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Finally shot the family No 4 Mk I!

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mccoycm84 View Drop Down
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    Posted: May 13 2012 at 12:29am
This is my first post...A recent episode of Top Shot featured a Lee Enfield rifle (No. 1 I believe) which piqued my interest knowing that our family had some version of the rifle.  Yesterday I fired the gun for the first time.  It's probably been 40 years since my dad has fired the gun.  We found an old unopened box of Winchester 180gr. Super-X Power Point that my dad figures he bought in the '70s and racked off 4 rounds apiece.  We were shooting a metal popcorn can with a round target stuck to it at 50 yards.  The gun shoots about 6-10 inches high, which leads me to believe the gun might be sighted in at the 300 yard stage of the flip sight.  I absolutely love this gun!

I've spent a few hours trying to identify the markings on the gun; here's what I've found so far:
The bolt serial number does not match the receiver and stock; it appears to have two serial numbers, one stamped on top of the other (pic below).  Magazine serial doesn't match any SN.

I have a few questions in bold beside various markings.  Any help identifying these markings would be greatly appreciated!!

On the receiver:
Left side:
No 4. Mk I
M1943 - ROF Maltby, South Yorkshire
AV
14534

On the right/top side:
Crown with P beneath - inspection mark?
ENGLAND - I believe this was stamped on once it entered the US?
Crown - inspection mark?
N
69

On the stock:
17532 - not sure what this number refers to...any ideas?
AV
14534
J.C. - John Curtis, UK
N22 - John Curtis and Son Ltd., Leeds, UK
/|\ - Broad arrow - British Government ownership

Muzzle Band:
CEW - C.E. Welstead, UK
S76 - appears to right of CEW; anyone know what this means?

Barrel muzzle:
.303 2.22 - .303 round, 2.22 inch cartridge lenth
18+ TON - avg. thrust against boltface
NP (with marking of some sort above NP) to the left of .303 2.22 - Birmingham Nitro Proof between 1912 and 1954 (what does this mean?)

Sling:
M.D.C
H&P. 1918
One forum said that this sling is from a Model 1907 Winchester. "These would have been used on many U.S. Military rifles including on the M1903, M1917, and M1 Garand rifles."

Right Side of Butt:
Appears to be an FR or FB - any ideas as to what this means?


Below are some pictures:




















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kschick View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kschick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 13 2012 at 1:06am
Welcome, a beautiful example of working history.  Bet that was a fun shoot.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mccoycm84 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 13 2012 at 4:52am
Thank you kschick!  It was a blast to shoot.  I find it thrilling to shoot a rifle with so much history behind it; very cool!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 13 2012 at 6:02am
Let me try some translation for you.
No 4. Mk I
The model & variation of the rifle you have No4 = 4th. model, Mk 1 first revision.

M1943 -
Made in 1943.

 ROF Maltby, South Yorkshire
at the Maltby Royal Ordinance Factory. (the "M" is also a "code" for Maltby) The "South Yorkshire" is a bit unusual though.

AV  14534
The serial number. One of several that means a bunch of parts were swapped out somewhere, not an uncommon thing. Some numbers are overstruck with a different number, like the bolt.

Crown with P beneath - inspection mark?
Could it be a crown with BNP, or NP?
If so it is a proof mark for a rifle sold for civilian use, "NP" would be the London proof house, "BNP" the Birmingham one. See the other response further down as well for more details.

AV  14534 /AV 14532 & so on:
You have several serial numbers, this means the parts were put back together from several rifles. This called a "non-matching", or "force matched" rifle.



J.C. - John Curtis, UK
N22 - John Curtis and Son Ltd., Leeds, UK
/|\ - Broad arrow - British Government ownership.
This is probably the dealer who bought the rifle from the military for civilian sale. The Broad arrow means it was British military property at some point.

CEW & S 76
Probably the original sub-contractor's code for who made these parts for the .GOV.

.303 2.22 - .303 round, 2.22 inch cartridge length.
The specification for the .303 British round it is chambered for, (many were re-chambered to other calibers).

18+ TON - avg. thrust against boltface.
A British standard of proof testing.,

NP (with marking of some sort above NP) to the left of .303 2.22 - Birmingham Nitro Proof between 1912 and 1954.
A more detailed explanation of the Proof house & date of proofing. It should be a crown over "BNP".

Model 1907 Winchester.
The sling is a style & type used for serious target & accuracy shooting, not the usual fabric webbing British sling. They were fitted to British rifles for target work & for sniper rifles, but weren't "standard" issue.

