AIA M10 No4 Mk4 in 308W - how accurate? REALLY

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AIA M10 No4 Mk4 in 308W - how accurate? REALLY

Post by Vince24 » 26 Jan 2023, 10:16 pm

Hi guys

I am interested into one of those AIA Lee Enfields, in particular the one that looks like a No4 in the below picture:

https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/wp- ... ressed.jpg

Now, I have owned another AIA in 308w in the past, the M10-B sporter version, and I despite the fact that the rifle was like brand new, I was quite disappointed by a few things:

- heavy weight
- still lots of recoil despite the weight
- terrible trigger (disapointing on a newly made rifle...)
- very average accuracy, the thing was grouping 10 shots in 5 cms at only 50 meters, despite the presence of a good Bushnell scope. (ADI factory rounds).
50m scoped 10 shots - Copy.jpg
50m scoped 10 shots - Copy.jpg (44.07 KiB) Viewed 3866 times


Which is disapointing in my books for 50 meters, so It's one of the very few rifles I have ever sold!

I am about to try the AIA experience again but I would like to know if there are some AIA owners here who can talk seriously about their accuracy.

Not interested in the rumours/assumptions, just would like to hear about actual accuracy testings from owners, if any?

Cheers !!
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Re: AIA M10 No4 Mk4 in 308W - how accurate? REALLY

Post by bladeracer » 27 Jan 2023, 1:19 am

I agree, that does seem poor with a scope.
Did you try different ammo and bullet weights?
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Re: AIA M10 No4 Mk4 in 308W - how accurate? REALLY

Post by No1_49er » 27 Jan 2023, 5:29 am

Given that you have now sold that rifle, but seem to want to chase another one, I think you should dive in and get one.

When you've got it, spend a great deal of time either testing with all types of commercially available ammo, or develop a hand-load that achieves the group size you want.

Case in point - I have (nearly) finished developing hand-loads for my 1907 M96 swede which is now putting 10-shot groups into 50 mm, from 100 mtr, with my 70 plus year old eyes and "as issued" open/iron sights. The test loads have never benefited from 'scope use.

If you're using a 'scope, you should be able to do at least as good as the swede.
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Re: AIA M10 No4 Mk4 in 308W - how accurate? REALLY

Post by in2anity » 27 Jan 2023, 8:21 am

Sorry but not good enough. A competitive No4, irrespective of chambering, needs to put all shots 2->12 into 1” at 50m. Sighters from cold/clean will often be a bit weird, but yeah she should settle.

Btw I don’t trust those no drill mounts. And presuming you are capable of shooting sub moa front the bagsz
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Re: AIA M10 No4 Mk4 in 308W - how accurate? REALLY

Post by Wyliecoyote » 27 Jan 2023, 8:21 am

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Re: AIA M10 No4 Mk4 in 308W - how accurate? REALLY

Post by in2anity » 27 Jan 2023, 8:44 am

Hate to say it but most Lee Enfields aren’t very consistent. Yes there are diamonds in the rough, they excel above the pack, but most won’t group much better than 3moa, which frankly isn’t good enough to take home the gongs in a service match (that includes an accuracy component). It’s why many good service shooters opt for a Mauser - generally way better accuracy.
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Re: AIA M10 No4 Mk4 in 308W - how accurate? REALLY

Post by bladeracer » 27 Jan 2023, 6:53 pm

in2anity wrote:Hate to say it but most Lee Enfields aren’t very consistent. Yes there are diamonds in the rough, they excel above the pack, but most won’t group much better than 3moa, which frankly isn’t good enough to take home the gongs in a service match (that includes an accuracy component). It’s why many good service shooters opt for a Mauser - generally way better accuracy.


I wouldn't say they're inconsistent, they're just a poor design that give a consistent 3-4MoA. I can only assume it was a significant cost saving not having to to source long wide lengths of stable timber for it, and that was more important than having a more accurate rifle at that time. The SMLE needed one longish length of fairly small-profile timber for the forend, and a largish chunk for the butt stock, compared to most other designs that need a long length of timber up to 150mm deep to incorporate the butt stock - several countries had to switch to laminating the butt stock due to shortages. It should've been rectified far earlier than it was but as they already had millions in service it was just cheaper to stay with what they had than to redesign the receiver to take a single-piece stock. I have seen photos of an SMLE with the socket removed and fitted to a single-piece stock. Off a bench, modern enthusiasts with handloaded ammunition might be able to see 2MoA, but you have to feel for the conscript soldier of 1939 trying to hit partially-concealed enemy soldiers at 200m from rudimentary shooting positions. I'd love to stumble upon a video of Commonwealth soldiers trying to hit a German helmet in a field even at 100m with their SMLE's.
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Re: AIA M10 No4 Mk4 in 308W - how accurate? REALLY

Post by in2anity » 27 Jan 2023, 9:43 pm

I can assure you Blade if the gun was up to it - a helmet at 100m is a rather trivial shot - even with an era appropriate webbing sling off the elbows. And I think many SMLE’s would be capable of that. 3moa is still pretty small if looking at it from those sorts of perspectives.

