Friday, June 18, 2010

Ballseye’s Gun Shots 70 - Enfield #4 MK1 - Update On The New One

I looked at the muzzle end damage again and figured what the heck, this could be a keeper after all. It has a small scrape/ding at the muzzle but it apparently does not effect the crown from what I can tell. Still would have it checked though if I thought I would keep it but figured why lug it to the gun show if there was anything else wrong with it. So I decided to take a better look at the rest of the rifle tonight. I also decided to hold off on the bier and the whisky until I got this done. The inspection being finished and the rifle put away, I am enjoying them both and let me tell you I can really use them about now because this is getting frustrating.

There was a clincher that I found that assures I will not keep this rifle. As I examined the rifle I found something else wrong, in fact two more things that make it absolutely unacceptable. When I took a further look at it, without any disassembly at all, I noticed what looked like an unfilled screw hole. I had to put on two pairs of glasses, one over the other, to be fairly certain I was looking into a threaded hole. Indeed it seemed that way. So I grabbed the small instruction manual, actually a folded over sheet or pamphlet. Surprisingly enough, this time they sent a pamphlet that actually corresponded to the model of rifle they sent me, well to three models of Enfield and one of them is supposed to be the one I got. Last time they did not match. I took a look inside and there are two exploded parts diagrams of the rifle. Yep, that hole should have been filled with a screw called the striker screw (or firing pin screw as I lager saw on an online diagram) as shown on both diagrams. Note I just said on both diagrams and the little instruction pamphlet is for three different models - apparently missing a diagram. I would say the missing diagram maybe the one for the model I have, the #4 MK1 because when I looked closer I saw it is actually could be two screws that are missing from the rear of the cocking piece. One would be the striker screw, I imagine, and the other problem a locking screw seeing as how one screw hole slightly overlaps the edges of the other one. Of course, it could be just the one screw as the striker may be threaded in there and the striker screw may hold it locked in place. The only exploded parts diagrams I can find, including one at Marstar of Canada's site (the pic I show here and actually for my exact model) show it only being one screw (click pic to enlarge and see the bolt inset in the pic and look for part Q27 to your left). Then again, one screw missing is more than enough to screw this deal. After all, just imagine that missing screw Q27 allows cocking piece Q24 to fly back into your face!

Whatever is missing - be it one or two screws - I would hate to shoot this thing, without that screw, and have the recoil force the cocking piece off and back into my face. I am betting that would be quite possible without the screw in place. Right now the cocking piece is staying in place and I have no idea what is holding it there but I sure would not want to take a chance shooting and have either my eye gouged out of its socket or my orbital bone shattered if the recoil kicked it back into my face. I am sure that screw is supposed to be there for a reason such as to prevent the cocking piece from coming loose when the rifle is fired or some other reason, so I have no problem returning it because it is missing that screw, not to mention the other problems.

Did I mention the other problem - the one in addition to the dinged/scraped muzzle and in addition to the missing screw. I guess not yet so here goes. You see I also decided to run a bore patch and brush through the barrel. The amount of sludge that came out of the bore was tremendous. There is no way they could have truly inspected this bore for 'hand select condition - best bore of 10' because of how filled with crud it was when I got it. Now it is much cleaner and showing a peppering of what looks like pitting for the length of the bore. Now that makes it three problems and I think more than enough reason to ship this one back and ask for a refund this time around. Too bad because this one has virtually no rust on the outside.

I am getting frustrated. Maybe I should have bought an Enfield years ago when they were going for $99.99. Too late for that now though. All I can say further is that this rifle will be going back to them pronto. I will call them on Monday for a return shipping label. I probably will not be asking for an exchange, definitely not for another Enfield again and instead probably for a full refund this time. I could take one more chance, return this rifle and ask them to send me another Yugo 24/47 Mauser in hand select condition. The other Mauser they sent me was not quite as good as they claimed it would be but I was okay with it and it shoots fairly well. I don't know though if I want another surprise from them and then the headache of having to pack it up and ship it back to them. That refund is sounding better and better as each moment goes by. Just think of all the 8mm Mauser ammo I can buy with it for my Yugo 24/47 Mauser!

All the best,
Glenn B

Ballseye’s Gun Shots 69 - Enfield #4 MK1

It was a tough ride home through summertime Friday evening traffic and the 23 miles of so that I drove home from my office seemed insufferable. Now you may live somewhere where you think a 23 mile ride, by car, is a breeze but mind you, 23 miles may not be a long way to go by car but it took me about one and a half hours tonight. That was pretty miserable but made bearable because I was listening to a book on CD, Elle Wiesel's: Night.

