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I wanted a military bolt rifle that was chambered for 7.62 NATO and having always like the old Enfields I chose the 2A1 rifle for a winter-time project. The Indians always made a "clunky" Enfield so when I purchased this rifle last summer I did so with the intent to do a "retro" refurbish so it would have the look of a much earlier rifle, though in 7.62.

This rifle is a 2A1 dated 1968 and had originally been purchased when the rifles were first imported into the U.S. The surface grease had been wiped off and the rifle was placed in a gun safe as part of a collection and never fired. The original purchaser selected an excellent rifle as it had nice wood, both throat and muzzle erosion are less than 1, all numbers match, and it feeds, extracts, and ejects very reliably. The bore is pristine. I've not yet had an opportunity to fire it but I'm confident it will be a good rifle.

I spent quite a bit of time degreasing both wood and metal and was pleased to find an original blue finish on the metal instead of parkerizing, and there was no black paint. After degreasing I used a Dremel tool with a fine wire brush to clean all the metal parts. That served to remove any stuck-on gunk and a couple spots of minor surface rust, but it also resulted in a mild polishing of the metal which left everything very clean and smooth. I next used Brownell's OxPho Blue and restored the blue finish on every metal part. OxPho Blue is the best cold blue I have ever used and the results were excellent. I did this same process for all the parts I replaced so all the metal has a uniform appearance.

After degreasing the wood I reshaped everything to get rid of the oversized appearance so the wood-to-metal fit would more approximate a Brit or Aussie manufactured No. 1 Mk III. I removed the horrible "Ishy" screw and, using the Peter Laidler method, glued a hardwood dowel in it's place with epoxy, then cut plugs from the buttstock to fill the holes, using epoxy for them also. The location of the "Ishy" screw is now almost invisible on the refinished forend. I replaced the buttstock with a Brit NOS normal length walnut buttstock. The remaining wood is the original Indian wood and it is quite dark in color so I had to stain the buttstock to match the forend and handguards. The camera shows a hint of red in the buttstock but to the eye it matches the forend quite well. I would like to replace all the wood with Brit NOS walnut, but that stuff is quite pricey.

In addition to replacing the buttstock and buttplate, I also replaced the nose cap with an original Brit cap and installed a stacking (piling) swivel, installed an early round cocking piece and windage adjustable rear sight along with a milled rear sight protector. I replaced the clunky Indian trigger guard with a slimmer Brit trigger guard, swapped the grooved Indian trigger for a smooth Brit trigger, got rid of the stamped sling swivels in favor of proper Brit sling swivels, and replaced all of the screws with NOS Brit screws so as to get rid of all the buggered screw slots.

This may not be to everyone's liking but I like the end result. It's appearance is almost identical to an early No. 1 MkIII* but in 7.62 NATO.

Here are a few photos.
 

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I don't own an Enfield, and I honestly have no idea what an Indian "Ishy" screw hole in the forend looks like - but I find your restoration awesome(!). If I bought an Enfield, I'd like one in 7.62 NATO as well, but doubt that I'd ever find such a pristine donor rifle. All the Indian-made Enfield's I've seen were pretty rough - but your specimen looks quite spectacular to me. I think it just needs a nice British web sling to be complete. (On edit: I see the sling now, so its complete, IMO). Well done(!).
 

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I don't own an Enfield, and I honestly have no idea what an Indian "Ishy" screw hole in the forend looks like - but I find your restoration awesome(!). If I bought an Enfield, I'd like one in 7.62 NATO as well, but doubt that I'd ever find such a pristine donor rifle. All the Indian-made Enfield's I've seen were pretty rough - but your specimen looks quite spectacular to me. I think it just needs a nice British web sling to be complete. Well done(!).

I was fortunate in finding this particular rifle for my project. It cost me $350 so I don't have much invested in it.

The Indians installed a large and ugly screw in the forend just forward of the receiver and it's purpose was to help prevent the forend from cracking or splitting because that is the weak point of the forend. Take a look at a 2A or 2A1 auction listing and you will see the screw. It was inserted from the left so the slotted head, about 1/2 inch in diameter, is visible there and the tip of the screw is usually visible on the right side.

The wood on these RFI rifles is so oversized that in re-shaping it most all the dents and damage can be removed. I had very little damage to the wood to begin with so I did not have to be concerned about that. It was an enjoyable project and thought I would share it.

And I do have a Brit khaki color web sling on it, just not in every photo.
 

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Great project!

I really like what you have done to the rifle and most importantly it has been modified to your specs and liking! What a great find to acquire a donor rifle is such good conditoin!

Well done! That should be a nice shooting rifle.

M1Army
 

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Congrats, Sweet Rifle!!! I have had a off again on again thing for them. Finding a nice example has been elusive as well as finding a second magazine.....
 
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