The .308 in the carbine version is not just kicky, it's a real thumper. The small surface area of the butt focuses the recoil into a very small area on the shoulder, and the buttpad is a piece of steel.

I once shot 20 rounds in a row in about three minutes. My right fingertips went numb.

At the present, I'm saving up a little cash to get a synthetic stock and a recoil pad and a "Ching Ring" to put a cheapie scout scope (or old handgun scope) on it.

It'll be a "scout" rifle which I can thow into the pickup and not worry about it getting scratched, dinged, etc.


Desert Dog
July 13, 2003, 03:30 PM
The alloy steel in the receiver of my 2A1 is quite hard and close grained. I have handled a number of Enfields from all different manufacturers over the years and none have a receiver that even remotely looks like it. I read somewhere that the metals used were the same alloy as the FAL design they were slowly tooling up for. I also read somewhere about the heat treating process they developed for making weapons had finally been perfected.


July 14, 2003, 12:58 AM
My Gibbs Quest Extreme (.303) launched its muzzle break 50yds downrange on about round number number eight. Couldn't sell it fast enough...

Take care. Marko

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