Brit gun nut builds working sniper rifle at home out of scrap metal

Bizarrely, no 3D printing was involved

Downrange We here on the El Reg gun sensation desk considered getting Gaz to make an unimportant part or accessory for his Lee Enfield out of 3D printed plastic, or in some other fashion involve a computer, which would probably have led to excited writeups in the world's media about Brit GUN NUT 3D PRINTS working SNIPER RIFLE in SHED, defying nation's gun laws etc etc. But then we decided to go to the pub instead. -Ed

It all started when I went round to a friend's dad's gunshop and saw a box of what looked like water-damaged rusty old junk tucked away in a corner. Except one of those rusty lumps of steel was the receiver of a Second World War Lee Enfield No. 4 service rifle.

Rusty Lee Enfield receiver. Pic: Gareth Corfield

Rusty old lump: If you know what you're looking at it's salvageable

So I did what any sensible man would and asked him, “Can I have this?” Happily for me he said yes, and so I became the proud owner of a rusty old receiver, bolt, trigger mechanism and trigger guard. Happily for me the bolt number matched the receiver, meaning - in theory, at least - this rifle would be capable of shooting straight once assembled.

At this stage I should point out that I knew – and indeed, still know – very little about “building” rifles in the way that gunsmiths do. Strictly speaking, the project I took on was more about “assembling” a rifle using off-the-shelf parts rather than building one truly from scratch.

But you don't quibble about linguistic technicalities when the result is your very own .303” No.4 Mk.I, which was the main small arm issued to the British Army during the latter half of World War Two, gradually replacing the famous .303” SMLE rifle of WWI fame.

Rusty Lee Enfield receiver. Pic: Gareth Corfield

Orange: That rust around the front of the receiver was a cause for concern at first - but it hadn't gone too deep

The No.4 stayed in production until 1955, being superseded by the L1A1 Self Loading Rifle in frontline British military service. Nevertheless, the venerable No.4 continued with various second- and third-line units, and later the cadet forces, until the 1980s. Its smaller brother, the .22” No.8 (*), is still in cadet service – having been introduced in 1947 – to this day, although the Ministry of Defence is actively looking for a replacement as stocks of No.8s to cannibalise for spares wear thin.

Other stories you might like

  • Prisons transcribe private phone calls with inmates using speech-to-text AI

    Plus: A drug designed by machine learning algorithms to treat liver disease reaches human clinical trials and more

    In brief Prisons around the US are installing AI speech-to-text models to automatically transcribe conversations with inmates during their phone calls.

    A series of contracts and emails from eight different states revealed how Verus, an AI application developed by LEO Technologies and based on a speech-to-text system offered by Amazon, was used to eavesdrop on prisoners’ phone calls.

    In a sales pitch, LEO’s CEO James Sexton told officials working for a jail in Cook County, Illinois, that one of its customers in Calhoun County, Alabama, uses the software to protect prisons from getting sued, according to an investigation by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

    Continue reading
  • Battlefield 2042: Please don't be the death knell of the franchise, please don't be the death knell of the franchise

    Another terrible launch, but DICE is already working on improvements

    The RPG Greetings, traveller, and welcome back to The Register Plays Games, our monthly gaming column. Since the last edition on New World, we hit level cap and the "endgame". Around this time, item duping exploits became rife and every attempt Amazon Games made to fix it just broke something else. The post-level 60 "watermark" system for gear drops is also infuriating and tedious, but not something we were able to address in the column. So bear these things in mind if you were ever tempted. On that note, it's time to look at another newly released shit show – Battlefield 2042.

    I wanted to love Battlefield 2042, I really did. After the bum note of the first-person shooter (FPS) franchise's return to Second World War theatres with Battlefield V (2018), I stupidly assumed the next entry from EA-owned Swedish developer DICE would be a return to form. I was wrong.

    The multiplayer military FPS market is dominated by two forces: Activision's Call of Duty (COD) series and EA's Battlefield. Fans of each franchise are loyal to the point of zealotry with little crossover between player bases. Here's where I stand: COD jumped the shark with Modern Warfare 2 in 2009. It's flip-flopped from WW2 to present-day combat and back again, tried sci-fi, and even the Battle Royale trend with the free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone (2020), which has been thoroughly ruined by hackers and developer inaction.

    Continue reading
  • American diplomats' iPhones reportedly compromised by NSO Group intrusion software

    Reuters claims nine State Department employees outside the US had their devices hacked

    The Apple iPhones of at least nine US State Department officials were compromised by an unidentified entity using NSO Group's Pegasus spyware, according to a report published Friday by Reuters.

    NSO Group in an email to The Register said it has blocked an unnamed customers' access to its system upon receiving an inquiry about the incident but has yet to confirm whether its software was involved.

    "Once the inquiry was received, and before any investigation under our compliance policy, we have decided to immediately terminate relevant customers’ access to the system, due to the severity of the allegations," an NSO spokesperson told The Register in an email. "To this point, we haven’t received any information nor the phone numbers, nor any indication that NSO’s tools were used in this case."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021