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"Non-destructive" sporterize

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g_legris View Drop Down
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    Posted: January 22 2020 at 1:52pm
I have a 1942 GB .303 No 1 Mk III* that I am trying to preserve to return to original condition if I ever want to do so.  Actually, only the receiver and bolt have the same SN, so it's not perfect.  The stock is being preserved and new butt stock and fore end are being installed.  The issue is removing the front and rear sights.

As suggested in an old post the cross-pin in the foresight block has been removed.  It then states that the foresight block (and presumably the foresight band) can be removed by placing a brass drift against the foresight and hammering it off.

How hard do you have to hit to remove or loosen the foresight?  I have hammered quite hard but have not really tried to smash it.  Would heating the band help?  I don't want to mess up the barrel.  I assume the rear sight will take similar work after its crossbed pin is removed.

Many thanks.
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The Armourer View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Armourer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2020 at 12:50am
Originally posted by g_legris g_legris wrote:

I have a 1942 GB .303 No 1 Mk III* that I am trying to preserve to return to original condition if I ever want to do so.  Actually, only the receiver and bolt have the same SN, so it's not perfect.  The stock is being preserved and new butt stock and fore end are being installed.  The issue is removing the front and rear sights.

As suggested in an old post the cross-pin in the foresight block has been removed.  It then states that the foresight block (and presumably the foresight band) can be removed by placing a brass drift against the foresight and hammering it off.

How hard do you have to hit to remove or loosen the foresight?  I have hammered quite hard but have not really tried to smash it.  Would heating the band help?  I don't want to mess up the barrel.  I assume the rear sight will take similar work after its crossbed pin is removed.

Many thanks.


You shouldn't need to remove the sights to replace the forend.
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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: January 23 2020 at 4:11am
To clarify; are you sporterising an original rifle and want to remove the original sight's?
Or are you returning a sporterised rifle back to original military spec'?
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g_legris View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote g_legris Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2020 at 6:54am
Thanks for the replies.  My apologies that I was unclear.  I am sporterizing an "original" rifle.  Only the SNs on the receiver and bolt match, but at some time a previous owner changed the nosecap and probably all the wood.  A few parts were missing, such as the fore-end stud and spring, but I was able to find those and complete the rifle.  I want to turn this into a sport rifle, but I want to be able to return it to the "original" condition if I chose to sell it in the future.

Hence, I want to remove the sights and inner band from the barrel, but not destroy them.  I have verified that the rifle is in good shooting order and quite accurate.  I have an aftermarket butt stock as well as an aftermarket forend.  A 3-9x50 scope is being mounted with a scope mount (S&K) that requires no drilling into the receiver.  The scope mount has also been tested with a scope, but a much smaller one was used rather than the one intended as the larger scope's front optic collides with the rear original sight.  (Yes, I could get higher mounts, but I still need to remove the inner band without destroying it.)

Again, sorry for the confusion.
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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: January 23 2020 at 8:41am
A serial number on the master component (receiver) and the bolt. That's the two main parts that need to be matching. Your rifle was made in 1942 and during  WWII, which to me would mean that it received parts from whatever resources were available at the time to get it into service  expeditiously. I understand that most NoMkIII rifles had a serial number on everything big enough to stamp it on but even then,during wartime refurbishment, it would have received whatever replacement part from whatever plant it was sent to. If you are really looking to sporterize this rifle,do not shorten that barrel in the slightest and so not lose any parts form the original stock set. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2020 at 9:24am
I would probably leave as is. There are tons of Sporter out there that you can pick up cheap. Then use that hardware in your stock.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Canuck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2020 at 9:32am
I agree with Honkytonk.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2020 at 11:28am
I definitely agree with HT
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2020 at 12:10pm
One thing to remember before sporterising this rifle. A No1 MkIII without the original woodwork will generally shoot worse than with the properly fitted original. The barrel is quite thin and needs the various points of support that are in the original to control the flex.
If it shoot's well as it is; I'd agree with HT that it's probably easier to get a sporter and alter that to your prefered style.

Regarding the scope mount; could you post a photo of it please? I was not aware that a No drill and tap mount existed for the No1 type rifle. I may be interested in getting one if it's good.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2020 at 2:22pm
The S&K is either a "scout type" that uses the existing sight base as a mount, or for a No4 rifle.
Please check carefully before you get into a problem.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote g_legris Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2020 at 3:09pm
Thank you Zed.  I had always read that the No 1 Mk III was kept more accurate by pressure from the fore-end stud and spring.  I assumed it was necessary because of the heavy fore-end, not from the barrel itself.  Good to know.  As is, it's accurate.

Three images are included; left side view, top view, and bolt side view.  The rifle is stripped down to make it all clear.   The mount at the front has a band that goes around the Knox.  At the rear the mount sits on the Bridge Charger Guide.  There is a plate at the very back of the mount that is over the back of the Bridge Charger Guide that stops the mount going forward.  At the front of the Bridge Charger Guide a screw is attached to a bevelled block the engages the front of the charger guide and when tightened clamps the mount onto the guide.  Having fired many rounds with it it has not moved at all.  Of course it has to be quite tight and the fore-end has to be modified to accept the band around the Knox and the screw closing the band.  It's all steel.

S&K offers both S&K style as well as Weaver.  These are product numbers 1365 and 1370.  I did have to modify the back plate on the charger guide to allow the bolt to pass.  Also I needed to shim the mount from the rear as either the charger guide was abnormally low or the Knox high.  This was done with 1/4-20 washers.  I found ones that were very uniform and mic'd at 0.030" each.

Here's a URL: http://www.scopemounts.com/index.html?main.html.  I have no affiliation with S&K; but it's the only no-drill mount I could find that stayed in place.  I tried another one, made of aluminium, that jumped off after 3 rounds.



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g_legris View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote g_legris Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2020 at 3:13pm
Follow-up: Obviously I left off the rear scope ring in the photos.

Does the No. 4 make a better sporter?  I could find a good number of those for sale.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2020 at 4:09pm
I personally love the No4 rifles for their abilities to be converted to a very nice sporterized rifle. Except for the bottom rifle. I sporterized all of them and even going so far as to convert the top one to 7.62x51mm NATO. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Canuck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2020 at 4:40pm
I really admire your sporter collection, Goosic!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote A square 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2020 at 7:01pm
FWIW the 42 british made no1 mkIII* would be a BSA made dispersal rifle that many would offer to buy and give you funds for a sported model , but then im just looking to save an original dispersal for those that dont have one , 

i get that its yours and have no issue with what you do with what is yours , just a shame to ruin an original that someone might want , there are so many already messed with that you could have at and i would never say a contrary word - probably compliment a good job , just sayin 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2020 at 7:55pm
Armslist.com always has a very long list of sporterized  Enfields. 
There's also two trials rifles and a No4 T on there right now along with one of those 22 rifles. 
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