Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Enfield to ET: "I'm not a fucking toy!"

At the desert shoot I finally got the opportunity to shoot my Enfield. Sadly, I didn't have any surplus (or otherwise inexpensive) ammo, so I was forced to use the $30-per-20-round box of soft nose 303 from the only local place that sells 303, Big 5. I didn't mind that much because I just needed to test-fire.

Everyone was excited to see what the "big bullets" were going to do to some of the targets, so they set up some gallon water bottles, 3 liter soda bottles, and melons at about 75 yards, and gathered around me expectantly. Ok, performance time...

I slinged (slung?) up and got into a sitting position. (I really like the thin front sight blade, now I want a thin replacement for my m39). I decided to use the smaller adjustable peep sight, and set it for 300 yards, unsure of the zero (or even if it was sighted in). First shot was called a little high, but good for windage, so I lowered the rear sight two notches. The second shot blew the gallon water bottle into the air. From what I understood it was quite a show. I fired 5 more times, enjoying the sights and manageable long, single-stage trigger. I missed all the results of my shots, but didn't miss any targets. (even got the smaller 1 liter bottle)

I handed the rifle to my brother-in-law, who was turning out to be quite a shot. While settling, he seemed to be having difficulty, so I showed him how to sling up, and he scored two hits.

Around this point the Enfield must have taken umbrage to being used to shoot water bottles instead of Nazis, because the next shot resulted in a broken firing pin, and the cocking piece and half the firing pin flying backwards into my brother's face. This is why we wear eye protection! The cocking piece drew blood on a small cut on the side of his nose, but his sun glasses stopped it from going any farther than that.

I figured the wear on the firing pin probably was indicative of lots of firing, and wondered if it might have actually seen some action. The guy I bought it from said he got it from his father and hadn't shot it much. Though most sellers will usually do their best to convince a buyer that the previous owner was an old lady who only took it to the church on Sundays, this guy seemed genuine.

I thought about calling the Enfield "The Joker" because the date painted on the stock is 4/1/53, and now I guess this would be a good prank. "Got your eye! Ahhhh... Just kidding."

If anyone has any insight into this kind of failure, or recommendations for places to pick up replacements, please feel free to comment.

3 comments:

blogagog said...

Ques que ce 'sling up'? Does that mean 'aim'?

ExistingThing said...

Slinging up is a means of using a rifle sling to create a more stable shooting platform.

Properly slinging up will allow your support hand to be completely at rest (no twitching muscle) and create a very stable shooting platform.

When using a sling properly it is possible to achieve near-benchrest stability in the prone position. Once you can do that, you just need to work on your trigger pull, and probably get a shooting jacket and glove for maximum stability.

The shots I mentioned were all made sitting due to low brush.

JR said...

Did you try Numrich for the firing pin?

If you don't find one, you can send me the pieces and I can most likely make you one.