“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”

― Frank Herbert

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Ishapore Enfield : Need a good rifle but short on cash? Maybe an Ishy is right for you.

I know a lot of the people who come by here are not interested in guns.  The reason I know this is that when I visit their blogs, they mention not having any.  There are several reasons why a person might not own a gun and some of them are valid for that individual.

I think most  people who don't own a rifle , lack one only because they don't have $1200 for an AR-15.  There are lots of alternatives  if you want a good rifle or pistol, but you need to not fixate on Guns and Ammo or the evening news. There are more pistols than Glocks alone, and there are more rifles than the AR-15.

If you feel like you may need to hold off a horde of Zombies, I can see holding out for a semi-automatic. If you're a vet and the M16 was your issue weapon, it makes sense to get an AR-15.  If you are a person who never served in the military, doesn't know much about guns,  never had one,  but want one now you have options.

British Enfield rifles would be a good choice for a man, or a stalwart woman who could take the recoil. But .303 British is hard to come by these days. Yes, there are old guys living up in the woods who bought it by the case , cheap, in the 1980's and 1990's, but those days are gone for good.


If you can handle the recoil, the Indian built version of the Enfield No.1 MK.III,  in .308 Winchester might be just the ticket.  I know at least one lady whose blog I read who routinely fires a .308 Mauser at the range and she can handle it without difficulty.  Most men wouldn't think anything of the recoil from a .308.  The Ishapore 2 or 2A holds ten or twelve rounds of .308. They are not considered collectors items and don't bring much.  Several thousand were imported back in the 1990's by Val Fogget at Navy Arms, and I think some other importers brought some in as well.  You can find them in pawn shops and at gun shows for around $250.00.  I own several and have never had a problem with them.  They're fine rifles.  If you have no firearm, but you want one, this might be the way to go. .308 ammo is easy to get (or will be when the supply comes back) and the Enfield design is very reliable and rarely needs any repair work if properly maintained.



22 comments:

  1. I'd also recommend a Mosin-Nagant--if you can find one with a good barrel. Most of the ammo floating around out there is corrosive, and barrels can be pitted and worn out if the previous owner didn't know how to take care of them.

    But a good one runs about $120 or so, and ammo is still fairly cheap and plentiful--just make sure you clean it well immediately. Windex, then Hoppe's, then oil after you shoot it. If you intend to store it, make sure you do that once a day for three days, if you shoot the cheap, corrosive stuff.

    (I have a Mosin-Nagant carbine, but can't find my recoil pad, and am smart enough not to shoot it without one, since it kicks twice as hard as the Mauser, and has a rounded screw head sticking out of the steel butt plate.)

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    1. I love the Mosin's. They are about all that is left on the surplus market now. I got mine when you could get a rifle in as new condition, with all the accoutrements, for $59.00. I like the M44 and the M1938 but the Model 1891/30 is a sweet rifle. I use corrosive bore cleaner from Allegheny Arsenal, and clean my rifles three days running after firing them, a procedure you mentioned you adhere to.

      7.62X54R is still plentiful in surplus, but that's changing as the current regime in D.C. is not issuing the import licenses as freely as they used to do. I expect surplus ammo for the Mosin Nagant rifles to dry up so now would be a good time to put back a few cases. AIM and SOG still have it cheap.

      The good thing about the Ishapore is that I don't expect .308 to be hard to come by in the states unless the government makes it more difficult to get. It's heavier than the Mosin Nagant, though.

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  2. I admit a weapon has not been high on my list, and that's my fault. A very wise man, former A.F. Capt., warned me so many years ago. Being young I didn't listen. Now I wish I did.

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    1. Rob, these days you need some kind of weapon. I can't imagine being without one. I sleep with an AK47 attached to my bed post with quick release grips. I'm not paranoid, but you only have to watch the news to see what happens out of the blue.

      If there are any pawn shops around your area, you can pick up a working pistol or rifle for very little. Honestly, you never know when you will need one.

