Lee Enfield

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by DDDWho, Oct 14, 2021.

  1. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    Messages:
    4,850
    I’d leave it and shoot as is. It still has original front and rear sights.
    I too shoot mostly cast through mine.
    I favor the Lee 160gr Semi pointed gaschecked bullet. I have a 6-cavity mold and use 20gr of #2400.
    I have taped my mold with aluminum tape to expand bullets cast to .315” and size to .314”.

    Using BLC2 powder and the PPU 180gr semi pointed softpoint bullet, you can approach.308win velocities.
    However, even at original 2,400fps, it’s not tossing “nerf” balls.
    My #4mk1 is one of my favorite rifles.

    BTW; that FTR 1953 means that your rifle was factory reworked with possibly a new barrel and refinished.
    My #4Mk1 was also FTR and sports a new barrel. It’s a tack driver with good ammo (ie: PPU).
    But, mine is all original!
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2021
    Ugly Sauce, DDDWho and Twocanary like this.
  2. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2020
    Messages:
    1,571
    DSC07380.JPG
    I made this Canuk into a "Bogus" No.4(T) She's glass bedded and is a solid 1 MOA rifle. Shot a 1/2" group one time...but that is not the norm. I did not try to make an exact replica, as you can see. Cheap 3-9X scope on a B-Square mount. The Hornady 174 grain FMJBT is her cup of tea.

    I realize that most people think that after TSHTF, we'll all be charging the looters and bad guys with our AR's, shooting as fast as we can pull the trigger, blinding the enemy with our rifle mounted flashlights, and emptying mag after mag after magazine until the well runs dry and the bad guys have all dropped dead. But I think this may come in pretty handy, as would any SMLE.
     
    d2wing, Mosin Bubba, 22250Rem and 3 others like this.
  3. Robert

    Robert Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    13,357
    Location:
    Texan by birth, in Colorado cause I hate humidity
    It's a very nice looking Enfield built No 1 MkIII* made in 1916. I have a Lithgow (Australian) No 1 MkIII* built in 1941 with a 1917 made 1907 Australian bayonet. I've also got a complete WWI reproduction uniform, P08 gear and original mid war helmet.
     
  4. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    8,124
    Location:
    Virginia
    The OP's full-length picture looks good -- the front end was not messed with. Restoration is definitely on the table.

    Does it still have the original buttplate? If so, all that is needed is the forend and related parts.
     
  5. DDDWho

    DDDWho Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    Messages:
    617
    the butt plate appears to brass with 2 screws and a hinged door which covers about a 5/8” hole that I assume leads to a screw securing the stock.
     
  6. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    8,124
    Location:
    Virginia
    Good. That sounds like the original buttplate. Besides giving access to the stock bolt, the cavity is supposed to contain a leather or fiber disk (separator) and then a brass oiler and a cord pull-through for cleaning.

    One thing to note is that, on a SMLE, if you take the buttstock off first, you will crack the forend. That's because the end of the stock bolt has a square boss that protrudes through the receiver collar and locks into the forend wood. So always take the forend off first, on a SMLE. (This doesn't apply to the No. 4, because the square boss was eliminated on that model.)
     
    DDDWho likes this.
  7. DDDWho

    DDDWho Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    Messages:
    617
    The end of the forearm seems to be professionally done. I’ve seen them that look like they were done with a draw knife. 9-E0-C6-C71-897-B-4-C27-8-B78-D936333-E0-BDE.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2021
  8. commygun

    commygun Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    792
    Location:
    Lewis County, WA
    I’d put that back in it’s military config in a heartbeat. Hardware wise, you’re not missing much and every bit of the metal is readily available on eBay (and not very expensive). The wood is a bit more challenging, especially the forestock, but it’s out there.
     
    AlexanderA and DDDWho like this.
  9. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    6,754
    Location:
    Rural, far beyond the beltway, Northern Virginia,
    DDDWho,

    Well over half of my well-populated longgun collection (accumulation) consists of milsurps.

    I am not(!) a fan of "sporterizing" milsurps ... but ... for those that have already had such a treatment applied, I have long figured that if the owner likes the rifle in that configuration, Great! :)

    If that were my rifle, if I could find a reasonably-priced (hahahahaha!) set of furniture with all of the necessary bits (Alas, SpringfieldSporters is no more <sniff>), I might consider acquiring it so that I could dress it up "roight", while carefully keeping the stock in which it came.

    To my eye, that rifle looks like it was sporterized in a careful, well-done & minimalistic fashion. I think that it looks very nice and would be very pleased to own it ... well, if the bloody thing shoots well. ;)

    Enjoy!

    FWIW :)

    EDIT:

    Just in case you decide on redressing that old lady, please be aware that dis-/re-assembling a Nº1 is not as simple as removing a king screw, removing the stock, slapping a new one on and replacing that king screw.

