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If you would like to write a testimonial for Island Accuracy, feel free to contact us with a photo and a few words and we will proudly display it on our website.
This is an all original, unmodified, commercial Mauser 98 (Parker Hale) in .243 as it came from the factory in 1964. Max sent it in to us after the best group he could get with any ammunition was roughly 3.5" @ 100m, and the first shot tended to fall low and left with a wandering zero as the barrel heated up. We began by striping the rifle completely and inspecting the working parts. This revealed that the muzzle crown was not even due to wear and damage, the bolt and trigger groups contained large deposits of old oil and grease interferring with lock time and trigger operation and being a high velocity cartridge there was significant hard fouling, copper and powder in the bore. In general the barrel appeared to be in about 75% condition. We refreshed the muzzle crown, accu-cleaned the barrel to remove all fouling and removed all deposits from the working parts and lubricated the working parts appropriately. We then turned our attention to the stock and found uneven fore-end pressure on the barrel and a worn bedding platform for the action. We relieved the barrel channel and epoxy/aluminium bedded the action, and built a new fore-end platform to provide even and correct fore-end pressure. We also found that the scope was canted (cross hairs on a slight angle), this was corrected and the lenses were cleaned. Max has happily reported that the rifle now shoots groups under 1" @ 100m with commercial ammunition, but also the cold bore first shot falls within the group point of impact, and a higher number of shots can be fired without accuracy dropping off due to fouling. Not bad for a rifle made in 1964!
Parker Hale Super Safari
Lee Enfield No4 Mk1 Project Rifle - Part 1
This No4 Mk1 Lee Enfield, manufactured in 1942 was picked up recently by a customer in the corner of a local gun shop. The rifle was all-original and had what looked like a worn but good enough 5 groove barrel. The customer had long wanted a Lee Enfield Sniper Rifle, but couldn’t justify spending the thousands of dollars these rifles now command.
The rifle was delivered to us as is and we were tasked with carrying out or Sniper Rifle Conversion, and giving it a good tidy up, so that it would look as good as it could shoot.
First off the rifle was stripped down to its component parts. The rifle was found to be in generally good condition. Many of the internal surfaces were covered with thick cosmoline, the woodwork was choked with 70 years or wax, grease, oil and dirt, and the bore was caked with copper and powder glaze.
We decided to tackle the woodwork first and using our specialized techniques, removed the contaminants from the wood and lifted all the dents, leaving us with a lovely looking walnut stock with the original stamps and markings intact. Further, the action platform in the stock was also rejuvenated by this process. All of this was achieved without using any sanding or abrasives of any kind.
Please tune in for part 2 coming soon, when we tackle the metalwork of this classic and begin the conversion from lamb to wolf...
To finish off the woodwork, we re-applied the original wood finish to the rifle (successive coats of hand rubbed boiled linseed oil), finished with a touch of beeswax. This has the effect of stabilizing the woodwork, and preventing moisture from entering. This treatment also pays respect to the scars the rifle may have picked up in its lifetime, and doesn’t go over the top and make the rifle look and feel ‘plastic-y’ like many lacquer or polyurethane finishes.
Lee Enfield No4 Mk1 Project Rifle - Part 2
Before the metalwork of this classic could be fully inspected, we needed to remove all the years of use, abuse, grease, dirt, rust and cosmoline. We used our specialized cleaning technique to do this. All of the impurities were removed from both the surface and the deep pores of the metalwork, without scrubbing or chemical action of any kind. This left us with a surgically clean base to begin from. The photo below shows the sludge that had accumulated over the years, most people think their rifles are ‘pretty clean’…
Having inspected the rifle, and found all parts to be in good order, we set about fitting our No4 Mk1 (T) Sniper Rifle scope mounting pads to the receiver. We used our specialized jigs to ensure that the pads we not just mounted square to true to each other and parallel to the bore centerline, but also collimated to the centerline ensure that the scope would achieve zero with (very) little or no adjustment. This process ensures consistency across varying ranges.
To finish off our metalwork, we re-applied the original finish to the rifle, ensuring corrosion resistance on all exposed parts, and maintaining the charm of a wartime finish.
Please tune in for part 3 comming soon, when we add the eleven secret herbs and spices, and put the sniper into the rifle...
The key components for accuracy in any rifle are the barrel, muzzle, stock and trigger. Wartime manufacturing techniques, coupled with years of neglect can leave these key components wanting.
With this in mind, we began by accu-cleaning the bore of the rifle. This gave our barrel the level playing field it needed and highlighted the fact that generally barrels after intensive cleaning are better than you think. This barrel turned out to be very good and we finished it off with a bore polish. From here we moved forward and re-cut the muzzle crown to ensure that gas pressure on the projectile was even around the projectile as it leaves the barrel.
Lee Enfield No4 Mk1 Project Rifle - Part 3
Addressing the stock was a more difficult matter, years of moisture had caused the stock to warp slightly and apply pressure to the barrel incorrectly. However, with good English walnut as a base, we were able to straighten this out and ensure proper contact between the action and platform, as well as specifically bedding the fore-end to the barreled action as specified by the original military procedure.
Finally, the trigger was completely dismantled. We consider everything from the tip of your finger to the base of the cartridge as ‘the trigger’, and so we polished and re-set every pin, sear and bent right up to the firing pin, to ensure a smooth, crisp break at a little under 3lbs (just right for service competition).
Having ensured that all components are up to our standard, all screws were torqued to the correct setting and locked.
In addition to these major points we carried out a number of other ‘special’ procedures to ensure your rounds stay in the 10 ring.
Lee Enfield No4 Mk1 Project Rifle - Part 4
So, the day has arrived! Its time to up the finishing touches on this rifle. Firstly we added a reproduction sling of the correct pattern, along with the sniper swivel, and a set of reproduction scope covers to go over our reproduction No32 scope. To top it off, we placed the whole lot in a reproduction No15 Sniper Rifle Transit Chest, complete with the rifles serial number stenciled on top.
Following a thorough running in, and range clean, we set up for a group in typical blustery conditions, using some hand rolled match rounds.
And the results? … A picture speaks a thousand words!
Please stay tuned for Part 4 where we dress our new lady friend for a range date and see if she can dance!
'...the more I shoot it, the better it gets!'
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Package (VIC)
'...after sighting it in, I fired a 1" group at 300 yards! Unbelieveable!'
Lee Enfield No4 T Sniper Rifle Conversion (VIC)
'...having got the rifle back, I only fired 2 sighters and 15 business shots at 300... and again the same shots at 500... and won the ANZAC day shoot!'
Lee Enfield No1 Stage 2 Accuracy Upgrade Package (VIC)