Most accurate SMLE rifle?

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by Mark_Van_Goth, Jul 19, 2014.

  1. Mark_Van_Goth

    Mark_Van_Goth New Member

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    Hello all!
    I'm looking for a smle(Enfield) rifle.I need something that allows me to obtain accurate fire at 600-700 yds(tight group.).What model is the most accurate?
     
  2. hardluk1

    hardluk1 Active Member

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    "Tight group" compared to what?? What kind of grouping do you expect?? There all old well used rifle except for the Canadian rangers and those still in the Canadian military will be dumping theres this year. British made were stopped almost 60 years ago and packi and india made ishapore 308 could be the best if you can find one. made are 35 or 45 years old and quality?? Accuracy could be the luck of the draw no matter what.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2014

  3. 303tom

    303tom Well-Known Member

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    Like hardluk1 says, your best bet would be to find a good Ishapore 2A or 2A1 !..........
     
  4. Mark_Van_Goth

    Mark_Van_Goth New Member

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    What is the tightes grouping I can expect by the SMLE rifle?I mean...in terms of MOA?Lets say that the rifle was very well maintained and it is in pristine conditions.
     
  5. hardluk1

    hardluk1 Active Member

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    Go root around on you tube videos. Theres a few there that shoot out to a 1000 yards. last time I fired a smle was 36years ago and it was in nice shape and 3rd rate then modern rifles at 400 yards. It was scoped.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2014
  6. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    The SMLE family of rifles were not target rifles, but battle rifles. The acceptable standard for a rifle to be issued in the WW 1 time frame was about 4.5 MOA. Can you do better? Oh, my, yes.

    First of all, handload ammo. Slug the bore to see what diameter bullet you should be using. AFTER you clean any copper fouling that may be lurking in that barrel. Then comes accurizing- with some models, specific pressure on specific barrel points, bedding the action, checking the rifling at the crown, etc etc. With some luck and good handloads, 2 MOA should be possible.


    WHAT? (I hear screamed in the background) TWO MOA!!! yeah- like I said- a great battle rifle. The accurized No.4 sniper version does about that well. Intended to shoot minute-of-enemy at 600 yards. NOT "which eye should I hit at 1000???"

    If you are looking for 1/4 MOA, woud humbly suggest this may not be the best platform to choose for that.
     
  7. Mark_Van_Goth

    Mark_Van_Goth New Member

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    Nice.Thanks for the infos.I don't know the enfield platform very well, even if I had handled some of them.I'm looking for a custom sniper rifle.Usually I would opt for a Mauser action, but this time I want something different-faster.And I would like to take a classic war horse and bring it to modern standards.Am I crazy? Maybe yes, but I trully believe that the old-school still rocks and can be still used.
     
  8. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    Is this an exercise in striving for improving accuracy in collectable C&Rs?

    Or are you just looking for an inexpensive, accurate, bolt-action?

    Because the collectible bolt-actions are getting more expensive, even with

    iron sights only. Savage, Marlin, Ruger, and Remington are all making

    less expensive NEW rifles than a good SMLE, and they are all pre-drilled for

    modern scope mounts.

    Most are rated at 1 MOA or close to it.
     
  9. TLuker

    TLuker New Member

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    Get the book "Complete Book on Lee Enfield Accurizing". It will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about setting up a Lee Enfield and then some including differences between models. There are things in that book you will never figure out on your own.

    They are great rifles and one in good shape has a lot of potential on accuracy. The best deer rifle I've ever owned is a No.4. I killed my first deer with that gun and many many more after that. I've pretty much retired it now due to age but I will pick up another one at some point. And every once in a while you can run across an unissued 2A still packed in cosmoline (sp?). :)
     
  10. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    If I were going to do this,(and I'm not any time soon)

    I'd be looking for the model chambered in 30.06,

    the American manufactured M1917 Enfield, which is

    rumored to be somewhat more accurate. It would

    probably also be easier reloading, to work up accurate

    loads for 30.06.

    But good luck, whatever you do.
     
  11. hairbear1

    hairbear1 Member

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    2 MOA is about what I get with my Mk3 No.1 1945 SMLE with a Heavy barrel. This was set up for range work by it's previous owner who never really looked after it and it needed a lot of TLC to get it into shape.

    However after mucking around with loads I finally came up with 45gns of AR2209(Aussie powder = W760,H4350) and 180gn Sierra Prohunter and it will shoot around 2" at 100yds off the bench with open sights if I do my bit. The battle sights on mine are graduated out to 2000yds for harassing fire.

    There was a sniper's version of the SMLE that was topped off with a T32 'scope but to find 1 of these with matching serial numbers in pristine condition will cost you an arm and a leg.

    Another good SMLE to buy if your after something that'll go well on pigs,Deer,goats is the .303 Jungle Carbine a shortened version of the stock SMLE but with the 10 shot mag makes it a real deal thing for bombing up mobs of pigs.
     