    Do not even try even replacing a buttstock on one of those pups without reading up on the proper procedure in advance.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2021
    Dave DeLaurant, Ugly Sauce and DDDWho like this.
  10. DDDWho

    DDDWho Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    Messages:
    617
    The fact that it is 105 years old and in great condition thrills me no end. I’ve been looking for ammo without any luck. The 6 rounds that came with it will probably be my “stockpile” until some become available.
     
    Ugly Sauce likes this.
  11. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2018
    Messages:
    1,751
    Location:
    People's Republic of California, Central Valley
    If you're curious about restoration stock components, here's a couple of dealers who usually have some to choose from:

    https://www.libertytreecollectors.com/productcart/pc/viewCategories.asp?idCategory=62
    https://www.sarcoinc.com/parts-kits/rifle-parts-accessories/lee-enfield/no-1-mkiii/
    https://www.gunpartscorp.com/search#/Manufacturer/SMLE-(Also-See-Enfield)&query=lee%20enfield

    You'd need to do some research to match the correct components to this particular variant, but that's part of the fun.

    A couple years ago I re-mil'ed a P-14 Enfield that had been sporterized in a similar manner. I chose a reproduction stock from NumrichGPC and have been very pleased with the outcome:

    P14 Enfield.jpg
     
    GBExpat, DDDWho and Ugly Sauce like this.
  12. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2020
    Messages:
    1,571
    I think the main problem with restoration is that with $400 into it already, when you add the price of needed parts, you might exceed the price of one in original condition at a gun show, or pawn shop/LGS if one shopped around and kept a lookout for one. So I think the "sporterization" is water under the bridge. Or...spilt milk.

    Although I'm happy you gave the widow a fair price, as others have said, in the past you could pick up the sporter-ized SMLE's for as little as $100, and the two I have I paid $50.00 each at gun shows. But them days are gone. My point being that restoring those, back then, was cost effective. Not so much now.

    I think you will be happy with the rifle as-is. If you ever do get the desire for one in original condition it would make more sense to buy one in original condition. Then you'll have a three round stockpile for each one. !!!! :neener:

    There is an Import company I see on Youtube all the time, "Atlantic"? They recently got a bunch of .303 in original cases in. Most likely gone by now. However, you probably don't want to invest in a whole case of .303 for one rifle, which is not your main-squeeze battle rifle. I think they were only selling it by the case.

    Commercial .303 ammo will pop up again on the market, if things don't keep getting worse. I used to get super-excellent accuracy with the Remington 180 grain round-nose ammo, but now I just shoot re-loads.
     
    GBExpat and DDDWho like this.
  13. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2020
    Messages:
    1,571
    Dang. That P14 makes me very jealous. What a beauty. I had a sporterized P-17, Remington, for years even hunted with it. For a while there was a P-17/P-14 restoration "kit" for $15.00 bucks. No kidding. But I didn't get one in time, then they was gone, and I traded the rifle off. Should not have done that, I'd pay just about anything to restore that rifle now. Man that P-14 is nice.

    Right now, if anyone knows of a Jungle Carbine "kit" I'd sure like to know. I have one Longbranch (one I got for $50.00) in really nice but sporterized condition but with chopped barrel that I would like to "Jungleize". I'll check the above links, but I think them kits are long gone.
     
    Dave DeLaurant and DDDWho like this.
  14. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2018
    Messages:
    1,751
    Location:
    People's Republic of California, Central Valley
    Thanks. The replacement parts for the P-14 nicely doubled my original $400 investment -- the Italian-made repro stock was a little over $300 by itself. It was a drop-in fit though, and the only real fiddling needed was to properly fit the crossbolt.

    I also 'jungled' a sporterized No.4 with a cut down barrel recently. Here's the before and after:

    LE No.4 MkI Sporter.jpg LE No.4 Mk.I Jungled.jpg

    The forend came out a bit too short for a proper No.5 lookalike, but it was the best I could manage with available components.

    At that time, Numrich had the key components for sale: flash-hider front sight and buttstock. Both are still listed, but out of stock :-(
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2021
    Shanghai McCoy and Ugly Sauce like this.
  15. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    8,124
    Location:
    Virginia
    I would put the value of an original SMLE in decent condition at about $800. Taking a quick look around the Internet, it seems that one could find the missing parts for under $400, so a restoration would not be economically impossible.

    It appears that the available wood falls into two categories: reproduction, or Indian surplus. The Indian surplus is generally beat up, plus it has the notorious "Ishapore screw" -- an unsightly reinforcement. You really need to buy selectively here.

    Note that fitting a SMLE forestock (unlike a P-14) is not a drop-in operation.
     
    Dave DeLaurant and Ugly Sauce like this.
  16. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2020
    Messages:
    1,571
    Nope I have not priced them lately. I'm amazed, but not surprised they have gone up so much. I would have guessed $600 tops. Maybe I am a bit surprised. But I do remember when the mil-surp rifles jumped to $300, and I thought that was a lot. !!!

