Sporterizing A Lee Enfield


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Grubby
January 5, 2012, 06:44 PM
Hello,
Has anyone ever thought/fooled around with/done anything with sporterizing an enfield? Also has anyone ever improved the 303 british in either a 30/40 Ackley Improved or a 303 Epps? I'd probably go with the P14 since it doesn't have the magazine sticking out.

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1KPerDay
January 5, 2012, 06:46 PM
Lots of people have thought about it, and done it. However, I'd personally try to find one that has already been done, rather than 'ruin' another one. :)

BrocLuno
January 5, 2012, 09:46 PM
You mean something like this?

It's one of my favorite bolt rifles :)

Grubby
January 5, 2012, 10:04 PM
Exactly like that. Did you change the caliber or is still chambered in the standard 303 British? Where did you get that stock at also?

Liberty1776
January 5, 2012, 10:24 PM
I know you didn't ask, but there's nothing at all (in a practical sense) to be gained by changing the chambering. The .303 British has taken everything on earth - many, many times over...

303tom
January 5, 2012, 10:32 PM
Or like this......and yes it is still .303 !

Carolina Kalash
January 5, 2012, 10:40 PM
i would never dare butcher up a beautiful rifle like the enfield... find one that somebody already disgraced by "sporterizing" it...

Robtattoo
January 5, 2012, 10:43 PM
First post.....

Here's mine, again, still in the old favorite .303

I bedded the action into the stock, shortened & recrowned the barrel to 19" & I had a local smith sort out the headspacing for Prvi Partisan brass.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y110/robtattoo/stuff004.jpg

It's by far my favorite 'modern' rifle (most everything else I shoot is loaded from the other end or BPCR)

303tom
January 5, 2012, 11:07 PM
i would never dare butcher up a beautiful rifle like the enfield... find one that somebody already disgraced by "sporterizing" it...
It looked like this when I found it.........and it had the bayonet lugs hacked off.

Carl N. Brown
January 5, 2012, 11:35 PM
I have a sporterized .303 No.1 Mark 3* with walnut monte carlo stock and 21" barrel that looks like the version made by UK firm Parker Hale Ltd.

When I was a kid (1950s), the local army/navy surplus store had a barrel of Lee Enfields with bobbed military stocks. They still show up on the used gun market. They were actually quite popular among farmers as a utility gun and deer rifle.

303tom
January 6, 2012, 12:32 AM
This is the other sporterized Enfield I have..........It`s a 2A in 7.62 NATO.

Red October
January 6, 2012, 11:43 AM
I bought this one as you see it (I wouldn't butcher any C&R rifle like this) for $119. Couldn't pass that up. Considered restoring it, but decided to keep it as a "beater". It still shoots good.

BrocLuno
January 6, 2012, 12:14 PM
Mine came that way. The previous owner spent untold $$ making it into what you see, then obviously got tired of it or something? I'm always on the look-out for well done mil-surp conversions. Still 303, and that's fine as it's a very versatile cartridge :)

Try these guys as a source of pre-fit stock blanks: http://www.gun-parts.com/militarystocks/ :)

Thefabulousfink
January 6, 2012, 09:02 PM
I have two enfields that I love shooting, cant beat that action. 1 is mil-spec that I keep for historical reason (cost @ $400) the other is a bubba sporterized one that I am saving for a special project when I have the funds (cost < $100 plus shipping and ffl).

Thousands of these rifles were imported for dirt cheap and converted (usually poorly) into deer rifles. If you look around pawn shops, used gun stores, and even sites like gunbroker. You should be able to find one with and ugly chopped stock & maybe a few inches off the barrel, but otherwise in good shape. The price shouldn't be over $150 because you can get an intact enfield for $450.

Then go wild! rechamber, rebarrel, restock. I love enfields and I love to see someone turn them into something unique.

