This topic contains 18 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  kjohn 3 weeks ago.

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  • #31343
     DeadWoodDan 
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    My buddy has the 303 for sale he brought over last weekend for me to look at. I’m thinking of buying it off of him it is in really good condition. Plus it comes with 200 + rounds of ammunition. I did notice on the few that I shot two cases had split and it’s. Not sure if this is Old Mill Surplus? I do not know much about these rifles and have been Google searching over the week. Will try to post pics pictures at some point. Please let me know if you are familiar with these and what to look for. Thank you Kevin

  • #31345
     DeadWoodDan 
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    I’m trying to perform this test from my Android for the first time does anybody know how to post pictures off of the phone or from the phone

  • #31355
     Goodsteel 
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    Pictures must be uploaded to a hosting site and from there they can be posted in all their radiant glory here. I use photobucket and they have a wonderful app.

    I am intimately acquainted with the British Enfield, and cracked cases do not surprise me. Often the chambers are sloppy and the brass gets worked A LOT when firing. The barrels were decent quality as mil-surp barrels go, but they were prone to wild variations in groove and bore diameter (anywhere from 30 caliber to 8mm was fair game).
    A target rifle they are not (usually) but for their intended purpose of 4 MOA out to 600 meters no matter the weather, from sleezy swamps to frozen mountains, to blistering desert, they have hardly an equal in reliability.
    The bolt was turned down, not for a scope, but to allow the soldier to perform a “mad minute” in which the bolt knob is held between the forefinger and the thumb and held rigidly with the third finger extended, so the trigger can be tripped by it when the bolt is closed. This allowed the soldier to empty that 10 round magazine faster than is possible with almost any bolt action rifle.
    The action is springy and completely unrigid, but with proper ammo it worked almost too well.
    The British Enfield required an insane amount of machining to fabricate, but it allowed the queen’s men to be armed better than anyone in the world at the time.
    The rifle was made to survive insane levels of abuse and it did.
    It aint pretty, it aint a precision shooter, it needs TLC to shoot cast well, but it’s a slice of history and all things considered, one of the best military rifles of all time.

    My brother in law has hunted with a 303 British and filled the freezer with it for decades. I bought one just to see what all the hype was about and I fell in love with it, but I rebarreled it and converted it to a 35 caliber wildcat and last year a fellow who couldn’t live without it pried it from my hands one finger at a time, so now I need to find another one.

    I’d buy it if I were you. It’s a fun rifle!

  • #31358
     Scharfschuetze 
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    No 1 Mk III and No 1 Mk III* rifles were made in England, Canada, the USA, Australia and India, while ersatz No 1 Mk IIIs were made by village craftsmen near the Khyber Pass on the Afghan-Pakistan border.

    It’ll be interesting to hear where the one you are interested in was made. You can tell by the markings on the right side of the action under the bolt handle. Tell us what those are. There are numerous permutations in the Lee Enfields and it will be fun to help you figure this one out.

    Let us know what the markings on the case heads of the ammo are and we can probably tell you where it was made also. A lot of surplus 303 British ammo is getting old and will crack from age hardening or from improper or too little annealing, particularly when fired in an oversize chamber.

    I really enjoy shooting Lee Enfields in all their marks.

  • #31363
     DeadWoodDan 
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  • #31364
     DeadWoodDan 
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  • #31365
     DeadWoodDan 
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  • #31366
     DeadWoodDan 
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  • #31367
     DeadWoodDan 
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    Took me a few times to figure it out but got there. Whats a guy to do after he finally harvested his first deer with a cast boolit!! More on that later….

  • #31372
     Scharfschuetze 
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    Wow! Looks like you found a keeper. The sling looks to be original too.

    Your rifle was made by “London Small Arms Company Limited” in 1917 for the Great War. The “GR” at the top means “George Rex” or “King George” as he was the King of England when your rifle was accepted for service.

