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Can I desporterize this No. 1 Mk. 3?

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Saxon View Drop Down
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    Posted: August 25 2014 at 9:45am
Hi y'all, I'm new here. I recently purchased this No. 1 Mark 3 sporter from my Grandmother (rifle belonged to my late Grandfather). My Grandfather picked it up while stationed in Europe, I'm pretty sure it was purchased as a sporter already.



It was made by BSA in 1918, I assume that it is a Mk 3* because there is no magazine limiter, but there is no star stamp.



These are the markings from the right side of the barrel breach.

ENGLAND       
    K (don't know what K means)
57863       

I assume that the NP stands for Nitro Proofing?
There appears to be a 18 + Tons stamp with a K stamped over the top. Serial number matches.



This image shows a U on the bolt head, what does that mean?



This image shows the rear sight, I don't know if its part of an original or an aftermarket sight.



This is the front sight, again I don't know whether it is original or an aftermarket.

I cant tell whether the barrel has been cut or not, but the rifle appears to be short by two or three inches. Anyway, I would love to rescue this thing and restore it to its former glory but I have no idea what I need to do so. Any help will be appreciated.

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Saxon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Saxon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 27 2014 at 12:27am
If any more pictures are requested, just ask.
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Zed View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 27 2014 at 4:53am
Hi and welcome ! There are many people who can help you more than I can, but more pictures would be a good idea. The complete rifle etc.
The front sight looks of original type to me, and the rear sight is not. 
I believe the "K" to be just the prefix of the serial number. 
The ENGLAND is the import mark to USA I believe, others will confirm that as to the date it was introduced.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bear43 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 27 2014 at 5:37am
The ENGLAND is an early form of import mark, prior to 1968. That front sight is original style but I can see it has been modified. We need to see at least a picture showing the entire barrel, but it does look to be shortened which would mean a rebarrel by a gunsmith very knowledgeable with these rifles. Honestly, I think I would keep it as is just because of the family heritage. You can always easily find a No 1 Mk III* still in military configuration if you so desire.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 27 2014 at 5:38am
It is a BSA made (in 1918? the date isn't real clear) SMLE. (Marked by Beezer as SHTle)
Front sight looks original, rear sight doesn't.
Easy way to check barrel length:
Unload & confirm it is empty.
Close & lock the bolt on an empty chamber.
Apply the safety.
Slide a cleaning rod (or 1/4" dowel) in from the muzzle end til it touches the bolt face.
Mark the point where it exits the muzzle.
remove the rod & measure the length from the mark to the end.
If its 25.2 in (640 mm) then it has not been cut.

"ENGLAND" is indeed a pre 1968 U.S. Import mark. After '68 they needed a name & address as well as the country.

The ".303", "2.22" & "18 tons" are the proof ratings, normal for a .303. the "NP" is a civilian proof done after it was released from military service. (required by British law)

Pictures of the whole thing, the top of the bolt area & the bolt & cocking piece itself would be a big help as many were modified in these areas during sporterising.

Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Homer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 27 2014 at 9:56am
G'day Saxon. I'd be more inclined to leave dear ol Grandads rifle as is mate. I've never been big on spending a whole lot of money on mismatched put togethers unless its something of a rarish nature. I can understand why people do though, and that's fine, It's just my view. Do you want a full wood? Would it be your first? Might be nice to just keep pops rifle as he had it and look for a nice original example. Good ones keep going up in price so consider it a solid investment.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SW28fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 27 2014 at 10:51am
The barrel Looks to be full length they didn't protrude much beyond the front sight. The absence of the magazine cut off does not mean much it could have been removed during the sorter process. So it is restorable. Here is a link to schematic provided by Numrich they should have most of what you need:
https://www.gunpartscorp.com/Manufacturers/SMLEAlsoSeeEnfield-33496/No1MKIII-42039/PartsList-37597.htm

Springfield Sporters and Liberty Tree Collectors should be able to provide any other needed bits and bobs

http://ssporters.com/

https://www.libertytreecollectors.com/productcart/pc/ltc-default.asp
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Saxon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 27 2014 at 3:03pm
Oh ok, I guess that means that my Grandfather must have bought this in the US then. I'll try to get some more pictures up later. Thanks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Saxon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 27 2014 at 3:21pm
Originally posted by Homer Homer wrote:

G'day Saxon. I'd be more inclined to leave dear ol Grandads rifle as is mate. I've never been big on spending a whole lot of money on mismatched put togethers unless its something of a rarish nature. I can understand why people do though, and that's fine, It's just my view. Do you want a full wood? Would it be your first? Might be nice to just keep pops rifle as he had it and look for a nice original example. Good ones keep going up in price so consider it a solid investment.