Malamute
January 6, 2012, 09:08 PM
If you like classics, do a google image search for "Lee speed rifle" or "Lee Speed Sporter". They were very early factory made sporters on the No1 type Lee Enfiled or Lee Metford actions. The Lee Speeds are stunning sporters. I'd trade a boatload of military trim Lee Enfields for a true Lee Speed or high quality reproduction. I still think about building one.

oldpapps
January 7, 2012, 12:38 AM
See the attached photo.

The upper one is a SMLE Mark III Lithgow 1940. My dad got it when I was a little kid.
The lower one is a SMLE Mark III*. My dad pulled it out of the Hiroshima Bay in August of 1945. All of the exposed metal is salt water etched. The bore and chamber are not etched and bright.

I shoot both from time to time and find them to be a lot of fun.

I would have never 'sporterized' the Lithgow. Hay, I was maybe two, what could I do?

Enjoy,

OSOK

Ignition Override
January 7, 2012, 12:53 AM
Dorkfish88 expressed it in a nutshell.

And for guns which already have metal components cut off, they've already lost lots of dollar value, and by undergoing more work, have nothing else to lose.
Most Enfields -if you find any- at our gun shows have suffered permanent metal alterations, and my fellow milsurp collectors also never give them a second glance.

Thefabulousfink: You can often buy a good example of the #4/Mk. 1 in the original configuration down south for about $250-300 in a FTF at a gun show etc. In Ft. Worth, you might see three at a single show, along with a really good #4/Mk 2. You seldom see one in the original config. at shows near Memphis.

Most originals have lost a good bit of bluing and have dinged wood, but they are still military rifles, and as most of you know, quite a number have good, even very good bores and can be accurate.

With many of the 2-groove (bore) Longbranch and Savage types, avoiding all BT bullets helps very much.
Most of the #4s built in England have 4 or 5-groove bores: "ROF (F)" and the Maltby, BSA types.

MrBorland
January 7, 2012, 02:08 AM
I'll play.

Mine was my father's. As a young'un, he didn't have much money for a deer rifle, and milsurp rifles were dirt cheap. This one was pulled from a barrel of cosmoline for $10. He sporterized it himself and did a great job.

find one that somebody already disgraced by "sporterizing" it...

The quality of the sporterizing is top-notch. It was used for deer hunting, and currently sees some range time. It's a family heirloom, and the firearm that got me shooting. It was buried in a barrel of cosmoline, not being enjoyed by anyone. I'd say it's in a far more graceful state now.

http://i415.photobucket.com/albums/pp239/becke016/GunsTargets/Lee-Enfield001.jpg

Grubby
January 7, 2012, 09:16 AM
Is there a place to pick up some decent barrels, or are most of the barrels that come with the old rifles still in decent condition.

303tom
January 7, 2012, 09:26 AM
Is there a place to pick up some decent barrels, or are most of the barrels that come with the old rifles still in decent condition.

http://www.gunpartscorp.com/

ball3006
January 7, 2012, 10:25 AM
An Enfield in military configuration are worth 300-400 bucks around here. A bubba custom is worth around 100-150 bucks. Do the math. If you are determined to do a bubba custom, a real custom will cost you a fortune, pick up a rifle that has already been hacked up. chris3

jimmyraythomason
January 7, 2012, 10:39 AM
A bubba custom is worth around 100-150 bucks.Depends on the quality of the work and by whom it was done.Do the math. Math has very little to do with building a custom( actually "sporterizing") rifle. The pay off of sporterizing isn't in the moneys saved or spent. It is in the satisfaction received from building it (usually) yourself. Having said that,I DO agree that COMPLETE milspec specimens should be left alone but previously sporterized or parts guns are fair game. Keep the original that way not because it is "worth more" monetarily but because of what it represents.

303tom
January 7, 2012, 12:07 PM
Or like this......and yes it is still .303 !
You sure as heck ain`t getting this for no 150 bucks, 500 and I might think about it.........

