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Old School Bubba

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LilysDad View Drop Down
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    Posted: September 29 2015 at 11:51am
I'm interested in the old timers who used the LE for hunting. Not the idiot who butchered a nice rifle. I'm talking about the guy who adapted it for N. American field use back in the day. Does anyone have any useful tips passed down from older relatives or neighbors?
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Shamu View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 29 2015 at 1:44pm
Not sure if this is what you're looking for cuz its recent, but the Bubba spirit was strong with the attempt.Evil Smile

It started with a No5 that had been refinished, the bayo lug ground off & the stock internally boogered beyond redemption with a horrible attempt at "glass bedding". The price was right so I took a flyer on it making a nice "truck gun" conversion.



It looked decent, but couldn't hit a cows backside if I was holding the tail with the other hand, so I bought a set of used sporter wood from a member on here. Paddyofurniture or Bear maybe? I honestly don't rememberEmbarrassed

I didn't have any qualms about the work because any collectible value was trashed before I ever saw it, not that the "Purists" agreed, but what the hey. Each unto his own.Sick

The buttstock was fine, but the forend's bedding was toast, & it had been cut for a Mk2 rear end, so I ordered a Boyds forend.


The Boyds needed some custom fitting to get it right in the draws but it was fairly minor stuff & only took about 2 hours of whittle & fit, whittle & fit some more, till it all came together. I used the older shimming method to do most of the fitting because I didn't want to glass bed it. The big advantage of shimming is that you get multiple attempts at fitting "just so" which is important with the Mk1's hung trigger. I actually re-shimmed in different places with varying shims of different materials & thicknesses, several times before I hit on the "just right" fit that worked for the action (Knoxx form & 1" of bottom center barrel bedding only) & the trigger pull I wanted with a nice crisp 2-stage function. (that took a couple of tries with the rear of the action, the front of the floorplate & the "king" screw & bushing). I ended up replacing the trigger which had been ground on for a mushy single stage release in the original messed up stock, & so wasn't usable as it had been set for the older, thinner stock bedding. The barrel is completely free floating apart from that 1" bottom center section in the Knoxx form.

The trick with shimming the bedding is to go a stage at a time. Go round through the loop of receiver front top, barrel knoxx form, receiver rear top, magwell floorplate. Then check & if its not "right" go back & start over with the same sequence making smaller & smaller changes till you cant get it any better. The Enfield's bedding is a pivot, unlike the Mauser types which clamp tight. What you do is wiggle the pivot till it clamps up tight with the internal camming surfaces just as the "king" screw tightens a hair. Lastly you shim the rear of the forend for full, even contact with the receiver ring's front surface.



I added a couple of sling swivels & a quick change sling. Next came an S&K scope mount. I chose the version with the proprietary S&K rings because they were as low as I could get the 3~9X40 Leupold. I actually can't fit a handguard L39 style, as I'd planned, because the bell is so low!



It was zeroed & shoots fine, almost as good as the No4, perfectly adequate for anything I'll do with it, definitely minute of paper plate to 200yds.

The finishing touch took a while to locate. I finally sourced a 5-round P-H magazine for it that's "street legal" for hunting & fits nicely semi-recessed into the stock.



In a way I was lucky as it was (sort of) a "Gubbermint sporter" to begin with, so the barrel, flash hider & so on was left as is.Wink






Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Pukka Bundook View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pukka Bundook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 03 2015 at 8:09am
Lily's Dad,
 
Very many Lee Enfields used for hunting were purchased very cheaply after  he War.
These were cut -down and sold for $10-15.00 normally with a couple of boxes of cartridges.
You can normally tell these cut-downs, as the fore-end was shortened  to just in front of the inner band, so that the band still hold the fore-end in place.  Wood cut off more or less square and rounded over a bit.
Sometimes the wood had small pieces put in where the rear sight protector used to be.
For many, that was it!......Thousands used like that with no other mods.
The only standard mod I can think of, is a sling swivel or an eyelet in the fore-end to attach a sling.  This used in conjunction with the regular issue rear swivel was all that was required.
 
Some later had a scope mounted, and these often got a sporting butt-stock like Shamu's in his above post.  Packamar (spelling) made them at very reasonable cost.
The point is, after the War, many (Bothe in the US & Canada ) hadn't two cents to rub together. Things were hard, so the gun was used as it came.  No money for fancy stuff.
This of course changed over time, and people fitted nicer looking wood. Maybe fitted it badly!...but overall effect looked nicer!
When we came to Canada 31 years ago, there were still lots of old cut -downs doing their duty.
It seems though, that every generation seems to want to learn the hard way what their father's generation could have told them!  We see many he!!ishly powerful cartridges out there now, hurting the folks that fire them,... but Still the old Lee Enfield goes quietly along filling the pot.
 
Aroun here, (Western Alberta) there are still old L. E's used for hunting. I use my regular cut-down as my "modern" gun.
One modification an old chap around here made, was to use a piece of 2" wide inner-tube as a sling.  Then, when he knee went out of joint, he could wrap his 'sling' around it to make it home!
 
BTW, He did shoot the largest elk taken one year with that gun.  I won't tell you how far it was, because it was too far & he was on his second magazine when he hit it...  A lucky shot behind the ear.
The other modification he did was to cut the buttstock off shorter.  Said "It stops the neighbours borrowing it!"
 
