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Thread: Remaking a hunting rifle: Enfield Stock from Scratch (Sporterized)

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold GranddadsDadsMine's Avatar
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    Remaking a hunting rifle: Enfield Stock from Scratch (Sporterized)

    Good afternoon all! This is my first thread, and I'm extremely excited to be on here. Something I've always wanted to do was refurbish or remake, my Enfield SMLE sporter into a hunting rifle that I can rely on. It belonged to my Grandfather, then my father, and now me. Though it has been sporterized... I'm over the moon I get to own and operate such a piece of history. Made in 1915, it has endured the inevitable mud, muck, dirt, grime, dents, dings, scratches and patches. All the things that a young boy growing up on a lot of land in the 50's and 60's can throw at it. Along with the use and abuse, came a couple decades dusty and cobwebbed in the rafters. Give or take a few years. But ALAS, it has made its way to my hands, and I'm honored to have it. I've also always been one for a romantic story. I want to turn this beauty into something I can take out on my hunting trips and rely whole heartedly on.

    The initial cleaning came about 4 or so years ago when I first received it. All the surface rust has been taken off inside and out. The barrel and action look great and the blueing is well intact. Although, I hear that the original blueing on Enfields was near black. If that's the case, the blueing is a little light but still good. Surprisingly the metal has gone all this time with little to no real damage. It looks great. The action works splendidly, and after a thorough cleaning and oiling, the bolt cycles like its off the line all those years ago. Now this is where it might get hairy. The Bore. It definitely shows its age. I'm a novice at this sort of stuff so I don't know what REALLY bad pitting looks like compared to average pitting. It doesn't seem to catch any patch when put through though. Nevertheless, this past weekend I was reinvigorated to start the project and went and got myself some Hoppes Benchrest copper solvent, and spent around a cumulative 24 hours getting nearly all dirt, lead, and copper out of that bore. Two or three bronze brushes later, one holy **** moment of getting degreaser in my eye (I'm OKAY) and one angry girlfriend (Apparently our apartment may not have adequate ventilation ) , the bore looks leagues better than it did. I have JB non embedding bore cleaner compound on its way and will hopefully be able to get a polish on it too.​

    The real problem is the stock. It has its character. Wooden dowellings used to plug holes, and patches used to correct breaks, and seemingly extend the butt of the stock (I could be wrong). I will be keeping the original stock as a momento and if I end up failing the endeavour. My idea was to go from scratch with two pieces of Black Walnut glued into one 4"x8"x48" blank. I'm wondering if a blank created like this will be able to withstand the recoil and heat from firing the rifle. If I were to use something like titebond III? If there is any literature on stock building out there that somebody could point me to, that would be immensely helpful. Or maybe a thread on this forum. ​

    Anyway, I will be posting pictures when this project is completed. I will do my ****edest to do just that... complete it! Any tips or tricks to help me along the way would also be welcomed. Thank you very much for your time. Have a great day and enjoy!
    Take pride in everything you do, or not, you do what you think's right, I'll do what I think's right

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  2. #2
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    Heirloom guns are cool.

    Sometimes bores that look pretty bad will shoot a lot better than you'd think. Give it a good cleaning and shoot it and see.

    Making a rifle stock is tougher than it probably sounds. You may want to look at one of the after market ones that is already mostly inletted and shaped.

    Good luck. Keep us posted on your progress.

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    Boolit Mold GranddadsDadsMine's Avatar
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    Thank you very much, i absolutely will update. I have no doubt in my mind that this is gonna be a tough project I figure i've always got the old stock that's still functional, if the new one doesn't work out so well! I will definitely see if aftermarket ones are something i might be interested in

    Thanks a lot!
    Take pride in everything you do, or not, you do what you think's right, I'll do what I think's right

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    Boolit Master

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    Hi GDDM -- Welcome to the forum! I really enjoyed reading your original post. I myself am a Lee Enfield No.1 Mk. III* fan, and own several in various conditions from "as-issued" to "completely sporterized." They are such a nice, smooth, fast action and chambered in such a completely adequate cartridge that they're hard to resist. As they were your Country's service rifle for some years, followed by the No. 4 rifle, they are doubtless as nostalgic to Canadians as the M1903 Springfield is to us south of your border. In fact, I killed my first whitetail buck with an as-issued model back around 1958 or 9. 215 gr. JSP, Peters brand. There are some fellows from Canada and Australia that post on this forum and who have reworked many of the No.1s. A couple of them are masters of the craft.

