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Laufer 03-27-2009 10:01 PM

LE "Jungle Carbines", or imitations: your views.
My interest is owning and shooting military-style rifles, and have two Minis, an SKS and two MN 44s.
Authenticity is not important, neither is accuracy (seldom shoot at paper).

Do people often own a "J.C." for a while and sell it, or mostly sell only imitations of the originals?

robocop10mm 03-27-2009 11:02 PM

The original Jungle Carbine was a .303 Lee Enfield (#5 I think). Some were converted to .308 (India, Ishapore arsenal). Ishapore made a number of them as purpose built .308 jungle carbines.

There are many "forgeries" out there as the original military variants are collectable. The "forgeries" may still be perfectly fieldable rifles they just are not as collectable.

c3shooter 03-27-2009 11:47 PM

From my admitedly LIMITED expertise on this weapon, there are MANY more "Jungle Carbines" out there than were ever made for the military. Sort of like the "Tanker" Garands.

The true carbine was found to have a "wandering zero" problem- like lightning, did not strike twice in same place- problem was traced to the lightening cuts made in sides of receiver. Most of the repros don't have those cuts.

Real thing had significant recoil, and muzzle flash.

IIRC, the Ishapores were not conversions of .303s- the Indians used better steel, slightly different action, and theirs were made from the ground up for 7.62 NATO- which is NOT .308 Winchester (close, no cigar)

Gene Langston 03-28-2009 12:19 AM

The "real" jungle carbine was the No 5, which is inscribed with an electric pencil on the left side of the action. They're ferocious muzzle-blast wise and recoil-wise if you use ball ammo. Also they're not especially accurate.

You can find them occasionally, and lots of recently manufactured ones made form No 4s or even No 1s.

Problem with Enfields now is getting replacement parts. The action stretches pretty much on schedule, and you used to be able to find extended bolt heads (Numbers 1, 2, 3) that you could put on yourself and account for case stretching. I've seen more than one No 4 stretch a case to the point of ringing just above the head, one step down from case separation. Now, the No 3 bolt heads are pretty hard to find.

I got rid of mine several years ago, never looked back with regret. It was real, and I was really serious about shooting one, I'd reload down for it. I don't know if the headspace was excessive, or what bolt face it had on it...I didn't shoot it enough to really find out.

Laufer 03-28-2009 04:44 AM

Thanks for your info. and experiences. I enjoy rugged, military-styled carbines so much more than anything else, and don't want anything else.
I only bought my rifles because some of the guns, and all the required ammo were pretty cheap, from Dec. '07 until Aug. '08.

If a case splits, are LE JCs' chambers as rugged as with my MN 44s?
Will old, cheap Pakistani ammo almost always fire, and safely after a gunsmith checks the headspace?
Being still a bit of a (middle-aged) gun novice, am curious why Paki ammo is so cheap, except for a possible corrosive factor, as with my Bulgarian 7.62x54R ammo.

Very old .22 Savage, Mini 14, 30, N. SKS and two MN 44s.

SlamFire 03-28-2009 06:19 AM

LE Jungle Carbine . . . Jeez!

I thought you were talking "Law Enforcement" and something like an H&K MP 5. :D

Laufer 03-28-2009 07:42 AM

Slamfire: Generic LEs Are used by some Indian police or army troops. We saw photos of them being handled during the terrorist raid in Mumbai.

Gene L.:
I've not had any of my rifles long enough to need a replacement part, but could a Jungle C. use most spare metal parts from any regular LE?

As for ammo, is cheap 'British ball' from Samco supposed to be much better than Pakistani, which reportedly produces a click, pause, boom?
If old British is better, then for those prices, do they have lots of it, or is something wrong with it, from storage somewhere humid or hot etc?

Gene Langston 03-28-2009 02:42 PM

I never replaced any parts, but I think most parts in the action would work. From a No 4, that is.

CAse separation is a real possibility with those heavily used rifles. I don't think many jungle carbines were heavily used, however. I've seen a few and the wood on all of them was excellent, not like the beat-up 4s.

They weren't in issue for that long....HOWEVER, I'd definitely test the thing by firing a round and then first seeing how much it stretched, and second, see if it's ringed on the inside just above the head. You can take a paper clip and bend the end into an "L" shape, feel inside the case with that. If it's ringed, you'll feel it.

c3shooter 03-28-2009 10:56 PM

Headspacing can eventually be a problem with any of the Lee-Enfield family. A fix when you run out of bigger bolt heads is to see your smith, and have the barrel set back one thread. Will work until you have to start playing musical chairs with bolt heads again.

The key to reliability of ammo is how it has been stored- cool, dry, without major temperatures up/down/up/down. The paki stuff has been stored.... well, it has been stored, and we'll leave it at that. Last box of 32 I tried had 12 no fires, and about 12 with a DECIDED time interval between firing pin striking, and rifle making loud noise. OK- that was enough of that!

I did score about a 1000 rds of Greek milsurp on strippers- it has been the best I have tried. When that is gone, my #1 and #4 may become 45-70s.

And yes, the SMLE chambers DO have gas relief ports. Be sure you have the cosmoline cleaned out of them. Pipecleaners can be a big help.

Laufer 03-29-2009 05:25 AM

Thanks a bunch.
Being sort of new with guns, will take all of your advice into account, but never see these, except for sort of a brand-new imitation, up in Gander Mt. in Saginaw, MI three days ago, listed at $600. Built by Australian Arms, it's almost identical, and it uses 7.62x39 ammo. The flash-hider is not cone shaped.

Gene L: with a plastic pad (now used only to lengthen the short SKS stock), would a .303 JC's recoil be similar to that of my MN 44?
No longer need a pad etc on my 44s.

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