    Well I guess the SMLE was a good investment. I never paid much over $100 for any of mine, and they are all in very good condition.
     
    Dave DeLaurant likes this.
  17. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2020
    Messages:
    1,571
    Nice job on the Jungle. (!!!!) Mine came out nice too, I'll take a pic of it. I think I cut my barrel an inch longer than spec just to get a better fit of the flash hider front sight assembly, thingie. I searched those links you posted, and indeed the Jungle flash hider is out of stock with everybody. I was surprised to find there was lots of wood available, and other parts at decent prices. Checked around Ebay, no dice. Those flash hider front sight assemblies are made of unobtainium for sure. Saw one on a gun-broker auction type site, auction was over and it was...unobtainable.
     
    Dave DeLaurant likes this.
  18. d2wing

    d2wing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    4,721
    I like it the way it is, They had a great slick action. My brother bought countless .303's and sporterized them in the fifties. It seemed like everybody did back then and hunted with them. It was all many could afford back then. I don't know anyone that was interested in collecting them or keeping them in original condition until a decade later. In any case a great rifle.
     
    Ugly Sauce likes this.
  19. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2018
    Messages:
    1,751
    Location:
    People's Republic of California, Central Valley
    If you do eventually find another one, be advised that the sight dovetail on some of these repro flash hiders are bit oversize. Even with the front sight insert wedged wide open I had to Acraglas it into place to prevent it from moving about.

    My barrel may be a tad long too -- probably as you did, I cut it where the barrel diameter = the internal diameter for the tightest slip fit possible.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2021
    Ugly Sauce likes this.
  20. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2018
    Messages:
    1,751
    Location:
    People's Republic of California, Central Valley
    Amen! Check out these videos for some comparative discussion of the SMLE (and No.4) stocking methods:



     
  21. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2020
    Messages:
    1,571
    There is truth to that. Shot my first deer with a No.4 SMLE-Sportster. !! Shot four times at a running deer (a very slick action) and it jumped over a bush and was gone. Wasn't surprised I missed it. Took a walk in the direction it went, and on the other side of the bush was a dead deer...with four holes in it. !! Not a bad deer rifle.

    I started reloading around that same time, and didn't make the connection between hot loads in the SMLE, and case-head separations until later in life. Traded it off thinking something was wrong with the rifle.

    Anyhow, yeah, sporterized SMLE's were light, fast handling, with a totally capable cartridge with a little less kick than an '06, made perfect hunting rifles, and SMLE's were plentiful. I suppose they (sporters) are "classic" in their own right.
     
    d2wing and theotherwaldo like this.
  22. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    8,124
    Location:
    Virginia
    I have one nit to pick about the second video. In removing the forestock, he makes a mistake by starting the removal by levering the front. Always, the back should be loosened first. (By tapping downward on the sides using a hardwood block.) If the stock is tight, levering the front can crack the "draws" area.
     
    Dave DeLaurant and theotherwaldo like this.
  23. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2018
    Messages:
    1,751
    Location:
    People's Republic of California, Central Valley
    I have to give him credit for this though:

    I bought a No.4 early this year that had a loose forestock. The buttstock too, for that matter. When I got it apart, I discovered whomever had installed it (MkII forend on a MkI action) had simply filed down the draws! I carefully built them back up with wood shims and Acraglas until the rear was good and tight against the socket. After that I also did a small patch of Acraglas just rear of the muzzle end to get a bit of upwards pressure, and then went to work on the buttstock tenon.

    If I hadn't seen his videos, I would have been just as clueless as the last guy about what the draws are supposed to do. But yeah, always start from the back end.

    BTW, this rifle's stock is properly tight now and groups well -- I bought it because the bore and metal were in such good condition.

    LE No.4 Mk.I.jpg

    One of these days I need to buy a copy of Skennerton's recent LE magnum opus ...
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2021
    AlexanderA and Ugly Sauce like this.
  24. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2020
    Messages:
    1,571
    It's sometimes amazing the jewels you can find under rough exteriors, or loose wood. I have an Ishapur/por that I got off a table for $80, it looked so beat up no one wanted it. After I rasped the stock down and got out all the dings, and stripped all the black choo-choo train paint off it, (it was beautifully parkerized under the paint) it turned into one of my nicest rifles. Mechanically tight as a drum, action slicker than sour owl snot, and perfect bore to boot.
     
    Dave DeLaurant likes this.
  25. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2018
    Messages:
    1,751
    Location:
    People's Republic of California, Central Valley
    Check out what this visiting Aussie competitor did with a borrowed Ishy .308 at this WWI Centennial 2-gun Match (spoiler: he won):

     
    Ugly Sauce and d2wing like this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice