A thoroughly damaged Enfield
A friend sent these pics afew weeks ago, and story, (sept 2012) and asked they be posted as bit of a safety illustration. Its a No4 Enfield that shattered the forend on firing. He indicated that the rifle appeared in new condition, with no marks on the bolt face, and .... He’s been quite honest is his own errors in not stripping the rifle on purchase and seeing the DP, but to be honest, how often have I actually done that?
"Have you ever heard of a DP #4 with a (professional looking) hole through the chamber? I certainly hadn't till I fired it last Friday. Gave me a bit of a start -photo's attached.
It appeared to have never fired a shot and I couldn't see the holes of course because they were encased in wood and there was no light coming through them. All the forend screws look to have never been removed from their first fitting. Thought I'd knabbed a real bargain...
Those are (three day old) splinters & powder burns on my wrist, saved somewhat by my watchstrap. Took a couple to the leg also as I was sitting down. Projectile made it about 3/4 the way down the barrel. Those bits of handguard ended up several metres apart, don't know where the rest of it & the top of the retainer went. ****ed me off as it was a real tidy rifle.
Yeah pleased I had ear muffs on.
Hole goes all the way through, note the perfect hole traced through both both sides of the cartridge case. The bore/bolt face looked new, and forend screws looked untouched. Couldn't believe it - it came fitted with a firing pin, I just happened to be the first guy to try it."
Even now it's been "driven into me" that there is a hole in the chamber & light isn't being restricted getting to the offending holes due to the wood being blown off, all I can detect looking down the shiny chamber in the daylight is a slight shadow that could just be a tiny blemish...
Follow up a week later; “I just received a brief email to say that on back tracking some of the rifles history, it may have been on display at a servicemans club in the past, where it was deacted in the interests of not having a shootable firearm on display. Whether this was sold close to this set up or it had traveled several owners before I don't know. The deact could have been done by someone somewhat knowledgable or simply a casual bubba job by a club member.”
Author 'The 2012 Complete Book on Lee Enfield Accurizing.