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After handling a real Lee Speed Rifle at a gunshow I am in love. I've wanted one for years but never had the money. Well I picked up a sporterized No4 Mk1 under $100 so I figured I could build something similar very economically. The rile already wears a commercial front sight and has a cut down stock.

The front sight will be replaced by something more traditional, a rear bbl sight will be added as well. The stock will be replaced with a nice piece of Walnut, the rear volley sight and receiver bridge will be removed and smoothed out and the whole thing refinished. Replace the standard 10 round mag with a 5 rounder for the Speed look and call it a day.

I'm having trouble locating a source for a decent stock. Neither Richard's or Boyd's cut for the SMLE. All I can find are Monte Carlo stocks and I prefer the old classic look. Anyone have any ideas where I can look? Also, is there anything I missed in my run down I should look into?
 
Posts: 120 | Location: God's waiting room/Florida | Registered: 14 February 2008Reply With Quote
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there was a guy out of new zealand that made repro lee speed stocks & others have reshaped the monte carlo sporter stocks sold through numrick to look close to a lee speed stock.
i think your best bet would be to build up a pattern from your original stock then have it duplicated.

i've looked for several years for a source of leaf & ladder sights for a lee speed style project without any luck.

i have a lee speed thats missing the dust cover and in several years of searching i still haven't found one for sale without having to buy the whole gun
 
Posts: 107 | Location: alvin texas | Registered: 09 June 2008Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Bigfatts:
After handling a real Lee Speed Rifle at a gunshow I am in love. I've wanted one for years but never had the money. Well I picked up a sporterized No4 Mk1 under $100 so I figured I could build something similar very economically. The rile already wears a commercial front sight and has a cut down stock.

The front sight will be replaced by something more traditional, a rear bbl sight will be added as well. The stock will be replaced with a nice piece of Walnut, the rear volley sight and receiver bridge will be removed and smoothed out and the whole thing refinished. Replace the standard 10 round mag with a 5 rounder for the Speed look and call it a day.

I'm having trouble locating a source for a decent stock. Neither Richard's or Boyd's cut for the SMLE. All I can find are Monte Carlo stocks and I prefer the old classic look. Anyone have any ideas where I can look? Also, is there anything I missed in my run down I should look into?


The receiver of a #4 will never look like a Lee-Speed. However a #1 Mkiii* does and they are plentiful. There are plenty of old junk butt stocks around that you can add wood too and subtract wood from to make you a pattern for a stock duplicator.
 
Posts: 13978 | Location: http://www.tarawaontheweb.org/tarawa2.jpg | Registered: 03 December 2008Reply With Quote
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I know it will never be a clone but it can be similar. And that's all I want. I love the feel of the Speeds and I love the SMLE action. Basically what I'm going for is a nice Euro sporter on an SMLE acion. I used to have the Navy Arms .45-70 and while I loved the rifle it was a little much in such a light gun.

I may have found a stock that I can work with on reloadersauctions so I'm probably going to try that out, it's cheap enough. It has a good profile and it looks pretty nice.

As for sights, I haven't seen any of the leaf/volley combo sights for sale, just the leaf sights. And I've never seen a dust cover for sale, but I'll keep my eyes open.
 
Posts: 120 | Location: God's waiting room/Florida | Registered: 14 February 2008Reply With Quote
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Check the stiff upper lip types on the Lee-Enfield forums at milsurps.com, and several others. One of them might have a dust cover. Just tell them you are restoring a rifle or they will flame you for modifying anything,
 
Posts: 13978 | Location: http://www.tarawaontheweb.org/tarawa2.jpg | Registered: 03 December 2008Reply With Quote
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LOL, I'm used to that reaction. Every time I take one of my sporters out I get the "shame someone destroyed a piece of history" bit. Roll Eyes
 
Posts: 120 | Location: God's waiting room/Florida | Registered: 14 February 2008Reply With Quote
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Yea....I hear this all the time....my thoughts are if they are so rare (and henceforth valuable), why was I able to pick it up for $50???

If the gun belongs to you....do with it as you choose.....!


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Posts: 28849 | Location: western Nebraska | Registered: 27 May 2003Reply With Quote
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Well the major cutting and chopping is done! An hour and a half worth of quality time with a Dremel and a diamond wheel and this is it so far. I still have some grinding and polishing to do, this is just rough so far. Being me, I forgot to take a before pic...