  12. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    the biggest issue with wringing out accuracy from any rifle that uses .311 bullets is there are no good or even decent .311 modern bullets.

    closest you get is stuff from prvi partizan and occasionally hornady makes a run of .311 match for handloaders but they havent since the ammo crunch with 22lr started.

    so even if you handload and happen across the most accurate smle ever made your going to be shackled to rather not so good bullets
     
  13. trigger643

    trigger643 New Member

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    Perhaps the most accurate SMLE was the final British iteration; the L42A1. These continued into service into the early 1970's as a primary sniping rifle. They are chambered in 7.62 NATO. They are rare in this country and fetch a premium when one comes up for sale. One sold recently at live auction on icollector complete with it's transit chest and all accessories for over $4,000.

    Here is an L42A1 (foreground), complete with transit chest and accessories. It is shown with an SMLE #4 MK1(T) from WW2.

    [​IMG]


    Here is a 0.65 MOA group from the L42A1 shown above fired at 200 meters. In capable hands the rifle should represent itself well out to 1,000 yards.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Mark_Van_Goth

    Mark_Van_Goth New Member

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    Thanks therewolf.
    As I sad, I want something between a target rifle and a sniper rifle.
    I have several Mausers, but this time I would like to have something different.Something that can compete with Mauser's reliability and smoothness but is faster.

    Mauser action PROs
    -Reliable(Even if very dirty, it will still work)
    -Easy to operate(Even the greatest idiot can learn how to operate it in 5 mins)
    -Extremely safe to operate(thanks to the 3 locking lugs and the gas holes on the bolt)
    -Almost impossible to jam or to experience a malfunction
    -Durable
    -Good for powerful ammo

    Mauser action CONTROs
    -Slow if compared to other actions(90 degrees bolt rotation)
    -The flag-like safety is not the best(slow to engage/disengage), especially when optics are mounted on the rigle
    -Internal mag with only 5 round capacity(Ok the majority of later bolt action rifles have retained this feature).Detachable box mag would be much better.
    -Impossibility to load a round directly into the chamber(Because of the extractor)

    SMLE action PROs
    -Very fast action(If I'm not wrong,55 degrees.20+ rounds per minute)
    -Detachable mag, 10 round mag capacity loadable with stripper clips.
    -Relativerly easy to operate.
    -Nice safety

    SMLE action CONTROs
    -Needs more maintenance, several parts has to be substituted in case of regular or heavy usage.
    -Non suitable for heavy loads(Powerful ammo)
    -It require more practice to learn how to operate and maintain it.
    -The durability is not the best.


    What I want to do is to have a SMLE-action rifle that can guarantee 2 MOA at 600+ yds.
     
  15. TLuker

    TLuker New Member

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    Two gorgeous rifles there!!!!!! Thanks for posting the pics. :)
     
  16. 303tom

    303tom Well-Known Member

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    Everything you said there is WRONG !.................
     
  17. TLuker

    TLuker New Member

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    Being that MOA is related to angle the distance is irrelevant. 2 MOA is 2 MOA no matter the distance and if you calculate the MOA it is going to get worse at long distances because of external factors like wind rather than the action.

    2 MOA shouldn't be any problem after a little tweaking. I have a worn out old sporterized Long Branch No.4 that shoots less than 2 MOA with factory ammo. With reloads it's right at 1 MOA and that's with a very very worn barrel. These rifles have the potential to shoot really good groups, and it is an absolute pleasure shooting them. They have the smoothest bolts I've ever cycled. :)
     
  18. hairbear1

    hairbear1 Member

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    Totally agree.

    The .303 can in the hands of an expert user empty a mag in something like 10 seconds or less.
    There is little difference between the Mauser and the SMLE in battlefield performances only place the SMLE really has it over the Mauser is the bigger mag capacity.

    Also you can use a SMLE action in a .404 Jeffery if you want to go down that path not exactly a "weak" action.

    My M98 action 30/06AI has the Mauser safety with a scope mounted and I've had no trouble using the safety on it.
     
  19. Mark_Van_Goth

    Mark_Van_Goth New Member

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    Ok...I'll reply to both of you with a single post.
    How many people can empty a SMLE mag in 10 seconds or less during rapid fire(that means that the operator has to shoot ACCURATELY as fasy as he can)?Sure, you can empty it in 10- secs, the question is what you're going to hit in this way.
    What action is known to be the strongest between the the two?Mauser.They built anti-tank rifles with it, something "a little stronger" than the .404(And I'm not going to mention all the other ammos that is stronger than the .404).If there are other points you don't agree with, please let me know.
    Little differences between the two?We are talking about two different animals.Each action has it + and -.The Mauser is better in terms of accuracy, safety and solidity.But it cannot compete with the SMLE in terms of rate of fire, mag capacity.This is the only real advantage(a very important one) of the enfield over the Mauser.Another example:How many Mausers do you know of where the bolt/ replacement was needed because they weren't working well(Let's say that the bolt wasn' locking properly or was too deformed to be used)?Not many.Maybe not a single case.How many SMLEs?All those that has seen extended use.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2014
  20. Trez

    Trez Well-Known Member

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    You want a P14 or M1917... Its the Enfield with a Mauser action... :)