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Shooting & Reloading - Mausers, Big Bores and others >> Lee Speed Forum & Archive

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KiernanNZ
.224 member


Reged: 11/01/18
Posts: 11
Loc: Dunedin, New Zealand
My BSA Lee Enfield Projects
      #311178 - 27/01/18 08:26 PM

Hello all. First post here.
My name is Kiernan, 35yo, I'm a New Zealander. Keen outdoorsman, firearms enthusiast and sufferer of Compulsive Engineering Syndrome. You'll see symptoms occasionally...

I'm building a couple of projects. These will be functional hunting rifles build to my specs and standards, but drawing inspiration from the Lee Speed legend.

I have my father's 1901/1896/SMLE bitser which I'm using as a development project.
Enroute (paid for and shipped, should see it next week) is a complete, sporterised BSA commercial rifle and two receivers, one a commercial BSA unit less bolt, the other a BSA 1901 VR marked receiver with bolt
I have a spare MLE bolt for the BSA receiver. All bolts have their dust lugs intact.
I have my eye on another BSA MLE receiver with enough giblets to make it go.

Dad's will go back to him after I've finished rebuilding it.

I like the look of the Officers pattern 2 carbine forestock and the ATI plastic buttstock thats on dad's rifle fits me quite well. So I'm going to scale off photos for the forestock to extend and build the one on the Sporter up then shape it and use it and the ATI buttstock as models.

Dust covers are also on the to do list, I've made up a pattern off a local example.


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KiernanNZ
.224 member


Reged: 11/01/18
Posts: 11
Loc: Dunedin, New Zealand
Re: My BSA Lee Enfield Projects [Re: KiernanNZ]
      #311181 - 27/01/18 09:37 PM

First project:
Dad's rifle. This has a long history in the family, and is a bitser that has been home modified by various people.
The barrel is pitted but still shootable, the headspace on the long side but still ok and the receiver has a number of holes from a home made but functional scope mount.
Currently it is at my local gunsmith having the barrel shortened to 19" and recrowned.

While I wait for this, I'll be ordering an XS Mauser rear sight from Brownells and a Williams streamlined front ramp, hood and blade.

I'll be building a hot bluing apparatus (Like this https://youtu.be/VHyoUF50rF0 ) and refinishing the rifle. Don't worry, I have some shot out barrels to experiment on first!

I'll also be doing more work on the gunstock duplicator I'm building. Should be finished within a month or two.

Once the rifle comes back I'll have to shim the sides of the trigger release bar on the cocking piece so that there's as little sideways slop in its raceway in the receiver as possible, and build a saddle to mount the XS sight on top, then sweat the front sight onto the barrel.
I'll have to fill in the holes, smooth everything out
That's as far as I've really planned. After that the details become... vague.
Then:

Building the stock.

And building the dust cover.


That's my plan so far. I'll post updates as I make progress.

Edited by KiernanNZ (27/01/18 09:39 PM)


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Sarg
.400 member


Reged: 20/01/07
Posts: 1097
Loc: New Zealand Australia South A...
Re: My BSA Lee Enfield Projects [Re: KiernanNZ]
      #311203 - 28/01/18 07:11 AM

BIG project & a lot of work, good luck, don't waste your time building a dust cover, will take days & I think $75 should buy you one ?

Oh & no one sends firearm related items to NZ from the US any more from my experience at least not many, most will not even reply (there's another country out side the US ?) I've been building & rebuilding BSA Sporters/Lee Speeds for over 15yrs & still haven't finished many of them !

If you get time post some photos .

--------------------
No poor bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making other bastards die for their country.

- General George S. Patton


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paradox_
.333 member


Reged: 12/05/07
Posts: 406
Loc: Australia
Re: My BSA Lee Enfield Projects [Re: Sarg]
      #311212 - 28/01/18 10:27 AM

Kiernan

Quite a project. Keep us up to date, keen to see some progress pictures.

--------------------
Walk softly and carry a big stick


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Rell
.375 member


Reged: 03/12/04
Posts: 589
Loc: Oyster Bay, NY, USA
Re: My BSA Lee Enfield Projects [Re: paradox_]
      #311280 - 29/01/18 01:21 PM

Do you have a 5 round magazine for it or are you keeping the 10 rounder?

Is there a source for 5 rounders currently? I am 90% certain my uncle had one for his modified military he bought in Ottawa many years ago.

--------------------
450-400, 9.3x74r and 7x65r.


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KiernanNZ
.224 member


Reged: 11/01/18
Posts: 11
Loc: Dunedin, New Zealand
Re: My BSA Lee Enfield Projects [Re: Rell]
      #311293 - 29/01/18 04:27 PM

Quote:

I've been building & rebuilding BSA Sporters/Lee Speeds for over 15yrs & still haven't finished many of them !




