Busy with a ton of errands today, but in between, I'm starting on the first of the three new Enfields today.
I chose this one to start, since it's the only one not requiring wood repair at first glance.
Not a lot is heard about Australia's participation in World War Two, but they fought in both Europe and the Pacific from 1939 to 1945, with almost a million Australians serving. In so doing, they had 27,073 killed and 23,477 wounded. Their troops were a major part of the forces fighting the Germans and Italians in the North African campaign, and they made up a large percentage of the ground forces fighting the Japanese in the South Pacific. This rifle probably saw some of that action, and it might have seen more in Korea between 1950 and 1953, but we'll never know.
I'm currently trying to get it's dark bore clean now. I've already spent half an hour brushing out dried cosmoline, old powder and other dirt, and a sack of spider eggs (!!!). I swear my cleaning patches just turn black when brought within two feet of this rifle; it's a bloody mess in there. But the rifling is still strong enough to unscrew my brushes, so that's a positive sign. I'll be working on it throughout the day in between soaks in bore cleaner, and when I get a bit more time, the stock is going to get buffed down and rubbed with a few coats of linseed oil. I think she'll clean up nice with enough elbow grease, but she's in the best shape of the three by far, so I kind of hate to think what I've got waiting for me with the other two.
Oh--and new handguards for these things...not easy to find OR cheap. The few sellers who have one want more than I paid for complete Enfields like this one back in the late 80's. Ah well...if parts were easy to find cheap, it wouldn't be fun looking or feel like a win when you find them now, would it?