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I think I am going to bubba my Lithgow No1 Mk3

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Eb1, Jun 3, 2013.

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  1. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

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    Okay. I'll sell it. $650.00 Who's buying?
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2013
  2. GoWolfpack

    GoWolfpack Member

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    I'll buy the wood and bayonet mount from you if it comes to that. I've got one somebody bubba'd I'm trying to bring back.
     
  3. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    No, actually, I don't. Few smiths will do a good job with this kind of thing because a quality sporter takes time and expertise. And there are already so many older Enfield sporters out there for cheap. You can no doubt find someone to hack it up for you and recrown it, but there's no guarantee it will shoot well. And just pray they put the scope mount on properly. 100 years ago it was another matter. Smiths would create sporters that were works of art. But these days most of them know AR-15's and Glocks. The world of Enfield and hardwood is foreign ground to them.

    We do understand. I've seen many "pops rifles" ruined in this way. We all have. That's why we're telling you not to do it! This is the voice of experience.

    Post some pics!
     
  4. AethelstanAegen

    AethelstanAegen Member

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    If it is as you describe, you might be able to get close to that. Make a gunsamerica or armslist post and see what you can get. If you really want a .303 British hunting rifle, you can sell this one and buy 2 or 3 sporterized Enfields for the profit you'd make. I think we're all pretty much begging you to sell that Enfield instead of cutting it. You will send the rifle to a good home where it will be appreciated in its current state and you'd easily be able to find a nice sporterized Enfield in .303 and have a bundle of cash left over. Please don't sporterize the one you have.
     
  5. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

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    The thing is I do appreciate it, and I don't want to sell my father's kick down rifle. I just want to make it more usable for me. That seems to be the point that everyone is missing. This rifle is sentimental. I like the rifle. It is accurate when the metal sight protector is off the gun, but I would like to see it scoped with some excellent wood, and along with me on a hunt of a lifetime.

    I guess I am not getting my point across. I don't want another Enfield. I want this one. My Enfield that my father gave me in a more usable state. I don't need it to wear wood to the tip, and have a 1/2# bayonet lug on it. I darn sure don't need an 18" bayonet hanging off the front if it to kill an animal.
    It is not a very good rifle to hunt with. I have don't it. It is long and hard to get around in the woods. It is heavy, and just doesn't appeal to carry in the woods.
    But I want to keep the rifle because my father gave it to me, and to say I don't appreciate it is wrong, and I take offense to it some. All I want is the rifle to be made into a classy sporterized .303 British hunting rifle.

    So has gun smiths become so bad that they cannot even sporterize a military rifle? All they do now is mount scopes? Pathetic.
     
  6. drcook

    drcook Member

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    Look down this page

    http://www.gun-parts.com/militarystocks/

    there are some Sporter Stocks there. Buy one of those and wrap the other one up and stick it in the closet. That way you can have a hunting rifle and still put it back to stock when the time comes.

    There are other companies that sell drop in sporter stocks also.
     
  7. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    OK, here's a suggestion: Take the wood and the associated hardware off and put it in a safe place. Then, buy and install an aftermarket sporter stock set. (First read up on how to bed the SMLE action -- there are specific procedures that must be followed.) Don't make any alterations to the metal parts. If it shoots OK with the nosecap off, it should shoot OK in a sporter stock. This way, you can always go back to the original configuration.

    Note: when disassembling the wood from a SMLE, take the forestock off before taking the buttstock off. (The buttstock bolt has a square profile where it protrudes through the receiver socket, and this square portion interfaces with the forestock, or rather, with a plate inletted in the back of the forestock.) When you remove the forestock, do not pull it off by prying from the front end. Gently tap it with a wood block on either side of the receiver.

    Edited to add: Brownells carries an S&K no-drill scope mount for the Enfield No. 1 Mk. III for $79. That way you could add a scope without making any permanent modifications to the rifle.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2013
  8. AethelstanAegen

    AethelstanAegen Member

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    Apologies if I implied that you don't appreciate the gun, that's not what I meant. I was trying to get at the point that the supply of original Enfields is getting smaller every year because of wear and sporterizations and there's a lot of people who would love to have one in that configuration. I like AlexanderA's suggestion, because then you can have the useable rifle you want but without permanent changes to to the rifle (so you can always put it back in it's original form one day).

