Enfield-Rifles.com Homepage
Forum Home Forum Home > Enfields > Enfield Rifles
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - 1963 No 1 MkIII* ?
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

1963 No 1 MkIII* ?

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
Message
raubvogel View Drop Down
Special Member
Special Member

Donating Member

Joined: October 01 2011
Location: Florida
Status: Offline
Points: 80
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote raubvogel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: 1963 No 1 MkIII* ?
    Posted: October 01 2011 at 7:44am
Can anyone explain me why this says 1963 and No. 1 Mk 3*? I thought the Mk 3 was not being made since the 1950s?1963 MkIII?
Back to Top
Sponsored Links


Back to Top
LE Owner View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: December 04 2009
Status: Offline
Points: 1047
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LE Owner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2011 at 8:37am
India continued to build a few SMLE rifles in .303 for use by Game wardens and police up into the early 1980's from specimens posted of by the lucky owners.
 
The .303 is still considered a military cartridge and is prohibited for civilian ownership without a special license (this may chage soon), but is used by Indian Police and other non military government agencies.
Some .303 SMLE rifles have been handed out to civilians who live in areas subject to banditry or terrorist attacks, but this is the exception.
 
Theres no way of knowing whether a late dated SMLE is built on the same Vanadium steel action as the 2A, since action bodies were produced in "runs" with many spares set aside to fill later orders or replace action bodies damaged in proof testing or in the field.
 
The SMLE was also used as a Grenade Launcher for many years after adoption of the 7.62 Cartridge because of huge stockpiles of .303 blanks and grenades that fit the old cup discharger.
 
The SMLE action is still manufactured by the Indian Ordnance factory for use in a sporting rifle chambered for a obsolete Austrian 8mm rimmed cartridge the Indians renamed as the .315. These are legal for civilian ownership , though any firearm other than .22 RF , Shotguns, or .32 handguns require a license beyond the standard civilian firearms license. It can take years or even decades to get approval for the license to obtain a firearm in a chambering on the proscribed list.
 
 
PS
IIRC rifles manufactured by India between 1950 (more or less) and beginning of 2A production in the early 60's were made from an alloy called SWES48. This alloy proved unsuited to the SMLE and so many actions failed proof tests that they dropped the oiled proof cartridge and only fired a single dry proof cartridge, so unless reproofed these would not be proofed to the previous standard.
 
I would think the composition of the SWES48 alloy was not at fault but rather that the methods used to make these actions from the previously used British Nickel Steel alloy and the differential heat treatment method to harden the resistence shoulders was not well suited to the alloy.
Since not all failed proof testing its likely that those that did pass are plenty strong enough for mil spec or factory loads, though I would not push things by using ammo that might exceed the SAAMI specs which seem to be based on the average working pressure of the MkVII cartridge at 45.400 CUP (SAAMI rounds to the nearest thousand pounds at 45,000 CUP.
Some Mk8Z ammo may exceed this pressure level, so unless the chamber pressure for a specific lot can be established I'd avoid these.
Back to Top
raubvogel View Drop Down
Special Member
Special Member

Donating Member

Joined: October 01 2011
Location: Florida
Status: Offline
Points: 80
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote raubvogel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2011 at 9:33am
Thanks for the info! Now now can I find if it is a SWES48 alloy or not?
Back to Top
LE Owner View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: December 04 2009
Status: Offline
Points: 1047
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LE Owner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2011 at 1:39pm
Originally posted by raubvogel raubvogel wrote:

Thanks for the info! Now now can I find if it is a SWES48 alloy or not?
 
I sincerly doubt that you'll ever know for sure, since they haven't published the contents and percentages of the metals in this alloy there'd be no easy way of testing to find out.
 
You might find someone with equipment or a chemical test that could tell if Vanadium was in the alloy, if so it would be the same alloy used for the 2A which would be great.
 
The contents and percentages of the British Standard Nickel Steel alloy are available, I posted these here on a thread long ago, you can run a search to find it.
 
The Nickel Steel alloy used for the SMLE is very nearly the same as used for the P-14 and M1917 rifles, perhaps a bit lower in Nickel content as theres a wider acceptable percentage requirement. Some SMLE action bodies are likely much stronger than others due to the wide allowable difference in Nickel content.
 
If theres no signs of damage or degradation to the action as is I wouldn't worry about it. If used at all any weakness would have shown up before now, and regardless of any such factors I strongly caution against exceeding SAAMI pressure limits with any SMLE rifle. These are after all old warhorses, not Remchester hotrods. Theres plenty of good ammo available for the .303, and long long as cases don't develop an internal ring due to excessive headspace the cartridge lends itself very well to reloading.
 
 
 
 
Back to Top
raubvogel View Drop Down
Special Member
Special Member

Donating Member

Joined: October 01 2011
Location: Florida
Status: Offline
Points: 80
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote raubvogel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2011 at 10:45pm
Since I am a newbie on Lee Enfieldness, but this has always been my favourite rifle since I was a little kitten, could you explain a bit on the SAAMI pressure limits? I take it is related to the amount of powder in the cartridge.

I believe I read about the excessive headspace issue and I guess I should check it out sometime.

Other odd question: this Enfield has the copper wire loops on it, which I read indicates it was a grenade launcher. Would that mean it was used either for military purposes or crowd control?

Even though it was made in India, is it considered a proper Lee Enfield?
Back to Top
LE Owner View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: December 04 2009
Status: Offline
Points: 1047
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LE Owner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 03 2011 at 12:10am
Originally posted by raubvogel raubvogel wrote:

Since I am a newbie on Lee Enfieldness, but this has always been my favourite rifle since I was a little kitten, could you explain a bit on the SAAMI pressure limits? I take it is related to the amount of powder in the cartridge.

