No.5 Jungle Carbine

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Pyrodex, May 13, 2007.

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  1. Hi all, ive put a deposit down on a very nice condition 1945 dated rifle, it looks like its seen very little use, or been refurbished to a very high standard! what i'd like to know are peoples real life experiences of shooting these rifles, i know there is a lot of talk of "wandering zeros" and such but ive heard modern range reports that seem to disproof this as a myth?
    i also know they kick like a mule, but thats half the reason i want one, a bit of a talking piece for on the ranges, something different.
    also does anyone know a source of 1940's era telescopic sights? it might be cool to set it up as a kind of "jungle sniper"
    any input/ recomendations would be gratefully recieved!
  2. I assume yours is in .303? In which case, a chronograph may reveal that factory ammo has insifficient velocity from that short barrel to be deer-legal (if that's what you intend to use it for?)

    Mine fell short, but handloads saw me OK.

    Wandering zero can be a problem, but rebedding is relatively simple with Brownell's Accraglass or similar. The short barrel also means noticeable recoil and some muzzle-blast, although the flash-hider (which yours should have) helps a bit.

    Fultons of Bisley may be able to help with a scope; but contemporary WW2 ones are optically dodgy, and - if in good condition - are scarce collectors' items. One-inch and 30mm scope mounts/rings are made by several firms, and will allow you to fit what you like. The Meopta 7X50 with No 4 reticule is superb, in my experience. Optically and structurally as good as they come, and at modest price.

    PM me if .303 handload info reqd.

    Good luck!
  3. The "wandering zero" thing appears to have been a bit of a myth that was used by the SASC as justification to kill off the No5 and prevent it being adopted as Service standard rifle in place of the No4 - the War Department didn't want to cough up funds to build another 250-500k rifles when they already had about 4 million No4s in depot.

    Like all Enfields, the accuracy of No5s is dependant upon the stock being fitted correctly. Many No5s are poorly stocked and need some adjustment - the barrel is designed to be entirely free-floating forward of the chamber, and if it touches the forend anywhere, group size and MPI will change as the rifle warms up.

    Its also likely some No5s have their accuracy compromised by poor fit of the flash-hider over the end of the barrel - if its not completely concentric to the bore, then it may cause an asymetric effect as the bullet passes the crown of the barrel.

    You don't mention how you intend to mount the scope on the rifle. Drilling and tapping for any sort of permanent mount would knock about 50% off the UK value of a No5. Making a replica 4(T)-style mount and scope would cost you about £1200 - No32 scopes are extremely expensive. A better solution is to fit a Fultons/Armalon bolt-on scope rail. You tend to need a very low-mount scope like a Simmons Whitetail or similar, as bigger scopes make it almost impossible to get an Enfield butt into the shoulder.

    No5s are just fine with standard .303 ball - the currently available Seller & Belliot commercial ammo is very good. I have shot a No5 at 1000x and did not have much trouble getting it onto the target, so ignore those who promulgate internet urban myths....

  4. thanks for that, yes i'll probably need the home-loading advise, i'll pm you when i pick her up..
    as far as use goes ive got .303 on my ticket for target only, so it'll be tested up to 600 yards on century range at Bisley- i cant imagine it'll be accurate much over that.
    ive checked the usual online sources of info, and it all seems legit- "No.5 carbine" electro stencilled on the left, rubber butt pad, correct flash hider etc all there.
    i'd like a period looking scope if not a genuine ww2 vintage one, ive seen the no gun smith scope mounts so i'll go down that route, and see what i can find as far as scopes go.
  5. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    If it is good condition and original then consider shooting it in the classic competitions. Wandering zero was a story made up by the WD so they didnt have to ditch the No4 in favour of the No5 which by all accounts was more popular with the troops due to its size and weight.
    If you want to hunt deer with it, the legal issue is what muzzle energy that calibre produces. This is less of an issue with .303 even 150 grain ammo with the lightest recommended SAAMI charge should develop 1760 foot pounds from a 25 inch barrel. Thats 60 lbs more than you legally need.
    If you have the money to buy decent glass then dont mount it on an original N05 carbine, that would seriously devalue it and no carbines were fitted with scopes. The Aussies cut down some No1 rifles and they became No6 Aust Pattern. They are very rare.
    Should you have access to a No 32 scope and mount it correctly on a No5 then it will only be eligible for the any sights comps and you will be up against the decent modern MOA and sub MOA rifles.
    Check out the No5 carefully. If it is in the UK it should be easy to ask to see under the wood to check for correct lightening cuts and also all the serial numbers (or at least the range of) are known. Buy a fake/repro ok just dont pay original prices for this!
    Caubeen that ammo must have been anemic, was it Gevelot?
  6. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Consider Lera/HBSA they can be very helful. Your rifle will have been regulated for 174 grain fmj. The S&B stuff is very good. You dont zero these rifles too much, a different blade size for elevation and a screw clamp for deflection.
    I can recommend IMR 4895 and Vit N140. Seriously though with one rifle per calibre it keeps reloading simple as per sorting out brass. When you have 4 or more in a calibre then decent factory ammo is needed.
  7. i'd like to join with the LERA, and shoot in classic comps, i know theyre open sight only-theres no way i'd butcher a genuine rifle with a permanant scope mount, dont worry!
  8. Not Gevelot, although I tried some of that in a No 3 LE and it was cr@p. S&B wasn't much better. My best results in all .303 LEs has been with Norma, although handloads (Norma brass) will always do far better.

    In Oz you will see the amazing things the Oz Cousins can do with .303s and brass.
  9. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    I have some .303-22 and 25 wildcat recipes and only lack of dies has stopped me playing!
  10. 4(T) and Ugly are spot on the money in terms of opinion.

    What follows is my opinion:

    If you want a scoped Enfield find one that has already been drilled and tapped or has otherwise lost its originality. Original rifles are too good to start butchering.
    As far as the "clamp on" type aftermarket scope rails are concerned - forget it - you can't get a proper cheek weld even with an add on cheekpiece.

    Enjoy the No.5 as it is and find a sportrised one to hack about with.
  11. Pyrodex,

    LERA is a great club to shoot Lee Enfields - lots of members with hundreds of Enfields. Most of the shooting is done along military practice lines, so you get a feel for how these rifles were used in regular service (doing the old SLR APWT on an ETR range using a smellie is especially frantic fun!). All of the comps/events are divided into class of rifle, so Boer War Metfords get to participate alongside 1980s L42s, etc. There is a specific "close range match" (used to be called the CQB Match, on which it is based, but PC diktats force the dropping of any military terms...), and this has a silver trophy for the best No5 score.

    (Cough! Not that i'm in any way connected with LERA, of course..... ;-))