Well, after months of hard work and sacrifice, I've finally paid off my newest addition to the family, a 1943 date-stamped Enfield. The pawn shop it was sitting in did a ridiculously poor job of keeping it clean while it was on layaway, so the first thing that happened when I got it home was a complete teardown and cleanup. From what I can gather, the barrel was replaced in 1951, and it shows. Very nice, strong rifling.
The action is nice. The nicest I've ever felt. Firm, yet smooth, and the trigger pull is short and crisp. the working components on it are very well made. I believe it has a #2 bolthead and a #2 barrel on it, but then again, I'm a bit of a noob when it comes to reading the markings on this old girl.
The stock is worn, a bit chewed up, with a scorch mark underneath the ejection port, but it's sturdy and there's no crack in it anywhere. The sights are very nice, as well, very easy to read, and I'm confidant I could use them to pick off a wild hog at 100 yards no problem.
I'll admit, that I paid a little more for it than I should've ($377 OTD), but they threw in a bayonet, so I guess that cheers me up a bit.
A range report and pictures will be in the works when I get the energy up to venture out into the heat and put some rounds down the tube.
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June 3, 2011, 10:31 PM
Number 4 Enfields are nice shooting rifles. Yes, you paid too much for it but the way the gun market is today, that may be what they are going for. They were running around 300 at the last several shows I went to. However, if you like it and it speaks to you, you did not pay too much. Who made the rifle? It should be stamped on the side of the receiver where the butt attaches to. If it is a Longbranch, Lithgow, or a Savage, you did ok....chris3
June 3, 2011, 10:41 PM
Check the headspace before you shoot it. You should slug the barrel too. Hammer a cast .30 cal bullet or suitably sized lead fishing sinker through the barrel with a 1/4" brass or Al rod and a plastic mallet, then measure the bullet/sinker with a micrometer. Lee-Enfield barrels can measure from .311" to .315" and still be considered ok. Over .315" is shot out. There's no such thing as a #2 barrel.
Commercial hunting ammo and bullet makers use .311" or .312". They won't shoot well out of a .313" plus barrel.
Go here for good info on the markings. http://www.enfieldrifles.ca/main.htm
"...a scorch mark..." That would concern me. Can you post a picture of that?
"...threw in a bayonet..." Which one? There are 9 as I recall. Some are worth a lot more than others.
Lithgow didn't make No. 4 Rifles.
June 3, 2011, 11:17 PM
I think we need pics:)
June 3, 2011, 11:34 PM
Okay, you guys got me curious.
Bayonet reads "NO9Mo1 - ?D-54" the question mark being unreadable since someone decided to do a crappy paintjob on the thing.
Left side reciever reads "No 4 Mk 1"
The ring seperating the forward and rear of the stock reads
under the wood on the top of the barrel reads
"(Royal crown marking) 1
and a few other markings I can't distinguish.
I'm taking pictures of it all right now, but my internet is slow, so it'll have to wait for me to upload them to here.
June 4, 2011, 12:48 AM
M/47 makes it a BSA Shirley. They probably made more rifles that were converted into snipers than the other's. I would have the rifle checked out by a good gunsmith prior to firing.
Here's all the pictures I can get posted tonight. I tried getting as many of the unique markings as possible. The person I bought it from, while I don't get his humor, has been rather trustworthy towards me in the past, and they're store is one of a select few I regularly go to for hunting of good deals. He verified that it was a good shooter, though I know it's better to be safe than sorry.
June 4, 2011, 07:04 AM
Enfields tend to multiply, nice BSA. Give the furniture a drink of blo. Mix some blo and turpentine in a 50/50 mix and use that to steel wool the wood. it well clean up nicely.
Noob, can you get a pic of the whole rifle and a shot from the top looking at the bolt and reciever?
June 4, 2011, 10:47 PM
@DougW, I'll get on that whenever I get some more free time.
[CENSORED] this thing thumps hard!
I couldn't do more than 5 rounds before I had to call it quits. I'm too out of shape to shoot this bad boy.
I managed to get all 5 spent casings, and no signs of headspacing issues. No case stretching, bulges, ruptures, or odd marks. I didn't get to shoot for accuracy, since my little shooting area isn't long enough(more suited for pistols/shotguns). I believe this old warhorse deserves a trip to a real rifle range.
If it weren't for my throbbing shoulder, I'd say I love this weapon. But I won't say that until I've learned to tame the beast.
June 6, 2011, 04:26 PM
Sorry about the wait, been fighting off a bout of stomach flu...haven't even been able to give the old girl a cleaning.
Nice project. Tight fitting jacket and snug hold will help tame the beast a bit.
Love shooting mine, but it's been sportered (not by me) and has a butt pad on aftermarket stock. Original stocks and butt plates can whack you a bit.
June 8, 2011, 12:48 PM
Yeah, I had a sporterized Mauser someone had rebarreled in .243 with the original steel military buttplate on it, and that old girl had some thump to it, too. This Enfield gave me a refresher course in that. The problem with a jacket, is down here right now, it's consistently climbing towards the century mark temperature-wise, and I don't want to wait 'til winter to shoot her.
Maybe if I can find a good slip-on recoil pad that will fit over the military buttstock, I won't get thumped so hard. Can anyone here recommend one?
June 8, 2011, 10:46 PM
When it is warmer here in Texas, I put a terricloth hand towel over my sholder and tuck the rifle in. Roll with it. Shooting from the bench is much more punishing thanstanding, sitting, prone, or kneeling. Try a different position.