By Dick Tracy
Last year while shopping for jewelry for my wife we decided to stop at our local pawn shop to see what they had. While my wife was looking at their rather large display case full of gold ,silver and diamonds I decided to wander over to the gun section. Their prices are usually pretty high but I thought it worth a look since my wife was to busy talking to the owner to notice my wandering and I’m not much on jewelry.
There it sat in the very far corner of the gun rack. An obviously sporterized Enfield No.4 Mk.1. The price tag said $125 but I knew with a little creative talking I could buy it for a little less. I had nothing to lose so I offered $75 for it. I was promptly told no. Well we haggled for about 30-45 minutes and settled on $85(I still think they gave it to me at that price so I would just leave). I took my new prize home with a smile. I was especially happy because I have one of the greatest wives in the world. Not only did she not get upset at me for buying “another gun”, she got so interested in the rifle that she decided to forgo the jewelry to go shoot “that cute little rifle”. As it turned out she took her first deer with it but that’s another story.
I should give a little description of this little gem. It looks allot like the one in the photo with a few exceptions. The rear portion of my stock is of original configuration. Who ever owned it previously modified the detachable magazine to a fixed floor plate (looks kinda cool). The fore arm piece in the photo looks very close to mine (mine also does not have the top piece of wood). The front sight is a removable piece(which I removed). Barrel length is a measured 21.5 inch barrel. I ended up buying the excellent scope mount for the Enfield from S&K. It is a very sturdy mount of very good quality. I mounted a Bushnell 3-9×32 and bore sighted the now neat looking little rig.
I took the handy looking little set up to the range along with 80 rounds of Winchesters 180 gr. power points. My first couple of groups (3 shots per) were not real impressive. A 2.69” and a 2” even. I buckled down and paid more attention to what I was about and the next group shocked me to say the least. .38”! I knew it had to be a fluke. Well it was. But! I decided to let the barrel cool and cleaned it out while doing so. Once the cooling was done I settled back down on the bench. I fired three more groups before checking them out. When I went down to have a look at the target I was very happy indeed.
As I was taking the proper measurements I recorded these results. 1.69, 1.13 and what! .44! I should have quit at that point because it was getting dark fast. So far I had a group avg. of 1.4 in. But in my stubbornness I decide to shoot one more group. 2.38, damn. Well not to bad really it still came out with a 1.5”. avg! That’s as good an average as many new bolt action rifles. I would probably been able to keep that last group down under two inches but the light was almost gone and the target was a little hard to see. I have shot many groups since then (in good light) and have yet to shoot over two inches. Actually rarely over 1.75 inches!
I have been using .303s to hunt deer for the last four seasons and I can tell you this, They kill deer well! Matter of fact I would not hesitate to use it for Elk and Moose with Federal’s 180 grain Trophy Bonded High energy load. As long as one observes and adheres to the guns range limitations( with a 180 gr. load 250 yards on the large critters is not out of the question) the .303B should work as well as anything (with proper load selection). I believe I’ll try Hornady’s 150 gr. light magnum load this year. I’ll let you all know how it turns out.
Enfield Rifle Sites:
Enfield Rifle Research
Lee-Enfield Rifle Site
Richard’s Lee-Enfield Page
The Lee-Enfield Forum