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.303 Questions

  • 04-08-2019 2:13pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 134 ✭✭ CorkCBR6


    Hi,

    Waiting on approval for a No. 4 Mk. 1* and looking for suggestions for the best ammo.. which manufacturer makes the best or is there a difference at all? They seem to all work out at about €1 a round.

    Also I'm looking for a No. 4 bayonet if anybody knows somewhere selling them?


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,504 ✭✭✭ tac foley


    The only ammunition that seems to be available these days is Prvi Partizan - AKA PPU. It is 174gr FMJ and is about as near to the real thing as you are going to get these days.

    Milsurp stuff of extreme quality came either from Sarth Efrica, or from Greece.

    I haven't seen any of that for literally ten years or more.

    My advice is to shoot whatever you find - for sure it's never going to get any cheaper.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 286 ✭✭ oldgit1897


    I think Tac is correct, ppu is probably as good a round as you will get. Bearing in mind the lee enfield was designed as a battle rifle, not a target rifle and the benchmark was something like 4" groups at 100 yards.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,504 ✭✭✭ tac foley


    Remember that ANY Lee-Enfield No4 that produced a three-inch group or less @100 yards when being sighted in at the factory was set aside to be made into a No4[T] - the sniping rifle, I've never encountered one of those that shot into less than around 2.5"/5 shots in my entire life.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 286 ✭✭ oldgit1897


    I was looking at canadian youtubers riflechairs videos the other day. He was showing off his irish contract no.4, a cracking rifle. What an outrage it was for the irish enfields to be sold off without the irish shooters being given the chance to buy one.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,334 ✭✭✭✭ Grizzly 45


    Saw one ONCE at an gun show in AZ. About 250 usd new in grease wrapper,over 25 years ago.:(

    Confucius say."He who says one man cannot change World. Never has eaten bat soup in Wuhan!"



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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 286 ✭✭ oldgit1897


    Grizzly 45 wrote: »
    Saw one ONCE at an gun show in AZ. About 250 usd new in grease wrapper,over 25 years ago.:(

    Reportedly sold off for a tenner each by our glorious leadership at the time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,504 ✭✭✭ tac foley


    My LGS in Eugene OR has one still wrapped - he's taking offers from around a thousand bucks.

    I've seen a couple, bearing that beautiful FF stamp on the breech - VERY classy.

    As for why you didn't get them, blame the gubmint of the day, running around with their hair afire to get the FAL....


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 286 ✭✭ oldgit1897


    CorkCBR6 wrote: »
    Hi,

    Waiting on approval for a No. 4 Mk. 1* and looking for suggestions for the best ammo.. which manufacturer makes the best or is there a difference at all? They seem to all work out at about €1 a round.

    Also I'm looking for a No. 4 bayonet if anybody knows somewhere selling them?

    The spike bayonets are cheap and come up on ebay, i even came across one at a local flea market, are there any militaria places in cork ? The blade types are a bit dearer, and were supposed to double up as a knife, never understood the design, trying to use a knife with no handle.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,223 ✭✭✭ Chiparus


    oldgit1897 wrote: »
    I was looking at canadian youtubers riflechairs videos the other day. He was showing off his irish contract no.4, a cracking rifle. What an outrage it was for the irish enfields to be sold off without the irish shooters being given the chance to buy one.

    I thought "Irish contract" rifles never made it here?


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,504 ✭✭✭ tac foley


    They didn't.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 286 ✭✭ oldgit1897


    The rifles most certainly were here. This oft repeated theory of a rift between the UK and Ireland in the early 50's leading to the contract being reneged on by us, is the ramblings of a berk called Skip Stratton, who in the best traditions of writers, if you don't know the facts, make something up.

    First off there was no "political situation" that i know of back then bad enough that would lead to a contract being cancelled. Secondly i remember distinctly being handed a copy of the Sunday Independent by the father, in 1991, as they had done a full page article on the sale of the rifles and many TD's were not happy with the way it was conducted, the rifles had left Ireland before any money changed hands and the price of £10 per rifle was ridiculously low even 30 years ago. The rifles went to the UK first for collection and this is where the "They were never here" line comes from.

    I know two men, sadly both passed on now who served their entire working lives in the army, and they seen the massive piles of of wrapped rifles first hand.

    From the Milsurp forum ;


    "Gentlemen,

    I have been researching Irish rifles for some time and have put down some of my and others research on this forum in the past. I hate to be the party pooper but much of what folks have been publishing in this threat is simply wrong. The Irish did buy 50,000 Lee Enfields and they did come from Fazerkerly. Every body keeps repeating the mistake that Skip Stratton made in this 1995 book on the No 4 and No 5 rifles that the rifles were not delivered. That information is 17 years out of date. So to clarify things let me present the evidence that exists to date on these rifles:

    1) The Irish did in fact receive 50,000 No 4 MK II Fazerkely rifles dated between 1953 and 1955. I happen to have a copy of the year 2000 letter from the Irish Ministry of Defense in which they confirm this. I did not get it, Graham Priest did and I suggest those that want verification go buy a copy of his book, “The Sprit of the Pike”. It is a bit expensive, but a superb book and he discusses the Irish contract in it, along with the serial ranges that the Irish received. It turns out they did not accept the full shipment in the assigned serial number range, only 31,553 rifles from the assigned lot were received. The remainder came from other blocks, which are documented in Grahams Priest book. If you care to know, go buy the book and support real research.

    2) We have the records of the Irish surplus sales and retained stock up to February 2004. The total of the surplus sales between 1991 and 1997 totals 49,889 rifles. The total rifles still in storage were 840 No 4 MK II as of the year 2000. Now included in these sales records was the sale of .22 caliber conversions of No 1 MK III rifles, the total of which is either 889 or 989 rifles, all sold in 1991. If you do the math, you will find that there are only 160~260 rifles unaccounted for.

    3) The evidence collected to date indicates that 140~245 rifles which were DP rifles in Irish service were scraped around the time of the sale. That these rifles existed is proved by a picture I was sent of a white banded DP Irish rifle in the armory. These rifles were not sold as they were considered unsafe and were dumped in the Irish Sea. The number of purchased rifles, sold rifles and demillled for rifles are off by less then 15 rifles in 50,000.

    In any case the documentation is very clear in all regards to the quantity purchased and the quantity sold. Al the sources for this data are primary sources, either the ministry of defense, the Irish archives or soldiers present at the sea dumping.

    It seems that Skip Stratton got the idea that not all the rifles went to Ireland as some of the rifles were known to be in the UK around the time some of the surplus sales occurred. Now this is where my current research is not complete, but it would seem that at least one of the shipments, not the 1991 and not the 1996/97, most likely the 1994 surplus lot went first to the UK prior to shipment to other countries. In this second shipment, Century arms sold batches to Australian dealers, German dealers and possibly others. These rifles did not go directly from Ireland to these vendors but were first sent to the UK. I do not have the complete history on this but have been slowly putting together from recollections of individuals who worked in the surplus trade. As I have been dealing with 15 year old recollections, the details are not as definitive as the records on receives from the Irish army regarding their weapon sales.

    There is additional information I have come across on the Irish use of these rifles, such as trails order of ~500 rifles used in the Irish trials in 1952/53, along with the M45 Karl Gustav sub-machineguns, the Sniper rifles ordered and still on the books as of February 2004. But none of that is relevant to this conversation. What is relevant is it is time to stop repeating obsolete information on this topic and the “Irish did not buy 50,000 rifles” mantra is wrong."


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,223 ✭✭✭ Chiparus


    Thanks for that, it makes a lot of sense. I saw one of these in Sydney 10 years ago . still wrapped in paper. ( Micks gun shop) he was looking for about €600 - sorry i did not buy it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,504 ✭✭✭ tac foley


    Thank you, Sir, for putting me right about all that. With your persimmon, I'll repost your post on gunboards.com and a couple of others in Canada and the US where the myth has prevailed over the truth.

