Last week I decided to change my shooting habits a bit due to the difficulty of acquiring more 5.56 ammunition (as well as most other popular calibers). I'm going to go old-school for a bit since right now, the prices on old surplus rifles on the auction sites are lower than they've been in years. It looks like everybody's focusing on trying to buy up the latest "tacti-cool" stuff and forgetting that old early to mid-twentieth century rifles are still damned effective weapons, with the bonus of often coming with some interesting history.
That being the case, I bid on--and won--a lot of three old Mauser rifles last week. I did this because I'd gotten the idea that I needed another 7.62x51mm bolt rifle to shoot. One of the rifles in this auction happened to be a 7.62mm rifle, the other two being an 8mm rifle (I like shooting 8mm) and a 7mm rifle (I haven't tried reloading for 7mm yet but I like the ballistics) so I bid on the lot of three and surprisingly, I won them for a song. Maybe no one else wanted to go for three at once, or maybe the 7mm was the deal-killer for some folks, but I got them ridiculous cheap at the starting price, apparently being the only interested bidder.
Then as I was moving rifles around in the gun room to make room for them on the rack, I stumbled across this gem: an Indian 7.62mm Enfield 2A1 rifle that was nestling in among my other .303 Enfields. Whoa. I bought this one a couple of years ago and just plain forgot that it was there. I've never fired it, and apparently neither did the person that I bought it from as the bolt and barrel were still slathered in cosmoline preservative grease.
Anyway, today I cleaned the grease out of it and took it out for it's first range trip. As expected, being a week day, I had the 100 yard line to myself.
Anyway, I got to shooting, and after a couple of rounds to blow the remaining grease out of the barrel, the rifle started printing a decent group on the left side of the target, hitting about six inches left and six high. Looking at the rifle's front sight, I can see that it's drifted substantially to the right, and if I bring it back to the center, it should start hitting true, at least windage-wise. I actually saw that the sight was off-center before shooting, but that's kinda common with old military-surplus rifles, and if I had a dollar for every time that I just centered the front sight before shooting the rifle only to find that it had been drifted for a reason... (Sigh.) So now I have to pop the nosecap off, heat the sight base with a torch, and gently whang on it with a big hammer and a brass punch until it moves back to center. Then I'll have to take it back out for another test-fire, but hey--that's hardly punishment.
Long story short, it looks like this one's gonna be a solid, dependable and accurate shooter, one that just may come in handy when the evil gun-grabbers come around trying to filch my tacti-cool stuff.
Oh--To see another nice pair of Ishapore Enfields, go here and here for a couple of nice pic posts from NotClauswitz.