Enfield Sporter Project

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Enfield Sporter Project

Postby klr » 17 Feb 2016 16

Did I tell you guys about the Enfield I picked up at a pawn shop a year or so ago? It had a chopped 22" barrel and missing front wood so I decided to make it a deer hunting rifle. I just finished it this week.

So here is what I did:

Ground off the charger bridge and rear sight mounts.
Made side scope mount from a piece of angle iron.
Drilled and tapped the receiver.
Trimmed the front stock.
Cut off an inch of the butt stock and made a recoil pad.
Removed front sight and recut the crown that I discovered was about .030 crooked.

In the spirit of Bubba, I tried to do things as cheaply as possible by hand. A drill press and bench grinder was as hi-tech as I got.

To get a good cheek weld I used an ammo holder with a piece of stiff foam inserted.

I offset the scope about 1/16" to be sure I had enough room for ejection. It ejects perfectly and I have plenty of room to load the mag from the top.

The scope is a Bushnell Trophy XLT 3-9x42 I got on sale with a rebate. Total cost was $54. It was made in the Philippines and is the equal of the Nikon Buckmasters I've used.

Recoil pad was made from a pair of flip flops costing $.98.

Total weight as pictured is 8.05 lbs. That includes the scope which weighs 15.11 oz.

Trigger is crisp and light, bolt throw is smooth and shorter than my short action Savage.

Total cost of everything including rifle and scope is less than $200.

Now I need to find a couple more Enfields to convert to 45-70 and 45acp.....

Here are some low-quality cell phone pics:

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Re: Enfield Sporter Project

Postby Ohio3Wheels » 17 Feb 2016 16

Nicely done. Had it to the range yet?

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Re: Enfield Sporter Project

Postby klr » 17 Feb 2016 17

Ohio3Wheels wrote: Had it to the range yet?

Make smoke


Before I slimmed it down I put two boxes of ammo through it, and it looks to be a 1.5 moa shooter. I shot one group at 100 yds to check my zero before I took it hunting and it put 4 into 1.4". Groups at my 55 yd backdoor range went from 1.1" to .6".

Now I have dies, brass, and a box of Hornady 150gr SP bullets. Load development will begin as soon as it warms up.
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Re: Enfield Sporter Project

Postby Ohio3Wheels » 17 Feb 2016 17

Know what you mean about warming up. I'm hoping to squeeze in a trip to the ODNR range at Spring Valley this week end.

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Re: Enfield Sporter Project

Postby Archer » 17 Feb 2016 18

I never managed to pick one of those up.
I'd consider it but I think the days of $80 guns and massive stocks of surplus ammo are long gone.
The last one I saw in decent shape had sold at over $500.
I'm unlikely to spend that kind of money on one when I can get a modern stronger bolt action that's as or more accurate in a round that I like more.

I did however get my two Swede Mausers at a decent price.
Wish I could run up on one that's been lightly sporterized at a similar price. There too the ones I've seen are apparently owned by folks who think they ought to be worth every penny a new Browning, Remington or Winchester brings and while they may have a point I don't think I'm going to lay down the coin for what may turn out to be somebody's failed project.
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Re: Enfield Sporter Project

Postby GasGuzzler » 17 Feb 2016 19

AWESOME

My buddy (again) had one since the '80's. One piece of wood didn't match. It never got used. He bought a synthetic sporter stock and revived(?) it. Then he decided he didn't like it. Put it all back but redid the wood to match but still look old. Passed it along. I think he paid $75 for it and sold it for $320?? That would have been 2-3 years ago.
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Re: Enfield Sporter Project

Postby Ranch Dog » 18 Feb 2016 18

Very nice rifle and thank for detailing the work. As of Monday, I'm a SMLE 303 British owner as well!

I've been looking for a SMLE rebuilt into a scout rifle for a couple of years. I've found a couple but they always have been rechambered to 308 Win but I want to work with the 303 British cartridge. The best rebuild I've seen was nearby, absolutely beautiful and done right with the XS Clifton scout mount and ghost ring. Dude changed it to a 308 Win. It was at a premium price and I would have bought it if it was a 303 British.

There are a couple of websites that I've learned to cruise for this endeavor and I put the brakes on as I was passing through the list of candidate rifles. There in front of me was a SMLE sporterized into a Remington 600 clone. I called Williams Gunsight Monday morning and talked to them about the rifle and a deal was made. Call me a freak but I do love the 600!

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Here is my Rem 600 (35 Rem) scout, I have a lot more money in it...

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The Williams guy was handling the rifle while he talked to me and said that a very good job had been done on this 18 ½" barreled rifle. I was glad to hear that the rib was steel. I have a spare Redfield Jr. IER mount, like that I use on my 35 Rem 600, and hopefully I will be able to drill and tap the forward receiver and rib so that I can use it with a scout scope. If that doesn't work out I will use a traditional, compact scope. Brass, bullets, and dies arrived today..

Oh, the guy I was talking to at Williams grew up about 8 miles from me. They are located in MI!

Oh, I paid $259 for it.
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Re: Enfield Sporter Project

Postby klr » 18 Feb 2016 19

Man, that's a nice looking Enfield! I'm not a huge fan of the vent rib, but that is a great looking stock. Once you work the action you'll see that there is no comparison to a modern economy rifle.

What bullet weight(s) are you going to use? I assume this will be a hog rifle? Cast bullets?

Can't wait to see what you cook up.

Edit - So what is the purpose of the vent rib? Cooling? Stiffen the barrel? Is it aluminum?
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Re: Enfield Sporter Project

Postby Ranch Dog » 18 Feb 2016 20

klr wrote:Man, that's a nice looking Enfield! I'm not a huge fan of the vent rib, but that is a great looking stock. Once you work the action you'll see that there is no comparison to a modern economy rifle.

I can't wait to get my grabbers on the rifle! It is enroute.

klr wrote:What bullet weight(s) are you going to use? I assume this will be a hog rifle? Cast bullets?

It will eventually a cast bullet with the Micro-Bands for tumble lubing with Ben's Liquid Lube formula. In the MidwayUSA box I received today are Hornady 174-grain RN bullets, the reviews for this bullet were very positive for the SMLE. For all my 30 caliber rifles, I'm going back and choosing my best jacketed bullet load to establish a performance expectation that I plan to match or better with cast and this rifle will be no different.

klr wrote:So what is the purpose of the vent rib? Cooling? Stiffen the barrel? Is it aluminum?

Probably just some kind of "cool" factor. My speculation with the 600 was that it a sight plain to aid aiming, to help get on the target quickly. It is something that I noticed with the open sight shooting. You can't really remove the rib on a 600 as the barrel is fitted with lugs. The 600 had a nylon rib, I replaced mine with aftermarket aluminum rib. The SMLE has a steel rib which I was glad to hear as I need it to support the scout mount.

What about you, what do you plan to doing shooting wise?
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Re: Enfield Sporter Project

Postby klr » 18 Feb 2016 20

Ranch Dog wrote:
What about you, what do you plan to doing shooting wise?


Right now I have a box of 150 JSP Hornady bullets. My rifle shot the commercial Prvi 150gr better than the 180gr bullets so I thought I'd start there. I want to get an accurate 2600fps and use it to cull deer under 300 yds.

But, after watching my son take a deer with his 30-30 @ 140Yds with a 170gr Hornady RN, I think you may be on the right track. At 2000fps the bullet expanded to a perfect mushroom and came to rest under the hide on the far side. Another 500 fps out of an Enfield should be tough on your hogs.
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