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  3. I would LOVE an Ishy .308. All the joy of an Enfield with a common caliber cartridge. If I see one under $300 in decent condition it'll come home with me. Unfortunately with the prices I have seen them at one might as well go out and buy a brand new rifle. If it's meant to be I'll find one someday.

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  4. Check the pawn shops. That's the best place to find one at reasonable prices. I'll keep an eye open for one around here, they turn up pretty regularly because we used to have a store in the next county that sold surplus guns, and they sold a ton of them in this area. As the old guys die off, their wives sell their guns at the pawn shops.

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  5. I just love rifles, any rifle. I agree the Ishy is worth money. Unfortunately prices are on the rise.

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    1. It's been awhile since I bought an Ishapore, but given the fact that there is no collector interest I hadn't anticipated much of a rise in price. I wonder if the large number of people who are starting to get themselves squared away in terms of being prepared for an emergency is driving up prices on old military rifles. I usually base my prices on what's in the Southern Ohio Guns catalog, I've got them going back to 1994, month by month, but I sometimes forget those are wholesale prices. I think the prices on bolt guns here in the mountains are staying reasonable because so many gun stores here sold them for so many years because that was what people could afford.

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  6. Harry - i've never seen an ishy so thanks for the advice! we are looking at getting a mosin to add to our weapons, but we do have a weapons store in the city and the guy sells second-hand. i'll get jam to talk to him and tell him if he sees a decent ishy to give us a call.

    your friend,
    kymber

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    1. Kymber, I am not sure Ishapores were ever imported into Canada. If they were, the rifle is probably cheaper there than it is here. I hope you can find one but you folks have the Marlin so you are ok already in that regard. The Mosin is a good rifle, Heroditus Huxley was exactly right there. If you get a Mosin Nagant, be sure to buy some tins of surplus ammo with it. I don't know if it's hard to find there or not, but thanks to the new UN treaty I expect surplus ammo and firearms to pretty much dry up.

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  7. The last Mosin Nagant I saw went for $220.00 at an auction and it was in rough shape. I haven't been to a gun show in a few months nor checked with the last shop I saw selling em for $120.00 to see if that was just a stupid bidder though with auction fever. The over the counter price may not have changed.

    The last Ishy .308 Enfield I saw had a price tag of $650.00 at a local gun shop but that was at the height of the ammo/gun hysteria this Winter. He also had one of those Enfield jungle carbines for $698.00 which blew my mind.

    With a little snooping and signing up for a build it yourself course around here a person can build their own AR now cheaper than buying an Enfield of any flavor.

    I know it is a travesty but you can still find some sporterized Canadian Enfields here and there for under $200.00. I have one hanging in my shop for emergencies.

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    1. Good God! That's an insane price. I have an original Jungle Carbine and I paid $129.00 for it from Southern Ohio Guns using my C&R license.

      Can you really get all the parts for an AR-15 that cheaply? I've never tried to build one, and I have seen parts kits in Shotgun News but the kits were very high.

      Too bad the rifle was sporterized. That's a real shame, but it will still do in a pinch I guess. I have restored sporterized rifles in the past. It almost always costs more than just buying one in original condition but I enjoyed the work.

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    2. As late as last December you could sign up for an AR building class where you walked away with an AR you built yourself under the direction of a local gun store for $500.00

      Somewhere there is an article on how to do it I will see if I can find. My guess is that it is now a bit more expensive than $500.00 but still on par with what the surplus rifles are goign for these days around here anyway. Maybe a different story in other parts.

      Creekmore had an article about it some time ago. http://www.thesurvivalistblog.net/ar-15-survival-rifle/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+PlanPrepareSurvive+%28Survival+Tips+%3A+The+Survivalist+Blog%29

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  8. That's a hell of a deal. I didn't think you could even buy a lower for $500.00. I admit though, that I don't keep up with what's going on with the modern rifles like I used to. I have a Colt SP-1 and an Olympic Arms AR-15 but the both cost me a pretty penny. And I got those Pre-Clinton. Of course, money bought a hell of a lot more then than it does now.