The metal looks pretty nasty but I just blasted it with Break Free and it's just the film.




Now I'm having problems picking a final finish. I thought blue, but this is going to be primarily a hunting rifle, and since I hunt mainly in a swamp where passing showers are a common occurence maybe something a little more durable. I can do Dura Coat just fine and it's treated me good so far. I've done a couple .22s, an AK and a couple other rifles and pistols. I was thinking maybe a matte black. It's durable and wears little. Plus at $20 to Dura Coat it's a heck of a lot more cost effective than the $180 the local smith charges to blue. It also helps fill in any minor pits or blemishes in the metal. The other option I was looking at is parkerizing. Thoughts?
 
Posts: 120 | Location: God's waiting room/Florida | Registered: 14 February 2008Reply With Quote
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Any more, park jobs are about the same (or more) than a hot blue.

Check the prices here: http://www.hotflashrefinishing.com/. They do very nice work by the way.

You could always try your hand at cold rust bluing. Time consuming, but really not all that difficult.
 
Posts: 8169 | Location: humboldt | Registered: 10 April 2002Reply With Quote
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Posts: 8169 | Location: humboldt | Registered: 10 April 2002Reply With Quote
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beautiful rifles. They just have an elegance about them. Hopefully mine will turn out half as nice.
 
Posts: 120 | Location: God's waiting room/Florida | Registered: 14 February 2008Reply With Quote
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Depends on how much you want to spend, but....

Email them, they can provide semi inleted Lee Enfield stocks from as low as $115 in Black Walnut to $550 in the fanciest English Walnut

http://www.gunstocks.com/


http://www.gunstocks.com/pricer22.html

I have bought several stocks for sporterized 1903s. They had a fire a year or so ago that really delayed their production, but they are back up and running again.

Barstooler
 
Posts: 876 | Location: Colorado Springs | Registered: 01 February 2004Reply With Quote
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The Enfields make excellent working rifles, accurate and indestructible......



....my 7x57R... a roughy but reliable

Roger
 
Posts: 748 | Location: Was NSW, now Tas Australia | Registered: 27 June 2009Reply With Quote
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Nice photos...

Lets me want to get back home and get mine out of the save.

My 303 Brit has taken more than a couple of plains game at over 200 meters...


Gerhard
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Posts: 1659 | Location: Dullstroom- Mpumalanga - South Africa | Registered: 14 May 2005Reply With Quote
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Well do share! I've been preoccuied with work the last couple days and haven't gotten much accomplished but in the next couple days I will finish the cutting/grinding and move on to polishing.

Going to order the bbl band and front sight tonight. Still undecided on the rear sight. I thought about express sights but it would end up being purely cosmetic. A long shot for me in FL is 100 yds so the range of the express sights is superfluous. Suggestions?
 
Posts: 120 | Location: God's waiting room/Florida | Registered: 14 February 2008Reply With Quote
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Hm, most of those are ruled out because I already chopped off the receiver sight ears or they're just too high fallutin' or big and bulky. I do like the ones 2nd and 3rd from the bottom. Details?
 
Posts: 120 | Location: God's waiting room/Florida | Registered: 14 February 2008Reply With Quote
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....showing my ignorance again, but what model is this ??



where's the stripper bridge ??

Roger
 
Posts: 748 | Location: Was NSW, now Tas Australia | Registered: 27 June 2009Reply With Quote
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It's definitely not an SMLE but appears to be a No4 MkI* originally I believe fitted with the (supposed to be temporary) two position rearsight graduated at i) 300 yards with bayonet fixed and ii) 600 yards with bayonet unfixed.

The giveaway is the cut-out at thefront for the definitely No4 bolthead.

Now either the charger bridge has been ground away or maybe it never had one.

In which case I would suspect that this is not a No4 MkI* but maybe a Canadian EAL rifle or if not something like a Santa Fe Arms modified to sporter rifle.

But it has been a long time since I got rid of my Enfields and really have forgotten quite a lot!

So I might be wrong!
 
