April 25th, 2015

Yank Barrel-Maker Helps Lady Win NZ Vintage Rifle Title

.303 British Lee Enfield Criterion barrel New Zealand Service Rifle No. 4

You have to love it when a prototype product not only performs well, but actually wins a match. For some time, Criterion Barrels has been working on a match-grade barrel for vintage Lee-Enfield rifles. It looks like they got things right…

Over the Easter weekend the New Zealand Service Rifle Association held its annual national service rifle competition. Coming first in the Classic Bolt Action class was Wellington’s Nicole McKee shooting a Lee-Enfield with a new, prototype Criterion barrel. Nicole’s rifle was built by her husband Duncan, a vintage rifle expert who specializes in accurizing the No. 4 and SMLE actions. Nicole’s .303 British handloads featured Hornady 174gr FMJ Boattail bullets (SKU: 3131) pushed by 47.0 grains of ADI 2209 (H4350). ADI 2209 has become the top go-to powder for .303 British shooters in New Zealand.

Nicole’s rifle was fitted with a Criterion test barrel supplied to John Herbert of the New Zealand Repeating Arms Company. Nicole was happy with her new rifle, which was completed just days before the NZSRA match: “Once the rifle had settled down and the action and barrel had bitten into the wood the rifle held waterline all day. At 600 yards it was only a few wind changes that caught me out. It’s shooting very well and I very happy with it.”

Criterion Gears Up for Production of Lee-Enfield No. 4 Barrels
Criterion has been very happy with the accuracy results submitted by the sample barrel shooters. Plans are in place to begin running the first batch of No. 4 barrels as soon as a some minor design changes are finalized. The completed blanks should be entering production by the end of June 2015, at which point pre-orders will be accepted through select Criterion distributors.

.303 British Enfield Criterion barrel New Zealand Service Rifle No. 4

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