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Indian 303 Enfield made in the 1980s

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indy1919a4
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Indian 303 Enfield made in the 1980s

#1 Post by indy1919a4 » Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:45 pm

Was shown an Indian Enfield Mk III that was Marked RFI 1986. The rifle was in 303. I thought Indian had stopped making Mk III in 303 in the 60s. Anyone know more about these??

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Re: Indian 303 Enfield made in the 1980s

#2 Post by Alan De Enfield » Thu Nov 29, 2018 4:47 pm

The Indians are known to have manufactured these rifles up to the end of the '80s, and rumour has it that they were still producing into the '90s but I have never seen an example.


1986 is a common year - it must have been a 'high volume' production run.
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Re: Indian 303 Enfield made in the 1980s

#3 Post by indy1919a4 » Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:04 pm

Outstanding Mr Enfield..

Any idea of the number they made and who they were made for??? and Why 303??

I do love that crest, I mean its either Cobras and a Tiger or one of those nasty Flying monkeys that that Old Witch sent after Dorothy & gang. Either way that is kick butt...
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Re: Indian 303 Enfield made in the 1980s

#4 Post by Alan De Enfield » Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:52 pm

According to the Proofmaster at Ishapore there were problems with the 7.62 NATO Enfield 2a and 2a1 and they had to reduce the specification to get it to 'pass the test'.

This was because they had changed the steel specification to a 'better grade' which actually turned out to result in 100% failures of the rifles due to the action twisting / locking up under testing. They therefore reduced the testing requirements until the rifle passed.


They reverted back to the tried and tested steel grades and tried and tested 303 action / barrel and everything was A-OK again.

The production numbers are 'unknown' in the 'Western world'.

It has taken years to actually get the headspace information for the 2A & 2A1, and that was only because a 'friendly' Indian Liaison Officer was temporarily attached to the Small Arms School at Warminster a couple of years ago.
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Re: Indian 303 Enfield made in the 1980s

#5 Post by indy1919a4 » Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:25 pm

I am a little confused, are you talking about the Enfield 7.62 nato 2a & 2a1 that were made back in the 1960s - 70s as the ones having problems???

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Re: Indian 303 Enfield made in the 1980s

#6 Post by Alan De Enfield » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:40 am

Yes.

The story often told on many forums, (that simply by continuous repetition has become 'Gospel'), is that the 2A & 2A1's were built using 'better' steel.

To prove, or disprove this Cpt Peter Laidler (The UKs most senior REME Armourer) arranged for a dozen or so of these rifles to be exaimed by a metalurgical department in a local University, the results were that there was no discernable difference between the steel used in the 303 and the 7.62 models - with - in fact some of the 7.62 actions actuallly showing signs of being scrubbed old 303 actions.



More detail came into the public domain when the retired Ishapore Proofmaster (A.G. Harrison) wrote a long article for publication in the "The Gun Digest, 33rd Edition 1979":

"Gun Proof In India - An Historical Account"


Confirming that the Ishapore factory after independence (in 1950) had changed the material from that specified by the UK, to another grade for the manufacture of the 303, this steel failed the proof test requirements and so the 2nd 'oiled' round was dropped from the testing (although the actual specification still called for it - but they ignored that)
This new steel was used then used in 7.62 production and the actions distorted with even the 'dry' proof round, so the actions were then changed back to the original (British) steel specifications, and the rifles 'passed' proofing - but - the 303 remained in the 'better' steel that required the 'amendment' of the proof test requirements.

Summary :

The 7.62 2A & 2A rifles use the same steel as the ORIGINAL 303, which is 'better' than the 'improved' steel used in the later 303s produced after 1950.
Last edited by Alan De Enfield on Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:09 am, edited 2 times in total.
"When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over many years,

the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic". Dresden James

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Re: Indian 303 Enfield made in the 1980s

#7 Post by Alan De Enfield » Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:12 am

indy1919a4 wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:04 pm

I do love that crest, I mean its either Cobras and a Tiger or one of those nasty Flying monkeys that that Old Witch sent after Dorothy & gang. Either way that is kick butt...
The 'crest' is the Ashoka Lion Mount in stylized form. the Proof Mark used on all Indian made guns & Rifles.
There are in fact four Lions, and at the feet of each is a Dharma (fate) wheel, between each wheel is an animal, there being four in all, a Bull, Horse, Rhinocerous and a Goat.
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"When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over many years,

the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic". Dresden James

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Re: Indian 303 Enfield made in the 1980s

#8 Post by indy1919a4 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:44 am

Many thanks for the Follow up and the link,

Many many thanks

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