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308 Enfield

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Hamish View Drop Down
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    Posted: January 06 2017 at 4:39am
Hi everyone, I am new to this forum so hope you will bear with me. Firstly I would like wish everyone a Happy New Year. I have joined this forum in the hope that maybe one of you more informed members can throw some light on my Enfied 308 Rifle as to rough age and any info that would help give it an identity of sorts.
Reading from side of receiver  is as follows U.S Property  No 4  MK1/3 (F)FTR/53.97C1378.
Any info be gratefully received.
Rgards 
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Pedro View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pedro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 06 2017 at 5:49pm
I do not purport to be any kind of expert, so please correct me if I am mistaken anywhere here, anybody.
 
This rifle started life as a Lee Enfield No4 Mk1. It has then been returned to the Royal Ordnance factory at Fazackerley (F) to be serviced/upgraded (FTR) to Mk1/3, which I believe happened to Mk1* rifles. I think the 53 refers to the year that this happened (These upgrades took place between 1952 and 54). The "US Property" marking was put on rifles manufactured in the US under the lend-lease programme in WW2, where these rifles (amongst a pile of other military hardware) were made for British and Commonwealth forces to supplement the British factories which at the time were struggling to meet demands and were the subject of Luftwaffe attention.
 
Sometime after being sold away from the military, it has obviously undergone "sporterisation", where basically it's been altered for use as a stalking rifle, which is perhaps what your use for it is. This has meant, apart from the action, pretty well all parts have been changed, including the woodwork, barrel and magazine. As well as it's conversion to .308 from .303. As with most stalking rifles, it sports a scope and bipod. I can't tell you anything about who made any alterations post-military, but just looking at it from your posted picture, it looks to be pretty good.
 
Hope that is of some interest.
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Tony View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tony Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 07 2017 at 1:16am
A lot of the enfields were sporterised by the likes of Alf Parker in the 50s and sixties. Be careful with commercial loads as they generate massive pressures over the standard 303 load and are likely to blow the action. For target shooting use Radway green milsurp NATO rounds if you want to use the 308 for deer and reload have a look at the VhitaVuori load data on line and compare the 303 and 308 loads http://www.vihtavuori.com/en/reloading-data/rifle-reloading/-303-british.html and http://www.vihtavuori.com/en/reloading-data/rifle-reloading/-308-winchester.html. Start at the lowest and watch out for pressure signs. As a rough guide I use 40 grains of Vv N135 behind a 150 grain sierra spbt in my Remmington 700 308. The enfield 303 uses 40 grains of VV 133 behind a 150grain spbt. If you want any more info feel free to pm me.
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Hamish View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hamish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 07 2017 at 2:46am
Thank you very much for your information, very much appreciated and very interesting.
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Hamish View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hamish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 07 2017 at 2:54am
Many thanks for your valuable information, of which I was totally unaware of.
Certainly food for thought, I don't use it any where near as much as I use to mainly due to health. In fact it will probably go on the market eventually, any idea of its value ?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 07 2017 at 9:51am
All I can add is that it was originally made by Savage Arms in the USA at the factory in Chicopee MA, as a No4 Mk1*. You can verify this by the "C" in the serial number, which is an indication. The presence of several Stylized upper case "S" stamps that look a bit like the #5 & the method of bolt release. It should be a cut in the rail about 3.4 of the way forward.
No4 Mk1's became 1/2 after the upgrade & Mk1* became a 1/3.

It may have 2-groove rifling & if so may not like boat tailed bullets.

I can't really comment on value in the UK,as I'm on the other side of the Atlantic, but here it would be pretty low as most want "original" configuration as a collectable.


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Pedro View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pedro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 07 2017 at 3:42pm
As to value, again, I don't purport to be any sort of expert. An original, fair condition No.4 would start at around £400, moving up the scale depending on condition or rarity to around about £1000 for something really special. Most No4's seem to be advertised at around £500.
 
The problem with a sporterised rifle is that it was done to cater for a post-war market at the time. That being supplying relatively cheap stalking rifles from an excess of unwanted ex-military rifles at a time when austerity was king. Many found their way to Scotland where they were used to good effect on red deer and incidentally a lot were used in Australia for a similar purpose. The farmers there had a good rifle they could chuck into the pickup to deal with the dingoes they came across that were taking their stock. I think quite a few Canadian guns went down a similar line too.
 
But, in today's market people who want a stalking rifle have a good choice of more modern hardware to choose from and generally have the disposable income to go with it. Regrettably I fear that the only thing going for your example will be price, which will probably be in the region of a couple of hundred quid. I suspect that if you were to take it to many firearms dealers, you'd be lucky to get an offer. If you do intend to move it on, I hope you prove me wrong.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote A square 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 07 2017 at 8:16pm
what shamu said - this started life as a 303 savage no4 mkI* - thus the conversion to mk2 by the designation of mkI*/3 , im not at all sure who converted it to a 308 tho .........there were a couple companies doing it - i know charnwood did some but i think they changed the nomenclature and scrubbed the old markings , 

as to value - as pedro says its in the eye of the buyer , the original rifles are easier for us collectors to fix a value on with good photos and some research , but once altered - its anyones guess what a willing buyer and willing seller will settle on , these "hunting" rifles or "shooting" rifles are way out of my area of interest and i cannot speculate 

BTW - welcome to the site , glad to have you join us , sorry , should have said that up front , 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tony Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 08 2017 at 9:37am
I purchased a Parker Hale sporterised scoped 303 a couple of years ago for £300, I imagine the 308 would go for a similar price. It's a buyers market, as Pedro says there are lots of good quality second hand rifles with well known brand names on the market and many folks will look at them first.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Moondog55 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 29 2017 at 7:53pm
I have a 308 conversion, military conversion tho but it is no longer anywhere near original.
Second hand when I bought it and already on it's second or third barrel by then
Started out as a Longbranch then converted to heavy barrel at some time.
Being poverty stricken and having no idea of its real value it became my Sambar rifle for many years.
It used to shoot very well but I've not fired it in a decade; I just take it out and clean it every 3 months or so
Our local rifle range became a research establishment ages ago and the private range is simply too expensive for me to use
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote A square 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 30 2017 at 7:06pm
i once owned a 308 conversion of a no4 it was done by charnwood , while it was a beautiful rifle it was very temperamental of ammo , these were commercial conversions but still remained in military look the chamber was never intended for military 762 ammo , it was strictly high end 308 , not my cup of tea - so its gone years ago , 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Moondog55 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 31 2017 at 8:40pm
Mine really only liked the boat-tail MG ammunition packed as "target" for range use but id does OK on commercial boat-tail HP in 168gr
Speaking of machine gun ammo did anybody else buy the Belgian MG ammo and try it though a #1
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