303 Enfield rifles

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by oldpinecricker, Sep 15, 2018.

  1. oldpinecricker

    oldpinecricker Guide

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    Currently I don't have one and had quite little to do with them in the past. I've got a Krag, Mausers, Springfields, m1917, and a Mosin to represent or have a piece of arms history from the last century.

    Any here into the British Enfield pattern of rifles?

    Am I kind of incomplete without having an 303 Enfield to "represent"?

    I'll never be a real user of the Enfield, as it's easier for a lefty to run a straight bolt Mauser or Mosin. But the SMLE type rifle was so prominent that I feel that I may have an historical hole in my battle rifles.

    Any thoughts?
     
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  2. freebirdfb

    freebirdfb Bushmaster

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    On my to get list. When I was 18 they could be found for $100, wish I had picked up a couple.
     
  3. oldpinecricker

    oldpinecricker Guide

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    Yeah, I remember I could pick them up $35-85 bake in the day.
     
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  4. ezra45

    ezra45 Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Yep . You have a vacancy there. From Malaysia to Canada, not to mention South Africa and Zimbabwe, many armies and security forces used them, even the Canadian Rangers!

    Regards,

    ezra
     
  5. Pastor Chris

    Pastor Chris Keeper of the T.Darrah Tenkara Pass-Around Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend Hardwoodsman Bushclass II

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    Lots of fun to collect, research, and shoot! Mine range from 1916-1957. I recommend them for sure. Collecting the oil bottles for the stocks is a hoot too, not to mention the various bayonets!
     
  6. plumberoy

    plumberoy Guide

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    If I were right handed I would never be without one . Enfield is the best bolt action combat rifle made. In my opinion the number 1 mark 3 is the best looking combat rifle too
     
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  7. scottman

    scottman Bushmaster

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    I have three all bought or given to me sportirized .

    I even have a number four grand fathered into me as a “pistol” under Michigan law allowing it to be loaded in vehicle /quad etc with s valid cpl .
     
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  8. Tye

    Tye Scout

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    I've had 2 over the years traded both to the same guy wish I had at least one of them still. And yes you are incomplete with out one.
     
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  9. 1911srule

    1911srule Scout

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    My brother had a No 5 ? jungle carbine for a deer rifle back in the 70's. Wish I had that one now..
     
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  10. Bigghoss

    Bigghoss Guide

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    I'm a bit of a collector myself. A No. 4 rifle is the best bolt-action combat rifle I've come across yet. I haven't played with an M17 or P14 yet though.

    Ian McCollum of Forgotten Weapons and InRangeTV is a left and he can run a Lee-Enfield like nobody's business.
     
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  11. BigEd

    BigEd Tracker

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    Bought my Enfield Jungle Carbine in the early 90's. It was only $200 back then...
     
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  12. Timex

    Timex Guide

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    I shot a deer using the ladder sight on my Number IV, Mark 1. 125 yds, frontal shot, DRT. I had better eyesight back then. The deer was also stationary and I had a good rest. A bit more expensive these days. I wish I had kept at least one of the ones I have owned. Traded my last one for a Marlin .30-30.
     
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  13. saxonaxe

    saxonaxe Scout

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    Definitely get yourself an Enfield..I would say that of course being a Brit, :Dbut they are fine rifles. Before my team went to Accuracy International for our Sniper rifles I used an Enfield re chambered to 7.62 Nato. to qualify.

    If I remember correctly those rifles in the background on the firing point were Tikkas used by a different unit.

    On a blistering hot day up in the hills, complete with heat haze and thermals they didn't outshoot the Enfield...:D

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. scottman

    scottman Bushmaster

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    is there a modern production rifle chambered in 303?
     
  15. Bigghoss

    Bigghoss Guide

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    Pretty sure there isn't. Why would you want one?
     
  16. scottman

    scottman Bushmaster

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    Same reason I don’t mind having a brand new rifle in 3030 357 308 3006 76254 etc

    I might want one !!
     
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  17. Viper0321

    Viper0321 Scout

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    Gibbs rifle company used to but that was early 2000’s I think.