When I arrived home, somewhat grumpier for the traffic, I was still pretty happy because my weekend was commencing. I also knew I had something waiting for me inside the house - one of those long corrugated cardboard boxes of the type in which they ship firearms. My son Brendan had called me earlier to ask me if I had ordered a gun because I had received a long skinny box via UPS. I knew it had to be a replacement for the Enfield #4 MK1 that I had returned to Classic Arms, about a week ago, because of damage to the muzzle. I took my time, took off all of my gear and placed it where it belongs, then had dinner sitting next to my wife who was watching the dog whisperer. I had some petting time (AND FACE LICKING TIME DURING WHICH I GOT PRETTY SLOBBERED ON) with the 4 dogs. I was calm, cool, collected and relaxed and figured it was high time I got down to the basement rec room to check my new acquisition.

Upon first glance i was pretty impressed. Not much rust at all, much less than the last one they sent me. A nicer stock too with only one or two sort of fresh scratches or small gouges, a pretty dirty muzzle but without cleaning it I'd say the bore looked okay, and then I saw it and almost screamed bloody murder. The muzzle on this one also has a scrape in the metal around the muzzle, scraped to the white and freshly enough that it is not rusted over. I wish this had been delivered yesterday because it would have been on its way back today. I looked at it again after a break of about 10 minutes. Yep, scraped in almost the exact same place as the last one though probably only about half as bad as that other one. I almost could not believe it. I started to wonder how on earth I could have such luck then I started to wonder how on earth they could have screwed up 2 rifles in almost exactly the same way and have to wonder is it coincidence, was it done as spite work, or was it caused by maybe screwing with putting on or taking off a bayonet, or maybe it just came to them in this condition. Whatever it was, you would think, since I sent the other one back with almost an identical mar on it, they would have assured this one would not come with the same type of blemish. I am not too happy about it.

Tomorrow, I am going to a gun show. I may take it with me and if there is a gunsmith there as how he thinks it will effect this guns as to shooting, safety and value. I will also ask if it would be easy to fix if I have the rifle reblued.A bit of a stone and some emery cloth is probably all it would take to make it almost not noticeable unless you looked right at the spot, or so I am guessing - but that is only my guess. I am not expert on gun refinishing for sure nor on how such damage may effect safety when shooting this rifle. Just about everything else on this rifle looks better than the first one. I really want an Enfield an it is tempting to want to keep this one. Then again, I do not want a rifle that has safety issues or issues that may effect value a great deal so I have to check with an expert on it. Hopefully someone at the show will throw me a courtesy appraisal of the problem and tell me it is not worth fretting about. If that is the case, then I will run a bore brush and a patch or three through the barrel to see its cleaned up condition. If it looks good then, after cleaning up and after I am assured the damage will not be a safety issue or bring down the value of this rifle more than a few dollars, then I'll keep it.

I will have to debate whether or not to ever order from Classic Arms again regardless of whether or not I keep it. First one bad Enfield with damage and way too much rust. The the Yugo 24/47 Mauser with the wrong serial number on the paperwork and an etched on serial number not matching the original, now a second damaged Enfield. They are not running a good track record as far as i am concerned. Time will tell though, I keep forgetting to call them about the serial number, but will on Monday. I am going to leave myself a reminder email right after I finish this. No give me a moment........Okay got it done while you waited for me to finish - so to speak. Man, this is frustrating!

Now I am going to watch a little television while I have a couple of biers and a shot or maybe I'll have a couple of shots and only one bier. Yep, that sounds better. Then I am going to bed to get up early for the show tomorrow.

All the best,
Glenn B

Ballseye’s Gun Shots 68 - Range Observation, Trigger Follow Through & Other Things

When I was at the range last Saturday with Brendan, I got to do some pistol shooting. As I was shooting, a new shooter started to practice his own brand of marksmanship at the point just to my right. Apparently he had already set up a target during the last cease fire. I did not pay him any mind as I was concentrating on my shooting. In particular I was practicing something in particular that I had learned at the Glock Armorer's School - something that in years of firing an issued Glock 19, an issued Glock 26 and a personally owned Glock 26 I had never learned on my job. That was simply that the trigger on a Glock resets with only a very small amount of forward movement after the pistol is fired and you can feel it click into place and then immediately fire again if need be. For years, way too many of them now, whenever I fired a Glock, I allowed the trigger to move much further forward that I had needed to before firing again.

