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A venerable rifle

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/20/2014 at 14:41
jonoMT View Drop Down
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According to

http://metronews.ca/news/canada/1187420/lee-enfield-rifle-phased-out-by-canadian-military-after-100-years-of-service/ the Lee-Enfield, which was being used as an effective, reliable protection against polar bears (hey, it's Canada) rather than a military weapon is finally being retired.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/20/2014 at 15:02
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I didn't know the Canadian's still had them in service. Wow. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/20/2014 at 16:12
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Most of the big game in Africa was taken with 303s during the last 100 years.  The most common rifle around.   
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/20/2014 at 22:12
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Last Wednesday they did a special on them on Midways gun special show.  Showed them still in use and everything
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/21/2014 at 07:17
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I've got an Australian made one my Grandfather sporterized back in the 50's or 60's.  Remember him telling me he paid like $17.50 for it.  Quite accurate actually.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/21/2014 at 16:02
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That would be cool to see a picture of.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/21/2014 at 20:26
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I've got a Lee-Enfield and it is a neat old rifle.

Still, I have seen a polar bear or two and I would much prefer a main battle tank with some air support if I had to face one.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/22/2014 at 06:57
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ILya....   alll you need for a polar bear is a smoke pole...  just ask Jim Shockey! 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/06/2014 at 20:32
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Lots of polar bears have been shot with 6.5X55 Swedish Mausers as well as thousands of MOOSE ( Elk ) in Scandinavia. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/06/2014 at 21:20
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I've worked in polar bear country for a few years. We always went in teams of 3 people. One to actually do the work, perhaps with just a little help for a second or two from the other two, The other two carried a shotgun and a rifle. The shotgun was loaded with, in this order: some sort of whistling flare, two shells with rubber bullets, and 2 lead slugs.  The rifle was almost always a Sako or Husqvarna 6.5x55 loaded with Norma heavy 160 grain round nose bullets, or such. All team members had to pass a " three shots into a pie plate at 50 meters off-hand" test. Sounds easy at the bench, try that with barking dogs and charging bears and screaming people around you. We used the 6.5 because of lower recoil and that;s what they gave us.   
The polar bears cannot be "read", their behavior rarely shows any indication of intent to attack. They charge from 100 meters away or more and they do so extremely fast.  Two pairs of eyes are needed to watch in all directions at all times. In rolling terrain they are very skilled at stalking out of sight, they can be on top of you before you detect them.  
We tried dogs as deterrent, but that attracted the bears and got the dogs killed. I was never charged, but we had one team that had to shoot a very hungry and emaciated female. They shot her with the 6.5, bullet, went through the entire length of the bear, from chest to rear ham. Can't remember if it exited or not.  Had to file reports.
We camped in camps surrounded by 3 concentric fences of electric wires rigged with loud sirens (loudspeakers that also played sounds of angry dominant male bears) and fireworks. Arctic foxes always tripped the alarms, could not sleep more than 3 hours at a time. Every 6th to 10th alarm was a curious or hungry bear, we shot them with rubber bullets and pepper spray. Most effective was the angry male sound. 
Quite a few team members quit early. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/07/2014 at 07:27
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Wow, that sounds rather adventurous! Shocked
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/08/2014 at 12:22
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Originally posted by anweis anweis wrote:

I've worked in polar bear country for a few years...

That does sound adventurous...and tense.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/08/2014 at 14:47
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NOT!!!!!

Loco
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/08/2014 at 18:06
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Originally posted by jonoMT jonoMT wrote:

 for a few years...

[/QUOTE]


summers only

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/08/2014 at 20:56
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Can't use dogs because they eat the dogs? And you only bring 3 guys and 2 guns?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/09/2014 at 11:28
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This was a large scale scientific survey project in the early 1980s. Almost all teams had women. The bear that i remember getting killed was shot by a female geology student from Germany. 
Problem with dogs was that if we took one or two as guard dogs with us in the field they actually attracted bears and there were more bear sightings when dogs were present. 
If we kept them in the permanent camp they barked  their brains out 24/7 at every fox and everything else and did not keep the bears away from the fenced camp.  In my first summer there i hated the dogs more than the bears. 
I think the scariest i ever experienced was a large male following us for 25 miles, over a period of 2 days, always looking at us and sniffing from about 200 meters away. Later when i went to Africa in lion country i felt relaxed, by comparison. Until i found a black mamba.  
Back to the .303, i shot one and was surprised at how fast i could reload and fire again. I can't remember the sights, but i'd want a large peep for such a "bear rifle" 
  


Edited by anweis - December/09/2014 at 13:21
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/09/2014 at 13:20
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with the regular service loads, the .303 does kick and jump, but it also puts down anything alive. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/09/2014 at 15:01
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SMLE is still one of the fastest bolt guns in existence.  There is a biomechanical advantage to cock-on-closing actions.

A lot of the classic clabers do not get the credit they deserve, 303 being one of them.  I am building myself a hunting rifle based on an old Mosin action made in 1896.

