At long last, the first spring rifle is complete! I’m quite pleased with my first attempt at a VSR based SMLE, though there are a few tweaks I shall be making to production versions.
I think in future versions I shall sit the action lower down in the stock to achieve a lower profile. Then I can add things like a charger bridge, maybe even splitting the back of the receiver for added authenticity.
This example is using an original rear sight leaf. In future versions I hope to make reproductions to minimise the number of irreparably modified originals. The rear sight will also host the TDC hop adjustment mod, saving you a helpful upgrade.
I may have to use No. 4 Enfield swivels unless I can find a way to reproduce these, swivels are becoming harder to come by.
After the success of the 3D printed Sten MkV foresight, I have continued to use this technology here to create the outer barrel impression and foresight unit.
The barrel has been trimmed down to fit. The VSR barrel is a little long so I removed it, cut and re-crowned it on the lathe.
Here’s an important feature, I have lined the magazine well with steel which means magazine release should be consistent and not pinched by the wood. Other VSR Enfields don’t have this lining and I have seen magazines get stuck. There is a new design for this which I will use in the production versions to allow very fast magazine changes.
The fake magazine is solid resin, painted to look right. There is no need to destroy a perfectly good magazine for this build!
The original buttplate. I’m hoping to make reproduction ones for future versions. As this is an original buttstock you would still be able to fit an original if this happens.
I’m hoping to improve the bolt handle and back of the bolt shape. However I am pleased with where it now sits, nice and authentic on the rear band you can achieve quite a good rate of fire.
So, there are some changes to come for production but I’m very happy with this first go!
You can see the whole VSR SMLE build here and a potted history of Lee-Enfield development here.
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