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Identification: Lee- Enfield 7.62 mm

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450 Fuller View Drop Down
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    Posted: June 08 2022 at 6:07am
A newer member here with a rifle I have owned for 20 years.
Photos are a problem as my digital camera is ill.

I initially thought this was most likely an Ishapore 2A 7.62 mm rifle, but now a few doubts have crept in.
First clue is the lack of significant markings.Serial number is 56198 with an "A" above SN-
stamped on action, bolt, and forend nose cap. Stratton has not been that helpful.
There are crossed Brit proof staff banners on barrel and receiver ring. These and a white arms room rack No. "14/277" painted on left side of stock- with Serial Numbers as indicated are pretty much all the identifying markings.No more. The usual 2A1 markings are glaringly absent.
Even other proof stampings are lacking or are well hidden.

It has the MK III style sight, not an aperture one. Trigger is also smooth and not rough with a 3 pound let off pressure. Bore is excellent.(Rifle functions and shoots well.)

Could this be an earlier 2A or even a Long Branch rifle? The more
I examine the rifle, the more it appears to be a MK III 7.62 early refit-
but by whom? Puzzling.Brit, Aussie, Indian or Canadian??
Any help appreciated.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DaveNo5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 08 2022 at 3:12pm
On the left side of the receiver, where is the ejector screw relative to the charging bridge?  On the No1, it will be centered beneath the bridge.  On the 2A (and 2A1) it will be centered below the front edge of the bridge, to account for the shorter 7.62 round.

A No. 1 could be re-barreled with a 7.62 barrel, but that ejector screw will be difficult to re-locate.

My 2A1 has a letter prefix and a 4-digit number afterwards.  I don't know what they did on the 2A for serial numbers, but I have seen some for sale with the markings of the form L12345 (letter, followed by 5 digits).

Lastly, is there any serial number on the magazine?  It should be on the rear "spine" of the magazine, hidden by the trigger guard when in place.

I am pretty new here too and am learning alongside everyone else.  Welcome to the forum! Dave
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 08 2022 at 3:28pm
Originally posted by 450 Fuller 450 Fuller wrote:

A newer member here with a rifle I have owned for 20 years.
Photos are a problem as my digital camera is ill.

I initially thought this was most likely an Ishapore 2A 7.62 mm rifle, but now a few doubts have crept in.
First clue is the lack of significant markings.Serial number is 56198 with an "A" above SN-
stamped on action, bolt, and forend nose cap. Stratton has not been that helpful.
There are crossed Brit proof staff banners on barrel and receiver ring. These and a white arms room rack No. "14/277" painted on left side of stock- with Serial Numbers as indicated are pretty much all the identifying markings.No more. The usual 2A1 markings are glaringly absent.
Even other proof stampings are lacking or are well hidden.

It has the MK III style sight, not an aperture one. Trigger is also smooth and not rough with a 3 pound let off pressure. Bore is excellent.(Rifle functions and shoots well.)

Could this be an earlier 2A or even a Long Branch rifle? The more
I examine the rifle, the more it appears to be a MK III 7.62 early refit-
but by whom? Puzzling.Brit, Aussie, Indian or Canadian??
Any help appreciated.
Does it look like the top rifle or the bottom rifle.  If it looks like the top rifle, you could possibly have a DCRA converted No4...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 08 2022 at 3:37pm
Originally posted by DaveNo5 DaveNo5 wrote:

On the No1, it will be centered beneath the bridge.  On the 2A (and 2A1) it will be centered below the front edge of the bridge, to account for the shorter 7.62 round.