    There was an Australian rifle company that did but I believe they only made them in .308 that took M14 mags.
     
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  18. A K Church

    A K Church Guide

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    I haven't much followed the cast bullet game for a few years, but there were a couple of guys who in the last decade/decade and a half had .303s and 7.62x54Rs built on modern single shot actions. A Ruger Number 1 and a Miroku/Browning High Wall. Rimmed, and readily available factory brass.

    That's really more rebarreling than manufacturing, but I think you can see the point.

    Honestly, for THAT purpose, the 7.62 would seem to make more sense. That ammo is just common.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
  19. A K Church

    A K Church Guide

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    ALSO

    A decade or more back a batch of No. 4s were imported from The Republic of Ireland. These, per my understanding, were the dead last No. 4s made in Britain, who had already adopted the FAL, but still had tooling. Budget conscious Ireland contracted for bolt actions. Ireland took possession, and put them in storage. The ones I saw were apparently unfired other than factory proof. They had rack or crate dings, but were as close to mint as these things will ever be. The level of finish was to peacetime standards as well.

    These hit the market about the same time one of the Caribbean islands sold off a quantity of US Winchester made ammo they'd contracted for their Gendarmerie. Boxer primed, non-corr, clean and well made. Barbados, maybe?

    Friend of mine bought one rifle and around 1K rounds. Sold it a decade or so later for nearly twice what he paid.
     
  20. mtngunr

    mtngunr Scout Banned

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    I have also pretty much owned them all, at one time or another, Finn Mosins still new, Arg Cav Carb, about every Mauser variety made, US Springfields, most Enfields...

    The problem with Enfields being simply most time bore interior finish of approximately 60 grit finish from cordite attack, leading to very high pressures, massive fouling, leading to even higher pressures.

    They are fast, they can be reliable, they can mostly be extremely dangerous in what is still available on the market at sane price. An Enfield with near new bore, another matter entire, but rare, and getting only rarer.
     
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  21. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    I used to have an Australian rifle built on the Enfield action chambered in 7.62x39. Heavy sucker. Gander Mtn was the only place I saw these for sale. I can't remember the name or I might be able to track down a picture.
     
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  22. drobs

    drobs Guide

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    I have a No. 4 MK 1 in the back of the safe.

    Had a 308 Jungle Carbine which kicked like a mule. Gave it away to friend that liked recoil.
     
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  23. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

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    The .303 is a great hunting round. I think the Ruger no 1. Was offered for a time in 303 but I don’t know what new guns might be available. Why would anyone want a new gun anyway?

    Some of the cartridges that many people think of as obscure or obsolete are still plenty great at what they do. .303, 300 H&H, .257 Roberts, 35 Rem, to name just a few...
     
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  24. Paul Caruso

    Paul Caruso Being all that I am. Supporter

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    I got a Lee Sporter for $80, 6 or 7 years ago made by BSA, I think it was sold through the Bay in the 50's . I think it is a horrible rifle. The sights are terrible and it has a habit of locking up tight as a vault. I doubt they are all like that. If I could get the peep sights with a decent site radius, a new action and magazine it would probably be a decent rifle, but hey it was $80, and I'm sure I would be castrated if I got the BAR in 30.06 that I really want. I am a lefty but have only shot right handed rifles so it is all I know.
     
  25. Doubles

    Doubles Guide

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    Thread needs pics.... Bubba's gun Bubba.jpg
     
  26. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

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  27. mosinjoe

    mosinjoe Scout

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    Had four of them, 2 No. 4 Longbranch and 2 No.3 Mk.1 SMLE's. One of the No.3 Enfields was an Ishapore and that was a real nice rifle, as all of them were. That Ishapore was unique.
     
  28. x39

    x39 Hyperborean Supporter

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    I currently have two, both commercial sporter jobs. First a Santa Fe No.4 MK1...
    IMG_1151.JPG

    And Parker-Hale No.4 MK1/2...

    IMG_1152.JPG

    Not exactly sub-MOA rifles, but both definitely capable of getting the job done at reasonable ranges.
     
