Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015 - 62

selected for their accuracy. A cheek
piece was added to the stock and the
Model 32, 3.5x scope was mounted
on it. This gained a reputation as
being tough and dependable, and was
considered the best sniper rifle of World
War II.
The Lee Enfield, in its entire span of
manufacture of models and submodels,
ran from 1888 to into the 1980s, with
more than 16 million made in England,
the United States (Savage), India and
Canada.
It served in Britain's entire
Commonwealth, including Africa
and the Middle East, and is still serving
in many parts of the world. It remains
a popular sporting arm in the British
Commonwealth countries.
In Canada, New Zealand and
Australia, for example, the Lee Enfield
and the .303 cartridge are what the
Springfield 03 and the .30-06 cartridge
are within the United States.
Even though it's often called an ugly
duckling, the military Lee Enfield can
be made into a fairly attractive and
effective hunting arm.
When I was in gunsmithing school,
one of the students bought a couple
of well-used, but clean, No. 4s for $20
apiece. He cut the barrels to 22 inches
and tapered them a little, and installed
Lyman sleeve sights with the properheight front sight.
On one rifle he carved a nice
thumbhole butt stock and a singlepiece forestock with checkering, the
other sported a more traditional pistol
grip and he mounted a 4x scope onto it.
After working the creepy triggers to
a decent pull, polishing and bluing the
metal, and assembling them in their
final form, they were rifles that any of
us would have been proud to own.
62

The Lee Enfield never had a
reputation as an outstanding target
rifle, but after his customization, his
open-sighted one grouped handloads
at 2½ to 3 inches at 100 yards, and the
scoped version drove the slugs inside
2 inches.
Not bad for a mass-produced military
arm, and certainly more than adequate
within 300 yards for hunting purposes.
Without going into detail, when
the .308 cartridge became a military
round, many Lee Enfields after 1957
were converted to chamber it, and were
in use well into the 1990s. Some still
are. The changes were in the bolt head,
extractor, barrel and magazine.
In the U.S., the Lee Enfield and
the .303 cartridge never really became
popular because the Springfield 03 and
Mauser 98 could be rebarreled to shoot
similar case-head cartridges, and the
30-caliber was our caliber.
But during the 1950s and '60s, as
well as in the late 1990s, there was an
influx of surplus Lee Enfields that hit
our shores and quickly sold. I remember
picking up a couple of them for under
$75 in 1997, and if you were lucky
enough to get in on that, due to the
rise in popularity of older military arms,
the value has probably increased by
five times.
As far as the .303 British cartridge
goes, the bullet's actual diameter is
.311/.312 inches, and as effective as it
was as a military cartridge, it is equally
as effective as a sporting cartridge.
Comparatively speaking, it is in the
same category as the .300 Savage and
.30-40 Krag cartridges, which are pretty
good company to keep.
The .303 British was popular enough
to be chambered in the Winchester
Model 95 lever-action, Remington Lee
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015 - Intro
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015 - 5
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Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015 - 64
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015 - BB1
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015 - BB2
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015 - Cover4
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