Thinking about getting a No. 5 Jungle Carbine. Any tips?


December 25, 2011, 03:42 PM
I'm considering indulging my obsession with antique surplus guns and picking up an Enfield No. 5 Jungle Carbine.

Is there anything I should know about this particular gun?

I've read a few historical reports concerning wandering zero which has me a little concerned.

Also I was made aware of the "Santa Fe" refurb models and could seek a little advice regarding these, and any other refurbs/copies.

And finally, is .303 cheap to shoot/reload?


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December 25, 2011, 04:00 PM
Yes, good luck finding one.

The Jungle Carbine, in my opinion, is the best stock box milsurp for hunting. It is light enough, handy enough, and accurate enough, to go as is.

The wandering zero is apparently true, I found a link to the recollections of a British Armorer. . I got the idea that the wandering zero was not across the total population, but they also never figured out how to cure it. But unless you are target practicing at 500 yards, I would not worry about it.

I bedded my No 5 according to E. B Reynolds guidance for bedding the action of a Lee Enfield, and it shoots well enough at 100 yards.

It will be loud and you will see fire balls at the end of your muzzle.

I do not consider the 303 cheap to reload. But it is more available than 8 X 56R and some other good, but hard to find rounds. Just try finding 30-40 Krag on demand. You have to wait.

December 25, 2011, 04:19 PM
The one I owned was a 1945 made by Fazakerly. It did not seem to have a wandering zero problem, and I put quite a few rounds through it, firing rapidly.
I consider it to be probably the best combat bolt action ever.
When I got mine, I got a bunch of surplus British cordite ammo, which was all I shot in it. I never saw any muzzle flash at all with that stuff.
Surplus ammo seemed to have dried up, but there is other ammo like PRVI now.

December 25, 2011, 04:32 PM
My uncle has one ive been trying to buy from him for 15 years..... someday...

December 25, 2011, 04:34 PM
.303 definately isn't the cheapest round, but it's available. I haven't used PRVI yet, but when the rest of my surplus stuff gets used I'll probably switch to that. I really wish I had bought more surplus ammo.

December 25, 2011, 04:43 PM
I don't think you can notice the "wandering zero" at 100yrd and without a scope..
It's not a target rifle anyway.. I love the little carbine, very handy.
You can find ammo online for $15-17/20. Keep the cases and reload.

December 25, 2011, 08:18 PM
I have a scoped no5 and I've been shooting it for about 4 or 5 years now. I probably put 100 rounds downrange a year and it has not changed it's zero. In all fairness it had a synthetic stock when I got it. Perhaps the wandering zero has to do with the amount of moisture in the forearm.

If you want to scope it get an SK or similar no drill mount. They work great.

Reloading the .303 is easy as pie. I use the cheap Lee loader with the powder dippers. Get a lee hand priner, digital scale (to verify your powder charges) a platic hammer, some brass, bullets, powder and you're good to go. Neck size only is why the lee loader works so well. You can use bullets from 123grs. to 215, but for deer the 150's seem to be the best and actually rivals the .308 Winchester with those bullets. It's best to use flat base bullets.

All other things being equal I would choose a BSA over a Fraz. (BSA will be marked M47C). BSA's are rarer and they made more snipers than any other mfg. which tells me something.

December 25, 2011, 08:22 PM
Great little gun. Had one way back in college. Small, hard rubber buttplate magnifies the recoil (percieved, anyway).

December 25, 2011, 08:24 PM
It did see actions in the Malayan jungles when the Brits were still there. Lots of history.

December 25, 2011, 08:54 PM
Search the milsurp forums for more info on the 'wandering zero'. I found some stories that lead me to believe that the problem was 'made up' in order to justify switching to the FAL.

The British gov't wanted to keep the No.5 rather than spend the money to go modern, so the army found a way. (In much the same manner that the US Army rigged the tests in favor of the M14 over the FAL AND the M16.) I wouldn't worry about it. I've had three of them over the years and never noticed it being a problem no matter how hot they got.

It's as cheap to shoot as the '06 if you reload and as expensive as the '06 if you don't.

