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Centerfire Rifles - Semiautomatic or Gas Operated Centerfire rifles, carbines and other gas operated rifles.

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  #1  
Old 12-31-2010, 5:38 PM
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icentropy icentropy is offline
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Default .303 WWII Sniper Rifle?

my FIL has a bolt action rifle he believes is chambered in .303. He said he was told it was a WWII sniper rifle. I don't know anything about this besides that. I did some searching on the web and found that it looks like a Enfield .303 but the front of the stock is different. Does anyone know what this is and give me some info on it. the barrel is marked "Britain" but i can't find any caliber markings on it. Any info is appreciated. I'm also wondering if it's worth restoring? can it be rechambered to .308 or something easier to find than .303? Is it an accurate rifle? i know nothing about this rifle or the .303 caliber.







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Old 12-31-2010, 5:47 PM
jeff762 jeff762 is offline
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go here......http://www.surplusrifleforum.com/viewforum.php?f=27 tikirocker is the resident exspert and might be able to answer your questions.
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Old 12-31-2010, 6:00 PM
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It looks like the front end was sportered, in issue condition that thing is an expensive gun. It doesnt have the right front end to be a L-42 and you said it is in .303 brit. The scope alone is worth some cash, if you decide to sell you would be better off restoring it then selling.
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Old 12-31-2010, 6:28 PM
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You bet your bippy it is worth restoring!
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Old 12-31-2010, 6:35 PM
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Well your No. 4 Mk1T is supposed to look like this:


Don't even think about changing the caliber. The .303 can be plenty accurate. As SMLE-man said, it's worth restoring.
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Last edited by berg; 12-31-2010 at 6:37 PM..
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  #6  
Old 12-31-2010, 6:39 PM
blu97 blu97 is offline
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It looks like the real deal, has the barrel been cut or is the front sight missing?
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Old 12-31-2010, 6:58 PM
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The barrel hasn't been cut but it is missing the front sight. He also gave me another .303 rifle that looks the same but has iron sights. The second rifle was (according to him) stolen from an american armory, sold to his brother. His brother then took it to the local Sheriff station back in the day and they ran the serial number. They said the armory said they didn't want it back so a bill of sale was written and it ended up with my FIL years later. The weird thing is that they both (the original used by his dad and the other one picked up from an armory) have the same cut stock on the front. He said that his dad used it in WWII as a sniper rifle and that his dad said that that was how he used it in the war. The only reason I'd think of converting it to .308 is that from the little i've been able to learn today oline, the .303 is obsolete and no longer commercially produced? I'd like to keep this one in the family as a useable rifle and if .303 isn't gonna be available I don't see the reason for keeping a rifle in that caliber given the option. Besides read that the military began modifying them to .308 as well...
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Old 12-31-2010, 7:14 PM
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.303 is available
.
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Old 12-31-2010, 7:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuyW View Post
.303 is available
.
Yeah what you have read about .303 being obsolete and no longer produced is wrong.

http://www.midwayusa.com/browse/Brow...g=653***690***

Don't mess with it any more than it already is. What you have is a piece of history and can be valuable if it is restored.
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Old 12-31-2010, 7:19 PM
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Plenty of .303 ammo out there.

L42 was converted to 7.62 NATO. L42 still had the upper wooden heat shield out to the rear barrel band, no front sight barrel after that.

Looks like you have a sporterized MK3. That scope should be a #32.
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  #11  
Old 12-31-2010, 7:33 PM
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I just found this post at the firing line forum

"No.4 rifles can be rebarreled to .308 Win. The conversion requires a new extractor and magazine and, if you want absolute reliability, some machining of the feed lips in the receiver although you can do without this if you don't mind the occasional failure to feed.
Most of the ones done in England were heavy barrel ones with the woodwork cut back to about halfway. They ranged from professional conversions with new stocks to minimum necessary to make it work. A few military profile barrels were also made but these are scarce.
The SMLE is insufficiently strong for this conversion.
Some work with No.4s has also been done on .223 conversions and 7.62x39mm"

maybe that's why the woodwork is cut back?
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  #12  
Old 12-31-2010, 8:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icentropy View Post
I just found this post at the firing line forum

"No.4 rifles can be rebarreled to .308 Win. The conversion requires a new extractor and magazine and, if you want absolute reliability, some machining of the feed lips in the receiver although you can do without this if you don't mind the occasional failure to feed.
Most of the ones done in England were heavy barrel ones with the woodwork cut back to about halfway. They ranged from professional conversions with new stocks to minimum necessary to make it work. A few military profile barrels were also made but these are scarce.
The SMLE is insufficiently strong for this conversion.
Some work with No.4s has also been done on .223 conversions and 7.62x39mm"

maybe that's why the woodwork is cut back?
Probably not - that one looks "Bubba'd", that is, someone didn't like the military look and wanted something that looked more like a US hunting rifle (possibly the look of this Winchester 70 - )
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Old 12-31-2010, 8:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icentropy View Post
I just found this post at the firing line forum

"No.4 rifles can be rebarreled to .308 Win. The conversion requires a new extractor and magazine and, if you want absolute reliability, some machining of the feed lips in the receiver although you can do without this if you don't mind the occasional failure to feed.
Most of the ones done in England were heavy barrel ones with the woodwork cut back to about halfway. They ranged from professional conversions with new stocks to minimum necessary to make it work. A few military profile barrels were also made but these are scarce.
The SMLE is insufficiently strong for this conversion.
Some work with No.4s has also been done on .223 conversions and 7.62x39mm"

maybe that's why the woodwork is cut back?
The L42 had it's forend cut straight up & down, upper handguard was retained and kept its barrel band.

http://world.guns.ru/sniper/sniper-r...nforcer-e.html

On your rifle someone simply lopped off the forend and tossed the upper hanguard. You may want to post this in the C & R section. Some SMLE lover will get a cry or two out of it ....

Restore it to original configuration is, I think, the best approach.

Last edited by dfletcher; 12-31-2010 at 8:46 PM..
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  #14  
Old 12-31-2010, 10:15 PM
alliwantisapepsi alliwantisapepsi is offline
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Your FIL's dad probably modified it over seas. A lot of tinkering was going on in both theaters. I have a bayo from my GP with all sorts of odds and ends from the European campaign as Patton moved from Africa up.
Please don't molest that rifle. Its beautiful.
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  #15  
Old 01-01-2011, 1:21 AM
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Doing a cosmetic restoration on it will be no big deal. The important bits are all present. The forearm, handguards, bands, foresight protector and king swivel are all available.
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  #16  
Old 01-01-2011, 10:13 AM
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Here's the one I bought for $100 in 1985.




It got sold last year for $1,700. It sat on the table at the gun show for exactly 21 minutes.

The scope you have is worth more than the rifle. You could buy the proper rifle off Gunbroker for $300 -$500. Slap your scope on it and probably get 2K for it.

303 is a very slow but Very accurate round and there is a ton of cheap surplus for it. These rifles are a lot of fun and since the Scopes, stocks, bayonets and rifle numbers hardly ever match you can rebuild your rifle into a treasure to shoot or sell. Even your current stock has value on the market selling it will offset the cost of restoration.

This is a rare case where you can actually turn a lemon into lemonade.
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