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7.62 Lee Enfield Envoy

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Goosic View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2022 at 10:04am
@britrifles: There is an Armory here in the Metropolitan Phoenix area that does Proof Testing using the Piezo Scale. They also have an ancient Copper Crusher test stand that they can use but its more of a museum piece. As a Sidenote; They also have an authentic Enfield Rifle Rest on display.
I took my Canadian Arsenal 7.62mm barrel to them to see if the 22.3 Ton proof stamp matched or exceeded that number. Their test did confirm the 22.3 Ton proof stamp. During the testing I asked if there was a formula/conversion table for CUP to PSI and vise versa. There is and it was shared to me. The OP mentioned his concerns and I gave him honest and viable answers to those concerns based off of my knowledge that was shared to me by a very highly rated testing facility. While you will agree to disagree with me on this topic, the fact remains that, what I offered is valid and validated by the above mentioned testing facility. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2022 at 11:41am
I believe that the Enfield Envoy was supplied for one of the Palma Match competitions in the early seventies: using the 144 grain round. Maybe "Strangely Brown" can fill in the details Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Strangely Brown Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2022 at 12:39pm
Originally posted by Zed Zed wrote:

I believe that the Enfield Envoy was supplied for one of the Palma Match competitions in the early seventies: using the 144 grain round. Maybe "Strangely Brown" can fill in the details Wink

Zed, my overriding memory of Palma Enfield's is being regularly beaten by a chap called Keith Brewer  at our long range shoots at 800x & 900x yards.
My other memory of Keith is actually his Welsh Springer Spaniel called Jeeves who regardless of what he was tied to would manage to crawl onto the firing point usually with a large heavy range bag tied to his lead so he could be next to Keith. 

All of the 1970 Palma Envoys were set up and regulated by Fultons who hold the list of the serial numbers supplied and to whom. 
The ammunition issued in 1970 was the usual fare from Radway Green (RG) for the match and all the rifles were specially inscribed for the meeting.
One small reminiscence of the period came to me via the curator of the NRA museum at Bisley some ten years ago; he said that in the early 1970's a trip was organised for some well known UK shooters to visit the Ruafoss factory in Norway, on leaving the factory they were presented with a box of Ruafoss 7.62mm target ammunition which was evenly divided up on their return. Ted Molyneux the curator of the NRA museum, (sadly died of covid last year aged 91) said that the Raufoss was a revelation and they didn't realise how crap the RG ammunition was up until that point! 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2022 at 1:24pm
Originally posted by Goosic Goosic wrote:

@britrifles: There is an Armory here in the Metropolitan Phoenix area that does Proof Testing using the Piezo Scale. They also have an ancient Copper Crusher test stand that they can use but its more of a museum piece. As a Sidenote; They also have an authentic Enfield Rifle Rest on display.
I took my Canadian Arsenal 7.62mm barrel to them to see if the 22.3 Ton proof stamp matched or exceeded that number. Their test did confirm the 22.3 Ton proof stamp. During the testing I asked if there was a formula/conversion table for CUP to PSI and vise versa. There is and it was shared to me. The OP mentioned his concerns and I gave him honest and viable answers to those concerns based off of my knowledge that was shared to me by a very highly rated testing facility. While you will agree to disagree with me on this topic, the fact remains that, what I offered is valid and validated by the above mentioned testing facility. 

I don’t see anything here that I disagree with Goosic.  Although I’m not sure I understand what you mean by the armory “did confirm the 22.3 Ton proof stamp”.  I assume it means that they looked at it and understood what it meant.  

There is indeed an empirical relationship between Radial Copper Crusher method and the Piezo Peak Pressure method.  The formula is an approximation that minimizes the errors in the conversion formula throughout the typical range of cartridge pressures.  

I’ve not seen any similar empirical formula for the British Axial (Cartridge Base) copper crusher method however.  If you know of one, please share it. 

What is quite nice about the British Base Pressure method is that it does not require the barrel chamber to be drilled for the insertion of the piston to obtain the pressure measurement.  




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2022 at 3:38am
Originally posted by Strangely Brown Strangely Brown wrote:

Originally posted by Zed Zed wrote:

I believe that the Enfield Envoy was supplied for one of the Palma Match competitions in the early seventies: using the 144 grain round. Maybe "Strangely Brown" can fill in the details Wink

One small reminiscence of the period came to me via the curator of the NRA museum at Bisley some ten years ago; he said that in the early 1970's a trip was organised for some well known UK shooters to visit the Ruafoss factory in Norway, on leaving the factory they were presented with a box of Ruafoss 7.62mm target ammunition which was evenly divided up on their return. Ted Molyneux the curator of the NRA museum, (sadly died of covid last year aged 91) said that the Raufoss was a revelation and they didn't realise how crap the RG ammunition was up until that point! 




I believe the accuracy problems that occurred from the time of the first 7.62 conversions which lead to the heavy barrel TR was actually caused by the poor quality of the 7.62 ball ammunition.  The same thing happened in Canada.  Perhaps the ammo was being made on worn out WWII machinery.  

In the late 1960’s, the UK NRA experimented with stiffening the No. 4 actions converted to 7.62 by brazing on a steel strap.  Maj. E.G.B Reynolds wrote several articles on it.  Various Fore-end bedding methods were tried.  The rifle just would not hold a group, particularly at the shorter ranges.  In frustration, this lead to a trial with use of Kongsberg made 4 lb barrels, and very satisfactory accuracy was obtained when using Raufoss ammunition. The rest is history…

There are several of us on the forum who have got the No. 4 7.62 Conversions with service weight barrels to shoot quite well, perhaps a bit better than the .303, using handloads.  

I think part of the reason it took so long to recognize that it was the ammunition causing poor accuracy (vertical stringing) is very few competative shooters hand loaded ammunition for service rifle shooting at that time.  Ammunition was issued at matches.

 One of the 7.62 Conversion rifles I have belonged to DCRA shooter on the Bisley Team who was a good friend of my Dads.  He participated in some of the DCRA and Bisley trials that evaluated the conversions.  I’ve got his notebook.  In the final version he worked on in 1967 the entire fore-end from chamber to muzzle was filled with glass fibre, presumably with a poly resin.  He has pages of notes experimenting with different bedding methods in an attempt to get the rifle to shoot.  Never once questioning if the ammunition could have been the problem.  I have some of the ammunition he was using at the time, and found that powder charges varied by as much as 3 grains!  No wonder it would string groups vertically!  I re-metered the powder charges and re-seated the bullets and it shot nearly as good as my match loads with the 168 gr SMK. 




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Strangely Brown Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2022 at 4:15am
Originally posted by britrifles britrifles wrote:

In the late 1960’s, the UK NRA experimented with stiffening the No. 4 actions converted to 7.62 by brazing on a steel strap.  Maj. E.G.B Reynolds wrote several articles on it.  Various Fore-end bedding methods were tried.  

I think part of the reason it took so long to recognize that it was the ammunition causing poor accuracy (vertical stringing) is very few competative shooters hand loaded ammunition for service rifle shooting at that time.  Ammunition was issued at matches.

There's very little I can add to your analysis of this which I would agree 100%; No.4 actions still turn up in the UK with the steel "stiffening" bar still attached. This work was carried out by Walter Magnay (Queens Prize Winner Bisley 1976) for and on behalf of Robin Fulton. (GE Fultons & Son Bisley Camp) 
Robin Fulton like his forebears had been experimenting with Mausers and Enfield actions since leaving the services after the second world war, I recall being shown one technical drawing of his for a 7.62mm action dated 1958 so he was clearly on the case knowing that the days of .303 at Bisley were numbered. 
It would appear from those people that have had the opportunity to test fire these "stiffened" actions that no increase in discernible accuracy has been detected and the majority of the actions have had the stiffening bar removed. 

Regarding reloading; yes the UK was well behind the USA when it came to making our own...except for the those who shot the Match Rifle discipline between the inter war years. These people usually comprised of the upper echelons of society, either being titled or of military rank and had the blessing of the War Office and ICI (Imperial Chemical Industries) in their strive to add accuracy to the MkVII .303 bullet. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2022 at 4:19am
It is interesting that you mentioned the name Raufoss. I have been researching three bullets made by Lapua to use in my 7.62mm Enfield. The Scenar, the D46, and the Lock Base. I have been using the D166 which is the big brother to the D46 in my No4Mk1/2. I have also been working on reloading data for my 303B rifles, my 308 rifles and my .243W using VihtaVuori N540. Raufoss, Lapua, and VihtaVuori are all part of the Nammo Group.
Nammo Defense Systems in partnership with VihtaVuori has their headquarters just east of me in Mesa Arizona along with Lapua and their RimFire Division...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Strangely Brown Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2022 at 4:27am
Originally posted by Goosic Goosic wrote:

Nammo Defense Systems in partnership with VihtaVuori has their headquarters just east of me in Mesa Arizona along with Lapua and their RimFire Division...

That's very interesting to know; in the UK we don't have a fraction of the choice of powders that you have in the US; hence VihtaVuori has become the main choice of powder along with Sierra Match Kings in much the same way we pair gin & tonic together! 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 17 2022 at 5:05am
Strangely Brown, that’s great info you posted, and it does fill in a few gaps in the story.

Fulton’s we’re no doubt a first class rifle builder.  I have a No. 4 Long Branch that they built (Regulated for SR(b) shooting) in the early 1960’s.  They installed a new BSA 5 groove barrel and that rifle still shoots incredibly good after more than 10,000 rounds.  This rifle was ordered by a shooting competitor friend of my Dads who was on the DCRA team to Bisley for the 1963 meeting but it wasn’t ready on time.  He brought it back with him and never fired the rifle. 

I really would like to get a L39 or Envoy with a good barrel.  I’ve heard that these rifles are not worth much in the UK.  


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Strangely Brown Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 17 2022 at 5:29am
Originally posted by britrifles britrifles wrote:

I really would like to get a L39 or Envoy with a good barrel.  I’ve heard that these rifles are not worth much in the UK.

Britrifles, sadly true! 

My last (and best) L39 was sold by a dealer in the UK last year fetching a very respectable £975 ($1273) with both the original No.4 butt and the No.8 butt I had been shooting it with. However "ordinary" examples of L39's have been seen to fetch as little as £600~£700 in recent times.

When it comes to the more interesting rifles like the Whitaker Specials, of which only about 50 survive out of 117 the value of them is typically about £500 ($650) and lower at some auctions!

When it comes to No.4 actions re-barrelled with the Enfield conversion kits sold back in the early 1970's then the rifles tend to hold the value of the sights only, I have seen a number of these rifles sold for as little as £200 ~ £300. In fact many rifles are bought and scrapped for the sights alone with everything else going into parts bins.
Unless you are an RFD (registered firearms dealer) in the UK the cost of holding onto surplus firearms and parts is prohibitive. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Strangely Brown Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 17 2022 at 6:53am
Originally posted by britrifles britrifles wrote:

Fulton’s we’re no doubt a first class rifle builder.  I have a No. 4 Long Branch that they built (Regulated for SR(b) shooting) in the early 1960’s.  They installed a new BSA 5 groove barrel and that rifle still shoots incredibly good after more than 10,000 rounds.  This rifle was ordered by a shooting competitor friend of my Dads who was on the DCRA team to Bisley for the 1963 meeting but it wasn’t ready on time.  He brought it back with him and never fired the rifle.

When I retired in 2016 one of the first things I did with my pension pot was to get Fultons to build me a .303 No.4 SR"b". 
I specified a Long Branch action because my mothers sister had married a Canadian during the war and one of her offspring now lives in long Branch! Aside from that the finish is infinitely better than the majority of UK No.4 wartime actions.
Most of the furniture was new apart from the bottom fore end and the barrel is a Criterion made one; it is without doubt my rifle of choice these days, I would however like a DCRA pattern 7.62mm to go with it!        
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 17 2022 at 10:18am
Mick, I would like to hear how well your LB No. 4 with Criterion barrel shoots.  I have a new Criterion and Lothar Walther barrel on hand I will use one of these once the BSA barrel is shot out, which I suspect is on the verge of doing so.  It typically seems to show up at longer ranges first.  

I was looking over the results of the 1967 Palma Matches which were shot at Connaught ranges west of Ottawa.  No. 4 7.62 Conversions were used, with Long Branch made and installed barrels of service weight and rifles prepped by Canadian armorers, fore-ends “Center” bedded.  Canadian Service 7.62 ball ammunition made by CIL was used, which performed quite well, and would have been from a selected lot based on accuracy testing.  A 147 gr boat tail bullet loaded to 2800 fps from the 25 inch barrel. 

The total scores from the three 20 shooter teams (Canada, GB and USA) were remarkably close, only 11 points separating the first and last place teams (from a “possible score of 4,500 points). These were fired on Bisley Long Range targets in use at that time: a 30 inch Bull (Bull score was a 5), Inner ring was 54 inches for a score of 4, Magpie 84 inches for a score of 3.  

The average of the 45 shots taken from all shooters from the three ranges (800, 900 and 1000 yds) was 4.6, which is quite good considering the size of the bull (3 Minutes) service weight barrels and service ammunition.  And this was in 15 to 20 mph cross winds (range faces North and prevailing winds out of the west). 

Having these match results published is very useful, it gives us a standard to judge our own shooting to. 

Geoff





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Strangely Brown Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 17 2022 at 11:14am
Geoff, looking at one of my "better" plot sheets on a two sighter's and ten to count shoot and then removing three "flyers" I have come to the conclusion the barrel is capable of 1 MoA. (not necessary by me though!) Smile

My own shooting is not what it was due to two spinal operations since 2012 which have robbed me of some upper body strength, I can no longer do service rifle either because kneeling (replacement knee) & sitting are out of the question. 
Having now told the world it's a wonder I'm still alive lets talk about targets! 

Targets for historic shooting are close to my heart and the NRA (UK) introduced new historic targets in 2016. 
It annoyed me somewhat that these targets were introduced and no thought put into the bigger question regarding plot sheets for them; luckily I knew the contact details for two Bisley shooters who produce plot sheets and they both kindly supplied plot sheets on their websites to cater for the new targets. 
The targets are known as NRA/HBSA (Historical Breechloading Small Arms Association) and are available in round bull or tin hat configuration, the scoring rings are of the size used in the early 1970's so very much at the end of the SR"b" era and just in what we now refer to as the Transitional classification of rifle, i.e. First generation target rifle built on 1946 ~ 1960 design 7.62mmx51 NATO.

One issue with the new targets is that some historic shooters don't like them citing that the aiming point is rather small being the same width as the foresight blade on an Enfield. I tend to agree that a larger aiming point would be easier but that's just an age thing, most of the whingers are my age or older, read into that what you will! 

For long range, (800~900~1000) there is only the current NRA TR target which is V bull = 14.4" Bull = 24" Inner 48" (also the aiming point) Magpie 72" and finally the outer which is a massive 96". 
It's interesting to see how the scoring rings have shrunk over the years as better ammunition has been introduced, GGG being the current favourite until a couple of years ago when it started to break the extractors on certain rifles, (Paramount's spring to mind) the cause of which was tracked down to excessive primers...all of the TR shooters over here are on tenterhooks wondering what this years issue of ammunition for the Imperial meeting will be like. 

Mick
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 17 2022 at 3:54pm
Mick, your speaking my language now. Very refreshing to have another shooter on our forum.  

For comparison, the US NRA High Power Rifle Long Range Target (used in modern Service Rifle Matches at 800, 900 and 1000 yds) has a 10 inch X Ring, 20 inch 10 ring and 30 inch 9 ring, etc.  so a bit smaller sized rings than the UK NRA TR Long Range target.  Sometime in the next few weeks, I plan to shoot my DCRA No. 4 Conversion (circa 1966) out to 1000 yards on this target to see how it does.  I’m curious if me and my handloads can better the 1967 Palma Match results. 

As to my Fulton Regulated Long Branch No. 4, in .303, I’ve concluded it is perhaps a 1 to 1.5 MOA rifle for 95% of shots fired off a bench with a scope.   My own prone slow fire shooting in matches with the service Mk 1 rear sight will sometimes hold ten consecutive shots to just over 1.5 MOA, but more typically within 2 MOA.  My DCRA 7.62 Conversion, barrel bedding at the middle band, is slightly better, mind you, it has less than 1000 rounds thru the barrel.  

Geoff

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 17 2022 at 4:11pm
Sorry, I must apologize, I meant no disrespect to other members when I said it was so refreshing to have another “shooter on our forum”.  What I should have said was I was pleased to have another “competitive rifle shooter” on the forum.  

The majority of our members do indeed shoot their rifles, using them for hunting, occasional target shooting practice, shooting casually off the bench, etc.  But only a few of us, to my knowledge, have in the past, or currently, enter shooting competitions with our beloved Lee Enfield Rifles.  There are a few who are avid collectors, and they possess unique detail knowledge of the Lee Enfield that is of particular value. 

I for one really enjoy the sport of Service Rifle shooting.  Especially shooting in the “Vintage Military Rifle” matches.  Which is why I started the thread on the “Enfield-Rifles Virtual Match”. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Strangely Brown Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 17 2022 at 4:22pm
Geoff it's refreshing to find a forum that tolerates talk about military rifles that have been converted for target use, even though this practice has been going on for well over a hundred years or more some people still think its sacrilege! 

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