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Thread: 1904 BSA MkI *** Bound for Ireland

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    Member Combloc's Avatar
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    1904 BSA MkI *** Bound for Ireland

    Howdy, I'm a new member who has been collecting since the 1980's and this is my first post on this forum. Enfields are not my area of focus but I appreciate them simply because they are military firearms and I've never met a military firearm I didn't like! So, here we go...…

    The other night, I was talking to a friend of mine about the No4 Mk2 I had recently purchased (I'll post that one up next) and he happened to mention that he had a 1904 model that had been upgraded for Ireland. I asked if I could take a look at it and he said "Sure, I've been thinking about selling it and I'll let you have it for what I paid for it if you want." Well.....to cut to the chase, the following pictures are the result. He told me the stripper clip guide on the bolt is a reproduction but the rest was good as far as he knew. After spending hours on the net researching these damn things, I'm certain this rifle is a typical BSA MkI that was more or less upgraded to a MkIII configuration using a combination of the original BSA parts with a liberal sprinkling of Enfield parts and a new serial number applied for sale to Ireland in the 1920's. Then, in the 1960's it was sold as surplus on the US market. Unfortunately, I'm also pretty certain this old clunker was sporterized at some point by cutting down the stock as was common back then. I still remember well my uncle bragging back in the 1970's about how nice and handy an Enfield he had was for hunting once he got rid of all that extra walnut and bulk. Even back then as a kid I knew he was destroying History but he didn't care. He had "built" himself a "reel nice huntin' riefell purdy cheep!".....ugggghh. Anywho, at some point somebody took pity on this old relic and restored it by replacing all of the wood in front of the stock socket, bringing it back to an approximation of what it would have looked like back in the 20's after the rework. I say "approximation" because there was some variation in these depending on what parts were used and those parts were sawed off long ago and likely burned up in a stove for heat. I love the smell of burning History in the morning; smells like...….stupidity. So, it very well could have looked like this or just a bit different. Whatever the case, the restoration bits used are original parts so, while it has little monetary value, it still makes for a nice looking representative example of what would have left the rework armoury bound for Ireland back in the 1920's. It's kinda' neat holding a little piece of the once Mighty Britishicon Empire in your hands.
    Let's take a look:

    I'm not going to bother with descriptions of every photograph as I'm sure you know what you are looking at more than I do but I'll interject some drivel where I think it's appropriate.










    Unit disk has been scrubbed and you can still faintly see the old stock cartouche in the walnut:



    Stock repair:


























    Serial number on bottom of sight matches the original struck out one on the receiver:



    I love the old bone inlay on the slider:




















    I guess the fore stock is an early MkIII unit made by Enfield. This, the upper handguards (maybe not the rear upper but certainly the front), rear band and the front cap are what I figure are the restoration parts. They look to be NOS parts nicely installed:








    The bore isn't too bad. It's nothing to write home about but it looks serviceable. I don't really plan to shoot it anywho.
    Here's a bullet rambo'd into the end:



    It's pretty funky looking prior to any cleaning:







    But with just a minimal amount of work it's looks quite a bit better. I only ran a bristle brush through it about 5 times and swabbed it until it was semi-clean. With a little focused attention, it might clean up pretty good:





    Last picture shows 50 years of development. A 1904 and a 1954, both bound for Ireland:



    Okiedokie, that's my restored Mk I ***. It's as obsolete as me just prettier. Thanks for taking a look!

    ---------- Post added at 08:26 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:22 PM ----------

    Also, while I have no plans to ever remove the action from the stock, I figured I could at least remove the rear handguard to document the markings and do the same with the volley sight. So here is an addendum:













    Lastly, I seem to be missing the screw behind the band. Does anyone have a spare they are willing to part with? Thank you!
    Last edited by Combloc; 12-16-2018 at 08:35 PM.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    The old rifles look like artwork to me...
    Regards, Jim

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    Contributing Member enfield303t's Avatar
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    Very nice.
    Why use a 50 pound bomb when a 500 pound bomb will do?

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    Member 303 Gunner's Avatar
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    Very nice! I'm working on cleaning up an old (new to me!) CR Mk I*** as we speak.

    The rifle drew first blood, quite literally, as the front sight took a chunk of my hand once I broke the very stubborn nose cap free. I'll have to post photos once I've got her apart.

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    Really Senior Member jonh172's Avatar
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    Very nice rifle Combloc and a very very nice write up!!

    Pairing the old and the "new" is a nice touch.

    Looking forward to a range report!

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    Member pisco's Avatar
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    best medicine would be cast bullets would be a charm to shoot


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