The FrankenMosin is still a work in progress, but I like the 7.62x54R round and I think I will finish with this rifle by the end of January.



ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/09/2014 at 15:24
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Originally posted by anweis anweis wrote:

This was a large scale scientific survey project in the early 1980s. Almost all teams had women. The bear that i remember getting killed was shot by a female geology student from Germany. 
Problem with dogs was that if we took one or two as guard dogs with us in the field they actually attracted bears and there were more bear sightings when dogs were present. 
If we kept them in the permanent camp they barked  their brains out 24/7 at every fox and everything else and did not keep the bears away from the fenced camp.  In my first summer there i hated the dogs more than the bears. 
I think the scariest i ever experienced was a large male following us for 25 miles, over a period of 2 days, always looking at us and sniffing from about 200 meters away. Later when i went to Africa in lion country i felt relaxed, by comparison. Until i found a black mamba.  
Back to the .303, i shot one and was surprised at how fast i could reload and fire again. I can't remember the sights, but i'd want a large peep for such a "bear rifle" 
  
Speaking of women in the field, did you happen to have a chance to work with Dr. Susan J. Crockford? I regard her as the world's foremost authority on polar bears.
http://polarbearscience.com/about-2/ 

When I was a boy, the Father of one of my friends had worked for a time in the Arctic and had brought back a .303 Lee- Enfield in a sealskin case- most impressive to us kids.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/09/2014 at 17:25
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Nope, but i read stuff written by her. 

Koshkin, i also will be building a 7,62x54r sporter next year. Mine will be a single shot break open German style  stalking rifle with double set trigger. The action is very strong, the wood stocks are very nice wood in good condition, but the barrel is rusted and shot out. I have a very old but unused new .3085" barrel blank with 1:10 twist that i suspect (i really don't know) was made in Belgium for the  Finnish rifles but never built unto a rifle.  The gentleman i bought if from was into mil surplus and he told me he bought that from one of the big suppliers. Will use that as a liner for the original tube. I already have Lapua brass, dies, and i can cast some pretty mean slugs. The rifle had German claw mounts. 
It looks like you still have the original barrel there on that nice old rifle. I had one in the past with a very large bore, and Hornady .312 bullets made for the .303 shot very well. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/09/2014 at 21:05
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Anweis, that rifle has an odd history.

It started out as a Finnish M39 built on an antique receiver with a B-barrel.  

It blew up on me (I will never used S&B rifle ammo again):


Some years later, I had a gunsmith take the blown up barrel off and put on an old take-off M91/30 barrel.  At the time noone really made new Mosin barrels (it is different now), so that was just about the only option for me.

I popped it into an old 91/30 hex stock and while it did not shoot great, it shot well enough to become my project rifle.  It is definitely accurate enough for hunting, so I decided to make a hunting rifle out of it.

I chopped four inches off the barrel, cut the stock shorter, installed a Versa-pod spigot (which also made the forearm stiffer), installed pillars, glass bedded it, added a vertical grip to the stock, drilled and tapped it for a RSI scope mount, installed a Limbsaver recoil pad and Duracoated (first Durafil'ed the pitted barrel exterior) the barrelled action.

It shoots a bit better now, so I will proceed to strip the old finish from the stock and Duracoat it the same color as the action.  

Then, I'll splash some other color on just to make it look random.

Then, it is going hunting with me.

Everything other than the re-barreling I did myself, so I have a lot of time and effort invested into this thing.  Besides, I learned how to do quite a few things while I was at it.

In the future, I might cut the barrel a bit shorter, but for now, I will leave it at a hair over 24".

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/10/2014 at 07:32
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Ouch, that would have injured your support arm? I am guessing the bullet left bits of jacket and they became a bore obstruction for the next bullet? 
It almost happened to me as well, i fired a round of .338 Federal, ammo i made by annealing and re-sizing .270 brass. Bad idea or bad execution. The first bullet flew away taking the entire case neck with it. No harm, no injury, but bits of the case neck were lodged in the bore. The next shot would have tested the Sako's strength and my medical insurance.  I am more careful now wen choosing my "cabin fever projects".

It's a good thing that you found a 'smith willing and able to change the barrel. Most don't or won't. 

I think it was 2000 or so when i met a guy who shot feral pigs in Texas to collect blood samples for disease study. He used a MN 1944 and SB ammo and and it was accurate and good quality. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/11/2014 at 13:20
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Thankfully, I was shooting with a front rest at the time and my support arm was supporting the buttstock.  I walked away with a few scratches on my face and an urgent need to change my underwear.

Your guess is absolutely correct: jacket - core separation.

Nowadays, there are a lot more people working on Mosins.  There are even quality aftermarket barrels.

Back when I was re-barreling mine, there was nothing, so I was stuck with a take-off barrel.

Up until then S&B ammo worked well for me, but I think i will stay away from their softpoint bullets in the future.

ILya
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