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Sights for .303 Enfield

Discussion in 'Long Gun Accessories and Optics' started by Jim NE, Jan 5, 2018.

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  1. Jim NE

    Jim NE Member

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    There is a pretty decent shape sporterized .303 Enfield for a low price at a LGS. I don't mind that it's sporterized (stock shortened in fore-end...as typical) because I had one years ago, but got rid of it because the bore was shot out. The barrel and bore on this one seems good. (I'm sorry, but I was in a hurry and the store was about to close, so I didn't find out what version, era or "mark" the rifle was.)

    That's all fine...except the gun has no sights on it. And wasn't tapped for scope mounts. I'd rather not have a scope, but the store owner seemed to imply that sights might either be hard to get or expensive or both. What would you Enfield guys suggest? Or is a scope the least expensive way to go? Sorry I can't give you more info or expertise on this. I'll find out more about the gun next time I go there. Thanks.
     
  2. redactor

    redactor Member

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    Depending on what model Enfield you have, check Numrich. It may be listed under SMLE instead of Enfield.
     
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  3. dh1633pm
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    dh1633pm Contributing Member

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    ebay can also be a nice place to find a few parts.
     
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  4. EnglishTom

    EnglishTom Member

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    If its an SMLE it would have had its rear sight mounted forward of the receiver , if its a No4 look for two lugs on top of the very rear of the action, if its a No4 you are looking for a Singer Mk V about £30 on Ebay, lots of them about. There is a Canadian rear sight very much like the Singer but its a slider not a vernier adjuster, they aint worth bothering with.
    The front sight on the No4 is a pinned block with changeable blades.
     
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  5. 22250Rem

    22250Rem Member

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    Numrich, E-Bay, should have stuff if it's a #1 or a #4 and I was recently looking at "Springfield Sporters" (forgot the exact web site address but you can google it) and they had a whole bunch of Lee-Enfield sights. Once you know what Enfield you have it shouldn't be a problem.
     
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  6. Jim NE

    Jim NE Member

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    Thanks for the replies, guys. You actually make it sound more promising than my friend at the gun store did. I'll check out Numrich and other sources. Thought I'd check with you folks before doing research.

    He wants $218 for the sporter Enfield, which I thought sounded reasonable. Besides being modded as stated, the gun looks clean. Does it sound like a decent price to you? (Of course taking into account that it needs sights.)
     
  7. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    If the only alteration is a shortened forestock, considering the price, this might be a good candidate for restoration to its original condition. Especially if it's a No. 4 rather than a SMLE.

    If a No. 4, the Singer micrometer rear sight is a good choice. There is also a Parker-Hale target sight (military issue) that's a drop-in fit.
     
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  8. EnglishTom

    EnglishTom Member

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    An early SMLE ( pre 1919) has greater value than a No4 unless the No4 has a (T) in the markings, count your grooves best barrels are 5 groove, If it is a No4 with a "T" check the receiver and barrel for small chisel register marks Made by the gunsmith that regulated it for sniper use. If the barrel hasn't been shortened then restore to original and KEEP IT. A No4 will have its "Type on the left side of the action and date stamped on the wrist, What your looking for will say something like " No4 Mk1(T) or No4 Mk1* the main difference is where the trigger is pivoted, Mk1 on the trigger guard Mk1* on the lower action. If you have a Mk1* with a 2 groove barrel its US made ( most common are Savage) will have an "S" stamped on the wrist and Government property on the top left hand side . Fingers crossed you have a Mk1(T) with a BSA 5 groove;)
     
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  9. EnglishTom

    EnglishTom Member

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    Try the Mill surps web site, they have forgotten more than I know
     
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  10. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    I hate to dispute an Englishman on this, but the place where the trigger is pivoted differentiates the Mk. 2 from the Mk.1. The difference between the Mk. 1 and the Mk. 1* has to do with how the bolt is removed: the Mk. 1 has a spring-loaded catch while the Mk. 1* just has an open notch.

    The best-finished No. 4's are the North American ones -- Savage in the U.S. and Long Branch in Canada. I doubt whether the number of grooves in the barrel makes much difference in accuracy. This was tested before the 2-groove barrel was approved. (The same applies to M1903A3 Springfields with 2-groove barrels.)
     
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  11. EnglishTom

    EnglishTom Member

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    The Mk1* was a cost cutting exercise and speeded up production, a lot of the late Long Branch were built using Savage parts bought up when Savage stopped production. 2 groove V 5 groove, we were talking value , shooting wise theres not much in it
     
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  12. Jim NE

    Jim NE Member

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    I bought the gun today. It's a No. 1 Mark 3 (III) and is dated 1916, and has the 5 groove barrel. Thanks, EnglishTom and everyone else! I greatly appreciate your info. Enormously helpful.

    The (apparent) serial numbers on the barrel, receiver and bolt all match. The magazine has a number that is exactly 1000 higher than all the other numbers.

    Is that number supposed to be a serial number, too? If it is, I'm wondering if it was a mismarked original mag instead of from a different gun. Probably wishful thinking on my part. The first digit on the mag number is "6" and the first digit on the other numbers is "5" and those numbers are sometimes mistaken for each other because they have a similar shape. Seems odd that it would be exactly 1000 higher than my gun's other numbers.

    Regardless, the mag needs a new spring. I found a spring online that's very affordable, but I noticed that the broken spring in my mag is riveted to the follower, so it looks like it would be a hassle to reattach a new spring. What would you suggest?
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  13. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    Save the old part and get a new follower and spring for shooting or you could retain the original mag and get another whole mag for shooting. Expect to pay about $40-50 for an original in good shape--fleabay, Sarco (esarco.com). You might also want to check the barrel length as it was common to chop these from the original length which might make it difficult to fit the original front sight back.

    Did it have the sights on the barrel or at least the sight bases? 1916 was a transition year between the older No. 1 and the newer No. 1* which omits the magazine cutoff among other things. One variety of sights has adjustable windage on the rear sight (the older one) and the newer one omits being able to change windage. Don't remember that there were any changes to the front sight during the transition.

    Here is an adjustable rear sight on ebay so you can see a picture
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/SMLE-LEE-ENFIELD-303-No1-Mk-III-WINDAGE-ADJUSTABLE-REAR-SIGHT-ASSEMBLY-/352237513212?hash=item5202fde9fc Non-adjustable sights were issued during and after 1916 but you can find any sights on any particular firearm.
     
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  14. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    Try to post pictures of the gun so we can see what needs to be added as far as the sights are concerned, and also to see if a restoration is feasible.

    Congratulations on your purchase.
     
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