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Hello everyone, first time poster here. I've done a good bit of work to bring my Ishapore 2A back to life, and I was wondering what it may have done to the value compared to an original. To start, I strongly prefer milsurp to remain in their stock and original configurations, but the 2A I purchased 2 years ago had each piece of wood exhibiting horrible cracks, chips and wear that was exacerbated by shooting, and the gloopy black paint finish was already chipping down to about 50%.

For the wood: The original wood is pretty soft and in horrible shape, so I opted the route of sourcing NOS No.1 Mk.III or Ishapore wood where available. I replaced the buttstock with what appears to be an Australian that added 1.75" to LOP, which means the stock now has a brass buttplate rather than the aluminum cup, added a British rear upper handguard, sourced a non-serialized Ishapore forend, and a newly produced upper front handguard from a Canadian shop. If anything, the rifle now truly shows the extent of the former British Empire/commonwealths. I dyed all of these to dark brown to match the rosewood forend.

For the Metal: Since the paint was mostly chipped away I decided to scrub the remainder off, as the parkerized finish underneath was actually in pretty decent shape. Unfortunately, the nosecap, trigger guard, and rear sight guard had significant edge wear, and were showing bare metal, so I did opt to strip those parts completely down and reparkerize. The bolt assembly, barrel, action, screws, etc... All still retain their original finish.

So while I did my best to keep my Ishapore 2A looking like an Enfield, it doesn't necessarily remain true to an Ishapore, and I'm curious as to what others feel this may have done to the value. I did buy some Alumahyde black spray in anticipation of returning the "black paint finish" look but opted against it for the time being.
Current:
3789443

3789446


Before:
3789447

3789448

3789451
 

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You're going to get a wide range of replies. Some you will like. Some you will not.
You aren't going to like my personal opinion. But you asked so brace yourself.
This is what I have done in the past so don't feel as though I'm singling you out.

If I were still in the market for a 2a/2a1, I would stop to look. But I would only look for a few seconds and would not ask if I could pick it up. I would pass and look elsewhere.
I might ask if you still had the original wood and metal though. If you answered yes, we might have a short chat. If it were included as a package and your price reflected a rifle which has been "kitchen tabled" so to speak.

It looks nice and your handiwork looks good. On that alone you might sell it at a fair price. Not likely you would be selling to me.
You gave a very honest description so I felt as though I should give you an honest opinion. My own personal opinion. Others will vary.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You're going to get a wide range of replies. Some you will like. Some you will not.
You aren't going to like my personal opinion. But you asked so brace yourself.
This is what I have done in the past so don't feel as though I'm singling you out.

If I were still in the market for a 2a/2a1, I would stop to look. But I would only look for a few seconds and would not ask if I could pick it up. I would pass and look elsewhere.
I might ask if you still had the original wood and metal though. If you answered yes, we might have a short chat if it were included as a package and your price reflected a rifle which has been "kitchen tabled" so to speak.

It looks nice and your handiwork looks good. On that alone you might sell it at a fair price. Not likely you would be selling to me.
You gave a very honest description so I felt as though I should give you an honest opinion. My own personal opinion. Others will vary.
I don't expect to take anyone's feedback in here as harsh criticism, so no harm, no foul there! I do still have the original wood, and for lack of anything better to do with it, I would likely include it with the rifle. The way I'm considering it, there's two kinds of folks who want Ishapore 2As. Those who want a Lee-Enfield chambered in .308/7.62x51, and those who collect Lee-Enfields, and need one to add to their collection. Of course these two types of people are not mutually exclusive, but I'd assume this handiwork does not appeal to the latter in any shape or form.
 

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You replaced the wood, and refinished the wood. You’ve stripped off the original metal finish, and reparked it. And you’re about to spray paint the metal.

I’m in the same boat as JB White. I simply wouldn’t buy the gun. It looks like you wanted a pretty Enfield, and rather than buying one, you bought a worn one and dumped a bunch of money and labor into it. At this point it’s like a Mitchell’s K98 or a Miltech garand, in that it appeals to an entirely different section of the market, someone who values looks over originality. There’s a market for that, of course, but it’s not the high end collector who will throw money at something.

Gunbroker may realize you a return of some sort, but I think you’ll be underwater overall.
 

