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    Senior Member nijalninja's Avatar
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    Molly the MLE Restoration

    G'day there. About two weeks ago I decided on my next restoration project: A 1902 I* Long Lee Enfield that has been christened Molly.

    I bought the rifle complete with sporterised stock, bent butt-stock bolt, non-matching Lithgowicon Heavy Barrel, plenty of rust, and enough old grease to stop the action from being worked without spraining something.

    I meant to start this at the beginning of the undertaking, but have been more concerned with actually doing it than documenting it, so for now I'll get everyone up to speed if you are interested:...

    ... So far I have stripped it almost entirely, cleaned, removed rust, and polished almost every component ready for re-assembly. I had a lot of fun stuck in a little room full of turps fumes when I first started. I also tracked down a few of the parts I was missing, namely an MLE Nosecap, and dial sight dial and arm 'thing' (I don't know what else to call it) but I am missing the rear flip up peep to go with it. The only other thing I am really missing is a Long Tom barrel and re-fitting a piece of suitable wood to replace what has been cut off at the front of the fore-end and to 'freshen-up' the draws which are non-existent.

    Currently I'm cleaning up the wooden furniture and getting ready to repair it. Unfortunately the stock seems to have been refinished at some point in time a long time ago which has now mostly flaked off but left an uncomfortable few shiny spots here and there.

    Next step is finding that barrel, rear dial sight peep, and fixing up the stock. I should have gotten pictures of it as I go but I've been distracted. I'll try my best from here on out to keep things updated.

    Cheers if anyone wants to follow the ordeal.

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    Senior Member nijalninja's Avatar
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    Alright so keeping with what I said above here is an update:

    Today I finished cleaning the rear sights and managed to rub away some of the stains on the butt-stock (They were pretty well stuck there) and de-grease the stock in general. Looks a bit cleaner now and ready for oil.

    And also a massive thanks to Kiwi for sending me out an MLE Butt-stock bolt (The one the rifle came with was bent in the thread). Thank you so much for your generosity Kiwi. You helped me get another inch closer to finishing this old piece.

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    Senior Member nijalninja's Avatar
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    Wasn't planning on it, but finished polishing little bits like sear bent surfaces, mag release, mag cut-off, bolt and dust cover. Everything is pretty clean looking now and ready to go back together when I get the stock ready. Seems that everything is hinging on this stock repair that I am rather anxious about.

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    Senior Member nijalninja's Avatar
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    Alright so I managed to work up the guts to try this stock repair and get the first and most stressful part out of the way. I have limited chisel experience and only two chisels/gouges that worked in this small area. Took me a bit over an hour to get everything to fit as good as I could, but I realised towards the end that my edges had rounded over to an extent that the wooden block would not be perfect, but considering this is a DP I* that I would never trust with full blown rounds having a perfectly smooth bedding area is not that important. I have no plans to go target shooting with it. I'll probably knock up some super slow 150 gr loads to plink with it. If I can hit a can at 50 yards I'll be over the moon.

    Anyway here are some pictures of it so far. I need to get our old drill press out, prep it, and then find a suitable piece of doweling to peg the repair. Then it looks like its get in there and make everything good. Been a long time since an update here but there is not much to do with this gun apart from stock repairs I am hesitant about or parts that seem near impossible to find.




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