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My first SMLE, 1945 Lithgow

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onefouralpha
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My first SMLE, 1945 Lithgow

#1 Post by onefouralpha » Sat Sep 23, 2017 6:31 pm

I picked this up a couple weeks back at the local fun store for $390. JJCo import 1945 Lithgow. Metal is all matching but the wood is SLAZ 42 and SLAZ43 marked. Everything is either MA or OA marked, so I believe it's all Aussie. From what I could find, the JJCo stuff is rebuilt with new-old-stock parts bought from the Lithgow arsenal. Anyway, it's all newish. Bright, sharp rifling, no digs or dents in the wood, sharp show line corners on the stock. Extraction is almost difficult because the extractor spring pushes the cases to the left so hard against the receiver. So maybe not a purist collector piece, but certainly the cleanest SMLE I've ever seen.
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vandle
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Re: My first SMLE, 1945 Lithgow

#2 Post by vandle » Sat Sep 23, 2017 6:42 pm

Shoot it and enjoy it.

May not be a collectors piece but they are still fun to shoot, its an Enfield after all even if its a bitzer
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Re: My first SMLE, 1945 Lithgow

#3 Post by DaleH » Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:23 pm

Just check to make sure there are recoil plates installed in the stock. Remember, forestock comes off before the buttstock.

Looks great! I just picked up a '44 and am still getting cosmoline out of the wood! I checked the headspace using the "spent primer" trick and it's tight.

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Re: My first SMLE, 1945 Lithgow

#4 Post by Tommy Atkins » Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:47 am

That pushing hard against the side is normal. The ejector screw is ONLY for ejecting unfired rounds.

onefouralpha
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Re: My first SMLE, 1945 Lithgow

#5 Post by onefouralpha » Sun Sep 24, 2017 2:17 pm

Thanks! I don't have recoil plates on this one. I've only put 10 rounds of HXP through it and doubt I'll be shooting it before next spring/summer. Is it something I can find and install myself? I spent a year building precision custom rifles and have access to a machine shop where I currently work, as well as a gamut of hand tools. Surely capable, just not familiar with these specifically.

The wood was a little dry so I gave it a couple soakings of BLO. This winter I'll be doing the typical yearly breakdown with all the milsurps to keep wood oiled and this one will get more attention then.

I'll have to check headspace, I didn't have any primers back out, but they're also crimped in. Brass looked typical for enfields. I save it to make 30-40 Krag brass but have mostly given up on reloading for the .303's because of how rough they are on the case webs.

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Re: My first SMLE, 1945 Lithgow

#6 Post by Smokey » Sun Sep 24, 2017 6:19 pm

Wrap the case head with a narrow strip of masking tape before you fire it for the first time. It'll keep the case centered in the (loose) chamber so it expands evenly all around instead of bulging on one side. I also use a mild load such as UNIQUE and Hornady 100gr XTP bullets loaded to around 1600 fps. With that load I lube the case so it slides back against the bolt head while expanding to fit the chamber. Cast bullets work well for this too.
Once done, neck size the cases to keep them fireformed to the rifle's chamber.
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