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he way I'm considering it, there's two kinds of folks who want Ishapore 2As. Those who want a Lee-Enfield chambered in .308/7.62x51, and those who collect Lee-Enfields,

My feelings are that to a collector is is virtually worthless and now the only 'original parts' are the barrel and the action it's not even as if there is much to start a build from.

For a 'shooter' , it could be sporterised and would make a useful truck-gun with ammunition in a readily available calibe.

I'd speculate that you have probably spent more on parts than it is worth as a complete rifle.

Post it up on gunbroker with no reserve and it will fetch whatever 'the market' considers it to be worth.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You replaced the wood, and refinished the wood. You’ve stripped off the original metal finish, and reparked it. And you’re about to spray paint the metal.

I’m in the same boat as JB White. I simply wouldn’t buy the gun. It looks like you wanted a pretty Enfield, and rather than buying one, you bought a worn one and dumped a bunch of money and labor into it. At this point it’s like a Mitchell’s K98 or a Miltech garand, in that it appeals to an entirely different section of the market, someone who values looks over originality. There’s a market for that, of course, but it’s not the high end collector who will throw money at something.

Gunbroker may realize you a return of some sort, but I think you’ll be underwater overall.
Yeah that's absolutely fair. I have owned this rifle for a few years now, and just bought the first one I found in months of looking locally... Just turned out to be a worn one, which I got for a very fair price comparatively. The original wood (especially the stock and upper handguards) are all soaked through with oil, and any method of restoration would be nothing short of a full strip, so I opted to lift & shift instead. As for the spray paint, I've had the can in a closet for 6 months now and probably won't ever actually use it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My feelings are that to a collector is is virtually worthless and now the only 'original parts' are the barrel and the action it's not even as if there is much to start a build from.

For a 'shooter' , it could be sporterised and would make a useful truck-gun with ammunition in a readily available calibe.

I'd speculate that you have probably spent more on parts than it is worth as a complete rifle.

Post it up on gunbroker with no reserve and it will fetch whatever 'the market' considers it to be worth.
Had I bought the rifle within the last year you'd be correct in terms of being at a loss, but as of right now I'd say I have about $450 into the rifle overall over the past few years. Sporterized is exactly what I wanted to stop this rifle from becoming, while still being "shootable", but once the buttstock and handguards started getting worse it was barely a shooter in original config.
 

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Butt-ugly original -or- cleaned up pretty.

I'd go with the latter.

The value to you is what matters.

Conelrad
 

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Threads like this are useful reads for newer collectors. I'm a collector and, were I looking for a 2A1, the "before" cosmetic condition of this rifle wouldn't have put me off for a second. In fact, I like the look of it- pretty much about the same state as my own 2A1. I have mixed feelings about "restoration" of collector guns. If you have a Brown Bess with stock split in half that should be restored- by someone who is an expert at it. Worn appearing Lee Enfields I don't "restore other than to return a rifle to shootable condition if it's a year/ version/ price level that places it in the "likely to be taken to the range" category. So, with this rifle I might have stabilized any wood issues and redone the draws (if necessary). I'm also into shooting a good part of my collection and I tend to avoid LE's that have obvious user replaced forends. Many are done very poorly and have neither value as a collectible or a shooter. The simple truth is- in collecting, it's always best to leave them alone, if at all possible, and originality always trumps cosmetics. For a pure range gun, with associated loss of collectible status, the sky's the limit but it has to be accurate. In the Canadian market most guys looking for a 2A1 aren't really "collectors" and simply want a LE that doesn't use .303 and many would likely jump at your redone rifle.

Ruprecht
 

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Threads like this are useful reads for newer collectors. I'm a collector and, were I looking for a 2A1, the "before" cosmetic condition of this rifle wouldn't have put me off for a second. In fact, I like the look of it- pretty much about the same state as my own 2A1. I have mixed feelings about "restoration" of collector guns. If you have a Brown Bess with stock split in half that should be restored- by someone who is an expert at it. Worn appearing Lee Enfields I don't "restore other than to return a rifle to shootable condition if it's a year/ version/ price level that places it in the "likely to be taken to the range" category. So, with this rifle I might have stabilized any wood issues and redone the draws (if necessary). I'm also into shooting a good part of my collection and I tend to avoid LE's that have obvious user replaced forends. Many are done very poorly and have neither value as a collectible or a shooter. The simple truth is- in collecting, it's always best to leave them alone, if at all possible, and originality always trumps cosmetics. For a pure range gun, with associated loss of collectible status, the sky's the limit but it has to be accurate. In the Canadian market most guys looking for a 2A1 aren't really "collectors" and simply want a LE that doesn't use .303 and many would likely jump at your redone rifle.

