Accurizing Enfield Rifles

Sometimes reducing harmonics is the only way of accurizing a rifle. Here’s how to do it with Enfield rifles.

by Sergey Lyalko

Rifle accurizing is a common gunsmithing task. Normally, the gunsmith would start with insuring the action is properly glass bedded and the barrel is free floating. Maybe he will install pillars and modify the trigger. All that is normal. But what would you do if the shooting is really chaotic, has a one-side, off-center tendency and does not react to the sight adjustments? Given the barrel is already free floating and the action is tightly bedded, how could that be?

Let’s consider the famous SMLE (Short Magazine Lee-Enfield) Number 4, Mark I* in .303 British. The asterisk indicates this is a version of 1942, produced in the United States by Savage. It is stamped “US Property” across the receiver with a square letter “S” for “Savage” and looks rather like a Number 5. It also has a “flaming bomb” stamp, which is the insignia of U.S. Ordnance Branch. Serial numbers of rifles produced by Savage have the letter “C” incorporated after the second digit and is a count of guns produced. The serial number here shows this rifle was number 360,682 produced by the Savage factory since inception of the SMLE contract.

This rifle is famous because the basic design was issued starting in 1895 when a longer Enfield version, called MLE, was adopted by the British Army. It had several innovations, quite futuristic for that time, superior even to the Mauser 98. Among them is a…

Read more in the March 2018 issue.

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