LE "Jungle Carbines", or imitations: your views.

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by Laufer, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. Laufer

    Laufer New Member

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    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?
     
  2. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    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.
     

  3. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    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)
     
  4. Gene Langston

    Gene Langston New Member

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    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.
     
  5. Laufer

    Laufer New Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2009
  6. SlamFire

    SlamFire New Member

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    LE Jungle Carbine . . . Jeez!

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

    Laufer New Member

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    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?
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2009
  8. Gene Langston

    Gene Langston New Member

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    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.
     
  9. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    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.
     
  10. Laufer

    Laufer New Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2009
  11. Hullcreature

    Hullcreature New Member

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    There were three Jungle carbines produced:\
    No 5 - Made by the British on a No. 4 Mk 1 - This was the one with the wandering zero problem. It was never corrected and before too much development went into it the SLR was issued and bye bye No. 5 - Easily identifiable by the peep sights.
    No. 6 - Made by Australia on a No. 1 Mk. III action (SMLE). - Did not have a wandering zero problem. Was not produced in mass numbers, and as a result is about as rare as hen's teeth. - Easily identified by the ramp sights and lithgow manufacturing stamps (if it didnt have Lithgow on it, then its not a No. 6)
    No. 7 - Cant remember who made it. It was a No. 4 Mk 1 in 7.62 NATO. No wandering zero on this one either. - Ishapore is probably the origin on this one. The previous poster had it 100% right on the Indian LE's, they were made a lot stronger to handle the 7.62 round. You can rebarrel an LE to 7.62 but you have to be extremely careful on what ammo you feed it. If you accidentally toss a .303 round intended for a vicars machine gun in there (identifiable by headstamp only) then you will almost certainly have a catastrophe on your hands (or your survivor's hands).

    They all had cone shaped flash hiders though, so yours might be a fake...or it could have just been replaced with something else.

    As everyone else has stated though, there are a lot of imitations out there so beware of buying one. I would highly recomend getting a few good books on LE identification and thoroughly check out the rifle you are looking at before putting money into someone's hand on it. LE's are fun to collect, shoot and will provide you with many hours of amusement just tracking down the arsenal markings and stamps if you are very interested in them. I had 86 of them at one point, all with something different and cool on them. Great old rifle in my opinion (and i know..everyone has opinions).
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2009
  12. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    Gibbs made a bunch of them. Gibbs has (had?) a good reputation.
     
  13. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    I had an orginal that looked as if some on dunked it in a vat of brown latex paint.
     
  14. Gene Langston

    Gene Langston New Member

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    They painted the finish on those and most No 4s I've seen. It's a protective finish, just no very pretty. Although mine was black, not brown.

    Gibbs converted No 1s and No 4s by cutting off the barrels. I guess they also had some No 5s as well.
     
  15. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    I think Gibbs made a 45-70 as well.
     
  16. Laufer

    Laufer New Member

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    Thanks folks.

    It was so difficult even finding an imitation for sale online (stores around Memphis never have them), that gave up, paid a little more and for the most part, bought one of the originals: "ROF (F)" # 6654, in order to know from the numerous photos what the object really looks like.
    The seller imports most of his guns/militaria from Canada and provides more than a few photos for each gun and his descriptions are quite accurate. These are the main reasons I avoided "***broker".

    It was Not an auction, and required none of those time-consuming auction games and guessing. It just seems like an unnecessary risk to find something nice and wonder whether a given bid will allow one to have the gun etc.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2009
  17. Rex in OTZ

    Rex in OTZ Active Member

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    Military style carbines?

    You want a short carbine thats fun and cheap to shoot?
    Not many places to just blast away with full house military battle rifle rounds
    I'd get a barrel & mag conversion kit for the Mauser or the Enfield and go with 7.62x39 or a .45ACP conversion, these would be more than adiquate for plinking and light hunting pluse depending on the conversion as in the .45 the use of Colt1911 mags is a pluse, the conversion of Enfields Ive seen the use of detachable 30round AK mags used.:eek: