Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Saving another old vet

I found this one for sale recently.

It's a Canadian Enfield, #4, Mk.1, calibre .303. I found it offered in this badly neglected state. But as bad as it looks now, it was a battle rifle once.
Despite the chop job that someone did on the rifle's wood, it still retains it's military character. No shiny polished metal here, and no aesthetic curves or checkering to make it pretty. The original metal finish is thin on this one, and there's a bit of rust, but it's unmolested other than the woodwork so it's a prime candidate for a restoration project and I need a new project.
This one was made by Long Branch in 1944 in their factory in Toronto, Ontario.
Maybe it made it into the war soon enough to join the 3rd Canadian Division under Keller as they stormed Juno beach on D-Day? Or perhaps it got there later, and helped the Canadians liberate the Netherlands or push the Germans back to the Rhine. Pity it can't talk and tell it's stories.

Of course if it could talk, it could name the fool who sporterized it into it's present configuration, "the better to hunt deer with". And while it's definitely lighter and handier to carry like this, it's not how the rifle was made, nor is it representative of it's history.
Fortunately the one who did this left all of the metal alone. They didn't remove sights or shorten the barrel or commit any of those other heinous and irreversible acts that bubbas perpetrate on these old rifles. This one can be saved.

I've already tracked down a new magazine for it, and a new stock set. The other missing pieces and parts have been inventoried and they'll be here shortly too. I can and will fix this battered old warhorse and restore it back to the way that it once was when it helped free Europe and partnered with the other NATO countries in the 1950's. Maybe this rifle saw service in Korea with the soldiers of 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry? Again, we'll likely never know. But I do know that I can fix it over the coming weeks and give it back some of the dignity that it deserves. Stay tuned.

15 comments:

  1. Looking forward to seeing the end result!

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  2. Enfields away!! I have a 1950 LB, last year of production... I really need a WW2 example. Always gratifing to reverse the effects of Bubba, and bring back some history.

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  3. Were it a Garand, you could probably find a history of its various postings. Is there perhaps a Canadian registry of such info? Also my first thought upon seeing it is "Jungle Carbine" as if someone was trying to make it into one but quit before chopping the barrel.

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  4. And I'll bet she'll be a good shooter when you're done, too!

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    1. Hope so. Bore looks pretty good, but #4 Enfields can get wonky pretty quick if the stock fit isn't just right.

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  5. Glad it found a good home! I'm sure with your ministrations it will be great!

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  6. Enfields are cool. I've seen a few chop jobs that were beyond reasonable restoration.

    People are idiots. I saw a Mosin chop job at a yard sale. Except the rifle was a Westinghouse with the almost ebony stock. The barrel had been trimmed back and the stock cut. The guy selling it wanted $100. I asked him if he wanted to know what it had been worth before it had been sporterized. He said "sure". I said "probably north of a thousand bucks." Thought he was going to faint.

    People sporterized M1903s with wild abandon. Now they're getting harder to find.

    Hey, did you order that .303 ammo?

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    1. I did not. I realized that I already have a couple thousand rounds of .303 and most of it is boxer primed and reloadable. Hornady's 174gr. .312 SP bullets are just too good not to buy from Midway and roll my own once I start emptying the brass I already have.

      Still, I may just grab some more anyway. It's not like you can ever have too much.

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    2. I ordered a second case of 480. 8 boxes of HXP 69, two of HXP 75. The `69 looks, on average, better than the first order.

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  7. Nice find, and restoration to original is well deserved for that war horse!

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  8. I will be waiting to see this old war horse restored

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  9. Another gallant soldier saved by M*A*S*H 0577 (Murphy's Arsenal Specialties Hospital)!

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  10. Knew a Brit some years back who LUVED him some Enfields! They seemed to hurt my shoulder - but, I AM a wuss!
    Great rifle, though.
    Good luck with her!

    gfa

    gfa

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  11. Nice. Good luck on the restoration.

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  12. I've got a couple of US Krags I want to do that for eventually, when funding is available. They were bubba'd up pretty good. As I recall they are both 1896's. The action seems to be OK, the original barrels are shot out, and there are a couple of parts missing, and they need correct stocks, but I think they are salvagable. I thought I might make one a rifle length and one a carbine length, just to have an example of both.

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