Howdy there Homer, This is indeed my first Enfield. If at all possible, I would prefer to restore this rifle because I don't like sporters. I would prefer to make this rifle into a full-fledged Mk 3* and take pride in rescuing my Grandfathers rifle, otherwise I'll probably never use or display it. I'm not concerned about mismatched serial numbers either, as long as the weapon functions as it should. If I can rebuild it, then I certainly wont sell it. I've thought about buying an unaltered orginal, but a restored Mark 3 Frankenfield would mean much more to me than any original.

But perhaps I'm just stubborn
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 27 2014 at 3:46pm
Barrel is ok... rear sight block is not the correct pattern, so will require changing. The magazine cut-off as of 1916 became an option in reference to fitting or not.

This SMLE is good to go for de-sporterizing.
This is MY rifle, there are many like, but this one... is MINE!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 28 2014 at 1:41am
The bits are out there so good luck with the restoration. It should shoot better with the full wood than as a sporter. It's an essential part for steadying the barrel. Does need careful fitting though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Homer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 28 2014 at 5:32am
Originally posted by Saxon Saxon wrote:

Originally posted by Homer Homer wrote:

G'day Saxon. I'd be more inclined to leave dear ol Grandads rifle as is mate. I've never been big on spending a whole lot of money on mismatched put togethers unless its something of a rarish nature. I can understand why people do though, and that's fine, It's just my view. Do you want a full wood? Would it be your first? Might be nice to just keep pops rifle as he had it and look for a nice original example. Good ones keep going up in price so consider it a solid investment.


Howdy there Homer, This is indeed my first Enfield. If at all possible, I would prefer to restore this rifle because I don't like sporters. I would prefer to make this rifle into a full-fledged Mk 3* and take pride in rescuing my Grandfathers rifle, otherwise I'll probably never use or display it. I'm not concerned about mismatched serial numbers either, as long as the weapon functions as it should. If I can rebuild it, then I certainly wont sell it. I've thought about buying an unaltered orginal, but a restored Mark 3 Frankenfield would mean much more to me than any original.

But perhaps I'm just stubborn


The bits you need are certainly out there. Good luck with it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Saxon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2014 at 4:27am
Alright Y'all, I've been busy but I finally got around to measuring the barrel with the method described by Shamu. My barrel is approximately 23 and 7/8ths inch long, which leads me to two questions. One, why is my barrel only short by less than 1.5 inches? Two, is this significant enough to require a new barrel, or can I still fit all the furniture and bells and whistles properly?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bear43 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2014 at 6:47am
Well, your barrel has definitely been shortened and as far as knowing why it was done by 1.5", you would have to ask the person that had it done. Many times it was done in an attempt to save a little weight, but who knows for sure what the reasoning was. Now, that barrel is too short for the normal military forend since the original wood will go clear up to about the middle of the front sight base on the full length barrel. However, I have seen people cut back a military forend to fit it to a shortened barrel. It looks a little strange at first, but is actually kind of neat if it is done well. So, it can be done should you desire to do that. It just takes careful woodwork. Bear in mind you would also have to shorten the front handguard, but again it is doable.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2014 at 10:12pm
I'd guess the muzzle was cord worn from improper use of a pull through & chopped down to a point where the bore was no longer out of round.
We'll never know for sure, but that's a fairly typical reason for bobbing an Enfield.
Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Saxon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 07 2014 at 1:54am
I've been reading about Criterion getting into the Enfield barrel business, I would love to have a new barrel that is chrome-lined, that should allow for much easier maintenance in my climate. Are there any other chrome-lined No. 1 barrels out there?
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