Which SMLE?

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by crabby, Sep 21, 2008.

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  1. In terms of the SMLE to buy. Not looking for the rarest, not looking for a museum piece.

    If you wanted a proper one to shoot, maintain and generally place greater importance to than any off-spring what one would it be?

    Would it be a no.1 mkIII?

    I'm moving out of the UK to somewhere more open to rifle ownership and target/practice shooting.

    How much is .303? Would you look at filling your own?
  2. If you're going to shoot it, the state of the barrel is more important than the mark. Check for both wear on the rifling and excess coppering (modest coppering can be removed with various cleaners - heavy stuff needs gunsmithing).

    As for reloading, if you're competing you'll need to load your own to match the load perfectly to the rifle - just a few more or less grains of powder can close up a 4" group at 100yds to a 1/2" group.
  3. It wouldn't be competing. It'd be me having a bit of a blat the occasional weekend. I can imagine that loading my own would be a right pain in the backside, as I am not well known for my patience and good temper.

    While I understand the state of the barrel etc, I was thinking more about weight distribution, strength of internals and the advantages between the different sighting systems used through its life (I wouldn't be going down an optical route)
  4. Haven't shot enough of them to offer an opinion on the marks, but I would say that if Ammo is a problem, reloading is easy enough as long as you steer clear of Lee Reloading junk and go for RCBS or best of all, Redding. I use a Redding press with revolving turret, so you can leave all the dies on it, and an RCBS manual scales, and can load a cartridge in about i minute.

    And it is quite pleasant to tinker with the load and see your groups tighten up as if by magic.
  5. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    2A1 rifles are frankly Horrid!
    That said you can get reasonable No1 mk 3 * for not too much. I'd avoid Australian ones as the coachwood shrinks and destroys what bedding there may have been.
    Lots of commercial versions about LSA/BSA etc and ones assembled from parts at NRFs. Move this to the shooting sports forum and you'll attract a better level of responses!
    Please remember that not all countries allow military calibre rifles for sport or target use.
  6. France, for example. But I'm not sure about .303" as many countries may well class it as an obsolete or non-current military calibre. Certainly when I go stalking there I have to leave the .308" at home and take the 6.5x55 Swede.
  7. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Thats not what I was told, I was told it applied to all calibres ever used by a military. france that is.
    Even in between the wars a few Aussie states banned mil calibres!
  8. Well nobody there objected to the Swede, which used to be a military cartridge - though perhaps as it was on a Brit FAC with an EU Permit accompanying it. If so, I might be able to take the .308" next time. :)
  9. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Well its worth a stab, whats the worst they can do?
    I've a wildcatted 7.5 Mas cartridge developed to get around this problem!
  10. That's sacrilege. It has to be .303, just to make me feel good about it.

    I'd be looking for a good example and know they're not cheap. From my research Canada has no rules regarding .303 being banned
  11. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    In Canada the Lee Enfield rifles are specifically excluded from the regs regarding magazine capacity for both target and hunting! Good choice and you can get them there pretty easy.
    Rules in Canada are a tad queer though, go to the EU/foreign firearms laws threads for help.
    To be honest our laws of stalking are the most open of any so called civilised country and also best set to preserve the animals and also ensure humane control is used.