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Thoughts on barrel replacements

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FlyPiper907 View Drop Down
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    Posted: January 18 2023 at 9:13pm
Howdy all, 

Been awhile since I last checked back - still cold where I’m at! Writing you all today to get your thoughts on barrel replacements.
I really love my Enfields and the history behind them. I got out to shooting one of my Longbranches today - a 5-groove 1949 Mk1*, which is a wonderful shooter. As I continue to shoot these rifles, I can’t help but think that the day will inevitably come when the barrel will be too worn for accurate shooting. I am a purist when it comes to these rifles and prefer to have them stock. However, as previously mentioned, I love shooting these rifles and would love to pass them along to the next generation for them to enjoy as well. What are your thoughts on re-barreling these rifles? If so, do any of you create your own or send them in to any professionals? 

Cheers!
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britrifles View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 19 2023 at 3:33am
It is getting difficult to find an original barrel, especially one that has not been used. New No. 4 barrels are made by Criterion and Lothar Walther, both are available in the US, but you will have to check with them to see if any are in stock.  They are made to original contour with the bayonet lugs. 

You can do this yourself if you get the right tools, a barrel vice and No. 4 action wrench. I’ve removed and reinstalled a barrel on one of my Long Branch No. 4s and it was on very tight, took a 3 foot extension on the wrench and heating the receiver to break it loose. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 19 2023 at 3:40am
You love shooting your rifle and, with that love comes the responsibility to keep that rifle functional. If at some point in time the rifle no longer is an accurate shooter one of two things can happen.  One thing would be for the rifle to be resigned to a Closet Queen or a Wall Hanger only to be looked at and admired for what it once was. The other thing would be for the rifle to get a second lease on life by having a new barrel installed.  Purist aside. A used rifle is just that, used. And if it it is being used in the capacity it was intended for, it is being shot/fired as often as possible. The rifle, if left in its original form is only as good as the sum of its parts. If a part becomes worn beyond tolerances, replace the part. Barrel replacement should be done using a New aftermarket barrel unless you know for certain the history of a used one. As far as rebarreling the rifle as a Do It Yourself project? Not advisable unless you know absolutely what you are doing and how to do it properly. britrifles has stated that you can do the install yourself IF, you go out and find/buy all the items you will need to do the installation correctly. "For simply having a rope does not make one a Mountain Climber."  If you have gone as far as committing to purchase a new barrel, you should just have it installed by a professional. That way, if anything were to go wrong during the installation process,  it is all on the professionals shoulders to rectify the wrong. Just my two cents here...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 19 2023 at 4:17am
Also, when installing a new commercial barrel (Criterion or Lothar Walther) you will need to finish ream the chamber (they come short chambered).  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 19 2023 at 4:25am
...which is why it would be a highly advisable and viable solution to have the barrel installation done by a professional.  Saves you the trouble of attempting to do the work yourself. Locating and purchasing all of the items necessary is not at all cost effective in the long run and would outweigh the original projected amounts. Again, just my two cents here...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FlyPiper907 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 19 2023 at 10:03am
Goosic & britrifles, 

All I needed to hear. I appreciate your thoughts. I have been looking at criterion the last few years but they’ve been consistently out of their Enfield barrels. I take they‘d want you to call for a specific order? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 19 2023 at 10:08am
All the barrel makers seem to be running behind, numerous reasons I suspect.  I can’t get a 1903/a3 barrel either.  I’m glad I bought the Criterion and Lothar Walther No. 4 barrels when I did. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 19 2023 at 10:16am
Originally posted by FlyPiper907 FlyPiper907 wrote:

Goosic & britrifles, 

All I needed to hear. I appreciate your thoughts. I have been looking at criterion the last few years but they’ve been consistently out of their Enfield barrels. I take they‘d want you to call for a specific order? 
Check with McGowen or Hart...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Doco Overboard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 19 2023 at 5:41pm
Shooting cast bullets/reduced loads could be an option.
Having spares available or a suitable replacement barrel on hand, doesn't really mean it has to be installed.
Just pick up a decent spare in case you may need it could be a means to avoid hurried decisions when all of the sudden you absolutely have to have a re-barrel done.
Sometimes, when you have a good spare you may also find out you wind up never really needing it.
At least, thats how it goes for me, sometimes.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 20 2023 at 4:27am
^^^ This.  

That’s exactly my situation and what I did.  I bought the two new barrels a few years ago for when the day came I had to change a barrel.  

You may get many more years out of the barrel you have.  I have put 8,000 to 10,000 rounds thru my Long Branch Mk 1/3 shooter and it still groups very well.  The throat is shot out, has about 1/2 inch of free bore in front of the bullet.  




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 20 2023 at 7:58am
Flypaper907:
In what year was it when you became the current owner of your 1949 No4Mk1*?
What is the current bolt head number?
How many bullets have you shot through your 1949 No4Mk1* since you have owned it?
These are questions to take into consideration before making a definitive decision in purchasing another barrel.  The first question is to establish the time difference from when it was new to when you finally ended up with it. Being a post WW2 made No4Mk1*, the chances of it seeing any combat related shooting incidences is reasonably unlikely. It could have been used at the start of the Korean War however but again, reasonably unlikely. 
The second question establishes the somewhat reliable condition of the chamber area.
The third question just establishes where the rifle sits currently with what you yourself have put through it...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 20 2023 at 12:03pm
I wouldn't be so sure.
Probably not as high as a 1939 made one I agree, but the L-E's were issue for most of "Britain's Small Wars" which were going on at the some.
Malaya, Korea, Anglo-Egypt, MauMau, Jebel akdar, Cyprus emergency, & so on. The SLRs took a while to get out to the units & we had L-E's up through the late 60's.
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 britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 20 2023 at 12:20pm
The OPs rifle is a Long Branch 1949 with 5 groove barrel.  Did the UK, or any other nations, let out contracts to Long Branch for No. 4 rifles after WWII?  New Zealand comes to mind, but I don’t have my copy copy of Skennerton with me.  Or would these have been built for the Canadian military?  In which case, they may not have seen much service.  Canada adopted the FNC1 rifle in 1954, but I suspect the No. 4 went on to Reserve use for several more years.  

You can get some idea of barrel wear with a borescope looking at the condition of the throat for the extent of fire cracking.  Also using bore or pin gages to see how far a .304 gage will enter the breach. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 20 2023 at 12:58pm
Greece, For the Greek Civil War (1946~49) The origin of all that HXP in .303.
Although they may have come from used ones.
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 Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 20 2023 at 1:31pm
I doubt that a Canadian made rifle would be made for the British military in 1949. The British makers were still making more than what was needed for domestic forces.
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