    Your comment about the telltale odor of Hoppe's solvent is funny. I sometimes clean handguns at my desk in the office attached to my house. About two months ago my daughter visited, and the minute she walked in the front door, two rooms away from the office she said, "Hoppe's No. 9!" A fellow named Tom Gresham has a radio program down here on which he discusses guns and related subjects, and he used to have a little radio play about a beautiful girl who comes to the office of a Private Eye seeking help. After the consultation she leaves, and the P.I. says, "After she left I realized I never should have let her go. Her cologne was Hoppe's No. 9!"

    Well, then, about the bore -- I am one who absolutely can not abide a pitted bore, and among a rather large assortment of long guns which I possess you will only find a couple with pitted bores; and that's because original barrels are not available. Pitted bores to me are like fingernails across a blackboard, etc. But, in all honesty, sometimes pitted bores will still shoot far beyond one's expectations. So, the truth of the matter is that the only way they can be gotten rid of is to re-barrel the firearm, and if they shoot well for you and you don't lay awake at night with shivers and cold sweats thinking about the pits, then just live with them. Your choices for a re-barrel job would be a new issue barrel (hard to come by and expensive), or any of many aftermarket sporter barrels. And since it is already sporterized, that would be the route to go.

    As for the stock, I'm going to add my voice to the chorus urging you to get a semi-inletted stock from someone like Boyd's Gunstocks and go with that. There are black plastic drop-in stocks available, but how uncharismatic is that? A No. 1 Mk. III should have nothing other than a walnut wood stock. A semi-inlet will involve you doing some minor inletting to make it fit properly, but that's good experience and it's unlikely that you'll ruin the stock beyond usefulness. A good place to learn and perfect some stockmaking skills, and something you'll be proud of when trudging across the muskeg looking for a reindeer. Forest, looking for a moose? Whatever. Here it would be mule deer. In any event, stay away from the stock blank without a mentor. I think the one in the photo below was a Bishop semi-inlet stock, but that company is long gone. It's been about 25 years, and I don't really remember.

    Well, best of luck to you. It's really great to have a hand-me-down firearm. I have a couple, and handling them always brings the former owner back to memory.

    DG

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    Boolit Master

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    Looking forward to it! Got any pics? When you get ready to work up a load for it, try seating some boolits a bit longer. Sometimes it helps accuracy if the throat it worn.
    To Thomas Jefferson: It's America! We can have our plows AND our guns!

    http://lindsayfarmonsilvercreek.blogspot.com/

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Der Gebirgsjager View Post
    Hi GDDM -- Welcome to the forum! I really enjoyed reading your original post. I myself am a Lee Enfield No.1 Mk. III* fan, and own several in various conditions from "as-issued" to "completely sporterized." They are such a nice, smooth, fast action and chambered in such a completely adequate cartridge that they're hard to resist. As they were your Country's service rifle for some years, followed by the No. 4 rifle, they are doubtless as nostalgic to Canadians as the M1903 Springfield is to us south of your border. In fact, I killed my first whitetail buck with an as-issued model back around 1958 or 9. 215 gr. JSP, Peters brand. There are some fellows from Canada and Australia that post on this forum and who have reworked many of the No.1s. A couple of them are masters of the craft.

    Your comment about the telltale odor of Hoppe's solvent is funny. I sometimes clean handguns at my desk in the office attached to my house. About two months ago my daughter visited, and the minute she walked in the front door, two rooms away from the office she said, "Hoppe's No. 9!" A fellow named Tom Gresham has a radio program down here on which he discusses guns and related subjects, and he used to have a little radio play about a beautiful girl who comes to the office of a Private Eye seeking help. After the consultation she leaves, and the P.I. says, "After she left I realized I never should have let her go. Her cologne was Hoppe's No. 9!"

    Well, then, about the bore -- I am one who absolutely can not abide a pitted bore, and among a rather large assortment of long guns which I possess you will only find a couple with pitted bores; and that's because original barrels are not available. Pitted bores to me are like fingernails across a blackboard, etc. But, in all honesty, sometimes pitted bores will still shoot far beyond one's expectations. So, the truth of the matter is that the only way they can be gotten rid of is to re-barrel the firearm, and if they shoot well for you and you don't lay awake at night with shivers and cold sweats thinking about the pits, then just live with them. Your choices for a re-barrel job would be a new issue barrel (hard to come by and expensive), or any of many aftermarket sporter barrels. And since it is already sporterized, that would be the route to go.

