Ishapore Tactical Rifle
I am sitting here holding a rifle that I am considering adding to the “herd.” I think it would be a worthwhile addition, but, I’m not totally convinced.
Let’s talk about it. It is a copy of the Short Magazine Lee Enfield (SMLE) Mk III. The Mark III was the British battle rifle for decades. It was and is a dependable and accurate firearm. You could do a lot worse. The Mk III came in the .303 British caliber. A good caliber, used for 100 years, but now relegated to the past.
The gun I refer to is the Ishapore (India) rifle in .308/7.62X51 caliber. These good guns were made during the 1960s. The one I am holding was manufactured in 1965. One visible difference is the magazine. The .303 is a rimmed case. The .308 is rimless. Therefore the floor of this magazine is more square than the .303. The .303 holds 10 and the .308 holds 12 rounds.
It’s a heavy gun. I read that it weighs around 10 pounds loaded. I guess that a person could cut away some of the excess wood with no bad results. That would eliminate a pound or two. Also, ATI makes a replacement stock which would make a nice looking sporter out of this gun.
When I first put ammo in it and tried the action for fuctioning, it kept jamming. The upper cartridge would take a dive and I had to use a cleaning rod to pry the stuck cartridge out. Not good! However, I got to looking at the magazine and the feeding lips were not the same height. It looked to me like they should be. So, I adjusted the lips and tried it again. It seems to be working now. Somewhere along the line I think that somebody dropped the mag on its lips and one side got bent. However, until I can get it out in the woods and fire a few down range, I will hold my decision on whether I keep it or not.
If you can find one of these, they will probably cost between $200 and $400. But, I think that, if you get a good one, you will get a really good one. And, it is in a great caliber for Americans. You can research this gun by googling “Ishapore rifles.”
Thanks for that...
SOUNDS LIKE A GOOD SET UP . POST A FEW PICS OF IT.
I THINK A MEAMBER WAS CONSDIERING A SCOUT RIFLE SET UP ON ONE OF THOSE.
ANY RIFLE IN 308 OR 7.62 NATO IS KEEPER IMO. WHATS THE BARREL LENGTH ???
Barrel length is 25.5 inches.
The Ishapore 2A and 2A1 rifles are excellent. Leave the wood alone if you intend any volume of fire with the rifle. The barrel profile is slim, and it will "whip" if not supported by the forestock.
Find an SMLE No1. Mk III Bayonet for it, one of the 16 inch reproductions for about $55. I personally like to use 5 round strippers (NATO) and a reproduction Springfield cartridge belt.
These are great rifles, and will give you excellent service.
You are correct about the mag lips, open them up a bit, and use the inside of the receiver as your guide. If you can find more of the original 12 round mags, get them. Pro-Mag makes 10 round versions, but they will need fitting. It's not rocket science, just time consuming...
With mine, I could do 400 yard shots and get 4-6 inch groups. JRS did a little better.:loopeye:
I bought an ISHAPORE 308 years ago when they were $59. Took it to the range and my friends laughed about it and called it a 'fence post". When they saw the tight groups it shot and the smooth action, they stared asking - How much was it? Where did you get it? Do they have any more of them? Had a lot of fun that day!
I haven't had the chance to shoot it yet. I agree that being in .308 makes it a keeper. I don't know how to post pictures. My son says that he will show me. Then I will be able to finally join the 20th Century!
I have read a few places on the internet where some pundits say that you should not use .308 Winchester in this gun, only use 7.62X51 Nato. Others say that they use .308 in theirs all the time. One poster said not to use steel-cased ammo. I haven't heard from any one else about steel cased cartridges. Anybody here able to address these two items?
I had one that was sporterized. Ati stock, scope mount. shot really well with various .308 win factory loads. Never had a problem shooting .308 in it. Good accuracy at 100 yds, I never got a chance to fire longer range, someone offered me a stupid high price for it and I took the money and ran.
bellson is right about the stocks. Don't cut them down. They are part of the whole system and the rifle is designed with the full stock in mind-not sportered. Ian Skennerton would have your hide.
That being said, it would be your rifle to do with as you please. I'd own one with no regrets.
They are great rifles. IIRC the steel in them is improved from the original specifications.
I have one of those in .303 British. Glad I picked up several hundred rounds of ammo for it before that all disappeared too.
The more I read about this gun, the more I like it. It could become my number one go-to gun. But, I got to get out and shoot it. I haven't been able to do that because my wife has had a lot of medical problems this year. She has had Kidney problems, congestive heart failure, cellulitis, pneumonia and the flu-all starting on January 15. So, her illnesses have curtailed my ability to head to the boondocks and do some testing. When I get the opportunity, I will write my experiences.