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bgeddes 07-14-2008 01:05 AM

Anyone shoot an SMLE regularly?
I have an old Lee-Enfield I bought at an auction 15 years for next to nothing. I've never shot it. Anything special I should be concerned with when firing this piece for the first time in a long time? It has been inspected my a gunsmith.

c3shooter 07-14-2008 01:39 AM

I shoot a #3 Mk1, and a #4 Mk 1. Along with a bunch of other rifles, so not sure "regular" is the word (other rifles get jealous if I ignore them) Issue on these has been excessive headspace due to wear and tear on bolt, lugs, etc-- HOWEVER, if your smith has checked it with guages, and it is good to go, should NOT be a problem. Be sure that bore is clear of grease, oil, last year's underwear, etc. Gas relief hole, left side, just ahead of the bolt when closed- use a pipecleaner to be sure that no dried grease, cosmoline, etc has it blocked. You should never need that hole, but is for emergency routing of gasses to a safe place if case fails. Other folks may have more advice- enjoy shooting, wear your "eyes and ears". may have some more info for you. CAUTION- too much .303 fired in one day may lead to tea drinking, strange accents, and having a picture of Her Majesty above the loading bench. Nice rifles. Found a bayonet for my SMELLY at Southern Ohio Gun. Keeps those M-44 shooters in their place!

bgeddes 07-14-2008 03:09 AM

Exactly the type of info I am seeking. I will double check the simple stuff and I'll probably have to have my father-in-law (gunsmith) double check the headspace. Not sure it was done last inspection.

billt 07-25-2008 03:43 PM

Here is another website that has a lot of information on just about everything Enfield and .303 British. Bill T.

lucky07 07-27-2008 12:02 AM

how banged up is it? if it's still in good condition clean her out good and try it ... don't shoulder it keep it off to the side at your hip. Shouldn't be any problems. I'm from canada and they were widely used for hunting out here after the war surplus started coming in ... not so much now though. Lee-Enfields had a space allowance around the cartridge for dirt, water etc. they were made durable and stay that way. Make sure the bolt stays down too after you shoot it... some are worn and have a tendency to pop up a little. No big issue unless its too much. One thing you might notice is that your groupings won't be that great (maybe) check inside the barrel to see what the twist looks like. So many diff. companies made them during the war ... some came out great and some have one twist in the whole barrel. Doesn't change safety any just won't be accurate. And don't put steel rounds through it if you wish to keep the barrel half decent.

Ermac 07-27-2008 11:04 AM

You shouldin't have any problems with an enfield they work flawlessly.

stetson 08-01-2008 01:41 AM

I bought one at gun show just haven't had a chance to shoot it yet. It's a nice looking military rifle.I have M1 carbine,mauser k98,enfield and springfield
left to buy.I have no interest in Japanese as they are poorly built.

Dcomf 10-10-2008 12:08 AM


Originally Posted by stetson (Post 34383)
I have no interest in Japanese as they are poorly built.

They may be short on cosmetic features but are not necessarily poorly built. The action whether the 99 or 38, as most here already know, is nearly indestructible. As Ackley mentioned:

"The design of the receiver appears to be in some respects superior to the Springfield and Mauser from the standpoint of simplicity of machining and inletting. The receiver was not only carefully but even elaborately heat treated. Its heat treatment appears to be superior to the average Mauser, Springfield and Enfield."

CARNUT1100 10-10-2008 04:27 AM

If they are old and worn out with excessive headspace they are not terribly good, the lugs have been known to shear off and the bolt can knock out a couple of teeth....but if the headspace is ok they are one of the best rifles ever built.
My father had one for years, and the first rifle I ever fired was that SMLE, a No1 Mk3 from WW1. I was 3 and Dad took the projectile out and some of the cordite and made a low power blank for me to fire. It started me on shooting......

I have a No1 Mk1 that was converted after WW2 by the Australian small arms government factory into a .22 Hornet sporter. The original stock was reprofiled, the charger ears ground off, and the original sights recalibrated.
I love it greatly.

Northwoods 10-10-2008 05:20 PM

Enfields are great! I used to carry M1 Carbines in the woods all the time because they were a great little "super" .22 plinking gun. Ammo was cheap, too. Those days are long gone, sadly, and now the M1 Carbine is "collectable" so it doesn't get to go outside anymore for walks in the woods (they're worth so much now people will kill yo to steal it!?!).

Enfield No.5's are my new woods plinking rifle and they are great! Short, handy and accurate when properly tightened and maintained.

Be sure to check the big buttstock screw that attaches the buttstock to the receiver. it is in the buttstock under the buttplate (BIG screw). If that is loose you get the wandering zero. Also check the barrel fit in the forestock wood.

There are lots of discussion groups and info on the web. They are great guns, no matter what Mark (Mk) or Number (No.).

Except Ishapore guns; not my "cup of tea".

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