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Thread: Modernising Lee Enfield No.1 Mk3 .303

  1. #1
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    Cool Modernising Lee Enfield No.1 Mk3 .303

    Hi guys, Im new here and have been on a quest to find info and solve common problems with modernising my 1918 Enfield banger. I've solved many problems on the way, and would like to offer some solutions, as well as hear from others who love this old school calibre as much as I do...

    I've got a 1918 No.1 Mk3, Parker Hale conversion to sporter, which my dad bought for me in 1990 and was still in the box with grease in the barrel. Grease had gone hard and he had to carefully warm the barrel and the grease came out in one solid core! Obviously a marvellous example in great condition. But since I'm not a die hard traditional enthusiast or collector, I have made many modern alterations as of late:

    Starting with a surprisingly inexpensive ATI technologies, polymer, Monte Carlo style stock which is specifically made for No.1 Mk3, (also available for No.4). It came with a solid plastic butt plate that I replaced with a "Limb saver" rubber butt pad, that is actually made for a Ruger M44. Perfect fit! That has made a massive difference to felt recoil, and therefore accuracy. And the "Monte Carlo" style shape is SOOOO much of a relief, especially while shooting prone at the range! The stock is so well made to fit, that it went straight on out of the box and tightened up for as perfect a fit as you could hope for in terms of remaining true to the Enfields design for barrel harmonics. Its arguably a far better bedding around the receiver, and therefore better harmonics than the original design.

    Currently Im having a muzzle brake fitted (my particular boom stick has 12mm of barrel remaining for threading, forward of the original front sight), and that will reduce recoil and muzzle jump a huge amount, bringing my groupings down even further at extended range. Im having it completely reblued in the process. A good quality bipod is also being thrown at it, and can be removed easily depending on where and how I'm hunting.

    On top Ive got a Bushnell XLT Trophy with "DOA" reticle, which matches perfectly to the 150g .303 trajectory: sighted in and zeroed at 100y, still pretty much dead on at 200y (maybe an inch high at worst), 2nd DOA dot below cross hairs is dead on at 300y, and top of the "post" below DOA dots is dead on at 500y. Keeping in mind that since the barrel and rifling is a pretty good example, windage issues often accredited to worn out Enfields simply doesn't apply.

    I did have issues re-scoping it, due to a common problem with matching rings to the Parker Hale base, which is pretty oddball compared to the more common and modern Weaver style bases. Those facing this issue understand that Parker Hale rings are VERY hard to come by!!! The issue I had, is the old scope I had on there was much narrower and shorter, and when I upgraded the scope, I found that the bolt head on the Enfield which needs to be in the up position to enter and slide forward into the action, simply wouldn't fit under the wider, deeper circumference of the new scope. So, I had to find new, higher rings that would fit the Parker Hale base. (I didn't want the expense of getting a gunsmith to remove old base and buying/fitting a new Weaver style base). With a bit of looking around and fluffing about at my local hunting shops, I found a perfect fit! Warne rings for CZ/Brno fit perfectly! With the only downfall being that the Warne rings don't have the locator lug under the rear ring, which Parker Hale integrated into their design to stop "scope slide" under recoil. The Warne rings for CZ/Brno do have a side locator lug specific to the rear of the CZ/Brno scope mounts, and I simply had to put the rear ring on the front and the front ring on the rear, since it wouldn't go on the rear of the Parker Hale base with the CZ/Brno specific locator lug. But it did tighten up perfectly, and with probably 200+ rounds spent at the range since, I've had no issues what so ever from scope slide under recoil. Very happy!

    I hunt red deer, and with my rifle set up as it is, I'm confident at kill shots up to 500y, even with 150g factory loads.

    I'm now about to make the step towards my own reloading, that I have researched well to this point.

    I'm keen to hear from any and all in regards to modernising old Enfields!!!
    Last edited by Timmy; 10-10-2015 at 04:18 PM.
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  2. #2
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    You can t put a post like that without pictures ,you know that?:-)

  3. #3
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    Name:  IMG_1731.jpg
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    Scouser likes this.
    .303 British has killed more deer in NZ than any other calibre, by a country mile (and then some!!!)

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    .303 British has killed more deer in NZ than any other calibre, by a country mile (and then some!!!)

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    .303 British has killed more deer in NZ than any other calibre, by a country mile (and then some!!!)