    I don’t see the “*” after the III, but your rifle due to its lack of magazine cut off is probably a “*” variant. This variant was the most produced of the No 1 MK III rifles and it’s nomenclature looked like this: No 1 Mk III* Other modifications to this standard was the deletion of the wind gauge or windage adjustable rear sight and the removal of the volley sights.

    For an inexpensive primer on Lee Enfields (all marks), check Amazon or Ebay for: “The Lee-Enfield Rifle by Martin Pegler. For a much more advanced (and expensive) book, look for: The Lee-Enfield by Ian Skennerton

    I hope that your SMLE shoots as well as it looks!

  • #31381
     DeadWoodDan 
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    What is/was the magazine cut off?

  • #31392
     Scharfschuetze 
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    What is/was the magazine cut off?

    Like the US Army, the British Army thought that soldiers would waste ammo with a magazine fed rifle so the early Lee-Enfields, like the US Krag-Jorgenson and 1903 rifles, had a magazine cut off. By doctrine, soldiers were to single load until their officer or sergeant ordered them to fire from the magazine. This would have been in the assault or in a final defensive fire situation.

    Every now and then, you’ll see a No 1 Mk III* with the thin cut out in the receiver for the magazine block or cut off, but without the actual piece in place. Perhaps this was an very early production “*” rifle, or if the rifle bears an FTR (Factory Thorough Repair) stamp then it would have been a rebuilt No 1 Mk III.

    My No 1 Mk III (NRF or National Rifle Factory) with the magazine block and windage capable sight is in the back of the vault right now, but I robbed this photo off of the Internet to illustrate it.

  • #31413
     DeadWoodDan 
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    Thanks for the book recommendations. Lots to learn, anymore if i cant shoot cast out of it with fun im not interested.
    The rifle appears to be in really nice condition. Not that im a collector but always like to know if the rifle is original or mix and match parts. Also the stock is so nice im curios if someone refinished it?

  • #31423
     Scharfschuetze 
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    DeadWoodDan;n11525 wrote: Thanks for the book recommendations. Lots to learn, anymore if i cant shoot cast out of it with fun im not interested.
    The rifle appears to be in really nice condition. Not that im a collector but always like to know if the rifle is original or mix and match parts. Also the stock is so nice im curios if someone refinished it?

    I like the Lyman 314299 (208 grains) in my Lee-Enfields, although my Lithgow SMLE needs the NOE 316299 given it’s generous bore. Bore diameters can be all over the map with them, so I’d suggest a larger than normal mould diameter when you get set up to shoot cast bullets in it. Size as need and you’ll be good to go.

    From the photos, your stock’s finish looks to be original, although I see what look to be some fine sanding marks or scratches. Hard to say, but it looks “as issued” to me on my computer screen.

  • #31569
     DeadWoodDan 
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  • #31570
     DeadWoodDan 
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  • #31571
     DeadWoodDan 
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    Two samples of ammo i will be receiving with purchase. Will post picks of box but both are plain white boxes with bullet weight and caliber.

    Would be curios if .303 was ever loaded with berden primers?

  • #31589
     Mike F H 
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    DeadWoodDan;n11758 wrote: Two samples of ammo i will be receiving with purchase. Will post picks of box but both are plain white boxes with bullet weight and caliber.

    Would be curios if .303 was ever loaded with berden primers?

    Both of the rounds pictured have berdan primers,I would also say that the stock wood has been refinished,it wouldn’t have lived in a nice padded box for the last 100 years.By the way,the cartridge with the larger primer is mercuric and corrosive,clean the rifle and boltface with water or an oil mixed with water,immediately after shooting,then clean and oil as any other rifle,don’t leave it to the next day,or you will be sorry.

  • #68985
     kjohn 
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    No. 1’s were never made in Canada, nor the USA.  India and Australia continued to make them after the switch to No.4’s.  No. 4’s were built in the USA, Canada, England, and Pakistan.

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