A No. 1 could be re-barreled with a 7.62 barrel, but that ejector screw will be difficult to re-locate.
The ejector screw on both the no1 and no4 rifles including the 2A/1 variant was only implemented to eject an unfired cartridge.  The extractor claw and the rear leading edge of the left side of the magazine in conjunction with friction is what assists the ejection of the empty cartridge. 
The 2A and 2A1 rifle reciever is no different than the No1Mk111/* in every aspect of its dimensions and locations of the ejector screw...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 450 Fuller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 08 2022 at 3:46pm

All indications are that this rifle is a 2A1, complete with squared-off 7.62 magazine, but the magazine SN does not match the rifle SN, which is again
561XX with A above the 1, not prefix letter.
Numbers match on receiver, barrel, bolt and nose cap. {Bottom photo, of course}

Its the lack of the usual 2A1 markings/proof marks that raised the question.
I wonder if it could be an earlier 2A, or the lads at Ishapore had a very long lunch break, lost the stamping tools, or the air raid siren went off? Stayed on.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DaveNo5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 08 2022 at 6:06pm
Originally posted by Goosic Goosic wrote:

The 2A and 2A1 rifle reciever is no different than the No1Mk111/* in every aspect of its dimensions and locations of the ejector screw...


2A:  Screw at front end of charger bridge.


No. 1:  Screw centered below charging bridge.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 08 2022 at 6:19pm
Intresting in that the last 4 2A1 rifles I owned had the screw in the same spot as the No1Mk111/* rifles. The saying, "Anything can be expected when it comes to an Enfield" can be applied here...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 450 Fuller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 08 2022 at 6:37pm
Dave:
My 2A1 corresponds to your centered at front of charging bridge.

Just responded to Britrifles excellent early older post about
handloading the 7.62 for the Enfield rifle.

Be extremely cautious in handloading cast bullets with gas checks in bottleneck cartridges like the the 7.62.
If the Gas check falls off at any time during the seating operation-or after-
a pressure spike occurs similar to a chamber/barrel obstruction. The gas check may lodge in cartridge neck or leade of chamber. All resultant pressure is dangerous to rifle and shooter.
Caveat Handloader!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DaveNo5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 09 2022 at 12:25pm
Originally posted by 450 Fuller 450 Fuller wrote:

Dave:
My 2A1 corresponds to your centered at front of charging bridge.

Just responded to Britrifles excellent early older post about
handloading the 7.62 for the Enfield rifle.

Be extremely cautious in handloading cast bullets with gas checks in bottleneck cartridges like the the 7.62.
If the Gas check falls off at any time during the seating operation-or after-
a pressure spike occurs similar to a chamber/barrel obstruction. The gas check may lodge in cartridge neck or leade of chamber. All resultant pressure is dangerous to rifle and shooter.
Caveat Handloader!

Glad to read that you have positively identified your rifle as a 2A or 2A1.  

It's not clear how the discussion shifted to loading with cast, but on the second point, I do load cast for many rifles, but have never heard of this specific hazard before.  This is not to imply that a barrel obstruction is not a bad thing--it is.

However, considering the size of the gas check relative to the lead bullet, one would think a loose gas check would simply get blown out of the way with little effort or left behind in the cartridge.  I do not realistically see one getting lodged in the leade or cartridge neck--but I could be wrong.

But a pressure spike "similar to a chamber/barrel obstruction" could destroy the rifle and seriously injure the shooter.  I checked Hornady and Lyman (both gas check manufacturers) and neither makes mention of this hazard.  Both make 30-caliber gas checks and Lyman publishes data for numerous bottleneck cartridges with cast.

Is this new guidance being published by the gas check manufacturers?  Is there a recall on their product?  Is this something that happened to you?

Dave




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 450 Fuller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 09 2022 at 4:14pm
A gas check loss from the base of a cast bullet has caused problems before to handloaders. It HAS happened to me, and others using gas checks in bottleneck cartridges like the 30-06 and 303 / 7.62. Mine was with a 338-06 semi-wildcat, though that cartridge has been legitimized by Weatherby& Art Alphin. No problems known in straight wall cases.
It only has to happen once to convert one to the dangers of a loose gas check. I know of no recalls of GCs, but that is hardly comforting. I no longer use them except in the 45-60, 45-70 and other relatively straight wall cases.
I would rather err on the side of caution.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DaveNo5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 09 2022 at 5:56pm
Originally posted by 450 Fuller 450 Fuller wrote:

A gas check loss from the base of a cast bullet has caused problems before to handloaders. It HAS happened to me, and others using gas checks in bottleneck cartridges like the 30-06 and 303 / 7.62. Mine was with a 338-06 semi-wildcat, though that cartridge has been legitimized by Weatherby& Art Alphin. No problems known in straight wall cases.
It only has to happen once to convert one to the dangers of a loose gas check. I know of no recalls of GCs, but that is hardly comforting. I no longer use them except in the 45-60, 45-70 and other relatively straight wall cases.
I would rather err on the side of caution.

