Now that the Government has flagged amassive decrease in future high-tech Defence expenditure, it wouldseem timely to bring up the possiblility of reverting to the conceptof the Rifle Club Regulations which fell under the old Defence Act.Under that arrangement, the 60,000 NRAA Rifle Club members were aDefence Resource, whose ammunition and rifles were subsidised by theDefence Department on condition that they could be utilised duringnational defence emergencies.
Just an idle thought, but no one hasever dared in hundreds of years to invade Switzerland, have they?
Along those lines, have a look at RossWilliams old article from the Weekly Times on guns, shooting and thewider community. It will be revealing to our younger shooters I amsure and cause a lump in the throat to many of opur older ones, I amsure.
While we’re on old times, I receivedthis email enquiry from reader Tim Dunne, which some of you may finduseful.
From: Tim Dunne
To: ‘Marcus O’Dean’
Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2012 7:49 AM
I just got given a Lithgow Mk III .303 made in 1942. Iknow you love your military rifles. I was just wondering how do Ipull the bolt apart for cleaning? Can’t find any info on the net.Also how strong is the action in regards to full power handloads? Canit handle it?
She’s in pretty rough condition so I’ve pulled it allapart and all metal pieces are soaking in petrol for a few days todegrease it. So I’m up to sanding the wood back now. To re-oil do youreckon boiled linseed oil or something else?
I’ve been getting keen on a bit of Aussie memorabiliarecently ay and then this came along so I’m happy as. Thanks for anyinfo.
Firstup, I’d get a gunsmith to headspace it – will take all of two minuteswith the right gauges. As for pulling the bolt apart, I have neverdone it myself; I just screw out the bolt head and pour a bit ofpetrol or kero down the hole towards the back end or just soak it inpetrol for a while. Then pull it out, dry it and and just use somespray lube down the guts. You need a special tool to disassemble andwith modern spray lubes these days I have found it’s not reallynecessary to fully disassemble. If you wish to know how to do all thesmaller workshop jobs on SMLEs, write to Ian Skennerton, PO Box 80,Labrador QLD 4215 to get a copy of his book “Accurising andShooting Lee Enfields”. It’s a good, well-illustrated resource.
You mayfind the stock is fairly oil clogged already. What I have done in thepast is to get some spray foam oven cleaner and cover the timberwork,leaving for an hour or so, then pour boiling water over it and scrubaway the oil. Let it sun dry for a few days, finishing off with ahair dryer, then use steel wool to bring the raised furry grain backto a smoother finish.
Thenstain it – I use a combination of walnut and jarrah stain verylightly applied so it shows any pleasing grain underneath. Let itdry.
I don’tlike linseed as a finish as it darkens eventually and sweats a lot inthe heat. I have successfully refinished with Feast Watson SatinFinish Tung Oil (for floors) as it seals the woodwork from moisture.Apply it two parts turps to one part oil with a small paint brushboth inside and outside the stock. On the outside, after the firstcoat has soaked in, reapply with a rag, rubbing until it’s warm andput aside. After it dries, you can go over the finish with steel woolso future coats adhere to it and so it does not build up a deepgloss. It used to take me about six to eight coats and steel woolrubs to get it where I wanted. Like a linseed finish, it can be spotrepaired and is very pleasing to the eye – not glossy but looks likea classic linseed oil finish without the downsides.
On fullhouse loads, if the action is in good condition, there’s no reasonwhy not. For shorter range shoots, however, I load back with lighterprojectiles with a starting load of AR 2208 eg 150gn bullet (eitherTaipan or Sierra SP) with 41gn AR 2208 or a 124gn Lapua FMJ with 46gnAR 2208. For a full-house long-range load I use 46 to 46.5 gn AR 2209behind a Sierra 174 Match King. This duplicates factory velocity withless pressure and has proved to be really consistent and accurate inall of my .303s.
You’vestarted a fascinating adventure with one of the most amazinglyeffective contemporary battle rifles of its time. Good luck with it.
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