They are fun guns and serious guns at the same time. Stock up on stripper clips and learn how to use them.

Good luck with your Quest!

December 25, 2011, 09:36 PM
I had a real one, a genuine one. It didn't shoot very good groups so I sold it. Now looking back I think that was a mistake. If the rifle doesn't shoot well don't get rid of it, I think they can be accurized fairly easily.:cool:

December 25, 2011, 09:45 PM

Save enough money for real good ear muffs, and a PACT shoulder pad.

They are brutal with WWII military surplus cordite loads.

BTDT in 1962.


Ignition Override
December 25, 2011, 10:08 PM
Both of my Enfield #5s have similar recoil on my skinny shoulders to that of my Yugo Mauser.
If you stand or sit upright and hold with a 'chicken wing', it's not bad. This keeps it more bearable than the 8mm Mauser.

How many available WW2 rifles other than the Garand and M-1 Carbine have aperture sights?
The #5s combine handiness with power, plus good sights. This is why they are my favorite gun.
In April '09 my first came from "", which is in NH. He has a Large selection of British militaria, and others...

If you reload and can find .308 components much cheaper than .303 (pulled Russian .310/.311 bullets
can be cheap), have you looked at the Spanish FR8 in 7.62/.308?
Don't buy reloading bullets from BassPro etc: prices are far higher than with bulk on "GB".

December 25, 2011, 10:56 PM
Love my 8/45 Fazakerley and 6/46 BSA Shirley. No zero problems at all.

Fazakerley, all matching.

December 25, 2011, 11:29 PM
Cabela's in Fort Worth has one on the rack. It looks nice but I don't know if it is matching. It is either 400 or 500 bucks, or thereabouts.....chris3

December 25, 2011, 11:40 PM
There are a lot of fakes floating around(converted from No4 MK1 rifles), do some research before buying so you can tell them from the deal deal.

December 26, 2011, 12:45 AM
I find the whining about recoil to be a joke. First, 303 British is not that hot a number. I found that with a solid stance and good firm shoulder plant, the number 5 was easy to shoot.
The cordite ammo I had was dated late '40's...I didn't find it "brutal" at all.

December 26, 2011, 12:54 AM
I didn't find it "brutal" at all.Just shows how much tougher you were then I was when I was 18 and home from Army basic training in 1964.

But even the British were wimps like me too.
The major complaint at the time was the Jungle Carbine was too much for the average British soldier to master.


click clack
December 26, 2011, 01:00 AM
Yes, good luck finding one

I saw one on gunsamerica the other day.. I think they were asking $499 obo

December 26, 2011, 01:22 AM
Good luck in your quest! I stumbled across mine in a pawn shop priced at $150. Been drilled and tapped for a scope mount, but that doesn't bother me. The rear sight was missing but I've found 3 of them easily and cheap. Haven't really shot it enough to pass any judgements on it, but I think it would make a dandy hunting rifle. I took the scope off, but am seriously thinking of putting it back on to try it that way. It's a real one too, a 1947 Fazakerly, not a faked one. I put a correct sling on it too.

December 26, 2011, 01:33 AM
They be great guns in close range hunting as in hogs.

December 26, 2011, 06:52 AM
The wandering zero is part fact and part fiction. POI does move as the barrel warms up but it's insignificant for a battle rifle. The MOD wanted to make the No5 the standard Brit Mil rifle, the brass did not want to keep a bolt gun while the rest of the world went auto, so the "wandering zero" was exaggerated.

When shopping for a No5 watch for fakes, A No5 has "lightening cuts" on the receiver and barrel knox. It well have a 800yd backsight instead of the 1300yd backsight. Only Faz and BSA made the No5.

There are variations on the end of the fore-end shape, and some with and some without a nose cap.

The No5 well have a waisted trigger guard.

Lightening cuts on receiver, hollow bolt handle, the No5 weights just over 7 lbs.

wayne in boca
December 26, 2011, 06:52 AM
I bought my Fazackerly 1944 No. 5 for 50 bucks in 1970,and used it for deer and hog hunting for years.Got a Wilkinson Sword bayonet for 5 bucks.Best investment I ever made.In over 40 years,my zero hasn't wandered very far.If you look at the forearm in good light,you can see the serial number stamped into the wood.

