It's almost here! I have a proof copy coming, and wanted to show you the table of contents.
I’ll bet you thought about fixing up your old Lee Enfield,
but figured it was too expensive. Maybe you didn’t know where to find any accessories. Don’t put it off any
longer! I had an old, five groove Long Branch that was in desperate need of repair. Most of it was cosmetic, but some
parts had to be replaced – including the barrel. But I didn’t want another 303 British. It would be reborn as
This is what happened.
In 1984, I bought a No 4 Lee Enfield for $50 at a local gun show – and probably
paid too much! The rifle had already been sporterized and was in rough shape. ‘Hacked up’ would be a better description.
Nevertheless, I had a soft spot for No 4s, so I took it home.
should have taken a few pictures of it that first day. The metal needed re-bluing. Someone used a file and a hacksaw on the
trigger guard and action. The trigger was filed to make it a single stage pull. There were grinding marks on the barrel in
a few places, and the wood had been cut back. It took three months, but the trigger, trigger guard, rear sight and fore stock
were replaced. There was no way that this rifle could be fully restored, but I did the best I could.
I shot it for about 15 years as a 303 British. The first modification from the original
was rechambering it to 303 Epps. The Epps was a good cartridge, but the rifle still needed work, and the air force was keeping
me busy travelling. As a result, it found its way to the back of the gun safe and stayed there for longer than I care to admit.
In 2015, I decided to rebarrel it. At the same time, I figured the metal should be Cerakoted to restore the rifle’s
dignity. I sent it to John Rempel, owner of JR Gunsmithing, where it would become a 30-303.
It took about a year to finish because John was injured in a car accident, but within
a few days of its return, I had it at the range. No one noticed anything unusual. Two guys remarked it was nice to see someone
shooting “an old 303”. I let them in on the secret and they left impressed. The following were some of the questions
It must be expensive to rebarrel.
No. It is the same price and time in the shop as any other rebarreling.
Was it worth the bother? Those two-piece stocks aren’t any good.
Is that old wives tale still floating around? The No 4T
was a sniper rifle! Yes, it was worth it!
equipment is custom, right?
No. You use standard
303 British dies with one inexpensive modification.
the cases will be time consuming.
No. You just
resize the case like any other cartridge. One pass and you’re done.
Why bother fixing it up?
It’s a classic, full wood rifle that will be more accurate and live another 100 years!
more I thought about it, the more I realized how economical the rebarreling would be. I already had 303 British reloading
equipment, and thousands of 308 bullets.
do you transform an old, hacked up No 4 into a modern beauty? This, and other questions, are answered in the book.