Robtattoo
January 7, 2012, 12:49 PM
$150?

Erm.....not for mine you won't! :D

BrocLuno
January 7, 2012, 01:47 PM
Not mine either. You need to be talking north of $500, but I guess it's not one that will catch your eye?

Vern Humphrey
January 7, 2012, 01:55 PM
A thing is worth what a willing buyer will offer and a willing seller will accept. Most of us would like high prices for our "customized" guns, but finding someone willing to offer those prices is the problem.

dak0ta
January 7, 2012, 02:23 PM
There seem to be more No.1 sporters than No.4 sporters. I would prefer the peep sight and micrometer sights for hunting.

Gordon
January 7, 2012, 02:31 PM
A Number 4 and a Number 5 :
http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i203/gordonhulme/2005370013.jpg

jimmyraythomason
January 7, 2012, 02:35 PM
A thing is worth what a willing buyer will offer and a willing seller will accept. Most of us would like high prices for our "customized" guns, but finding someone willing to offer those prices is the problem. Absolutely true Vern however the owner must be WILLING to sell before ANY price is enough. I think what is being said here is that these sporters are worth more to their owners than what it cost to build them or what they COULD be sold for.

jimmyraythomason
January 7, 2012, 02:56 PM
delete

jimmyraythomason
January 7, 2012, 03:02 PM
I think I could get more than that for this military sporter (Colombian M98 in .308) and this 30.06(Colombian M98) if I decided to sell them(which I won't). Except for the rebarreling I did it myself including D&T for scope and hot bluing on the .308. I did all of the work on the 30.06. Cost to build NEVER intered the picture nor did re-sale value.

Vern Humphrey
January 7, 2012, 03:03 PM
however the owner must be WILLING to sell before ANY price is enough. I think what is being said here is that these sporters are worth more to their owners than what it cost to build them or what they COULD be sold for.
Oh, the sentemental value is very high, no doubt about it.

But I keep thinking of my neighbor's home -- he died a year ago, and his wife is trying to sell it. It's a beautiful house -- lots of oak paneling and trim and cabinetry (he was a cabiner maker), very high quality construction (they did much of it themselves), in a beautiful spot, with 57 acres of woodland. The widow is asking $379K -- and it's "worth" every penny.

But she hasn't found a buyer in a year now.

jimmyraythomason
January 7, 2012, 03:10 PM
But she hasn't found a buyer in a year now. Yes ,it is a buyer's market in a down economy. If she is able to hold out she will eventually sell it for her asking price,provided the economy improves. I recently made a number of improvements to my home. After the latest appraisal it lost $20,000 in value. The appraiser said it was due to a downturn in the market due to the economy. Same with custom firearms. If you aren't totally rediculously overpricing,some-one will eventually pay your price (assuming good quality work). It all depends on how badly you want/need to sell.

Vern Humphrey
January 7, 2012, 03:13 PM
Did I mention it's 3.5 miles down a county road, then 3/4 of a mile on a private road used by only one other family (mine)?

jimmyraythomason
January 7, 2012, 03:15 PM
It seems that anyone looking for seclusion would jump at that!

Vern Humphrey
January 7, 2012, 03:31 PM
It would have to be someone with $379,000 to spend.

jimmyraythomason
January 7, 2012, 05:37 PM
It would have to be someone with $379,000 to spend. Or VERY good credit!!;)There are plenty who do. It is just getting those who do and are looking for a nice secluded home into contact with those who are willing to sell. Home sales are subject to the economy but guns are not (as a rule). People often buy guns on a whim not so with houses. I personally am more likely to buy a sporterized mil-surp,especially M98s or Enfields that have been well done than a plain Jane commercial rifle(I have those too).

Vern Humphrey
January 7, 2012, 06:20 PM
You can see the house here:

http://www.c21frankorrrealty.com/searchresult.html?agent_id=13176517&baths=&beds=&cid=300496&office_id=1,3,4&price_max=0&price_min=0&qry=&mode=office&la=1

It's the one listed for $379,500.

jimmyraythomason
January 7, 2012, 06:36 PM
Vern,are you getting a sales commission?