  29. x39

    x39 Hyperborean Supporter

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    I'd be willing to bet more moose have been killed in North America with this caliber than any other. I personally know of one. ;)
     
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  30. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

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    Nice. Those five round Santa Fe mags are highly sought after. Sometimes they turn up in guns that are almost worth buying just to get the mag!
     
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  31. scottman

    scottman Bushmaster

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  32. x39

    x39 Hyperborean Supporter

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    Man alive, that's a nice squirrel! I'll bet he never knew what hit him, LOL!
     
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  33. scottman

    scottman Bushmaster

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    Hammond game getter swaged buckshot brown Ramset about 25 yards away
     
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  34. Bigghoss

    Bigghoss Guide

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    Not saying there's anything wrong with .303 or anything else. Just that something like .308 Winchester does it better. I might be interested in reproductions of older rifles in .303, but if I'm getting a boring new gun, I might as well get a modern cartridge.
     
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  35. scottman

    scottman Bushmaster

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    Kind of the trends I believe even Russia came out with a new 762 51 AK rifle . 303 I see as those rifles age and the barrels wear out there’s really no new rifles
     
  36. scottman

    scottman Bushmaster

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    I know personally o have two that aren’t very accurate at all . Need to run my number four at the range and see how it does .

    303 has some history that’s for sure , but so does every cartridge .
     
  37. x39

    x39 Hyperborean Supporter

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    As far as hunting rifles, dead is dead. How much better does it get than that?
     
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  38. Bigghoss

    Bigghoss Guide

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    Quick death vs having to track an animal, taking a shot vs having to get closer, cheaper ammo so I can practice more. I know you know all this. Maybe you live somewhere that's densely wooded and a 200 yard shot just isn't going to happen. 50 or 75 yards it doesn't make much difference but for folks that live out west a longer effective range makes more sense.

    I was never trying to poo-poo the idea of using .303 for anything. It was an honest question.
     
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  39. scottman

    scottman Bushmaster

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    The trends come and go seeing if anyone’s chambering a modern rifle for it kind of let’s you know . Myself I still need to figure out how to get a good barrel on some of my old enfields.

    Maybe I wouldn’t mind a single shot recabered for 303 . I’m hoping midland starts making more barrels need to email them again .

    I have a good amount of 303 and in a single shot like you you said dead is dead. Some might prefer a rimmed cartridge in that application . I don’t own any 76254 I also have a 3030 and some shells for that.


    I do know this I never once struggled to buy ppu 303 in “ammo crisis” . Again trends .....
     
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  40. x39

    x39 Hyperborean Supporter

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    All good, just working on the assumption that people work within the known capabilities of their equipment (and more importantly, skill level). And for the record, my main hunting rifle is a Remington M-700 in .308 that I built for my own needs....

    IMG_3442.JPG
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
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  41. NJStricker

    NJStricker Guide

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    I have a few. Jungle Carbine was my first, followed by some No.1’s and No.4’s. A couple spoerterzed. One lend lease gun made by Savage. And a later version in .308 (L1A1)..

    I prefer Mausers and 03A3’s over the Enfields, but like the SMLE’s better than the Mosin Nagant, Arisaka, or Carcano.
     
  42. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy Tracker

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    No.4 Mk1 was my first rifle. Years ago during a divorce, i lost a wife and gained an SMLE. Considering the situation then, i came out on top..

    .303 may be old, but i hunt with an 1893 7x57mm Mauser made before 1913. ..
     
  43. Bigghoss

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    I just got two of those from Gunbroker. One is sporterized and I got it for only $87.
     
  44. purevwmetal

    purevwmetal Tracker

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    I have a nicely sporterized No4 Mk1, I payed $75 for it 5-6 years ago. Honestly, out of all my rifles, it’s my favorite. And I have an H&R single shot 45-70, Mosin Nagant carbine, marlin 3030 lever gun, old “ranger” 22, davey crickett 22, arisaka, and a reproduction hawken “Jeremiah Johnson” rifle.
     