Posts: 6766 | Location: United Kingdom | Registered: 18 November 2007Reply With Quote
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Looks like a No 4 with the volley part of the sight cut off and the charger bridge removed. Look at the pics I posted of my work so far. Just imagine mine with the sight ears there and you've got it. That's a good idea for a back up iron sight.
 
Posts: 120 | Location: God's waiting room/Florida | Registered: 14 February 2008Reply With Quote
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Does anyone have this sight? I know it isn't very classic but I have them on a few other rifles and like them. Where does it mount? Would it still be possible with my now modified receiver?

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewP...productNumber=326669

And does anyone have any suggestions for a bbl mounted sight? Maybe something on the flat just in front of the receiver? Not a whole lot of options since most rifles don't even have sights anymore.
 
Posts: 120 | Location: God's waiting room/Florida | Registered: 14 February 2008Reply With Quote
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Update:

Decided to go a little different with the bolt. Sending it out to be jeweled and have the ugly military bolt handle replaced with a blued butter knife handle. Not quite traditional Spped rifle stuff, but I've always wanted a sporter with a nice butter knife handle. The cocking piece and bolt head will also be blued. I'll probably send it out next week, waiting for payday. The bolt work will cost me more than the rifle itself!

I'm also thinking of just doing this one as a real nice sporter and looking for a No1 Mk3 to do a Speed clone. I think it would turn out more like one than the No4.

Still looking for rear sight ideas too.
 
Posts: 120 | Location: God's waiting room/Florida | Registered: 14 February 2008Reply With Quote
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Don't!

Why?

Because the Lee-Enfield was designed that way and that is what makes it so fast to manipulate. You will ruin its functionality.

FWIW in WWII it was realised that you can fire the Lee Enfield very quickly by working the bolt with thumb and fist finger and whilst still holding the bolt use the second finger to pull the trigger.

Extremely useful even today if you want a fast second shot. If you lose the knob you'll lose that ability.

I am in my fifties and I've used these things since I was fourteen. So trust me on this one...without the "knob" it won't work the way Lee designed it. You will lose ANY speed advantage that it has.

Plus it is rear locking! I'd be very, very worried about any heat at that end of ANY rifle using a Lee system!

If you really want to modify the bolt I'd "flat" the knob on the outside to make a lollipo look as in the rifle in one of the pictures.

But again you'll pay a price in speed and ease of bolt manipulation.

As the "knob" is designed to match the 60 degree bolt rotation and SHORT bolt throw of Lee's design.

This isn't a Mauser where the bolt rotates through 90 degrees and the bolt throw is longer.
 
Posts: 6766 | Location: United Kingdom | Registered: 18 November 2007Reply With Quote
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Well losing the speed doesn't concern me. I'm not looking to fight a war, just some white tails. The rear locking bit hadn't occurred to me though. I'll have to look into that a little more.
 
Posts: 120 | Location: God's waiting room/Florida | Registered: 14 February 2008Reply With Quote
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It's not really the speed (although that's why it got its name) but the manipulation even in slowfire. It is just the way the handle is set up.

Also your "cut outs" in which your cocking piece are there and form a safety feature against the rifle firing if the bolt locking lugs aren't fully turned down.
 
Posts: 6766 | Location: United Kingdom | Registered: 18 November 2007Reply With Quote
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So it's pretty much an all around bad idea? I wonder if I could just have him reshape the head and grind the number stamps off the handle then. I'll have to ask him.
 
Posts: 120 | Location: God's waiting room/Florida | Registered: 14 February 2008Reply With Quote
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Here is my SMLE project...OEM Isapore MkIII 2A 308 converted to 458 American...I can also shoot 45-70 and -90's single loaded...I used the OEM 308 12 Rd mag, just had to fiddle with the feed lips.

The 4 is a better action to use as the sights are much better.

I used an aftermarketr synthetic stock, Williams Foolproof sights and milled the sight bridge to mount the apeture sight plus a few other mods. I used a A&B 45 cal barrel cut to 22" plus a 1 1/2" muzzle brake, long ramp front sight. I had to fiddle with the extractor a bit and open up the receiver hole, cut down the rims on thew 45-XX to 0.575" OD to fit through the hole.

Handloader magazine has a very good article on convertint the #4 to 45-90 but I found using the 458 WM or 450 Marlin case a much better and easier conversion.