December 26, 2011, 12:13 PM
I had a genuswine #5 way back before 1968, in the 70s I did this Bubba to it and hunted very happily hogs in Carmel Valley until I got out of college on the GI bill and started making $ in the 80s. The stock butt pad wuz a shoulder chisel, notice the other cut down #4 actually kicked less. :neener:

December 26, 2011, 01:09 PM
The same guys that complain about a rifle's kick are the same guys that complain that all military rifles are too heavy and cut two ounces of wood off the stock to make it light and handy........My No 5 does not have a wandering zero....chris3

December 26, 2011, 01:18 PM
This is mine today, after I cleaned it up and did a mild refinishing of the wood, replaced the rear sight, added a correct sling. The receiver's been D&T'd for the scope mount, so the collector value was already shot, so refinishing the wood didn't hurt it any IMO.

Oh, don't bother telling me the sling is on wrong, somebody already did and I've corrected that.

December 26, 2011, 04:03 PM
I have been intrested in these for quite some time....but am worried about fakes.

Can you please point out in more detail these "lighting bolts" you talk about....and any other things that would tip off a fake.

Truth be known I would not mind a fake....I just want to make sure I don't pay for a "real" one and get a fake.

December 26, 2011, 09:39 PM
Can you please point out in more detail these "lighting bolts" you talk about....and any other things that would tip off a fake.

I believe you're referring to the "lightening cuts" made in various places on the rifles, to remove a little steel here and there to lighten them up a tad. The barrel, where it screws into the receiver, has four grooves milled into it to knock off some weight. The knob on the bolt handle has a hole in it for weight saving, the sides of the receiver were shaved and tapered a little for weight loss, the front tang on the trigger guard has a "waist", just lots of little things to add up to a pound or so savings.

If you compared a stripped #5 next to a stripped #4, the differences are obvious. Here's some photos of mine when it was nekkid......

December 26, 2011, 10:09 PM
Make sure headspace is suitable for reloading and invest in a case extraction tool.


December 26, 2011, 10:51 PM
If you want a real No V that is understandable, but something to consider is that a nice, clean sporterized No IV can often be found for around $150 and can offer the same overall balance and feel. A real No V is probably going to cost triple that cost for a good condition example.

I reload .303 with IMR 4895 or H4895 and use the minimum load listed in the load manual. I have a bunch of 180 grain .311 soft points that MidwayUSA used to sell as "bulk" (plastic bag of 500 inside a plain brown cardboard box) for under a dime per bullet. I have not had to buy any lately so no idea what they cost nowadays. Result is a mellow load that is accurate, easy on the shoulder, and costs about $4 per box of 20 to reload.

I have friends who cast lead bullets for their 303's and love them. I have not gotten into this yet but bought a mold a while back. The Lee mold is around $25 IIRC. You typically want to keep your loads under 1400 fps unless you run a gas check, then you can go to 1800ish fps without leading the bore. These loads are very comfortable to shoot, and are very inexpensive to load. You also put less stress on the brass so it should be useable many times. My friend had a load that felt like shooting a .223, would print close to point of aim, and he was getting over 15 reloads from each case with no stretching. I forget which powders are appropriate for lead bullet loads (google is your friend, or check castboolits dot com) but cost to reload is less than buying bulk 22LR when you get wheel weight lead and cast your own. I understand that wheel weights are now evil contraband in several parts of the US.

December 26, 2011, 11:32 PM
" I understand that wheel weights are now evil contraband in several parts of the US."
As were balls for the colonists muskets in 1776 !:neener::fire:

December 27, 2011, 02:00 AM
I see those from time to time at gun shows for what seems like a fortune for an old milsurp. I would kill to have one just for the carbine length Enfield action and the retro-flash hider. Its on my list as well. Although it would be wonderful if they made it in 7.62 like the 2A enfields......

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