Richard.
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The Rattler View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Rattler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 03 2015 at 9:21am
I own a WW II No. 1 Mark III* Lithgow (1941) that is sporterized just like the one described above. My dad bought it for my deer rifle in 1957 - '58 for $16, I believe, from an army surplus store in my small hometown in eastern Texas. There were scores just like it piled on top of a number of tables. The store sporterized it for us because I wanted my deer rifle to look more like those of my friends. I was 11 years old. I've owned the gun 58 years & I still enjoy taking it to the range.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 03 2015 at 10:06am
There is exactly what Pukka & The Rattler descrkibe sitting in a rack not 100 yds from where I'm typing right now. Wood shortened, front sight protector unscrewed & that's it.
Unfortunately the guy wants way, way, too much for it. Its been sitting there ever since I moved here 12 years ago. Every year or so the price goes up too!Dead
Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LilysDad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 03 2015 at 12:50pm
Rather than criticizing bad workmanship(which is sometimes deserved), in these cases I appreciate the spirit of making do and living simply.
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Shamu View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 03 2015 at 2:33pm
Oh how true.
To me "sporterising" is doing it well.
Hacking stuff off with a blunt, rusty knife & a dull rusty file is "Bubba".
There's a world of difference which many fail to recognize.
Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Von Gruff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 03 2015 at 6:01pm
Some of us still regard the hunting capabilities of the 303 cartridge and I have done quite a few in the sporting rifle configuration over the last few years for guys who still hunt them.
 
This is one I did for myself
 
became this
 
and this one I made into a 40 cal  for myself with a very slightly shortened 405 Winchester cartridge as a big brother for my 303. With 5 down (320gn cast bullet at either 1500fps for plinking or 2000fps for serious) and one in the chamber it has a goodly amount of  big game stomp on hand. 
 
became this
 
A couple more I have re-furbished
 
and another couple with an original Lee Speed.
 
another one
 
All these are for hunting by men who recognise the superb rifles these old Lee Enfields have always been and continue to be. Some have been done using the original barrel while others have had "new" ones fitted.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pukka Bundook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 03 2015 at 7:09pm
As Always,
Beautiful work, VG!
 
I do hope your last customer ( B in ---) was able to collect his rifle OK!
 
Richard.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Von Gruff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 03 2015 at 7:55pm
Not as yet Richard. We are still looking for someone who may be coming here to hunt and might take it back for him. The cost to send it was going to be quite prohibitive.
Garry
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hoadie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 04 2015 at 9:06am
Nice looking work!
I too, use my Lee Enfield(1916) for my main hunting tool.
It will take anything on this continent, & do it handily!
It never lets me down, & it has taken a pounding over the years..MOst of the lads in the hunt group bring their Enfields along as well. When the weather turns ugly, they always turn to the Enfields. (That - in itself - should be an indication of how well made they are!)
Loose wimmen tightened here
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bear43 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 04 2015 at 12:57pm
Some very beautiful work there, Von Gruff! As the gun show season is getting ready to start up here I am going to be on the lookout for a rifle that has had the sporter treatment. I feel there is a place in the collection for well done sporters, it is a part of the overall Enfield story after all.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hoadie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 04 2015 at 2:20pm
I feel fortunate that my sport was a Parker Hale.
It was well done. I dislike scopes...just me ...prefer open sights. Then again, my hunting is usually in bush whereby 50 yds is a "long shot". 1 because the bush is thick...& 2: because its a "long shot in odds" because of the bush!.
..but put a pill about 1 inch from the head of a grouse..& velocity will spin its head off for u..no muss -no fuss!
(grouse breast, red wine, garlic, bacon...dude! Wimmen will melt!!)
Loose wimmen tightened here
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Canuck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 04 2015 at 2:33pm
I like the way you think, Hoadie! 3 weeks ago me and my hunting buds went looking for white tailed deer. Saw one doe with her fawn and that was it but.....between four of us we managed to harvest 18 ruffled grouse (using .22 LR) and 3 rabbits. Marinated for 24 hours then hot smoked for a while and those grouse breasts were heavenly eating! Rabbit is rabbit, not much meat there but still tasted good. Red wine washes it all down nicely then single malt the rest of that night with great friends and good music. My rifle of choice while riding my quad is a 1942 Savage #4/Mk1 no* with the bayo lug cut off and it rests in a plastic stock. I free floated the barrel and the rifle is a great shooter. It has a 6 groove barrel and is scoped. I didn't do the machine work, I picked the rifle up at a gun show and it was already d&t'd.       
Castles made of sand slip into the sea.....eventually
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hoadie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 04 2015 at 2:45pm
dude! you miss wot Im sayin..MARINATE the grouse..or wild rabbit in red wine(dry)& garlic. Then roast it with bacon across the top.
Serve with steamed green beans & rice(women like rice), with almond slices.
Have the fireplace on...works everytime @ cabin for me!!
Loose wimmen tightened here
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Canuck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 04 2015 at 2:48pm
Ah yes, marinate in red wine etc., we'll try that next time!
Castles made of sand slip into the sea.....eventually
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