    That all said, I 100% the sentimental aspect and as others have said, it's your rifle and you can and should do what you want with it. I think our best advice is to do something that can always be changed back if you change your mind later, or say your descendants down the line want it in it's military form.

    Anyways, I apologize if it seemed like I don't think you appreciate the rifle...that wasn't my intention and it's quite clear you're very fond of it and do appreciate it very much. I think the most important thing is that you use it and remember your father with it. Good luck with whichever route you choose!
     
  9. Manny

    Manny Member

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    I like your determination to make your dads gun into something special and useful to use, and I've always thought those Enfields were really cool guns. I did a search for sporterized ones and came across this as part of a blog and thought it was really neat. An expatriot British Alglican priest did some restoration and customization himself on a MKIII I believe that had been pretty "bubba'd" to start with and ended up with a really nice looking rifle. I can't help you with a gunsmith to do it for you, but this gent sounds like an average joe and he did a heck of a job on that old girl himself. I sure like how it turned out.

    http://lonestarparson.blogspot.com/search/label/refinishing gunstock

    http://lonestarparson.blogspot.com/2012/09/sporterizing-lee-enfield-porch-project.html

    http://lonestarparson.blogspot.com/2012/09/dialing-in-lee-enfield-sporter.html

    I hope this might be of help to turn that old girl into a nice sporter to enjoy using and remind you of your dad.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2013
  10. gun addict

    gun addict Member

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    I wont be as nice as others, and I am used to saying things that may not be considered "THR" but hey, so be it.

    It's a lithgrow .303 with a prestine crown and barrel right? And how often do you come across one of those? By saying "it will never have blond wood" you showed your ignorance in your research on this rifle and if that's an excuse to hack away your rifle than so be it, but don't pretend like you really "care" about this rifle.

    As many members here already pointed out, there are tons of ways to save the rifle and make it a good shooter without making permanant modification, and yet you still keep on trying to convince people that it's a good idea. and then offered sarcastically (or not) for people to buy it for $650, was that a joke?

    In the end its your rifle and you are free to do whatever you wish with it, be it hacking away, or leaving it in original condition, or melting it in a smelter, I think you've already got a good idea of the majority's consensus :rolleyes:
     
  11. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

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    That is a good post. Thank you for sharing.

    That is something I'd like to do. A new twist on a fine rifle. Making it easier to use for throwing 174 grain Hornady round noses at large and small game all the same.

    Now how do I get that rear sight off the mkIII barrel? LOL
     
  12. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

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  13. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

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    What would that be? Why does the bayonet/sight protector completely botch the accuracy of this rifle? What should be done? Since you have all the answers. Enlighten us.

    Why is the nose piece ruining the accuracy? Is it the torque of the screws? It isn't bent.
    Is it the way it pushes the wood onto the barrel? I am all in for trying to get it shooting right if you can give some decent suggestions.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2013
  14. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    I do understand wanting to use well something you own. Got it.

    At the same time, I've seen more bubba'd- usually poorly- Lee-Enfields than any other weapons. There's usually at least one at every store that sells used guns.

    How do you know what's ruining accuracy on your rifle?

    John
     
  15. gun addict

    gun addict Member

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    and EB1, I don't appreciate you sending me a pm, you came here asking for opinion if you should ruin your father's lithgrow and got our opinions, stop being butthurt about it.
     
  16. HoosierQ

    HoosierQ Member

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    Here's thing man. One of the joys of owning a firearm (and there are many) is showing it off to friends. Showing off pictures of the thing on this forum I think has brought joy to many. If you butcher that piece of history that is lost. The only people you'll be able to impress with the thing (making the HUGE assumption that the butchering job is done well) are noobs that would be impressed with Pakistani made bowie knives!

    Find somebody who will pay you a good price for it, a real collector, not a butcher, and then buy yourself an already butchered Enfield. Nobody begrudges taking an already ruined military rifle and trying to improve it.

