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Memories of a No.2

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Sapper740 View Drop Down
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    Posted: May 16 2023 at 11:03am
A long time ago in a country not too far away a young lad two weeks shy of his 7th birthday was riding his bike through Ambleside Park in West Vancouver, B.C. Canada when he heard rifle fire coming from the old WWII barracks.  It was the summer of 1960, a scant 15 years since the last shot was fired in WWII and the young boy had been raised on the exciting tales of heroism that had been perpetuated by TV shows and movies on British Sunday Theatre. 
 The young man parked his bicycle and peeked in the door to see several Canadian Army Cadets laying prone shooting at targets 25 yards away.  He was quickly noticed by the Range Officer, who surprisingly was a very kind woman running the shoot.  

"Would you like to learn to shoot?", she asked.
"Yes Ma'am!" came the enthusiastic reply.  What red-blooded Canadian boy didn't yearn to shoot a rifle?  

She waited until the Army cadets were finished and then asked me if I had a quarter.  A quarter?  Who was she kidding?  A quarter was a fortune to a kid in 1960!  My allowance was a nickel back then and I had just been to the candy store to pick up 3 jaw-breakers for a penny.  

"I have four cents" I said ruefully.  
"No problem" she said, "help me sweep up after you're done and I'll pay your quarter for you."
"Thank you!" came my enthusiastic response.

The Range Officer pulled what looked like a S.M.L.E. which I was familiar with because my grandfather owned one and set in on a table behind the firing line, grabbed of box of cartridges and a target which she set up for me.  

"OK, lay on that mat" she said, which I promptly did and showed me how to load, unload, aim and fire the rifle.  It was too heavy for me to fire in any position except prone and when she saw me grimace as she fired a shot to show me how to aim she laughed and said, "It's OK, it's chambered for .22, not .303"
After I showed her I could safely fire the rifle she left me to my own devices until I had fired all the cartridges.  Fortunately there was a large backstop made up of what looked like railway ties because I remember there were fewer holes in the target than I had shot.  

So began my love affair with Lee Enfields which has followed me to this day, over 60 years hence.  I've always remembered the great fun and thrill of shooting that rifle which I later found out was a No.2 MkIV* and so I had to have one to shoot and for the wonderful memories of that day so long ago.  I've included pictures of the No.2 I bought and and a 50 yd. target showing my much improved marksmanship.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 16 2023 at 12:50pm
That's a wonder memory to have!
I also love the No2mkIV and other Enfield .22's.
Infact I will be competing this weekend with the No8 in the standard class and a 1918 SMLE .22 with AGP No9 rear sight in the modified class.
They are wonderful pieces of engineering; there's not much made today that will still be working perfectly in a hundred years time!
My daughter started her .22 shooting at 7 years old with the Enfield.
It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote A square 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 16 2023 at 3:25pm
i enjoyed your well told story very much , thats a nice no2 and i envy the target peep sight [mine does not wear one ] i wish i had had a chance to do what you did as a kid , but ill never forget the great times my father and i spent in the back yard shooting the 303 , 

i started shooting a 1915 BSA mkIII my father bought in the late 50s - similar age - i had to clean the verdigris off the surplus ammo he bought to get to shoot , enough for both of us , then i learned the "click bang lessons" , it resolved my love for enfields , 

skip forward to 2020 when my father passed and left me that mkIII , i started out looking for a proper bayonet [i bought a 1910 mole hooky for it] and discovered the fun of collecting - built a decent collection and then finally in the past years have let other collectors enjoy most of what i bought , 

i did retain my trainers , four in all , and the mkIII as well as some of my webley/enfield revolvers and inglis pistols , that includes two 22s - a no1 mkVI and a no2 mkIV , my old display cabinets are gone as well so im building a new one for just these - in the design stage so no photos yet , 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 17 2023 at 9:37am
I have recently just finished getting a 1914 .303 ShtLE from BSA fitted with a .22 tube , bolt & magazine with some serious help from Doco Overboard a member on here. Unfortunately "Life has gotten in the way" & I still haven't found time to zero it.
The .303 bolt & mag are next to it as it can easily be converted back & forth.

Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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