Some projects are never truly 'finished'.

Rell: Magazines: I think one of each will do the trick. Already been given a ten round to cut down for it. It's a bit stuffed.

Aaand welded up the bed for my wood duplicator. 1900x800 of 75x75x3 aluminum shs with a couple of bits of 100x75x3 crosswise along the length of it.

Edited by KiernanNZ (29/01/18 04:55 PM)


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KiernanNZ
.224 member


Reged: 11/01/18
Posts: 11
Loc: Dunedin, New Zealand
Re: My BSA Lee Enfield Projects [Re: KiernanNZ]
      #311524 - 02/02/18 08:39 PM

Some pics of my 'New' rifles...





VR 1901 marked receiver


Commercial receiver No1
Small VR stamp on barrel along with ER mark and partially stamped over GR mark on front ring of receiver.
From the VR mark I have concluded that it is at least 1901 or prior.
Unfortunately the bolt that came with this rifle didn't have the dust cover lugs intact, just the stubs left over after a rough chop off job. So I'm now looking for another bolt.
Ignore the 2 stage trigger- that's me seeing if it will fit and function...


Commercial receiver No2
Small GR mark on front ring of receiver dates this from at least 1910, however the serial number beside the front recoil lug is lower than receiver No1, leading me to think that it's possibly also pre 1901. Please correct me if I'm wrong.


Edited by KiernanNZ (02/02/18 09:52 PM)


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KiernanNZ
.224 member


Reged: 11/01/18
Posts: 11
Loc: Dunedin, New Zealand
Re: My BSA Lee Enfield Projects [Re: KiernanNZ]
      #311525 - 02/02/18 08:43 PM

And after these soothing images of Victorian Splendour, how about some Techno-Heresy?

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KiernanNZ
.224 member


Reged: 11/01/18
Posts: 11
Loc: Dunedin, New Zealand
Re: My BSA Lee Enfield Projects [Re: KiernanNZ]
      #311527 - 02/02/18 09:14 PM

I know they're not Lee Enfield based rifles, but here is a post with a couple of my other projects:

What would you say if I said that I had built a bullpup rifle stock that converted a rotating bolt action into a straight pull?

"Rubbish" I hear many exclaim. "Can't be done without a CAD suite, CNC machine shop and 3d printer!"
Well, feast your eyes below!
The scope is affixed with tape to test the height of the scope and mount arrangement, see if the packer I had put in was thick enough.
The base rifle is a Marlin XT17



And the scroll cam


My Compulsive Engineering Syndrome was certainly playing up the day I started that one...

Live fire function test: https://youtu.be/GQ2GNCu1GqA

The mechanicals are done, I'm presently building the woodwork for it.


And here's the other stock I built.
New Zealand Black Beech (Nothofagus Solandri, iirc)
The shape is as close to the Thompson/Center Dimension as I could get it, as I tried one and it fit me perfectly, so I copied the buttstock shape with this.
The base rifle is a CBC Model 122





It's still a bit thick in places and surprisingly heavy, so I may slim it down a bit yet.

So yeah, I've got a pretty good idea of just how much work I'm putting myself in for...

Edited by KiernanNZ (02/02/18 09:46 PM)


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KiernanNZ
.224 member


Reged: 11/01/18
Posts: 11
Loc: Dunedin, New Zealand
Re: My BSA Lee Enfield Projects [Re: KiernanNZ]
      #311572 - 03/02/18 04:16 PM

And the duplicator I mentioned progress to date:


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Waidmannsheil
.400 member


Reged: 19/04/13
Posts: 1214
Loc: Melbourne Australia
Re: My BSA Lee Enfield Projects [Re: KiernanNZ]
      #311584 - 03/02/18 06:46 PM

Looking good and looks like you are having fun building it.

Waidmannsheil.

--------------------
There is nothing wrong with vegetarian food, so long as there is meat with it.


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englishman_ca
.224 member


Reged: 05/08/17
Posts: 15
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: My BSA Lee Enfield Projects [Re: Waidmannsheil]
      #311635 - 04/02/18 05:28 AM

Nice projects. Wot do you do in your spare time? lol.

I'll have a crack at dating the two commercial actions and others will hopefully correct me if I am wrong.
I've been collecting and actively studying martial Lee Metfords and Enfields for 35 years. I still consider myself a student.
Being a military collector, commercial Lees are something relatively new to me.

I think that the two commercial BSA actions are likely to be post WWI.
If they were 1901 would they not display the LEE-SPEED PATENTS banner?

A VR marking isn't conclusive with regards to date.
Some inspectors didn't get updated stamps for the new monarch right away.
You mention that there are also ER and GR markings?
These sound like govt proof marks? Military barrel?

