Building a Lee Enfield No 4 Mk1 Scout Rifle

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Space Ghost, Feb 6, 2020.

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  1. Space Ghost

    Space Ghost Member

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    I have always thought the Scout Rifle concept was an interesting, and versatile one. Some rifles that have always caught my eye are the "tanker" Garands, and the M1A Scout Squad. They just have a real cool look that I thought was handy, and could lend them to the scout rifle concept. I wanted to stay with a bolt gun though, and the Lee Enfield has always fascinated me by the cock on close design, and 10 round magazine. I decided to make a "tanker" Lee Enfield version of a Scout Rifle.

    I like the design, and the look of the No4 Mk 1 more than any other, so that had to be the one. Also, I wanted it to look very close to a normal issue rifle when I got done, just with the enhancements to suit me that I wanted. That meant I was going to need a complete rifle to start with. I couldn't just grab up any old bubbaed up sporter. I needed all the top wood, everything. Well, I found one. I found one so nice I started second guessing if I wanted to do this, but I'm not a collector. Never have been, never will be. I care zero about dollar value, only my enjoyment of what I buy. I got the gun, and I started in. BTW, the receiver had previously been drilled and tapped for a scope mount, but the mount was not on it, and one screw was broke off in a hole...

    I took it apart, and off to the gunsmith she went. A week later, and the 25" barrel is now 18" with an 11 degree target crown. The original front sight has been moved back with about 1.75" or barrel poking out in front of it just as in the original. However, it doesn't have the little tabs for mounting a bayonet anymore... They don't make the Clifton mounts for the Lee Enfield anymore, so he took some bar stock and turned me down a custom mount to fit the barrel. It's pressed on, then two set screws hold it in place as he dimpled the barrel. On top of that is a section of picatinny rail I gave him to work with.

    The rear sight will be in the way of the scope as it will sit pretty low, so I had him remove the long range (600M) peep. I can't see very far to shoot with irons anyhow. I'll leave the 300M peep pointed back, (flat) to use the scope, then flip it up should I have to remove the scope and use the iron sights. As it sits now, I'm starting in on the wood work modifying the stock to shorten it so that it maintains the classic looks, but in a shorter package. The top wood has the front piece shortened, the rear piece a hole cut for the mount to stick up through. The fore end has been shortened and reshaped (roughly) to fit the black metal end cap. I'm replacing the butt stock with one from Boyd's as I want more of a pistol grip style, but I'm going to attempt to affix the brass butt plate, and original sling swivel to it. Then everything will be refinished to match. There's still a lot of wood work to do to get the shape the way I want it, but the idea is there... My first try at reshaping a stock too, so I'm trying not to screw it up, and have to go shopping for another stock... Scope is the 2.5 Leupold, and a set of low QD Leupold rings, and a pair of scope caps are on the way. Then I'll have to find a sling.

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  2. <*(((><

    <*(((>< Member

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    You should consider a krink brake or muzzle on it like the jungle carbines had. Would help with the muzzle blast for the shooter.

    Very cool! I like enfields I have a Jungle Carbine which is really handy.
     
  3. Blkhrt13

    Blkhrt13 Member

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    I like the idea. Sounds like a fun project to shoot and practical of a few purposes
     
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  4. 4thPointOfContact

    4thPointOfContact Member

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    I did pretty much the same thing, but I started with an Ishapore 2A1 in 7.62x51.
    It wears an FAL/L1A1 flash hider so that a bayonet may be properly mounted (you simply have to have a bayonet). The 'scout scope' mine wears is a bit shorter in overall length which allowed me to put a single-slot Picatinney rail over the breech to mount a mini red-dot for backup or daily purposes.
     
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  5. silvermane_1

    silvermane_1 Member

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    IMHO a Beretta BM-59 or M-14/M1A would make the best "Jungle/Scout Carbine", but I understand the bolt action Scout Carbine concept, and both have their pros and cons.
     
