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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 1:11 pm 
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Over the years I have seen discussions about Enfield Tankers. I have even seen pics of some really nice ones. But we all know that there was never a military issued Tanker. But then there was something about the look of a short No1 MkIII that made me want one. I have a bunch of No1 MkIIIs in my collection, but I could never cut up a good rifle for a Tanker project. I have bought a few Bubbed No1 MkIIIs to use for the project, but they ended up being restored to military dress.
So for the last few years I have been looking for a victim for the Tanker project. Sadly with little luck. :cry:
Yesterday I went by my friend's new gun shop, Bayou Gunslinger, To drop off some old lanterns for his decor. The shop has an old west look to it.
While I was there I saw an Enfield behind the counter with a chopped fore stock. I had a look at it and the bolt, barrel and action had matching numbers. The end of the barrel had been cut flat and a ramped front sight installed. It's a shame that this was done to a matching 1918 Enfield but it was most likely done back when Enfields were a dime a dozen.
There was no price on the rifle so I asked my friend what he wanted for it. He said make an offer, I said I'm just going to low ball you. He laughed and said go for it. I said $50 he countered with $75. I said sold.
So here is my new Tanker Project Gun. I need to search through my Bubbed Enfield fore stocks to see if I have one that is long enough for the project. The barrel will be cut down to 17" and fitter with a fore stock with a standard nose cap with a bayonet lug.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:15 pm 
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That has got to be one of the ugliest, most out of balance Bubba jobs I have seen. Can't wait to see what it can become as an Enfield Tanker.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:37 pm 
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And where is that nice original stock disc going?? hint hint??? :think: :think:

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:53 pm 
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Sounds like a very interesting project.

Keen to see the end product of something that "could of been but never was"

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 8:56 pm 
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72 usmc wrote:
And where is that nice original stock disc going?? hint hint??? :think: :think:

It looks like it could stay where it is, at least Bubba didn't cut the butt stock to put on a rubber pad! But he tried to make up for that by cutting the fore end extra short!


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 12:34 am 
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I've never seen a bubba forearm that short. I suppose you need that magazine I have?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 3:25 am 
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Of course, there is still another option. How about restoring it to its original configuration?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:10 pm 
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I got you beat on the shortest fore stock bubba.

Image

This, as I have been led to believe, was and still is a common modification for use as a 'Dory gun'. The lack of a forearm allows it to be stowed up under the gunwales of an east coast fishing boat. Great for shooting sharks, seals and sea monsters?

Similar to your sporter, Bubba cut the stock off and threw the metal furnature away.
I restored it back to original spec.
Image
All I had to do was to clean and reassemble, replacing the fore stock, nose cap, bolt and mag.

Judging by the pics of your project rifle, it also has a full length barrel but with an aftermarket sight ramp?

Yours to do with as you wish, I get that, but using a numbers matching full length barreled sporter for a fantasy build?

Better put your helmet on and be ready to duck!

Oh, and take a closer look at your barrel muzzle. Fulton regulated rifles would wear a ball burnished barrel. The face of the muzzle was perfectly flat and the barely visible shallow crown would appear to be a perfect circle.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 3:02 pm 
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The so-called "Tanker" #1 'nevva' appealed to me.

And speakin' about #1 conversions, the old "Shotgun News" once ran a multi-part article on removing the fore stock and barrel from a. 577/450 Martini-Henry and installing a #1 fore stock and barrel. From what I recall, the Martini extractor needed to be reconfigured and the receiver/barrel screw threads were the same pitch on both rifles.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:58 am 
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Some Martini rifles were re barreled to .303 using SMLE barrels during WW1 or WW2, I forget which. Not sure about the purpose for these conversions. Not for battlefield use I'd imagine, but maybe for colonial troops or constabulary somewhere in the Empire or perhaps training rifles.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:24 am 
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I too was lucky enough to find an Enfield "Tanker" rifle that was used in the Priest Tanks in North Africa during WWII.
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:wink:

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:58 pm 
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Hi, Rapidrob,

A very interesting rifle! Where did you get the information that such things were ever issued? I would greatly appreciate a reliable reference. I have been collecting British military rifles for over 50 years and have yet to find anything convincing that suggests that shortened Lee Enfields were ever used in AFVs, Priests or others. Are you sure that you don't just have another "Bubba Special'?

Terry.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:26 pm 
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The Australians developed some shortened rifles for trials did they not?

Did the program go anywhere? How many 'Tankers' were produced? Did any other countries make any?

Rapidrob's example looks more like an in theater modified one. Perhaps made in a similar way to the Miners and Sapper Corps's cut down SMLE Howda rifles cut down and converted for the purpose of close quarter fighting in underground tunnels?

I had a 17 inch barreled 303... The muzzle blast and retort was pretty impressive.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:52 pm 
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Although the price was right that 1918 looks like it only needs a fore end, handguards and a nosecap to restore it to its former glory.
Having said that I did chop an Ishapore 2a1 a few years ago into a tanker, Like you I was always interested in the idea.
Here are a couple of pics.
The main problem is ensuring the front end of the conversion remains with the rifle while firing, several of these conversions have lost the fore ends due to bad workmanship. (failing to ensure the components are fully secured to the existing wood or otherwise anchored to the barrel).


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:51 pm 
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The little "Smiles" face was the give-away. It is a Spoof post. I got the rifle in a trade and it was in really bad shape. The chamber was badly eroded at the throat from cordite. The muzzle was worn by cleaning and the last two inches were smooth bore. The stock was Bubba'd and cut off. The Charger guide was cut off.
I shortened the barrel to 1/2" longer than legal minim, added a Mosin 91/30 front sight and rechambered the barrel in 7.62x54R.
It is a fun,tiny "carbine" that shoots well.

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