  45. Taliesin

    Taliesin Guide

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    Nothing wrong with old calibers! They've collected more game than the modern calibers, that's for sure.
     
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  46. Dave_Markowitz

    Dave_Markowitz Supporter Supporter

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    The Irish Contract No.4 Mk.IIs came into the US in the early 90s. My dad bought one still in the mummy wrap. I helped him clean off the preservative grease, and it revealed a pristine, 40 year old military rifle. He's since given it to me. It will shoot MOA at 100 yards from the bench with handloads of a Hornady 150 grain spire point on top of enough IMR-4064 to reach 2700 FPS.

    I also have a 1944 Fazakerly No.4 Mk.I that I bought at Woolworth's in 1985 for $85 + tax. Unlike a lot of wartime Lee-Enfields, the bore is in excellent shape and it's a great shooter. I've shot it in a couple WW2 matches at my club, winning one against numerous Garand and Mauser shooters.

    Aside from those, I also have a No.5 Mk.I Jungle Carbine and a Lithgow SMLE No.1 Mk.III*. Recoil is very unpleasant on the No.5. The SMLE is actually a parts gun, made up by the John Jovino company in NY, after they bought the remaining stock of spare parts from Lithgow. It's dated 1918 on the receiver but looks brand new.

    IMO as a shooter, the No.4s are the best of the lot. The sights are far better than on the No.1s and they have free floating barrels.

    That Winchester ammo was good stuff, btw. So was MEN, made in Germany. Some of the latter has recently shown up in the country, apparently. It's Berdan primed, and so not easily reloadable, however.

    The other good milsurp .303 was HXP, made in Greece on Winchester machinery. It's non-corrosive and Boxer primed, with excellent brass.

    British milsurp .303 is corrosive. The worst surplus ammo in any caliber I've ever fired was the couple of boxes of POF (Pakistan Ordnance Factory) .303 Mk. VII that I got when I bought my No.4 Mk.I. Absolute garbage. Half the rounds hang fired with lock times like a flintlock. I also had several duds, which got broken down so I could burn the Cordite, which looks like uncooked spaghetti.

    Currently, Sellier & Bellot makes good, non-corrosive .303 FMJ. The Herter's .303 sold by Cabelas is made by S&B.
     
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  47. x39

    x39 Hyperborean Supporter

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    When I was a young man and first getting into deer hunting, I was taken under the wing of a family friend as my father was dead. He let me use a No.1 MK3 done up in the classic "bubba" style that he'd purchased at a lumber yard for the princely sum of $12.95, having just emigrated to the US from Norway after the war. By the time I was using it, he'd acquired a nice collection of firearms by any standard, and the Enfield was his loaner rifle. Over the years, that rifle harvested more deer than all the rest of his guns combined. He and both his sons are now passed on, and I wonder where that rifle wound up. Wherever it is, I'll bet it's still doing the job.
     
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  48. longcruise

    longcruise Scout

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    I had one of those wire wrapped grenade launcher models. It shot pretty good with handloads. Never shot anything with it but how could you go wrong with A 180 grain round nose?

    Traded it straight across for an M1881 Swiss veterlli.
     
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  49. tree-ratsniper

    tree-ratsniper Guide

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    Not sure how I missed this thread, love those old warhorses! Have three currently, a Longbranch No. 4 mkI made in 1943. A Lithgow MkI made in 1944 and a BSA No 5 mkI jungle carbine made in 1947. The No 5 was given to me by an uncle a quarter century ago, it started the itch. I'm always on the lookout for them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2018
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  50. PeterCartwright

    PeterCartwright Guide

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    I've never owned a SMLE, but I'll bet there are countless "bubba-ed" versions north of the (U.S.) border. Like the 1903 Springfield and 1917 Enflield and various '93,'95 and '98 Mausers, they've been unglamorous work horses in the backwoods. Thanks for the various sporterized pics in this thread. It proves not all attempts to civilianize military rifles are clumsy. (However, I have a '17 Enfield that meets the clumsy standard).

    PC
     

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