  6. Duster340

    Duster340 Member

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    Love it! Nice job. I really like short rifles. This is "Stubs". I cut the barrel back to 17.5", relocated the front sight, put it in an old sporter stock and added a Red Dot. 36" oal, 7.2lbs. It fills my freezer with venison. ;)
    20191123_122053.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2020
  7. Space Ghost

    Space Ghost Member

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    What ammo do you shoot with yours?
     
  8. Duster340

    Duster340 Member

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    Reloads. 150 gr Hornady Interlocks over 41 gr IMR 3031 is my go to hunting load groups really tight and plenty of wallop. Also bagged a few deer with 150gr PPU SPBT over 43.5 gr IMR 4895. Another nice load is Hornady 174gr RNSP Interlock over 40.5gr IMR 4895.

    This was only 50 or 75 yards with the 150gr Hornady load but more than adequate for the cedar wetlands I hunt. Still tight at 100 yards which is max at the range here.

    20191102_113550.jpg
    Be well
     
  9. Space Ghost

    Space Ghost Member

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    Crap... not looking to get into reloading...
     
  10. <*(((><

    <*(((>< Member

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    Have you checked headspace on your Enfield yet? One can still regularly find different bolt heads (numbered 0, 1, 2, 3) to tune headspace if needed. I assume you've fired the rifle before, when you fire a round in your enfield look to see if the primer backs out of the pocket, it provides a good measurement.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2020
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  11. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    You are probably going to have to reload to get the most out of your rifle because of your changes to the rifle. Depending on the headspace and chamber, you might or might not get decent brass life--unless perhaps if you neck size only.

    Lee-Enfields are kind of an odd duck regarding their two piece stocks and fitting issues. For what you wanted, the No. 4 is better than the No. 1 but read up on the peculiarities of Enfield stock fitting either via milsurps.com's Lee Enfield forum or Roger Wadhams book on the subject. Don't expect too much out of it as the Lee-Enfield was (unless expertly fitted) about a 2-3 MOA in std. configuration and you changed the configuration--might get a bit more if the barrel is stiffer or a bit less. The forward scope mount might also change the barrel resonance some from the std. configuration and have no idea of the effect. Expect the recoil to be a bit brisk with some flash using factory ammo.

    Good luck with your rifle.
     
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  12. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    Headspace gages are readily available and a better indicator. The U.S. gages are set somewhat tighter on headspace than British war time stds. but then again the Brits did not reload their brass.

    Regarding the No. 4 bolt assemblies, bolt head numbers were used for assembly purposes during the war so that an assembler could use parts from a variety of dispersed vendors and fit a rifle that was within headspace requirements. This minimized waste and even today, you see some of this in the AR series where assemblers have a bin of bolts and barrels and can fit ideal headspace if they wish by trying them out. Some folks have the bolt and barrel for an AR fitted for headspace by the seller so no unpleasant tolerance stacking issues occur.

    Only later was it determined that you could also "fix" headspace on No. 4 rifles by switching to a longer bolt head. The older No. 1 series had each bolt head individually fitted to a bolt body and rifle. There was a replacement, I believe that was stamped S, that was long (when new stock) and could retrofit a bolt head when shortened the appropriate amount. Only those that did not have lug setback (easy to tell on the rear locking Enfield) were to be refitted. The others became DP or scrap. Remember that in the British Army, armorers are a specialty highly regarded including officers that are trained to do more with little. The specialty there dates back literally to folks repairing and fitting armor.

    To replace a bolt head on the No. 4 bolt requires individual fitting of a bolt head to the particular bolt body--you cannot just switch bolt heads as is. There is also considerable overlap on the bolt head lengths with some 0 longer than a 1 and some 1's shorter than a 2. 3's are difficult and expensive to find anymore. Most rifles requiring a no. 3 or the mythical no. 4 probably exhibit lug setback and it is best to retire those from firing.