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  9. Last Ishapore I bought was $95 (about 10 years ago) I cut one down to a scout rifle, it looks like a tanker type. Pretty solid rifles for the most part but like you say getting harder to come by.

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    1. I bought two of those cut down Ishys that Navy Arms sold. They made them into Jungle Carbines No. VI, the ones that were produced in prototype by the Australians out of No.I MK III rifles, but the war ended before they went into production. They are nice, handy little rifles.

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  10. G'day Harry,
    Just happened across your blog and have enjoyed reading it(I went all the way back to the beginning). Being an Aussie I have always had a soft spot for the Lee Enfields, they are called Smellies here (slang for SMLE) and my first target rifle was a nice No.4 made in Canada in 1942, then stamped US Service and finally stamped by the New Zealand army, finally ending up in Australia. Years ago when I was a member of a Military rifle club (as a civvie member) there were one or two of those Indian Enfields around but they had a bad reputation regarding their safety due to the conversion to 7.62, don't know if it was because they were just clapped out, the feeling seemed to be they were building up more pressure than the original rifles were designed for.
    Cheers

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  11. Sgt,
    I have some Lithgow produced No.I MK III rifles. They are very nicely done weapons with a better finish than the average wartime gun.

    It's a strange story, how the Ishapore Enfields came to be. Ishapore produced the standard .303 British Enfield No.I MKIII throughout the war. After the British left, the Indians decided to go with the FN SLR and bought a license to produce it. They had teething troubles and so, as an interim measure they built a completely new rifle, The Ishapore 2 and 2A, using the No.I MKIII as a basic model. Their tests showed that the .303 version couldn't be safely converted to .308, due to overpressures. They used a higher grade of steel and the newer rifles worked fine. However, the action is not as smooth as the orginal .303 version which may be what the shooters you mentioned sensed.

    I appreciate your coming by. I don't get to talk to many Australian shooters these days and I'm always glad to meet someone with common interests.

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    1. Glad to have found your blog Harry! Back in the old days I had a good collection of military rifles, the .303's, an SLR(purchased brand new from Lithgow Smalls Factory, nowdays people are amazed that you could just send a cheque and the courier would deliver such an evil rifle to your door!), a Winchester (from memory) M14, Israeli Mauser, Mini 14. My favourite target rifle was the M14, it was sweet to shoot, made it into B grade with it and was really dependable. My least favourite was the SLR, a good rifle with a .50 cent back site (it was a peep site with 2 choices, 100 metres or 300 metres) some of the blokes in the club were great shots with a SLR but I just could not do any good with it.

      Then I got the black powder bug (also was getting tired of the winner takes all attitude of many of the military club members, I was starting to not enjore my saturdays at the range - here in Aussie we call this attitude shooting for sheep stations) Sold all of my semi autos (really had to think hard about the M14) and started trying to master the flintlock rifle and brown bess. Then came along the Port Arthur killings and that was the end of semi Autos in Australia. I suppose I got out at the right time and made good money on my semis which financed my new hobby.
      Cheers

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    2. Sgt.
      I have a black powder Hawkins plains rifle, and a black powder Colt Army, but I never shoot them. I meant to get started but just never really did.

      I have an Israeli mauser, converted to. .308 from 8mm Mauser. It's a beautiful rifle.

      One reason I won't ever register my guns is what happened in Australia. Once the government knows you have them they can force you to deliver them over at will. Here, I think it is safe to say a lot of people are going underground with theirs if the tyrants in D.C. get overly ambitious.

      If you write a blog, I'd sure like to read it. I tried to check your profile but none was listed.

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    3. Harry,

      I have never tried my hand at a blog, not sure I would be that interesting! Here is my e-mail if you want to have a chat now and then offline, I can send you some photos that may be of interest. gregbutt@exemail.com.au

      I have also been trying to get into blackpowder breech loaders, I have an Italian Winchester 73 carbine in .44/40 and also a Sharps rifle in .45/70. Have not really done much other than have a play but I am really keen to get into it properly.
      Cheers

      Delete
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