I DON"T like the bolt knob and it is right in the wrong position as it will hit my first knuckle on my right hand if I don't hold on tight....I will do a mod on that one of these days.

The SMLE's are strong actions but rough, cock wrong for most Americans and don't lend themselves to conversions today because not a lot of aftermarket "stuff" is available...

The 12 rnd mag holds 7 458 Americans and loaded to the SAAMI pressure of the 303 cartridge makes for a very neat close in shooter...I like mine fine.

I did the converstion because the OEM chamber was so bad I couldn't get more than 3 reloads from a case and the accuracy WITH a scope was terrible...I always wanted a 45 American so I used the SMLE action to build one.





Luck
 
Posts: 1338 | Registered: 19 January 2006Reply With Quote
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quote:
So it's pretty much an all around bad idea?


Well. I think so but that's just my opinion on the bolt handle. Certainly until I've shot the thing I'd not do any major work like that anyway as you may find that you quite like the existing bolt handle!

If you try the British www.guntrader.co.uk and serach for ALL rifles in 303 calibre you may (or not) get some listings with images of the typical Parker Hale No4 sporting conversions.
 
Posts: 6766 | Location: United Kingdom | Registered: 18 November 2007Reply With Quote
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Hope there are some ideas there! The basic P-H was simply a replacement butt (sometimes) and the forestock reshaped or reshaped. None of these are mine BTW I just had a quick search on the internet.
 
Posts: 6766 | Location: United Kingdom | Registered: 18 November 2007Reply With Quote
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Thanx Enfieldspares! I will give some thought to the bolt handle. It isn't that I don't like the positioning of it or anything, it's simply that it's an ugly military bolt with numbers stamped all over it. I thought it would be a good time to swap handles for something nicer looking while it was getting jewelled and all. I might just see if I can get him to clean it up and do a little reshaping, and maybe fill in the hole. That first pic is exactly what I've wanted for years!

Foobar, that conversion is beautiful! That would be a great hog thumper. My brother has the Navy Arms .45-70 I used to have and I think he would be really interested in your .458.
 
Posts: 120 | Location: God's waiting room/Florida | Registered: 14 February 2008Reply With Quote
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The only problem with the 45-70 is the HUGE rim and the difficulty in getting it to feed right AND having to seat the cartridges to 3.00" COAL to fit the short mag...I can shoot 45-70, 45-90, 458 American AND 458 WM rounds up to about 3.6" COAL, single loaded as the first round, depending on the taper of the bullet.

I went round and round with the rimmed case and several different magazines trying to get the feed down before I chambered the barrel...I finally just gave up and went with the belted case.

I also played around with the RUM, 416 Rigby and 505 Gibbs cases and they ALL will work in the OEM 12 rnd mag, single stack or slightly staggered...but the belted mag case is so much cheaper and there are many other considerations so I left the really BIG cases to other receivers.

The SMLE would be a very nice conversion to just about ANY caliber up to and including 50 cal using a number of different cases keeping the pressure to 40-42KCUP.

It is a controlled round feed so you could use a rimless case.

I made a bolt holding jig to hold any brand bolts/handles so I can cut off the ball, thread and add my own shaped handle or one of the aftermarket offerings.

The Bolt man at http://www.mosinnagant.net/Boltman/Boltman.html did a mauser bolt for me and will also do a Mosin Nagant bolt for me also...soon. You might try him to see if he can do a SMLE.

Luck
 
Posts: 1338 | Registered: 19 January 2006Reply With Quote
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UPDATE!

So I have about finished the gathering part of the project. I found sights, a stock set and had some bolt work done. I just got the bolt back today and I am really impressed with the work. Here's what I had done:

-serial numbers removed from handle
-hole in knob filled
-cocking peice, handle and head reblued
-body jewelled

Here it is:




The best part? All this work cost me $42, including return shipping and ins! If you guys need work done, his name is Skip and this is one of his Ebay auctions:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Bolt-Jewel...&hash=item2a08529432

You can contact him through the auction, I beleive his info is there, I don't want to put his email here without his permission.

Now I just need to scrape up the money to have the gun itself blued and to have the sights installed and it will be done! I'm going to have to resist spending all my money on the Speed rifle I just bought though...
 
Posts: 120 | Location: God's waiting room/Florida | Registered: 14 February 2008Reply With Quote
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