    Bolt heads must clock properly and be fitted to the bolt body otherwise the bolt head threads take the brunt of recoil and the rifle won't be particularly accurate if the bolt head is not fitted properly. It is not difficult to fit a new old stock (NOS) bolt head but it is tedious a bit. Usually better if you use a new old stock bolt body as well if you do this. Used ones can be an issue as they were fitted to a particular bolt body and either could have issues requiring removal of material to fit the bolt head to the bolt body--then you often end up right where you started with too much headspace.


    A longer bolt head will NOT fix an Lee Enfield receiver that has lug setback
     
  13. Newtosavage

    Newtosavage Member

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    Enfield carbines are perfect scout rifle platforms IMO. Like a big bolt action 30-30, which was the original scout scoped rifle.
     
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  14. Duster340

    Duster340 Member

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    OK.Gotchya. I used 150 & 180 gr SP from Wolf, PPU and Herters factory loads to base line it before buying the loading dies. All worked well and would be accurate enough for hunting purposes in my No4Mk1. Though reloads certainly allowed me to find the "Sweet Spot" for each of the various bullet weights and configurations.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2020
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  15. Duster340

    Duster340 Member

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    Also, free floating the barrel and losing the forearm hardware resulted in consistency and shrunk the groups. Also lightened it up a fair amount.

    My original self Bubba'd "Tanker". Shot really well.
    index.jpg

    I like the looks of my original chopped and reconfigured stock. But the current configuration works much better for my purposes.

    Resized_20170904_155436_3455.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2020
  16. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    Looks promising. Can't wait to see how it turns out, Space Ghost. :cool:
     
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  17. 792mauser

    792mauser Member

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    Ooooo
     
  18. Space Ghost

    Space Ghost Member

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    Did the sanding, and two coats of stain today, but not sure I'm gonna come out with a perfect match. The 80+ year old Canadian front wood, and the bran new Boyd's butt stock isn't made of the same stuff... Probably close enough for me normally, but I really wanted this to be nice, so I may look for someone who does refinishing of furniture look at it. My woodworking skills are make stuff strong, not pretty.
     
  19. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    I dig it!
     
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  20. Duster340

    Duster340 Member

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    Looking forward see the finished product. Cool build for sure!
     
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  21. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    I just spent about 3 hours this Saturday mounting one of these on a sporterized (bayonet lugs were cut off) No.4 MkI barrelled action that I'm converting into a cosmetic No.5 Jungle Carbine.

    I'm pleased with the result, even though getting everything clamped, lined up and square was a nail-biting experience with my cheap Harbor Freight drillpress and cross-slide vise. I got it properly clocked onto the barrel with red Loctite before drilling for the pins.

    SightHiderLug.JPG

    If you want to consider this option later on, here's the source for the faux No.5 muzzle device: https://www.gunpartscorp.com/products/527250
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
  22. <*(((><

    <*(((>< Member

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    Here's mine, it is a blued finish that matches the barrel. My Jungle Carbine's receiver is marked correct has the lightening cuts but the bolt is not correct as the knob has not been drilled out.

    Enfield%20Jungle%20Carbine%20-%20Krink%20Break.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
  23. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    Mine will be even easier to spot as an un-Kosher cosmetic job: the left side of the receiver is clearly marked No.4 Mk.I

    Right now I'm just waiting for the stock band and swivel to arrive from Apex before completing work on the stock.

    Jungled.jpg

    Is 'jungled' a recognized term in the Lee Enfield verse?
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
  24. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    This is the first I've heard "jungled", but for a long time now, I've thought it sounded like a better idea than an original No5. If I were to pursue something like this, though, I think I'd stay with the No4's stock just to skip the rubber buttplate. Your build is looking good.
     
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  25. 303 hunter

    303 hunter Member

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    5AA0D3C7-8474-4102-8811-1DC6D9398210.jpeg Here’s my Tanker conversion, a no1 mk3 that I recently bought as an abandoned project for $75. It was missing a few small parts, and I’ve found most of them at gun shows and online. Barrel has been cut and crowned at 16.5”. I’d prefer a 20” barrel for the longer sight radius, but it is what it is. Bet it’ll throw a fireball!
     
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