Ruprecht
Thank you for your input! When I first got the rifle the faults in the wood weren't very apparent, and I did try to stop further damage, but the wood wouldn't accept wood glue due to being saturated. What I need to better understand is when collecting an Ishapore, is the black paint considered "original"? Numerous sources during my research stated if the black paint is Suncorite that IS the finish, whereas most 2A/2A1s were given a layer of black paint as storage protection. Since I was able to remove this paint and there is a nicely parkerized finish underneath it clearly wasn't Suncorite.
 

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Thank you for your input! When I first got the rifle the faults in the wood weren't very apparent, and I did try to stop further damage, but the wood wouldn't accept wood glue due to being saturated. What I need to better understand is when collecting an Ishapore, is the black paint considered "original"? Numerous sources during my research stated if the black paint is Suncorite that IS the finish, whereas most 2A/2A1s were given a layer of black paint as storage protection. Since I was able to remove this paint and there is a nicely parkerized finish underneath it clearly wasn't Suncorite.
Greentree3,

You did well. Replacing wooden handguards is not a mortal sin. To the untrained eye, your refit is ok. I have several MKIII and Jungle Carbine Ishapore clones on establishment. All like my reloads and are favourite hunting arms in original kit.

Enjoy a great arm.

Webley
 

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Well, where is the line drawn as to this particular example? We collectors are a funny bunch. Original condition in all respects is the boss, no matter if one collects milsurps, Winchesters, Colts, Mausers, Parkers, Krags, etc etc. Some will only go for the pristine while others (most of the rest of us) honor and value the wear and tear of an honest life as a useful tool that was/is doing what it was made to do in the first place. But when it comes to an example that is in the state that yours was found in and its integrity as a working firearm has been reduced to that as a tomato stake, some common sense must be entertained. Its value to you is treasure and time invested. It's value the the next owner is what he will pay.
For the record I think your rifle looks great now. As for the folks who have never made an improvement, restoration, salvage, parts replacement, refinish to look original, etc, etc, raise your hand because then I can personally honor your forbearance and honesty. I, for one, cannot raise mine very high because 50+ years ago things were not the same and the 2A/2A1's were still serving. And it is your rifle after all.
 

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Thunderation !! , what a beat down ! You guys need to get consistent...you applaud restorations of sporters but here you drop like a B52 strike on a guy who takes a 2A and salvages it from the decay of miserable wood.

I think a spasm of Purist virus hit you guys !!

To the owner of this rifle:

a. No decline in value, cut down 2a Into Fantasy Jungle Carbines or Navy Arms / Gibbs Rife Company "Quest" survival rifles are movers on retail market in the $500 so this rifle will clearly bring same or more in the repaired condition it is presently in.

b. Nice work on the rifle. Its been saved from decay and is now serviceable.

c. You saved a rifle from problematic condition and since you don't collect relics, you have nothing
to be concerned about whatsoever. There are guys who run a museum so a decaying rifle is sacred
but who cares what they think ....its your rifle and you brought it from the dead.

The fact is some rifles need attention if they are to survive being shootable rifles. Time marches on, own a relic or do something to keep a rifle serviceable. No...its not correct as it left Ishaphore but since you are not a Ishaphore purist, it matters not.

Sometimes the reality must be flagged: Not all of us are archaeologists of Enfields, not museum curators, we only want to repair and put right a rifle needing maintenance and attention. We don't wish to wall hang the rifle,
we want to put it operational and shoot it.

Ain't a damned thing wrong with this rifle being cared for and put back on firing line.
 

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Yeah that's absolutely fair. I have owned this rifle for a few years now, and just bought the first one I found in months of looking locally... Just turned out to be a worn one, which I got for a very fair price comparatively. The original wood (especially the stock and upper handguards) are all soaked through with oil, and any method of restoration would be nothing short of a full strip, so I opted to lift & shift instead. As for the spray paint, I've had the can in a closet for 6 months now and probably won't ever actually use it.
You can get a lot of oil out of the gun with some heat. Place it in a black garbage back on the dash of your car on a hot time. Get a heat gun and slowly work the oil out. It will never all go away, but it’s about the best you can get.
 

