Sunday, August 28, 2011

Low Budget Scout Rifle.

I have always liked the idea of a Scout Rifle which is really just a carbine length rugged rifle in a good knock-down caliber. They should ideally be lightweight also. Of course I don't really see where I would "need" one because I have other rifles I would rather use but since when is that a reason to not have any gun. So one evening I started kicking around the idea of building one and I pulled out a couple of Ishapore rifles I have in 308 calibre.
These rifles are built on the old Lee Enfield 303 design used in England and other Commonwealth countries  in WWII and when they stopped using them about 30 to 40 years ago and switched to the 7.62 NATO round.
India (which was formally a British colony) could not afford the semi-auto rifles so they re-tooled existing factories which made 303 into plants making Ishapore/Enfield in NATO 7.62 or 308. Now I know the 7.62 NATO and 308 are not exactly the same round and I have heard all the arguments over the years but for the sake of this post I will call it a 308.
The 2 rifles I had picked up a few years ago for $100 each and I decided to make one into a my own type of Scout Rifle.
The top rifle is like I started with. The lower is the cut-down version. I cut 4" off the barrel and shortened the wood around the barrel and re-attached the front sight after removing the bayonette lug. I had an old stock and butt pad off a Winchester shotgun I adapted to fit (it attaches in the same way, just use the Enfield bolt) and painted it O.D. green.
I have shot it and it is quite accurate. It is very rugged although not really lightweight it still fits the bill. I attached a small inset picture of the 303 magazine to show the difference in case you run across them at a gun show they are easy to spot as the 308 mag has sharp square corners and the 303 is rounded as well as having more of a slant on the bottom due to it being a rimmed cartridge. They seem to be well made rifles and are worth buying if the price is right. All the work was done with hand tools and took about 3 evenings to finish.


  1. Thanks, I liked the way it turned out. It is kind of like the "tanker" version of the M1.
    Not a bad "behind the seat" rifle.

  2. I tried to post this comment yesterday but apparently it didn't work (?)
    I looked into these rifles because I wanted something to take to the range on ANZAC day. Regarding these particular rifles, while I understand that the 7.62 NATO and the Win .308 are seemingly identical it may not be wise to run any hot and heavy Bambi rounds through those Ishapore Scouts. Apparently they aren't made to the same tolerances as your modern day deer rifles.
    Just somethng I heard around the traps. Might be wise to err on the side of caution...

  3. Ausprepper I agree. I would not shoot hot loads in it. I had a 303 years ago and I liked the bolt action interesting enough it shot decent groups with commercial ammo.