    As for the stock, I'm going to add my voice to the chorus urging you to get a semi-inletted stock from someone like Boyd's Gunstocks and go with that. There are black plastic drop-in stocks available, but how uncharismatic is that? A No. 1 Mk. III should have nothing other than a walnut wood stock. A semi-inlet will involve you doing some minor inletting to make it fit properly, but that's good experience and it's unlikely that you'll ruin the stock beyond usefulness. A good place to learn and perfect some stockmaking skills, and something you'll be proud of when trudging across the muskeg looking for a reindeer. Forest, looking for a moose? Whatever. Here it would be mule deer. In any event, stay away from the stock blank without a mentor. I think the one in the photo below was a Bishop semi-inlet stock, but that company is long gone. It's been about 25 years, and I don't really remember.

    Well, best of luck to you. It's really great to have a hand-me-down firearm. I have a couple, and handling them always brings the former owner back to memory.

    DG

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    Thank you all for the input, I really appreciate it! Der Gebirgsjager that is one beautiful firearm there, and really is what I'm kind of going for too! I just might look around for a semi-inlet stock. I've never heard of them so ill do some digging but I like that idea. As for the barrel, to be honest the pits wont bother me too bad if it shoots straight. If I can rely on the accuracy and have a beautiful stock on it, then I will have accomplished my goal. Also, if I can rely on it in the woods out looking for whitetail, mission complete! I am enamored by hand me downs. When I'm holding it, its almost as if I can see my Dad running through my grammas field shooting stumps and pop cans. (never was a hunter, just liked shootin'!) And as for Hoppes, there is nothing like the smell of hoppes with the morning cup of joe and a long Sunday worth of cleaning ahead of you.

    Thanks for the reply!
    Take pride in everything you do, or not, you do what you think's right, I'll do what I think's right

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    Boolit Mold GranddadsDadsMine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silvercreek Farmer View Post
    Looking forward to it! Got any pics? When you get ready to work up a load for it, try seating some boolits a bit longer. Sometimes it helps accuracy if the throat it worn.
    Don't have any yet but I will get some up by the weekend. A little showing of the wear and tear on it!

    Thanks for the post!
    Take pride in everything you do, or not, you do what you think's right, I'll do what I think's right

    "Lady if you weren't a nun, I'd let you save your own bacon."
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    https://www.boydsgunstocks.com/

    Boyd's is a great place for gun stocks.

    Post some pics of your rifle as is, so we can see where you are starting from.

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    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...e-(and-friend)

    Here is a link to VonGruff's build . He is a true Master craftsman and does some incredible work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lar45 View Post
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...e-(and-friend)

    Here is a link to VonGruff's build . He is a true Master craftsman and does some incredible work.
    WOW! Thank you very much. Read the entire thing. Gonna have to print that one off for my info collection hahaha! Really appreciate that!

    As for the stock, I have thought about buying a stock and might end up doing it anyway but I would like to try and make one from scratch. I love the idea and love seeing the process so I figure the obvious thing to do is give it a shot.

    I will definitely post some pics soon.

    Cheers!
    Take pride in everything you do, or not, you do what you think's right, I'll do what I think's right

    "Lady if you weren't a nun, I'd let you save your own bacon."
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    There is a company that laminates three planks cut from the same piece and reverses the middle one to provide a stock that won't move. This approach requires an oversized blank and is the only way I'd accept a glued up stock. You will never get adequate grain matching from separate planks and this will show badly in a finished stock.
    Wayne the Shrink

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  12. #12
    Was at a gunshow a year or two ago and ran across a guy who said he had a stock duplicator, and that he was from somewhere in Saskatchewan.
    For the life of me I can't remember the guys name, or even the town he's from.
    There are people out there who can rough you out a stock and let you finish it, you just gotta find who they are.
    Go to a decent gun show near to home and I'm sure there will be a barrel full of decent take-off stocks. Unless you're dead set on building your own.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    After that much cleaning , you might have to shot several rounds to get it to "SETTLE" down. Keep that back in a corner of your mind. And as all ways , some loads will shoot better than others. But you are wanting to shoot - right. Get either =A "past" COMPANY SLIP ON pad for your shoulder or put one on the gun. Steel to the meat of your shoulder will hurt.