Vern Humphrey
January 7, 2012, 08:04 PM
Vern,are you getting a sales commission?
Nope. But if she's successful at selling it, I am getting a neighbor, and why not get one that likes guns?:p

jimmyraythomason
January 7, 2012, 08:07 PM
Good point! That's forward thinking at it's best! Now,what if your new neighbor likes to sporterize mil-surps?

Vern Humphrey
January 7, 2012, 08:49 PM
Good point! That's forward thinking at it's best! Now,what if your new neighbor likes to sporterize mil-surps?
Well, I have a couple of sporterized mil-surps, an M96 Swedish Mauser sporterized by Kimber, and worked over by me, with the addition of a Bold trigger, a walnut stock and a Weaver K2.5 scope.

And there's Bigfoot Wallace, my custom '03 Springfield built by C.W. Fitch of Phonenix in the late '60s or early '70s in .35 Brown-Whelen (the most radical form of the Whelen.) Now there was a man who knew how to build a rifle.

But keep your mitts off my two '03A3s.;)

BrocLuno
January 7, 2012, 08:51 PM
In my neck of the wood, you'd have to move the decimal point over ($3M) to be even close to what property is going for. There are market disparities all over the country - some make sense and some do not. To bad there is no easy way to level the playing field a bit :cool:

But about rifle prices - it's like this - I know what the rifle means to me. As long as I'm still breathing and able to shoot, it's not going down in price. If I didn't want it, it wouldn't be in my safe. As long as I do want it, you have to have enough money in the deal to make me think about something else I want instead. It's not a commodity to me.

I like well done older mil-surp conversions. I know there are a lot less "surplus rifles" available now than there used to be. So even the bubba specials are starting to go up in price as a starting point for someone to build a new custom with. It's the building, playing, tuning and shooting that are the fun things. Buying and selling are not that much fun. Dealing commodities is not fun at all :(

You want my beater commuter car - offer me anything close to reasonable and it's yours. You want one of my rotor-tillers, same deal. You want one of my rifles - NOT the same deal. You try to talk about my rifles like they are beater commuter cars, there's the door, don't let it hit you ...

They may be tools of a certain kind, but they are not cars or chain saws, or leaf blowers, which are as common as fleas. None of my rifles are common models. If they are, they don't stay that way long :evil:

jimmyraythomason
January 7, 2012, 08:52 PM
Most of us would like high prices for our "customized" guns, but finding someone willing to offer those prices is the problem. Perhaps we have just found THAT person! :)

Gordon
January 7, 2012, 08:58 PM
BrocLuno is correct. It is possible for me to sell my little ranch cheap to Daughter and have that kind of cash. The property taxes are one FIFTH of what they are here! The huge shop makes me wet my drawers! I could live OK on my Miltary retirement and SS and my wifes SS until the crooks give all the $ away .
I have a lot of milsurps, maybe 20 , plus 120 others. That and everything of value in the household could fit in my 50 ' sea container I use for a man cave and just have it shipped! Now the almost insurmountable problem would be to tear my wife away from her family by 2500+ miles into the beautiful sticks in a free state!

jimmyraythomason
January 7, 2012, 09:05 PM
Hmmm...wasn't this thread about Enfields or something?

BrocLuno
January 7, 2012, 09:24 PM
Yeah, but it was about converted rifles too. And folks who like conversions tend to wander off the beaten track :)

jimmyraythomason
January 7, 2012, 09:30 PM
Yes we do.

jame
January 7, 2012, 09:36 PM
I have an Ishapore that looks like hell, and needs a different stock in a big way.

Where are some of you guys find these synthetic plastic stocks? Choate?