When you get the chance show us some details of the markings, please, otherwise we are just guessing.
Dating commercial Lees is currently my interest, a new challenge.
They are not always easy peg. Often only to a window of years.
Proof marks can help narrow it down.


The bolt with the chopped dust cover lugs could be repaired.
I have managed to make new lugs and silver soldered them back on.
Not really much stress for them to hold the cover.

Edited by englishman_ca (04/02/18 05:50 AM)


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KiernanNZ
.224 member


Reged: 11/01/18
Posts: 11
Loc: Dunedin, New Zealand
Re: My BSA Lee Enfield Projects [Re: englishman_ca]
      #311792 - 06/02/18 06:14 PM

Dad's rifle came back from the gunsmith today, trimmed down to 19".
Couple of photos back in its ATI plastic stock.





And a progress report
Cross carriage welded up. Work clamps and router/follower/counterweight to go.





Edited by KiernanNZ (06/02/18 06:22 PM)


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Waidmannsheil
.400 member


Reged: 19/04/13
Posts: 1214
Loc: Melbourne Australia
Re: My BSA Lee Enfield Projects [Re: KiernanNZ]
      #311796 - 06/02/18 06:48 PM

Looks good, just make sure that their is plenty of weight in the machine or else you will get chatter very quickly. Keep up the good work and thanks for posting.

Waidmannsheil.

--------------------
There is nothing wrong with vegetarian food, so long as there is meat with it.


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KiernanNZ
.224 member


Reged: 11/01/18
Posts: 11
Loc: Dunedin, New Zealand
Re: My BSA Lee Enfield Projects [Re: Waidmannsheil]
      #312149 - 10/02/18 03:57 PM

Thank you englishman_ca for doing what you could to date those receivers.
It's a little disappointing to know that they're not pre world war one but still cool to know something more than I did.

Hoping to get the order away for the sights this coming week. Financial constraints...

Some progress on the duplicator:



Notice that ive made the router mount adjustable in three places over a 50mm range. The follower will also be adjustable.

Sooner or later I'll get to do some work on the actual rifles!

That said, I'll probably spend less time building this than I would carving the stock purely by hand...


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englishman_ca
.224 member


Reged: 05/08/17
Posts: 15
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: My BSA Lee Enfield Projects [Re: KiernanNZ]
      #312173 - 11/02/18 04:15 AM

I am watching your duplicator come together with great interest.

Starting out carving stocks by hand, it would take me about a month to do just one working at the bench in the evenings.

I too built myself a duplicator and now a LE fore stock can be roughed out and a first fit up done in a day if I get motivated.

But finding time to get into the shop is the challenge. Life gets in the way sometimes.

It seems that the heavier and more rigid the duplicator, the more accurate it is making a copy.
I got the chance to check out a couple of commercial units ($$$$$$).
Built heavy like a machine tool, they probably weighed in at over a ton.

The only thing that I can comment upon is that you will likely need to put some form of brush wipers on the carriage to prevent the wheels from bumping along the rails over wood chips. Those chips go flying and get into everywhere.
Either that or simply have a brush or an airline ready to blow things clear.
Duplicators can create a lot of dust and crap, very messy for the corner of the shop.
They do however produce buckets of walnut sawdust that is great for use as floor-dry to soak up oil spills etc..

My rig uses linear bearings running on one inch centerless ground bar in X and Y directions, they have rubber seals to keep the sawdust out.


And what is happening to the word-wrap feature of the text on this page??? Wot I see ain't wot I get. One paragraph is displayed as one line.

--------------------
Look to your front, mark your target when it comes.


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KiernanNZ
.224 member


Reged: 11/01/18
Posts: 11
Loc: Dunedin, New Zealand
Re: My BSA Lee Enfield Projects [Re: englishman_ca]
      #312194 - 11/02/18 11:01 AM

Quote:

And what is happening to the word-wrap feature of the text on this page??? Wot I see ain't wot I get. One paragraph is displayed as one line.




Perhaps my enormous photos have stretched the page out...

Edited by KiernanNZ (11/02/18 11:03 AM)


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KiernanNZ
.224 member


Reged: 11/01/18
Posts: 11
Loc: Dunedin, New Zealand
Re: My BSA Lee Enfield Projects [Re: KiernanNZ]
      #312376 - 14/02/18 02:56 PM

I've got the order away for the front and rear sight and some Mark Lee Express Brown rust bluing solution. It has shipped from Brownells USA, don't know yet exactly when I'll see it. Probably be a week or two.

I've also had to pause work on the duplicator for a week or two while I wait for some parts to be lasered, and a guide for the follower to ship out of China.
The guy at work who runs the laser department is doing my bits for beer...


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