OK, thank you.  To clarify, the caution you suggest is not to use gas checks at all? 

Also, can you describe what happened when your gas check came off with this 338-06?  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 450 Fuller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 09 2022 at 8:50pm
The pre-64 Model 70 is relatively strong. Gas ran through the action and
out the gas vent. The extractor ring was damaged requiring replacement.
No other damage. Shooting glasses handled the escaping gas. It produced
pressure in excess of a proof load.

From that day forward, only straight wall cases get gas checks, and not all of those: original Winchester M 1885 SS in 45 -60 and a Sharps 45-70 which does not require gcs as I paper patch the heavy 400-550 gr bullets. Your 577-450 would not need them, I expect for the same reason of lowered velocity.

I would prefer other methods on bottleneck cartridges to save money, or to prolong bore life. I learned a valuable lesson not quickly forgotten.
I have used reduced velocity cast lead bullets w/o gas checks in my Enfield 2A1 without leading or any other detrimental effects.

I am reminded of the old adage from the South: A mistreated mule will work ten years along, for the opportunity to kick you once. The decision is up to those who own the rifles.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 10 2022 at 3:47am
I completely agree regarding the benefits of shooting cast, practically infinite barrel life if your shooting at low velocities w/o a gas check. 

I’m on the verge of shooting out the barrel on my No. 4 match shooter.   It had a new barrel when I got it about 25 years ago.  I got in to competitive shooting six years ago, probably averaged 1500 rnds/year during that time.  

IIRC, my .577-450 cast loads run around 1100 fps with a 470 gr bullet, no need for a gas check,  I do use a wad under the bullet which stays contained in the neck of the case (the base of the bullet is well above the case shoulder when seated).  These are black powder loads and I do not use any fillers.  


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DaveNo5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 10 2022 at 10:25am
Originally posted by 450 Fuller 450 Fuller wrote:

The pre-64 Model 70 is relatively strong. Gas ran through the action and
out the gas vent. The extractor ring was damaged requiring replacement.
No other damage. Shooting glasses handled the escaping gas. It produced
pressure in excess of a proof load.

From that day forward, only straight wall cases get gas checks, and not all of those: original Winchester M 1885 SS in 45 -60 and a Sharps 45-70 which does not require gcs as I paper patch the heavy 400-550 gr bullets. Your 577-450 would not need them, I expect for the same reason of lowered velocity.

I would prefer other methods on bottleneck cartridges to save money, or to prolong bore life. I learned a valuable lesson not quickly forgotten.
I have used reduced velocity cast lead bullets w/o gas checks in my Enfield 2A1 without leading or any other detrimental effects.

I am reminded of the old adage from the South: A mistreated mule will work ten years along, for the opportunity to kick you once. The decision is up to those who own the rifles.

450 Fuller:  Thanks for the description.  How did you come to the conclusion that what happened was because of a loose gas check, as opposed to some other cause?  Thanks, Dave
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 450 Fuller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 10 2022 at 11:52am
Scientific method and deductive observation. Close later examination of bullet base to gas check fit. Good gas checks almost always take a snap fit.
These were not loose, but they were not a tight fit as I am used to having.
Scrapped them all.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DaveNo5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 10 2022 at 6:53pm
From your description I take it that the cartridge case failed as a result?  And by 'scientific method,' do you mean you deliberately tested some with loose gas checks against those with tight gas checks, and confirmed the hypothesis?
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