I believe I read about the excessive headspace issue and I guess I should check it out sometime.

Other odd question: this Enfield has the copper wire loops on it, which I read indicates it was a grenade launcher. Would that mean it was used either for military purposes or crowd control?

Even though it was made in India, is it considered a proper Lee Enfield?
The British generally only used somewhat degraded rifles, marked EY for emergency use and rated safe for use with ball ammo as Grenade Launcher rifles. Sometimes these had bore damage or other issues that affected accuracy. Grenade launching could damage rifle bores rather quickly so they didn't wish to use perfectly good rifles for the purpose.
When the .303 cartridge began to become obsolete India used both EY and GL rifles, the GL was a perfectly good rifle set aside and wire wrapped for use as a grenade launcher, but not chosen because of any previous damage or accuracy issues. Many GL rifles imported here appear to have never been fired after conversion, just converted then placed in storage and never needed.
Tear gas grenades were available for use with EY and GL rifles, and rifle grenades were occasionally used by police during militant unrest and possibly strike breaking. I seem to remember a incident where Australian police used rifle grenades against communist inspired strikers in the 1920's, but I'm not sure about this. Back then use of deadly force by police in riot situations was easier to justify.
 
SAAMI pressure limits are a commercial standard, voluntary for cartridge manufacturers.
The standard average working pressure limit for the .303 is 45,000 CUP (rounded from 45,400 CUP "Copper Units of Pressure"), presures expressed in PSI "pounds per square inch" are taken using a different method, electronic rather than by piston type pressure gun. PSI limit is 49,000 PSI.
 
These are average working pressures, individual cartridges can generate slightly higher or lower pressures, called maximum deviation pressures. Theres enough of a safety margin than a few rounds out of every hundred or so exceeding the max average working pressure by a few percentage points aren't likely to cause damage to the rifle.
 
"Lee Enfield" is the type of rifle rather than a name brand. A Lee Enfield made by any arsenal is still a Lee Enfield, with the makers company name or arsenal such as BSA, or Ishapore being added on.
Lee was the American designer of the basic action type, Enfield pattern rifling is where the Enfield part comes in. Previously the Lee Metford rifle used Metford style rifling.
Back to Top
Shamu View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar
Logo Designer / Donating Member

Joined: April 25 2007
Location: MD, USA.
Status: Offline
Points: 13483
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 03 2011 at 1:55am
Excessive headspace is something to check for right away! If there really is excessive headspace it is a dangerous condition.

Now if this exact rifle has been yours since the "kitten years"Evil Smile & you've fired it all that time with no problems, this probably isn't the case. However if this is a new to you rifle, you should get it checked right away.Ouch

Having said that Lee-Enfield headspace is just the rim Don't let horror stories of blown out case shoulders freak you out, generously over-sized chambers are darn near normal on #1 rifles. It is an irritating, but not dangerous condition, don't let anyone confuse the two & mislead you.
Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
Back to Top
raubvogel View Drop Down
Special Member
Special Member

Donating Member

Joined: October 01 2011
Location: Florida
Status: Offline
Points: 80
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote raubvogel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 03 2011 at 3:21am

Are there marking to identify if it was an EY or GL rifle? And, I got the rifle this weekend. The bore at first glance did look nice but you never know. Incidentally, Here is how the beast looks like. 

I do not expect it to be any show winner, but if it is happy shooting, I will be happy. Big smile

About the headspace issue, I will try to check it sometime today; I will keep you posted. 

Back to Top
A square 10 View Drop Down
Special Member
Special Member

Donating Member

Joined: December 12 2006
Location: MN , USA
Status: Offline
Points: 11710
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote A square 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 03 2011 at 10:48am
as stated its an ishy - and a nice rifle from the looksw of it , with loving care of coarse
Back to Top
LE Owner View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: December 04 2009
Status: Offline
Points: 1047
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LE Owner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 05 2011 at 2:58am
Originally posted by raubvogel raubvogel wrote:

Are there marking to identify if it was an EY or GL rifle? And, I got the rifle this weekend. The bore at first glance did look nice but you never know. Incidentally, Here is how the beast looks like. 

I do not expect it to be any show winner, but if it is happy shooting, I will be happy. Big smile

About the headspace issue, I will try to check it sometime today; I will keep you posted. 

 
The EY marked wire wrapped rifles seem to have been a WW1 practice. From the wording of documents mentioning these It would appear that marking older worn rifles with the EY marking predated their use for grenade launching.
I'm not sure if India followed that practice, they more than likely used many WW1 surplus EY rifles at some point.
I don't have one handy so I can't tell you where to look for the EY marking, probably on the receiver ring. There are sites with detailed definitions of Enfield markings and where to look for them.
 
As for headspace, few Enfields would pass the SAAMI or earlier comercial headspace limitations for commercial sporting rifles of the day.
The Commercial standard as measured from breech face to bolt face was .064 Minimum to .068 Maximum. The military standard was .064-.074, with few if any measuring at the minimum value.
 
If headspace were over .074 I'd look for a replacement bolt head. Some will tell you that headspace doesn't matter unless you reload, but those designing and servicing these rifles thought differently.
Some milspec cartridge cases can stretch as much as .03" before seperating on the first shot, but thats not something one can depend on, and excessive head gap with such a steeply tapered chamber means increasingly less support to the case walls. Couple that with a worn chamber and bad things can happen.
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 12.01
Copyright ©2001-2018 Web Wiz Ltd.