  14. #14
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    I used Elmers glue when laminating two sheets or pieces of 3/4" plywood for making the table this computer is sitting on,a couple laminated workbench tops and anything else that would require a couple sheets to be laminated. You need plenty of room to swing the full 4x8 sheets of plywood. Use a paint roller to get plenty of glue on one sheet only. Then a whole lot of C clamps. I even use 2x4's to act as braces across the width or length so that all of the two pieces get pressure to help the wood to bond together.even have the bar clamps that you screw on to 1" black pipe. The more the merrier. Let set for at least 24 hours longer is better. To prevent divots in the glued material use short sections of 2x4 under the clamps. after all clamps are off lay out what you want and use a circular cut the thick wood and the glue joint. Use a good sharp carbide circular saw blade.You'll probably end up using a saber saw as well. I usually clean up the edges with a belt sander or good 1/4 sheet sander. Frank

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    Boolit Mold GranddadsDadsMine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lionel Allen View Post
    Was at a gunshow a year or two ago and ran across a guy who said he had a stock duplicator, and that he was from somewhere in Saskatchewan.
    For the life of me I can't remember the guys name, or even the town he's from.
    There are people out there who can rough you out a stock and let you finish it, you just gotta find who they are.
    Go to a decent gun show near to home and I'm sure there will be a barrel full of decent take-off stocks. Unless you're dead set on building your own.
    Thanks guys, love seeing all the tips. I looked into a CNC duplicator and they're just too expensive right now. ALTHOUGH I did find a few DIY ideas for one that could be fun to try in the future. Very cool idea.

    CLAYPOOL : Thanks for the warning hahaha! Ill suck it up though, I'm young, ill re-coup quickly!!!

    Samari46 : Thanks for the tips. I realized early on in my research that this will take an ample amount of clamps
    Take pride in everything you do, or not, you do what you think's right, I'll do what I think's right

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    Boyd's offers a Walnut butt stock for the No1 Mk III at a reasonable price...............an alternative should you change your mind.
    Shipping to Canada is not a problem, I've ordered from them many times. Great company to deal with.

    Here: https://www.boydsgunstocks.com/gunst...tk-143822915zz

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  17. #17
    Boolit Mold GranddadsDadsMine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red River Rick View Post
    Boyd's offers a Walnut butt stock for the No1 Mk III at a reasonable price...............an alternative should you change your mind.
    Shipping to Canada is not a problem, I've ordered from them many times. Great company to deal with.

    Here: https://www.boydsgunstocks.com/gunst...tk-143822915zz

    FWIW.
    RRR
    Absolutley, I agree 100%. I definitely will be ordering from Boyds if things start to go south lol.

    Seen there website thrown around a lot eh? I trust that they're quite reputable.

    Thank you, Sir
    Take pride in everything you do, or not, you do what you think's right, I'll do what I think's right

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  18. #18
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    I realized early on that when glueing wood together that there is no such thing as too many clamps. I got lucky when I was in the wood butcher phase and a guy had about a dozen 3"& 4" c clamps. got them all for $50. Frank

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Smith View Post
    There is a company that laminates three planks cut from the same piece and reverses the middle one to provide a stock that won't move. This approach requires an oversized blank and is the only way I'd accept a glued up stock. You will never get adequate grain matching from separate planks and this will show badly in a finished stock.
    There is a company doing it, just can't remember the name at the time. We used that method at Serengeti Rifles. You need a plank a minimum of 2 1/2" more is better, and a good resaw to be able to pull it off. You also need a good table belt sander, and a rather complicated clamping system. You need to have a finished blank of 2 1/4" minimum for most stocks with a cheek piece. A home hobbiest may be able to pull it off, but it would be expensive and time consuming to have a good finished product.

    This is a rifle I did using that method.

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...her&highlight=

    I go along with others recommendations to get a pre-inlet stock. Build a few guns from those before you tackle building from a plank. There is a big learning curve, and the pre-inlets let you see where your future difficulties can arise.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
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  20. #20
    Boolit Mold GranddadsDadsMine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waksupi View Post
    There is a company doing it, just can't remember the name at the time. We used that method at Serengeti Rifles. You need a plank a minimum of 2 1/2" more is better, and a good resaw to be able to pull it off. You also need a good table belt sander, and a rather complicated clamping system. You need to have a finished blank of 2 1/4" minimum for most stocks with a cheek piece. A home hobbiest may be able to pull it off, but it would be expensive and time consuming to have a good finished product.

    This is a rifle I did using that method.

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...her&highlight=

    I go along with others recommendations to get a pre-inlet stock. Build a few guns from those before you tackle building from a plank. There is a big learning curve, and the pre-inlets let you see where your future difficulties can arise.
    Thank you very much for the input. I looked through your thread. That is a beautiful piece of workmanship. I appreciate the advice very much!
    I will probably be following it

    Cheers
    Take pride in everything you do, or not, you do what you think's right, I'll do what I think's right

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check