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Okay while I am on a roll: When these 2A & 2A1 came in, I was a FFL and went thru piles of them to extract the few in good working order....not suffering decaying wood ruined by being oil soaked and neglected. In sum, most all rifles had ruined wood . Now they all sold as we see them pop up all the time but none in that condition ever made it to our shop. We'd have none of that garbage condition and the resulting customer issues coming back to haunt us. Most all rifles were craptacular at best. Few of these rifles were in great condition but all had some issues with paint flaking off metal , some rifles showed blue or park surface treatments under the flaking paint. Those were the rifles we bought..if wood up to par.

We were in business, we were not running a museum. We knew a 762 caliber surplus rifle was a hot ticket item as this caliber was much loved by customers. These rifles would fly out the door but not with paint falling like snow off them We simply degreased the barreled actions, brushed then with brake fluid which mildly made paint removal with a paper towel and reassembled the rifles. Two patches down bores to remove grease and up for sale. They fly out the door. The dang paint was going to flake off anyway so no harm done.

** Martin O8 is mourning the loss of all that grease ...Ishaphore grease from all those 2A's . Like the oils they bathed Pharaohs in Egypt before mummy wrapping, the Ishaphore grease once gone can't be
duplicated. Oh............... the Inhumanity of it all !!!!
 

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As much as I don't want to say it, people would probably throw stupid money at it nowadays.

Regardless of my own opinion........

at least put a correct buttstock on it.
 

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Thunderation !! , what a beat down ! You guys need to get consistent...you applaud restorations of sporters but here you drop like a B52 strike on a guy who takes a 2A and salvages it from the decay of miserable wood.

I think a spasm of Purist virus hit you guys !!

To the owner of this rifle:

a. No decline in value, cut down 2a Into Fantasy Jungle Carbines or Navy Arms / Gibbs Rife Company "Quest" survival rifles are movers on retail market in the $500 so this rifle will clearly bring same or more in the repaired condition it is presently in.

b. Nice work on the rifle. Its been saved from decay and is now serviceable.

c. You saved a rifle from problematic condition and since you don't collect relics, you have nothing
to be concerned about whatsoever. There are guys who run a museum so a decaying rifle is sacred
but who cares what they think ....its your rifle and you brought it from the dead.

The fact is some rifles need attention if they are to survive being shootable rifles. Time marches on, own a relic or do something to keep a rifle serviceable. No...its not correct as it left Ishaphore but since you are not a Ishaphore purist, it matters not.

Sometimes the reality must be flagged: Not all of us are archaeologists of Enfields, not museum curators, we only want to repair and put right a rifle needing maintenance and attention. We don't wish to wall hang the rifle,
we want to put it operational and shoot it.

Ain't a damned thing wrong with this rifle being cared for and put back on firing line.
Damn that is good. I have to agree completely in this case. (Holy crap, what did I just say).

I would not be surprised that some significant money would be sent your way to purchase that rifle, particularly in these crazy times. It is something to sit down at the bench with and send them downrange.......probably pretty accurately. Sometimes no matter how hard you try you can't spit shine fecal matter and you just go onto plan B.
 

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An original will go for $450-550? Maybe a bit higher because it’s a 2A rather than the 2A1. At least pre-covid panic craziness.

I’d feel yours would fetch around the same. The buyer won’t be a collector for sure, but there’s a lot of shooters and other gun guys who can appreciate a good looking milsurp, and even more, one that’s factory chambered in a relatively available and affordable round. I bet if you throw it up on gunbroker for $600 somebody would snap it up fast and have not a care that it wasn’t original.

Last year I sold a completely refinished SMLE. Obviously not my handiwork. It was pretty but it had been extensively sanded and the stock was glossy. Full disclosure of non originality was made and the darned thing still brought $850 to a buyer who was tickled pink. People are nuts. I just hope word doesn’t get out or bubba will stop cutting the barrels down for deer guns and break out the stock refinishing supplies instead.
 

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Also: there aren’t many people collecting anything from India for the history. They buy these guns more as shooters. That may change over time but I’d wager the number of guys who want their post-1948 Enfield No. 1 mk3*s and 2A/2A1s as a fine relic of early Indian Independence gun craftsmanship, vs the ones who just want an Enfield that they don’t feel bad about practicing their hot mad minute skillz with... is minuscule.
 
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