Now, I have to point out that while my allowing the trigger that much forward motion or follow through before reengaging it seemingly never adversely effected how well I could shoot with a Glock, I was quickly learning that it definitely had effected how fast I could get back on target and fire the next shot. It had been slowing me down markedly. I am no Quick-Draw McGraw (if you know who that is you are old) but with some practice of this new to me technique, well - I was getting a bit faster with being able to reengage the target and with follow-up shots. That is a good thing. My accuracy may also have improved slightly due to this new method that I was using but since I was already shooting very well with the Glock that is hard to say with certainty. While I am sure my accuracy has improved a bit as of late, whatever little improvement I showed last Saturday could simply have been a product of my additional practice over the past month or so.

Trigger reset is no foreign subject to experienced shooters. it should not be anyhow. Every modern firearm in functioning condition (at least everyone I know of with a trigger) resets the trigger after a shot is fired so long as you do not hold it back. The trick is, at least with most of them, to determine how far forward the trigger must travel before it resets and thus before it is ready to fire again. Some triggers have to travel fairly far forward again before they reset. Some do not. For example, my issued SIG 229 has a horrendously, in my opinion, long amount of trigger travel. It is double action only so if you allow the trigger to move fully forward after each time you fire it you then have to go through that huge amount of trigger travel on each shot. Then again, if you have been made aware of the feature of said pistol then you know that there is a certain point that the trigger needs to travel forward where it will reset and from which point you can again squeeze off another shot and that point is nowhere near all the way forward. The thing about the SIG though is that it seems to take a magic touch for you to feel the reset when you are shooting. Sometimes I get it right on each shot while at the range, other times I'll get it every other or every few shots and at yet other times it seems I cannot find or should I say feel the mark.

With my Glock 26, once that I learned that I only had to let the trigger move forward ever so slightly before actually feeling the trigger reset I have found the reset position on almost every shot I have fired. It is very distinctive once you have found it before or at least it seems that way to me. I think one of the reasons it may be easier to find the reset trigger position on a Glock as opposed to a pistol like the Sig is that the initial Glock trigger travel is less and is much more 'crisp' than on a Sig. Your finger has traveled less and therefore is probably 'ready' to travel less back forward to find the reset. Is that a mental or physical thing on the part of the shooter - maybe both. All I know is that is how it feels to me.

Back to the range and my observations which now will include the shooter who was shooting next to me. When I took a break, I noticed he was also shooting a Glock, maybe a model 19 or 17. I was immediately drawn to how he followed through with his trigger finger after each shot. This was not so much because I had been practicing my own follow through in order to reset the trigger with minimal forward trigger travel although I am certain that had something to do with it but more likely due to the fact that he was almost flicking his trigger finger forward, allowing the trigger to move fully forward after each shot, and causing his trigger finger to come completely off of the trigger within the trigger guard. I kept watching with some interest. He did this each time. The strange thing was that he did not seem to be jerking the trigger when he fired as I imagined he must also be doing; in fact it seemed he had fairly good trigger control as he fired the pistol just terrible trigger control as he allowed the trigger to move forward. I then took a look at his target. The shots, at 10 yards (It was either 10 or 15 but I think 10) were all over the paper and some were probably off of it. Either he had a lousy sight picture, was actually jerking the trigger as he fired without me realizing it, or his follow through was effecting his shots. My guess is that it was his follow through. His whole hand and arm were jerking each time he let his trigger finger flick forward. It was a very distinct move and my guess is he thought he was doing things correctly, my guess is that someone probably taught him to do that and I guess this because I have never seen anyone pick up a gun who has never shot before and then start flicking their finger forward like that after each shot. Now I could have been missing trigger jerk as he was squeezing off his shots, but I sure was not missing this forward flicking that caused his follow through to jerk. It was terrible.

As for trigger follow through, even if you are not going to go with the trigger as soon as it resets, or in other words are going to allow the trigger more forward movement, or even allow it to move forward as far as it will go after each shot, there is no reason at all that I can think of (with any pistol I have ever fired) to let your trigger finger come completely off of the trigger after each shot and certainly never a reason to flick your finger forward with force after each shot before squeezing of another shot. All that flicking your finger forward like that accomplishes is to make it take longer for you to get through your next shot because you have to completely reseat your finger on the trigger and start over again from the furthest point possible. Well there is one other thing it will accomplish and that is likely that you will not only flick your finger forward but will probably jerk the trigger when you squeeze it again. The more I think of it the more I become convinced he must have also been jerking the trigger, if not right from his first shot then almost certainly on any subsequent shot after he flicked his trigger finger forward off of the trigger.