    Thanks again.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 286 ✭✭ oldgit1897


    tac foley wrote: »
    Thank you, Sir, for putting me right about all that. With your persimmon, I'll repost your post on gunboards.com and a couple of others in Canada and the US where the myth has prevailed over the truth.

    Thanks again.

    I got that quoted part from the milsurps forum, i would be very surprised if it were not already on the gunboards forum too. But yet the falsehood about the irish contract lee enfields persists.

    "A lie is halfway around the world while the truth is putting its shoes on".


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,334 ✭✭✭✭ Grizzly 45


    And lets not forget the whole slew of Luger pistols that were of all types and kinds,mostly navy models brought back by Irish regiments that faced off against the imperial Kreigsmarine marine corps in the 2nd battle of??in 1917 in France.They were also yused in both independence and civil war,and were also used by the Irish army officer corps,as secondary armament,as there was a shortage of Weblys in WW2.

    I knew one of them who was left to defend Dollymount strand one night in mid 1941 with 12 men,two luger pistols,one SMLE 303 ,with the wrong ammo[possibly 303 savage?] and the rest with pikes and a few single barrel shotguns,against the whole Wehrmacht had they decided to drop in for a pint.

    Anyhooo,those Lugers ended up being sold,as scrap to a Texas arms collector,for pennies on the dollar,and made him the go to man for Luger parts and a millionare overnight. Thanks Irish Govt!:(

    Confucius say."He who says one man cannot change World. Never has eaten bat soup in Wuhan!"



  • Closed Accounts Posts: 286 ✭✭ oldgit1897


    Well in the early to mid 1990's, when these enfields were being sold off, as far as my memory can recall, a brno .22 bolt action was around £240, a box of 50 eley .22's was £2.50 or so. So a brand spanking new Enfield for a tenner, was unbelieveably cheap, about the cost of 100 rounds of .22. Or get two dozen new lee enfields for the price of one Brno !

    And the thing is, the longer they were left there, the more they grew in value. I was in a dealers last year and he was showing me a 1955 dated Fazackerly made rifle, that had come in from Germany, the RAF i think, absolutely mint, 600 euros.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,504 ✭✭✭ tac foley


    I have a fine photograph of General Richard Mulcahy wearing his Navy Luger in it's low-slung holster taken in 1922. It can be found on p85 of Justin Nelson's fine and well-researched book 'Michael Collins - The Final Days'. Mine is a signed copy by Mr Nelson.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 286 ✭✭ oldgit1897


    I fired the luger a few times and loved it, it pointed very instinctually, and was of course well made. A design classic like the Colt peacemaker or 1911. I was going to see about buying one, but the hob-goblin Ahern put an end to that.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 286 ✭✭ oldgit1897


    Mauser T-Gewehr (tank rifle) from ww1. Interesting piece if you have 10k to spend, no licence needed (in the UK) as it is obsolete calibre.


    https://www.valmontfirearms.com/rifles-mauser-t-gewehr-bolt-action-rifles


    Valmont have some extremely interesting firearms for sale, Such as new STG44 sturmgewehr's (the original "assault" rifle) from ww2. Still being made in Germany as a straight pull.

    https://www.valmontfirearms.com/rifles-german-made-stg44-sturmgewehr44-straight-pull-792-mm-rifles

    And the FG-42 rifle, again in straight pull, still restricted here of course because of the calibre and the "jaysis i don't like de look o' dat clause).


    https://www.valmontfirearms.com/rifles-german-made-fg-42-straight-pull-8-mm-rifles



    They also sell enfield bits and bobs, including tools and bayonets.