They just mostly don’t go better than that. Then again you see some amazing specimens: all the M grade guys have sub 2moa shooters.
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Re: AIA M10 No4 Mk4 in 308W - how accurate? REALLY

Post by Vince24 » 27 Jan 2023, 9:47 pm

I would say that the debate re the accuracy of WW1/WW2 Lee-Enfields in general is not so relevant in that those AIAs are just not L.E.,
it's a brand new rifle, different barrel, not a single part is original and I have read most parts are not compatible with that of an original Lee.
Plus, it's in 308W. And it's a lot heavier than a Lee.

So, nobody has tested one personally for accuracy?

In theory, it should be accurate. But I have heard mixed stories...
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Re: AIA M10 No4 Mk4 in 308W - how accurate? REALLY

Post by No1Mk3 » 27 Jan 2023, 11:21 pm

Vince24 wrote:I would say that the debate re the accuracy of WW1/WW2 Lee-Enfields in general is not so relevant in that those AIAs are just not L.E.,
it's a brand new rifle, different barrel, not a single part is original and I have read most parts are not compatible with that of an original Lee.
Plus, it's in 308W. And it's a lot heavier than a Lee.

So, nobody has tested one personally for accuracy?

In theory, it should be accurate. But I have heard mixed stories...


G'day Vince,
As you say, all the comments about Lee Enfield No4's are utterly irrelevant to your question, but to that point, I have never owned pone as I can't see the value for what would only be a fun rifle. Having said that, I have had 2 in my possession to try and see if they could be made to shoot well as the owners were getting frustrated, thing is a chrome barrel doesn't mean anything, top class shooters don't use them for a reason, the components are variable in fit and quality due to poor QC in places like Vietnam where some parts were made, and occasionally indifferent stocking up. The rifle can be made to shoot acceptably for a low cost gun (which it isn't!) by careful load development, barrel floating, action bedding etc which is a lot of work and money to get a rifle that will just beat an off the shelf Lee Enfield or barely equal a good Mauser. Apart from that, parts are impossible to get so if you break something be prepared to either junk the rifle or pay a lot to have a part custom made. Best I ever got was 2 1/2 MOA with one of them which is less than my Fultons Regulated No4 Enfield. Save yourself some bother mate, tune up an Enfield or buy another Mauser (I'm currently mucking about with my US M1903 Springfield, has potential to do good things, maybe get an M1917 for yourself?) Cheers.
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Re: AIA M10 No4 Mk4 in 308W - how accurate? REALLY

Post by bladeracer » 28 Jan 2023, 12:01 am

in2anity wrote:I can assure you Blade if the gun was up to it - a helmet at 100m is a rather trivial shot - even with an era appropriate webbing sling off the elbows. And I think many SMLE’s would be capable of that. 3moa is still pretty small if looking at it from those sorts of perspectives.

They just mostly don’t go better than that. Then again you see some amazing specimens: all the M grade guys have sub 2moa shooters.


Were Commonwealth soldiers taught to use the sling for shooting?

For you and I such a shot would be, as you say, trivial. I'm not so sure with a conscript soldier shooting under less than ideal conditions. Three-minutes is very small under combat conditions, but that's what the rifle is capable of under ideal conditions on a range versus a very well-defined target, not under combat conditions.
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Re: AIA M10 No4 Mk4 in 308W - how accurate? REALLY

Post by bladeracer » 28 Jan 2023, 12:05 am

Vince24 wrote:I would say that the debate re the accuracy of WW1/WW2 Lee-Enfields in general is not so relevant in that those AIAs are just not L.E.,
it's a brand new rifle, different barrel, not a single part is original and I have read most parts are not compatible with that of an original Lee.
Plus, it's in 308W. And it's a lot heavier than a Lee.

So, nobody has tested one personally for accuracy?

In theory, it should be accurate. But I have heard mixed stories...