    And then there's the economics. You seem to be hell bent on taking a rifle worth in the neighbor hood of $500 and turning it into a rifle worth in the neighbor hood of $100...and paying several hundred dollar presumably to make it that way...laying out $400 to remove $400 of value from the thing.

    Think man...Think.
     
  17. MJ

    MJ Member

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    Show some respect to your father and just go out and buy a sported one unless your just posting to enjoy controversy which I think is your real goal.

    e22d63e2.gif

    Enjoy
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2013
  18. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    This whole thread is so retro! "Sporterizing" was done a lot in the 1950's and 60's. The reasons were that (1) millions of surplus guns from WWII and earlier were available cheaply, (2) veterans were sick and tired of the kinds of guns they carried and encountered in the war, and wanted slick, "civilian" hunting guns, and (3) new, commercial hunting guns were relatively expensive compared to surplus guns which could be civilianized simply by shortening stocks and discarding handguards.

    Today, all these factors have been reversed. Supplies of surplus rifles (the last being Mosin-Nagants) have dried up. Veterans like the kind of guns they carried in the military. Hunting is on the decline and defensive uses seem more important. The trend now is just the opposite -- civilian guns like the Mini-14 are being "militarized" by putting them in AR-style stocks, etc.

    Seeing that the OP's viewpoint is so contrarian, I suspect that he's just trying to pull a few chains here.
     
  19. .333 Nitro Express

    .333 Nitro Express Member

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    I just simply, truly, totally don't get it, and I don't think I ever will. Why? :mad:

    Taking a perfectly-good historical rifle, which embodies the best technology of its time (not to mention a piece of the past that will never be made again), and hacking it up into pawn-shop-grade junk? As others have said, sell the thing and get a sporter, if a sporter is what you want. You can pick up a Savage package rifle, scope and all, for about even as an Enfield.

    I'm sorry if I sound harsh, but I am with those who think that Bubba-izing antique military rifles is something that rightfully belongs to the trash-heap of history, like bell-bottom pants, mullets, and Pat Boone salt & pepper shakers--and what you generally end up with is a neither-fish-nor-fowl piece of junk. Generally speaking, there is no such thing as a "nicely sporterized" Enfield--period--unless you get an original early-1900's Lee Speed rifle. I've been actively interested in rifles for 30 years, and any "sporterized" number I've seen has always struck me as a Frankenstein, no matter how glossy the wood, how groovy the white spacers, how fab the Monte Carlo hump, or how swell the 6-20X scope. They seem to scream out "my owner could not afford a sporter, nor a military rifle, so he was stuck with this DIY job."

    As for the sentimental value, once you hack this rifle up, it won't be the same as what your dad gave you, and it won't be the same valuable rifle you'll be passing down to your kids.

    Here's my suggestion. If you think the nosecap is what's causing an accuracy problem, there are gunsmiths who will fix that--since Enfields were meant to function with, not without them. Have you taken yours to one? What was the opinion? There are also after-market scopemounts for an Enfield that require no gunsmithing. And voila' your accurate hunting rifle. I have NEVER seen, heard, read, let alone being convinced of, the advantages of hacking up the wood of a military rifle and making the thing look like a mutilated, junkyard-dwelling, parts-only ugly-duckling.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2013
  20. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

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    Yes, I am 100% certain that it is the nose piece that is causing the accuracy issues. Before I got the rifle it was loaned to a cousin who took it deer hunting, and I think he dropped it from a tree stand because before he got it the rifle shot like a dream.
    180 grain Remington's were a 2" or less group at 100 yards all day long.

    I get the rifle, and it never shot right. So I took the nose piece off, and it shot like it use to shoot. There really isn't any noticeable bending of the nose piece, but you can tell were it is pushing the wood pretty tight against the tip of the barrel.

    I have asked Mr. Gun_Addict what his advice was to fix it, but it seems my butt is hurting to bad to hear his logical answers.
    SO you want me to take this rifle to a gun smith, which I have asked many times, who is a respectable gun smith, and have gotten zero answers. I don't trust any around me.