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    I know that doesn't look too impressive. Pretty sure that was sighting in after new stock and scope.
    It says 300y, but thats what the club members were shooting that day, and thats how they set up the target system. It was actually 100y.
    I thought I'd captured the photo with ten shots recorded, but obviously not.
    I'm pretty sure since its set up for 300y, that each square would represent 1 MOA @ 300y.
    Stay tuned for better/more informative pics...
    I'll get more info on their targeting system when I get my banger back from reblueing and getting muzzle brake if anyone is interested. I'll be at the range with bells on asap!
    Last edited by Timmy; 10-10-2015 at 11:28 PM. Reason: More info, less posts.
    .303 British has killed more deer in NZ than any other calibre, by a country mile (and then some!!!)

  7. #7
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    Good to see one still out there and doing it
    Using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Member Marty Henry's Avatar
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    When u start reloading see if it will eat 308 projectiles some do and that opens your bullet selection right up.

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    Ok... I've already kinda settled on 150gr Hornady SST. Got some put aside already at the local.

  10. #10
    Village Idjit Barefoot's Avatar
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    Is there a modern peep side that is easy to fit to the No.1?
    I have the father in laws old one sitting in the cupboard.

  11. #11
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    The Hornady 150g SST should be a good fit, and they are .311. Can't see why they wouldn't do. Great BC and heaps of stopping power, so I hear. Haven't heard a bad thing about them for .303 reloading.
    I'm already getting reasonable groupings with factory ammo, so I'm only looking for any improvement, and to save some coin on ammo in the long run.
    I've got a pack of 100 set aside for me already.
    Once I settle on which powder to use, I'll check manual for recommended max load, and do 5 different loads of 5 rounds each in .5gr increments, up to the recommended max load.
    Which ever gives me the best grouping is what I'll keep as my recipe.
    I'm not going to be overly fussy or technical, but will pay close attention to head space.
    I've got over 100 rounds of good factory loaded brass that have been once fired in my banger, so full length resizing shouldn't be needed since they should have expanded to nicely fit my gun in particular.
    I'll focus only on neck sizing for now, but will look at full length resizing down the track, with an attention to case wear after a round or 3 of reloading.
    I did notice that base thickness of the brass I've got is not 100% consistent, so I'll keep an eye on that too and put aside any that fall outside the tolerance when I work out and decide what tolerance will be acceptable with that.
    Theres a few other little tricks I've seen and read about, that will also help to customise a load to my specific rifle, so they will be par to the course as well.
    After all, with factory ammo, I've got to a point that 7 out 0f 10 rounds at the range would be kill shots at 500y. At 300y I'm getting 10 out of 10.
    I'm just looking for more confidence up to and including 500y, that I'll not wound a deer and have it suffer unnecessarily. Of course we all hate it when one gets away too.
    90% of my hunting is in the bush during the day, as I hunt through to known clearings where I'll sit and watch at dusk. Some of those clearings are 250-300y shots.
    If I'm going for multiple nights out, I prefer to be up in the tussock on the tops, and thats where the 500y confidence will come in. Still stalking involved though. I'm a hunter not a deer sniper.
    I'f I can't get myself within 500y of a deer on the tops thats sitting still which I've spotted while glassing, then 100+ years of family tradition and NZ hunting heritage will have fallen short, on my shoulders.
    Not looking to over complicate things. Just looking for honest improvements.
    veitnamcam and Scouser like this.
    .303 British has killed more deer in NZ than any other calibre, by a country mile (and then some!!!)

  12. #12
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    Not sure mate. I've gone full modern with optics. You can get an ATI scope mount specifically for them, and they are reasonably inexpensive. Then chuck a half decent but inexpensive 4 x 40 scope on it.
    That would be my advice. You might want to visit the range to see how it shoots before committing to that tho. If its throwing rounds all over I would turn it into a wall hanger.
    If it shoots well I think you could get mount, rings, and scope on it for probably $400 minimum (cheap scope).

    Might be worth googling "Lee Enfield after market parts". I know theres a lot of stuff out there


    Check this for starters:

    http://www.connection-junction.com/1...ts-inventories
    Last edited by Timmy; 11-10-2015 at 10:03 AM.
    veitnamcam likes this.
    .303 British has killed more deer in NZ than any other calibre, by a country mile (and then some!!!)

  13. #13
    res
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barefoot View Post
    Is there a modern peep side that is easy to fit to the No.1?
    I.
    Very good Parker hale ones come up on tardme and eBay constantly
    Using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    Village Idjit Barefoot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by res View Post
    Very good Parker hale ones come up on tardme and eBay constantly
    Okay, thanks.
    I'll get round to testing it this summer then see if it warrants any effort spent on it.

  15. #15
    Almost literate. veitnamcam's Avatar
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    I would be interested in your sst load data if you get one that shoots well. I have a few but initial testing didnt go too well ( brand new original barrel)

    Sent from my SM-G800Y using Tapatalk
    "Hunting and fishing" fucking over licenced firearms owners since ages ago.

 

 

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