GunnyUSMC
January 7, 2012, 09:37 PM
I have read many post that have blamed Bubba for the crimes commited against Enfields.
But it was not always Bubba and his evil doings that caused those poor Enfields to suffer.

Lets go back to 1965 and see how things were.
Here in an ad from a '65 gun magazine Enfield #4 Sporters for $26.95 and one in military dress for $18.95.
http://i35.tinypic.com/2wmn9r6.jpg

As you can see, sporterized endfield rifles sold for almost twice the price of one still in military dress.
So you can see that Bubba didn't have to chop up a rifle, someone else was doing it for him.
Most offten it was not Bubba buying the sporterized rifles. We know that he was cheap and would not spend the extra money. It was the guy with the extra cash that was buying them.
You must understand that during this same time a new hunting rifle sold from $80 to $150. Money was still tight amoung blue collor workers. A nice sporterized military rifle for $27 was a heck of a deal.
So lets not be so quick to blame Bubba for all the sporterized rifles out there, just the ugly ones. ;)
Now lets get back to today.
Most Enfield sporters will not bring more then $200. Yes there a few out there, but they are far and few inbetween.
On the other hand an Enfield in military dress, now days, will sell for $200 to $400.
Here is the math. Back in 1965 there were many military dress Enfields and not many people wanted them that way, so they were cheap.
Now days there few Enfields in military dress and collectors are looking for them, so the price goes up.
I have 11 enfields. Five of which I have restored to military dress.

Robtattoo
January 7, 2012, 09:52 PM
I have an Ishapore that looks like hell, and needs a different stock in a big way.

Where are some of you guys find these synthetic plastic stocks? Choate?

ATI do a really good value glass stock for the Enfield......

ATI Stock (http://www.atigunstocks.com/9-enfield)

sayak
January 7, 2012, 11:59 PM
I'm thinking of changing my screen name to "Bubba". I have two "sporterized" Enfields: a No.1Mk 3 and a No 4 Mk 1. Both have been re-stocked and wear scopes. One has a bipod. I love to shoot and hunt with these lighter and more versatile rifles and I do not care one bit what anyone else thinks about them or me. Those of you who apologize and say, "Well, I got it that way, so it's OK that I sporterized it.", should grow a pair and move on. Enjoy your fine Enfield the way you like it and ignore what the negative nancys have to say.

goon
January 8, 2012, 12:22 AM
Yeah, I agree with everyone about not screwing with an Enfield in as-issued furniture. There are enough out there that have already been hacked that you can find one without damaging a valuable collectible and probably save yourself a couple hundred bucks in the process.

Vern Humphrey
January 8, 2012, 04:34 PM
In my neck of the wood, you'd have to move the decimal point over ($3M) to be even close to what property is going for. There are market disparities all over the country - some make sense and some do not. To bad there is no easy way to level the playing field a bit
You know the three rules of Real Estate?

1. Location.

2. Location.

3. Location.


But about rifle prices - it's like this - I know what the rifle means to me. As long as I'm still breathing and able to shoot, it's not going down in price. If I didn't want it, it wouldn't be in my safe. As long as I do want it, you have to have enough money in the deal to make me think about something else I want instead. It's not a commodity to me.

gunner69
January 10, 2012, 12:22 AM
I own a real, honest to God, Jungle Carbine and is "as new.". It will do the deer, pig or whatever as it is when I touch it off. I would not even consider f***ing it up. When my Remington 700 trigger went south I pulled it from the safe. It shoots great as is.

Remington fixed my trigger....... but at least once a deer season the Jungle Carbine gets its chance too. Like the man said the .303 has already taken game both large and small.

If I found a cheap bubba I might consider a 45-70 project though......:evil:

303tom
January 10, 2012, 11:50 AM
This was built from a bubbed No4, it`s a .45 ACP.........

Big Bad Bob
January 10, 2012, 11:58 AM
Nice, modern Delisle, thats awesome looking.

Did you build the integral suppressor yourself on a Form 1?

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