You may wish to retain the black paint as that was the original finish on many Enfileds. I assume this is a No. 4. I once had a "US Property" (Savage) No.4 and paint was the finish on that gun although I have also seen them with parkerized finish. The thing is after you take off the paint you will find it has no other finish underneath so You will have to parkerize or blue. Many combat weapons are now painted to include almost all Soviet types and as was stated L1A1 FALs. I have seen several FN 49's that were also painted but under the paint they were blued.