Monday, August 10, 2015

Before and After pics--the Enfield Project is complete.

The #4 Enfield Long Branch project is finished.

In a few weeks, it's gone from this:


to this:

All it took was a new stock set and metal, a week's worth of linseed oil application, and a couple hours elbow grease with steel wool and oil on the metal, and a new magazine, and she's all ready to head off to France to refight the landing at Juno Beach, Normandy.

I kept the original buttstock as it was looking fairly decent and because, while I could and did get the stock bolt out courtesy of a new long screwdriver from NAPA, I could not get the buttplate screws out, and I was going nuts trying to sand down the mounting area of the new buttstock to get it to actually fit on the rifle. So I let it keep it's old stock, at least for now. It was definitely a chore to finish-inlet the forestock to get that to fit. OMFG was that a chore. It was too tight at the area where the receiver lugs sit in, and that's a critical-fit area for the #4 Enfield. Take off a bit too much wood and you ruin the fit and accuracy goes out the window.
But I got it finally, and it fits tight and looks good.
The rest of the metal ordered from Sarco wasn't in as good of shape as I would have liked, but then again, it's a closer match for the rest of the rifle's metal, so I won't bitch. I will, however, bitch about the British obsession with weird little screws and proprietary tools that you can't get today, like the one that holds the front sight blade on. There's a handguard band that had to go on just ahead of the receiver and it was originally put on at the factory before the front sight was as the band is a one-piece metal ring. Whoever bubba'd this rifle had cut the old one off, and the new one wouldn't clear the front sight post with the blade installed. Since I had to have it on, and since I could not remove the blade to get it on, I was stuck for a bit. Finally, I carefully bent the ring into an oval shape, allowing it to pass over the blade, and then re-bent it back to proper shape and slid it into place. Got lucky there as it worked perfectly.

It is missing a forward sling swivel, as I somehow managed to leave that off my order list. (Note: before calling a company to complain that they forgot to ship you a part, go back and look at the order form to make sure that you asked for it.) Fortunately I checked before calling Sarco and looking like an idiot. Fault was mine and a new swivel is on the way so that I can mount the new sling that I bought for this rifle. But lack of tat swivel won't keep me from shooting this rifle next Monday when I get some more range time. If she shoots as good as she looks, I'll be happy. For now though, once I quit playing with it, it's up to the Enfield rack in the gun room.

And she'll be in good company here.
From top to bottom: British-made at Royal Ordnance Factory, Maltby, 1941; The Canadian Long Branch, 1944; and a US-made Savage, 1944.

18 comments:

  1. You did a very good job with it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice job.

    You really like those No.4s?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not especially. They're good rifles and I appreciate their history but I personally think that the #1Mk3 was a better rifle aside from the peep sites on the #4. I just happened to come across them every now and again, and as for this one, I have a soft spot in my heart for neglected sporters that can still be saved. Lot of sporterized #4's out there.

      Delete
    2. Why the No.1Mk3s over the No.4s? I would think that the better sights on the Mk.4s, especially the Mk.1 sights, would tip the scales.

      Delete
    3. In my opinion, the older guns were built better. More rugged. The #4 came along as a result of manufacturing shortcuts, much like the 1903A3 Springfield was an "improved" 1903. While I like the 03A3 quite a lot--especially it's adjustable peep sights--the stamped parts in lieu of forged ones take something away from it even though it made them a bit lighter and quicker to produce. Same for the Enfields. Honestly, it's mainly personal preference, as both shoot about the same if properly maintained. The older guns tend to have more history about them as many are WW1 guns that soldiered on into WW2 and beyond, but the peep sights on both the #4 Enfield and 03A3 Springfields do tend to make them better target rifles. In the end, however, I'd fight with any of them if pressed. But as pure battle rifles, the #1 Enfields would win out for extended field use, as we've seen in places like Afghanistan and India. They're just simpler and tougher.

      Delete
  3. THAT looks better. Well done, sir!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very nice ML! I knew it was in good hands.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hey Murphy,

    Dang you do good work.....that rifle looks a whole lot better than before. Kudo's for saving another rifle from the neglect pile.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And that's why I do it. I just want to save these pieces of history. I've done a handful, and it's not even a drop in the bucket considering the countless butchered sporters out there, but it gives me something to do and preserves a few more.

      Delete
  6. Looks great. Hope it shoots great too. FWIW, number 4 Enfields use "whitworth" threads, and some taps and dies, and hardware can be found searching British Motorcycle and car sources. Sadly the Number 1's use the "enfield" thread, for which I have found nothing so far.

    I agree with the sights too. My eyesight has deteriorated to the point that it is hard to shoot a number 1 well. Much easier on the number 4s..
    The number 1s look like what a British Battle Rifle *should* look like.

    ReplyDelete
  7. You are a master craftsman

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thanks. But I really didn't do much more than clean parts and replace parts.

      Delete
  8. You did a fine job - EXCELLENT!

    gfa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. Now we wait until Monday to see how she shoots.

      Delete
  9. Geez....don't know how I missed this, but NICE JOB!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Very well done, sir!

    ReplyDelete