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Thread: Is this lee Enfield a no go?

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  1. #1
    Member Zucchini's Avatar
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    Is this lee Enfield a no go?

    Hi guys,
    I was looking around some local gun dealers when I noticed a Lee Enfield No4 Mk1* for a tasty price. On closer inspection, the bolt is non-matching which is a concern, If I go ahead I understand I will need to check if both lugs are making proper contact and make sure it has proper headspacing (I mean its an Enfield headspacing isn't a big thing). Don't worry I'm not concerned about it being a non-matching rifle all I want is an entry to the Lee Enfield brotherhood Problem is it isn't local it's about 500km away from me so I cannot do my standard inspection, I don't even know if the bolt fully closes at the moment. So I am looking for some more knowledgeable advise on whether it is a good buy or a no go.

    Thanks,

    Long branch 1942 s/n: 18L8730 or 19960










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    Really Senior Member Al Diehl's Avatar
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    It would have to a have great price to travel 500km for that one. Of, course not knowing where you are at doesn't help since we don't know what kind of availability you have where you are at. It has a New Zealandicon acceptance stamp on the stock. It appears to have had another serial number place on it above the original. It's been around.
    If you were making the trip anyway, I'd say check it out but, again, it would have to be a really great price to get me to go that far for it.
    Good luck.

    Al
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al Diehl View Post
    It would have to a have great price to travel 500km for that one.
    It ships the cost in petrol would cost more than the gun lol. It is up for $450 NZD but I will try to talk him down if I decide to buy it, It might not be safe to shoot after all. It is in New Zealandicon which explains why it has the NZ acceptance stamp however I'm not sure if NZ stamped the new serial number on it.

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    Really Senior Member Al Diehl's Avatar
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    I understand. I thought that you were going to have to travel to get it. (Is there even 500kms in NZicon?)

    Al
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    Personally i'd pass on it. You'll find one with a matching bolt soon enough for the same price. Don't be in a hurry.

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    Probably caused by two squaddies chewing the fat as they cleaned their weapons and mismatched their bolts on reassembly or...................................! It is what it is and clearly needs some TLC. Always worth a punt at the right price IMHO
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    NZicon rifles usually had another NZ number marked on them so this 19960 number could indicate that NZ number.

    This thread also brings home something else. The location of '....behind you ....' might cause a smile but it's useless when we need to know where you are in order to give you advice.

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    Really Senior Member Sunray's Avatar
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    "...headspacing isn't a big thing..." Yeah, it is. Thousands of Lee-Enfields have been assembled out of parts bins with zero QC. Isn't difficult to fix bad headspace, if you have the right bolt head. And matching numbers doesn't mean that bolt head gives good headspace. Not matching doesn't mean the headspace is bad either though.
    The issue with that bolt is the finish is gone and the rust. Neither is particularly difficult to fix either, but I'd want proof of good headspace before driving 100 KM, never mind 500.
    "...there even 500kms in NZicon..." Lengthwise with both islands, but not the width. snicker.
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    You get what you pay for and by the look of that one I understand why its cheap without any mention on the H/S as SR pointed out is as important in the Lee Enfield as any other rifle we shoot regardless, condition of the tube could be a totally shot out barrel requiring replacement that alone will set you back $700+-, Stock has more varrnish on it than a Bunnings warehouse stocks on its shelves.

    It is definitely not a sleeper that some granny put away and stored correctly more so its a well used example that without being handled and closely inspected denotes its condition by the asking price I would be asking some serious questions but I am already out the door on this one........

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    Regular readers will know that I am not put off by external condition. I have refurbished (and shoot!) rifles that - externally - could be described as "tomato stakes", "sewer pipes" or just plain scrap. But they are all "good shootable" to "excellent" internally, and all bolts match.



    The trouble with long distance evaluation is that you have no idea of the internal condition, and my own experience is that the seller's opinion is not worth much. So in the end it has to be hands-on evaluation.

    In short, non-matching bolt rules it out IMHO, and the distance makes it certainly not worth going to have a look.
    Last edited by Patrick Chadwick; 09-13-2018 at 11:27 AM.

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