I agree, but the design is the same, and that is the main deficiency, in my opinion. They basically followed 1860's lever-action rifle design instead of the 1890's single-piece stock everybody else was using. Sourcing the timber for it was a problem, but other countries weren't willing to compromise on the stock like the UK was.
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Re: AIA M10 No4 Mk4 in 308W - how accurate? REALLY

Post by Vince24 » 28 Jan 2023, 10:20 pm

Thanks all

I think the message from No1mk3 just finishes it.
So I won't try the AIA adventure again.
Why give up on the historical authenticity of a genuine Lee-Enfield, if it's not to benefit from guaranteed accuracy?
It sounds like the AIA gets you to pay more, for a rifle that's heavier, and not really more accurate.
I'll pass on the terrible trigger that was possibly just a specificity of mine.

And No1Mk3, on your comment re the US 1917: well you're right on spot, I just got one earlier this month, with a new barrel
Just hesitating on the recipe for the load development, i.e. Hornady 150gr FMJ with 2208 or 168HPBT with 2209??
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Re: AIA M10 No4 Mk4 in 308W - how accurate? REALLY

Post by Billo » 29 Jan 2023, 9:59 am

These AIA's had a bad rap right from the get go, no different to the Ruger No1 303's.....
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Re: AIA M10 No4 Mk4 in 308W - how accurate? REALLY

Post by Border_Bloke » 01 Feb 2023, 1:43 pm

Now I could be wrong - but my understanding was that the AIA bored out and sleeved original barrel rather than replacing it.
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Re: AIA M10 No4 Mk4 in 308W - how accurate? REALLY

Post by bladeracer » 01 Feb 2023, 2:55 pm

Border_Bloke wrote:Now I could be wrong - but my understanding was that the AIA bored out and sleeved original barrel rather than replacing it.


I thought the barrels were manufactured from new as .308"?
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Re: AIA M10 No4 Mk4 in 308W - how accurate? REALLY

Post by Gun-nut » 01 Feb 2023, 3:53 pm

My understanding is that all rifles were built from the ground up with no parts interchangeable with the original 303s.
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Re: AIA M10 No4 Mk4 in 308W - how accurate? REALLY

Post by No1Mk3 » 01 Feb 2023, 6:08 pm

bladeracer wrote:
Border_Bloke wrote:Now I could be wrong - but my understanding was that the AIA bored out and sleeved original barrel rather than replacing it.


I thought the barrels were manufactured from new as .308"?


Correct, the AIA No4 has a new made barrel without bayonet lugs and in a heavier profile. It also screws up differently using a Brewer Collar to set headspace as do all the AIA series.
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Re: AIA M10 No4 Mk4 in 308W - how accurate? REALLY

Post by R fron T » 12 Oct 2023, 10:46 pm

Older thread I know but only just saw it and joined. I have an AIA M10-B2 bought new in 2008. Mine has a 700mm heavy barrel and is in the style of the Enfield L42A1 sniper rifle looking very similar except for the Monte Carlo buttstock. As it came it had a white nylon pad inleted near the end of the forearm exerting upward pressure on the barrel. Initial testing produced 5 shot MOA groups but I expected better for all the weight so first up I removed the pad. Hand load groups now shrunk to 1/2 MOA. During the recent primer crisis I bought a 480 round can of ADI Australian Outback .308 165 grain Sierra rounds and they shoot 3/4 MOA prone with a bipod. The ADI ammo chronographs at 2850 fps out of the 700 mm barrel. The only issue is the 10 shot mags won’t always feed ten rounds properly. I polished the feed lips on one and it feeds much better. I generally only load 9 and cycle the action quick and that fixes it. Need to do more polish
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Re: AIA M10 No4 Mk4 in 308W - how accurate? REALLY

Post by str8shutr » 16 Oct 2023, 9:59 pm

Late contribution with some detail for what it's worth.

From wayback, you can take a look at what was published back in 2011 from AIA's own website in terms of range testing, here:
https://web.archive.org/web/20110216050744/http://www.australianinternationalarms.com.au/tests.htm

My guess is that the the "Ian" and "Brian" referred to in the testing page are Ian Skennerton and Brian Labudda respectively. When you cross reference with some of the detail noted at:
https://www.303british.com/id41.html
then, it's a pretty clear confirmation that my guess is not much of a guess.

For anyone keen, you could try tracking down comment from the former. I found Ian to be more than happy to share his personal knowledge when I spoke to him over the phone to place an order for his book on the Lee Enfield.

The comment from R fron T regarding rifle performance as a function of ammunition selection appears to correlate with commentary in the "Test" web page, although I find the latter's commentary ambiguous / lacking in definitive conclusions.
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