The Lee-Enfield has 10 round clips which make it awesome for Practical Rifle courses. However, I don't know much about historical firearms, so I thought I'd consult the experts here.
Are there any companies that make modern reproductions like there are for the M1 Garand?
I don't need one to be beautiful, but I do want to be able to fire it regularly. What kind of condition are most Lee-Enfields like these days? How much would one w/ okay furniture but good quality barrel/receiver run me?
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December 20, 2007, 07:04 AM
Not sure which you have but these say they work with the #1 Mk III and #4 Mk I.
There is NO #3 Enfield.There is a No.1,No.4 and No.5 in .303 British caliber.
You may obtain a very shootable Enfield rifle from any of the CR distributors.Specifically,Century Arms,Southern Ohio Gun or J&G Sales to mention a few
I hunt regularly with several .303's.They are wonderful rifles.
December 20, 2007, 07:32 AM
There's no #3 SMLE, but the Pattern 14 rifle - oft called an Enfield because of its design heritage, was indeed assigned the #3 designation when the SMLE was labled #1 and before the #4 and #5 came into being.
As to shooting, well, there is a modern-made Enfield made in Australia that uses 20 round magazines, but they are not available here. There are modern sporterizations of Enfields, mostly Indian-made Enfields, made by Gibb's rifle co. These sporters are generally pretty decent. You can also find good shooters about if you look. Most Enfields I have encountered - assuming Bubba didn't fire it without cleaning - are pretty decent. The #4's on the market are pretty decent right now. If you keep your eyes open you can get a #4 Mk 2, the best of the Enfields for target shooting. Further more, they are in excellent shape, were made in the 1950's, and have the best military trigger of all the Enfields (not counting snipers).
December 20, 2007, 12:17 PM
I'd suggest getting a No4Mk2 rifle for the Practical Rifle course. They are the best of the lot and not war-time manufactured. Most have seen very little use and have good bores. Brian Dick of www.BDLLTD.com is one of the best sources for honest value and condition. I have a couple of these rifles and they are rugged and accurate. They can be competitive in military rifle matchs. Maybe you can get lucky and find one of the DCRA No.4 target rifles converted to shoot 7.62 NATO ammo!
Unfortunately, good .303 british milsurp ammo is pretty much a thing of the past. Store-bought foreign manufacture like S&B and PriviPartizan will cost at least 60 cents a shot. Reloading is the only way to get high quality ammo at an affordable price. Using Sierra's .312-174BTHP bullet I can make match ammo for about 30 cents, assuming 10 reloadings case life. With cast bullets the cost can be as low as 6 cents. For more good Lee Enfield advise check out Steve Regwell's web site: www.303british.com
December 20, 2007, 06:13 PM
Thanks for all the info! I'll take a gander at those websites.
It definitely seems that the #4 Mark II is what I'm after, as they should probably be in the best condition. It will be fun to do the Mad Minute drill with the same rifle that the British soldiers practiced that drill with! :)
December 20, 2007, 07:07 PM
The new Aussie Enfields are imported to, and available in Canada.
Marstar I think is the name of the place.
Not sure what hoops you'd have to jump thruogh to move one from Canada to the States.
December 20, 2007, 10:11 PM
Armalon Ltd. have sold unfired and new-built No.4 Mk.II rifles in the past; their website says none available but you could always drop them a line and see. Don't think about the price though... http://www.armalon.com/
(Oh and OT but I'd love one of their pistol-calibre No.4 rifles :D)
December 20, 2007, 11:18 PM
Talk to a local FFL. Depending on where you live, they should be able to set you up, but there will be a $300 dollar surcharge for secure air freight shipping.
December 21, 2007, 12:10 AM
When you are searching online for your enfield.... you might also look for the Ishapore Enfield. It was made for the .308/7.62 NATO round, and was my favorite rifle ever. I miss it dearly.
I have only seen a handful of enfields, .308 or .303, in person, but all were in excellent operational condition. Good rifles through and through.
December 21, 2007, 12:16 AM
The Lee Enfield is probably one of the best bolt battle rifles ever. I'd say better than the Mauser and the SA 1903 and the Nagant. I picked one up that was professionally refinished because I wanted a looker. It's a No 4 Mk 1*
The Enfield certainly had the advantage of greater magazine capacity over the rest of bolt action battle rifles out there. While I would personally prefer an M28/30 or M39, the Enfield would probably provide a company of soldiers with an advantage over a company armed with any other bolt gun out there (except reloading takes longer to keep that advantage).
December 21, 2007, 10:42 PM
Here is a pic of my #3mk1* with the M1 and the K98K (M48A). The #3mk1's are the later designation for the Pattern 14 or P14 rifles made by Remington, Eddystone, and Winchester in .303 for the British in WWI. The American version is of course the Modle of 1917, or the M1917.