This would be a good time for purists and anyone with real woodworking skill to look away.
In case anyone was wondering, the title is a weak attempt at a joke (reversing Bubba). I know that for many (myself included usually) this sort of thing is only slightly less bad than the original chop job but .... – here’s the story:
A couple of years ago I lucked into a “Sporterized” MkV advertized on Gunbroker as a No4 'Deer Rifle" I snapped it up very cheaply. It was in a reasonably nice commercial sporter stock set (honey coloured wood) and was the first MkV I had seen anywhere near something I could afford. When it arrived I was a bit disappointed that the peep on the sight had been ground into a V (WHY?) and I already knew the ears had been ground off the site slider (Again why?). It did have matching bolt, and correct MkV safety and cut-off. Anyway it went into the safe as a “place holder”. I investigated reproduction furniture sets and while the product and reports on them were all superb and the sellers answered my questions patiently, the price (although reasonable given the product) was just more money than I could can manage for this project. So the rifle has languished at the back of the case. A couple of months ago rummaging through a box of old wood at a show I found a “sportered” MkV fore-end very cheap. OK I thought I’ll put it in this and a MkIII butt – perhaps I can make a bit back selling on the sporter stock set it came in, and at least it will be a bit closer.
This past weekend, the family were gone and I was having a bit of a clear out of old wood and parts that I had accumulated and (re)discovered a GF fore-end with a huge bolt hole though the rear part and I got to thinking (never a good idea). A bit more rummaging brought up a trimmed/broken No1 front hand-guard and an orphan No4 rear hand-guard, and a spare No1 hand-guard clip.
A few hours fettling in the garage and my first attempt at pinning/dowelling and some grinding on an old DP nosepiece and band, a bit of messing around with stain, epoxy and…..
It will never fool anyone as an original, and nor is it intended to. Frankly the upper handguard is very fragile and would probably break were the rifle to be fired much. The joins are amateurish and clearly visible and I really need to thin the rear part of the handguard more to get a better fit, but at least now it looks a little bit more like it should (at least from 3 or 4 feet!) until I find the a real one – or save up for the repro furniture. I'm still waiting for a set of sling swivels to be delivered, but right now I am still under $250 for the project and my line up of Enfield types/Mk.s looks a little better. I figure worst case? I can put it back in the sporter stock and shoot it and all I have wasted is a couple of scrap components and an afternoon.