H&P. 1918.
Might that be H&R?
If so it would be Harrison & Richardson a well known U.S. arms manufacture who also made accessories, this on in 1918 maybe? (not a sling expert, I'm guessing here).Confused

FR or FB "Field Repair",
Some fairly minor thing broke, or wore beyond acceptable limits while in military service. Whatever broke was fixed without needing to send it back to a major repair facility, or armory, that would be a complete rebuild as in an "FTR", or Factory through repair.

Nice rifle BTW!Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Sukey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 14 2012 at 4:53am
And whoever put that sling together got it ALL WRONG! LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 14 2012 at 5:47am
It is a bit disorganized.Sick Here is a link telling you how it should be rigged step-by-step with illustrations.
http://www.ray-vin.com/tech/slinghelp/slinghelp.htm

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Target Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 15 2012 at 1:55am
That is good looking Lee Enfield... needs a good bath though as it's a bit dusty!

Fantastic rifle.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 15 2012 at 3:44am
looks like it still has only the battle sight fitted, which will give you either 300 yard or 600 yard zero. It would be worth fitting a mk1 back sight if you decide to shoot it more often. if it's been in the family so long, thats great, makes it special. Give it a clean and enjoy shooting it.
It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mccoycm84 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 15 2012 at 10:52am
Thanks for the info!

Yeah I saw that the sling was wrong when I was researching it, thanks for the link!

Oh, and it has been cleaned!  Definitely needed it!

And yes, 300, 600 yard sight is on it.  I'll take a look at the mk 1 sights for sure.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 15 2012 at 10:34pm
If the sling is dry (which I guess it probably is) try & find some "Pecards" leather treatment, amazing stuff.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LE Owner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 16 2012 at 4:56pm
The British bought up a number of 1907 leather slings, but found they became damaged by moisture more easily than the fabric slings.
The U S also found leather to be prone to moisture damage in the tropics, so web slings were developed for the Garand and M1 Carbine.
NOS 1907 slings , many with WW1 dates, were dirt cheap at surplus stores in the 60's.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Longshaor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 16 2012 at 9:19pm
Just to add to what's already been stated here...
 
BNP = British Nitro Proof, this was a reproofing of the rifle before it was sold off onto the civilian market.  A rifle in military service would not have this marking.
 
England = This marking is peculiar to the US, by law any product of a foreign country entering into the US MUST have it's country of origin clearly stated.  IIRC, that goes back to Teddy Roosevelt's administration.
 
M47, N22, S76, etc. = These are manufacturer's codes.  IIRC, the Ministry of War Production developed the coding system and each manufacturer was issued a code.  The letters designate location, "S" being in the south (e.g. S51 is Holland & Holland of London), "M" being the Midlands & the English side of the Borders, and "N" being the north (Scotland).  Skennerton's book on the Enfield has a full list of the codes and their meaning.
 
Crown over P = Manufacturer's inspection mark
 
17532 - this is just a guess here, but it may be the serial number of the previous rifle the butt was mounted on, though I would expect it to have been struck through when it was refitted and the new rifle's number added.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 16 2012 at 10:44pm
I do not think the "England " stamp is peculiar to rifles imported to USA. My No mk1/2 has "England" stamped on it, and it's never been to the States. I think it's just because it is manufactured in England.

It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 16 2012 at 11:36pm
The "ENGLAND" stamp is a U.S. Import requirement, first introduced in the 1968 GCA in the U.S. ( there is a later revision needing importers address & so on.) Before 1968 there was no such requirement.
 
Now, having said that I don't know where the stamp had to be done! It might well have been stamped in the U.K. before shipment to avoid complications when importing, such as holding til it had a stamp added?
 
Either that or it was sold to the U.S. market & then re-sold somehow back to the French one!
 
It's an Enfield, they do get about a lot after allBig smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 17 2012 at 3:42am
I bought my rifle in England, it was made at Fazakerly in 1943 then rebuilt to mk1/2 spec in 1952.  As the stamping is of the same type and in the same position as the 1943 Maltby made rifle above, then it would probably have been done at production, with standardized tooling. It would be interesting to hear from other No4 owners regarding this "England" stamp.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote muffett.2008 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 17 2012 at 7:22am
Please people, don't post large pic's, they take up a lot of space and download time and invariably are either out of focus or distorted as these are.
  We have the ability at our fingertips to increase the size and enhance the photo if we so wish.
   Thats my morning winge out of my system.
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