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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
OK, not sure if anyone is interested or not but I thought I'd post this up and see if it floats!

I have a 1944 .303 British Lee-Enfield that belonged to my dad. He used it for hunting and I believe it was "sporterized" before he bought it. It shoots nice and I intend to keep it for my own use. That being said, I have no inclination to restore it to its original historic condition and I would actually like to replace the stock/butt of it and to even mount a scope. I picked this pic up on another forum and although this is not the look I am going for (I like wood grain) it does have some of the design elements I'd like to achieve. I've also included some pics of mine in its "as is" condition and the beginnings of my dis-assembly. Thoughts, ideas, suggestions and even criticisms are encouraged!

Sporterized 303.jpg 303 5ds.jpg DSC05373ds.jpg DSC05397cp.jpg 800px-Lee-Enfield_No_4_Mk_I_(1943)_-_AM_032027.jpg
 

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Nice 303 wish I would of kept mine. Looking forward to your build up.
 

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I had one once and it would do weird things with groupings - it was some sort of kooky barrel resonance problem, or perhaps the famous "rim-headspace-challenge." It would shoot two bullets to point of aim in a tiny group, then three 11" up in the same size group, then two more down into the first group. Couldn't figure it out, even though I had talented gunsmiths work on the problem

Finally I sold it for what I bought it for. It was awfully nice looking. If I had pulled it out of of the stock, it may have fixed the "barrel gets changing upward pressure from the forestock," but the fact that the cartridge "headspaces" on the rim means the brass expands differently every time it's cycled into battery, which changes the orientation of the bullet to the lands. I don't think the SMLE could be considered an accurate gun and now that there are $300 production guns that will shoot under a minute, I don't think it's worth doing to one of these old warhorses.
 

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I got one now i had for over 30 yrs . I tore it all down cleaned all parts and sanded the stock and barrel and re-blued the barrel and re-varnished the stock and then put it back together . Worked perfect . Now over the yrs the stock is starting to color change and the barrel needs sanding and re-bluing maybe again or just may take some steel wool and clean it up and wipe it down with an oil rag . I have no other intentions to redo it all over again but alos i do not ever plan to give it up . It's a good gun and i like it !
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
While examining the forearm stock I have discovered a previous "fix" (solid white arrow) and then a crack from the fix back towards the receiver (about 6" long). I found a used replacement for $15.40 online and have ordered it. I'm still undecided on what I will do with the butt stock. It's not in bad condition.

DSC05409ds.jpg
 

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Personally I would leave it with wood. The rifle, in the rifle case pic, is wonderful.
Regarding the accuracy that Rifleshooter talked about.....SMLES, for accuracy, require a "free floating" barrel. If there is any drag from the wood at all it will effect accuracy, especially after 10 rounds. I would leave it as the "sporterized" version.
 

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i agree:
Personally I would leave it with wood. The rifle, in the rifle case pic, is wonderful.
Regarding the accuracy that Rifleshooter talked about.....SMLES, for accuracy, require a "free floating" barrel. If there is any drag from the wood at all it will effect accuracy, especially after 10 rounds. I would leave it as the "sporterized" version.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Personally I would leave it with wood. The rifle, in the rifle case pic, is wonderful.
Regarding the accuracy that Rifleshooter talked about.....SMLES, for accuracy, require a "free floating" barrel. If there is any drag from the wood at all it will effect accuracy, especially after 10 rounds. I would leave it as the "sporterized" version.

Yeah, I think you guys are probably right. I will probably leave it wood grain but I may sand it down and refinish it (and replace the front piece). I also see that you are right on the mark with the "free floating" barrel. In the pic below I have arrows showing a single point of mounting for the forearm stock way back near the breech. I can also understand the stress crack especially if the sling is attached to the forward end of the forearm stock. Seems to me that would put a lot of stress on it when slung over the shoulder.


DSC05397cparrows.jpg
 

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IMO id keep that synthetic stock on it. I like the look of it, think it looks better than that poor sporterized stock. I have a enfield made by savage i believe. US PROPERTY stamped. I love it very nice shooting gun. .303 aint to bad of a round
 

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i have a mk4 in 303 brit, it shoots good but ammo not easy to come by, but its old and a keeper in good shape
 

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I purchased a No.V barreled action last year. I was able to find parts to make a sporter out of it. The only mods I made to it was to drill and tap the reciever to secure the front of the scope mount. By adding a few more parts it could be fully restored to "military condition".


No.5 barreled action.jpg No.5 barreled action rebuild.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Update: my 303 Lee-Enfield is a modified Parker Hale sporting rifle called a De Luxe No.4 and from my research it's no slouch. I'm going to rework/refinish the wooded stocks (front/rear) and also re-blue the barrel, etc. I have received the replacement front stock (the one on the rifle is badly cracked in several areas). The new front stock is almost a perfect match with hardly any finish on it at all. Not bad for $15.00! I may also mount a scope on it to finish up the refurbish. I believe I have a "keeper" here. I'll continue to post from time to time as the work progresses.
DSC05375cp2.jpg
DSC05386ds.jpg
303 7cp.jpg
 

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P2050626.jpg Here is mine, sporterized before I was born. I am not sure which model it is, but I have shot it and it is a great light recoiling accurate rifle. I would not hesitate to take it into the woods after anything in North America.
 

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Update: my model is a Parker Hale sporting rifle called a De Luxe No.4 and from my research it's no slouch. I'm going to rework/refinish the wooded stocks (front/rear) and also re-blue the barrel, etc. I have received the replacement front stock (the one on the rifle is badly cracked in several areas). The new front stock is almost a perfect match with hardly any finish on it at all. Not bad for $15.00! I may also mount a scope on it to finish up the refurbish. I believe I have a "keeper" here. I'll continue to post from time to time as the work progresses.
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Once you go throught all that i can just about guarantee you'll keep it a long time ! That's why i have still got mine after a refurbish back in the late 70's or early 80's . Can't remember exactly but along time ago ;) !
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Looks like the barrel has been shortened by about 3.2 inches from the standard military barrel during the conversion process as well (from 25.2 down to 22). Am I correct in assuming that this would reduce the overall range characteristics of the rifle?
 
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