    https://www.valmontfirearms.net/ww1-ww2-lee-enfield-parts


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,223 ✭✭✭ Chiparus


    oldgit1897 wrote: »
    Mauser T-Gewehr (tank rifle) from ww1. Interesting piece if you have 10k to spend, no licence needed (in the UK) as it is obsolete calibre.


    https://www.valmontfirearms.com/rifles-mauser-t-gewehr-bolt-action-rifles


    Valmont have some extremely interesting firearms for sale, Such as new STG44 sturmgewehr's (the original "assault" rifle) from ww2. Still being made in Germany as a straight pull.

    https://www.valmontfirearms.com/rifles-german-made-stg44-sturmgewehr44-straight-pull-792-mm-rifles

    And the FG-42 rifle, again in straight pull, still restricted here of course because of the calibre and the "jaysis i don't like de look o' dat clause).


    https://www.valmontfirearms.com/rifles-german-made-fg-42-straight-pull-8-mm-rifles



    They also sell enfield bits and bobs, including tools and bayonets.

    https://www.valmontfirearms.net/ww1-ww2-lee-enfield-parts

    There was a picture of one of those in the Grada store ( Athlone?) from the confiscation in the early 70s


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 286 ✭✭ oldgit1897


    Chiparus wrote: »
    There was a picture of one of those in the Grada store from the confiscation in the early 70s

    They probably sold it for tuppence halfpenny, or it wound up in a senior guards private collection.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,334 ✭✭✭✭ Grizzly 45


    Chiparus wrote: »
    There was a picture of one of those in the Grada store ( Athlone?) from the confiscation in the early 70s

    ASFIK,thats up in the Garda forensics museuem in the Park.I remember there was an article with a bunch of American police over on a visit and they got a tour of the collection. It might even be here in the archives of boards shooting,in the early oughties.
    They have some pretty rare stuff up there alright. Colt Thompsons in the very low early serial numbers.Worth anyting between 60 to 100k plus in the USto Class 3 collectors.A cut down ASFIK T Gewehr with a shorter barrel,various improvised IRA bits and pieces,and a pretty good Luger and Mauser collection,as well as a motley assortment of firearms used by local villans.

    Confucius say."He who says one man cannot change World. Never has eaten bat soup in Wuhan!"



  • Registered Users Posts: 14,334 ✭✭✭✭ Grizzly 45


    oldgit1897 wrote: »
    They probably sold it for tuppence halfpenny, or it wound up in a senior guards private collection.

    In fairness to them,they do chop off the sticky fingers of their own when they catch them.This did happen back in the 1980s to one Ex Super who fancied a few lugers and a certain Anglo Irish familys polar explorer double rifle,which he thought would look nice in his collection during the TCO days.

    Confucius say."He who says one man cannot change World. Never has eaten bat soup in Wuhan!"



  • Registered Users Posts: 441 ✭✭ jb88


    I know a guy in the UK with 2 x Irish contracts for sale, im sure a deal could be done. He is an RFD.
    As for ammo for the .303 Ive seen Remington 150g a few years ago.
    S&B 180G are good
    PPU 174G Are also good

    Picked up some MEN ammo recently very pleased with that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 134 ✭✭ CorkCBR6


    I must be getting stung, £650 for a 1943 Long Branch 5 groove..


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,504 ✭✭✭ tac foley


    CorkCBR6 wrote: »
    I must be getting stung, £650 for a 1943 Long Branch 5 groove..

    Trust me, by today's prices you are doing very well. My Uncle Geoff was a sniper in the Royal Regiment of Canada, and HE had a nice Long Branch No4[T]...

    sigh.....................


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 286 ✭✭ oldgit1897


    CorkCBR6 wrote: »
    I must be getting stung, £650 for a 1943 Long Branch 5 groove..

    Don't think so, its ok. The Long branch rifles were very good, better than the savage rifles built under contract.




  • Registered Users Posts: 5,504 ✭✭✭ tac foley


    Any No4 Mk2 Long Branch is better than any other No4. Opinions are like armholes, everybody has two, more or less.


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