I did not tell him and here is why: Sometimes when you try to help another shooter at the range, especially one who does not know you, that other shooter takes great offense and maybe even thinks you are insulting him or her for giving that advice. So, I rarely offer advice to people I do not know while at the range, that is unless there is a safety violation taking place and I then either call a range officer to have it corrected or will point it out to the other shooter myself. About the only time I ever suggest any shooting techniques to someone at the range, who is a stranger to me, is when they ask or when I see a dad (sorry have never seen a mom doing such at the range though I am sure there are many of you doing it) trying to help his son or daughter to shoot and he is not getting it right and seems to be a bit embarrassed in front of his child. Then I may have him step aside for a moment with me and I'll make a friendly and brief suggestion. I find in instances like that, the assist usually is appreciated but you can bet I will try to make sure the dad seems like the appreciative type first.

There was one other thing I noticed at the range last weekend. Another pistol shooter, this one to my left, was shooting a coupe or few different handguns. He was with a younger guy - probably his son. After firing several shots he handed the pistol to the younger guy who then commenced firing. When I got to the range that day, I noticed, and how could I not, that they put a blue band around my left wrist when I was paying for our range time but they did not put one on Brendan's wrist. I quickly realized his must have been because I had told the guy at the counter that I would be shooting pistols and had showed him my LE ID but just to be sure I asked him about why the hospital type wristband. He said that it was a new policy to identify legitimate pistol shooters because all too many times some pistol shooters would hand their pistol to an unlicensed person, or non LEO, for some shots. That is pretty much forbidden, except under very specific circumstances, in New York state (yes gun laws here suck the big burrito) and it is expressly forbidden at this range for a non-pistol permit holder or non LEO to shoot pistols.

Well the younger guy seemed pretty safe and all, I was pretty certain he had shot pistols before. I called Brendan over and noted it to him, he was only a few points away from me to my right on the first two rifle points. He saw right away why I had called him over without me saying anything. All I had to do was ask what he saw and he got it. We did not make it obvious and watched a little more from a respectable distance. I also noticed, while we were watching the youngster shoot, that the two range officers on duty were both on the other half of the range (the longer distance points) and both were sitting down and BS'ing to one another. Neither was paying attention to a single thing that was going on with the shooters. One was looking away from me and one was sort of facing my direction. After about a minute or more, the range officer facing in my direction looked over and saw Brendan and I standing there, basically facing in his direction and must have figured those shooters look like they are bored or ready for a cease fire or maybe wanted something from him. He got up and headed our way. When he was about 20 feet from us and about 10 feet from the other two shooters you cold see him suddenly go on alert. he realized the youngster was shooting and not wearing the blue wristband. He asked the older of the two, without interrupting the younger guy who was actually shooting, if the young man had a pistol license and told him politely that if he did not then he was in violation of the rules (which be the way were posted about 2 feet from the young shooter's head). The older of the two got infuriated almost immediately. He started mouthing off and yelling but it did not last long. The range officer put him in his place pronto telling him not only could they be forced to leave the range but they could be arrested. I was kind of surprised the range officer allowed them to stay at the range but he is one of the nicer and more level headed range officers at this particular range. I had considered saying something o the older guy myself but after giving him the once over I took him for an arrogant grouch much like I can be all too often. I decided to hold off since the younger guy was not being unsafe. I am happy I did, I did not need an argument because I wanted to enjoy the rest of my day with Brendan after once losing my temper a bit with him over something silly earlier on. I had smoothed things out by then and did not need to roil the waters again. Good for me that I held off too, had he started yelling at me like who knows how things might have turned out. Sometimes it is just better to observe especially when the other guys have guns. At least when the range officer confronted him he realized the range officer held some authority at the range and after a it of huffing and puffing it was resolved. It was probably no time for a stranger to butt in but had the guy gone further, like getting physical, we would have given the range officer a hand for sure; as I said - he is a nice guy.

All the best,
Glenn B

Ballseye’s Gun Shots 67 - Gun Show Reminder

Just a quick reminder that there will be a gun show at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, NY tomorrow Saturday June 19 and Sunday June 20.

For more info go here:

for a dollar off coupon, go here:

for more info about other gun shows in the north east, go here:

All the best,