    Now, you all say I commit a crime when I want to change the rifle to be useful to me, but you would suggest I let some other bubba smith attempt to fix it. How does that make any sense?

    I can do a video, I guess of me shooting with the nose cap on, and then with the nose cap off, and let you all see the difference in the groups. Maybe you can then give some logical advice.
     
  21. .333 Nitro Express

    .333 Nitro Express Member

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    Eb1,

    I don't think people here suggested that you send the rifle to just anybody. To be fair, it took you a while to explain the whole story--namely, that your Enfield used to shoot well until your cousin damaged a specific part of it by likely dropping it. Your initial posts were not about fixing those problems--they were about your decision to sporterize a historical rifle, since "you were never going to need a bayonet anyway" (I'm paraphrasing). Fixing the rifle while keeping it in its original configuration did not sound like it was an option--perhaps I misread you.

    In my opinion, that being the case, any reputable gunsmith may be able to diagnose and fix the problem. If you want a specialist, a simple Google search on "enfield gunsmith" turned out Black River Gunsmithing as someone trustworthy and experienced with surplus rifles. Maybe it's just me, but before I turned a historical rifle into grandpa's chicken-coop knockabout, I would get on the horn with a few 'smiths, tell them the problem and see what they could do to fix it.

    Good luck, and think twice before ruining a piece of history. Once they're gone, they're gone. :)
     
  22. itsa pain

    itsa pain member

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    you called them out eb1 lol. if you went to a gun show with it and walked around in a crowd of 3000 with a for sale sign you would not be offered more then a $100 by all the milsurp purists and cheap collectors
     
  23. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Is the spring missing from the nose cap, perchance? There's a special spring that sits on a stud and pushes up ever so slightly on the barrel. It's a critical component for tuning your SMLE, and it's very easy to lose. Without it accuracy can be pretty seriously altered. If you tighten that and the band screw up too much it can also impact accuracy. You have to tune the SMLE like a violin.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqgDPIG03b8

    The other option is to just toss that stuff in a sack and go with a sporter stock, without permanent mods. With several of my surplus rifles I have "field pants" which are just modern stocks I use for the rifles instead of the original wood. There's no reason you couldn't get that for yours and just stow the stock.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2013
  24. mooner

    mooner Member

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    If you must.

    Good Gunsmith:

    www.ahlmans.com

    I think almost any respectable gunsmith will probably tell you: "You want to do what?!?"

    If you give them your story about the sentimental nature of your request and tell them you are he11 bent on doing it these guys will do a good job.
     
  25. highpower

    highpower Member

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    Just my .02 here, but economically, it makes absolutely no sense to spend somewhere between $100~300 to make a three hundred dollar rifle into a $150 rifle. I don't care how good a job you do on it, that is just a fact of life with sporterized military rifles.

    Why does your hunting rifle HAVE to be a .303??? I too, cut up a British rifle back in the late '60's. In my case it was a brand new No4 Mk1. It was an OK hunting rifle, but not really all that accurate and a b#$% to get a decent scope mount on it that would hold zero.

    Here in my LGS I have found, and bought, several previously cut up military rifles and except for a Remington 03-A3, I have never paid more than $150 for any of them. You say that you want a .303, but quite honestly, a .30-06 or a 8mm makes a far better hunting round and the rifles that are chambered for them are plentiful. More importantly, IMO, is that ammo is easier to get. Like it or not, .303 hunting ammo is not all that easy to find and even if you handload, the selection of bullets is somewhat limited.

    If you want something that is different, consider a rifle in 7mm. I had a cut down Chilean Mauser rifle in that caliber that was a joy to shoot and the round has plenty of knockdown power. Even better is look around and find a Swedish Mauser that has already had the hand of Bubba on it. The 6.5X55 is a great round and has tremendous accuracy and power for it's size. They hunt Moose with them in Sweden and a Moose is a pretty darn big animal.

    It sounds as though you have your mind made up and no amount of logical arguments is going to change it.

    What is so bad about having a piece of history in your safe even if it doesn't shoot all that great in it's original configuration? I have a couple of low number Springfield 1903's in my safe that I don't shoot. I just checked and they certainly don't seem to take up all that much room.
     
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