View Full Version : Free float barrel on a No.1 MKIII*?

01-24-2016, 05:17 PM
Ok so before you all shout blasphemy here are the facts
I bought a no.1 mkIII* sporterized for $150 at a gun show

Since it would never be able to be actually worth much even if i acquired all the parts im not interested in doing that in would rather invest time and money into one that had never been converted in the first place.

I want to try something unique and see how much accuracy i can actually pull from a 100 year old rifle. it is more of a project then any thing else.

I plan on putting the scope rail from Addley precision on it

I plan on recrowning it

And anything else i can think of

If i were to free float the barrel it would involve not use in the front screw from the stock to the ring around the barrel.

As that ring has always applied tension on the barrel do you think it would be worse if it were removed?

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01-24-2016, 05:35 PM
They are actually very accurate rifles when in good shape and properly bedded. The free floating doesn't work so well with the two piece stock design, and it was purposefully given a light barrel to save on weight. The original design relies on a series of well thought out pressure points in the full wood stock maximizing the harmonics of the skinny barrel. You might have better luck fitting the fore end to put a bit of pressure on the metal 'wrist' of the receiver, and free floating most of the barrel length with a bit of upward pressure just shy of the tip of the fore end.
Make sure the 'draws' are in good shape. That's the sculpted bits inside the fore end in the area around the receiver. Many were cracked by people trying to remove the butt screw before taking the front wood off. There's a square recess on the butt screw that locks into a recess in the fore end, keeping it from working loose in combat.
Remember, early 1000 yard matches were shot with surplus .303's, and various members of the Commonwealth had presicion shooting teams equipped with doctored up SMLE's. They're no slouch an there is some useful info out there for making them shoot.

01-24-2016, 05:47 PM
Hey thanks for that. I figured with some effort i could get it fairly accurate. Where would be a good place to look for some info?

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01-24-2016, 05:47 PM
Oh, I've got a 1917 Lithgow sporter that is beyond restoration but has a great bore. The barrel was chopped back to the front site and nicely crowned. Otherwise, whomever got it ready to export here took a grinder to most of the military markings, and made a nasty looking flat spot on the left side of the wrist to stamp their own serial or stock number. I've got a long (L) length butt with Canadian markings and a walnut sporter fore end and rear handguard waiting for install. The Addley mount is supposedly excellent. There's another very good no drill mount that I was looking into...S&something? I'll have to dig that up, but more than a few Lee Enfield lovers swear by them...

01-24-2016, 05:49 PM
I think the addley is one drill hole but they include a drill bit and tap

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01-24-2016, 05:58 PM
Milsurps.com has a great 'knowledge library' with a number of articles by Laidler on bedding these rifles. Mostly leaning towards the full military wood though. It's a start, and will show you what's going on at the somewhat complex area around the receiver. One suggestion is to make sure the back end is doing it's thing properly, then add a couple thin strips of cardboard to the tip of the fore end to see if the upward pressure is going to help. You can even slide it forward and back a bit to see if there's a bit of a sweet spot....

01-24-2016, 06:07 PM

S&K Mounts. That's what I was trying to remember....

01-25-2016, 02:44 PM
Before you do anything, check the head space and slug the barrel. Lee-Enfield barrels can vary in diameter from .311" to .315" and still be considered ok. However, commercial bullets are .311" or .312" with one kind of expensive exception being Woodleighs. Not much point in trying for high accuracy with a barrel you cannot for which you get proper bullets. Sierra makes .311" match grade bullets.
Sporterised No. 1's are notorious for bad headspace too. Easily fixed, but it takes a handful of roughly $30 bolt heads and the gauges.
Free floating the barrel on any rifle guarantees nothing. Some rifles just do not like it. The only way to find out if your's does is to try it.
"...the front screw from the stock to the ring around the barrel..." If that means the rear sight protector(parts 34 to 36), I'm surprised it's still there. Isn't totally necessary. The front receiver screw(parts 28 and 30) is though.
Exploded drawing is here. https://www.gunpartscorp.com/Manufacturers/SMLEAlsoSeeEnfield-33496/No1MKIII-42039/PartsList-37597.htm